Mary Hinsen, BPSA  

Stolen Stories by Mary Hinsen, BPSA

September 2020 - Stolen Stories

September 2020 - Mary Hinsen, BPSA

Original 1

September 2020 - Mary Hinsen, BPSA

Original 2

About the Image(s)

My image this month was a fairly uninspiring one in a series I took of people with books some time ago. I found it again while doing a clean-out of my hard drive, and decided it either had to tell a story, or it was going!

I first used Analog Efex to add a realistic film grain to the original. It still felt unfinished; I needed more for it to tell a story.
I found a photo I had taken of a candle, and thought the brass would work well. I composited the candle in, but found the orange colour too intense. I colour graded, selectively using colour lookup tables, colour balance and curves.

I then stamped up and used Camera Raw to add a vignette and slightly darken the highlights of the flame and right hand side of the thumb.

I then added a smart sharpen filter only on the book, to bring out the beautiful gold printing and the texture in the leather.

I am still not entirely happy with the image and I am not sure why. I could try changing the colour of the candle holder to the same dark red tones of the leather on the book. Otherwise, I am open to suggestions :)

4 comments posted

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
To my eye the hand is too blue. But it does add to the mysteriousness of the image. One can imagine that the book contains magic spells, and the hand belongs to an enchantress. You did an excellent job of montaging the two images. Have you considered cropping out most of the large dark area on the right? Or does it add to the mystery?   Posted: 09/02/2020 13:33:13
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Denise McKay   Denise McKay
I have not tried any compositing, so I'm always impressed when I see a photo where everything seems to fit together just right in my eyes. The mysterious hands, book, and lantern create a really interesting image and story.

You might be right about the lantern/candle being a little too bright red in comparison to the book. I also like how the edges of the "fog" on the right, are disappearing into the darkness, but maybe extending that into the black a little more (rather than cropping) might look nice as well.
  Posted: 09/02/2020 16:41:35

Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Mary - This image has a nice feel and there's lots for the eye to enjoy. The addition of the candle makes for an interesting story. For me, it is also a bit confusing -- perhaps because the model's lace dress along her neckline fills up so much of the frame. So, I thought a more focused crop, a narrow grey stroke on the edge (which is invisible here), and a bit of toning would be pluses. To tone I combined your original at 45% opacity with your final (masking the candle area and adding a bit of levels adjustment.)
  Posted: 09/02/2020 20:07:37
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Cecilia Clark   Cecilia Clark
Mary, You've pulled together different components to tell a story or imagine a story. Viewers have a lot to linger over and ponder when they see your image. Like Connie, I do think the hand is a little too blue. I like Connie's crop, but also like Witta's version and crop. In Witta's final, the resulting image still tells a story, and the viewer's eye bounces between the ring, the book, the mysterious flame, and the lacy edge to her dress. The hand looks more natural but still mysterious. So, my suggestions are to crop the right and remove some of the blue tone. Otherwise, fantastic and interesting image.   Posted: 09/10/2020 19:03:49


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