Category Archives: Digital Photographic Practice

Assignment 5: Personal Project

Assignment Brief

Produce 10-12 images on a subject of your choosing using techniques learnt within this course.


At first I struggled with this as the brief seemed so wide open that the freedom to choose my own subject actually felt like a hindrance to me. I drafted a number of possible subject areas and then identified the individual areas I could photograph. After some debate with my tutor on finding an appropriate subject that would match the course brief but also be feasible for me to undertake, my original ideas of British icons was put back to a personal project idea and my interest in urban decay and ruined buildings came to the fore. I very much wanted to keep within my specific style of photographing the unusual and this fitted really well. I’m a very big fan of urban decay and exploration with books by Romany (2010) and Margaine (2009) being inspiring, however I have to admit that access and safety issues certainly influenced the locations I would be visiting.

My idea started off as photographing decayed buildings and structures but it evolved after I’d taken some images in the Peak District into a more rounded subject of ‘Forsaken’ featuring anything that had been abandoned, reclaimed (by nature or people) or reused. Forsaken refers to the fact that at some point a decision has been made to abandon or leave a building or item and while at some point there might be re-use, it’s not immediate and not everything gets a new lease of life.


I copied the images into a working folder where I could work on these and still keep the originals elsewhere as a back-up. I went through and deleted those that were obviously technically imperfect and those which lacked the impact I wanted.

I then shortlisted the images twice and when I was satisfied that I’d chosen the strongest images based on the composition, technical quality and whether it matched my brief of reuse, reclaim or abandonment. I then used Photoshop CS6 to edit these and my shortlist was 22 images. For the next stage I had these printed and then I looked at them all and chose a selection of the strongest images and those that I liked. For some it was as simple as choosing the monochrome version as it had more punch and a stronger feel of the dereliction and abandonment. I shortlisted this selection down to 12 images which I would then submit in prints and book format.


While the brief requires prints to be submitted as part of this assignment, I’d also had an idea about a supplementary method of presentation. When I’d visited the Impressions gallery in Bradford, they had a number of small 6×4 soft booklets for sale and the one that caught my eye and is now in my learning log was on ‘Vacant Possession’ where the photographer Rowan Drury had captured images of properties that had been left but where the residents had left possessions behind. The subject matter of abandoned possessions complimented my chosen area and would be something that I’d like to work in in another project. I liked the format of it and thought that it would complement my prints but also be something that could be viewed on its own. One issue that I found while researching this was that printing a small one off booklet required a minimum number of pages which was more than double the number of images I had to submit. As the booklet I’d seen had a small introduction in it, I then thought that I could intersperse the images with text about the subject to make this viable.

The Images

East Buxton Lime Works steps (reclaimed)

The East Buxton Lime works was opened in 1880 adjacent to the Midland Railway west of Millers Dale Station. The kilns were served by a narrow gauge tramway from the adjacent quarry and the tipping skips were hauled up an incline to be emptied into the two pots. While the production ended here in 1944, the path to the top of the lime kilns is still in place and you can see the old tram track and climb to the top and also go into the kilns. This image shows the steps leading up into the kilns. I also took an alternate image of just the steps which I loved but compared to this one, it didn’t tell a story, and it didn’t suggest that there was a place to explore; it could have been steps anywhere. By altering the composition within the frame and expanding this, I’m making it clear that I want the viewer to think about going up those steps and through that doorway and wondering what lies beyond.


Broken door (abandoned)

image1) ©Mick Garratt


This is part of Dale View Terrace at Cressbrook close to Cressbrook Mill. These was a residence built in 1817 to house apprentices from the mill and was later changed into individual houses. As I walked past, these were sat higher up from the path I was walking on and the green door caught my eye making me wonder why it was abandoned and what was behind it. Attached to the terrace is a Victorian castle folly that was designed to disguise the workers cottages sitting behind this and when I passed it was a café that had closed down.


I feel that the colours really work well and grab the eye with the contrast of the green door and the stone of the building surrounding it, it was important that I had the low angle so that the viewer can see the grass and weeds growing up in front of the doorway and the focus on the broken wood as only then does it become clear that this entrance is now abandoned and hints that the rest of the building has also fallen by the wayside.

