Fantasy Scum



Going through old files, I found this from 2020. I have quite a few from a backwater in Humboldt Bay (northern California) that had great scum. I’d processed a couple, but have never shown them because I felt like I had to do “too much” processing to them to get a look I liked. Since then, I’ve relaxed my thoughts on what is “too much”. I’m internalizing Guy Tal’s philosophy that we should use the tools at hand to make expressive photos. We don’t necessarily need to think of the camera as just a recording device (unless that’s your thing ). It’s all good.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

This seems mostly aesthetic to me - it’s certainly not narrative. I didn’t process it with a particular emotional appeal in mind, but upon looking at it now, it feels calmly flowing. I could have taken the color in whatever direction I wanted, but blue was definitely my first choice. I posted the raw file for comparison to the end product - I really tweaked the histogram.

Technical Details

a7r3, 105mm, f/8, 1/400s, ISO 400, hand held.


Wow! I really like what you did with this, Bonnie. I like the little bits of yellow floating around in the blue. And the swirls are really neat. It makes me think of those satellite images of weather patterns in the ocean!

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I love this type of photo. You did a great job with the composition. The swirls are perfectly placed. How did you get it to be blue?

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Bonnie, I’m with you in thinking that the concept of “too much processing” is entirely subjective in any artistic expression. I like this very much. In fact (and I mean this as a compliment) I would find it very relaxing as a source of tiles on the bathroom or kitchen wall. I would be tempted to mount the tiles reversing and maybe also flipping the image, as tilers often do. I don’t mean to trivialize your image. To have a room with one’s own tile design would be the ultimate luxury.


Thanks, @Vanessa_Hill, @Chris_Baird, & @Mike_Friel.

Chris, I just lowered the temperature in ACR. That made it nice and blue, probably because it was so neutral to start with. I also adjusted the hue of the blue to my taste.

Mike - tiles are a cool idea, actually. I think maybe just the occasional one, rather than a whole wall, depending on one’s boldness level.


Very cool processing, Bonnie. I really like the feel of your final image, though it doesn’t feel “calmly” flowing to me, but rather boisterously flowing. I’ve done some somewhat similar processing to images of frost patterns on a car window taken from the inside, but this resulted in much more variation in tones.

Love how you have processed this image, Bonnie. It feels almost like the texture of hand made paper or even a painting gone wild. The swirls are so inviting and keep my attention for quite some time. If I had taken this, I am not sure I would have given it a second chance. Good for you to keep the faith and very nicely done.

Thanks @linda_mellor & @Dennis_Plank. You’re right Dennis - more boisterous than calm.

Hi Bonnie,

I kept meaning to comment on this but haven’t till now, better late than never, right.

This was very creative and the colors are wonderful!! :slight_smile:

Actually, the raw looks pretty good, too, just not as colorful or as deep feeling but nice. :slight_smile:

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