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Rusty scissors

By BiffoClick
I have access to a derelict workshop, filled with old decaying tools and bits of machinery - which I've been trying to photograph and failing miserably (see my previous critique request). I read an article recently about Lee Miller (an associate of Man Ray) who - inadvertently discovered solarisation ! This prompted me to explore the various bits of software on the PC in search of helpful filters. This was the result of a Color Efex filter that has produced exactly the image I wanted. I welcome your comments. Regards, BC

Tags: Scissors Rust Digital art Solarisation

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30 Jan 2019 9:13PM
Hi Ian.

Actually there's not really much I want to say here. You've said that using the filter has given you exactly the result you want, and in my book that's 100% OK. Some photographers might frown at this, but as far as I'm concerned whatever gets you the desired result is just fine. A camera / computer / editing software set-up is the same as a camera / darkroom set-up... nothing more than a set of tools to do a job, which is to give substance to the idea you've got in your head. That might be recording what you see, or, as here, responding to what you see.
I think you've done a good job here, and if it's exactly what you wanted then I'd say the best way we can help is by suggesting alternative approaches for you to consider. I'm sure other members of the Team will have their own suggestions, but for myself, I'd suggest maybe looking at different ways of cropping the image, and I'll upload a mod as illustration. With a subject like this it's always a good idea to give yourself as many options as possible to work with at the processing stage... varying the angles, the distance from the subject, focal lengths, lighting, and in processing- playing with blending modes and opacity on the filter layer, combining filters etc etc etc... but I daresay you might already be doing those things.
Anyway, well done in achieving what you were aiming for... that's always a good feeling!

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.2k 2519 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2019 9:22PM
Hello! As Alan says, if you are 100% happy that's the first priority. I like it too, and Lee Miller is one of my heroines. For the classic solarised look though I would want to see b&w. Because b&w can convey the detached, cool, other-worldly feel of solarisation much better than colour. Rather than us do that, can I suggest it as a project for you to try?

Alan has done what I immediately wanted to do, in cropping to square. This is essentially an abstract, it's about lines and angles, not about scale and context. And square suits abstract, because it doesn't direct the eye to explore in a particular direction, square leaves it free to bounce around the frame.
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1928 England
31 Jan 2019 10:42AM
As others have said, if this is what you want, that's all you need.

I want ot add, though, that although this works for me, too, there's a limit to how much technical imperfection yo ucan cover up with processing (though it is a technique that I use quite often myself!)

A tripod and some ancilliary lighting (even an LED torch) will allow technical excellence, which then allows you to do whatever you want even better. Artificial light can also allow you to put shadows where you want them - see the use of a cheap IKEA reading light in my article HERE in the Ephotozine archives.
pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2253 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2019 7:43PM
So glad you've found an effect that you like, Ian.....and I like it, too. It brings out the rust and metallic tones very nicely.
At first glance, I thought they were shears, but shears do look a lot like scissors, and there's nothing to give scale in the image. There's also a suggestion of some kind of sea monster with bulging eyesSmile.

The scissors are strong and shapely subjects and make a fine abstract. I like the way you've set them on a diagonal.

I like Alan's modification, but I wanted to make another suggestion. I would like to have seen the diagonal lines stronger, so I tried rotating the image, but couldn't get a satisfying result where some of the lines finished in some of the corners. So I returned to your image as presented and simply did a crop, managing to get two lines finishing in corners and the "bolt" sitting nicely on a thirds intersection.

What I like about further crops to this is the fact that the subjects are difficult to identify. They become a bit of an enigma, the viewer will be scratching his head and wondering where he has seen those shapes before. In an abstract, it's not necessary to know what the bigger picture is because it's the lines, shapes, textures and colours that are the important aspects of the picture.

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2019 6:40PM
I rather like the effect here. Not normally my kind of thing but you are in close, filling the frame, which often adds greatly to initial impact. The result is obviously not natural, and other than the aesthetic appeal, I'm not sure of the general uses, but it could actually go well on a wall in a pub or similar.

However, if what you have produced is exactly what you wanted, there is not a lot of point making other suggestions?

Cracking image

You have it just right keep going and experimenting thatís how you learn what works and what doesent.
Try out new software and above all trust your instinct.

Thank you all for your input - which is greatly appreciated. This only the second or third time that I've put something up for critique and - having received such great advice - I will certainly be back. I particularly like the effect of cropping, which makes for more powerful images - thank you, both ! Kindest regards, Ian

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