Exercise 14: Interpretative processing

Choose an image that you feel is open to different kinds of interpretation.

Porto Original

For this exercise I chose a photograph (left) that I took of some buildings on the bank of the Douro river in Porto, one of the oldest European centres and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I initially took the photograph because of the brightly coloured attractive buildings below the cathedral.

When I uploaded it to my Mac I was disappointed. The dull weather at the time didn’t really do justice to the brightly coloured roofs and walls. Therefore this image seemed ideal to experiment with to try to improve it.





Below are my 3 versions of this image.

Porto Over-saturated

Porto Over-saturated

For my first interpretation of this image I wanted to try to illustrate the bright colours I had been attracted to when I first took the photo. To achieve the image above I increased the exposure and saturation, whilst also using Photoshop’s facility to increase the luminance of the prominent colours, such as the reds and yellows. I’m very pleased with the effect. It looks more like a felt tip poster than a photograph and shows the colourful buildings in all their glory.

Porto Black Ink

Having increased the saturation and vibrance in the first image i wanted to create a black and white image with an ‘ink’ drawn feel. I reduced the saturation completely and increased the black point and contrast. I also increased the exposure to blow out some of the detail. I feel it worked well but afterwards I thought I could have added some grain and create a newspaper effect.

Porto Cyanotype

For the third version I altered the colour temperature to create a blue image, as if it were ready for a printing press. I had wanted to create a cyanotype of the original image, but unfortunately I think that the final photo lacks a variety of blueish tones.


This exercise has helped me to experiment with an image and not to discard a photo if it doesn’t look right. I also wanted to push myself further than just creating sepia and black and white versions of the image. I had a better understanding of how contrast, exposure and saturation would affect the look of the image as well as altering colour temperature. I can see how these skills have developed from earlier sections of DPP.

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