Visual noise and going off the core message

One of the aspects of the digital revolution has been the ability to take lots of pictures unrestricted by the length of a film.  This means that frame 37 (possibly the last? on a roll of 36 exposures) takes longer to come up. To follow the analogy through hence to change the film or in our case the card.

A downside of the ever-increasing numbers of exposures taken on any one day is the time and effort it takes to edit the wheat from the chaff. We all create our own visual noise, be it in terms of pure numbers of exposures taken or lack of a singular personal vision. We so easily confuse ourselves by going off the core message of what we want to say as individual photographers. That presumes there is a core message in the back our your head to stray from. I will leave you to complete the next sentence about wether you have a core message or not.

I found this file a few days ago and immediately saw its potential with Lith process.

The picture above is a case in point, it’s from my second visit to Blackpool Bus Station to take pictures. On the first visit I concentrated on the graffiti most of which is visually pleasing, but not a subject particularly for B&W photography maybe?

This picture relies on the backlighting of the woman pushing the buggy and the two buses. The light is being bounced off the concrete wall across the road, the sun wasn’t shining from memory it was a dull day.

Compositionally the design is based on a central vertical line and a horizontal line under the buses. The picture is balanced around the woman and the buggy, if there were not a bus on either side it would not be balanced. The picture is also tonally balanced with darker tones on the buses and the lettering on the road.

I purposely focused on the foreground knowing the Lensbaby at f2 would render the background as a blur. The camera was set to record Raw files of 5mp each. Why record a 21mp file when the intention is to make an A3 print at lowish dpi?

Post-production – The digital Lith process offers a wide range of possible colour combinations provided you know what you want. I am beginning to favour using Hue & Saturation (H&S) adjustment layers in Photoshop to add the colours because Lightroom only allows you to split tone ie. two colours, one in the highlights and one in the shadows. With any number of H&S layers possible in Photoshop the colours are completely controllable.

This example has three colours – gold/yellow and pink in the highlights and a cool blue tone in the shadows. Notice in the Lith process the grain added with SEP2 has not been allowed in the highlights, this is correct.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

12 responses to Visual noise and going off the core message

    • andybeel says:

      Hi Marianne of the six or seven shots in this direction this one seemed to work the best. Thanks for the appreciation. Andy


  1. andybeel says:

    Thanks to each of you for your kind comments of appreciation.

    I often wonder wether anybody reads the words or not. It’s clear to me that you do read the words and find them helpful and thats very gratifying to me.


  2. Jack Brewis says:

    A very good article Andy, and excellent shot. Just subscribed (finally) to your blog and look forward to reading some more soon.


  3. I love this image – so balanced, and so intriguing. Separating the visual wheat from the chaff has always been an issue for me, and I suspect it will continue to worsen.


    • andybeel says:

      Hi thanks for the kind comments. It looks like to me from a glance at your blog that you know which way to point the camera and when to press the button, the bather shot is great.



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