(Baton Rouge, LA)
New to this and was trying to get a grainy feel to an old dead tree.
Did it in B& W because it was in the middle of the afternoon and the light was not great.
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This was a good spot – a rugged old tree that looks like it has seen some action.
I like the way Corey was thinking here. With a subject like this a grainy black and white picture would give some grittiness to the scene.
However, Corey says that he did this in black and white. It's always better to take a photo in colour and then convert it to black and white later using software. Click to read why you should shoot black and white pictures in colour first.
With that aside, how about the rest of the photo? Well, the crop is certainly tight. Maybe just a little too tight. The top of the tree is right near the top of the photo, and the roots really are hugging the bottom.
It is a good idea to give your subject some room to move in a photo. A bit of extra space top and bottom would have helped here.
Corey says he was going for a grainy effect. This sort of effect harks back to the days of film photography. The more sensitive film was to light, the more grain there was in the final photo.
In a digital world this doesn't happen. What we do often get is something called digital noise. It's not as attractive as film grain though.
So what we do these days is add the grain later using software. I can't see too much grain in Corey's photo, and I'm not sure what software he was using; in Photoshop you go to filter and then choose noise and finally choose add noise.
It won't give the best effect – for that you would need the full version of Photoshop (and you blur the noise first). But it will work ok.
One thing that I do like in Corey's picture is the vignette added as a border. A dark vignette like this can increase the mood of the scene. Click to read a Photoshop tutorial on creating an artistic vignette.
Thanks Corey for the submission.
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Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, July 2008.