Week1 – Summer Holiday

1 – 7 Jan ’11

I was not sure that using a picture that needed such a lot of correcting was a good way to start the year.  I am not a proponent of the “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop” mentality.  However this picture turned out so well,  just the way I wanted after  a bit of tweaking, that I’ve decided to go with it.


This abandoned old beast of burden has sat in the paddock behind my father-in-law’s fishing bach for many years. Its been there since he bought the place 12 years ago.  I’ve always been fascinated by it.  Austin has featured in family snaps, and has been the subject of many photographic experiments as I’ve journeyed from compact film, through Digital Point n’ Shoot to DSLR. I have shots of her surrounded by spring flowers,  lush summer pasture and shivering under bare limbed trees.

We spent our Christmas/Summer holiday at Mangaweka. One of my pass-times while I’m up there is painting. My Lovely Man  had an old saw that he wanted decorated, so I went on the hunt for a suitable image to work from (I can’t paint or draw from real life, I always have to start with a photograph). As it turned out we chose a different subject for the saw painting, but I liked this photo so I kept it.

This was the first test shot I took, obviously the camera settings were all wrong – way underexposed, just horrible.


Week1 - Austin the orginal

I took several more with better exposure. But when I got home I found that the composition of this shot was the one I like the most.  So, after a few tweaks in Photoshop I think I’ve improved it a lot.


Week1 - Austin


Levels, curves, saturation, warming filter, a final nudge at the levels and a quick rescue job on the blown out background. Because my Photoshop skills are still in their infancy I saved each change as I went along. This allowed me to bring back some of the detail in the sunny background that I’d inadvertently lost as I brought up the brightness levels in the main subject.


26 Jan ’11

I’ve just learned that Austin is no more.

The farmer decided he wanted to clean up the field.  Austin was crushed and then pushed in to a hole.  The news shocks and saddens me.  I am now very glad that I chose to use her picture as my first shot for the year.

This blog can serve as her memorial.



Summer time at the River




One response to “Week1 – Summer Holiday

  1. Pingback: Blessings | Click Fifty-Two

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