11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

Something that I’ve found fascinating since I was a child is the ability of the planet to transform itself.  The idea that a volcano can change the course of human events is humbling, a reminder that we can’t control everything.  That’s what I was thinking when I shot the photos that would become this image:

ISO 640 22mm f/10 1/640

That’s Mount Vesuvius in the background and the excavated town of Pompeii in the foreground.  I knew a bit about the history of Pompeii before my visit but one thing that I didn’t know, or had forgotten, was that when the volcano erupted in 79 AD it added land to the area. Pompeii use to be the port, now the port is further away.  As for the photo, it went under a bit of a transformation as well.  I started here:

ISO 640 22mm f/10 1/640

This photo above is one of three shots, identical except for their exposure value, that I combined into one photo, making an HDR version.  From there I cropped the photo. There was quite a bit in the foreground that keeps you from moving to the back of the photo and the lurking volcano. Then I thought about the mood of the photo.  I wanted to express the indifference of nature to the ambitions of man. To achieve that thought, I removed the people in the photo with the healing brush tool. Seems a bit ironic. Then I put a cool toned filter on top of the photo and darkened the edges a bit to help draw your eye to the volcano.

I thought the outcome made for a more interesting photo but what you think?  Have you ever been to Pompeii?  For me, it was one of those places that I have always wanted to see and it did not disappoint.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.



57 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

  1. A lovely photograph Amy – I like the perspective and my eye was naturally drawn to the volcano in the original image. The colours provide a nice contrast and I would have left them the way they are. The cropping and brushing work well in the edited image ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, we have been to Pompeii and enjoyed it very much, much due to our excellent guide. Wonderful photos, the first one is outstandingly good!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    The Fab Four of Cley


  3. Beautiful photos, I have visited Herculaneum but unfortunatelly did not have enough time to visit Pompeii. I just found your blog, I love that you write the camera settings you used on your photo, I will find that very useful since I have recently started a photography course aiming to improve my own photos😄


    • Thank you very much for your visit and kind comment. We did not get to Herculaneum, but would if we were ever back in the area. My guess is that a visit to each area would be complementary. I’m glad you find the settings information useful. I include them because I refer back to them, and I also find it helpful to have them in this format when I go back and think about what worked (or didn’t) in certain situations.


  4. Beautifully done. From the final photo, it looks like it’s pointing towards a time back in history – like you framed a window for all of us to look back in time. Really like the muted tone too. Gives the image a bit of a classic feel.


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  6. On my bucket list for sure Amy. Fascinated by the history of the place. I rather like the perspective ;ent by the people in the photo but know why you took them out. Both versions are great.


  7. Amy, your comment about darkening the edges reminds me of something I read recently about Da Vinci’s work, that he had learned that human eyes view things differently from the center of the retina to the periphery, and that he uses that in the smile of the Mona Lisa:

    “There is other science involved in the smile. From his optics studies, Leonardo realized that light rays do not come to a single point in the eye but instead hit the whole area of the retina. The central area of the retina, known as the fovea, is best at seeing color and small details; the area surrounding the fovea is best at picking up shadows and shadings of black and white. When we look at an object straight on, it appears sharper. When we look at it peripherally, glimpsing it out of the corner of our eye, it is a bit blurred, as if it were farther away.” – from Science Friday, https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/the-eyes-and-the-smile-of-mona-lisa/

    Thanks for posting this! I always learn something new in your blog posts. 🙂


    • That technique of darkening the edges is a pretty common photography “trick”, it’s a pretty effective composition technique. It is always interesting to me when the science behind why something works in art is explained. It seems to me that art and science overlap more than people would like to think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Art and science do overlap, surprisingly, huh? I like hearing about the darkening the edges technique. I might try it in my sketches! – I wonder if by doing that, it creates a sense of roundness in the photo, darker edges and lighter interior? Maybe not, just a thought! 🙂


      • In photo editing, you have control of how the darkening works, both how much and the shape of it. Two common settings for darkening are a circle and a rectangle. I do think using each particular shapes influences the other shapes in the photo. The photo from a few weeks ago that I posted of Rosslyn Chapel had a rectangle on it. I chose that because the lines of the rectangle reflect the lines on the chapel, so architectural shots can lend themselves to a rectangle. Nature is more often a circle application, as its subject is often more about curves that strict lines. From there, you can think about offsetting the shape or creating your own, there are a lot of options within photo editing software to help you achieve your vision.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. NorCal Zen says:

    I have never been there, but would love to go. History have always been my favorite subject. I enjoyed seeing Pompeii through your lens. Thank you for sharing the experience.


  9. Have read of Vesuvius and Pompeii in school but this is probably the first time I’ve seen photographs of the actual place so you can imagine my excitement. Beautiful what you have done with the edits for the photographs are stunning .


  10. so cool – would love to visit there sometime.
    and there is this song out now (imagine dragons) – that starts “Thunder…. Thunder…” and for some reason it was playing in my mind as I studied your cool photos – those clouds and the vibe felt like thunder strength to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So glad to hear Pompeii did not disappoint. The framing of the volocano in your photo is fantastic. such a clear day too. Our visit , although in late September, was very crowded with tourists. It look like you had a much calmer experience.


    • Yes, as the guide was pointing it out, I was thinking, did I ever read about this part? Either way, it was one of those things that you can appreciate much more when you are actually there in person and have a feel for the land in question.


  12. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Transformation – AMK Fotography

  13. Thank You for these photos. They are great. We visit there at the same time when on travel in Sorrento. From Sorrento, we made trips to Capri and Vesuvius.

    Happy New Year.


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