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Once in awhile, I like to play with my photos.  I have over 4,000 hanging around my hard drive, probably two thirds of which I’ve not given a second glance.  I play with my photos in spurts.  Lately, I’ve been taking one photo or a few photos of the same scene from different angles and experimenting with them, digitally.  I’m having such fun doing this, taking my original photos beyond photography and in to a different realm of creative joy for myself.  It fascinates me how one photo, one image, can have so many discrete feels to it.  I can only liken this to smashing down my favorite white lump of Play-Doh, smelling its salty scent, and altering it into something completely new.

Lighting plays a vital role in any photograph.  If I hadn’t read that over and over in technical books on photography, I’ve certainly experienced firsthand what good and bad lighting does to a photo and how to tease along the light rather than have it work against you.  Beyond this, my computer gives me the opportunity to reorganize my image in ways I wouldn’t otherwise either be skilled enough to do without a full-time mentor…or perhaps unable to do at all.  I’m capitvated with the different feels and impressions one can squeeze out of the same scene.  The picture above evokes coldness and starkness.  I remember the early spring day when I took this photo.  I loved the pointy, bare limbs, the elongated shadows, and winter-trampled grass.  Cold though it was, it speaks to me as a promise of newness to come, the sun peeking out amongst the branches to lure the next season into its pace.
And yet, I can manipulate the scene and make it feel, to me, much different.
Same scene, a little softer, a little warmer, a different perspective.  Not quite as real, not quite as harsh.  More appealing?  I think that’s in the eye of the beholder–and, for this beholder, it changes frequently.  I sometimes prefer the clear crisp view of a minimally processed photo.  Other times, the gentler, quiet impression of my image is where my mind would rather gaze.  Comfort food for the eyes, perhaps.  Mood dependent, mood inspired, for certain.