Lens-Artists Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favorite


“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow.”

H.G. Wells

Here in the U.S., the phrase “Your underwear is showing” is used when others see something we’d prefer they didn’t. This week we’re hoping you’ll show us a few images that may not have met your original expectations but that through editing you’ve turned into “keepers”. For example, I edited my opening image using a texture overlay around the edges to emphasize the ethereal quality of the flowers. It is also cropped to focus on the heart of the image and the morning dew. Its original (along with all of my other originals) is shown at the end of today’s post.

bouquet of dead leaves

“Our ancestors have invented, we can at least innovate.”

Amit Kalantri

I created the leaf image above for a photography class focused on extracting a subject from a larger group of subjects. The idea was to find and capture beauty where it was least expected. For my submission I used a group of dead leaves I’d gathered from the ground. The black background was extended via photoshop, as was a bit of added contrast. The contrast brought some vibrance to the subject and protected the reflection in the lower part of the image.


“If something is perfect, then there is nothing left. There is no room for imagination.”

Tite Kubo

I have a clear memory of the sunrise shown in the image above, which was quite simply astoundng. The location is about 90 minutes’ drive from my home, followed by a bit of a hike to the location. To arrive and be ready to shoot before dawn is quite a commitment for a night owl like me. I went with a friend / fellow-photographer which gave me some extra motivation. I’ve often said that if I’m waking that early there had better be a heck of a show 😊, and what a show it was! Not only was it glorious, but a year later a hurricane destroyed the very small beach and took down all of the trees that had stood in the water. Timing, as always, is everything. As you’ll see in my original, the only edit was removing branches from the image edges to allow the single tree to stand alone.


“Practice does not make perfect. Imperfect makes us practice.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Speaking of trees, the copse above is meant to illustrate what happens when your subject is too far away for a “foot zoom”. This particular grouping stood on the opposite side of a large lagoon, which held the reflection I visualized as a key element for a circular composition. Fortunately, today’s technology delivers large enough files to allow cropping when positioning oneself simply isn’t possible. I framed the circle with a square crop, and because the colors of the day were drab and flat, used Nik Silver Efex Pro to convert the scene to B&W.


“We make our discoveries through our mistakes.”

Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

Earlier this year I photographed the family of a good friend’s daughter. The timing was built around the baby’s schedule – thereby putting us in mid-day sun on a beautiful but highlight-filled day. I cropped the image, removed the post of an umbrella I’d used to shade the scene, and did some P/S work on the blown out sky. Fortunately the little one was an adorable, happy baby, thereby making the day much more fun than it otherwise might have been.

As many of us mentioned in last week’s posts, photography is more about “seeing” than shooting. Used effectively, editing can help us to realize our vision by overcoming technical challenges and/or by facilitating our artistic interpretations. I’ve included the originals of today’s images below, despite my reluctance to “show my underwear” 🙂. Here’s hoping you’re willing to share similar experiences demonstrating your use of editing to improve results. Please remember to link to my original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

We very much enjoyed your responses to Amy’s “Photography Journey” challenge last week. It was great fun learning more about all of you – where you started and the paths you’ve followed to arrive where you are today. We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be hosted by Sheetal of Sheetal Thinks Aloud. Be sure to check out her ever-interesting blog and watch for her post next Saturday at noon EST. Until then, stay safe and be kind.


195 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favorite

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