A Hard Choice

This week’s Daily Post Challenge is the last one of the lot – that’s right, no more weekly photo challenges – and the topic is ‘All-Time Favorites.’ Now that’s a hard choice, and I’m stuck. It’s like the three variations that I created of a pumpkin field picture, and I just find it impossible to pick the one I like. So I’ll just show those pumpkin pictures to you, and hope it compensates for my lack of an all-time favorite list. 😉

Who wants to be Jack-o-Lantern | Anita

Pumpkin patch | Anita

Odd pumpkin out | Anita

Monochrome madness wk 52 (or yr 1)

It’s apparently been a year since Leanne Cole and Laura Macky began their Monochrome Madness series, which Leanne’s been hosting on her blog religiously. (Thanks Leanne!) While I started taking part in it very recently, and have been submitting photographs fairly infrequently, I feel pretty happy about all that I learned from seeing the other entries, and am thrilled to have discovered all those talented photographers whose work I can now observe. Good going, Leanne, Laura, and here’s to one more year of crazy single-color!

So this week is week-52 for the series, and we thought each of us should just re-show our favorite submissions over the past year. Amongst my submissions, my favorite is Odd Pumpkin Out — this was for a color-splash special last Christmas.

Odd pumpkin outI’d never really tried color-splash before this, and I remember how excited I was about this result. 😀 This week, Leanne’s showing this photograph in her post, along with everyone else’s favorites from their submissions.

I usually don’t just re-show photographs that I’ve already posted, so I thought I’ll also throw in a different version of this photograph today — a dark, split-tone monochrome, with some added glow.
Pumpkin patch

But then, since I’m showing past photographs anyway 😉 here’s a small collection of my other favorites from amongst my MM submissions over the year —

Beach Lamp Post Barcelona street

Rediscovering old photographs in new avatars, monochrome or not, is always fun (and sometimes surprising) isn’t it! 🙂

Odd pumpkin out

Whaddaya know, this is my 50th post in the (almost) 6 months since this blog has been in existence! Slow, yes, but steady… 😛 I’m gonna use this teeny occasion to thank you visitors and followers for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me in my cozy corner of the blogosphere. I must say that I’m continuously learning from you and every other talented person here, so thank you for that!

This time, I’m posting a lovely photograph that I did quite some post-processing on. Leanne has been hosting her and Laura’s Monochrome Madness series for a while now, and the next post in the series will be a Christmas Special, where submissions are still monochrome, but with a splash of color included. And this is what I submitted, though it’s more Halloweeny than it is Christmassy. 😛

Odd pumpkin out

Odd pumpkin out

It did take some effort to get this photograph to a point where I was happy with the result, and I loved working on GIMP for the processing. Though I did a lot of little (and not-so-little) tweaks to finally be able to give this version the nod, I’ll mention the three things that I thought were more challenging than the others, or provided some opportunity for learning. (Or both. 🙂 )

Usually, for a color-splash picture like this, it’s easier if one chooses a picture where the required color is either distinctive in the photograph or concentrated in an easy-to-select area. Here, all the pumpkins are orange, and the one I wanted to select, while still elliptical, is unevenly so. :/ I isolated the color-pumpkin by additively selecting progressively smaller areas, and did that take time and patience, or what!

Then there was the matter of the blurriness at the bottom-right outline of the color-pumpkin, because the pumpkin in front is not in focus. A straight-out cut-n-paste of the color-pumpkin makes an unnatural clear-cut edge appear in that area, so I had to add bottom-right sections with different blurs and transparencies to recreate the original blurring and make it look natural.

As I experiment more and more with monochrome, I see on so many occasions that it’s a very different ball game, and I love the unique challenges it poses. So it’s no surprise that a combination of monochrome and color is doubly challenging! 😀 The original photograph showcased the color of the pumpkins, and lighting was not a highlight in it. Well, with monochrome, the pumpkins would actually need some light on them to give them some dimension. With the right settings, the light in the photograph itself sufficed, and the monochrome pumpkins looked fine. But compared to them, the color-pumpkin started looking just so bland (and unnatural. Of course. 😉 ) I then had to add some light effects on the color-pumpkin to make it blend into the scene.

There might be a lot more that I can do to make the picture look better, but I’m satisfied for now with the learnings from this effort. What do you think of the result?