Photo Challenge Entries

Surrounded

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Unless you go into a city center or one of those claustrophobic neighborhoods with row after row of huge houses on tiny lots, most buildings around here are surrounded by trees. I thought finding photos for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme of Buildings and Trees would be easy! But I discovered I don’t have many photos of buildings. The thing is, I don’t know how to frame them. Sure, I can get them in the frame but they just never look right to me. It’s something I hope to learn more about and work on in the coming year.

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The two photos above are ones I took with my “real” camera out in the Snohomish Valley. They were both really dull and boring so I applied the Lomo-ish filter in Picasa. I don’t usually use filters or do much processing on photos from my Sony but sometimes the Lomo-ish filter can make a boring photo look less boring.

These next three photos are definitely to show off the buildings framed by trees and not my photography. I snapped them with my iPhone camera on a day when the sky was gray and bright but everything else was kind of dark. As with most of my iPhone photos, I post-processed the heck out of them, not that it helped much with these three photos. Bad light is bad light!

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Hopefully, by this time next year, my photos of buildings will be much better! And hopefully three years from now I will be living in a house down the alley in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo of the red house. I found the perfect house for us down that alley: cottage style home built in 1908, detached three car garage, large 1/4 acre lot, lots of squirrels nearby, view of the sunrise and the Cascades. It was perfect! And I just noticed that it sold. 😦

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15 thoughts on “Surrounded

  1. I like those two houses and I feel your disappointment that the one you like is sold. However if the market is anything like here it may come up again sometime in the near future.

    1. I’m hoping the people who bought it will add a bathroom (it only has one), build a fence and then put it up for sale in three years. Ha! That’s wishful thinking, for sure! 🙂

  2. It’s so interesting to see house styles in other countries. They are so different to here in Australia even though we are both western lifestyles. Love the rich colours in the first image and what you see as boring is merely because you are used to seeing these styles every day.

    I think your photos could merely do with a little more lighting or exposure, so they are not so dark.

    Sometimes on a dull overcast day, you can’t do anything much about the exposure. Sometimes adding more contrast helps define the shapes a little better.

    Must be a little disappointing to see your dream cottage sold, but like Taswegian1957 says maybe it will come up for sale again in the future.

    1. The difference in architecture between our countries is so interesting! The houses in these photos are all kind of unique though. One of these days I’ll get out and take photos of more typical homes.

      Some of the darkness and lack of definition in shapes come from the Lomo-ish filter. It gives photos a dark, undefined look. I wouldn’t use it on a photo that already looked good. Unfortunately, Picasa doesn’t have a function that lets you lighten parts of photos. It’s all or nothing so it doesn’t really help if there are areas of the photo that are already really light. Some of our cloudy days are just impossible to get good photos in. Everything looks dull and gray or there is a glare on everything, even if nothing is wet. It’s annoying how many of those days we have!

      1. If I’ve got enough internet download space, I’ll re-load Picasa (which I used to use) and see if I can help you out on that definition and lighting aspect, Trisha. I used to use Picasa all the time for the first 3 years or so. And yes, my Mac ‘iPhoto’ editing software can’t lighten specific parts of the image either, but a combination of lightening the exposure, increasing the definition and mid-tones and then maybe decreasing the shadows gives an overall adjustment that well worth trying.
        I’ll check it out tonight.

        1. I see where I can do all that. Sometimes I do add a little fill light or adjust shadows a little bit. I don’t like to do too much tinkering around with it though, which is why I haven’t bothered to learn another photo editing program where you can do more. Maybe someday!

          1. Just looking at Picasa, Trisha, and I think if you lighten your images (with the fill light slider) you’ll improve the exposure on all of the images in this post. I’m a little unsure as to why you wouldn’t use this option for the images you feel are a little dark/dull as takes less than a second.

            I copied your second image into Picasa (which I just downloaded off the internet) and I lightened your second image with the ‘fill light’ and it looks just fine .

            Can’t get it to copy/past into this comment to show you though.

            (I don’t like editing my images either, but a few quick tweaks does improve some of my own under-exposed images).

            1. The image on my blog has the Lomo-ish filter applied to it though, which increases color saturation, contrast and seems to darken the shadows and edges. The original is dark but what bothered me about it is how dull, gray and washed out it appeared. I think the darkness of it probably looks natural to me because it was one of our dark, dreary days. I’ll have to keep in mind that our normal can sometimes look too dark! Thank you!

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