Photo modification, and tasks ongoing


in Daily updates, Oxford, Photography, Writing

Wadham College garden, with sumi-e applied

Modified photos of the day

What do people think of the modified photos I have been posting recently? (One, two, three, four, five.) In basically all cases, they have a single Photoshop filter applied, along with some contrast, levels, hue, and sharpness adjustments. I like them because they look good, and they provide a bit of variety. Unlike a film camera, where you can change the look of your photos enormously by using different stock, you are stuck with the characteristics of the digital sensor you have. Even as those become familiar, they begin to feel like constraints.

One thing that seems to be true about photos is that they often contain too much information; just as black and white can be a good way to force attention towards texture and composition, it seems like a lot of shots can be more interesting when elements of their geometry and colouration are highlighted.

That said, if people don’t like such modifications, I can certainly go back to showing straight versions all the time. Unmodified versions of all of these shots can be found on Facebook, as I do not take the time to adjust anything that goes online there.

Ongoing tasks

There is a great deal to be done at the moment:

  1. I need to write two essays for the Developing World seminar, presumably before I go to Turkey with my father.
  2. to prepare for that trip: finding out at least a tiny bit about the country and what to see in it.
  3. to prepare a group debate for this coming Thursday, as well as do the normal readings for that class.
  4. to push a batch of student loan paperwork through the bureaucratic edifices of the college.
  5. read two thesis-related books, three long thesis-related articles, and a thesis related thesis: soon
  6. pay a hefty chunk of backdated rent from this summer
  7. prepare a fifteen minute thesis presentation for this Wednesday
  8. come up with something to do for my birthday on or around the 28th of November (probably around, as there is OUSSG that night)
  9. continue seeking a job for next year
  10. write a first chapter for the thesis?

The collection is a daunting one; hence, the importance of developing and maintaining motivation. This is something that my flatmate Alex seems to have no trouble with – one of the reasons for which he often seems such a likable but incomprehensible creature.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan November 12, 2006 at 6:46 pm

9. continue seeking a job for next year

I sent in an application to McKinsey this evening: my first stab at getting a real job. Alex has very much encouraged me to consider them, and several elements of management consulting are certainly appealing. When I hear anything back from them, it is likely to be discussed on the blog.

Mike Kushnir November 12, 2006 at 8:58 pm

i’m a fan of the park image (with the bench) and photos one and five. the others.

i think that the other ones would have been better left untouched.

nonetheless, keep at it.


ps. ever try making composite images?

Milan November 12, 2006 at 9:07 pm

For reference, here are the links to unmodified images on Facebook:


Two (very different, no?)


Four was too bad to be posted unmodified, even on Facebook

Likewise, five.

Mike: What kind of composite images do you mean?

Victoria Kowalewski November 13, 2006 at 12:23 am

I hate those lists. I have several myself. However, it is deeply satisfying to cross out an item. My own list is a lot like yours: (1) pay rent, (2) do bank paperwork, (3) a multitude of school essays, (4) various academic paperwork (re: bullshit) to push through the system, (4) look for a christmas and possibly a summer job, (4) work on thesis, yadda, yadda, yadda. Good luck to you, champ.

Mike Kushnir November 13, 2006 at 3:13 am

first off, i have to say that i take back what i said about photo three, but i think that photoshopping the stepladder in the back out of the frame might be a good thing.

photo two is amazing as is. i actually think it does a disservice to the photo to put it through that particular filter.

i meant combining two images into one. think of it as a photoshop “collage” of sorts.


ps. i really like the edited church steeple. seriously. i would even suggest that you consider using it as your banner image.

Michelle November 13, 2006 at 4:03 am

Regarding #9, have you seen this listing:

Good luck with your thesis. md

Milan November 13, 2006 at 4:04 pm

Rent paid, student loan forms submitted to the tutorial office for signing and stamping

First volley of essential (family) Christmas cards sent out.

Milan November 14, 2006 at 12:02 am

read two thesis-related books, three long thesis-related articles, and a thesis related thesis: soon

Finished one of the articles. Notes on the wiki.

Milan November 14, 2006 at 1:26 am

After ten straight caffeine-fueled hours, I have reduced the number of emails requiring attention in my inbox from over thirty to eleven. I’ve also read two journal articles and taken good notes on them, and finished about half of my presentation for the thesis seminar Wednesday.

It’s fun to keep track of progress when things are going well.

Pippa November 14, 2006 at 9:43 am

With a to-do list like that, I am shocked – but grateful – you found time to reply to my email (thank you very much). (I now feel a lot better about my own to-do list, though!). Good luck getting through the rest! My best wishes, Pippa

Milan November 16, 2006 at 2:52 pm

The WTO debate is now over and done with.

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