Photoshop is useful in many ways but must NEVER be used for the altering of photographs.Elliott Erwitt
I am going to dare to disagree with Elliott Erwitt on this. In my view altering photographs is absolutely acceptable provided it isn’t done as a form of lying.
And what would you use Photoshop for, I wonder, other than the altering of photographs?
Normally when I edit an image I do so with the intention of bringing out more clearly what I saw when I took it. I may adjust the exposure, straighten the horizon, boost the colours a little. I’ll crop to give a more pleasing (to my eye) frame to the image, and yes, I may erase the odd telephone wire or a person who strayed into shot. But the result is usually pretty close to the view as I saw it.
However, sometimes it’s fun to take things to extremes, and that’s OK too as long as you’re honest about doing so. I recently invested in Luminar AI software which has the potential to radically alter a photo: changing the sky completely; adding things that were never there (birds, lightening, sun rays); even turning day to night. Of course it can also be used for much more subtle and natural edits, which is how, for the most part, I expect to use it.
But for Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge this week I thought it would be cool to try to create some eerie images. In the interests of complete honesty I include the original shots too! In some the effect is stronger than others, deliberately. Which do you prefer?
The Cambridge dictionary defines eerie as ‘strange in a frightening and mysterious way’. I’ve tried to make these images strange and mysterious, but I’m not sure if they are frightening. Maybe you will find some of them so.
The first two images are from my very recent weekend away in England, the rest from my travel archives.
Stonehenge: reimagined in a scene from The Birds
Stonehenge: made more eerie by moonlight
Sugar mill near Lamanai, Belize: morning mist emphasised
Lamanai lagoon, Belize: a gentle sunset made a little more dramatic
Bundi Palace, India: a spooky night time transformation
Corfe Castle, Dorset: eerie anyway but more so with a storm at night
City of Rocks, NM: there was a storm threatening which I’ve greatly exaggerated
Bandelier National Monument, NM: edited for moodiness
Halong Bay, Vietnam: adding drama and texture
And for complete honesty, here’s the original of the Madrid (New Mexico) house seen in my featured photo: