14 FEB 2011
I know this picture isn't very valentiney, but I really didn't want to take yet another heart-themed photo on Valentine's Day. Besides, I had lots of fun taking this photo. I also had lots of fun processing it.
There'd been a lamp sitting on my counter for a week -- since we brought it home from the rental house. It had been on a timer there to keep the house from looking empty. Anyway, it was sitting on my counter, and it was naked. Naked meaning the shade was sitting on the counter next to it. The shape of the bulb, the curves, even the color caught my eye on Day 14, and I decided to see what kind of photos I could get.
I started where it sat on the kitchen counter, but I was unhappy with the result. Then I remembered the sheer curtains covering my workout room windows. Perfect! White background, filtered natural light...I grabbed the lamp and headed to the window.
The first shots in the workout room were still disappointing -- too many shadows. I wanted maximum white for this photo. I tried a few different angles, but when I physically held the sheer behind the light bulb, that's when everything came together.
Once I had the shot I wanted, I pulled it into Photoshop. Most of the things I tried brought the shadows up and put too much gray into the photo. Even my attempts to lift the shadows introduced too much gray for my taste. So I reduced noise, did a little light sharpening, and tried converting it to black & white. No go. Still too much gray. I added some brightness and brought the photo into Virtual Photographer. That's when I struck gold. The Dreamy filter almost gave me what I was looking for. I applied the filter, dropped the opacity to 68%, and voilà! The photo I wanted.
I had my A-Team moment: I love it when a plan comes together.