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

Irony and the Mailbox

I was originally going call this post something like, “Brr….It’s Cold Outside”.  That is what I was thinking about yesterday morning when I was outside taking pictures of the frost on our mailbox.  So that is where I will start.  It’s been cold here, so I was hoping to create a picture that would express that.  Here is what I started with:

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/5.6 0.5s

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/5.6 0.5s

This first version I shot using the tungsten white balance setting on my camera, I think the blue tint just adds to the cold feel of the picture.  The other white balance settings just didn’t thrill me as much.  I was also using my tripod, so that I could lower my ISO and get as still of an image as possible.  I did not use my remote shutter in this case, because that felt like a bit of overkill.  I edited this version a bit in Aperture.  I did some cropping and sharpening.

Here is my second version:

ISO 100 50mm (-1,0,1)ev f/1.8 1/40

ISO 100 50mm (-1,0,1)ev f/1.8 1/40

Here I was trying to express the “glow” of the cold.  In reading that statement it occurs to me that perhaps I had been out too long.  Anyway, I increased my shutter speed to hopefully avoid any movement as I was shooting a bracketed exposure.  I lowered my ISO to avoid, as much as possible, too many blown out highlights.  I also put the f-stop to 1.8 because I wanted to blur out the background more than I had in the first photo.  This photo has been processed in Photomatix.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to create a black and white image, but that was what looked best in my opinion once the editing had been done.

Now here is the irony.  Someone hit our mailbox just hours later.  And I’m not talking about a slight bump.  The post was snapped in two at the base.  We did emergency repairs (and when I say we, let me be honest and say, it wasn’t me) and now the mailbox is a little shorter, but hopefully it will hold until full repairs can be made.

As for the photos, what do you think of the two versions? have a favorite or another comment? feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

 

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Editing, Photography

The Landscape in my Driveway

This is what I created:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/18 1/10

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/18 1/10

It is a photo of my driveway that was partially covered in ice the other day.  Here is the original shot:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/18 1/10

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/18 1/10

I thought the ice and small bubble pockets would make an excellent alien landscape.  The first thing I did was crop out the parts of the photo that just show the bare driveway.  Then in Aperture I converted it to a sepia image.  I also sharpened it a bit.

It was fun to create, hope you enjoyed taking a look.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another Day, Another Attempt

So a few days ago, I wrote this post.  I included a version of a picture that I had taken of the snow.  I posted this photo:

ISO 100 50mm -0.67 f/7.1 1/80

ISO 100 50mm -0.67 f/7.1 1/80

Today I am posting this one:

ISO 100 50mm -0.67 f/7.1 1/80

ISO 100 50mm -0.67 f/7.1 1/80

They are the same photo but they have been processed in two different ways.  The first I used Aperture and for the second I created an HDR image using Photomatix.  Usually with HDR images you see quite a dramatic photo.  In this case all I was looking to do was create a slightly different way of presenting the needles and the detail in the snow.  Despite being the same photo there are some pretty significant differences in what each expresses I think.  What do you think? Do you have a preference?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Mini-landscape in Black and White

For several days it has been pretty cold here.  We have a bit of snow on the ground that is just hanging around, so I used it to make this photo:

This is the edited version, see the other photo for exif data

This is the edited version, see the other photo for exif data

Here is the original photo:

ISO 125 50mm -0.33 f/10 1/500

ISO 125 50mm -0.33 f/10 1/500

While I was shooting I was thinking that I was going to do an HDR version, so I was shooting using a bracketed exposure.  I did use a tripod as well. The original photo that you see above is my middle exposure, so I had a lighter and a darker image as well.  I used those three in Photomatix to make the final image.  I also used a fast shutter speed to deal with the wind that was moving the grass a bit.  I set my camera to a low ISO and used “shade” as my white balance setting to get a better white color and detail in the snow.

I had in mind that I wanted to create a black and white photo that was a little bit abstract. When I loaded my bracketed photos into Photomatix, I felt that the black and white artistic setting was closest to what I was after.  I put the HDR version I created back into Aperture for some final editing.  I cropped the image and also sharpened it a bit.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section.

Cheers!

 

Standard
50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Flowers, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This is a gallery of some of my favorite pictures from my blog this year.  It is a response to this week’s photo challenge from WordPress.  A big thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog this year!

Cheers!

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

Just here, trying to take a picture

I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you can relate to what I am going to say.  It’s a busy time of year.  For me recently that has meant I have fewer opportunities to take pictures and edit them.  Like everyone else, I do the best I can.  I take pictures as often as possible, which is what led to this photo.

