Monet Made Me Do It


Odd ball filters, gauze, Vaseline, almost anything

placed in front of your lens can produce

interesting results

(a wet windshield in this case)

Monet Made Me Do It

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

North entrance to Skyland looking south down the drive

Click to enlarge & see the “brush strokes”


Technical – Nikon D300, Tokina 16-50 @50mm, 1/10 sec, f/5.6, EV=-2/3, ISO400, WB=Cloudy, center weighted metering, aperture priority, RAW capture, circular polarizer, hand-held, LiveView with manual focus

  • Taken through the windshield in a downpour (parked)
  • Hand held and braced on top of the steering wheel
  • I wanted the effect of the flowing water on the windshield visible, and the background soft and painterly – a relatively shallow DOF
  • f/5.6 at 50mm gives a DOF of only a few feet (4′ at a focus distance of 12′ which is about the distance to the tree framing the left side)
  • I used LiveView to see the image more clearly & used manual focus to get what I wanted


  • Trees trunks to frame left/right
  • Colorful leaves/branch to frame top
  • After zooming my 16-50 to 50, the final “Zoom” was moving the car forward/backward until  the tree framing was right
  • Give the eye a destination – the light area at the bend of the drive
  • Place the “destination” off-center; bulls eyes usually don’t work
  • The car was off the drive at a spot where I could move it safely – but anyone watching would surely have wondered ??


1. Photoshop Elements/Adobe Camera RAW for RAW conversion

2. Tonal & color contrast adjustments in Color Efex Pro 4 using my custom designed recipe for basic image post processing

  Step-by-step detailed illustration in this post

3. Added a border using my saved CEP4 custom border recipe


Here’s the photo booth (made at another location).

and here’s a shot made at this location (between wiper swipes which were controlled by my co-pilot/wife); it was really dark & dreary at this point –

And one final image to end on a bright note –

It’s as if Monet was outside throwing bright-colored paint against the windshield. 😉

If you click & enlarge this image, you’ll see vague detail on the far mountain side – which was all of 100′ away. Pretty foggy day.


Combine techniques like this with camera motion and/or multiple exposures for some really painterly results.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email