Re-Cooked No 1

    A Man and His Dog

This is the first post for what will be an ongoing monthly theme, I hope you find it interesting.

Each month I will choose re-engineered images from times past to post and chat about, these will include old images that have been scanned from prints or film, they may not all be mine, in fact many won't be. 

Most will come from my extensive vault of old family photos and some like todays image will originate from commercial scanning jobs where I have obtained permission and re-jigged the files.

Today's image was obtained from a good friend, Peter Mowle, it is one of a set of family photos he asked me to scan and repair.  The identity of the subjects in the photo are not yet confirmed but Peter is reasonably sure the gentleman with the dog is his Grandfather.  This being the case the image is probably around 80-90 years old.

The original is heavily creased, cracked and faded just like many old snaps, all of that has been removed for the final image.

When scanning the image I decided to crop the frame roughly to the current proportions to remove a large amount of dead space on the right hand side and when doing so I was struck  by the simple beauty of the composition.  I decide to play around with the file a little more and hone the framing to heighten the effect.

Once cropped I was taken by the sheer impressionistic style of the photo, both in content and quality.

With so little real detail the image tells a lovely story of a relaxed afternoon with the family dog, aimlessly wandering around a park, enjoying warm winters day.  All activities we still enjoy, good times when life takes a turn to the simple and un-rushed.

The actual rendering is very much like a monochrome "pictorialist" work, but I doubt the photographer set out to achieve that result, rather the image reflects a happy accident where composition, timing and limited equipment have joyously conspired to produce something flawed yet beautiful.

For my own part the image has been extensively dodged and burnt, some parts sharpened, other softened, some details drawn in so noise added and even a slight tint and vignette applied, but I have tried to stay sympathetic to the nature of the image.

I vacillated over whether I should clone out the shadow of the photographer, but in the end decided it added a sense of reality to the image and also balanced off against the dark area diagonally opposite the shadow.

Enjoy and thanks to Peter for kindly allowing me to use the image.

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