The Pool at the Palacio del Partal

Taken by yours truly during April of 1990, this is a picture of the pool at the Palcio del Partal, part of the compex at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. I have seen various photos of the Partal since, but the perspective is always a bit off. The only other photo on the net I have ever seen from a similar perspective does not get enough of the water from the lion's mouth and was obviously taken with the aid of a filter or two whereas mine was taken with a basic 35mm with no filter.

This version of the photo (mine) did have some VERY minor retouches to it and only had these when it was blown up to a large format. The retouch work was done by a local Jacksonville (professional) photographer named Fred Ortyl.

BTW - if someone can kindly show me the correct syntax to shrink this down to 800x600 I would appreciate it very much.

**EDIT** Thanks Jon!

****Clarification**** The photo shown here is the unretouched version.

--doug-doug the mighty


Jon's picture

Go to the posted image page and at the bottom will be a list of resolutions. Click on the size you want (800x600) and right click over the image and select "Copy image location":

Note the trailing resolution in the file name it give you. alhambra001-21891_800x600.jpg Wink

Hawaii Cruiser's picture

I agree, yours is definitely the better photo. Yours is so much sharper, for one thing. The other guy probably used a polarizing filter to bring out the blue sky and the background landscape. His looks much older on the older film stock with less subtle color. Of course, the difference between 1990 and today in photography is like night and day. Photoshop trounced the market in filters, and touching up is just click click click.

The best way to touch up blips and blurbs in Photoshop is using the clone tool. I would have done a lot of that with the other guy's photo. He's got distracting little bits all over the place.

If I had your photo, I'd want to touch up the color very carefully. In Photoshop, I would go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and then increase the color saturation just slightly, very slightly. There's a pulldown menu in the Hue/Saturation window which also lets you choose which color to increase rather than all at once, so I'd play with increasing the green, the yellow, and the blue individually to find a pleasing harmony. But your pic doesn't need a whole lot of playing with, so the changes would be subtle. The greens I would definitely try to increase a little, but that often requires playing with the yellows and blues too to keep it natural looking. Bringing up the greens on the plants in the foreground across from the lion would enhance the sense of depth. You could use the select tool to select those plants and work on them alone. With the select tool you work with the tolerance number on the bar at the top to determine how strong the select tool is, and use the shift key to add to your selection, and the option key to remove unwanted selection until you've got just the amount of selection you want to work with. It's a little tedious, but that's how I would get to those foreground greens. You'd want to leave the greens in the pool reflection alone, unchanged.

The greens in the background hills you'd want to be very careful with so as not to lose the atmospheric perspective caused by the muted color. I might not want to touch them at all. It would depend on how successful I was with the foreground greens. Having brought up the greens, I would probably try bringing up the reds in the shadows under the arches in the building. Again, just slightly, barely detectable. What's really nice in your photo is the size relationship of the lion to the building, and the nice triangle composition created by same, making the eye move straight from the lion to the building. You'll notice that the reds in the shadows on the lion are deeper than those in the building, as they should be. Bringing the reds in the building up just slightly would help maintain the connection between the lion and the building after enhancing the foreground greens.

Again, these would all be very subtle changes. You took a very nice photo from the start. Those two silhouetted figures in the background--I assume that's what they are--are terrific for the composition. That's the kind of coincidence of timing you can really luck out with in photography which can make a photo so much better. You might want to try to sell it to the estate. Wouldn't hurt to try if the grounds are still the same.

doug-doug the mighty's picture

I took a second look at my framed photo and it does have some of the things you mentioned already done. I updated the original notes on the photo to clarify that the one shown was not the retouched version since I went back and looked at it and realized that the way I worded it, it made it sound like the photo shown was already retouched.