Light is Paint

Statue Piccadilly Gardens Manchester

Statue Piccadilly Gardens Manchester

We’ve been getting some summer sun in Manchester. In October. Sometimes I think there’s little point taking pictures in Manchester, because without sunlight how do you light your subject? Light is paint and it makes all the difference to how your photographs turn out.

Piccadilly Fountains, Manchester

Piccadilly Fountains, Manchester

iPhones are notoriously bad at low light conditions, which is where apps like Tadaa and Photoshop Express come in handy. Suddenly I have a little darkroom and processing lab in my pocket and it makes me realise how photography is losing it’s elitism and becoming more accessible.

Manchester Law Courts

Manchester Law Courts

Professional photographers moan about how post-processing isn’t real photography, and apps like Instagram are cheating. Image manipulation is exactly what they do in their labs and on their Macs, which is painting with light. If I can do all that with one hand while I’m walking home (yes I walked into a lamppost but sometimes accidents can improve your results!) then I’m happy to cheat.

Fiery Autumn Leaves

Fiery Leaves

Categories: Photography, Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Light is Paint

  1. Frivolous Monsters

    With the way you’ve used the sun it’s a big difference from mine, and I was only stood one step to the left!

    • That’s a great picture, and you should see my original (it’s truly crap) and then you’ll see the difference a few well chosen filters can make!

  2. Stevo

    how come my iPhone doesn’t take pictures like that? The first one looks like a painting!

    • It does a bit, hence the title Light is Paint (it’s my new theory) The originals are very plain and dull, so the point here is that a bit of tinkering with photo apps and they look a whole lot better!

  3. Cheat away, I love your photos.

  4. This headline was certainly a grabber for me! I’m still stuck back in non-app days and perfectly happy, but use PhotoShop to its hilt (all those apps are based on what Photoshop does). If the original image has integrity, it will withstand any treatment, and if not it will be garbage no matter what fancy apps you have–I’m sure we’ve all tried to dussy-up a marginal photo with no success. And old-timey photographers did plenty of post-processing in the darkroom. Watch out for those light poles.

  5. You literally do paint with light, Bernadette! You capture it beautifully in your paintings.

    But the bottom line here is the restrictive nature of most cameras, and how it’s possible to edit something and enhance it until it resembles what we see with our eyes, or it becomes stylised and we venture into art rather than plain photography.

    But you’re absolutely right: you can’t sprinkle glitter on doo-doo! We all have to have a bit of talent to start with 😉

    • You’re right about the cameras, a constant disappointment–only with my big DSLR and all my fancy lenses can I get anything approaching what I see.

      • It’s true, even my Fuji can be a bit of a let down even though it’s a decent camera. That’s why I don’t feel bad about adding HDR tweaks to light and shade: if the camera won’t do it, I will!

  6. Nice pictures. The new iphone has better low light pictures, but it is still better when you can add some processing effects via the apps. One great thing about the iPhone.

    • Hi Elliot, I’d love to get my hands on the new iPhone! But I can’t keep upgrading as much as Apple would like me to. Until then I’m cheating 😀

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