Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

This past week I went on a two hour walking tour of Oxford. I had never been to Oxford, and anytime I am in a new city I find walking tours a good way to get started. The tour included a bit of history of the area and a few of the highlights.  I will admit though, to being that person, you know, the one who is a few steps away from the group taking photos.  While on the tour, I got this photo:

ISO 500 50mm f/8.0 1/100

I love this idea of nature growing right into a man-made structure, although I suspect in this case it has had some encouragement to grow that way.  I edited the photo into this:

ISO 500 50mm f/8.0 1/100

A little more dramatic, I’ve used a few filters to make it feel like not only is it against the odds that the tree would be there but that it is amazing that the photo even still exists given it distressed state.

When I was editing the first thing I did was crop the photo.  Mostly to take out the bit of the sky in the left corner and some of the fencing in the lower left.  For the fencing in the lower right I used the healing brush tool in Photoshop to remove that. I’ve then used the plug-in Analog Efex Pro to create the photographic look of the final version.  I’ve used some blur and an uneven border to make the photo look worn and damaged.  The nice thing about the plug-in that it gives you a good place to start with creating looks like this. It’s then up to you how to further interpret it, more blur? less? it’s all pretty easy to manage within the plug-in.

What do you think of my final version? I’ve included the link to the walking tour I took, it was a good one, I would recommend it; do you ever take walking tours of places you are visiting?  Feel free to leave a comment below.



31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

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  1. I actually really like the original photo. The tree climbing over the pair of windows works well in the middle of the photo – rule of thirds out the window there but it is very pleasing to the eye. The blurry effect gives a dreamy feel about thee photo. But it almost reminds me of a smoggy day and also almost as if I’ve taken a real walk back into the past. I once did a walking tour of my city of Melbourne and it made me discover a bit more about my own backyard.


    1. Yes, it’s funny what you can learn about where you are living if you take on the role of tourist.
      It’s funny, I was thinking, so much for the rule of thirds when I shot this one. I took it from a few other angles as well, but this one was the best in my opinion.


      1. So is the healing brush. I am still amazed at how much you use it and to good effect too. I tried experimenting with it the other day and kept taking out too much of the photo. Need more practise :”D


  2. Amy, loved that you took photos on a walking tour. I recently went on a (self) walking tour of our light rail stations in Seattle, where they have installations of art. I just visted each piece and then I wrote in between the stations. 🙂 Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great edit, Amy. I’m also a few steps behind the group, although when we visited the Vatican, without realising, I got a few steps in front and was hurrying to catch up the group. Luckily, hubby found me and brought me back to the fold, otherwise, I would have been totally lost in the crowd. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how you’ve answered this challenge! It really is wonderful when nature and architecture entwine!

    And I do like both versions of the capture; the original is a lovely view of Oxford, the edited gives me a sense of how Oxford might have looked several centuries ago!


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