Alan Kaplan  

Nevermore by Alan Kaplan

May 2023 - Nevermore

May 2023 - Alan Kaplan


May 2023 - Alan Kaplan

Original 2

May 2023 - Alan Kaplan

Original 3

About the Image(s)

Three rapid, hand-held, bracketed photos of the doorway and Photomatix magic to assemble an HDR image produced the doorway of this composite. The old woman was tone mapped using Adobe Camera Raw and Nik Color Efex Pro 4. Because she blocked the gate behind her on the right when I placed her at the door, I had to select the gate in Photoshop and flip it so the gate could become part of the composite on the left. Then, I darkened the gate portion as it was too light and would have attracted the eye of the viewer. Original 3 was a “butt shot.” At some point in October, 2019, I took a photo accidently with my Nikon and decided to keep it for future use. I’m using it for the first time here. I rotated the “accident” and blended it with the finished scene using the Soft Light blend mode. Edgar Allan Poe contributed the raven.

8 comments posted

Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Hi Alan, the image took me right to the bleak December day of the poem - I think that it is the muted desaturated tones and pale light as much as the somber lady framed in her doorway, and the Raven himself. This is another image of yours that will stay long in my mind.
Thank you for describing in detail how you dealt with the doorway- I think that it is a piece of art - and the "accident" ties everything together. - I wonder if the head of the Raven might be just a little bit lighter? I was trying to figure out how the light and shadow would fall on him.   Posted: 05/08/2023 00:12:55
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed this image. The raven is a work in progress. He has been smaller, bigger, darker, lighter, etc. I'll see what I can do about making the head lighter. I didn't consider any shadows for this image. I feel there is enough mood as it is.   Posted: 05/08/2023 08:19:20

Maria Mazo   Maria Mazo
Hi Alan, Thanks for your detailed explanation about the process of putting all together. I like the tones and desaturation of the image and I like how you have placed woman and gate to complement one with the other. The raven is the final touch to the scene. I played with the image a little to darkening the woman's hair as she receiving the light from the door but falling into the dark of the interior and also I light the raven head, darken the body and create a little of shadow in the wall. what do you think?   Posted: 05/12/2023 19:01:44
Comment Image
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
I like the lighter raven and the lighter hair on the old woman. Thanks for taking the time to show me these changes.   Posted: 05/18/2023 14:34:43

Peggy Nugent   Peggy Nugent
This is a wonderful image, Alan! I love every bit of the textured doorway, which is fascinating in varying ways all the way around. The woman is equally textured, both in the lines of her face to her clothes. I like the way her striped shawl echoes the bars of the gate in the dim background. The woman is small compared to the doorway, which works well visually and also suggests possible stories about who she is and why she is there in a once-grand entrance. I think your use of the texture works very well. Those accidental shot are sometimes very interesting textures.
I think the raven adds good balance to the composition. Personally, I like it in its current size and lighting on the body; the head feels a little dark to me. I don't feel it needs a shadow.   Posted: 05/14/2023 12:19:38
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
I agree about the textured doorway. I didn't touch it. The doorway photo was taken in Havana and looks much like too many doorways there. I agree with you about the raven's shadow and the need to lighten the raven a bit. I'll work on that. Thanks for your input.   Posted: 05/18/2023 14:37:17

Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Alan, I opened this image and for a moment was disoriented. Not in the way you think. I was trying to figure out who did the photo. It is a departure from your more stylized images with figures placed on unnatural landscapes. There is something very inviting in this image which has a wonderful depth of field. I have to admit I didn't see the raven at first and was going to admonish you for having only two images (as I hadn't read your description of how the images was created), although I do like the size and lighting. I have no suggestions for improvements as I like it as it is.   Posted: 05/14/2023 21:46:57
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
I fell in love with surrealism as a teenager, especially Salvador Dali and Yve Tanguy both of whom used sparse, unnatural landscapes. As a young man, I discovered Nguyen Dinh Dang, a contemporary Vietnamese surrealist artist who also uses sparse, unnatural landscapes. I gravitate to this type of landscape so that the focus of the image is more central. June's entry will also be a departure from the sparse landscape. I was afraid the raven was too subtle so I titled the image "Nevermore" hoping to evoke Poe and give some notice to the raven.   Posted: 05/17/2023 15:19:40


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