52 Guitars: Week 3
Not the Best Choice of Words

You Really Need to See These Wondrous Photos

Just a mother taking pictures of her children, as so many others do. But...wow. She's Russian, and her name is Elena Shumilova. She says she "processes" the photos at night, and I really wonder what she does and what tools she uses, because I doubt that they come out of the camera looking quite this good. See the entire gallery here



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They are, as you say, heavily processed. You can see, for example, the fake snow, the vignettes, and that the ripples are the same from one photo to another.

With that said, post-processing has always been a part of photography. Although saying something is clearly photoshopped is usually a bad thing, I don't think it necessarily is in photography. (Especially given that she makes no attempt to fool people into thinking these are unprocessed shots.) What she does with her (well framed and composed) images is lovely.

That's fascinating. I figured that *something* has been done to them, even aside from her mentioning it, because they just don't look much like anything I've ever seen coming directly from a camera. But I would never have noticed things like the ripples. How can you tell the snow is fake?

I agree about post-processing in general. I compare it to the use of the studio in recording: these are tools we've developed to enrich sound and images, and there's nothing wrong with using them (except in the interests of deception, of course).

I'm not sure I've ever posted a photo here that hadn't been tweaked in some way. At a minimum I have to brighten almost everything, because everything except a shot in full sunlight is too dark as it comes from my inexpensive camera. That silhouetted bird that appears on this page, for instance, was originally just an out-of-focus seagull, very small against a cloudy sky. I cropped it down considerably, changing the composition in the process, and made it black and white.

Very beautiful, not only the images but the children and the mom...

And by the way, she has a $3000(!) camera. No doubt if I had one of those my pictures would look that good.;-)

I hate to sound grudging, but I saw those pictures on facebook, and thought that half a dozen people I know, including Maclin plus people I know in the flesh, regularly take pictures as good and either send them to me or put them on their facebook pages. I must be missing something!

Well, I certainly appreciate the compliment, and I like some of the things I've done, but...yes, I'd have to say you're missing something. The richness of the light, the clarity...

Most snap-shotters, including myself, don't use focus like that any more, since 35mm went out.

My broken AE1 just sits there on top of the hutch....

What do you mean by "focus like that"? I thought having near things in focus and far things out was just the way it works at most settings.

I really like her photos. I can't imagine owning a $3000 camera - only b/c I know I would rarely use it.

In the fourth photo, there is only snow around the edges. There is no snow in front of the boy or the dog.

Duh. Of course. Maybe if I paid closer attention to details, my photos would be better.:-/ It's funny, I did have a vague feeling that there was something unnatural about that one, and even more the 7th one, the boy on the sled. But I didn't stop to think about it.

I wish I had the talent (and the camera) to produce pictures like that. Processed or not, photos of that calibre are a great gift to give to one's children. My kids are going to have to make due with half-focused, badly composed, slightly crooked photos.

Mine survived that.

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