Village in Sumatra, Indonesia (Photo of the Day)

Payakumbuh--the village in Western Sumatra, Indonesia, where I'm currently staying

Today’s photo I shot right here in Payakumbuh, the village where I’m staying in Western Sumatra in Indonesia. Normally, I only post unfiltered/unaltered photos, but this time, I just couldn’t resist…

Payakumbuh--the village in Western Sumatra, Indonesia, where I'm currently staying

This is (minus the filter) what I see when I walk from home (where I’m staying with my friend and another English teacher named Eti) to the local Internet cafe or the some of the small food stands nearby. It’s a lovely area, one where I have not seen even one tourist, and I’m enjoying meeting the locals.

The enhanced colors and drama are the result of using the “dramatic effect”  art filter on my camera.

Photographic Details

Camera: Olympus X-Z 1
Shutter speed: 1/800
F stop: f 5
ISO: 100
Filter: Dramatic effect (one of the art filters)

Your Thoughts?

How do you feel about using filters on photos?  Do you feel that anything goes as long as the photo has good composition, etc.? Or are you a purist who prefers to leave photos unaltered and allow them to stand on their own?

I try not to overuse the filters since so many photos look great “as is,” but sometimes, I give in and use a filter if I think it really adds something or makes the photo even more unique.

Can’t get enough?

If you like this, then you’ll love the other photos of the day

21 Responses to Village in Sumatra, Indonesia (Photo of the Day)
  1. Leyla Giray
    June 10, 2012 | 4:56 am

    I actually don’t mind filters – what I do mind is not knowing if/when they’re being used (and it’s not always obvious). Your photo looked great – and knowing you used a filter makes the experience even better!

    • CB Driver
      June 11, 2012 | 12:58 am

      Hi, Leyla. Thanks for sharing your thoughts re: filters, etc. I agree–it’s cool as long as someone comes clean. I have seen those photos where you’re not quite sure.

      Glad you liked this photo! More coming soon….

  2. Linda
    June 10, 2012 | 5:16 am

    I’ve almost done a 180º on this subject! I was very, very purist until just recently. But my idea of a photograph is to communicate what you see, and the camera, unaided, doesn’t always see what the eye sees, so my thoughts are that if you are conveying the feeling better then it’s ok. I don’t think I’ll ever like ones which are very, very photoshopped, though – unless done for a reason, i.e. jokey or for an ad or something. A friend posted one on FB today which is obviously cobbled together from different photos, but she didn’t see that because she isn’t a photographer, nor is she a surfer, because the photo was an impossibility anyway, and it irritated me a bit, that someone was fooling folk into thinking the foto was real. Also not keen on over-HDR’s photos.

    Yours, however, is GORGEOUS. I’m sure this is how you saw the scene, and that’s what you conveyed to me…..SO looking forward to more!
    Linda recently posted..Just an Average Island DayMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 11, 2012 | 12:49 am

      Hi, Linda. Very interesting that your views on this have changed. I’m with you re: PhotoShop. That seems to be another story. I don’t mind applying a filter in the moment–or after the fact–but to go in and make major alterations (like moving elements around) is something else. I suppose that can have it’s place, too, but that would be a totally different sort of post.

      Glad you like this photo, btw! Thank you. When I applied the “dramatic effect” filter, I was blown away by the result and figured–why not share it? Now, I’m glad I did. :)

  3. Gray
    June 10, 2012 | 12:51 pm

    Wow, that’s a beautiful place, Lisa! As for filters, I think it depends on what effect you’re going for. If it’s reality, then no, you probably don’t want to use a filter. If you’re trying to be more artistic, why not?
    Gray recently posted..The Thrill is Gone: An Airport RantMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 11, 2012 | 12:47 am

      Hey…hi…and glad you like the photo. It’s gorgeous here and I have many photos to share. I hear you re: reality vs art. Makes sense. I agree–why not? As long as I don’t do it all the time–and allow nature beauty to shine through most of the time–it’s probably cool.

  4. Debra Terrell
    June 11, 2012 | 4:37 am

    WOW! The place looks really amazing! I have never used a filter, I do photography, but that using my Digicam only. I think I don’t have any intentions to buy an SLR or a more professional camera..

    But loved the pic that you have posted, Kindly post more pictures, I have never been to Indonesia, but would love to visit one day!

    • CB Driver
      June 13, 2012 | 11:15 pm

      Thanks, Debra. Glad you like the photo. More coming soon!

  5. Waegook Tom
    June 11, 2012 | 10:23 pm

    That’s a stunning photo. I don’t know too much about photography, but I think altering photos every now and again is OK, if a particular effect gives a photograph a real “wow” factor, like this one.

