<<< o >>>candy bar 37 comments + add yours

First of all, thanks for all the wonderful comments on yesterday's entry. As I write this it has 130 comments, tied for first place with this one. I have to say, though I like it a lot, that I didn't expect anywhere near such a positive response, but I guess that it struck a chord with a lot of you in much the same way as it did for me.

Anyway, I did intend to put up another kite shot today, that I also like, but after yesterday I don't think I want to post them back-to-back. So here's something slightly different.

As for post-processing – and I mean this comment generally, not specifically in relation to this shot – my own view is that there isn't any photograph you could show me that isn't post-processed in one way or another: the tonal response of the paper on which it's printed, the colour balance of the screen on which it's viewed, the particular effects of development time, and so on, and so on, and so on – all of these are post-processing, and using Photoshop on a digital image isn't any different to the myriad of decisions that go into the making of any photographic image.

The bottom line, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that there is no such thing as unmediated perception, not when I or you look at something (when our memories affect the way we see something, etc), and certainly not when we photograph it. It's all one big interpretive effort the important bit of which is the end result. Are you left with some sort of artefact that's evocative? Is the end result worth looking at or not? If the answer's yes, then the amount of post-processing is, for me, a total irrelevance.

11.41pm on 2/8/05

Canon 20D

EF 17-40 f/4L USM

25mm (40mm equiv.)



aperture priority






C1 Pro


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter

3x2 + piers [Central pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Andrew at 08:11 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

I very much like the colours of this one. Very rich. Very simple. And I've always found it hard to make a good composition out of shooting something like this from such an angle, and you've done it quite well.

comment by sanjin at 08:18 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

except the nice "summery" colours, i can't really say much about this photo. maybe i'm just trying to compare it to yesterday's shot ;)

comment by Thomas Alexander at 08:19 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Great colours. Reminds me of the 80s somehow. Very stylish and clean.

comment by Dana at 08:20 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Nice shot. I can't wait to see the next kite photo though! ;)

comment by KeirAyres at 08:29 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

A technically nice shot Dave, but I'm sorry it just doesn't do anything for me (but we can't expect greatness every day)

comment by Mikelangelo at 08:34 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

It's a fun pic. I like. I really enjoy the colors. Here's a question... for a picture like this... how much time do you spend on post-processing? How much time for yesterday's Kite picture? Just curious. Very nice pic!

comment by kathy at 08:44 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

i like that the colors are simple - white & primary. and i like the clean lines and the perspective.

comment by djn1 at 08:57 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Oddly, I like this one almost as much as yesterday's, but for totally different reasons. I guess that's the beauty of photography/art though: that while we might share some assumptions about what's good and what's not, at other times we'll differ and come to totally different conclusions.

comment by Emma at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Another great image - I love the neon sign in the middle of the very 'beach blue' sky and paint.

With regards to Post processing - I really don't see the issue. With traditional black and white photography there is often plenty of post processing in the dark room to correct exposure, bring out contrast, enhance the tonal quality etc. - so why should digital be any different?

I guess some people think that you can turn an average image into an outstanding one, but I personally don't think that's true. I don't think you can turn a bad image into a good one, so most of us will make every effort to get the image spot on during the moment of capture. That said - most of my images will have the levels tweaked as standard. But that's just my six eggs worth :P

comment by owen at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

I really like the clean, bold colours in this one.

comment by Arthur at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Good to read your thoughts, and to see that you agree that—as I alluded to in yesterday's comment—evocation is more important than some kind of ‘purity’!

Nice shot again—still can’ get over how deeply saturated you get things without a hint of posterisation. Great.

comment by Arthur at 09:27 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

sorry... missed the ‘t’ in ‘can’t’

comment by dcr at 09:31 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

I completely agree with your comments about post-processing. I think the current digital nature of photography has brought the "technical" ability to process ("alter") photographic images to many more people. But as with any art form, there is still a significant gap between the abilities of the artist and the layman. Although I could easily purchase canvas and paints from the local art supply shop, you certainly would not enjoy my paintings as much those of more well known artists.

comment by djn1 at 09:36 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

Emma: I agree. Post-processing can improve most images but it can't make a great image out of a poor one. If that were the case I wouldn't have any trouble finding things to put up: I've taken over 11,000 pictures since I got my 20D ten months ago and every single shot that I'm happy with has gone up on chromasia. Of the remaining 10,700 or so there were some that I might have been able to salvage, but not all that many. This leaves me with a hit-rate of about 3%, which isn't great now I've worked it out, but it does say something about what can and cannot be post-processed into something worth viewing.

