Photography, Schools Out

Cooking Classes Over

It has been a very busy day, and I have been trying very hard to get this image ready for you. I will speak more of that later.

Today’s image is one that I took a couple of times, though from different angles.  The first time I got too much noise because I didn’t take my tripod.  The second time I did, and I was able to get a much better image.

It is so nice to see a classroom that is almost complete – I hope that makes sense.  Most of the classrooms in this school are empty, everything has been removed, and  blackboards were replaced with white boards awhile ago.  They have now been covered with so much graffiti that you can’t tell what they are or were.  At least with this room, you can tell it was a Home Economics room.

The processing has been done a little differently.  The image started as a HDR processed with Photomatix Pro.  I didn’t do some of the layers that I normally do.  I did add quite a bit of detail as I wanted to draw out the edges and the grime that’s there.  I have added some blur, but only around the edges.  I wanted the middle bits to be clear.

I then darkened the image, and added some lightness to the stoves and the floor at the front.  I wanted to make the lighting more dramatic.  If you look at the original image it is very light, and quite nice, but that isn’t the message I wanted the image to have.  I wanted it to look uncared for.

I desaturated it a little because I didn’t want the pink drawers and bench tops to be distracting.  I also decided to add some photo filters, which is not something I normally do.  I added sepia and orange.  I thought it would help take the starkness away.  I believe it worked.

I haven’t done the Black and White or Sepia versions of this today.  I have been doing it quite a bit, and today I thought you could have just the one.  I hope you don’t mind.

This afternoon I ran my last class for the year.  It was a portrait class and I think it went well.  It is always hard to know.  I feel like I am in a total state of disarray and my mind is always trying to think of what I missed.  It’s rather strange.  I was saying to my husband that I don’t like it, but I think as my confidence grows I will start to like it.  My daughters were the models and they did a pretty good job and I think they enjoyed themselves.

Early morning tomorrow, up at 4 to go into the city for more sunrise photos, so I better get a move on and get ready for an early night.


  1. I think this is one of my favorite reworks – the differences are startling.
    As a side note: I wish Home Ec was still required in school…we’ve raised 2 generations who can’t do the Basics for themselves in this country…

    • I agree about Home Ec– I’ve been sewing since I was 5, and when I took Home Ec (in 1977), I clearly knew a lot more about sewing than the teacher! And today, I know many people who own sewing machines, but still ask me to hem their jeans.

      • YOu might that is laziness more than because they don’t know how to do it. I have a machine, but I get a friend to do it for me. She likes sewing and is better at it than me. They still have to do food tech here. Not much, but a semester or two. Thanks Colormusing.

    • Thank you Marie, I am finding that I am toning down a lot of what I was doing and being more subtle, well I hope I am. It is still a requirement here, the kids still have to do it in the first couple of years of school, only for a semester, but better than nothing.

  2. mkriegh says

    Nice photo edit. I have been doing lots of low light photography lately (goes with the time of year up here, or down there from your perspective I imagine). Initially I ramped up the ISO and hand held and got some interesting results, but I have to say, once I made a commitment to my tripod the results were better and more versatile. Keep on posting, I really enjoy your blog.

    • I think sometimes you just have to make that commitment to the tripod, and even though it be annoying to use, in the end it is always worth it. I like low light stuff, I tried to get onto your blog but it wouldn’t let me, will try again soon. Thank you, I am glad you enjoy it, I do like it when people do.

  3. Oh, that is where the school ghosts cook dinner. Definitely the sepia captures the room, mood, and era.

  4. petit4chocolatier says

    Thank you for your hard work on this. This is one of my favorites. I really love the sepia. Brings so much into the picture.

    • I really like it too petit, I had been debating about it for a while, took me a while to work out what to do, but I am happy with the result, and of course, when others say they like it too, even better. Thanks

  5. Excellent use of the Photo Filters, Leanne, and thanks so for darkening that awful ‘salmon pink’! (Ugh, what a terrible color for a Home Econ kitchen…or any kitchen!)

    It’s so sad, after reading garden’s comment, that Home Econ is no longer required! I have a firm belief that every student, male or female, should learn to cook decently…it builds character, and makes for, ultimately, a healthier lifestyle!

    Anyway, an absolutely extra-fine job on this image…happy shooting in the morning!

    • Thank you so much 1000, yes that salmon pink is revolting. haha.
      They still do it here, in the first couple of years of high school, either 1 or 2 semesters. So they still think it is important here.

      • Good, because it is so very necessary…I was talking w/my doctor’s nurse (divorced & working full-time) on Friday–her 16 yr old son does much of the cooking, and is especially kind to his 12 yr old sister by making her breakfast every morning…isn’t that great?

  6. Wow, you really have a talent for making potentially uninteresting places very intriguing. Great images, I really need to try Photomatix.

    • That is also a really nice thing to say, thank you so much. I love being able to do it too, well attempt to. Yes, do try it, they have a trial version, I love it.

  7. Looks like I may have gotten lost in the ether again — or commented somewhere else by mistake. Just wanted to say what an amazing transformation the reworked image is. Hardly looks like the same place!

    • That happens sometime ag, I don’t understand why, so sorry you comment was lost. Thank you so much. I really like the possibilities that are open when you do this sort of thing.

  8. Thanks! Reading your tips is like understanding how a magic trick is done and finding that the tip is magic as well.

    • Mmm, don’t quite know what to make of that. I do these posts more for myself, I am still figuring out stuff.

      • Haha, sorry, I meant that it’s nice to know there is as much magic in the nitty gritty of the picture taking as in the pictures. It’s nice :)

      • That’s okay, I understand how words can get misunderstood. I like that now, I think we forget sometimes how important the “nitty gritty” of taking a picture can be, there can be a lot more to it. Thanks myselves33 for explaining that, I really appreciate it. :)

  9. lmarea3070 says

    Thanks for the brief tutorial. My next project needs some drama so I just may use this coloring technique.

  10. I think it was edited really nice, with the dim and dark colors.. I can’t imagine it being cooler b&w or sepia :)

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