    Glad you’re settling into life in Payakumbuh after the Singapore Airlines incident – looking forward to reading all about it :D
    Waegook Tom recently posted..Dicing With Death in SuwonMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 13, 2012 | 11:14 pm

      Thank you, Tom–happy you like it! I’m really glad you found it to be a “wow” photo…now I know I did the right thing by using the filter!

      Yes, been settling in here in Payakumbuh and really liking it. My biggest challenge now? How to handle leaving (perhaps 1 week from now). I know I’m going to be sad and I don’t look forward to that…

  6. Naomi
    June 12, 2012 | 7:32 pm

    I was recently doing a bit of research on various filters, real ones, not digital filters like you’ve used, and discovered that there is a market in “haze filters” because the tropical haze really makes it hard to get good sharp shots of distant hills etc.
    Filters you put on the front of your camera to alter the amount or type of light that gets through, is totally fair I think. I mean if you want to take a long exposure of moving water, you need a ND filter. It’s usual for photographers exhibiting to say what equipment they used.
    I have no problem with a bit of digital darkroom either, but I only do this for particular photos that I want to display or sell, which all benefit from tweaking with what comes out of the camera (I shoot in RAW). I think if you’ve just sharpened and tweaked levels, and removed spots, that’s fine, start mucking around with layers and changing pixels and I think you need to fess up.
    For your basic snapshot, and everything I post on the inter web, I don’t bother most of the time, though I have been playing with Instagram on my iPhone recently…
    The purists don’t really get it, what comes out of the camera is what the camera’s technology/sensor sees, not necessarily what you see. Our eyes are much more sensitive. If you start with a good shot, but it doesn’t quite convey the feel or the mood of what you saw or felt, then yes, use digital tools to get it where you want. But if it’s a crap photo to start with, no amount of photoshop will make it better.
    I’m also not a fan of overblown HDR, but done with sensitivity it can be stunning.
    Naomi recently posted..Things you do…My Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 13, 2012 | 11:09 pm

      Good points, Naomi! Back when I had an SLR, many moons ago, I had some of the screw-on filters (polarizer, etc.). They worked well, but they did slow things down a bit. I’m glad that my camera has some built-in art filters. What I try to do is take two photos–one with the filter and one without–to see which I prefer.

      I’ve been getting into Instagram, too, lately and sometimes, I’m very happy with the results. Other times, I’m not. I must admit that I enjoy the sharing and the feedback from others. (Perhaps we can follow each other there if you like?)

      Re: HDR…I’m not a huge fan in general and especially if it’s done post-processing. There are times, however, where it can work well…

  7. Erica @Impulsesave
    June 13, 2012 | 12:16 pm

    Wow great photo! I think your editing and the filter were done well. I think that filters are definitely acceptable if used with taste; I agree with Gray that it does depend on the kind of look you want. I hope you take lots more photos like this and are enjoying the beautiful landscape!
    Erica @Impulsesave recently posted..Relationships And Money: The Adventures of Frugal Frank and Freewheeling FranMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 13, 2012 | 11:06 pm

      Thanks, Erika…glad you like it! I have been enjoying it here…I love villages and here, I get to see rice paddies in the landscape–something very new for me. They’re lovely!

  8. [...] Village in Sumatra: Photo of the Day [...]

  9. mumun
    October 4, 2012 | 11:52 pm

    Filters are great for pictures once in a while. Personally, I’ve never been too inspired by the beauty of a photo, especially those that use too many effects. I’m more attracted to stories and what we can experience there. But the eyes always needs candy too :D
    mumun recently posted..Indonesian Bloggers and the DynamicsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 5, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Hi, Mumum. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! True about photos that are ‘eye candy.’

  10. Austin G. Mackell
    October 6, 2012 | 5:37 am

    Shoot in raw and develop in lightroom. Play with the values as much as you like, all you are doing then is making decisions that would otherwise be made for you by the software programmers at olympus would be making for you. That is if you have that option on that camera.

    • CB Driver
      October 7, 2012 | 11:11 am

      Hi, Austin. Thanks for the advice! My Olympus XZ-1 does have the raw setting and I sometimes shoot with it on, but I have yet to work with it. Not sure why, but it seems intimidating. Is there an inexpensive program or app that you recommend?

      • Austin G. Mackell
        October 7, 2012 | 12:55 pm

        Adobe Lightroom ios what I use. It is expensive, if you pay for it. (a less scrupulous person would reccommend as aplace one might get it free).

        Probably free-ware versions out there but lightroom is really great. Esp if you don’t want to get into “photo-shopped” rather than “developed”, though you certainly can cheat using lightreooms functionalities, but it is easier to avoid the temptation the way it is set up.

        Remember there is no such thing as a neutral photo.

        • CB Driver
          October 14, 2012 | 11:55 am

          Thanks for the info–will keep it in mind!

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