Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Design, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Superhero

Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post I wonder how in the world I am going to distill the process into something easy to read.  Not because I think you as the reader needs something easy, it’s that I do.  I keep this blog as part journal for myself, to refer back to different things that I have tried.  Perhaps if I was a superhero I would choose recall as my super power, so that I could remember my own thought process; also perhaps so that I would not need a grocery list.

Here is my favorite superhero though:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

The wildflower, able to restore the planet and look beautiful at the same time. Perhaps it would be no surprise to learn that I am taking a graphic design class on line and was thinking about text and typography this week.  When it came to creating this image I used Photoshop.  For fun, I clicked the 3D button once I had “Superher” as a layer.  There is a lot that you can do within that 3D setting, so basically I just worked with the settings until I came up with something I liked. As far as the color of the text, I used the eyedropper to click around on the wildflower until I came upon this color option that I felt suited the flower.  I wanted the text to both stand out but yet resemble a petal.

Then came the cropping, the version of the image I was working with first looked like this:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

More about how I first edited this photo is here.  As you can see I have chosen in the superhero version to crop out a lot of the green.  I also made the choice to crop out the tips of some of the petals.  What do you think of this crop?  It’s rare that I crop out part of the subject, so it feels a little odd to me.  How about the text, do you like it? do you think it works with this photo?  Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Design, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

Some of the most interesting and ornate patterns can be found in nature.  Every year, we have an interesting combination of man made structure and natural elements that comes together in our driveway.  As the leaves pile up on damp days, they leave an impression on the driveway.  It only lasts a few days, but I love the patterns the leaves impress upon the asphalt:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

This was the image that I created from this year’s offering.  I started here:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

This is one of the original photos.  I shot a bracketed exposure and this was the darkest version.  I used Photomatix to create my HDR version.  The original HDR version looked like this:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

The final version, which is the first photo in this post has been cropped in Photoshop and then had a warming photo filter applied to it. I also sharpened the photo to bring out the texture of the driveway. In a few days it will rain and these impressions will be gone.

What do you think of these fleeting natural impressions? Do you have a version that you prefer over the others?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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Computer Software, Design, Photography, Technology

Tinkering with my blog

If you are a blogger, how often do you find yourself tinkering with the layout of your blog?  I’d have to say that it something that I think about but rarely do.  Last  week was an exception though, I did change something.  Actually, I added something.  It’s a visual widget and it is sitting on the right hand column of my blog.  It looks like this:

Me as a widget.

Me as a widget.

Now if you read this blog, you recognize the photo.  What it is doing over there is functioning as a random post generator.  Click on it and it will take you to a post from the past.  I was thinking about creating one of these after reading about a WordPress blog post about generating traffic for your older posts.  Within that post they mentioned PicMonkey which is the on-line photo editing site I used to create my image.  It was super easy to use.  So with my new photo on my desktop, I headed to a post from this summer by Rarasaur where she explains, using screen shots to help, exactly how to put a  random post generator in place.

With that in place I am free to obsess over the theme of my blog.  This one that I have now is OK, but my biggest complaint about it is that the pictures aren’t all that big, even when you click on them.   Problem is, I haven’t found a theme I like better.  And let me clarify that I would be using a free theme.  Wordpress does offer several for photographers that are beautiful but have a price tag attached.  My blog is a low budget operation, meaning I have no budget for it. I had a conversation with a blogger about the size of my images on this blog this week, she writes 16 blogs and here are the two themes she suggested along with a link to examples from her blog.  The first is Able and the other is Nishita.  Also, just in time for this post, WordPress had a post about choosing a theme that I’ll be looking at again for ideas. So perhaps I’ll be changing my theme in the coming weeks.

Is there a theme out there for photography that you really love? Let me know about it in the comment section.  Feel free to give my random post fetcher a try, let me know what you think if you have a moment.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Design, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Fragrant

This week’s travel theme, fragrant, is one of those themes that I knew right away what I was going to write about but it took me awhile to figure out how I was going to present it.  Kimchee is one of my favorite foods.  It wasn’t always. I have lived in South Korea where it is a staple side dish, and so I had plenty of opportunity to keep sampling it.  Because I am taking a Photoshop class I decided to incorporate some of the skills I am working on learning to present kimchee to you:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

The photo is of cabbage kimchee, and just like there are many ways to spell kimchee there are also a lot of different ways to prepare it.  It has a very distinct and strong smell.  In our household we also joke about it being a miracle food.  But joking aside, when someone in the house has a cold, I break out the kimchee.  It clears out the sinuses and has a lot of vitamin C.  If you have never tried it before, I would recommend trying it along with some steamed rice.

