Photo Editing: Making your photos speak

I’ve said before that I think of each photo I take as a canvas with which to play, to see what I can bring out of it.  Ideally I’d like my photos to speak to the viewer, to evoke a feeling or spark a memory. So I challenged myself and took some pretty mundane images and tried to get them to speak …  these are my starting images.

The Hot Seat

waiting room seating at airport


waiting room seating at airport


DSCN3776 St Petersburg theatre

They are just chairs, after all, but … I’d be interested in your comments.


21 thoughts on “Photo Editing: Making your photos speak

  1. I love the second two, but for me, the first one has such appealing colors in the original that I”m sorry to see them go. At the same time, the result is excellent. It’s just those colors in the original….they”re scrumptious!


    1. Hi Laura – appreciate your comment on my photos. And I agree about wallflower – I had worked to make the chairs the focus of the image but as I posted it I thought they were not in keeping with the idea of ‘wallflower’. In working the image I had tried decreasing the saturation on the chairs and hadn’t liked it but in retrospect …


  2. I like the ‘distressed’ nature of hot seat with the textures and the darkness. I also love the textures and tones of opposition….I’m interested to know what software you used – Lightroom?


  3. I very much like all of these, Lynne, and for different reasons, but the second one is most definitely my favorite. Not only do I love the mood, but the textures and tones are really wonderful.


  4. You’ve improved all of them, the texture on the first and the bright saturated colour on the last. But it’s opposition that interests me most of all, despite the colour and interest in the foreground, my eyes are drawn to the distance, any ideas why?


    1. One could get into some discussion on that, Gilly 😉 Is it simply because of the sharp contrast of the black and white? Is it because you want to know more about the hazy image behind the shade? Does the vague image behind the screen make you wonder if that is what the opposition is about? Is it simply the lines of perspective lead you right out beyond the window? Hmmmmm … but you’re looking and wondering and that’s GREAT. The image is a success.


  5. I think this is a brilliant idea – get ordinary things/pictures to speak out. The two last ones I understand immediately my feelings for, but about the first one I had to think some more…Conclusion: To me “hot seat” here means they are much wanted and therefore tired and a bit worn. The colours speak to me like that.


    1. Thank you, Leya. I enjoyed your comments. I found your thoughts on the Hot Seat interesting and enjoyed your interpretation. I’m thrilled 😉 that you found the idea interesting enough to give it some thought and not just click ‘NEXT!’

      I was thinking of the English idiomatic term ‘in the hot seat’ – or in the spotlight in an uncomfortable way. But the point is, everything works – my aim is just to have viewers pause to see what they see in an image.


    1. Hi Carol – very much so, of course. My hope is to get the viewer to pause, to give thought to the image and the title I’ve given it, whether they agree or not, like it or not, will always be subjective.


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