INUKSHUK - Likeness of a Person

© Brian D. Watters

INUKSHUK - Likeness of a Person

Uploaded: April 17, 2005


Camera: Canon 20D EOS
Aperture: 22
Shutter speed: 125
Focal length: 18
Flash: Off

Inukshuk (singular), meaning "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut (the Inuit language) is a stone figure made by the Inuit. The plural is inuksuit. The Inuit make inuksuit in different forms and for different purposes: to show directions to travelers, to warn of impending danger, to mark a place of respect, or to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou. Similar stone figures ...


Brian D. Watters April 17, 2005

Inukshuk (singular), meaning "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut (the Inuit language) is a stone figure made by the Inuit. The plural is inuksuit. The Inuit make inuksuit in different forms and for different purposes: to show directions to travelers, to warn of impending danger, to mark a place of respect, or to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou. Similar stone figures...

... were made all over the world in ancient times, but the Arctic is one of the few places where they still stand. An inukshuk can be small or large, a single rock, several rocks balanced on each other, round boulders or flat. Inuit tradition forbids the destruction of inuksuit.

In this case, a DA, replacing my Daughter whose shadow can still be seen in the water. #237785

Karen E. Michaels level-deluxe April 18, 2005

Great photo and explanation. I built one in that region in praise of all the people who got me that far in life. #1264539

Pam M April 24, 2005


It finally dawned on me what doesn't feel quite right... it's the lighting on the inukshuk. The light is more harsh making the inukshuk's lines too defined. Also, the light is coming from a different direction than the shadow in the water would indicate.

You might be able to better fool the brain if you soften the inuksuk with a very slight blur, or maybe a softlight overlay (or some other newer trick ;) , and then you'd also need to make the inukshuk's right arm similar to its left. And I'm sure someone even knows how to add a soft backlit edging to your inukshuk.

I'd leave out the star reflection on the water ... it's just disctracting to me. Also, was it really there before? It seems to be much too large and too brilliant and sharp when compared to the rest of the pic. And to me it feels like it should be in the right corner.

Another distraction is that the lake bottom is stirred up from your daughter going in and out. Brains are perfectly willing allow the water to be murky around a person that moves vs a statue that's not suppose to move.

If you want to overcome that ... I really don't think your daughter is going to be willing to go back and stand perfectly still while the lake bottom settles just to redo this. So I have two ides. One would be that you might get by with cloning the cloudy water in this pic. Second is that next time, set up a tripod and take one pic before your daughter goes in and another after she's there. Then you can blend the two pics.

Other than that ;) this is a great idea.

keep having fun
pam #1286398

Brian D. Watters April 24, 2005

Hello Pam,
This reply is stretched over two posts dur to the 3,000 character limit set by the site.
Thanks for taking the time to critique my “Digital Darkroom” image, and welcome to the site. Yesterday was my 40th Birthday, and today, your first month anniversary here at Better Photo. “Happy Anniversary!”
I tried to get the focus of the Inukshuk, (taken indoors at a local museum), to match the focus of my daughters that it replaced, but though the angle of the lighting from the museum and the host image of the water are very close in actuality. The incandescent lighting from the indoor shot may be casting harsher shadows on the structure that the ambience of the outdoor image doesn’t allow for. I’ll have another look in my image-editing program to see if adjusting that will lessen the harsh effect that you’re seeing.
I did pick these two images to work with, mainly because of their similar proximity of natural and man made lighting, so the water shadow should not appear to be at an awkward angle really. I’ve included with this post, the original images side by side to give an idea of where I’m coming from.
I’d likely opt for a Corona lighting effect with Gradient mask applied to have the intensity and angle of light start out stronger from the top left edges and peter out before reaching the darker shadowed lower extremities as a further possible adjustment, rather than using a cruder blur method. This would effectively add the soft backlit effect you’ve suggested, in a manner that would be consistent to the uneven lighting of the various area of varying light and shadow around the figure. Changing the right arm to look similar to the left, to me, would be unnecessary editing, that would compromise the integrity of the natural formations that make up the structure, unless your suggestion is just in reference to the way that the light strikes it? Just the same, I’m confident that I can work with the lighting for that natural look without altering the original other than through level changes.
The reflection of the sun was in the original image, (see my attached originals), and eliminating it is a possibility, but moving it to the other side would make your argument about the shadow not matching the direction from which the light emanates from, a valid one. In this case however, I believe that leaving the sun in its original location,, serves as an anchor point to justify the fall of the original shadow in the water. Grin… The Sun is a big and brilliant object, especially so when magnified and reflected on the surface of a body of water.

Brian D. Watters April 24, 2005

No About the murkiness of the water, and this is open for interpretation, but keep in mind the title of the image and that this is a Digital Darkroom (Manipulated) image. “Likeness of a Person”, the meaning of the Inuit word Inukshuk, is what gave me the idea of replacing the person in the original water scene, with an object that through native or Inuit legend means just that. If you want to look at this as an object anchored to the bottom of a lake, then the disturbed mud as well as the shadow of the person coming from it are way out in terms of reality. But when taking this into context of the stones representing a person, as I have, the shadow, and suggestion of animation through the disturbed muddy water, are just eye candies, meant to catch the viewers’ eye, and suggest the impossible.
So, I guess, to get technical, the scene IS impossible, as far as what our eyes see, and what the Logical side of our Brain tells us. Much the same as suggesting that God, or a god, is responsible for beautiful sunsets and rises, when we know full well that red and purple colors in the sky at these lovely looking times of day, as mostly man made as the beta rays are filtered by the many particles of pollution and other particles in the air.
But to let the minds eye work with our imagination, to appreciate what we know is Impossible, we first need to open our minds and let our imaginations flourish. I believe that is what the “Digital Darkroom” category is all about… Allowing like-minded artists the ability to dream, grow and share their visions.
Thanks again just the same for taking the time to comment Pam.
You have fun too, because that's what it's all about. :)
Brian #1287385

Ivan Clife April 24, 2005

gorgeous image, please take a look at my gallery and feel free to let your coment and opinion to help me to improve my pictures [[]] #1287752

Pam M April 24, 2005

Brian's Birthday Blessing

May your knowledge
of the Source of Light
increase everyday

May your knowledge
daily lead you to a
deeper understanding of
the Source of Light

May your understanding
daily lead you to a
path of wisdom
bathed in Light

May your wisdom lead
you and your family
to eternal prosperity.

Have fun,
Pam #1287975

Brian D. Watters April 24, 2005

Thank you Pam, that's so kind.
May you and those near and dear to your heart and soul also, learn and grow, not just in mind and spirit, but also closer together as each sun appears over one horizon and leaves us on the next.
Brian #1288000

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