Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Years Ago Today

The hawk was about 250 feet away
[Click to enlarge]
Hawk calls

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 16, 2012, not one word different.]

I had some excitement yesterday clicking the shutter continually as fast as my Coolpix would allow (approximately every two seconds). At any moment I knew the hawk (it might have been a Cooper’s Hawk, or Chicken Hawk) might spot prey and swoop off the limb...and the camera might record it!
    Unfortunately, about a half-second after the sixtieth click or so, the hawk flew off—and so was a good way toward its prey by the time I could have clicked again. Actually, I did click again...but the camera recorded an empty limb. My disappointment was heightened by the treasured mental image of the hawk’s coming toward me in the first split second after take-off.
    All that was left for it (besides trying the experiment again another day...and again, if necessary) was to just use one of my best images for today. I chose the one that best reveals the hawk’s open beak (amid call?)
    And, today, I mean by “use” more than just cropping and resizing the original and perhaps adjusting the tone (a preset adjustment in Photoshop). I mean more than those things now because of the recent commentary on “Dahlia delights” between photographers Ken Marks and Motomynd (a professional of many years’ high standing). Their comments together made me realize finally (it was about time) that digital editing is as fully part of the artistic process that is photography as putting on more oil paint or adjusting the color is a part of the painter’s art.

Why hadn’t I gotten it before? Well, I think I had been at best ambivalent in thinking that digital touch-up was even “acceptable.”" When I indulged in an artistic filter, it had always been with some sense of trespass. Isn’t “indulgence”" one of the original sins?
    But Motomynd’s comments on film photography helped me realize that doing digital touch-up is no more cheating than using physical filters on a film camera, or holding up a white card to a close subject to reflect sunlight onto a shadow. Different scenes, different light conditions – all require adjustments for the results sought.
    After returning from his latest trip, Ken spends considerable time editing his photos to achieve the pure, uncluttered image he values. His flowers and seascapes and mountains and valleys and buildings and cats are stunningly wonderful. Moristotle [no longer] enjoys the honor of the privilege of displaying a link to “Ken’s Photo Treasures” in the sidebar.
    Motomynd’s galleries reveal a wide range of still and action and special-effects photography to satisfy a wide range of paying clients.
    That said, I didn’t do that much with my hawk photo. I tried a number of things, but most of them didn’t seem to help. And I’m pretty sure that my severe limitations in using Photoshop effectively held me back. So...
    ...another result of the conversation between Ken and Motomynd is to drive me back to my volume of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium All-in-One for Dummies.
    I’m hoping to be less dumb soon. Good retirement project.
So you can see how much I cropped the original photo, here it is:

Copyright © 2017 by Moristotle

1 comment:

  1. This republication brings the hawk’s call up from memory with enough of its original excitement to thrill my heart anew!