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9 May 2024

When we take a walk with a camera, we often walk a long way before we take our first shot. And sometimes we just never do turn the camera on. We never know whether we'll come back with 40 images or none.\\

Trash Can. Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm II R kit lens at 20mm (40mm equivalent), f4, 1/800 second and ISO 200. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

Yesterday we took a walk and had gone quite far, about halfway, when we came across this badly weathered but just painted trash can. We admired its persistence.

So we took the picture.

We were careful to compose the shot so there was some flora behind the green can. But that's all.

The editing is the story here. It took quite an effort.

First of all, we had to straighten the street shot. But what was straight? We decided to run a guide across the image that lined up along the left and right top corners of the can's cover. Then we rotated the image until they were aligned parallel to the guide.

The next trick was taming the exposure.

The camera exposure, seen directly above, is overexposed. But because we were shooting Raw, that didn't ruin things. It just obscured the subject, which was the rusted cover.

It was easy enough to optimize the main exposure in Camera Raw so it wasn't overexposed but the rusted cover still wasn't obvious. That was what attracted us to the scene to begin with but here it was obscured.

We used Photoshop's Select Subject tool and were fortunate that it selected the can top. We processed that in Camera Raw once more, essentially developing two different "prints" or images from the same "negative" or data.

We added a vignette and called it a day, saving yet another image from, well, the trash.

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