Friday, February 04, 2011

I Don't Regret The Egret

I view photography as an art form, but in my opinion the artwork isn't complete when you've pressed the shutter button on your camera, in fact that is when the creative artist in you can really get to work. 

Back in days of film photography the dark room was where the artists could add their creative touches to a file negative to produce a print that captured the look and feeling of their photographic subject. With digital photography the dark room has been replacing with photo manipulation software that can really allow an artist to do amazing things with an image.

I took the following image of a white egret walking in the mud flats of a creek in the late afternoon.  I didn't care much for the image because the focus wasn't very sharp, the color wasn't very good, the egret did stand out in the image and the all the mud in the foreground wasn't working for me.  All in all it was a mess, but...

I pulled the image up in Photoshop and decided i could fix the color by converting the image to monochrome.  I converted it to black and white and expanded the tonal range so that the egret was bright white and the trees and brush on the river bank had areas of solid black.

My wife walked in and watched over my shoulder as I manipulated the image.  I asked her what she thought of it as I flipped back and fourth between the before and after images.  She said the black and white looked better but what if I used another color, like green?

The final image was cropped to remove the mud in the foreground.  I still don't think it's a master piece but I'm pleased that these few simple changes may have rescued this image from the binary trash can.  What do you think?

All images copyright Daniel Ray Photography.


  1. I agree Dan...There's been many a times I've gone back to old images that I thought weren't good enough to use and found artistic ways to take that image and make it my own. Something I was proud of.

    I like the green, I think it gives the egret more focus and still allows you to see some of the depth of the rest of the scene.

  2. It just amazes me what can be done on a computer. The final print is really beautiful.........I like the "teal-color" effects on the final print. It makes the white egret really pop out.
    The print has a soothing quiet feeling to it. Nice work.