365-307 Finding things

If you read past posts you’ll see that I often talk about going out and looking for a photo subject. In fact there have been very few times where I had a predetermined subject in mind for the day. Most days I’m out there seeing what I can find. Occasionally I’ll just bump into something, shoot it, and think, “hmm, that was easy”. Other times it’s almost a chore and I start to think I won’t find ANYTHING, that is, until I find something.

Today wasn’t so frightening but, like I mentioned before, it gets dark pretty quick by the time I get off of work. I could always try night photography but I was feeling a little lazy tonight so I just wanted to shoot something while I still had some light. I try to take different routes or visit different areas on the way back to my hotel and hope that I’ll bump into something. I did manage to see some graffiti painted boxcars while I was sitting at a light. The tracks were near a grocery store parking lot so it was easy to park and get a few photos. They were OK but since I did some graffiti the other day I wanted to see if I could find something else. I stopped in a parking lot near the river just to stop and catch my thoughts. Trying to find photos while you are driving, especially when there is lots of traffic, isn’t always easy or desirable. If I can, I like to stop somewhere, evaluate the area, look around, and think of what to do next. Maybe even walk around if it is feasible. So while I was sitting near the river I looked around and didn’t really see much. There wasn’t much action on the water and there wasn’t anything of interest near the parking lot…….at least that’s what I thought. I was looking at a playground area and it was generally made up of brightly painted but generic equipment. Then I noticed a swing set off to the side of the newer equipment and it had these old rocking horse swings. I thought they looked cool and shot a few photos with my Super-Takumar 50mm lens since the light was getting low.

The color shot looked nice but the background color was a little distracting from the horse so I thought about what to do in processing. I first added some texture hoping to subdue the background a little. That worked some but the color still wasn’t working for me so I converted to a toned black and white in Topaz and that was the ticket! I found something! Pentax K20D, Super-Takumar 50mm.

Playground Pony

  One thought on “365-307 Finding things

  1. Nathan Stitt
    November 5, 2011 at 6:41 am

    The texture technique really ages the photo… I’m going to have to try this some time. Do you have a link to the technique you use, or can you make a quick tutorial?

    • November 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      I’ve been doing mostly trial and error since I discovered the texturing process. One of the initial places I learned the process at is:


      and his tutorials:


      I mostly use his textures (he also goes by SkeletalMess on Flickr). He has a wide variety to choose from. I’m slowly collecting images to make my own but I’m saving that project for winter.

      I took the basic process I learned there and just played around with it. I at first did single textures then moved into multiple layers of textures with various layer styles and opacities. One thing I discovered was either erasing or masking the texture over certain details, say a flower, to reduce the texture on that detail. It helps make the main focal point pop out a little.

      Posting a tutorial sounds like a good idea. I’ll probably do that when my 365 runs out. I’ll then get to spend time on some “quality” posts 😉 .

  2. November 9, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I like this photo and the way you aged it. Makes me think of little children who had fun on the pony and now they are all grown up and probably not having much fun…

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