David Cooke  

Bright Enough to Read by David Cooke

July 2017 - Bright Enough to Read

July 2017 - David Cooke


About the Image(s)

This shot was taken in Seville on our trip there in 2016. The saw the man sitting under the trees with the light shining on his face and hands and I thought it would make a good shot. I wanted to make it ‘out of the ordinary’ so I decided on a textured monochrome image with just a little colour reinstated.

Post capture manipulation started with cropping the image to a square format to get the composition I wanted. A black colour fill layer with an opacity of 65% was added to darken the image. The effect was removed from the man and book using a layer mask. The image was then converted to monochrome using the Nik Paper Toner filter, again removing the effect from the man. Viveza, Brightness / Contrast, and further black colour fill layers were used to get the overall lighting I wanted. The texture is of cracked soil I took on a trip to Oxford. The Opacity of the texture layer was 65% and the blending mode was set to multiply. Finally the man and book were sharpened selectively using the High Pass filter.

Nikon D810, 50 mm Sigma Art prime lens, ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/2000 sec

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Richard Siersma   Richard Siersma
David, once again you have taken an image that many photographers would have dismissed; however, you have created an image that exudes peacefulness. A moment in time when one can escape the day's activities via the pages of a book. Wonderful job toning down the harsh lighting on your subject. You've also kept the BG detail but so well muted that it doesn't compete with your subject. Well done.   Posted: 07/10/2017 07:55:00

Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Finding and mastering a photographic style is something that many (or most) photographers never achieve. David, you have accomplished this to an extraordinary degree. When I looked at all the photos in this round I immediately identified yours. It's a striking combination of focus-point isolation (with light and colour) and maintaining sufficient BG that the context is retained. In a word, BRILLIANT!   Posted: 07/10/2017 11:40:58

Barbara E Miller   Barbara E Miller
You have an eye David for the ordinarily unusual that never ceases to amaze me--taking the mundane and making a story from it. When I look at the original I can only think 99 out of 100 persons would have scrapped this. Once again I can offer no suggestions for change and I stand in awe of your artistry and am so happy that you are part of no. 5   Posted: 07/10/2017 19:32:34

Carolyn Schlueter   Carolyn Schlueter
(Group 41)
Hi David! I'm from another Study Group but always enjoy checking out Barbara's Group and your work is just so amazing ... to have created this masterpiece from the original (which is totally different) and your subject is almost hidden away is breathtaking! It exudes tranquility and is just a brilliant creation! You truly have the photographer's artistic eye and everything that goes with it! Congratulations!   Posted: 07/11/2017 20:59:22
Barbara E Miller   Barbara E Miller
David. although you don't know Carolyn (I had the great pleasure in meeting her a few years ago in St. Louis and feel privileged to call her 'friend'), she is an accomplished photographer/painter winning many awards. If she admires your work you can be sure it comes from the eye of an artist. She is just recovering from cancer and has not been contributing to group no. 41 regularly but in past months her work is beautiful.   Posted: 07/12/2017 06:17:30

David Cooke   David Cooke
Thank you all so much for your very kind comments. I appreciate them very much and I'm so pleased that you like the work I do. I have to say that this was a tricky image to get right especially as the main subject was so small and the contrast on his face was high, so it's a particular pleasure to me that you all like it.

The main problem was that I really needed a longer focal length lens for this even though the prime lenses I use have the advantage of being very fast. I've just invested in a new Nikkor 28mm to 300 mm f/3.5 to 5.6 lens which is amazing. It should solve the problem of having the wrong lens on the camera to capture this sort of shot quickly.
  Posted: 07/22/2017 00:59:46

Nick Muskovac   Nick Muskovac
David, You have done well using the Nik filter apps. It amazes me how you take an average shot and turn it into some nice works. The only thing that I might have added is some of the red flowers in the foreground, with the red color toned down, so the attention would not be drawn away from the man.

  Posted: 07/23/2017 19:26:37

Phil Zolla   Phil Zolla
Well done.. good use of rule of thirds and making him the center of attention.. Im still learning the nik software so this gives me something to look forward to in my learning   Posted: 07/28/2017 22:03:03

John Yurchak   John Yurchak
You always do such a great photo of the usual and all the work that it takes to make a great photo and this one is no exception. You have isolated the person and added just enough light to make it stand out from the BG. detail is great for this photo.   Posted: 07/31/2017 21:08:06