Using Special Effects for Travel Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

no.passingIn my recent trip to Albuquerque, I accompanied my wife as she called on clients, which entailed visits to some of the office and industrial parks in the area where it was a challenge to make images, at least ones interesting to me. I’ve always believed that the most important person you have to please with your photography is yourself, not a camera club or professional association print judge. If you make images you like maybe others will like them…or not. It doesn’t matter. Photography is both a universal language and an intensely personal discipline, so youpays your money and makes your choice.”

For some of my Hidden ABQ series, I tended to use in-camera special effects. These two photographs show what I mean. The top image was captured with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 in Standard mode; the bottom in the Impressive Art filter in the Art Filters mode. Panasonic says, “this effect creates a unique image with a higher contrast and surreal appearance. Saturation can be adjusted” but the truth is that sometimes this filter works great and sometime it doesn’t, which goes to prove one of Farace’s Laws that “all special effects are subject dependent.”


The next image was also made with the Impressive Art filter. It was shot while walking around the industrial park and I spotted that car covered up on the property of a custom wood door builder. I usually won’t go onto private property but there was some workers about and I said “Hi and waved and they waved back. (See Mark’s post on talking to strangers.) At one point, somebody came up and asked the inevitable “what are you doing” and I told him “taking pictures” and showed him some on the GH4’s preview screen. He said “cool” and let me continue to make pictures. If he had said “leave,” I would have left; If he asked me to erase the photos I would have done that too but he didn’t because I was friendly and showed him how I saw his storage yard in a completely different way.

Coming up in future installments, more close encounters with people, including one involving an American Flag from 1865…