Arthur: thanks. As for posterisation: up until the point that I use 'Save for Web' I work in 16bit mode – I do think it makes a difference to the tonal/colour quality of the final image.

comment by John [shots] at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

I like this image a lot too.

I agree with the comments by Emma and I find it hard to believe that many people still feel as though digital post processing is somehow cheating or misrepresenting the actual scene as it was when it was captured.

The only images that I do not want altering are journalistic images and that is for obvious reasons

At the end of the day like djn says, the photos we make are linked to our individual lives experience to date (I know mine are) and from that point of view this is one of the reasons why not one of us will ever be able to truly emulate other photographers work.

comment by paul at 11:03 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2005

wonderful composition. I also like bars... ;)

comment by Rob at 12:09 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Wholeheartedly agree with your opening comments.

Excellent colours in this one, the similarity with the sky is amazing. Another of my chromasia favs - and there are many of them.

comment by Corey Koberg at 12:30 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

I agree 95% with your comments on post-processing. However, I think of the example of travel photography. When I see a picture in a magazine with a place that has a gorgeous, vivid landscape (Italy, Ireland, etc.) and think "wow, I'd like to go there".

But when you show up and find drab scenery only to discover the photo was simply over-saturated you can't help but feel a bit "lied to". Post processing is not allowed in "hard" journalism (for the most part), but is quite the norm in fashion/travel magazines.

I realzie Chromasia is NOT journalism of any sort so this doesn't apply, but just wanted to show a case where the gray area is interesting to ponder.

comment by john at 12:31 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

I'm constantly amazed at how you can take an ordinary thing and elevate it like this. Again, fantastic.

As for post-processing, I couldn't agree with you more. This debate comes up constantly in photographic circles, doesn't it? I've seen this question so many times that I usually pass on it when it comes around again. The world seems to be divided into film vs. digital, "purists" vs. "photoshoppers" -- and it's really just the ages-old debate "old way" vs. "new way," right?

I wonder if some of the people who look down on digital/post-processed photographs do so because they think that using photoshop is easy, that anyone can do it -- because one can do it on a computer, there must not be any skill involved -- so they dismiss it. Is digital "developing" faster than film developing? Sure. Easier? Well, less messy, certainly. Better or worse? That question misses the point, entirely.

comment by Sharla at 12:41 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

djn, not surprised you like this one as it has much of your classic elements in it, the geometrical composition that you like and the off-tilt subject you do so well. Those are qualities that constantly challenge me to study and to break from the perfectly squared (and boring) shots that come all too easily.

An observation about PS: we use PS and color the way many of us used to use the darkroom and b&w. It was much easier to manipulate in b&w because the medium was very forgiving - temperature changes, over/underexposure, over/under agitation, trying different chemicals. Color film was too exact, too little tonal range, and any slight deviation in processing meant color shifts or worse.

PS brings to digital color much (and more) of the lattitude that was available in film b&w.

(The obvious can be so hard to see.)

comment by Chad Mullis at 02:11 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Very long time voyeur, first time commenter . . . love the primary contrast, composition, and color saturation -- indeed this sky tone is everyday real in the high desert of southern New Mexico, USA where I live. I am constantly impressed by how well your PS saturation efforts match regular daylight conditions here, especially in light of my experiences of low light levels and angles I have experienced in England and Scotland. In short, from my world, "What post processing?"

I especially appreciate your evocations -- the recent series of juxtapositions with John, non-famialial faces, and your ever intriguing and stimulating fascination with off-line geometries -- balancing subtle with saturated, tense with tepid, soft with sharp.

