Tuesday Topics – Experimental Photography
When it comes to all of the possible different techniques to take and manipulate photographs, I have tinkered with many and am master of none. One of my favorite photo manipulations is to create line drawings using Corell PaintShop Pro. This program captures the lines in a photo and visually pulls them out.
Like many other techniques, it does not work equally well with every photo. It is really effective with architectural subjects, especially with strong of lines. The program also provides tools to increase or decrease the degree of line emphasis.
The two photos of Hereford Lighthouse show the results. The first is done from a black and white image of normal contrast. It renders a line drawing with good shading suggesting a detailed pencil drawing.
The second image is made from a full color image of normal contrast. The software does not automatically convert the image to monochrome, but simply picks up the colors of the lines. The lighthouse is a white wooden structure, so it renders black and white in both photos, but in the second, the colors of the brick chimney and the grass along the walk are captured.
The use of monochrome is a good way to draw out the texture and lines of a photographic subject. The eye is often drawn to colors, which may distract from form and texture. Scenic and landscape photos may not always benefit from the line rendition. In the scene below, however a less than perfectly exposed image—one that would end up in deep storage or deleted—was converted to an acceptable image with the line-drawing function. It captures enough color to suggest a sunset sail and captures the perspective of the viewer standing on a rocky shoreline.
There is always something new to try. Do you have a so-so photo? Get into whatever photo software you have available and experiment. Do not be surprised if most experiments fail—welcome to the world of research. But every now and then, an experiment produces something acceptable, maybe even better.