Deb challenged me to the black and white photo challenge for blogs and I cheerfully accept…nominating Kyrston Perkins to accept the challenge as well. The idea is, you post a black and white picture in your next five blog posts and since I am enjoying playing with my camera so much I was excited to try. Lee and I have been having an epic philosophical discussion about Photoshop for several weeks, so there are actually two for today. The first one I took in color and Lee Photoshopped it, and it does look amazing, but I don’t feel like I took this picture…it’s more like he created it. It’s an awesome picture and as he said…it’s what I had in my head but I didn’t actually capture it. (The ‘shopping here was minimal. I think she should have included the original for comparison. All I did was change it from color to black and white, crop a little bit off the far right edge of the frame, because there was a pretty bright object that I don’t think she intended to include, and it really ruined the elegant slow graduation from bright on the left from natural light through a porthole to the darker interior of the ship on the right. I also tweaked the brightness and contrast a little to coax out that graduation a little more. – Lee)
This one is one I like. I did crop the edge a bit, which to me is no big deal but other than that the colors are as I took them using the black and white setting on the camera. Heck, I was excited I found the black and white setting all by myself! So I don’t think I did too bad for my first time.
So since Cori, Lee, and I are having this ongoing discussion I thought I would explain my viewpoint. To me, photography is sort of the modern-day version of hunting. You either make the shot or you don’t. And yes, this way of thinking leads to many near misses which can be disappointing, but when you get that perfect shot it (and the sense of accomplishment) is yours forever. Lee takes amazing pictures. Some of the best ones you see in my blog are his, but that came from years and year of practice. His pictures are GOOD and I want mine to be that good. The only way I know to do that is to try and fail until I get it right. If I can fix my mistakes easily then what is my motivation to really work hard and get better, plus how will I ever experience the moment of capturing the perfect shot. So my personal lines at this point are cropping on the edges is ok…enhancing color is out and I really hate brushing things out of the middle of the picture. The only exception would be a very rare photo with a combination of people in it. Just for the record I draw the line at photoshopping a person out. That person was part of your life…own it. I judge no one else, but for me pictures catalog your life and it is what it is …good, bad..and ugly. I don’t want to sanitize or enhance my life. (Luckily she doesn’t feel that way about personal hygiene. – Lee) Plus I really, really love that feeling of the perfectly capturing the moment. …But as I said, that’s just me. (Originally I completely disagreed with her on this. When I was a kid one of my idols was my uncle Gay, who was a pretty serious shutterbug, in addition to being an early adopter in the computer revolution, and a ham radio enthusiast. He also smoked a pipe, and wore hats. You just don’t see cool like that anymore. He was kind, and had a very dry sense of humor, and mostly treated me like a person instead of an obnoxious little kid, which is probably what I was most of the time. Most importantly, he didn’t pooh-pooh my dreams of chasing creative endeavors like lots of people. He took me seriously, so everything he taught me went straight into the middle of my brain and has stayed there ever since. One of the things he taught me was that every professional picture I had ever seen was the final choice from dozens, if not hundreds of shots that didn’t “make the cut”. And then that shot was cropped and tweaked and played with until it was as good as it could be. But I also agree with Tracy now as well. When she says “I want to get good, not cheat”, that makes sense too. – Lee)
This week in OBX started out great with our friends. (Don’t get nervous, that’s not foreshadowing. It started great, and didn’t suddenly turn sour. It just continued to be great. Not as dramatic, but better in the long run. – Lee) We went down to the beach Monday night and had a lovely bonfire. I haven’t done that since the kids were small, and it was so fun and the tide kept getting closer and closer and periodically we would all lift our feet to avoid a wave. Totally awesome!!
Cori had to travel for work Tuesday – Thursday and I had a ton of work to do myself, so aside from gathering in the evenings to eat together it was pretty event free. I will say it has gotten cold this week (high 50’s in the evenings) and I wouldn’t mind that so much but the wind cuts right through you. Since there are 8 of us..no one’s rig is really large enough to accommodate everyone for a meal so we are eating outside. The food and company are great, but I can’t take the cold so many of the nights during the week ended early for me. Friday night the weather was a little better and we had seafood night. Kelly made her world-famous clam chowder (so good), (People, don’t let her lack of poetic prose mislead you, Kelly’s chowder is not just good, it is truly spectacular. There is nothing in the world like it. It tastes like the smiles of angels. A chorus of heavenly voices belts out “Hallelujah” when you lift your spoon from the bowl. – Lee) Then we made scallop skewers with bacon, pineapple, scallops, and mushrooms, and Cori made bacon wrapped shrimp. Plus Cori, who is the Queen of appetizers, made this amazing crab dip. It was a huge portion and was gone in no time.
