Peter Elliston  

Through a glass darkly by Peter Elliston

November 2021 - Through a glass darkly

November 2021 - Peter Elliston


About the Image(s)

Details: This image was once again taken as part of my attempt to find an abstract image for my camera club’s monthly themed competition which is being held this month. I really find taking an abstract image very difficult and I still think I haven’t managed it. This shot was taken in my local town museum where the sunlight was casting shadows through the 17th century windows. The resulting shadows created spider web like effects which I felt were unusual and perhaps obscure enough to be classified as an abstract image. To help I recreated the ‘web’ on the top left corner of the image and also took out the security sensor from the original image before I turned it mono and applied a Nik Silver Efex filter to make it more dramatic as well as toning down the highlights. I also cropped it quite tightly and altered the perspective slightly. I’m not sure if I will enter this in the competition but whether I do or not, I quite like the finished image. Taken on a Fuji XT3 1/60 @f5 ISO 200.

8 comments posted

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
For me, this image is about lines from an unusually asymmetric source into the distorted shadows. The addition of the "web" is I think a very nice touch and which I thought was natural.

As an image of lines, I think monochrome is the right approach since the different colors distract. In last month's images, however, I was shown how effective a tint would be in changing the mood, I wonder if you might experiment with that here before deciding whether to submit.

I too struggle with what is "abstract" though I do see many images described as such that make me shake my head; to misquote Justice Stewart, "I know when it isn't when I see it". The internet tells me that abstract art is "art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures", and if one accepts that definition, I would suggest clipping out the bottom third (or even half) of the window which in my opinion would make the image less about "a window" and even more about the lines.

  Posted: 11/03/2021 08:44:17
Peter Elliston   Peter Elliston
Gerard, thanks for your helpful comments. However, I have come to the conclusion that even with a more severe crop this would still not work as an abstract but i have since created another which definitely fits the brief - but it's not a mono image!   Posted: 11/04/2021 03:49:01

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Peter, while one could argue whether or not your image is an abstract...what is not arguable is that it is a very nicely captured architectural shot. Clearly, monochrome was the best choice as well and your addition of the extra "spider web" enhances the overall impact of your image. To my eye, a wider range of tones and greater contrast would further enhance the image. I took the file back into Photoshop Camera Raw and used the new masking tools to locally affect exposure, luminance and contrast. Let me know what you think.   Posted: 11/03/2021 11:08:59
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Peter Elliston   Peter Elliston
Michael, thanks for your reply which was very useful. I have just started exploring the new masking tools in Photoshop Camera Raw and think they will be extremely useful. I like what you have done with the image and will have a go at replicating it. But as I have said to Gerard I now think this is not an abstract image but nevertheless may use it in another competition.   Posted: 11/04/2021 03:51:17

Randy Andre   Randy Andre
Overall, I like your image. The slight perspective change and the added spider web lines definitely enhance the image. I also struggle with what is abstract in my own images. I can see where you removed the security sensor, not sure how you did it but the "patch" doesn't quite match the frame where it was mount. I like the cropping but some white does show at the bottom of the image.
  Posted: 11/04/2021 05:19:30

Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Peter,
Nice image. The spider web image created by the shadows caught your eye, and you captured it well. The lines and shapes create interest. Black and white works well. I agree with Gerard's suggestion to crop it. However, I would crop out the entire window just above the arch leaving only the "shadowed image". Then I believe it would be an architectural abstract. Just my thoughts.   Posted: 11/04/2021 18:49:33

Leanne Moore
Peter, great spotting for this image. I think the mono version is much more effective than the colour. For an abstract image I would have cropped it heavily. But that's just me.   Posted: 11/06/2021 19:05:03
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Linda M Medine   Linda M Medine
I love it. When I saw this image before I read the description. I was blown away. I stared at it for a long time. It looks 3D to me. I think you will do real well in your competition with this image. I would not change a thing.   Posted: 11/21/2021 19:14:34


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