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The Castle in the Enchanted Forest

Canon 5DmkIII; EF70-200 f2.8L IS-II
Click for larger image

Although I did not intend this to be a “photography blog”, there are already a few folks who seem interested in my images (thank you so much for your kindness), so I figured that I would continue to feed this curiosity. You should be aware though that my primary intention for this space is soliloquy, and so you should expect plenty of un-illustrated non-photography commentary down the road.

This is another shot taken at the same time as the previous two images and also processed in roughly the same way, primarily with NIK Color Efex Pro-4. I have the whole suite of NIK modules and I really like them. This was a case where I did not have this specific treatment in mind when I pushed the shutter, but I came up with it as I was browsing through my output. The play-set was actually rather weathered and dull-looking, so first I boosted the “vibrance” quite a bit in Lightroom. This made some of the surroundings over-saturated (especially the ground) so I de-saturated these areas with a Lightroom brush. Most of the “dreamy” effect was done in CEP with several different filters; bleach-bypass, glamor glow and vignette-blur. I also cropped and modified the aspect-ratio to eliminate unnecessary BS.

Although some folks may eschew “photoshopping”, I have no apologies for heavily processing (some of) my images. This is just the modern equivalent of darkroom-work and it is part of the process of image creation, IMHO. In fact, in digital photography there is no-such-thing as “unprocessed”, since any JPG that comes out of a camera has been modified and processed by the default algorithms that the camera engineers have built-in to the picture-taking device. It is never a matter of displaying a “real” or natural image, but of either letting some unknown engineer on the other side of the world decide what your picture looks like, or taking control of that end-to-end process yourself.

I suppose that it would have been nice to have some children playing in this scene, but taking pictures of children is very difficult – especially as a male. I have a real terror that some freak who watches too much bad TV will go postal on me if I dare point a camera in the direction of their child, so I am very careful to avoid that situation. I don’t imagine that female photographers have quite the same issues.

This park, about a mile from our house, was built and is maintained by a commercial landfill that is in our township. In addition to this very nice park, they also give us free trash-disposal. Clearly these are “bribes” to win over the hearts-and-minds of us locals so that we won’t protest their activities and force them out. I have to admit that it works on me, because they do seem to go out of their way to be “good neighbors”. The landfill activities are not disruptive, noisy or smelly and the perks are nice.


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