Sunday, January 13, 2008

Portrait in a Doorway #1 or #2


"Portrait in a Doorway #1"
Bula School, Texas

"Portrait in a Doorway #2"
Bula School, Texas

My best friend and photo pal Donna gave me the Have Camera Will Shoot assignment of "Portrait in a Doorway." So who better to be my model than Donna herself?

These pictures were taken at at the old Bula School near Bula, Texas. Built in 1925 and closed in 1975, the school later burned down. The red brick shell remains, including the wonderfully evocative doorway. (You can see a color, non-cropped version of the school at TexasEscapes, one of the handy sites I use when researching old places around Texas.)

These are the kind of pictures that someone, say Donna's Mama, wouldn't like much. They don't do her outer beauty justice, it's true. But I hope they have captured something about the part of her spirit that is rugged and tenacious. My girl's got hutzpah.

Photo info --
Picture 1: Cropped to get in closer on Donna, although the lovely school arch went the wayside. Changed from RGB to Grayscale. Adjusted curves for better contrast. Did a full 100% sharpen because I liked the way it brought out all the textures and elements, like the the trees in the back and the broken glass. Something about this picture reminds me of portraits I've seen of Georgia O'Keefe.

Picture 2: Not cropped. Changed from RGB to Grayscale. Adjust curves. Then made a new layer copy of the image, reduced layer's opacity to 50% and put a 4.9 radius Guassian blur on it. Gives it that soft, moody look.

18 comments:

Bobbie said...

Both pictures have a surreal quality to them. Strange that would happen when they got opposite treatments, one is extremely sharp while the other is blurred. Still I like them both, but I have to vote for #2.

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

One is "like a" Walker Evans, two "like a" Robert Frank....one shows strength and two shows mystery/intelligence.

I cannot be "or'ed" tonight.

Fawzan Barrage said...

I'll take 2 for sure. Very powerful. Something about the shadow on the back of the neck pulls me to this shot. I love it.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

if you know my art, you know i like soft...so you can bet i'll pick #2...it makes me curious what she is looking at. id love to see donna in close up for #1 but then you'd lose to doorway...

nelda said...

#2 because of the sense of mystery it gives. Both very good, but #2 is my choice of the two.

D.C. Confidential said...

Both are very good. I'm leaning toward No. 2, though, because it has a nostalgic quality.

Frances said...

ooooh - I like both - the first is really gritty and gives the atmosphere of dereliction and shows your lovely Donna's strength power and determination, true grit. The second is more soft focus and plastic and she looks real pretty - so depends what you were aiming for - If grit and realism 1 and if pretty picture more impressionism, 2.

dianeclancy said...

HI Debi,

They are both nice but I choose #2.

There is such an atmosphere of wondering what is going on ...

thank you!

How are you?

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

Andi said...

I choose #2. The first one is too posed, compared to the second one which feels very spontaneous. They're both wonderful in black and white, though. It makes them both kind of old-timey.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

I like your choice of black and white. Number 2 is my fav because it's quite an arty shot. I like the softness of it too.
Glad to see your having fun on these photo safaris!

McKayla said...

Donna is so pretty.

I love both of them.
Very beautifull

The black and white added that extra touch.

-McKayla

Sweet Irene said...

I like number 1 the best, but I can't speak in any photographic terms why I do. I like the sharpness of it and the fact that she stands there so straight and stern looking in that old burned down building. It's a much more realistic looking photograph,I guess.

Neda said...

Number 1 because it reminds me of the movies of Truffaut, Antonioni, etc. A dramatic frame within a frame. It's a winner!

Bev said...

I like 2 best. It sort of sums up what you two are doing, walking about, looking at things and taking pictures, even in the most unlikely places.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Did I miss something? No posts for a few days...hope you are ok:)

dianeclancy said...

Hi Debi,

I am just checking in ... I am hoping you are ok after your loss. You almost always post.

Know you, Donna, Bobbie and your family are in my thoughts and prayers ... sending healing love your way!

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

Bev said...

Ditto to everyone else's comments. I have been coming back to your blog too.

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

OK, I cannot wait any more to see how you interpret "animal love." My best, take care. John.