Week 37 – People at Play

I don’t often focus on people in my photography. Sometimes they’re in the image, because they were in the place I was photographing. Sometimes they’re meant to accent the image. Rarely are they the focus. This week they are.

I went to Reeds Lake and East Grand Rapids a couple of times this weekend to photograph people in context. Playing. Even if the weather was mixed, a lot of people used their weekend free time to walk, boat, fish, read and more at Reeds Lake or elsewhere in EGR.

Here are three images that I liked–of people using the lake, fishing or boating. There’s a stillness to all three images. The person in the kayak perhaps is most active. But fishing and kayaking both can be meditative, a chance to stop thinking and worrying and simply enjoy being aware of what’s around you or zone out.

The second set of images is people thinking and reading. Again, stillness, though one image is from early morning and the other mid-day. The guy with the book mostly did not read. He looked at people, enjoyed the cool morning, and did nothing. A good way to spend some time.

Finally, a couple images of East Grand Rapids. The first is one of my go to styles–using a window and reflections to frame a scene and wait for someone to come through it. It has people in it, though they’re not the focus of the image.

The second image (two versions) is about playing with software. It’s a “foolie.” I got the latest version of Luminar. It’s inexpensive, at least compared to Photoshop or Capture One. But it does a couple of things I find useful. One of the new features I won’t use much, but thought I’d play with, is an “AI” feature that allows you to easily replace the sky in your photo with something more interesting.

I stayed pretty conventional–adding clouds and light. I took the pictures of the store roofs in the East Grand Rapids plaza (from the top of the nearby parking garage) mid-day with muddy skies. Luminar let me add early evening “sunset” light. I did one in black and white and one in color. I could have added lightning, aurora borealis, the moon, a galaxy, an airplane, a planet or a satellite.

The “AI” function is simple to use and works pretty well. You can spot the fake pretty easily if you “pixel peep, especially if you are using a large image file. But for smaller files, it would be hard to tell, unless you knew to look for it or I replaced the sky with the look of a galaxy or a planet.

I promise to always tell when a photograph includes fake elements!


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