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© © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All rights reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission fromn copyright holder

'Soaring Surreally'


Artist: © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust; Copyright: © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All rights reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder;Software:: Adobe Photoshop CC (Windows)


© © 2014 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All rights reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission fromn copyright holder

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A young girl soars surreally in a summer ride. Your ratings,

critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you

rate harshly, very critically or wish to make an observation, please

submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your

photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks!

Enjoy! john

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John, this is wonderful!

It appears to be the head of the mother that nervously looks on at the bottom. The saturated color is perfect here as well. Surreal is a great description. It's a nice departure from your more sombre work (which I also love). 


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Like so many wonderful comments from such wonderful contributors, I had dismissed the carnival painting of the woman's head, but you have worked it in the 'story' and 'story it is' now, whereas at first I had seen it as 'abstract' solely without a story.


It works even better as an 'abstract with a story'.


Amy,  keep watching in the far future.  I have another, even better one, same girl, same ride -- a stunner (in my opinion)


Thanks for the admiring words; I'm very grateful, it give energy to a hurting body and legs when I go out to shoot.



John (Crosley)

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I may take some photos that you and even I see as very 'somber' as that's the nature of part of the world few seen fit to document, and I do it reasonably well.


But it is not from some deep dark part of me; I'm not a dark person, though I hope I have some depth and hopefully a great ability to emphasize and 'understand' without dismissing those I photograph.


I also see, experience and try to document 'joy' and at the same time, the 'surreal' and the 'banal' from time to time.


In documenting the 'somber' I cannot get inextricably bound in subjects troubles financially or psychically, or I'd go crazy, no matter how close I get to such people to be able to document them.


I LOVE to photograph and to produce wonderful compositions, whether happy or sad, b&w or color (and occasionally a mix -- keep watching).


If you look at my 'Color Then to Now' folder and study it, you'll find more 'happy' photos, and it's my most viewed, but I happen to love Black and White.  Still Eggleston was right; color has a wonderful place in photography.  (He also shot great B&W.)




John (Crosley)

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I keep trying.


And trying.


And trying.


Sometimes I get close to right.


Thanks for a wonderful comment.




John (Crosley)

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I'd put this photo in a gallery or museum with some of my very best work.

Some people seem 'not' to get this photo (raters mostly so far after 7 rates) and some commenters absolutely do seem to 'get' this photo.


Anyone who thinks is 'out of genre' for me, hasn't known me or really viewed my work in its entirety.


That's OK, I'm having a wonderful time and taking a photo like this is near the epitome of my work -- if I had a portfolio of shots of such impact and visuality with such strong composition, I'd be satisfied with my shooting.


Ratings are important here for a photo to make lists to be 'seen' but not always to know what's 'worthwhile' in terms of judging one's own shooting ability.  


What's popular today or today's trope may be tomorrow's cliche; today's raspberry is sometimes directed at work that will last.


William Eggleston in his private showing at the Museum of Modern Art was roundly panned by art critics, though his work was stunning and now is taken to represent almost a 'paradigm shift' in the use of color in photography, and on top of that, he was a superb black and white photographer before he switched to color.


Rate low or high; I like, nay, love, this shot.


I'd take it every time and each time like in the movie 'Ground Hog Day', I'd post it here, no matter the ratings.




John (Crosley)

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You note in your comment about the saturated colors, and another commenter ramarked on the colors.


Well, this is a carnival (karnival), and just look at this colors on the facade of the ride, rear.


What better place to use strongly saturated or overly saturated colors than to depict what happens at a carnival?


Oh, it works fine in b&w too, but not nearly as well, but far, far from a total loss and completely worthy of being shown as a monochrome.   Compare the color of this capture (and those faces and scenes, lower background) with the cartoons in the now almost extinct Sunday newspaper 'funny pages' and see what I am driving at . . . . such colors have their place when representing 'fun'.


Even if the little girl does not look absolutely enthralled or in her element, . . . which may be part of why you're being offered this photo.