Thanks for blessing me with the anticipation for tomorrow's visit, and always rewarding my anticipation.

comment by Lee at 06:48 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Awesome vivid colors!

As far as your comment regarding post-processing - WELL SAID!

I enjoy seeing your interpretation of reality...so much more interesting than seeing what the dig. processors on the camera and screen throw up!

comment by lisa at 07:02 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

it seems like such a simple shot and it looks nice still. I really enjoy the angle (or maybe direction is a better word.. I don't know) that you've got here.

comment by Geoff Powell at 08:33 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Great colours, even better composition. A classic Chromasia shot. :)

comment by jean philippe at 08:43 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

nice one.

some 80's pop poster feelings.

comment by Jad Zouein at 08:57 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

hi there,
yet another great composition, i'm a daily guest and love the design in the photography. Very few do this, great job.

comment by quinten at 09:07 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

(didn't read previous comments)

I wouldn't worry about the post processing, it's not sceintific registration of a certain moment but creating something nice to look at right? Wheter you paint your negs with pencils or totally change them in photoshop why would people let that effect their experience when looking at something? I love your pictures and that's what matters to me.

BTW I know you once mentioned you'd explain some things about your vivid colours in some pictures I am just wondering wheter you've did that (not to place you under any kind of pressure but I just don't read all comment boxes, I do look at all your pictures though;)
Maybe you already do so but for me a polarisation filter on my digicam does great things to colours already, things I can't get in PS.

comment by INoxKrow at 12:46 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Great Colours

comment by Andy Brockhurst at 01:29 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Excellent, I've been lurking for sometime, (pre-bbc), this weekend I'm off to Blackpool, with camera (oh yeah and the wife!).

I love your skyline and sand shot's. I'll be trying (probably in vain) to see what I can do in your neck of the woods.

comment by Edouard lapot at 01:51 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

Très impressionnant (really impressive)

Execpted may be the sand who don't match (imo) very well with the rest of the picture.

But it remains a great photography.

I read you're in education. Don't you want to turn your photographic skills into a full time job ?

All the best,

Edouard lapot

comment by Odilia Liuzzi at 03:01 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

love it..good yellow!

comment by acey at 05:06 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

great blog matey, keep it up. :)

comment by justin dc at 05:14 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

I like how this photo feels slightly abstract or two dimensional--it's all about shapes, colors and lines. Very well done. {And I totally agree with you on the perception & processing topic...}

comment by andy at 07:47 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2005

I think it's funny when the so-called "purists" insist on displaying only what they call unprocessed images "straight from the camera." I'm not sure these people realize what processing goes on in the camera, including many elements that are adjustable in-camera like sharpness, contrast and color. What's the difference, really?

You put into words my views on processing photographs very eloquently. Thanks.

comment by Brian at 01:30 AM (GMT) on 11 August, 2005

The shapes, lines and colors are all wonderful here. I'm glad that many of your readers (though I did not read yesterday's overwhelming number of comments) seem to agree with you on your post-processing stance. I love inspiring and beautiful images (or even dark and dramatic ones). The shapes/lines/colors that dominate in many of your shots are always fantastic, and I'm not sure I always entirely understand the 'purist' POV behind these.

Corey makes a good argument for the purist side when it comes to portrayals that we actually expect/need to be realistic. But whenever a purist complains about processing, I often wonder whether there is another underlying reason behind their complaints. My experience has been that the digital camera often does NOT record things exactly how I had perceived them when I pressed the shutter release, and oftentimes PS work is needed JUST to get back to that point (though taking it further is certainly acceptable and understandable as well).

comment by Vincent Wang at 01:46 PM (GMT) on 11 August, 2005

Hi, I love your photos! Some of the images appear lonely to me... and the solitude feeling reminds me of Edward Hopper’s paintings.

comment by Tim Walker at 02:59 PM (GMT) on 11 August, 2005

I couldn't agree more with the commenter who said your images remind him of Hopper paintings. I'll second that. There is a rich, almost painterly quality to the color that I've just not seen in anyone else's photographs. You do really nice work.