RickB3 Photography

Good And/Or Bad

Friday, October 12, 2012 6:26 PM

This week was the Nashua Photographer’s Forum’s monthly competition. I entered a photo in each category (total of 3) and did OK. (My silhouette of the Minuteman statue in Concord, MA, took third.)

But the strange thing was that my entry in the Challenge category (topic this month: Splash) was pretty controversial. 

And I knew it would be. I took some shots (actually, quite a few) of the pond and fountain near the entrance of my condo complex. I knew the fountain made a lot of splash, and I also knew that many of the entries would be of people dropping things into a glass of liquid and photographing the splash it made. So I wanted to do something different. I took one of the images of the fountain and the 360-degree splash pattern around it, the one that seemed to have really well defined splash patterns. 

It was a gray day--the water was kind of gray, the pond had dead leaves in it, the shoreline of the pond was already losing its fall foliage, so it was a kind of bleak shot. I kind of hated it. In Photoshop I tweaked the white balance some and saw the beginnings of an interesting pattern take shape. I cropped it to roughly 1/4 the original size, so that only a quadrant of splash pattern remained, and nothing of the fountain itself remained. Then I adjusted the temperature pretty radically to the cool side and increased the vibrance and saturation, bringing out more of the blues and greens, while leaving a riot of white water specks and splashes. The end result was the almost abstract photo (above) that I submitted to the competition.

At times I really hated the photo--there’s nothing there. It’s a stupid photo. And at times I really liked it. Abstract, inventive, interesting shapes and form and colors.

Which is exactly how the judges reacted. It got the absolute lowest score of the night (maybe of the year) from one judge, and it got a few really high marks. Which is exactly how I felt about it.