70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

When I saw this statue last week, I was amused by the pumpkin decoration for Halloween, but what I was really interested in capturing was the water:

ISO 800 80mm 0ev f/13 1/80

ISO 800 80mm 0ev f/13 1/80

I had used an f-stop of 13 to capture as much detail in the scene as possible.  That ended up being a mistake because in the original, which I will put at the bottom of this post, there is too much detail in the grasses behind the elephant.  I chose a shutter speed of 80 because I wanted some of the water to be frozen and some of it to still be in motion. That speed and the harsh light helps the water stand out in this photo.

The background I never managed to completely solve, but I did take some steps which I think helped.  A fiddled around quite a bit in Photoshop, but for the version above here is what I have done.  First I cropped the image and sharpened it a bit.  Then I converted it to black and white.  In honor of Halloween, I masked the orange of the pumpkin back in. That orange seemed a bit too cartoonish with the black and white.  So I then put a photo filter layer on it, using the sepia setting. The pumpkin still sticks out because sepia and orange are not the same, but that combination is less jarring.

Here is the original:

ISO 800 80mm 0ev f/13 1/80

ISO 800 80mm 0ev f/13 1/80

So this week’s theme was descent.  I was originally thinking of the descent of the water, but it could also be a descent into the madness of Photoshop.  Let me know what you think of my created image in the comments below.

Cheers and Happy Halloween!


35 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

  1. That is a lovely photo. Great work in Photoshop. I didn’t find the orange pumpkin glaring at all. In fact, I thought it blended in very well with the sepia hues. You definitely brought out the water splashing around, I was drawn to the ripples at the bottom of the shot. Good that it was a sunny day and you got a lot of light in the original photo 🙂


  2. socalwalkingphotography says:

    Photoshop can lead to a definite descent to madness!! I have been thinking of that as a photo title but I haven’t found the picture to take yet. Nice post!!


  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Descent | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  4. Wow. What a wonderful photograph. Initially when I saw the smaller image of the photo, I thought it to be a real elephant. But when I opened the blog and photo full version, enlightenment descended upon me. Its such a beautiful photo. But what I loved most was your process of you made it finally from the original to the final product. It helps novice photographers like us who want to learn more and more about photography and editing.

    Thanks once again. Have a great weekend ahead. 🙂


  5. well – like andy, I thought it was real at first – from the cool edit you give us. 🙂 and while I love the edited version -I found that I liked the water spraying better in your edit – but I liked the actual puddled water better in the original – it was layered with color and just cool.
    and I love the way you tied in halloween – the pumpkin was fun ❤ ❤


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