Witta Priester  

Girl on a Log by Witta Priester

April 2021 - Girl on a Log

April 2021 - Witta Priester


About the Image(s)

Most days this past COVID-summer, my husband and I went out for a walk or a hike. This photo was taken on one of our walks. We’re on a bridge looking down at the Dungeness River, which is flowing at a summertime low. There were a couple of girls and their mom hanging out down below. I watch the girls play and snap a bunch of pics with my Lumix FZ1000. This “pose” probably lasted less than 15 seconds. BTW, this is the same location where one of my earlier study group photos was taken ” Beware, from Oct 2019.

This photo was processed in LR to focus the viewer’s eye on the girl, while maintaining a small amount of interest in the scene itself. It was cropped, and converted to B&W, using the Adobe Standard profile. Aside from numerous overall adjustments in the Basic section of the Develop module, I also made 10+ different selective adjustments to various areas (to lighten/darken, emphasize/de-emphasize) using radial and gradient filters, as well as the brush tool. A vignette was also added. Finally, the photo was taken in PS to add the narrow dark-gray-stroke on the outside.

I was trying to achieve a moody, contemplative, “arty” feel ” hopefully fine art photography.

11 comments posted

Linda M Medine   Linda M Medine
Witta, Great image. Love the Black and White. I cropped it a little to have the girl in the intersections of the rules of thirds. Very good composition with the log as the leading line. I used a black brush to darken the log just a little to keep my eye on the girl. She has great detail. I used curves to get more detail and contrast in her hair. Beautiful image.   Posted: 04/07/2021 21:06:36
Comment Image
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
FYI, see my reply to Denise for another version of my Girl on a Log photo.   Posted: 04/11/2021 07:28:31

Denise McKay   Denise McKay
I love this image Witta. Your edits, composition, and choice of converting to black and white appeals to me. Her skin and swimsuit look velvety soft. To me, I feel you left enough of the environment in to give a good sense of place, which I feel adds to the mood of this image. A very young girl, in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature.

My only critique is that I wish I could tell that this log was sitting in water a little better. I keep looking back and forth between the original and edited version and maybe because you can see her reflection behind her in the original shot, you understand better that the log is surrounded by water. I think that fact adds to the story here. I can imagine her staring in the water watching the little fish, tadpoles, or other creatures one might find in a shallow body of water in the woods. Maybe if the back of the water were lighter so you could see the log reflection better that could help.   Posted: 04/08/2021 11:20:48
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. They inspired me to create a different version this morning with a crop that includes the water reflection. Although I prefer the original version, this was well worth considering.   Posted: 04/11/2021 07:26:37
Comment Image

Michael Moore   Michael Moore
Fantastic capture. This is an image I want to spend some time with. What is she seeing in that water and what is she thinking. I would clone the foliage in the right out of the shot as I don't believe it adds to your composition. Others however could see it as helping to anchor the image. Lovely B&W conversion and a really captivating image.   Posted: 04/08/2021 12:30:51
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
FYI, see my reply to Denise for another version of my Girl on a Log photo.   Posted: 04/11/2021 07:29:02

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
In actuality, the viewer doesn't need to know if the log is in shallow water or on a rocky beach. But allowing the girl's reflection to show in the final image would settle that debate. It could be the stimulus needed to get the viewer thinking. You achieved your goal of moody and contemplative. What's more, without the face showing this could be the 'universal' child and appeal to a broader audience.   Posted: 04/10/2021 17:48:57
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
FYI, see my reply to Denise for another version of my Girl on a Log photo.   Posted: 04/11/2021 07:28:45

Denise McKay   Denise McKay
Connie makes a good point that regardless of where the log is sitting, you achieved your objective for a moody atmosphere.

I saw a specific story that I wanted to advance; the log sitting in water with the girl watching/looking for water creatures. Others will look at this photo and may see a different story. To me, that's what a good image is all about, creating interest to tell a story. You did that! :)   Posted: 04/11/2021 06:44:57

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Lovely concept, Witta. I do prefer the portrait version. It's not just that I like the reflection of the girl, but I did find that piece of vegetation, sticking in from the right, to be a bit distracting. I also really liked the dark blue of the original, and I am wondering if you have considered making this monochrome using that dark blue instead of black as the color?

Since I have been playing with Minimalism in photography lately, I tried it on your image. I deleted the foliage, shrunk the girl, and moved her to the lower right. Then I did a BW adjustment layer, tinted with the dark blue in your creek bottom rocks, and darkened that a bit.

I still like both your original and especially your portrait style on this image, better than my minimalism take. But, I thought I'd give it a try.   Posted: 04/13/2021 19:18:08
Comment Image
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
THANKS for this. What a great idea! It would never have occurred to me to make her just a small part of the photo, yet of course she is still the focus. This tells another sadder, lonelier story. I used your version (since I wanted to see it larger) and played with it a little. Kept the scene in blue, which I do like, while adding a bit of yellow to the girl...   Posted: 04/14/2021 08:30:19
Comment Image


Please log in to post a comment