Saturday morning I was up early and captured a beautiful sunrise. It’s the nicest one I have seen in a while and when Lee woke up and saw I was gone he came down to the beach and joined me. It was a very nice moment with just the two of us.
Saturday morning we decided to visit the Roanoke Island Festival Park . It’s a 25-acre interactive historic site representing the first English settlement attempt in 1585. Although we knew it might be cheesy, for $10 each it turned out to be a lot of fun.It was the second best interactive museum I have ever been to, for one thing. The content was adult but the exhibits were interspersed with lots of great hands-on activities for kids. (Get your minds out of the gutter, it wasn’t THAT kind of adult, despite Greg’s best efforts. Well, one thing was, but this is a family blog, so you’ll just have to go there yourself to find it. We all laughed like twelve-year olds. – Lee) I would skip the movie though. We watched all 45 minutes of it and I thought might actually expire from the production quality. (The movie is truly awful. Not just garden-variety awful, but world-class awful. It was like the tears of angels, it was so awful. – Lee) The museum is indoor/outdoor with a Roanoke Indian village area, a replica of a ship the English brought to the Island, and the fort area. They had some character actors in certain areas that were happy to answer any questions you had and really added to the experience. Overall I highly recommend it (especially for a cloudy day) we all learned something and had fun, can’t ask for more than that. It was also a lot easier to visit with a large group than I thought it would be. There is enough stuff to keep everyone interested without being right on top of each other. (OK, I’ll give you a hint: there’s a part in a little hut that has a row of little boxes, each with a native American word on a door, and when you open the door, you hear a recorded voice pronounce the word. One of them should never have made it past the censors. We opened that door about a million times. It was glorious. There were no children present, but I imagine that busloads of elementary school kids have rejoiced in discovering it over the years, much to the likely chagrin of their teachers and chaperones, who almost certainly hang back once the kids move on, and then repeatedly open the door, and laugh, and laugh. – Lee)
In the parking lot outside having a nice chat
It was a really fun day, topped off by an excellent All American dinner made by Cori and Greg. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
(More misleading foreshadowing…-Lee)
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After reading Lee’s comment, Kelly is going to be making a LOT of chowder!
Love the photos, Trace!
Nice to hear you all are doing well and thanks for the lead on Roanoke Island Festival. Looks like it was a fun place to visit.
I see both sides of your photoshop point. My ex-boss was a hard-core old school photographer, and his favorite part of photography was the dark room. The dark room was where you could do some of the most artistic parts of photography – burning and dodging, cropping and enlarging, changing the exposure. The dark room was the analog predecessor to PhotoShop. When I was in college I liked taking photos for my photography class, I HATED developing them, but I LOVED the dark room. You really got a chance to make the photo what you want, trying different things and getting different results. My boss always said Ansel Adams was the master of the dark room.
Love your B&W photos. Deb has challenged us a couple weeks ago as well. I tend to lean a little more towards Lee’s side of the editing equation, it is sometimes fun trying to pull the perfect picture out of one that is not so perfect. I am certainly not talented enough to get it right on the first try. Although…. as I type that I can think of two pictures that were absolutely perfect when I took them and they are two of my favorite so maybe you are right!
Looks like a great time at the festival! I love the picture of Lee laughing so hard! I can just imagine what Greg was up to! The pictures are great Trace. I don’t mind editing/enhancing pictures some. Cropping I almost always do since I take pictures a bit bigger so I don’t cut something off. Then I can crop to get the shot the way I want it. It’s still my picture, I just move it around. Not adding or subtracting anything.
Cropping I am totally cool with …it’s the color enhancing but seriously to each his own. And maybe the more I get into photography I’ll change my mind. Cori said today that photoshopping can be an art in itself and I can totally see that. Thanks for the challenge though…having a lot of fun with it.
Saw your rigs at Waves – not sure if you are still there or not. Sounds like you have a bunch of fun and I enjoy your blog!! Looking forward to reading it as you go forward. We are on our way home to our half year place – we full time the other half. Enjoy!!
Thank you so much. Next time please come say hi!! We are still here until May 15th and having a great time.