For this particular photo you will see that I have a slow shutter speed and fairly low ISO.  I used my tripod, because I wanted to get as much detail as possible.  I wasn’t too concerned about the background tablecloth, because I knew that would not be in the final image. Here is the original photo:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

This was a tough post for me to write because I usually right pretty specific details about how I made the final image.  In this case I am combining several things, so I am trying to convey all the various parts without boring you to death.  If there is something below that you would like more detail or clarification on please leave a comment.  I’m happy to talk to you about it.

First in a new document I created a layer that is a gradient.  I custom selected the colors from the image and then used a linear gradient from the upper right corner to the lower left.  When I say that I custom selected the colors I mean that I had my original photo open in a separate window.  I used the eyedropper tool to change the foreground and background colors.  With those chosen I went back to the new document and created the gradient.  You will see that I selected two variations on the orange color that is in the kimchee.  I started with the lighter color as my foreground color and the darker as my background.

Second I used the elliptical marquee tool to make a selection of the kimchee from the original photo then I copied and pasted it on top of my gradient layer in the new document.

Then I used the ellipse tool and made a shape similar to the outline of the kimchee in the new document.  On that edge I used my type tool to type “kimchee”  used several layer styles on the type itself.  The most complex of the layer styles was the pattern overlay.  I had pre-made a pattern using the kimchee photo and then selected it when I got to that point. I would have to say that getting the type the way I wanted it was the hardest part of this project.  The type that I have above isn’t perfect.  I wouldn’t be finished with this image if it was actually something I was turning in for a grade or a commercial assignment.

I used several resources to figure out how to create this image.

Here is the font, I used from dafont.com  If you are looking for creative type it is a good website to use.

I got the idea of using the font and some other creative thoughts on how to approach this project by looking through this tutorial on textuts.com where they are creating kiwi-inspired text.

For some basic pointers on how to get the text to work, I watched this tutorial on YouTube.

What do you think of my finished project? Questions? Thoughts? feel free to leave them below.  If in your travels you have never tried kimchee, you really should.

Cheers!

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Computer Software, Design, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Go Ahead, Label Me, Use the Type Tool to do it

Because there is a day for everything, today is International Label Day.  There is a little celebration in honor of this day going on over at Rarasaur.  When Rara contacted me a few weeks ago asking me if I’d like to participate, I made this labeled version of myself:

Basically I'm an introvert.

Basically I’m an introvert.

This is the same photo I use for my gravatar, I just added some text to it in Photoshop.  The original photo was taken by my Mom, and I scanned it into my computer a few years ago.

As for the text, I will tell you now that the text tool is probably my least favorite tool in Photoshop.  I think it is because I expect it to really sing and instead it has a frog in its throat.  I use this tool also in InDesign and Illustrator.  Because this tool was made to be used by designers I find the difficulties I have with it annoying.  That’s not to say that it doesn’t work, you can get what you want out of it, I just think it is pretty easy to mess up and have to re-do your work.

In this case, what I have done is not too complicated.  I did decide to make each of those lines of text a separate layer.  I did that so that I could move the text around easier, which was important because the texture of the sweater was problematic.  I also changed the color of the text a few times until I came up with a color that contrasted enough with the image.  My original choice of purple blended in with the background too much.  I then put a small stroke on each of the layers so that the text would stand out a bit more.

Do you have a feature of your favorite editing software that drives you nuts?  feel free to vent below.  Do you ever add text to your photos?

Happy International Label Day!

Cheers!

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Design, Technology, Uncategorized

SortaMadLib E-Card Creations

I don’t usually reblog, but I thought I would share this post from Queen Creative. The third e-card created is “mine” in that I filled out the form and hit submit. This blog, and the individual blogs of their contributors are great and geeky, so consider checking them out!

Cheers!

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Computer Software, Design, Photography, Technology

I thought this blog was about photography?

It is really.  Photography is the reason that I write.  I started this blog as a way to keep track of my projects.  I thought that by writing out what I was doing, I would be better able to process my work.  I think that it has helped.  A bonus of writing a blog has been all the creative work by others that I have been exposed to.  I have enjoyed looking at blogs about technology, cooking, and writing, in addition to those about photography.

Today’s post is about Illustrator, which I purchased recently as part of CS6.  The link there is for the specific version I purchased. I bought it because in addition to taking a photography class this semester I am taking a class called Computer Art Studio.  We will be covering InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.  I’ll be honest and say that I am much more a photographer than a tech person, so I am a bit apprehensive about this class.  However, I am taking the class because I think it will benefit my photography.  One of the first things I am learning to use is the pen tool.  The pen tool works the same in all three programs.  If you are looking to learn to use the pen, I would recommend this video.  It runs about 21 minutes, but it is a good place to start.

Here is my first project:

My first completed project.

My first completed project.

I was really happy with the way it turned out.  I am hoping to create my logo for my business eventually.

So, thank you to all my readers who have been following my photography journey.  I hope you enjoy my occasional foray into related fields!

Cheers!

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