Monsal trail tunnel

The Monsal trail is the converted Midland railway route running from outside of Buxton to Bakewell. While the route has been open to the public since 1981, due to safety reasons the four railway tunnels built on the route had been closed until 2011 when a full refurbishment of the trail was finished. Now the abandoned and unloved tunnels are fully open and visitors can pass through Headstone tunnel, Cressbrook tunnel, Litton tunnel and Chee Tor tunnel, the route has been lit, paved and tidied up to have a new lease of life.


image2) ©Rowsley Association

LMS Compound No.1050 is seen here passing over Monsal Dale viaduct having just left Headstone Tunnel

image3) ©Andrew Abbott


This image shows a cyclist as I wanted to capture reuse and the change from rail to cycle, giving a new lease of life to the area and the tunnels. While the tunnels are quite heavily utilised by cyclists, I had to wait to get one from the entrance coming in towards me and be ready to capture them at the point I wanted in the frame. I wanted to ensure that from the left to the right there was detail that the viewer would look at. Inside the changes extend to a newly laid flat path and lighting but the grime of the steam era is still present and the individual cut outs in the side of the tunnel are still there. I converted this to monochrome as the original image was almost there with the grey tones and helps to remove some of the yellowish artificial light in there.


Stone Barn (reclaimed)

While a derelict or ramshackle barn in the country isn’t an unusual site on its own, this old barn in the Peak District has very much been reclaimed by nature with the trees having grown up through the empty space and missing roof over the years. Nature is very much here to stay. I encountered this on a walk as the path led past it, and while I saw many derelict and abandoned barns, this was the first one that looked most intact apart from the trees in the middle, and it was this unusual aspect that made me stop. I took a number of different images from this one to one that was cropped closer but it didn’t have the same impact and I liked the wider angle view as the viewer could then see the fact this barn was surrounded by other trees and landscape. One thing I try and do is to place an image in the context to help a viewer read the text.


Outhouse Manchester (reuse)

The three blocks that comprise ‘Outhouse’ used to be public toilets. Located in Manchester on the Northern Quarter’s Stevenson Square, Outhouse is an outdoor project space for public art with this being changed every three months.

image4) ©Michael Ely

This was the first time I’d visited this particular area in Manchester and wasn’t expecting to see such a large area of artwork. The strong reds caught my eye and I took a number of images from different angles, my favourite two are here, I like the wider shot as it shows the structure in the context of the street square. You can recognise that this used to be a public toilet but its new lease of life really catches the eye and attracts attention and also provides a splash of colour in the area. I had two different versions of this to choose between, I used Photoshop to draw a lasso around the building so I could then turn the background to monochrome, it was almost there with just some highlights of orange on the buildings behind. I kept the other as it was with full colour and when I compared the two printed versions, I thought that the monochrome version made the outhouse stand out even more and really show it off. In the colour version there was a distraction in the orange Koffee Pot shop front and using the monochrome conversion with the highlighted red area focuses the viewer on what I want them to look at.



The second image was the artwork painted onto the end, I didn’t do much processing apart from slightly increase the blacks and saturation. I liked this as it could be any building that has been rescued, it’s not quite as obvious as the other as to its previous life and I found that when it was printed out it really catches the eye. The graffiti style artwork can also be viewed in two different ways, a modern way to brighten up an old unused building or as an ugly defacement in a city centre. The ways that viewers will read this differs accordingly as we all bring our own views and opinions to photography and art and as a part of this series I can influence how I want these to be seen through my theme.

Communications pylon (abandoned)

This is a former electricity/communication/telegraph pole that has been abandoned and is now mingling in with the trees. However it is quite eye-catching and still has its original earthing pots and wires attached. While this is off the path slightly, it’s easy to access through the flattened grass so I wasn’t the first person to take a closer look. I converted this to monochrome as I wanted to get a more timeless feel of when it was still working. With this, the appeal is that it’s blending into the trees and is partially hidden, and the conversion to monochrome just helped with making this match the tones and lines of the trees, aiding the reclamation effect.


Bowling green pavilion (abandoned)

image5)  © Francis Frith

Bank Park was opened as a public park in 1873 as a welcome green space within an area of heavy industry. Adjoining Bank Hall, later to become the Town Hall, the park features a bowling pavilion that is no longer used and is abandoned and boarded up, watching over empty bowling green’s while waiting long debated regeneration. I tried a number of close up images of different sides of the pavilion but it was hard to see what the building was, with the face on view I feel that the impact is stronger as you see the whole of the building and the full extent of the graffiti and boarding up. The face on view is more a traditional viewpoint that someone would look at or photograph the building. I personally preferred the view from the front and composed the image so that the path was also leading the eye in picture. I tried a mono conversion but the colours brought this alive so I kept to the original.