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/200

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/200

I took this a few nights ago at a local park.  I just happened to be there for another event, and had my camera with me.  My thought was to do a bracketed exposure, but I didn’t set my camera correctly, and so I just had a single image.  In Aperture I created two other versions of this photo and changed the exposure value on them.  So then I had three photos each with a different exposure value, -1, 0, and 1.  Then I put the three into Photomatix to make an HDR image.  Of the different versions, I liked a color version best. So I exported that back into Aperture.  Then I changed my mind.  About the color that is.  I converted the image into sepia and the result is what you see above.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Christmas lights, with rain

It was a bit rainy here over the weekend.  I enjoy catching photos of raindrops, so I went looking for this photo, a raindrop on our Christmas lights.

ISO 200 50mm 3 exposures f/9 1/25

ISO 200 50mm 3 exposures f/9 1/25

I used my tripod because even though the bush wasn’t going anywhere it was a bit breezy and I knew I was going to try a bracketed exposure to make an HDR image.  For this image the exposures were (-1.67, -2.67, -.67)  I set the exposure dark because it was hazy out, so there was a lot of light.

I then used Photomatix to make my HDR image. I picked a version that I thought brought out some of the rich color tones that were there.  I put the image back into Aperture for some final tweaking.  I cropped and sharpened the image a bit.  I also made the top right corner a bit darker.

I’d like your opinion, would you buy a card or print of an image like this? or does the combination of rain and Christmas not appeal to you at all?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Design, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Design in photos and paint

This week’s assignment in Design class was actually three items when it was all said and done.  You will see them below.  Two I did using photography and the third is a painting.  The assignment was this, create a microcosm in collage format.  Then translate that to black and white and as many shades of grey as you like.  We were also permitted to use one color if we chose.  First I made the collage.  I used many photos I had of birds, particularly owls, and then combined those with a picture of my older child.  A representation of part of that child’s world.  I made a black and white version and a color version to help me make the decision regarding the use of color in the final painting.  Here are the two collages:

Collage in color

Collage in color

 

Collage in Black and White

Collage in Black and White

I used Aperture, CollageIt, and Photomatix when creating these.  CollageIt was a free app that I found at the App Store.  Using that I was able to combine the photos I had in mind from Aperture.  It is a pretty straightforward app.  If you are looking for a free, basic, app, it is those things, and it was very helpful for this project.  Then I made three version of the collage to put in Photomatix.  That was helpful in accenting the texture in the collage.  I created a color version and black and white, then put both back into Aperture for some final tweaking.

I decided that I liked the black and white version better.  I also decided that I wanted the final painting to be vertical instead of horizontal.  I used black white and five shades of grey.  Here is the painting:

Final painting

Final painting

So, what do you think?  Have a favorite? question or comment?  leave them below in the comment section.

Cheers!

 

Standard
50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photo Editing, Photography

Friday, a work in progress

Today I am writing about a photo that I shot a few weeks ago but have just started editing:

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/160

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/160

This is Twig, a 19 year-old Eastern Screech Owl who lives at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis Missouri.  I put the link in for their website and would highly recommend a visit if you happen to be in the area.  Twig sometimes takes naps on the floor of the enclosure causing concern for more than one visitor.  It was unusual for Twig to be this close to the front of the enclosure so this is probably the best photo I have.

As far as the editing goes, first I started in Aperture where I tried to remove as much of the enclosure as possible.  Then I made three copies in order to change the exposure.  So one version I set at -1.33, one at +.33, and one at +1.33.  I then put the three versions in Photomatix and the image you see above is a fusion of the three copies.

I am thinking I am not finished messing with this image.  I would like to attempt to do a better job of removing the enclosure.  I would also like to create a version or two that I like better in Photomatix.  I know I can come up with a better image, so I think I will keep working at it.

Happy Friday to you, and I hope that the projects you are working on are going well.

Cheers!

Standard
50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Black and White Revisited

A little over a week ago I wrote about a photo I had taken of leaves in black and white.  The post can be found here.  One of the things that I had been hoping to do was show the frost on the leaves.  Lori Ono, who commented on the original post, suggested some ways in which I might bring out the frost in the editing.  I used some of those suggestions to make this version:

ISO 1000 50mm 1ev f/2.2 1/640

This time I think the frost, particularly on the stems of the leaves, is visible.  In order to get this effect, I first put the photos into black and white with a blue filter in Aperture.  Then I edited the bracketed photos in Photomatix.  I cropped and sharpened the photo when I brought it back into Aperture.

If you click on Lori’s name above, it will take you to a photo challenge posting she wrote that I think turned out really well.

Cheers!

Standard