Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


Before and After (2 images)

Last post I short-changed everyone by not having the before image for you to compare against the processed one, so here’s another image I saved from deletion by processing it in Photoshop.  This time I have the “before”!

By the way, this was processed entirely in Photoshop with no filter plugins except for noise reduction with Topaz Denoise.

Window Light in the Evening @ Lake Merritt

Window Light in the Evening @ Lake Merritt





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


I’ve Gotta be Me!

Below is one more image from my Lake Merritt outing the other day.  I have to say that I totally enjoy taking architecture photos whether it be closer up or in a cityscape like this and need to do more of it.  There is something really fun about figuring out how to compose the shot with buildings in a skyline like this, what settings to use and how to present the image uniquely in Photoshop.

For this image I didn’t use any plug-in filters, only photoshop.  I’m learning how to achieve a lot of those preset looks myself  which is really fun because one filter preset usually contains several individual effects in Photoshop.

In any case, what I’ve learned is that I really have to be myself when it comes to processing photos.  When I’m smiling and getting excited about the direction I’m going in processing a photo, that’s where I need to stay instead of thinking “oh, will people think this is too much?” or “I need to hold back”.   While every image doesn’t work nor appeal to everyone, the more I push in the direction that makes me happy, the more I know I’m on the right track.  Full steam ahead I say!  (insert train whistle noise)

Hope you all have a fantastic day!

Lake Merritt with the Crow Canyon Clickers

Lake Merritt with the Crow Canyon Clickers