Millers Dale

Miller’s Dale was at its time an important and high volume railway junction used both for passengers moving between Manchester and London via the Midland Railway and agricultural and quarried freight.

image 6) ©John Alsop Collection

Viaduct (reclaimed)

This second viaduct was built around 1905 and was in existence until the line closed to all rail traffic in 1968. Now access is restricted and has been reclaimed by nature as the older viaduct is still open and providing part of the Monsal trail access. This caught my eye as I really like to see plants and grass interwoven with aging metal, and seeing nature reclaiming the bridge gave it a real sense of being abandoned and forsaken. I converted this to monochrome as the pattern of the bridge was really strong and fitted in well with this.


Monsal trail via the Midland Railway line at Millers Dale (Reused)

image7) ©Chris Jennings

Since the railway was closed in 1967 the station has become a car park serving the Monsal Trail, although the main buildings remain, being used as a ranger station and public toilets .The station platforms are still there and while there is no railway line anymore, you still get a sense of the route taken. I enhanced the sky slightly using Photoshop and the dodge tool just to bring out some of the clouds and then converted it to monochrome as the leading lines are quite strong and it worked better than the colour version. It has a very lonely feel to it with no people or action taking place which is exaggerated by the strong sky and the monochrome colour.


Garnett’s Cabinet Works (abandoned)

image Copyright unknown

Originally built in 1890 and added to over subsequent years, the building that used to be Garnett’s cabinet works has been abandoned for years and is slowly getting more and more derelict. There are parts of the building that have collapsed over time and now the safest way to see this is from the outside. It’s hard to get a clear view from the front of the site as it’s fenced off and partly obscured. I went around the back where the safer part of the building is, the windows are broken but the building looks quite intact and from this angle you don’t get an indication that it’s derelict with rotting floors inside. The dereliction is more obvious when I moved towards the end building. I kept this in colour as I liked the light, it was early in the morning and the sun was up so there is a golden glow. There was a telephone wire stretching across the middle of the image into the sky that was obvious so I used the clone stamp tool to erase this. Where there is a wire lower down, I’ve left this in the image as it’s not as obvious and to clone it out would be more obvious than leaving it in. The light is highlighting just where I wanted the viewer to look, as you then notice the darker building to the right of the image, secondly to the face on building in the light.





Now I’m looking back at this project, I feel very much that this is just an opener for a piece of work that fascinates me and one that I will continue with as I’d like to extend this into a larger body of work. One of my reflections is that it’s important to keep an open mind as some of the buildings and locations that I expected to work just didn’t and others had a really good impact that I didn’t fully see when I took the image. I did take my time with this, I took a lot of the images early in the process, planned visits and repeat visits and then spent a lot of time viewing the images both on a PC screen and also printed considering which I liked and which worked. It took some time to research and to write up and I also had a couple of weeks delay whilst waiting for responses on the use of some photographs that I wanted to use to show how the sites used to be. I was conscious that I needed to give owners of the photographs time to come back to me with permission usage too, and at the time of finishing up this assignment I was disappointed not to have received any responses, although where a website has had open information on the re-use of photographs this has been a great help.

While I initially thought that the open brief was too challenging, it helped me to work through what I liked, what I wanted to photograph and to know that sometimes an idea has to be put aside at times to be picked up later. As much as I enjoyed the content of this, it was equally important for me to learn the processes of a project and to follow these through from the conception through to the printing and presentation so that I can apply these to further projects.

Other Images

As a sample of some of the images that were part of the series but I rejected in favour of the others.


Badger, Gerry 2007. The Genius of Photography. Quadrille Publishing

Barrett, Terry. 2012. Criticizing photographs: An introduction to understanding images. McCraw Hill. 5th edition.

Drury, Rowan. 2001.Vacant Possession.

Margaine, Sylvain. 2009. Forbidden Places – Exploring our abandoned heritage. Jonglez

Romany, WG. 2010. Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration. CarpetBombingCulture

Photograph Credits and Copyright Details

1) Broken Door- Apprentice House, Dale View Terrace ©Mick Garratt via

2) Train over Monsal Dale viaduct. © Rowsley Association via

3) Closed tunnel (Monsal Head Tunnel) ©Andrew Abbott via

4) Outhouse/Public toilet Stevenson Square ©Michael Ely via

5) Bank Park Bowling Green © Francis Frith Collection

6) Millers Dale ©John Alsop collection via

7) Millers Dale ©Chris Jennings via

8) Copyright unknown

All of the above work available via is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Exercise: Sharpening

Take an image that you have processes as the reference standard, with some edge detail and some smooth areas. A portrait is ideal, and ensure that you have applied no sharpening.

