Monday, September 14, 2009

The Boat

When I was in Paris this summer I went to Monet’s Garden for inspiration and history. I did not go with the intention to get any serious photography done. I assumed there would be too many visitors to the garden to make that possible. This was also a place where I knew I would not be able to use a tripod, so I grabbed just my camera bag and hoped for the best.

My infrared image of the boat in the pond was one of those “shoot from the hip, shoot fast and get out of the way” photographs. Once I got home and started editing images I knew this was one I wanted to work on.

I liked it, but I was disappointed in it too. The composition was not great – the boat should not have been in the middle of the frame. Also, in one of the shots, the boat is too close to the edge and in the other one, the top of the image was overexposed.

I made the decision to print and color the closely cropped one.

It was okay, but the boat seemed to get lost in the image.

So I printed another one and
made the boat much lighter so I could add more color.

My eyes kept going to the upper trees and not the boat, so once again I planned to make another print and this time darken the trees a bit.

While I was discussing this with Merle (an amazing artist with a studio down the hall – check out her website - I realized that if the trees were the problem, why not just crop them out. We started using scraps of paper to see what that would look like and soon I decided that this image could be a square! I was very excited! Also, because I was cropping the trees out, I could use the image that had more room to the right of the boat. Two problems solved!

Bateau à Giverny ©2009 Dianne Poinski

This experience taught me quite a few things. First - perseverance. I was almost ready to give up on this image, but I don’t like to admit defeat until I have exhausted all my options. Second, I am so grateful to have people to brainstorm with. It’s one of the reasons I wanted a studio outside of my home and around other artists. I may have reached this conclusion on my own but there is something about having another set of eyes and someone who can listen while you think “out loud”, that makes it not only easier, but more fun.

Within a day, I had another one printed and after coloring it, had it scanned by Sacramento Giclee. By 6:00 Friday evening, before our weekend open studio, the original was framed and on the wall and limited editions prints were in the print racks.

I was very happy with the finished product and it seemed to be well received all weekend. Good thing I did not give up………………..


  1. i hope my dreams be filled with similar images....

  2. i love reading about your process. it makes me feel like a part of it.

  3. It's beautiful, I love how the leaves are in and out of focus at various points. It makes it so dreamy!

  4. Thanks everyone! I appreciate your comments!

  5. I love this photo. Cropping. What an awesome tool, my best friend when I was a photographer/graphic designer. Thank you for the support in your comment on my blog. Seeing the photo of your studio and reading this blog entry makes me question my decision.

  6. First, LOVE the final product here.

    Second, thanks for the comment on blisschick today -- and I ADORE what you did for your birthday -- truly inspirational. :)