So here’s a post on the small things that add up, or, How To Remove Annoying Stuff That Buggers Up Your Photo.
On the left is the original. Nice, but not really what I wanted in this shot of the Parthenon. So what to do?
I could have taken a tripod, hidden until after nightfall, gotten the shot on a long exposure, dodged the authorities, and not gone to jail in Greece and had a crapton of explaining to do on why I was not back at work a few days later.
Or, PhotoShop. A coin-flip, really.
The steps I actually took here were:
Remove the scaffolding. This was the nastiest, and took a LOT of small-scale clone/copy work to remove. Even so, if you look closely on the left you’ll see some repeated patterns that aren’t really natural, but can escape if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Remove the humans. They’re just clutter!
Punch up the contrast on the marble in the foreground, so the Greek lettering stand out better.
Deepen the blue in the skies. I did this by pushing the cyan tones into the blue range.
Brighten the green on the grass on the ground.
Reverse-fade out the marble, which at intermediate stages had gotten overly beige and not as stark and wind-washed as it ought to be.
All told it was about a half-hour of work. Totally worth it though!
More from Greece this time, in the old Greek Agora in Athens.
As I’m given to understand, this was basically the heart and soul of the city in its heyday, bustling with commerce and debate, vote-getting or -stealing (not much has changed in democracy!), and so forth.
It’s a large space, and very, very pretty. Full of both the old – temples, ruins of buildings, and so on – and the new – olive trees and other flora – it’s also a wonderfully quiet place early in the morning under a light rain.
It’s got great views from some of the higher spots, and when it’s quiet like it blessedly was the day I was there, it’s downright meditative. And all it took was a willingness to deal with a bit of drizzle here and there! Well worth that, I say.
And even the detail work in small, otherwise unnoticed areas is lovely. Sometimes it’s worth putting away all the complex machinations of photography and just going with what’s in front of you.
My point in this post is to mention a few things about how “working the scene” (fancy photographer speak) is a great way of moving around and finding new and interesting views of the same thing.
Take the shot above, from the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. This is near the entrance. There’s really not a whole heck of a lot going on at this site (what you see is largely what you get). But by moving about, I got a few other interesting photos.
Next, through the fence from the outside.
And finally, with the Acropolis in the background.