John (Crosley)

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You don't do many pictures in color, John, but color certainly fits this one. Really a good composition, too with the girl suspended in mid air against the sky and the painted faces on the sharply angled building in the background serving as onlookers.. The picture soars as much as the girl.
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You are one who 'gets it'.


Not everybody will, but for those who do, a special place in my heart and mind.


[i think with so many comments, a great number of those who watch and comment on my work do not rate when they comment, feeling one comment is worth a great deal more than a rate, so my ratings often languish unless a particular photo fits into a particular mold or set of expectations . . . .  


[The rating system for those photos works extremely well, so I have no rants or quarrels at all with the rating system overall - I'm a proponent, and it's partly why so many view so many photos, and how we 'sort', 'edit', even 'curate' those worthy of being shown to and seen by others.


[it works really very, very well, but any trip to a gallery, photo exhibition, or 'convention' will reveal that there are extreme boundaries to the type of photos that excel in ratings (usually) on Photo.net with some wonderful surprises from time to time from raters who on occasion 'soar' beyond expectations - often a small but very articulate and intelligent subset of viewers.]


But the photos here are for all, aficionado to expert, and I have no real quarrels with any part of the rating system.


Best to you, Jack, and thanks for an intelligent and uplifting comment.




John (Crosley)

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I never rate anymore and feel that caring about ratings is like riding a roller coaster. If you enjoy all the ups and downs, have at it. But for me it's largely an exercise in futility. One good comment is worth more than all the anonymous ratings, "thumbs up"'s, "like's" put together.
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John, I second Jack's comment. I rated a very few photos when I first arrived and quickly decided to not do so. Folks just get too worked up about them. I think this is another marvelous photo of yours. My not making ratings on it is not at all personal. In case I wasn't clear, I think your choice of saturated color here is perfect, for all the reasons you mentioned above.

Congratulations on this wonderful shot.


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That's partly why I wrote my feelings above.


I have been doing a little experimenting after finally getting an extraordinary number of 'views' lately for a folder that often has been passed over, even for some of my best work, but no matter what, a certain cadre of raters and some I've never encountered, have continued to grace my pages and photos with some of what I consider are the very best and most informed comments on all of Photo.net.


I've always considered that one of my most remarkable achievements on this service -- to engage in dialog with my commenters (and raters), and see where the dialog goes.  From 'back story' to photograph technique, to philosophy, economics, politics, and whatever else the photos or the commentary suggests.


And it has attracted some of the most literate and able discussions I've encountered on this service . . . . not a lot of 'atta boys' and 'good photo' comments with nothing more and which add nothing but a slap on the back in passing and require almost no effort.


A good look at the comments given my photos and my reply comments shows that my photos (and comments) seem to engage a certain segment of viewers and sometimes far more than a limited segment.  Although there are a few detractors, they are outnumbered about ten to one in favor of those who turn to these comments for reading material, because they love photography, I've learned.


I agree about ratings.  They're a roller coaster.  After a Photo of the Week and a Photo of the Day all in one week, in my more traditional black and white 'street' genre, and not much deviating from that genre, I decided to post a few other photos - some of them good, some not so good, but found they got no audience.  I had missed expectations, and those who thought of my name, apparently expect a certain thing.


They don't expect to see a color photo, with oversaturated carnival hues and a little girl, somewhat nonplussed and a little round faced, swinging in the sky, looking in part like her right hand (as she views us) is holding on to something and her left side is held by a strap far above any ground or surface.  


It's a little surreal, and people sometimes rate harshly when their expectations say for 'sordid' b&w or 'gritty' b&w are not met.


But an earlier comment of yours caught me by surprise - you suggested I did not take much color, but when I joined in addition to the 'classic' b&w, I posted lots and lots of color, found in other folders and in my highest rated folder "Color -- Then to Now' which I invite you to look at.


Every photo I shoot now starts out as color, and sometimes the color versions are better than the black and white, or just different, and the color I often put on a different site (you can go to Google.com to look fora few of those postings some of which are very, very good) showing the saturated (color) view of some of my scenes here shown as b&w.


