Thursday Doors: Muscat

By way of a change, after a steady diet of decrepit French rustic doors, here is something a little more opulent, from the Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman.

Muscat

Muscat

Thursday Doors 24th December 2015

Faraway

Where we live is quite close to the geographical centre of mainland France (l’hexagone), so not surprisingly the skies above us are quite busy with planes flying to or from faraway places – sometimes to quite dramatic effect:

Faraway

Fortunately, they are at high altitude when they pass over, so we can’t hear them

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Faraway

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

Daughter, son-in-law and grandsons are going to gather with us for Christmas, arriving on Tuesday. We think we’re ready for them…

Gathering

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

Before & After: Boat

My little exercise in post-processing this week was actually inspired by the December One Photo Focus, which was published last Friday. My own humble effort can be found here, but I was particularly interested by some of the other participants’ use of the more sophisticated and creative tools available in Photoshop. Apart from anything else, it made me more determined than ever to try to get to grips properly with this extraordinarily sophisticated (downright clever) program.

Original image

Monetorig

This photograph was taken at the famous lily pond in Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny, in Normandy. The day was very overcast and drizzly, so the light was very flat, the water looks very drab and even the reflections are rather dull. The whole thing obviously needs some work.

Lightroom

Monetedit

Some basic editing in Lightroom helped to cheer up the image. Cropping made the boat the centre of attention and some work with the sliders brought out more detail. Increasing the Green Saturation helped to overcome the overall flatness, and moving up the Clarity and Vibrance gave the image more punch. Without being anything special, it’s a lot better than it was.

Photoshop

Then it occurred to me that, since the picture was taken in a painter’s garden, why not make it look more like a painting? And since Monet was, of course, an Impressionist, why not try to give it something of an impressionist feel?

So I used the Paint Daub effect in Photoshop and came up with the image below. I could have made the effect more extreme, but – if I’m honest – chickened out. Anyway, it’s far removed from the original image and, I think, a lot more interesting.

Monetshop

AB Friday 18th December 2015

Thursday Doors: Close To Home

Last week’s door wasn’t very far from here, but today I’m even closer to home: about 30 feet from my back door.

Our house is actually two cottages knocked together (if you want to know a little more, you can read this) and forms one end of a larger bâtiment which includes two barns, one of which belongs to us and one to our neighbour, Albert (whose own house is just in front of ours). Needless to say, this being rural France, our barn is at the far end of the bâtiment, and it’s Albert’s that adjoins our house.

You get used to it.

Anyway, this picture is a detail of the very ancient side door to Albert’s barn. You can get some idea of its age from the grooves that have been worn in the wood from the swinging latch. I’m glad I took this when I did, because he’s only gone and painted it, hasn’t he?

DoorAlbert

Thursday Doors 17th December 2015

Centred

This week we focus on images that, with a healthy disregard for the rule of thirds, are intended to be placed in the middle of the frame: to be literally the centre of attention.

This image was taken looking down a corridor in the cellars of a wine-producing chateau in the Bordeaux region:

Centre1

Flowers are a very obvious ‘centre-friendly’ subject – particularly when photographing buds, before the petals start to compete for space in the frame:

Also, of course, anything circular has an obvious central focus, be it wheels or even fireworks:

And finally this is just one of my most favourite images: it was taken looking directly upwards to the ceiling of the reception area of the Sir Bani Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Those lanterns are between six and eight feet high when you see them sideways on from the second floor.

Lanterns

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Centred

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

This supermarket in Dubai probably ought to get a new advertising copywriter…

Oops

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops