adj. ee·ri·er, ee·ri·est
How does an image denote “eerie.”
Is it subject? Composition? Light? Focus? Colour palatte? Or – as is likely – some combination of all of the above.
It was with with some pessimism that I went through my photo archive looking for an image for this week’s Daily Post photo challenge. The shot illustrating the post was awesome – Merilee Mitchell‘s “Ghost Child” – for me this photograph absolutely exemplifies the word “eerie.”
In the archive I found shots of graveyards and old churches and of isolated places taken at the beginning and end of the day; many, I thought could be called moody. I also found quite a few of myself reflected in objects I was photographing – a poster in an art gallery, a bus shelter and a jar of pickled onions. They had an ethereal quality, but were they eeerie? In the case of the pickled onion shot I think the word is “creepy.”
I find isolated places a bit sinister anyway, so those were the shots I gravitated towards. An abandoned church with the door partially ajar ticked quite a few of my “eerie” boxes for subject and composition, but my original photo wasn’t particularly eerie.
Rendering it in black and white helped, but I think this shot, filtered and with the focus changed, does “eerie” much better.
Photo editing is quite new to me; apart from a few brightness and colour adjustments, it’s something I’ve only really begun exploring as a “fun” thing on my iPad. But it seemed to me that if composition and subject matter weren’t enough to make my photographs eerie, then perhaps I could use some basic editing tools to create the mood I wanted. In particular I found a filter in Aviary Ultimate Photo Editor that gives a violet-y colour which seems to denote eerie quite nicely. The other thing I’ve done is play with the focus to blur the edges of the photos.
Here are the results. I’m interested in what you think.
After using the same filter on a whole series of photos, I decided to go back and re-edit without it; playing instead only with saturation and focus. The shot above benefited most from this.
What do you think makes an image eerie? Join the challenge by clicking the link here, or enjoy some of the posts I found captured the theme well: