Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best of 2013: March

My Friend the Beast

On the Third Day of Christmas, I chose this photo for two reasons.

First, I took it at the Chicago Zoo on an outing with my Google+ friend, Tom Tran. It was a blast, even though quite cold, and resulted in many wonderful photos--not only from the zoo, but also from the conservatory and an icy beach. Indeed, I have many yet to process from that day!

Second, it is another photographic accomplishment for me. The sun was too bright and the shadows too deep that day, and this creature mostly stood with his butt toward me and his head in the shadow. I snapped a couple of shots anyway, with little hope of having anything worth working on.

Then he turned sideways for just a moment and our eyes met. I got one shot and then he walked into the shadow. The shot didn't look all that promising in the camera. But on my computer using Photoshop, I was able to bring out detail in both shadow and highlights, and the b&w conversion seemed a perfect treatment for this subject.

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, I had a reputation for being able to do this kind of thing in the wet darkroom. I am finally beginning to believe I'll be as good someday in the digital darkroom!!

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