That site is not well trafficked, however, so it may be harder to find, and I don't tend much to the site.


It's just another place to show that some photos can excel both as b&w photos, classic style and also as color photos, and sometimes look almost the same, and other times look entirely different and convey different emotions and feelings - it just depends.  Many photos are only good as b&w for reasons of mixed color temp, lack of color color coordination, the appearance of an odd and disconcerting color that detracts but when desaturated no longer detracts and 'blends in', etc.


Jack, I like to 'mix it up', and I guess you didn't see my earlier work (some very good) where I posted largely new work in color if it was not best shown as traditional B&W or I'd just just post one color and one b&w photo every couple of days, again just to 'mix it up' and maybe confound viewers.


I feel comfortable in both 'genres' if that's the appropriate word.


I now process almost every photo I decide to process for posting, in both color and black and white unless somehow the color is just too messed up because of mixed color temps, uncoordinated lighting, mismatched colors, etc., and some I just process in color and damn the b&W versions.


More and more, however, I see lasting value in having processed versions of both color and black and white for almost all photos with reasonably good composition which will show well in both modes, even if they sometimes show entirely differently, one mode to the other.


I like high ratings primarily because low ratings indicate lack of viewer interest in general, not the wonderful  opinions of such a high class and experienced critic whom I respect as you and say, Amy Helmick, whose comment in the same vein appeared just below yours here.


I thank you for following up - views and ratings count to get a photo on the top-rated list where they get views, and the audience is a lot of what this service is all about.


However, experience has shown that if one really trolls the rated photos, in general, they get worse as the ratings get worse, and when I have a low-rated photo, that's cause for introspection.   I'm not averse to learning that what looked to me like a 'sure winner' is really a 'dead horse' and I just couldn't see it.   Sometimes I'm stunned wen the audience passes over a good photo; other times they laud a photo I hardly give a damn about, but post anyway.


The reverse works you see; sometimes I'll get a 6 or a 6+ on a photo and not know exactly why,  and sometimes on photos I'd rate a point or a point and a half lower; the system isn't perfect, but again, overall it  performs a pretty good function.


I treasure your comments, Jack, because I know of your skill, experience and literateness --  making a comment from you a 'gold standard for me.


Best wishes today from the land of 'oversaturation and flying little girls'.


Where things today are a little 'surreal' instead of being 'sordid' and 'gritty.'






John (Crosley)

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In my long discourse above to Jack McRitchie, I should also have addressed it more to you, too, but the same points that Jack made, you made as well, and added a few compliments too, for which I am beaming. 

However, you were entirely clear in your first post; there was no communication error - I counted you as one who 'got' this photo.


Better, there's a more mainstream photo with better composition, coming, probably months away, that excels both in color and black and white - among my very, very, very best, same girl, same machine, same few minutes.  Unless it's a 'specialty folder' it's very rare I'll post more than one shot from a shooting, and then I'll space them six months to a year apart, generally.


I just liked this one and was disappointed few others shared my feelings, but sometimes I post a 'stinker', and harsh ratings can be a wake-up call (or a chance for me to stake out my own territory, as I have done here, so thanks for the endorsement.)


Like Jack's comments, I treasure yours as well; they are always well thought out, and obviously you understand why work I think is good (at least hope so) is something I am proud of.  (Remember, some work I'm not so proud of has received 6 or near 6 ratings,  and that always confounds me.  Other photos rated so highly, I think deserve the rating -- it's just a funny task.)


Some few photos are divisive - you either love it or hate it.


I think this is one.


I think I'd show this to a curator or gallerist, and they'd 'get it'.


Just like you.


I'm so highly flattered that you share your thoughts with me now and again.




John (Crosley)

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Hi John.  I am kind of late to the party but wanted to comment anyway.  I read the other commentary and agree with Amy (and others) that the characters on the facade create a story.  The concerned mother as Amy pointed out but also you can interpret the other characters reacting to the girls soaring.  I also dig the color and for this shot think it is perfect.  Very cool.  Dana...

