Heads or Tails?

Section of alligator tail.

So here is the start of my “gator week.” I’ve wanted to gather a pool of alligator photos for a while so I could work with their textures and colors. Unfortunately, the farm I visited was not a photo haven or at least not for the photos I was seeking. Either the farm has an excellent track record of protecting visitors from gators or it has had an unfortunate history. If the alligator farming business dries up, they have a solid start on building a maximum security prison. The viewing areas had layers upon layers of fencing and rails. Most of the wired fences were a 3in x 3in mesh. Zooming through worked but you would catch heavy vignette-like blurs. To boot, the waters were either coffee brown or an intense teal. But, all part of the fun, right?

As for processing, I had a difficult time deciding what I wanted to do with this one as alligator skin is more complicated than I realized. The textures look much sharper from a distance, but when you get closer they are more sodden and smooth. And here is why I love the Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex pro. I was able to keep the midtones at bay, retaining the smoothness while bringing up the highlight and shadow tones for texture. After I worked that filter, I brought it into Photoshop where I desaturated and used a curve layer mask to darken. I then applied a black/white gradient map on a new layer and dropped the opacity to keep some color.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


© 2014 Tom Coghill Photography, All Rights Reserved

Cardinal Guzman

Encyclopedia Miscellaneous - 'quality' blogging since August 2011

Jeff Sinon Photography

Nature Through The Lens

Cfbookchick - a Girl, a Camera, a Challenge...

The goal is not to change your subjects, but for the subject to change the photographer.

Spiderpaw's Blog

Photography as I see it

HDR shooter

HDR photos by Miroslav Petrasko

Captured by Pam

A click a day keeps creativity at bay.


photography by Joshua Quattlebaum

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Everyday, an Adventure.

Herding Cats. Treading Water.

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Mufidah Kassalias

Writer, Photographer & Slow-Travelling Digital Nomad

Imagery of Light

Photography by Sheila Creighton


A Free To Share Chronicle by Michael Xavier Ortiz

Digital Darkroom Techniques

Sharing ideas and how-to's about post processing your digital images

Steven Tze Photography

Journey from picture taker to photographer

Emily's Photography Blog

Every picture has a story to tell... verbally or silently.

FATman Photos

Looking at - and seeing - the world

%d bloggers like this: