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Blade Runner

I’ve just been watching Ridley Scott’s film of Blade Runner. The photography and production design are incredible. Sometimes when you take a photograph you’re just capturing what’s there. I think in Blade Runner they truly create something. The combination of photography, lighting, set and special effects (before this became trivial with CGI) makes unique images. There was a particular shot that caught my imagination of a tiny origami creation seen very close up, almost filling the frame. I thought what a wonderful shot it was and how they’d made such a great photograph of such a quotidian object, mostly using camera angles and lighting.

So, I wondered what would happen if I let myself run wild with Lightroom on a picture I had previously left fallow. The raw image is below:


The raw file straight out of the camera.

Here is a (not “the”) processed version. I say “a” because I didn’t spend too long on the processing, deliberately. I let myself loose and just tried some effects almost-but-not-quite at random.


Mostly, this is just using graduated and radial filters to dodge and burn, add some saturation to the flower, and split toning to change the shadow colours (and you really need to see it on a properly calibrated monitor for this, on my laptop screen the colours unfortunately look far too cold). I wanted to go much further than I normally would and see what would happen. I like the result. It isn’t at all realistic in that the light wasn’t anything like that in real life, but it has artistic truth (god, that sounds pretentious!)

I’m not sure I want to be so extreme on most of my landscape shots but there are plenty of shots I take where fuller use of what’s available to me in post-processing could give interesting results.


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