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


A bit on panoramas…

Sorry….I know I posted earlier but I’m excited!

I’m excited because tomorrow afternoon I’m taking my camera club for a tour in a beautiful church.  I’ve taken a couple pictures there before and wondered how I could present a new look that would be different from my previous shots.  Enter idea:  Panorama!

While mostly panoramas are thought of for landscapes, I’ve been reading up on panoramas used for architecture so that’s what I plan on doing tomorrow.  Let’s pray it works out!  Hmm…well I’ll be in a church so praying would be so perfect, right???  🙂

To prepare for my momentous occasion, I tested it out today with the landscape shot below.  While I know it’s different for architecture, I wanted to make sure I knew the best camera settings and how to stitch them together in photoshop.  I know Lightroom does this and I tested it out there.  While it’s ok, I preferred to open my layers in photoshop and create the panorama from there.  In this way I could create a smart object and go back and redo something if it didn’t work out.

It was fun to get myself situated so that I know what I’m doing tomorrow somewhat.  I can’t wait to find out how it goes.  I plan on taking some regular shots just in case lol.

And naturally this image has my own twist to it with its colorization.  🙂

Panorama Test

Panorama Test



Expanding Horizons – Size Contrast

One of the types of contrasts I’ve been focusing on lately is contrast in size of elements within the frame.  Notice how huge the cloud is and notice the inclusion of smaller elements like trees and ponds in the frame.  This contrast in size provides interest to the eye and conveys “majesty” or “awe” in an image.  (Or at least attempts to lol.)

If I were to photograph the large cloud only, against a hill with no trees for example, it most likely wouldn’t be as interesting as showing it with smaller elements because you wouldn’t fully appreciate the cloud’s magnitude.  You might’ve noticed size contrast in my last post of Drakes Beach in which the tiny people were shown against the huge sheared cliff shoreline.

I hope you enjoy the image and found the post helpful!  Have a wonderful Thursday!

Expanding Horizons - Size Contrast

Expanding Horizons – Size Contrast