Darcy Quimby  

Looking Glass by Darcy Quimby

May 2022 - Looking Glass

May 2022 - Darcy Quimby


About the Image(s)

Camera Canon Rebel T5 Shutter speed 1/1250 f6.3 ISO 100
I love water and reflections and these were both present. This is from our trip to Mount Rainier National park in June 2018.
I am going back and editing or reediting pictures with my gained knowledge of photoshop. That said, I thought the original was fairly flat. In ACR I isolated the highlights and brought up the exposure and added some texture and clarity to the snow. The mid-tones I brought down the contrast added highlights and more white. I used a radial filter to put a spotlight on the reflection ice chunk. Finally I put a vignette on the outside.
Please let me know if this is overprocessed.

18 comments posted

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Mark's comments regarding PP are paying dividends to all of us. Your added texture on the snow is really well done. Regarding the image in the reflection ...what is it? Is this at a lake at the base of My Rainier? From you and others in our Group I am learning to us faster SS to reduce blur and improve focus. Have you reviewed Topaz filters?
  Posted: 05/02/2022 11:33:48
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I totally agree that Mark's photoshop comments are pushing my limits. I need to start taking better notes when I take the photos. I do know this was in the np but I do not know exactly where, sorry.
I have the Topaz filters and I use them very sparingly. This summer I will definitely be experimenting with faster ss.
  Posted: 05/07/2022 12:21:43

Dawn Gulino
I like your edits here and they aren't over-processed to my eye. Did you look at it in a 16x9 ratio to crop out a bit of the snow? I think that might bring the focus to the reflection even more. Love the reflection, nice picture!   Posted: 05/07/2022 09:17:26
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
Thank you for that suggestion of the 16 x9 crop. It does bring the attention more to the reflection. One more benefit is that the horizon now is not dead smack in the middle. I also used content aware and removed some of the sticks in the foreground that became more obvious after the crop. Let me know what you think.   Posted: 05/07/2022 12:26:56
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Dawn Gulino
I like it - A bit stronger I think! Take a look at keeping all the bottom and eliminating more of the snow. If you clone/content aware the sticks in the foreground. If you are up to it, I'd look at cloning out the tree reflections on the left too to see how it might look?   Posted: 05/07/2022 12:52:13
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I decided not to take the trees out in my opinion it kinda anchors the horizon. I did though remove more of the snow.
  Posted: 05/17/2022 13:46:46
Dawn Gulino
‘   Posted: 05/17/2022 23:42:28

Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke
This photo leaves me with mixed feelings, I like it but I'm not comfortable with it. Perhaps what makes me uncomfortable is that the reflection is a little distorted by the uneven surface of the water. But with that said it makes me think more about just what it looks like and I think creating that sense of wonder makes this, in my opinion, a more impressive expression of art. And art doesn't always have to be clear, good art can also make you wonder, which is what this photo does for me.

On the technical side I like the use of negative space with the snow bank and the texture you have included with the snow and I like the composition with the reflected image centered in the water and the way it brings my eye to it. I also think your use of the low key lighting and exposure add to the sense of the image. Great job, and thanks for making me think more of the artistic elements of the photo.   Posted: 05/16/2022 11:31:55
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I do not think I've ever made anyone uncomfortable with my art. Thank you for sharing that. My main goal in photography is to allow people to see common things in a new unique light. I enjoy stretching people's boundaries.
  Posted: 05/17/2022 14:25:53

Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
Hi, Darcy, for this round I'm undertaking to review each image after viewing only the image and its title, but not the accompanying description. Once I post my comments, I'll turn to the description and others' comments.

This is very much the kind of image I really like. Very moody, very intriguing. Technically well executed in support of the effect. I find the "real world" subject only suggested, not clearly documented. That is an effect not easy to pull off well and one that I really enjoy when I encounter it.

I'm vaguely reminded of the abstract expressionist movement, as well as of paintings by Mark Rothko.

I really like the very subtle color palette with just a hint of warm / cool contrast.

I think there are a couple of "tweaks" that might make the image a bit more impactful. I find the dark splotchy areas lower left to be distracting; is almost as though they form a bit of an anchor to a "reality". In the attached I took them out. A similar story with the texture in the upper portion of the frame. I tried cropping to remove, and I found that I much liked the resulting balance with the upper portion occupying much less of the frame.

