Brian Swinyard, PPSA  

The Dove Has Flown by Brian Swinyard, PPSA

October 2020 - The Dove Has Flown

About the Image(s)

The central part of this image is a picture I took of an oil painting (about 8"x8") hanging on a friend's wall. It was one of a set of five hanging as a panel. I used one of my favourite in-camera techniques by using a slow shutter speed (about 1/6th second) and moving the camera while the shutter was open. In the original picture, there was only one person and no 'dove'. In the final picture, as you can see, there are two people who are not obviously the same. In Photoshop, I stroked a five pixel black line around the inside of the central picture. Then I made a Duplicate Copy Layer to which I applied Gaussian Blur and then enlarged the canvas slightly. I moved this blurred layer underneath the main image until there was a reasonable flow of tones and lines across the composite.

8 comments posted

Joan Field   Joan Field
Brian, You have put together a composite that would do well in a MOMA. The figures are the focal point as they are the sharpest. I'm not sure how you create the artifact of the dove, but that works well also. The blues and tans work well together and the two posts sort of mirror the two figures. The whole effect has a feeling of being printed on metal. One suggestion would be the reduce the size of the border, maybe by half on the right and left sides.
The heavy blue acts as a base for the figures, so works well.
Altogether, I really like the blurred effect. A lovely abstract with, yet, a feeling of reality.   Posted: 10/24/2020 14:19:23
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Joan, Thank you for your kind words which are much appreciated. In the original, there was a small patch of dark blue in the sky. When I moved the camera while the shutter was open, this technique stretched that blue patch and indeed produced a second version which created the illusion of a bird flying in the sky. I like your analogy of the image being printed on metal and I suspect that was a function of blue being the dominant colour in the composite. When producing our images, it is amazing that we don't always see what is there in front of us. In this case, you have highlighted how the various ingredients in the picture mirror each other; two figures, two doves, two posts. I take your point about the wide border but I was trying to create an image hovering over a larger and more soft-focus version of itself. What I particularly like about this technique is that the end result is always different and you cannot get the same effect twice in-camera. Even although the image is blurred, there is a feeling of pseudo-reality in the mind's eye which is quite attractive.
  Posted: 10/25/2020 11:27:04

Phillipa Frederiksen   Phillipa Frederiksen
Great story with the couple and the dove! Love the ethereal effect. Don't mind the bright areas it is all part of the effect!   Posted: 10/24/2020 15:59:00
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Phillipa, Thank you for your kind words which are much appreciated. I like the way that you warm to the visual story which is encapsulated by the couple and the dove.   Posted: 10/25/2020 11:32:38

Peter Newman   Peter Newman

Thank you for sharing your soft, ethereal concept of a couple, apparently in love, with the dove flying overhead. Your image is proof that expression of feeling may be obtained in a photo, without all of the detail in tack sharp focus, but by using representation and symbolism. Well done.   Posted: 10/25/2020 09:55:36
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Peter, Thank you for your kind words which are much appreciated. I am delighted that you picked up on the body language of the 'couple' who are clearly in a relationship and with the symbol of love overhead. My style of photography is such that I try to shy away from things that are sharp, favouring instead soft-focus images that represent feeling, emotion, mood that become sharp in the mind's eye of the viewer. In a way, symbolism becomes much more important.   Posted: 10/25/2020 12:02:29

Steve Wessing   Steve Wessing
I like this kind of 'rogue panorama' technique. Your choice of slow shutter/soft focus has provided an excellent image. The somewhat muted colors work well, but I wonder what it would look like with bolder color. (*I always like more saturated color. Your choice is fine, it's me who is addicted to saturation).   Posted: 10/25/2020 10:48:32
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Steve, Thank you for your kind words which are much appreciated. Like you, I am a fan of the rogue panorama technique. As you are a fan of bolder, saturated colours I offer the attached version just for you.   Posted: 10/25/2020 12:56:31
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