Originally, I wanted to employ Photoshop to enhance the imagery of a poem that I wrote last semester. But then I wondered: is a poem rife with imagery supposed to stand alone, unaccompanied by any outside images? Will its own, internal imagery be overpowered by any other imagery provided? Both of these scenarios are possible. Conversely, if employed appropriately, Photoshop can enhance a poemÕs imagery by emphasizing a certain mood or setting a background for readers to conjure up more detailed images of their own.

For this poem, I wanted to evoke a sense of quiet and cold loneliness. A photo I took in December had the potential to accomplish this, but it was covered with snowflakes that had melted onto the lens of the camera. Using PhotoshopÕs healing brush tool, I was able to erase most of them without damaging the background of the photograph. I also removed the orange glare from a fluorescent streetlight and a network of telephone wires. Additionally, I straightened the telephone pole using the skew tool and darkened the lighting of the photo using the adjustment tools so that it appeared to be nighttime.

The changes I made using Photoshop allowed me to present the poem in a way that, I feel, suits it well. But, then, as the writer of the poem, I have a very particular view of the work and this finished product essentially represents how I feel the work should read. Thus, combining my poem with an image allowed me to accomplish what I wanted readers to get out of reading the poem. This is not necessarily positive, though, as it also thereby limits the freedom of the reader.

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Last modified 12 February 2008