Thursday, December 21, 2006

Digital Tourist

A digital native I"m not. But since I've been on vacation this week, I've been carrying my pocket-sized digital camera with me and taking pictures as I've been moving around Honolulu. Yesterday I went for a walk with my son at Ward Center and Ala Moana Beach Park and took some pictures there, and then came home and played with them a little. I've also just recently begun to realize what can be done with the suprisingly effective digital editing tools that are built into iPhoto on the Mac.

This photo here, of Ala Moana beach looking toward Diamond Head, for example, was a regular snapshot that I cropped to emphasize the horizontal skyline, made into a sepia picture by clicking the button, and then adjusted the color using the sliders in the "adjust" bar. The effect is different than any photo I ever took before. I'm sure experienced photographers will look at something like this and find all sorts of reasons to disdain it, but at this point it's still new, for me, anyway, and I thought it was kind of easy and kind of cool.

This second was taken in shadow looking out toward the water, but it had a lot of pretty muddy browns and greens in it until I pushed the contrast, and it became a much more dramatic picture. I especially like the way that the sunlight on the water jumps out at you when it's framed by all that black. It's hard to see in the thumbnail I've posted here, but it looks pretty good even at 3x5.

The third was taken more or less on the fly as I was crossing Piikoi Street at Ala Moana Boulevard. I was interested in the intersecting lines, and was able to emphasize that by cropping the picture hard, clicking to make it b&w, and then sharpening the edges and pushing the contrast again. It's not the most dramatic photo from a narrative point of view, but I like the quiet little geometrical song that it sings, and I like the little man in the crossing signal window, making his presence quietly known.

All of which is to say, this is all just too much fun.

(Bonus tracks: to see what the Next Generation was up to earlier the same day, check out Axis Infinite...and if you'd like to see better versions of these and other photos, take a look at yet another high-tech toy, the Flickr Site.)

1 comment:

efoster said...

I had already read today's column and shown it to George when I read your reply to yesterday's comment (thank you). I love the pictures --and cameras have surely changed perspectives, eyes, lives. As you know, we credit you with G's new chapters. I love the pictures (crosswalk is my favorite) -- and yearn ever more for apple/mac. Happy holidays back!