Assignment 4: Post-process It Like You Mean It

Going down the list of assignments extracted from Harold Davis article series Becoming a More Creative Photographer, the fourth assignment challenges you to post-process it like you mean it.

Your assignment: Shoot a commonplace object with digital post-processing specifically in mind. Using your favorite image editing software, transform the photo of the commonplace object into something new and abstract.

Post-process it like you mean it

This was a tough one. I am still not sure I got there, but I took it as a change to get out of the usual comfort zone. Yes, color. No, monochrome. Yes, post-processed till you cannot tweak any more knobs to get the image you want. If the previous assignments got me warmed up, this could be soul crushing if I took it too seriously.

Choosing the picture was actually easy. After a week of scratching my head, I remembered an itch. A snap I took while passing by Zürich back in June. I knew I wanted to do something with it, but never got my head around it. Monochrome did not make justice to the moment I released the shutter. The shoot of a bridal store front got my eye, memories, and imagination. It was bold. It was eye-catching. It was full of color. It was sitting there, ignoring and defying the sobriety that surrounded it. It also had another ethereal property: if you discretely check the people walking by it, almost every street-walker tried to hide their furtive glances.

There was no option. This moment was the image I had to post-process. Monochrome was not going to cut it. It will lose the magnetism that challenged your gaze. Also, it was way out there on the left field of the comfort zone. So there I went and start post-processing trying to turn it into that giant magnet that trapped people’s imagination while walking by. Yes, I have to admit that I may have failed turning it into an abstract image, but this was exciting new territory and I guess I could not cover it in a single shoot. So, I just sat in front of the digital darkroom and post-process that moment like I mean it.