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I'll mark you as someone who 'gets' this photo.


In return, I studied your very wonderful portfolio including its many nude shots (warning to those who are easily offended who might follow a recommendation), and found it wonderful, especially your 'recent uploads'.  Kudos


That means I 'get' what you are doing too, and like it very much.  I note comments underneath your portfolio from two of my favorite commenters -- Svetlana Korolyova and Drew Bayless -- both of whom are very good critics and wouldn't stop by and comment if your work was anything less than very, very wonderful.


Thank you for the kind remarks. 


Best wishes.




John (Crosley)

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Any contrast adjustment in color affects saturation (and usually 'hue' as well, an often unwanted side effect).


In  Adobe Camera Raw, any edition, there is a saturation slider.


In Photoshop, try this -- Image:  Images Adjustment>Hue/Saturation (sliders) or same route to 'Vibrance' which also has a 'saturation' slider.


Vibrance appears to change saturation without affecting hue following what I believe is some complex algorithm or set of algorithms.  Under 'vibrance' setting, you get a choice of 'vibrance' or 'saturation' sliders' or both.


You can download a free trial version of Photoshop to play with for 30 days without giving Adobe any financial info or commitment -- not even a credit card.  Have fun!


Don't let Photoshop be a mystery.




John (Crosley)

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thank you for replying.


i have 1997 version of photo shop 2.0  Elements which came free with my first PC. It is all i need as with it I can do everything  i could do in the darkroom. I do not have this vibrate feature


i had already tried saturation slider which did not do accomplish what I wanted which is shoot in color and create a sky which in B&W that appears as if I used film with a deep yellow or red filter.



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You need the latest version (free download), then to use 'selection' to select the sky, apply saturation or saturation and 'gradient filter', and/or image>adjustments>photo filter, then choose a photo filter filter(say a blue filter, or a cooling filter for example), then move the 'density' slider to determine how much the filter effects will change your color and selection.


Use 'easy selection' tool; it's the cat's meow.  You gotta learn how to use it -- it's wonderful.  Makes most selections in a few seconds; more complex ones in minutes and is great around previously hard to select areas such as rounded corners, etc.


Then don't forget to use 'select>inverse select' sometimes to work on one selected portion, then another half or part of the photo, and if you 'deselect' and don't choose a new selection, the 'reselect' command is available, and when you hit that command,, the selection suddenly re-appears for further selection work.




You need a tutor, or an inquiring mind (and the ability to see, which I hope you still have.)


Best wishes.




John (Crosley)

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For your specific issue, and without experimenting (which is necessary), I recommend downloading the trial version of Photoshop CC from Adobe.com after creating an Adobe ID with your e-mail (even your Photo.net e-mail will work.


It costs you nothing, and you don't have to give them credit info or sign a contract; no 'back door' signups.  If you wish to continue after the free 30-day trial (available on all CC products but now bundled), then  it costs $10 a month subscription (you can't buy outright any more).


Now, I recommend processing your color photo experimentally using 'easy selection' tool to select the sky, or if easier use the same tool to select the land, then apply 'select>inverse select' and voila, you've still selected the sky.


If the sky is all one color, your task is simple.  You can start by using the brightness/contrast tool, and that will change the darkness of the sky (or lighen it). Changing the contrast also will change the HUE, so be forewarned if you are going to process also in color, as an 'undo' step may be necessary for color processing as when you increase contrast you may consequently change hue or at least 'saturation' bringing unwanted effects. -- there's a way to back out of the hue change, but that's beyond us here.

I recommend knowing how to back out of excessive saturation effects (of the reverse) if  necessitated by contrast adjustments.



Image>adjustments>hue/saturation with three sliders (choose 'saturation' first, as it's most likely to be the bugaboo, especially in color captures where almost all contrast changes affect subtle colors such as skin tones.


It may be that brightness/contrast adjustment to the sky is all you need, and forget about 'saturation' of colors at all.


But if you're processing in color for color showing, then Image>adjustments>'vibrance' which also has a 'saturation slider.  Vibrance is a sophisticated 'saturation slider that changes 'hue' less.