Make three more versions, each with a different degree of sharpening, make sure that the weakest of the three is quite close in on-screen appearance to the unsharpened original and that the strongest is noticeably aggressive.

Print all four at full size and with neutral lighting next to the computer screen compare these with the 100% magnified version online. Write down the differences and which is most appropriate to my taste.

1) No sharpening

2) Sharpening at 35%

3) Sharpening at 80%

4) Sharpening at 150%

When comparing the images, its easy to see that with over sharpening comes increased image noise and at 150% when viewed at full size, this is very noticeable and I feel degrades the image. Personally I prefer no sharpening or at the lower end.

My preferred image- no sharpening

portrait 1

Study weekend

Off to the residential study weekend this afternoon in Leeds. While its not official OCA we have some tutors coming down and the support of the OCASA. Really looking forwards to it, nervous about meeting new people but i’m sure we’re all like that before a new study event.

I’m armed with my camera, notebook and pens so hoping to get some notes I can type up onto the blog and if the weather stays nice, some photographs of Leeds!

Feedback and Updates

I’ve just sent in assignment 4 ‘real or fake’ and am looking forwards to receving my tutors feedback. I found the actual reading around and background of fakery in photography fascinating and it really gave me a lot to think about. From looking at photography from a purely artistic view, I then moved over to looking at the ethics behind manipulation and I think this is something that will now always stick with me, especially when looking at news photography.

I’ve also got feedback from assignment 3 from my tutor and am very happy with the comments. I need to work on my prints but I presume that as I get more experienced with 3rd party printing companies I’ll start to get more acquainted with how best to bring the tones out. One of my next tasks is to look at the work of Tom Hunter and Nicky Bird. From the examples provided I’m really looking forwards to investigating these further. I’m struck by Hunters reconstruction of John Everett Millais’ ‘Ophelia’ as its one of my favourite paintings and I’m a huge pre-raphaelite fan. I was also taken with Bird’s ‘Tracing Echoes’ where she’d traced relatives of original models used by Julia Margaret Cameron and retook these photographs now.

I’ve seen this concept before, I’m a regular visitor to Whitby and particularly like Frank Meadows Sutcliffe work, collecting some of his books, and one that I’ve looked at over the years and has fascinated me, is ‘Every Now and Then’ where Michael J Shaw has traced relatives of original work by Sutliffe and has taken a modern reconstruction and presented this photograph next to the original. As welll as being interesting historically, just to see that through the decades there is still resemblance and familiarity is so fascinating.

With my work on assignment 5, i’m moving a little bit into the comparison of new and old with my project on capturing dereliction/urban decay compared to how locations looked originally. I think due to the amount of research work this could be something to be progressed as a long term project.

Assignment 4: Real or Fake

Assignment Brief

The last few exercises should have helped to clarify your opinion on the potential for altering content and viewer’s perception in an image, and helped you to define your own stance. The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate this stance and the means involve completing a task which lies in the middle ground of the real versus fake argument.

The object is to produce a photographic image to illustrate an imaginary book or magazine cover. Covers are sales vehicles for their content, and so often quite widely interpreted by art directors, illustrators and photographers. The moral ground is therefore potentially ambiguous.

Decide on a topic to be illustrated, you could take an existing book and devise a new cover for it that gets the theme or story across to a prospective reader, taking a photograph especially for it. Explore the areas of adjustment and (possibly) manipulation that would make the image successful as a cover. This might, as just one example involve shading or extending an area at the top in order to make space for the title. Or you might choose to combine two visual elements (juxtaposition)

Accompany the finished image with a description of the techniques you considered using and finally used, and also your ethical justification.


The debate on real or fake has shadowed photography for decades, well before the advent of computers and image editing software. From modification through pushing and pulling film to enhancing contrast levels in Photoshop, photographers have always undertaken a level of processing to provide them with the most out of the image. While these modifications and removal of dust spots, stray telephone lines etc. can make an image more aesthetically pleasing, the original intent is still there, albeit adjusted but if a person visited the location, they would see enough to recognise it. Where the debate becomes cloudier is in the addition or removal of components that give the image a different context and feel.

