May 10, 2012


I’m happy to see that many folks enjoyed my “grungy-styled” photo of the vehicle interior yesterday, along with the cute title for it! I had fun enhancing and coaxing out all of the details from the raw image. We found this abandoned vehicle when we were exploring in the little town of Ester, Alaska, not far outside of Fairbanks. It happens to be an early 1940s Dodge truck. 

Since I am vertically challenged, I couldn’t look through the viewfinder and compose the complete scene. I got the shot by tinkering with the settings and then raising the camera above my head. The blind-shot method works in a pinch!

I tinkered a bit with one of the overall images of the vintage truck this morning.  Rusty and antique subjects really respond well to a grunge processing treatment because the vibrant colors and details are allowed to sing.

And then I took the above image processing to a whole other galaxy by stacking both a vintage film filter and Polaroid transfer filter on top of it.  It looks like an old postcard now, doesn’t it?

With today’s digital images, post processing is essential. One can use a soft hand or go artsy-fartsy, as I like to call it. Back in the days of film, the vast majority of us dropped our film rolls off for someone (or machine) to process. A few adventuresome folks would process their own. Now, we finish off our raw images via a digital darkroom. 

It is curious how many non-photography people do not understand this concept. For example, the Canadian tour we took last fall was not very conducive for photography. We pretty much expected that going into it, based on some previous experience with the tour company. But what surprised me during the trip was a basic question I got from fellow travelers and their reaction to my answer. They wanted to know if I used an editing program on my photos. I said “of course.” And the response I typically got was “that’s cheating.” What?! 

Here’s an analogy. One can make a homemade pizza with a scratch crust and a bevy of delicious toppings. At that stage, it is officially a pizza and edible before you bake it. But to eat it at that point would not be very satisfying. You have to bake a pizza before it is really “done” and ready for your plate and belly. The same holds true for digital photographs. But it is a difficult concept for many folks to understand. After taking the image, it’s not “done” until it is processed. The camera can only do so much. Levels need adjusting, color balanced, image sharpened, highlights/shadows tweaked, cropping, etc. The list can go on, based on the software at one’s disposal. And how far you take an image in the processing is a matter of personal taste and experience. 

I readily admit that I am still on the road of tinkering and learning. It’s really a road with no end, but that’s the fun of it! I’ve only been hunkered down and more serious about my photography since I began blogging. My personal mission is to learn more about photography and challenge myself to improve. Most of the strides I have made have been in the last two years. I am embarking on another steep learning curve because we just received the latest Photoshop CS6 program in the mail yesterday. There are many improvements in this latest upgrade, but I already adore the improved Adobe Camera Raw controls in it. 

Speaking of tinkering, I have been tweaking my blog a mite here and there lately. More changes are coming. The goal is to clean out the clutter to give the overall appearance a simpler look. As you have noticed with this post, I am experimenting with jump breaks. Also, I have developed a couple of new pages (see links on the side) and will be developing a few more. One of these pages will be devoted to recommendations and links to various photographic suppliers/sources. Another will list out the equipment and digital programs that I use.  

As I go continue thought my photography journey, perhaps I can help you too along the way. At the very least, I hope you enjoy the results of my tinkering!


  1. i very much enjoy your tinkering! you look like a pro at post-processing! seriously in awe of your work. :)

  2. You just go ahead and tinker all you want. I LOVE your photos. That second one really does look like a post card.
    Have a lovely night my friend.

  3. I love both of those photos. As for the tinkering, when it comes to photography 1/2 the fun comes from the snapping and the other 1/2 comes from the tinkering :)

  4. Even in Blogdom, one gets that "attitude" of "it's cheating." I prefer pictures SOOC. Right. Well, I don't. =D Love that second photo and the vintage quality of it. Enjoy your puttering about here. I was initially confused, but I've caught on.

  5. Yes, the rusty, crusty, dilapidated are great with that processing. The vehicle shots are great!

  6. Whatever you do your photos are always gorgeous and interesting, too!

  7. Hahahaaa....the things we do for a good shot!!Hahaa...
    Hope you enjoy the weekend dear friend! Marty ALSO wanted me to tell you Happy Mother's Day because you have been such a Super Mom to him!
    Love you Sweet friend!

  8. I enjoy seeing what you're up to with the photo's. As you know, I'm not into all that yet, but someday maybe.

    Wanted to tell you that Hunter is going to Alaska sometime in June. And, I hope her paternal grandparents take lots of photo's. :)

  9. I'm partial to blind shots, do it all the time! You couldn't mess up a photo if you tried, Donna dear.

  10. My husband wanted to know what kind of truck it was, so I'm glad you shared the details! I'll show him when he quits snoring in his chair! lol

    You inspired me to take pictures of one of his trucks tonight. Come over and check it out. Sadly, I'm not near as good as you are at editing pics. I have Photoshop, but just can't seem to figure it all out. I sure wish you live closer and could teach me in person!

  11. You're just a super shooter, from any and all angles!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!