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In the Weeds

December 12, 2011

One benefit to having a new baby is that I get to pick up the camera more.  Since living with my parents while our house is (about to be) under construction, I’ve literally watched the grass grow in the bayou behind their backyard.  I’ve been obsessed with backlit photos in tall grass ever since that scene in The Gladiator where Russell Crow walks through sun-drenched wheat fields to his wife and son.  And then I saw a photo the incredible Bonnie Berry’s took of her son playing in tall grass.  I eventually became obsessed with the grass growing behind my parents grass because the way the light hits it in the mornings and the evenings is almost magical.  Add in a soft breeze and it’s downright surreal.  I spent countless hours staring out the window while nursing La Q, just hypnotized by the grass.  Or delirious from sleep deprivation.

It took some timing and patience for the stars to align (Don’s work schedule, La Q’s nursing schedule, Kien’s tantrum schedule, and the weather), but once they did, we were out in those weeds clicking and playing away for several days before the city eventually cut it down.  Anyway, I try not to do much photoshopping to my photos because 1) it’s time consuming and 2) I honestly don’t know what I’m doing in Photoshop.  I feel like these photos are not living up to potential.  In other words, I’m not sure if I captured the magical element that made me so obsessed with the grass field.  I know I still have a lot of learning to do from behind the camera, but I think the same is true for Photoshop.  Here’s a sample.  The first shot is untouched, the second is lightly photoshopped.  I didn’t realize the original photo would turn out so yellow, and not sure how I would know when taking the photos (fixing white balance which is something I don’t do but should learn), and I know there’s more I can do to subtly enhance the photo to bring out the magic of the light and grass.

Original image straight off the camera

 

Light photoshopping by fixing levels.

 

Here’s another example:

Original photo

 

Light photoshopping by fixing levels and lightening Kien's face

 

If you have any photo tips, send them my way!

And, here are a couple of my fave shots of the grass:

 

Aaaand, because I don’t want to leave out La Q:

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