Jim Horn  

Gold Star Memorial and lighthouse by Jim Horn

November 2020 - Gold Star Memorial and lighthouse

November 2020 - Jim Horn

Original 1

November 2020 - Jim Horn

Original 2

November 2020 - Jim Horn

Original 3

About the Image(s)

Sony α99ii, Sony Zeiss 16-35 2.8, f/2.8, 1/8 seconds, ISO 1250, focal length 35mm
At the Concord Lighthouse in Havre de Grace, Maryland (where I live) at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, there is a Gold Star Memorial with a cut-out of a member of the armed forces giving a salute. The lighthouse can be seen through the cut-out, but is also obscured by rose bushes, a pedestal, and other objects. I wanted the blue hour for this shot. I took a few set-up shots before it was really dark when the base lights were on. To my surprise, the highly polished surfaces of the four panels reflected the top of the Chesapeake Bay behind me.
The composite photo needed more work. The reflection of the woman was cloned out using surrounding pixels. I liked the photo in Black & White but wanted to keep the gold star gold. I used the quick selection tool to mark the star, made a new layer, used Silver Efex Pro2 to make the B&W. In a new layer I used edit/transform to straighten the panels to vertical.
I like the color version because of the roses and color of the lighthouse, flag, trees “ yet I like the Black and White version too. With the star gold, I can enter this in a PIDC Color/Open category but it’s no longer accepted as a monochrome. Which do you prefer? Would you like it as all Black & White?

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

Thorro Jones   Thorro Jones
Jim I love the final version of this composite photo. The lighthouse in the cutout adds so much feeling to the photo as if calling out to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The reflection of Chesapeake Bay also adds to this feeling of freedom. The placement of the memorial in the photo works well for the mood you are creating. I prefer the B&W version with the gold star as the background on either side in the color version detracts the eyes from the memorial as well as taking away the feeling of the photo. My only suggestion would be to make the U.S. flag by the lighthouse in color too. Great Photo.   Posted: 11/03/2020 12:25:54

Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Thorro, thank you for your review and suggestion of making the American flag in color. I kept to the PSA standards for monochrome from 10 years ago when one, and only one, object could be in color with the rest being monochrome.
PSA standards today are monochrome only. If I were to enter this image as is, it would have to be an OPEN PID (projected image digital).
I am speaking with the American Legion of Havre de Grace about having the color guard laying wreaths on Veterans Day War Memorials to walk over to this Gold Star Memorial to pose in the reflection. Because of the colors of their flags, I make it a color photo. Jim   Posted: 11/04/2020 07:44:07

Sam Fernando   Sam Fernando
Nice photo Jim.

The only room for improvement, in my view, is that the tall tree located on the right side of the lighthouse, which can be seen through the opening, should be visible on the glass as well.   Posted: 11/13/2020 19:10:27
Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Sam, thank you for your suggestion -- however the memorial is 12" thick highly polished black granite. What you see on the right is a reflection of the tree and Chesapeake Bay which is behind me. Jim   Posted: 11/13/2020 19:43:02

John Tabaczynski   John Tabaczynski

I like what you have done here. My suggestions are re the sky. Bald sky is not helping you. Not sure what you can do except try a sky replacement. Looks like it could be a tough job. Also I would crop up from the bottom. I like the gold star in the B/W version better. Sorry about the late commenting, but this month has been a bear!! I did two photo classes for the club and my wife and I brought our grand daughter home from college in western NY, getting back here late yesterday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tab   Posted: 11/25/2020 19:29:15

Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
This is a very creative way using several images to create a composite image that is far more interesting than the original images.

The gold star in the B&W version certainly is interesting. It would eliminate the option of entering the image in a monochrome competition. It is not enough color to enter in a color division.

I agree that you might want to crop a bit from the bottom. You might also want to consider removing the three round discs.   Posted: 11/28/2020 12:43:47