Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

When I see the word refraction, I can’t help but associate it with the word reflection, even though I know they are two different things.  The refraction images I made for this week’s photo challenge could really fall under either description.  This particular window, is lovely in the morning with the first light that it lets in, but in this case I was looking to showcase the trees that can be seen through it:

ISO 400 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80

ISO 400 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80

I find the distorted view to be quite interesting.  However, in the original of this photo, the houses and trees visible through the side panes were pretty in focus.  So, when I edited this version in Photoshop, I used the Iris blur filter and adjusted it so that just the middle pane of glass was in focus.  Here is what the original looked like:

ISO 400 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80

ISO 400 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80

I liked the dreamy feel that the Iris Blur filter brought to the photo.

When I was shooting this series of images, I pulled out all my cameras and tried a variety of settings.  This one bellow was my favorite straight out of the camera:

ISO 500 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/60

ISO 500 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/60

I used my point and shoot to get this particular image and it has a toy camera setting, which is what I used here.  While the distortion of the trees is still visible, this particular setting also brought out the detail of the glass etching, which I ended up really liking.

It was interesting to me that my top two images from this particular photography session ended up being from my point and shoot camera.  My DSLR and iPhone both created acceptable but not great images.

This week’s challenge was particularly fun because it took me down some unexpected paths, and those can be some of the most interesting moments in photography don’t you think?



16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

  1. I really like what you did with the photo in Photoshop. It looks seamless and couldn’t tell if work was done on it. There’s so many things you can do in Photoshop – I’ve only started learning. I’m sure I’ll have as much fun as you. Yes, interesting the photos came from a point and shoot. Wouldn’t have thought that if you didn’t mention it. Do you find switching between cameras a hassle?


  2. well I have said this before – but I love when photographers share some of what they do. It just gives us a feel for them and for the images we view. so thanks for that.

    and my favs – todss up between 2 and 3. The last photo I love the bottom and top edges of the window being included – adds just another layer to this already wonderfully layered angle. And what a beautiful window – really shows how windows used to be works of art – I assume this window is old? Hm –
    anyhow, I like the original because even though the Iris Blur is dreamy 😉 – I think the refraction is felt more when you can see the clarity of the house across the street – and when all things are in focus it really becomes mesmerizing….
    and I love the “unexpected paths” too – you worded that so well.

    (also – below has an extra l… just fyi 😉


    • Wow, don’t know how I missed that typo, other than spell check would not have caught it for me 🙂

      I’m not sure about the age of the window. I’m thinking it is original to the house which is late 1950’s. It is possible it would be older and was installed by the first owner from somewhere else. It is one of the few original parts of the house. When we purchased the house it had just been flipped. We have seen the before photos and boy did it really need some updating.

      This challenge was fun for me, it was a nice post to write as well because it did take me awhile to get to this final point. In fact, when I originally commented on your blog that I was hoping to get this written, I had another photograph in mind, but then I was distracted by this little project.


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