Photograph of green ferns

Fern Studies for Hamish – Variants

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Hamish has commented that maybe my fern photographs would look better in the original colours or maybe in black and white. He may or may not be correct. I present here two galleries of images showing these variations for comparison with the purple ferns that I posted earlier.

There are several reasons why I sometimes alter the colours on my photographs.

The first is that it is fun to do it. I enjoy the process and the results. It is therapeutic in a colour-therapy kind of way. I like to experiment with different settings and see what things would look like from an entirely different perspective. Different photographic images respond in a unique way to digital manipulations. You never know what will happen or what you will discover. It is playtime.

Then there is the fact that many of my shots are not technically-speaking very good. I see enough wonderful photographs online to know what constitutes a technically perfect image. Mine are not in that category. Transforming them tends to de-emphasise the imperfections and concentrates the view on other aspects such as the structures, textures and patterns. Digitally altering the photos tends to bring out the features which my eye was drawn to in the first instance.

Added to the above, I am no longer as able to get out and explore that natural world as much as I would like to. My horizons are limited for now. I would like to be out exploring seashores, examining rocks, being fascinated by water, but in the meantime I already have around 500,000 images that I can work on. A considerable number are on-line. 5 GB worth in Jessica’s Nature Blog alone. So I am content for much of the time at the moment with playing with my pictures at home. After ten years of blogging I am sometimes uncertain whether I have previously used an image. I try to be organised with the filing on the computer but cannot always be sure if an image is new to the site – and that is another reason for re-colouring or re-formatting an image to give it a fresh look.

Finally, the images and article on the blog are the result of my personal interests and passions. They are a record of my activities and learning processes. There is no agenda. They are not products as such. It is lovely if someone looks at them. It is great if someone likes or comments about them. It is really encouraging. It generates a warm feeling. Ultimately I just share. The invisible viewers will have their own ideas.

10 Replies to “Fern Studies for Hamish – Variants”

  1. Dear Jessica,
    Thanks for responding in such detail, and for showing these additional variants.
    As you know I have commented rarely on your work beyond the occasional ‘like’ since my initial encounter with your posts on ‘pebbles with stones’ and the ‘Common Piddock’. These were a revelation and barely a month goes by without me referring to them!
    I hesitated to do so in this instance because you have captured so many wonderful images and have been so assiduous in sharing them.
    However recently I’ve noticed an increasing number have been experimental in using filters and other effects. I’d inferred from this that you might be getting bored of ‘natural’ in camera shots and seeking variety.
    I just wanted to say that I think you’ve got a great ‘eye’ and that for me that’s much more important than technical perfection.
    Your explanation that the colourisation draws more attention to what attracted you to the image in the first place is interesting. But for me the purple move the ferns into the world of design and applications to fabrics and wallpapers. No bad thing if you wanted to monetise your work!
    In my opinion your original is stronger and certainly better than my suggestion of b/w.
    No need to reply and thanks again for your lovely work.

  2. Thanks for your response, Hamish. I appreciate all your comments. It will no doubt have an affect on what I choose to post in the future, beyond the articles already scheduled and in the pipeline.

  3. Thank you for the story behind your altered photographs, Jessica. I thoroughly understand the joy of playing with photographic images, and I also get it about doing so mainly for yourself. Furthermore, I empathise with limited ability to get out to take the photographs one once could take easily. Please continue to have fun; that’s what it’s all about. (Still, my favorites are the unaltered photos—but don’t mind me.)

  4. Thank you, Linda. I used to post most of my altered photographs on another blog but now I have shut it down – at least I think I have. I tried deleting it twice and that didn’t work. Then I made it a private site but that doesn’t seem to work well either. maybe it takes time to work its way out of the internet system.

  5. I like the altered photos because they often bring up details or show relationships that are not as apparent in the originals. I like the originals because so much of what you show is not familiar to me so I learn. And, I totally understand that in altering the photos, there’s a participation in the image and a chance for you to exercise options and what if’s. I like all the things you do and your very thoughtful approach. I did enjoy seeing these versions of the ferns. All of them emphasize the rhythms of the leaf patterns in different ways. Thank you.

  6. Thank you, Claudia. I appreciate you taking time to give me your feelings about the different kinds of images and be so supportive. It is always interesting to receive varying points of view.

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