Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

Claude Monet painted over 250 pictures of waterlilies, mostly those found in his garden at Giverny and most famously those which also included a view of the Japanese bridge. When visiting Giverny, it’s quite something to recognise a vista from one of Monet’s paintings and realise you’re standing in the same spot he must have done with his easel over a hundred years ago.

waterlilies2 copy

Monet himself, of course, did it better; this version is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:

Waterlilies1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

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

Monet’s Garden

I recently visited Monet’s Garden, in Normandy. You’ve probably heard of it, and of Monet himself, the founder of Impressionism.

The garden itself is rightly famous, although I was surprised to discover that almost all of the plants there are quite common varieties, rather than horticultural curiosities. What grabs the attention is the way they are all closely planted in what is a comparatively small space.

The overall impact is quite stunning, but for me the details were even more impressive. Clever old thing, Nature.

 

Monet5