Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Discovering the Art


Ever since I visited The Accademia in Florence where I saw Michelangelo’s “The David” along with other sculptures of his, I’ve always been reminded of a powerful quote by that amazing artist which is:  “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

While I’m not a sculptor, I think of this quote almost every time before I delete an image off my computer and declare it unusable.  Maybe it looks too dark or is not properly exposed or maybe it just looks lifeless.  Sometimes there is art inside even if it doesn’t seem like it, but how do we reveal it???

The number one reason I’m able to “save an image” or actually “reveal what is hiding in the image” is that I always shoot in RAW.  Shooting in raw gives me a lot more information to work with in post processing and is the number one reason I can work with a photo and create so many different effects.  But honestly, I wouldn’t let that dissuade you if you don’t have a fancy camera.  Even shooting with the iPhone can prove to be an artistic mini journey with all the apps that are out there.  (If you want, you can check out my Instagram for all my iPhone photography which are all taken and edited on the iPhone.  No photoshop involved.)

Basically if I took a picture of something, I wanted to take that picture for a reason whether it be the color, light, sky, details, strong composition, reflection, etc.  So when viewing one of these seemingly bland images on my computer, I consciously ask myself what attracted me to the scene?  It’s usually not just an overall appeal…there is usually a component (or components) that compelled me to take the picture in the first place; therefore, those are the components I try to bring out in the editing process.

Ahh…the unique greenish-blueish luminescence of the church….the early evening glow in the sky….the light on the buildings, the details of the windows, the green grass lining the lake, the reflection….there is an image wanting to be seen and felt.  It just needs to be coaxed out sometimes.

(p.s. – I inadvertently deleted the original otherwise I would’ve pasted it here as well.  It was contrasty and a bit dark…I’m laughing!  I usually have the original in my PSD file.  Maybe I need ANOTHER post on not deleting things.  LOL!!!!)


Lake Merritt with the Crow Canyon Clickers

Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

55 thoughts on “Discovering the Art

  1. Too bad about the original. Sometimes it happens. This Lake Merritt photo is beautiful, Laura. xo

  2. Striking and surreal looking Laura. Love the pastels~

  3. This looks amazing!

  4. I love the picture. And I get that process. Every now and then I think I should delete some of the old pictures. But there have already been so many times that I came along a picture in my archive I would have deleted that suddenly speaks out and wants to be dealt with. Coaxed, as you say. And out comes a picture I love and I am amazed…. Perception is a very very small thing compared to what’s really out there….

    • I wondered how many other people felt the same way, so glad to know I’m not alone! It’s what I love so much about photoshop…the ability to exaggerate what is really out there…like you said about perception. Fun stuff! Thanks for your comments. 🙂

      • Any time. Do you also remember when you first realized this is the way it works for you? I mean you are doing that for much longer than I have…. My moment was this picture:
        I call it my break-through-picture because the original was foggy, even greenish, and, in short, a disappointment. Now it’s one of my favorites….

        • I love that picture Melanie. It’s almost painterly which you know I love. I went to my flickr stream and looked at my pictures and knew exactly which one once I saw it. It’s this one. I think it was the first time I did a painterly style. It was taken in 2013 which was still sort of new in my taking pictures and definitely new in my post processing. I remember this one because I had taken 1 class with a photo tutor in 2014 and he had mentioned this photo and said that it was artistic. So I always viewed this image as a springboard to be more artistic. Now that I wrote a novel…..

          • Thanks for showing that. Two pictures, two people but kind of the same feeling! That’s exactly how I felt about my wintry tree. I like the artsy look two, although you are a little braver there than I am. But it’s a question of personal style, so maybe ‘brave’ is not the right word. Just different 😉
            Oh, don’t worry about writing novels. I’d rather read long comments than novels 😀

          • You’re welcome! And that’s the beauty of art. We all have different styles. Glad you didn’t mind reading a long comment! Hope you have an awesome day. 🙂

  5. I often ask myself the same thing about an image…what the heck was I thinking when I shot this? But as I never delete, I can always go back to older files to bring out something…even if the original reason for taking the shot is lost. (I have about 7TB of storage BTW)

  6. I am like you, Laura. A lot of the time I wonder why I took a particular shot in a moment in time and I can’t understand why I took it. I don’t delete any of my shots but back them up into two hard drives, both in JPEG and RAW. Been shooting in RAW for about year but I still haven’t gotten around to learning how to post-process RAW 😀

    • Do you have any adobe products? One of Adobe’s Products is Adobe Bridge. You can open that up alone and use Camera Raw to do some basic adjustments or you can open Camera Raw within Photoshop. Or you can use Lightroom which has more adjustments than Camera Raw. The trick is that the programs (no matter which one) has to have your camera profile as part of its preferences otherwise it won’t be able to read your raw file. Just a small bit of info on that! Thanks so much Mabel. I hope soon you’ll be able to dive into the raw processing.

      • I have Adobe Elements on my laptop, and over the last year I’ve only got so far as learning how to use the lasso tool to select images and make them brighter. The photos on my blog and Instagram are edited with Picasa.

        Thanks for that, Laura. Haven’t heard of Adobe Bridge and gave it a google. Sounds easy to navigate. Hopefully time permits soon. I’m really keen on blending images together and doing composite images.

        • I think elements has adobe bridge. In your elements, camera raw might be accessible under filters as well. I know elements is slightly different than the full blown photoshop but I’m not sure about that one. Have fun and happy editing!! 😀

  7. Another wonderful cityscape.

  8. Love this post! What app do you use on your iPhone? I keep trying different apps but am not in love with anything just yet! LOL

  9. Did you really take this shot with a phone? Woow

    • No not this one. This was with my Nikon. I was just me mentioning that you don’t have to have a fancy camera like my Nikon to do something beautiful with photos

  10. Powerful post, Laura. You made me laugh because I just went into my toss out file and reinstated what I deleted. There is always something I can find salvagable in any photograph, even the oops ones. Your waterfront series have been incrdible to view. Just LOVE how you edited them. ❤

  11. You revealed a beautiful silky light💕

  12. Wonderful image and great post, Laura. Love the light in this shot.

  13. I shoot RAW+Jpeg when I use the SLR. I also use the Coolpix a lot, which means that I also shoot Jpeg.
    Currently , I do use a selfie stick as well… not for traditional selfies.
    My phone is an old Samsung, because I broke my old one twice. I refuse to buy an IPhone. My next phone may be a OnePlusX

  14. LOL with you at the idea a post on deleting things. I suspect we can all relate to similar disasters. Thanks for reminding me of my visit to the Accademia and seeing the David. Even though I was so familiar with this iconic work from photographs, as I suspect we all are, seeing it in real life simply took my breath away. That’s an idea for a post maybe? 🙂 Have a great week.

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