Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gulls and the Joy of Photo Editing

While on a walk along Biscayne Bay, I rounded a bend and found myself engulfed by gulls. A young man had started feeding one or two and soon the gulls had gathered in great numbers, swooping and diving for scraps of bread.

I pulled my iPhone from my pocket and began shooting. The brightness of the sun on my viewing screen prevented me from seeing clearly so, rather than compose my photos, I just pointed and shot. Predictably, most of the pictures failed to capture the magic of the experience. Until I started editing, that is.

I began my work life as an editor of the written word. Editing has always been my passion. Now, it seems, I've transferred that love to photography. It's not so much the raw photos that appeal to me, but what I can do with them once I start editing. So far, I'm using rather basic editing tools. The photos below were manipulated on Picasa. I also sometimes use iPhoto. Judicious cropping and the addition of a few special effects can make an amazing difference.

This is a photo of the scene, unedited.

This is the same photo, but here I've enhanced the lighting.

In the photos below, I cropped, highlighted, sharpened, tinted, and otherwise manipulated the photographs. Editing the photos allowed me to slow time and see things I couldn't take in during the moment. In my own "flight" of fancy, I've tried to create an alternate gull reality. Click on the photos to enlarge them.


  1. Congratulations on your editing!
    Can I use one to post on facebook? (giving you the credits of course?)
    I love gulls and yours are just fantastic!

  2. Been away, and came back to these wonderful photos. Thanks. ~bonnie