Originally the view was that the camera never lies, however with the advent of combination printing where photographers such as Rejlander combined a number of negatives to form one image in ‘Two Ways of Life’, this was proved to be wrong. (Jeffrey, 1996)

It’s hard to write about real or fake without referring to some well-known cases, and one of those has to be the Cottingley fairies. I recently visited the National Media Museum in Bradford where there is a collection of some of their cameras and a reproduction of one of their images showing that the use of techniques to add to a composition have long been in place and that our current software suites are just another tool to create with. Looking at the image with modern eyes and knowledge it’s easy to believe that these are not necessarily faked images but composites mixing reality and fantasy. Would I have had the same thoughts viewing those at the time? I don’t know, I think I might have taken them at face value and believed the fairies did exist without the obvious signs of manipulation, and to put it in the context of the back end of the First World War, it was possibly a lot more believable than it would be today.


At the other end of the scale of deliberate manipulation is the 2003 case of Brian Walski. I only stumbled across this when I was searching for some examples of modified images and found the article to be fascinating. While taking pictures in Iraq, Walksi took two images in close succession and used Photoshop to merge these into one. Van Riper writing for the Washington Post states that ‘He had to consciously manipulate his two digital pictures in Photoshop-an action requiring both skill and intent. He had to create the separate, faked image and –again with intent- transmit it to his editors saying nothing about the alteration’.

This was only noticed when a duplication of the background was spotted, if there had been no forensic trace of the blending, would this have been identified as fake or would it have been accepted as per other images from an established photojournalist who up until then had a history of credibility?

For me, the debate is not black and white and it very much depends on what the use of the photograph is and the context in which it’s being used. For this assignment, the end product I’m producing is a book cover; looking at other covers they are more an exercise in design to get the reader interested than to portray reality. In the case of Walksi, my views are much clearer, if the photograph was to depict a factual moment in time then modification should not have been used, I understand that it created a stronger image but is verging towards propaganda in influencing the audience towards a particular viewpoint. If it had been portrayed in an exhibition or gallery as an example of the conditions in Iraq, then I feel that it wouldn’t have been viewed so harshly.

My research has moved from not just faked photographs, but also to the ethical debate on staging photographs or posing subjects and implying that it’s actually happened in that way and at that point in time. This isn’t something that’s clear cut and we’ll all have our own ideas. For this assignment, my brief is to portray a book cover that stands out, attracts the viewer’s eye and gives a hint as to the story contained within.
With my other photography I will happily modify my images for aesthetic purposes by undertaking digital development, sharpening, removing stray dust spots and minor blemishes. I will consider the audience for the work when I decide what Photoshop actions I need to undertake, and while I can’t say that I won’t ‘fake’ aspects, I can see that these are more for images that will be displayed as art not realism.

The Subject

After giving some consideration to what I could use as a subject, I first of all considered a magazine cover, and then I considered a take on one of my favourite books that’s fantasy based and would be a good subject. The book I chose to re-design was ‘The Affinity Bridge’ by George Mann, essentially its a genre known as steampunk where history as we know it took a different path and we have the Victorian era with airships, automatons, steam powered vehicles and Queen Victoria being kept alive artificially. I’d taken a number of photographs of the peak district landscape as I knew they would be a useful backdrop for the exercises in assignment 4 and I specifically took a number of photographs of this crumbled road knowing that it was a good canvas to add to.

There are two covers to the novel, and I only found the second one after this had been completed so to see that I’ve also echoed the cog design was quite interesting. However I used the cogs as they symbolise elements in the story as well as being one of the most recognisable icons of steampunk related paraphernalia from jewellery through to clothing.

The Process

I checked the background for anything modern and I removed the car, telegraph pole and white lines on the road using the clone stamp tool. I then selected just the sky and used adjustments so that I decreased the brightness and increased the contrast to bring more colour back into the white sky as it was quite white. I worked with layers a lot here, converting the image to monochrome. I then edited an image of an airship, using the magnetic lasso tool to highlight it, and then I boosted the colour to a more brass/gold tone. I then copied this as a layer and pasted it twice into the image to get a feeling that there were fleets of airships.

