Friday, September 11, 2009

Signs, miraculous or just cruel?

Signs are a wonderful source of photographic inspiration. Whether its the mangled English on signs that have been shockingly translated, weird efforts by graphic artists to represent complex ideas with stick figures or times, like now, where the signs themselves are pretty mundane but their positioning is really funny.

I literally stumbled on this as I jumped back from the edge of a platform in San Diego, California. As I tripped (because as you can see the platform was all buckled) I looked to see what was going on and I saw this. Instantly I just sat down and started laughing and laughing. Then, obviously I took the picture.

I was really late at night so the aperture is wide open, iso high and it was still a slow shutter so I was relying on the Sony's in camera stabilisation. It worked pretty well but not great. Therefore I've processed this pretty heavily in Lightroom using a Dragan preset I downloaded from the net. I sometimes wonder if this kind of processing is a bit of a 'cheat' using tricks and faux grittiness to hide basic flaws in the shot. But you know what I dont care that much because its not a competition. When I take photos its to make and image not to prove myself. I think the only duty I owe is to be honest about how I took the shot and made the image.

I cant remember where I got the preset from and I feel a bit of a thief not giving the guy who put it together a credit here. Also I suppose I should also credit Andrzej Dragan who "invented" (or at least popularised) this look.

Also I dont know if its a mitigating or aggravating factor that I didnt really copy Dragan because I found, downloaded and used the preset before I knew anything about the guy's work it was based on. It was only when I started this blog piece I figured I should do a little more research.

All in all I promise to fulfill my artistic duty and takl a little more about the creator of the preset I've used and the photographeer who inspired the look very soon.

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