Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh, Stop

This photo was just the type to mess with, so I did. I saturated the colors, fooled around with the contrast and tried it in black & white. I antiqued it, faded it, turned it into a negative and freaked it out with psychedelics. When at last I had the look I wanted I compared it to the original and it was exactly the same.

Though I usually like straightforward photos I'm not a purist about it. We have all these great digital tools, they're part of the modern photographer's art, why not use them? People are making interesting stuff with Photoshop and programs like it. Then again, some people don't know how to use them well and you get Photoshop Disasters (best link ever).

It's been very hot here for a couple of days. That's probably why this Stop sign is rusting. I like the heat, but nobody's deodorant stands up to these temperatures.

26 comments:

Jilly said...

I laughed it this! Not that I have Photoshop but have tried fiddling with photos only to go back to the original after a while! I love the shot - a bit of Hockney colour there.

Latino Heritage said...

Love the colors. The intensity does remind me a bit of the heat we've been experiencing.
You are right, the heat boosts the cranky factors of our lives to unreadable highs.

J.J. said...

I'm a Photoshop freak! The pic might look perfectly fine but I have to tweak it somehow.

And this heat isn't bothering me...but the humidity is! Grr!

Dina said...

LOL! Love it that you returned to the original best.

It's hard to keep this heat from STOPping us.
In Israel we are in the 20th straight day of abnormal heat. The electric company tells us not to use any appliances between noon and 5 p.m. Well, except for the air-conditioner (which I lack anyway).
Stay cool somehow, Petrea.

Shell Sherree said...

You may have ended up just near where you started, but sounds like you've had a ball along the way, Petrea! I love the patina of the sign. And I hope it cools down for you soon. It's officially still winter here, but we had a summer day today. Keeps things interesting...

Genie said...

All the crisp color is a great contrast to the totally "honest" Stop sign. Love this photo.

mark said...

I wonder how long that sign has been there? It started "life" bright and shiny. Now it has an experienced look to it. Our intense heat wave is finally over. 95 degrees and 95% humidity. I have experienced 104F here and also a minus 37F.

Petrea said...

I don't feel so bad about the heat after reading Dina's comment, and Mark's. The heat wave in Israel has been severe. We've got nothing to complain about. And J.J., I know it may seem like we have humidity but trust me, we don't. Mark is in the Midwest. He knows whereof he speaks. I don't mind the heat, really. I much prefer it to cold weather.

I don't have Photoshop either, Jilly--just iPhoto, which is less complicated. That's probably for the best. I'd be a maniac.

Aren't we wimpy, Roberta? Three days of heat and everyone's complaining.

Shell, I'm going to send all these complainers to spend the rest of August with you.

Genie, thank you.

Margaret said...

Where is this? This is very cool.

Petrea said...

Hi, Margaret. This is in the parking lot of the post office at Washington and Mentor in Pasadena.

Anonymous said...

ginab:

Well, I wasn't going to comment, but we just finished 18 straight days of 100+ heat. 70+% humidity. I thought we had everybody beat, but I flew to Chicago last weekend with a soldier returning from 130 degrees in Iraq.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Photo shop is great tool for composing but the The features make things look gimicky. And I'm glad about that. I'd hate to see all those years in art school mastering craft, to be thrown out the window for a push of a button.

I sound cranky
must be the heat

andrea said...

its so clear and brings such a good mood in viewers soul

Petrea said...

Yeah Ginab, I think your Iraq soldier trumps everybody, even if it was 85 degrees there, just because of the work he's had to do.

PA, I think of you as a Photoshop stylist. I can't even fathom the program but you're good with it.

Susan Campisi said...

At first as I was reading the post and looking at the photo I thought you had created the rusty melt on the stop sign. Shows how familiar I am with Photoshop. The blue is amazing. I know that post office, and yet I can't envision from which vantage point you took this photo. I'm going to have to stop by to figure it out.

Petrea said...

Thank you, andrea.

Susan, it's right where you pull out of the parking lot into the alley behind the P.O.

pasadenapio said...

Thanks for clarifying that, Petrea. I want to make sure everybody knows the City of Pasadena doesn't post stop signs on walls! The U.S. Postal Service may want to think about steam-cleaning that thing.

Speedway said...

I have a friend with whom I share old photos, usually about 100 years old, often old snapshots taken by someone who held their Brownie box camera a bit askew. I send them to him as I received them. To me it's a part of their charm, their reality.

My friend always, ALWAYS, straightens them and sends them back. At first, I was a little hurt, but I realized he just can't help fiddling with them; he's got the programs and he uses them.

When I learned how much the great photographers, such as Ansel Adams, actually fiddled with their negatives, creating master prints marked with detailed directions for exposure time in one area, dodging and burning to get the desired effect, it made my own darkroom efforts seem feeble.

Now we have these wonderful programs that allow us to shift and manipulate pixels at will. While I try to regard them as "just another tool," it still seems distant to me, with the computer being a cold machine. I always felt like my hand was more directly involved with my negatives and the result more personal.

Greg Sweet said...

I like the irony of the stickers on the sign that say "new". You would have had to tweak the photo if they said "new & improved".

By the way - that guy wire - who uses square nuts anymore?

J+P said...

Retrograde squirrels, Q.E.D.

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Petrea said...

Ann, it's something I hadn't thought about. Can any entity buy a Stop sign?

Speedway, you sound like a purist. I used to know a guy who owned a darkroom. I wonder how he's feeling these days.

Greg, don't get me started on square nuts. QED.

Thanks, Bella. I can see you've read it closely.

-K- said...

I love the demented David Hockney feel to this.

I don't have great Photoshop skilz but I've done exactly the same thing with some of my shots.

I always forget to keep things simple.

Petrea said...

K, as long as you say "demented," I'll go with it.

mllegramophone said...

Pasadena Petrea's peace post.

I like it.

Petrea said...

Merci, MG.