Angela Rixon’s presentation to the Photography group on 1 March 2016
For the first half of our afternoon meeting on Angela Rixon demonstrated her personal use of some very basic steps in digital image manipulation. She was delighted to see every member present and was pleased to welcome David Wilson from Horsley U3A, who had come along to observe how our meetings were organised.
Her start image, ideal for tight focusing of the projector, was a heavily cropped head-on study of a Burchell’s zebra, entitled ‘Watchful’.
Angela explained that natural history photographs should be left unadulterated, though minor adjustments such as some careful dodging, burning, sharpening and a considered crop is allowed to add to the overall clarity and pictorial interest of the image. It is essential to preserve the ethical identity of such subjects if shown in competition, or as species illustration.
However, personal artworks may be made and enjoyed at the whim, and by the unlimited imagination of, the pictorialist, whatever the subject. Whether the results are photographs or art is open to conjecture, but Angela is adamant that one can do as one wishes with one’s own work!
Angela’s African wildlife subjects featured next in a series showing how some quite simple filters can be employed to turn strong images into a range of artistic pictures suitable for making large prints for framing, as block canvases or to make photo books, calendars or greetings cards. The artistic filters used included paint daubs, dry brush, rough pastel and poster edges, and for monochrome drawings, an application called Graphic Novel was shown to produce unusually effective results as long as the adjustments were applied with care.
The third section of the presentation was a practical demonstration on the use of some very basic tools in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 to resize and recompose a start image, and then to effectively enhance its colour, tone and contrast, either over the whole picture or just in selected areas. Chosen images covered a range of subjects and there was just time before the interval to whet the appetite of our members with a taste of some slightly more adventurous image manipulation, perhaps to be demonstrated at a future meeting.