Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gutter Shots

Or maybe I could have called this post "Curb Appeal", or "Street View". Or, maybe even, "In the Eye of the Beholder".

OK, so what on earth am I talking about? Well, first off, take a look at these first two shots. Click on them if you'd like to see them a litter bigger ...

You probably know by now that I like to take photos of sunsets. So, no matter where I am when the sun is going down, I just have to take a look and see what is happening in the sky. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a friends house in Mesa to look at his old car to see if my daughter would like to have it. This was after work, and of course, that means that it is getting near to sun down. After we looked at the car and drove it around the block a couple of times, I noticed as I looked down his street, that the sky was starting to do nice things.

But, here we were in the middle of the city with no clear view of the horizon. What's a sunset picture without the horizon?!?! And, no cactus either. Oh well, I grabbed my camera and took a couple of steps down the street, thinking that maybe I could capture a few cars in the shot and make them look interesting. Of course, that shot wasn't any good at all. But, then I noticed a little bit of water in the gutter. Yes, I said, in the gutter!

My friend had gone in the house to get something, and when he came back out he found me lying in the street with my head and camera in the gutter. He really thought that I had lost my marbles. (Maybe he was right?) Any way, I like the above results -- don't you?

Now, here is the question, do these shots really look like I took them in the gutter? I know that you are probably saying NO!!!

I have to admit that these shots have been doctored up a little. So, to show you what I started with, here are the original, unedited versions ...

If you compare these two with the first two, you can see that I increased the color saturation a little bit, increased the contrast a little bit to make the cars and other things disappear, and intentionally deleted some things like street lights, cars, and (in the second of the two images) that tall, skinny trunk of a palm tree.

OK, maybe it still doesn't look like I took this shot while lying in the street with my head in the gutter, so here is the first of the two images, with everything lightened up a bit so you can see more of the detail ...

In this version of the shot, you can recognize the curb at the left of the frame, and tell that my head and camera are actually below the top of the curb. I got the camera as near to the water as I could without getting wet. Especially, not the camera!! Also notice the cars and street signs that I got rid of in the versions at the top of this post.

So, I guess that beauty is where you see it!!


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