Picfair version here.
Picfair version here.
Every once in a while I take photos of a subject that I’m a bit conflicted about. This post is about the enemy. The photos in this post were taken at La Cambe German War Cemetery. It’s near Omaha Beach in Normandy France. There are 21,222 German war dead here, ranging in age from 16-72. Most died between 6 June and 20 August 1944. They were the enemy but as the sign on the front of the cemetery stated, “With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.” I found the place to be very somber and sad:
This first shot gives a bit of an overview of how the markers are laid out in rows. This second shot it a bit more of a close-up:
It is the square markers and not the crosses that are grave markers. I’d also like to note that some of the markers indicated that the graves are sometimes stacked.
This statue was at the top of the resting place for the unknown soldiers. I have versions of each of these on my Picfair site, if you would like to see them at higher resolution: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.
When it came to editing, the first two were just edited for clarity. The third is a bit more creative, but I wanted to stick with the somber and ethereal feel of the cemetery itself.
Tough topic, but what do you think? To me, it was a reminder to never lose sight of anyone’s humanity, even those who would stand against you. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Sometimes a little bit of curiosity can be a good thing. When it comes to photo editing this translates into: just push that button or slide that slider and see what happens. It’s usually pretty easy to back up if you end up with a result that you don’t like. All you need is curiosity and a little bit of time. This image below was taken at Pointe du Hoc.
My first edit was this one:
It features a lot of the edits you would expect from me. I’m hoping you think this edit pops a bit and is a bit more clear. I’m hoping that you don’t think that it varies too much from the original. With this type of edit, I’m looking to represent the scene as it was.
As per my recent blog post, I saved a version of it. Then I continued to edit. I was looking to create something a bit different:
When I am in this more creative mode, my layer panel starts to look like this:
If you have no interest in using layers or already know all about them, feel free to skip the rest of this post, leave a comment or like below if you that appeals to you. The rest of this post is a bit about layers and how to use them.
In the screenshot, the original file and then the layer above it is what led to the natural version of the photo. The layer marked, “silver lining” and the two above that are part of the more creative version. I’d like to mention a few things that I think are important to consider when making a creative edit. The first is that I think it is really helpful to have additional edits on separate layers. This makes it easy to see what you have done and remove or further work on any particular edit. Making a new layer is easy and pretty universal in photo editing applications. In this particular case, I clicked on the “+” to the right of “Layers” and a drop-down option was “add adjustment layer”. Let’s say on Adjustment Layer 1 I wanted to adjust the exposure. I do that and then add Adjustment Layer 2 and edit for clarity on that layer. I could then click on the eyeball from Adjustment Layer 1 and that would turn off the exposure adjustment if I wanted to see what the photo would look like with just the clarity adjustment. That gives me the flexibility of having several edits that can easily be adjusted or even deleted independently of one another. Also, It is possible to rename layers, for example, the layer that is called silver lining, that is the name of the filter I put on that layer. In this case that not only makes it easier to know what adjustment is there but also functions as a reminder to myself as to what filter I have used. Changing the name of a layer is done by clicking over the text, and changing the text when the text box appears.
Your thoughts on my edits and the use of layers are all welcome below.
Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wonder.
Picfair version here.
It was a beautiful day here yesterday and I was at the Cambridge American Cemetery. I took a lot of photos in part because the light was so interesting. In particular, I took several frames of this grave, from all different angles. When I got home and took a look at all the variations, I decided that this one interested me the most:
In my edit, I cropped it a bit first. There were some elements on the right-hand side of the frame that was a bit distracting. I also tried a crop that straightened the photo a bit but for this interpretation, I decided that I liked it a bit off kilter. I knew I wanted to create a black and white version and thought that the tilted view would work with that treatment. Here is the outcome of that:
When I am out shooting, I often take photos with my iPhone as well. Here is another black and white version of the scene that I created on my phone with the help of Hipstamatic:
Three of the servicemen who are buried here were honored in a flypast that took place in Sheffield yesterday. A brief story and video on that are here. The story is quite moving, it is worth a few moments of your time if you are interested.
What do you think of my edit? Can you believe that bright sun, right here in England? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Added to A Photo A Week, Black & White.
Usually, when I think of landscape photography I think of sweeping vistas devoid of people or man-made elements. But not always, so when I saw there was a photography challenge up this week where “landscape” was the theme, I thought I would consider something that had an obvious human footprint. At the moment, I am working on processing photos that I took in Normandy, France. I have a lot of beautiful coastline shots. Normandy is a beautiful area, but obviously, it’s history includes that of WWII. I will be posting a photo in a few days of the coastline of Dieppe, in Normandy, but first I edited these photos from the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery:
This first shot is shot at the widest angle, to show as much of the landscape as possible. It’s been edited to give the colors a bit of a boost and a bit of clarity. This second shot is edited in much the same way:
To take this shot, I brought the stones into more detail by both taking a step closer and by bringing my lens from 10mm, which would have shown more of the scene, to 12mm, which shows less.
With these two shots, I was hoping to convey the reality of what this cemetery looks like. Most of the soldiers buried here are Canadian, the rest are British. The soldiers laid to rest here were killed in the Dieppe Raid of 1942. It was a disaster for the Allied Forces and while not all of their casualties were left behind, a lot were. It is interesting to me that this cemetery was created by the Germans, see the back to back stones of the first rows? that is typical of a German style of burial. Perhaps more interesting is that when the war was over, this cemetery remained here.
What I’d like you to know if you’re Canadian or British and have a family member or countrymen interred here and you aren’t able to visit, the Germans picked a beautiful spot to bury your loved one. I hope that my two pictures convey a sense of the beauty of the landscape here.
Which brings me to my third photo:
This last edit is where I am trying to process what would have been the terror of the raid with the beauty of the land itself. To shoot this idea, I decided to shoot from behind the stones and into the sun. The filter I applied to this had a red tinge to it. The red for the heat of battle, blood itself, confusion, anger and hatred, and the red prominently in the Canadian flag. It’s a lot to try and sum up in one image.
Cemeteries are wonderfully complex places to me. I hope that I have conveyed some of that in these images. What do you think of my edits? Your comments are welcome below.
Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Landscapes.
Picfair shot 1.
Picfair shot 2.
Picfair shot 3.
Sometimes, there are certain photographs that I work on more than once. This is one of them:
I wrote a few months ago about editing it, that time it was a color version, this time a black and white:
I started with a crop, then devoted some attention to remove the fence in front of the sculpture. I made use of the erase feature of Luminar, but I also used the clone and stamp tool. In some places, clone and stamp gave a better result because it was up to me what to replace the fence with. The eraser makes an educated guess, and it is pretty smart, but sometimes it gets it wrong. In this case, the areas where the fence was in front of both the sculpture and the water, were a bit too much for the eraser. It’s within the black and white edits though, that I really took some liberties. I used the “Orton effect” filter to make the scene more dreamlike.
I am happy with both my color version from a few months ago and this black and white version as well. This sculpture is called, ‘Les Braves’ and there is a bit about it here. Your thoughts on my edits are welcome below.
For some strictly visual reasons, I have added this to One Word Sunday, Voyage. Click the link to see why.
Picfair version here.