As with any hobby/profession, one learns most when surrounded by people with similar interests. When my photography was merely a budding hobby, I partnered myself with a few forums. They were places where I could ask questions and glean some well placed advice through comments and critiques. Over the years many groups and forums have come and gone, except one. A group called ‘The Photographers Lounge’ formed on myspace. When facebook took over, trolls ran rampant on the forums and most members jumped off the myspace ship, the regular members found each other through facebook and flickr. It’s been probably 8 years or more since I joined that group and I’m ever so thankful I did. It’s been a great place for learning. I also met some interesting and talented people too.
The members of the photographers lounge like to push them self, their skills and their peers. For many years there was a friendly weekly contest. As the group evolved it has turned into a monthly contest. There’s no prize other than kudos from friends, a lesson and a new challenge. The rules are simple and always the same. 1- the image submitted must be taken during the current challenge month (no digging into archives.) 2- criticism must be constructive. 3- winner chooses next months challenge subject. Rarely rule #1 gets tweaked. That’s when the challenge has more to do with processing than image capturing. It’s at the discretion of the person that chose the subject as to whether the processed image can be from archives. This month falls into that gray area.
Michael chose a processing style called the Orton effect. It is one that I wasn’t familiar with and had to do a little reading about. It originally started out as a film technique (which isn’t surprising since Michael is a film fanatic) but it’s also possible to accomplish through digital imagery and processing software. I encourage you to google it for yourself and give it a try. I’m not linking the how-to that I found because I didn’t follow it to a T. As with most processing techniques and actions, the final image is tweaked to taste.
The image I chose to process was one that I captured in October 2009 in Woodstock, Vermont. I’m still not certain if I can use it for the challenge for reasons stated above but I really love the way it turned out. I just might have to print this for myself.