Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

When I see the word transmogrify, I always think of Calvin and Hobbes, so despite the definition of the word being to change in a negative way, I can’t help but thinking of it in a more light-hearted, positive way.  The way that the meaning of a word can be influenced by the way that it is used is interesting to me.

People not only change language to suit them, they also change their homes to suit them as well. Imagine that this is what you see when you look out the window of this house:

ISO 200 4.33mm f/2.7 1/400

ISO 200 4.33mm f/2.7 1/400

Turning around to face the interior you would not expect to see this:

ISO 1250 5.44mm f/3.2 1/20

ISO 1250 5.44mm f/3.2 1/20

But this is the interior of a house that is now the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Ops Solder or Our Lord in the Attic, a hidden Catholic Church in Amsterdam.  The church dates from 1663 and was used to celebrate Mass in secret when doing so in public was prohibited. As I was taking this photo though, I was thinking about how it would look if I edited it to a black and white version:

ISO 1250 5.44mm f/3.2 1/20

ISO 1250 5.44mm f/3.2 1/20

As much as I like the warm tones of the original, there is something that I find more settled in the black and white version. Instead of talking about the specifics of how I created the black and white version, I would like to just focus on the first editing step.  I started with cropping.  I started there because there were two things that bothered me about this image, the jacket visible on the right side, and the fact that the altar is crooked.  Using the straighten option within the cropping tool in Photoshop fixed both of these problems.  I’ve included a link because about halfway through the article there is a photo showing exactly where to find the tool if you are not familiar with how to use it.  In my opinion this is the easiest way to straighten a photo and if this is something I know I am going to need to do I often start with that step.

So, what do you think of the transformation? I think the crop helped a lot.  Do you have a preference for the color or the black and white version?  Would you build a Church inside your house?  I’d never seen anything like it. Feel free to leave a comment below.


31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

    • Yes, I agree. I will say though that the colors really gave an inviting feel to the chapel, which in person was really nice but didn’t translate as well in the photos.
      Also, I took a lot of photos from the windows, I loved the view. It was particularly nice with the change of seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify — Photography Journal Blog – shoptodayblog

  2. Pingback: Transmogrify: Water and Clouds | What's (in) the picture?

  3. I also prefer the black and white. For a moment there, Amy, I thought you were going to use the lean on some of the buildings in Amsterdam – the lean that was intentional, of course, such that stuff craned into the upper stories didn’t bash against the windows of the lower stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It depends on your dictionary Webster (unaudited and untrustworthy) has it as a negative transformation but OED (I would suggest THE dictionary) has it as a magical change. So you have it right and I adore your images

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You most perfectly chose to very right photo to transform into black and white. I never knew it would be that well when it comes to a religious photo. That changes to black and white is …. magic!


  6. Hey – I was there in September! Amazing place. In fact, I found Amsterdam in general amazing. Neither of us had ever been before so we went for a week to celebrate our newly empty nest/freedom to travel more. I can imagine it must have been a wonderful experience for a photographer. We walked and walked and looked and looked for the whole week.
    Are you living in the UK now?! I am doing a marathon catch up read of 18 months’ (2000+) blog posts…


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