Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth



A professional photographer once told me that a perfectly balanced picture is nice but it’s merely a “record” of what happened and is not necessarily artistic nor shows individuality.  Now some of you may disagree with that statement and I’m sorry if I made you cringe lol, but that statement has always struck me.

A very crisp picture can be stunning as they are, however, what did I see there really?  Trying to go a bit deeper with my editing process allows me to bring out the emotion I felt when I took the picture.  I think I’ve mentioned this before but I guess I’m trying to reinforce it in my own mind so I think it’s worth saying again.

Here I’ve revamped the original seagull shot which was a decent shot to begin with, but how many gulls on a rock have we seen?  I know I’ve seen a million of them.  But what did I REALLY see….I saw a lone gull on a rock that was visited many times before him.  His bright orange beak and his pinkish feet stood out to me when I saw him standing there.  I thought about how the life of a seagull might be difficult out in the ocean which then drove me to make the ocean darker and more foreboding, and it also added contrast to the seagull’s white body.   His pose also felt like it was “just for me” as he nonchalantly stood there waiting for me to snap the photo.  I chose to use a painterly effect because I’m rather enjoying those lately as you probably can tell.  😉

It also helped that this post is about being unique and that the gull was alone on the rock, hence the title “Individuality”.  Kind of sums up the post in a way, eh?

Western Gull

Western Gull


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

114 thoughts on “Individuality

  1. Very nice! The bird really stands out.

  2. Well explained and nicely processed.

  3. So true. One need to add element or effect to the image to have that “individuality”. Thats why a professional makes it so special than an amateur photographer.

  4. Nice job, Laura…on the picture taking and on the editing! Your editing definitely captures the emotions you were feeling. You’re very gifted!

  5. Oh my, I love the rework! And do not ask me why, but my first response to the photo was it looks so Presidential, as in US Presidents’ portraits. Really cool!

  6. I really like this, Laura. You are right, there are a lot of gull images out there. But yours is special. This may sound nuts, but I really like what you did with the guano. I actually gave up on a gull image that I liked, except for the guano. I might have to give it another try after seeing this one. Nice work!

  7. This is the only time I’ll ever say this, but that birds mess looks impressive 🙂

  8. Photo looks hand-painted–and that is great. Sharp focus doesn’t always convey the emotion of the moment. So, this shot looks like the gull will be there for awhile.

  9. Very helpful, Laura! Sometimes, I have hard time to dark the background completely if it’s not little dark already. Thank you for explaining it!

  10. Leanne you are amazing! What a wonderful pic ..

  11. Oh laura .. I have no idea why I typed Leanne! Love this pic LAURA 😀

  12. Absolutely stunning, Laura! The painting effect is brilliant!

  13. I agree that a picture can be a little bit “too perfect” and in doing so the moment (or location) is diluted and devoid of feeling.

  14. Just precious, Laura. Stunning job you did on your seagull. I too have been experimenting, going beyond what I know. The Rose today in fact, featured on Petals, is edited in a totally new way. I was after soft, muted, gentle, with the Rose simply BEing in soft muted colors. If I showed you the original you would know I really worked it, just like I can tell, you did here. Brava! We both venture in unknown territories. Good for us!!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

  15. Love the outcome! Need to dare to experiment more…

  16. Beautiful developmental achievement of your visualization at capture. This is what it’s all about. I can feel the turmoil out at sea and the (temporary?) safe haven your gull has found on a sheltered perch that many of his kind have savored before.

  17. really like this one.
    i agree with the quote.

  18. for me photography is 50% 50%…
    50% taking the photo & 50% processing.

  19. when some one says: “oh, waht a pretty flower”…
    they don’t really see the flower.
    it is the experience of the flower and the viewer…this is what all great photographers know. that is the essence.

  20. This my friend is art – true art!

  21. Great job! Being able to get the image that you see in your head is what post-processing is all about.

  22. It certainly works for me. And I love your explanation as I love following the process, and an explanation takes away the guesswork. Thanks again.

  23. Ace shot, Laura. The emotions were well thought out, and the fact that the seagull doesn’t look particularly happy just adds to the gloomy feel of the photo. The painterly effect worked so well. You make the bird look very pretty, and also the rock that it is standing on. I’m guessing the white bits were meant to be water. So good, awesome work 🙂 ❤

  24. Laura, I love what you’ve written in your post and I love what you’ve done to your photo. Both have opened my eyes to how I might look at processing my own photos in the future. This is a gorgeous shot, almost haunting in a way. And love Color Efex!

  25. great paint effect…a memory oftenis not that realistic. Well done. I believe a great photographer should try to create a style of their own. You certainly are doing that. I am learning…

  26. Lovely, Laura. It’s fascinating how painters once tried to emulate the camera and now it is the other way round

  27. A great post Laura! I really like what you’ve said here and also the way you’ve processed the photo! 🙂

  28. Excellent image, Laura. The use of painterly effects all too often are overdone, but the subtle use of the technique here shows that you have a deft touch.

  29. What’s a perfectly balanced photo? Did he mean technically perfect and not violating any of the well known “rules” of composition?

  30. Very dramatic. Love the lighting

  31. You are a talented lady, lauramacky. You made the gull look like an eagle. Photography – it’s all in the eye. So keep them open.

  32. the painterly approach is great … and whoever commented about even the bird mess being impressive is right 🙂

  33. Lovely processing and your explanation makes it that much more impactful!


  34. So stunning Laura. Love your approach to making the image so memorable, particularly the painterly approach. Bravo 🙂

  35. Jonathan Livingston lives again 🙂

  36. as we move from photography into the murky world of art…….da da daaa! 😛

  37. Laura, I agree with your philosophy about enjoying photography as more of an art rather than a recording of what we’ve witnessed. I love what you do with your pictures. it inspires me.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  38. I love how you’ve taken your photo into an artistic foray. It looks wonderful. Very brooding in fact.

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