The Factory

The Factory

From behind the shutter

The story of this image started as a blurry, un-focused, poorly framed, low resolution, and under-exposed snapshot. In other word, a fail!

It was taken at Disney World in summer 2008 in the humid Orlando, Florida summer. I was not carrying my usual Nikon DSLR but only an old, broken compact camera (a 4.0 mega pixel Casio Exilim EX-Z40) in my Jean’s pocket.

We were on July the 4th, one of the busiest day for the recreational park. The lines were taking for ever. I wanted to take some snapshot images of the kids while we were painfully moving through one of the rides line.

Here is the original snapshot:

Original: Casio Exilim EX-Z40
10mm • 1/8s • f/3.8
7.2.2008 4:32PM

But as I was reviewing my shots of the day on my laptop in the evening back at the hotel, I got inspired by the colors, the silhouette, and the general ambiance of the image.

The framing and the low resolution were bothering me though.

I applied the following simple edits:

– crop (mostly the bottom and the right), I preserved the original aspect ratio
– overlay a cloned image of the right pillar (flipped horizontally). I manually feathered the edges of the overlay to in sure a natural blend. I simply used a semi transparent eraser for that operation
– applied a vignette effect to darken the detailed located in the peripheral of the image
– over sample the final image to beef up its resolution for large prints. I simply used the basic “Image size” feature in Photoshop, and the result works very nicely for the specific design of this photo.


How do I find a title for my photos?

I found over a few years of sharing images in photo club competitions, and through other venues that the title of the image has a significant impact on the interpretation that the viewer has of the image.

As a photographer, I entertain a creative and intellectual relation with the image. The more I look at it, the more I work on it, the more that relation characterizes itself into a complex and often more emotional than objective form. I believe that the story that emerges constitute what is called the “interpretation”, or eventually the “intent” (which both seem opposite).

To me, the more I learn from the image, the more I learn from me. The more I learned about who I was being when I pressed the shutter, and who I am when going through its exploration and interpretation. The image becomes the reflective mirror of the internal conversation.

It is a fascinating process for me to observe myself going through the image, and letting my subject-ive and my object-ive play their respective functions. The act eventually leads to an agreement, which can be expressed in the form of a statement.

And that’s were the title comes in the picture for me. The title is the compact form of that statement, and therefore represents my personal expression of my personal interpretation.

The image and its title will then trigger a new set of emotions and meanings to its viewer, leading to a new interpretation and story, carrying a life on its own.

Anyway… 😉

This picture was part of my solo exhibit on June 2009 and my friend Brandon is now the happy owner of a nicely framed copy of it.

Here is the final image and its title:

The Factory

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How to make a Fine Art photo with an old broken compact camera...