In order to enhance the steampunk theme of the book, I took a photograph of a leather cog shaped necklace I’ve got, cropped this, saved it as a layer and then pasted it twice in. Using the history brush to remove the white background I’d taken the image on, I took my time and worked carefully to erase the white so that the cogs were standing out.

To finish the image, I chose the viner hand itc font as I wanted something that wasn’t quite modern and put the title and author at the top of the page where I had the expanse of sky and while I always envisaged the text there, it really stands out and works well.

In all I’ve spent around 8 hours working through Photoshop to get this how I wanted it. Effectively editing an image is not a quick process, it needs to be considered and done with care so that any major editing to create a ‘fake’ image will be done with thought and the knowledge that you want to create this effect. It’s not a quick mistake, it’s a planned action.


I could potentially put more detail into the book cover to make it more fantasy related in line with the real covers, but I wanted an edge and sense of realism and I think through the use of the photograph as opposed to drawn or illustrated background this adds interest to the story and what will happen to the UK with the different plot points. While the novel is London based, there are elements such as the use of airships (dirigibles) and the revenants that spread out of the capital.

The Original Covers







The Affinity Bridge- My cover










Bibliography & References

Jeffery, Ian. 1996. Photography: A concise history. Thames and Hudson. London. 2nd edition. Rejlander image p 43

Van Riper, Frank. Manipulating Truth, Losing Credibility. Available through The Washington Post. [Accessed 16th August 2012]

Exercise: Improvement or interpretation?

Photograph a portrait in a setting and then use a manual selection method to select just the area of the person e.g. lasso tool or mask painting with a brush. Then save the selection and make any adjustments to this area that makes it stand out more clearly from the surroundings while still looking realistic.

I chose an image I’d taken of a band player at Southport air show where the background is quite busy and the attention should be on him. In Photoshop CS6 I used the magnetic lasso as I was struggling using my tablet and pen and the mouse to get a perfect line, ensuring that I selected the edges of the image as I wanted to darken the background not the subject. I then decided to crop the image just to make the focus stronger on the subject. I feel that comparing the images side by side that there is much more impact with the edited image and the colours make the subject stand out more against the darker background. I’d also been experimenting with the magnetic lasso technique and managed to select the figure and to alter him to monochrome while keeping the background normal coloured. While this isn’t ‘realistic’ in terms of the exercise, it’s a good example of what alteration can be done to make a statement without altering the subjects within the image.

Original image


Modified Image


Modified experiment

ii one

Consider the limits

I wouldn’t use this technique to take a subject from a background and to place it in another different context as that can be misleading to the viewer, altering the background/subject to make the difference more tangible is one thing but to create a situation that’s essentially fake to me is one step beyond where I want to go as a photographer. The only situation that I can see this to be acceptable is if you are creating a fantasy scenario, recently I saw some bridal photographs where the subject was placed against a fantasy background and that was obvious to the eye that it was not a natural situation and there was no attempt to mislead. Considering press and documentary photography, the ethics of undertaking changes would negatively affect photography planting a seed of doubt in viewer’s minds and I feel that photographers need to be careful that what they produce depicts reality or is made clear to be a fantastical situation.

Exercise: Correction

Look through your image collection and try to find one containing dust shadows and another with polygon flare. If you can’t find examples of each use the images provided in the key resources of the student website.

I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve had dust on my sensor that has shown up on my images. Luckily the images have only shown up in areas where there was no detail such as a white wall or blue sky, not where there have been other detail, as I feel that you might not necessarily notice this unless there are a lot of dust spots. I’ve had experience of using the clone stamp tool previously to remove dust spots so haven’t replicated the work here. Hopefully with cameras that have a dust cleaning action built in and experience of cleaning the sensor, dust spots will be reduced and then post processing won’t be needed.

I didn’t have any examples of polygon flare in the image as I tend to try and position the sun so that its lighting the image face on or from the side, not directly and I also use a lens hood to try and remove this from affecting the images. My preferred way of working would be that I’d try to avoid flare in the images as opposed to trying to rectify later on.

Note: A couple of days after I wrote this, I actually ended up with an example of polygon flare with some early morning sun. Keen to keep the image, I followed the guidance of using the clone stamp tool on colour to move the brightness more to what it should be, and I then used the clone tool set to darkness. I felt that it still needed something else so I used the enhance –adjust lighting-shadows and contrasts to just darken the bright image slightly and to help disguise the work I’d undertaken.

Original Image with flare

flare original

After editing

Correction polygon flare