Variations

I spent an hour recently zigzagging across a pasture by our house, camera at the ready. Our tardy summer is now in full motion and the grasses and weeds, like chicken on the barbecue, are browning nicely. When I opened this image in Aperture it was missing the delicate depth I felt viewing it—the separation between the dark foreground plants and the brighter out-of-focus background was lost. Other problems: in the upper right-hand corner those reddish stalks were a distraction, while I’d managed to bulls-eye the feathery plant, an important part of the composition. Thus I was left with a picture that now felt static. It would have been simple to hit the Delete key then, but post visualization dictated further work in Aperture. First, I cropped the picture to nearly a square format, eliminating the bothersome stalks and more OOF plants along the right edge. That also served to move the feathery white area off-center. But it was still dull. So I reached into the digital tool bag for Topaz Adjust, a plug-in I use regularly within Aperture. I tried several of the presets, adjusting until the image had just the feeling and impact I desired. Subjective? You bet. And therein lies the enjoyment of photography, taken one picture at a time.

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