DP Photo Challenge: experimental

Awhitu Central Church, Awhitu Peninsula, NZ. Colour image, edited with soft-focus. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Awhitu Central Church, Awhitu Peninsula, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Experiment:Β A scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.

There are lots of way to experiment in photography; many in-camera (aperture, shutter speed, etc) and many more in post-processing (everything from cropping to applying filters).

Most of the time, most of us would probably say we experiment to make a “better” photograph. This of course raises the question of what makes one image better than another. Much of it is technical stuff: is it in focus? Grainy? Blurry? Have we managed not to cut granny off at the neck? Is the horizon actually horizontal?

But beyond that, how do we feel about an image? What emotion does it evoke? What story does it tell — about the subject? About the photographer?

Photography is a language which — whether we realise it or not — we are all quite adept at reading. Constant exposure to professionally produced photographic images (still and moving) in newspapers, magazine editorial, advertising, TV shows and movies — and more recently social media — has developed our photographic literacy.

So my experiment for the Daily Post’s Experimental Photo Challenge is to take a single image and create multiple edits. Do these differences in editing affect how you read the image?

You tell me?

50 thoughts on “DP Photo Challenge: experimental

  1. Such a lovely church building. Has a very northern feel to it (Scaninavian / Icelandic). I often feel that the saturation of (often very poor) images on social media has dumbed down art appreciation. Nowadays everyone is a photographer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t realise that about the architecture before, but you are right (thank you Google). I wonder if the fact that it’s wooden is part of the reason? It was built as a Presbyterian church, and in design isn’t that different to many little Scots churches I’ve seen.

      I know what you mean about photographic saturation; but interestingly, when I was writing my Masters thesis about film-making (last century), I had to address the debate at the time on whether photography could be considered art! Two steps forward, one step back perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whilst I try not to do too much editing of photos something will always need to be done. It can make or break a photo in some cases, in others it is simply a different viewpoint of a great photo. Some interesting thoughts and a lovely photo to do it demonstrate.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks Anabel. I picked that photo partly because, un-edited, it was actually quite boring. A nice little church on a sunny day. Ho hum.

      I had originally thought of writing first lines for different “stories” the edited images might illustrate, and seeing where it took people. But I ran out of time, so may have to come back to this. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ™‚ Thank you. I am really interested in the history of NZ churches, especially in rural areas. Everywhere we drive, we see lovely little wooden churches, many abandoned or deconsecrated. The Awhitu Central church is still used for worship, unlike the others on the Peninsula. I took the shot a few months ago, to document the church, but thought it was a bit dull as a photo. I was glad to have a chance to play with it, and I guess my own feelings about the church — which you’ve picked up on πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. I hadn’t read your post, but agree with you. I miss church bells too. The local Anglican church when I was growing up had a wonderful bell tower and I remember that aural marker in our Sunday mornings. It was probably rung at other times, but it’s the morning peals I remember (probably because my brothers and I were being shepherded off to our own church).
          The Big T’s family has strong links to Hororata, and I’ve loved visiting St Johns (pre-earthquake). I understand it is still closed while the parish fund-raises for repair. 😦

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          • Yes, I think it is still waiting for repair. I love going past St Paul’s these days. It looks so good, an d sometimes when I am at home I can hear the bells, if the wind is in the right direction. I am so happy to know that you are recording your vision of the churches as they are today.

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  4. Pingback: WPC: Experimental | Lillie-Put

  5. Excellent interpretation, Su. The post processing reveals different possibilities to make a simple church so beautiful, I just came back from Iceland and my first thought was that it could have been taken there. There are more similarities among the countries though, like black sand pebble beach, geysers…

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  6. So cool! You already know how much I love your editing and this series is so very awesome! Some pictures remind me of postcards, others of magazine illustrations of the 50’s and others of a Hitchcock movie – so yes, it’s obvious that every picture tells a different story; at least to me. πŸ˜„ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes they do. I love them all. Two feel like they belong to a period piece – old photo, period show, etc. Some feel welcoming, a few feel a bit dark – like maybe the church was connected to something horrible, and a few feel very peaceful. Great questions.

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  8. Thank you. I’m so glad the edits made you think about the image differently. I think it’s actually a pretty happy church. It is used for regular worship and well-maintained. It has a community!


  9. Hi, they’re all very beautiful but don’t evoke different emotional responses. More about visual interest than feeling. I’ve written a lot about variations photography, it’s my thing, you can see on my site. Basically I think it’s fun for the photographer to do an array of edits, and generous to share several versions from one capture.


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