You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Well, the whole Christmas thing is over.  Yaaay!  I know it’s supposed to be a cheery time, but when you get sucked into volunteering to do pictures with Santa, you really do get sick of seeing the fat man in short order.  At least, during Valentine’s Day, no one expects freebies.

Things have been going on with me over this winter that have been keeping me out of the photo game, regretfully.  I won’t go into them, because they’re not of public importance, but they’re annoying the living daylights out of me.  That’s also why I haven’t been saying a whole lot here.  The Internet has allowed for everyone to have their say, and it seems that so many take advantage of that, even when they shouldn’t.  If you’ve read more than one post of mine, you’ve probably figured out that I don’t like to post things, unless I think they offer some value.  I call the others “Kardashian posts.”  They look good, and artificially boost numbers, but that’s it.

Plus, I tend to ramble; my mind shouldn’t be allowed to wander on its own.  My mind needs a kindergarten leash, preferably a Winnie the Pooh leash, but with Eeyore, because Eeyore rocked.  Okay, see what I mean about the mind wandering thing?  So back to the topic…

During one of my nighttime walks, I saw a scene that I thought would make a good shot, so during an overnight shift last week (30 hour shift, not a midnight to 8 (note: salary sucks in this case)), I took my break and got to the site (Nathan Phillips Square, in Toronto) just before midnight.  They have a little pool thingy that is set up as a rink in winter.  Some guys were out playing a game of midnight hockey on it, so, since I had time to kill, I snapped off a few of them, a few of the old City Hall, and a few of this funky little structure thingy (“fine art”?).  Once I got bored of that, I set up for the shot I wanted, got a few of it, and went back to work.

Two days later is where it got interesting (because I basically slept through the day after).  The original plan was to make a black and white out of the image.  I looked at the primary shot, and, both in color and in b&w, well, it sucks.

clockSee what I mean?  In my mind, that shot looked so much cooler.  Granted, that’s raw, but even with Photoshop, it still doesn’t help.

On the other hand, I couldn’t have cared less about the guys playing hockey.  After all, who in Canada doesn’t have pictures of people playing hockey?  Just for kicks, though, I tried it out in b&w, and here’s what I got.  Turned out, I liked it!  [Note: this particular upload has the b&w filter added over a jpeg, as evidenced by my watermark being b&w, as well.  I was just going to add the colour version to this post, but thought otherwise, so I only brought the colour jpeg with me today.]

bwHockeyGameIt’s just a quick b&w here, but the full one looks better.

I tried printing it, but sadly, the whole thing looks as flat as a 2×4 (might be better on a quality printer).  So, as a comparison, I took the b&w filter off and checked it out.  I should probably note here that I like to leave the filter on, sitting as the top layer, while I do other layer editing underneath, so that I can see how it affects the final results, and then create other b&w layers as needed.  Here’s what I got simply by reverting back to colour:

HockeyGameFirst, where’d #87 come from, and secondly, how’d the colours end up not so bad after all that wonky b&w editing?  A little work needs to be done on it still, but not much!

Same with this one:

Laid Back on a '66 MustangWhen I called her up and arranged this shoot, this particular picture was never one I had in mind, but it became the one I got the most compliments on, as well as being my favourite from the shoot.

So when you go out shooting, never get too focused, okay?  I know it’s hard for a photographer not to get tunnel vision on what it is we came for, but take your face out of the viewfinder…frequently.  Look around, take that “might be okay” shot – you never know how it’ll turn out.  After all, as Mick said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

And say hi to Mr. Jimmy for me.

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