Underneath, separately is the box/menu for 'hue/saturation with sliders for hue/saturation and 'lightness' which you can manipulate to taste.


That is important for color posting, but generally 'brightness/contrast' will be enough, or the 'full version' (check the box on the dialog to make the 'full version'' available on the separate 'shadow/highlight filter.

Image>adjustments>shadow/highlight filter


That filter's sliders alllow you selectively to be able to alter the shadows and highlights of the 'middle tones,' and at the bottom, there also is a contrast slider (Yes, another one).  As I said, Photoshop has several ways of making 'adjustments' for the same thing or almost the same thing.

Personally, I'd try brightness/contrast adjustments to the sky selection, and if they weren't enough or inadequate, then try further manipulation with shadow/highlight filter, not forgetting its separately functioning contrast adjustment which applies to 'middle tones' generally.


You probably can get what you want in B&W just by these contrast/brightness adjustments on a 'selected sky'


You also can burn and dodge the sky, use levels, curves and other manipulations, as well as the 'gradient tool' (which I avoid).


Photoshop has come a long way since your ancient copy of 'elements, which does NOT allow you do do all a good darkroom tech could do in the darkroom without a fantastic amount of work, and perhaps making wooden or cardboard cutouts for burning and dodging (See 'War Photographer' about how burn/dodge cutouts were used to make projected prints for a James Nachtway exhibition -- he of 'War Photographer' fame.


(and if you have not seen that film/video I highly recommend you download it and watch it.  I won't recommend a source -- ask a 10-year-old boy how to do that.)




John (Crosley)

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It's too late to edit, so I am changing one particujlar part of the above post for accuracy and clarity.


When changing contrast, there will be 'saturation' effects, and when applied to many colors, such as white flesh tones especially, an increase in 'contrast' in color, will also increase 'saturation' (not so much change 'hue' as I had alluded wrongly above, though that may happen too.)


Beware contrast adjustments when posting in color because of that change in 'saturation'.  You can 'undo' the saturation increase created by a contrast slider increase by going to Image>adjustments>hue saturation and adjust the middle (saturation) slider to taste.  


A change in 'saturation' for flesh tones will markedly change color, so be very careful when adjusting contrast to beware of undoing untoward effects by desaturating somewhat.


You can also tackle 'hue' but that's a delicate matter, especially when lighting is 'mixed'.   Often 'mixed lighting' and wrong 'hue' must be attacked by 'selections' of affected offending portions, then for that selected portion, applying the 'hue' slider adjustment only to the selection, reselecting another offending portion, adjusting that, and so on until you are pleased.  It's a horrific job if you shot under streetlights of varying lamps      color temps and your hoto also was illuminated by by store lights and you are looking for a 'white balance' that is true.  Likely it will elude you, and likely that photo is a good candidate for desaturation.


So, increasing or decreasing contrast almost always affects saturation, and saturation affectgs color i ncolor captures.


I've shown you how to get to the twin 'saturation' commands (hue/saturation) and 'vibrance' which contains a (1) vibrance slider -- a sort of sophisticated saturation command, and (2) a straight 'saturation' slider devoid of sophisticated algorithms.


You may have been told with wisdom never to use the contrast/ brightness command in Photoshop.  Forget that with the newer versions.


By checking the box, you can make that menu revert to the 'legacy'version which was reworked several years ago, but best to avoid that, as everone agreed, it didn't work well, and was to be avoided.  Use the modern (default) version of brightness/contrast command under 'Image'.


The new brightness/contrast command under 'image' works well with limitations


If it doesn't solve the trick, try Image>adjustments>shadow/highlight and check the empty box to make the full menu which takes half a screen appears, not just the truncated menu of a couple of lines.


After all this, if you have further questions, Adobe has tutorials and a wonderful 'help'  section even for the trial users.  I recommend its use, and not to  ask me to teach you how to use Photoshop more than this extensive tutorial.  I gotta have time to take photos!




John (Crosley)

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