I also think a little bit of heightened contrast painting on the central subject helps, and I liked the effect when I accentuated the dark edge above, and the light edge below, the gray band that stretches across the frame.

These "tweaks" are all about subjective effects, and you might not care for them at all.

  Posted: 05/17/2022 09:25:33
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Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I feel you are an awesome asset to this group. I enjoy your feedback an learn something every month.
I also debated about the dark areas at the bottom when I took the suggestion of others to crop in on the photo, I noticed they stood out way too much, so I removed them.

You stated
I also think a little bit of heightened contrast painting on the central subject helps, and I liked the effect when I accentuated the dark edge above, and the light edge below, the gray band that stretches across the frame.

Would I use a gradient filter to achieve the effect?
Thank you for your help.   Posted: 05/17/2022 14:33:49
Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
As a general rule I do almost all my edits in Photoshop. To paint contrast, my "try this first" technique is quite simple (if one's comfortable with Ps and with luminosity masks): I add a transparent layer, set the blending mode to "Hard Mix" at 15% fill, select a soft brush with 100% smoothing and low flow (6% or lower), and paint in the mtype of contrast I'm looking for. A 50% gray brush adds contrast in the mid-tones; a white brush, in the brighter tones; and a black brush, in the darks. Sometimes the impact is broader than I'd desire. In that case, in order to constrain it further, I may proceed as follows: turn off the layer; create a luminosity or zone mask that targets the tonal range I want tpo liit the adjustment to; apply the mask to the layer I just painted, and turn it back on. Adjust to suit.

However, as you asked about using a radial gradient, I thought I'd experiment in LrC to see if I could achieve a similar effect, and indeed I could. For the subject in the center/, yes I applied a radial gradient; then (and this is important) I *intersected* it with a luminance range mask, limiting it to the mid-tones and feathering out to the sides; it really helps when doing this to tick the "show overlay" check box while creating the mask, and then to uncheck it to mask the adjustment. Having created the mask to suit, I then pulled down the shadows slider slightly and pulled up the highlights slider slightly. One can always go back in an fiddle with the mask after dialing in the adjustments.

For the lines above and below the grey band, I used a brush to define the mask. My usual technique, which I used here, is to be a bit aggressive initially with the brush, and then to more carefully erase (hold down the ALT =or OPT key) the part that I overpainted. Again, I intersected the resulting brush mask with a luminance range, to get the final mask. For the dark line, it was just a matter then of pulling down the blacks. For the lighter line, I needed to nudge both the whites and highlights.

Hope you find this helpful. I encourage you to experiment, either in LrC or in Ps. I found both tools intimidating at first, but it doesn't take long to get some basic familiarity.
  Posted: 05/17/2022 17:12:03
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
Thank you
I will experiment and post my results. I use ACR and Photoshop   Posted: 05/17/2022 19:18:41
Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
Great! Looking forward to seeing what choices you make.   Posted: 05/17/2022 19:36:20
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
Here goes I tried the radial filter. I think it looks better I did see a subtle difference. Please tell me what you think   Posted: 05/20/2022 19:56:26

Neil Bellenie
I agree with Ed that this picture is best viewed as an artistic impression of the scenes that you see in the Park. It would go well in a book about the park where it supported more conventional photographs of Mt Rainier etc.

When you write that you feel the original is flat, do you mean flat compared to how you remember to scene?   Posted: 05/20/2022 13:45:29
Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I would have to say yes, the original was flat from the way I remember it.
  Posted: 05/20/2022 15:27:55
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Kelly Easler
Darcy, apologies for getting your photo so late in the month! It is a very creative composition that definitely makes me feel the cold, harshness of the snow-covered mountain. The reflection is the star here and I feel like I want to see more of it, but I'm not sure how to get that without taking away from the bold lines of the snow and water. So, I fooled around with it in Ps a little because it intrigues me. Removed a few things and played around with a brightness contrast and a gradient overlay. The tree line on the left grounds this for me, so I wanted to include it and use it for balance. I want to play with it more, but alas, time does not permit me.
  Posted: 05/23/2022 09:45:49
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