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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

A very popular place to take a picture in Chicago’s Millennium Park is at the Cloud Gate sculpture, frequently referred to as “The Bean”.  The surface allows for a lot of fun reflections of people and the surrounding area.  The challenge with taking a photo in a popular tourist destination is that everyone has seen it, so what are you bringing to the conversation that is new? I took a bunch of photos, including some that are just snapshots of the family to serve as reminders of our stay.  But I wanted to try something a bit different and abstract too.  This past week in my Photoshop class we covered the oil paint filter and I thought that might be a fun one to try.  Here is my edited version:

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

When I was first looking at my original image, I wanted to clean it up a bit.  Since it is an outdoor sculpture, it has a lot of stray marks and dirt on it.  I used the clone stamp tool to tidy it up a bit.  Then I went to Filter-Oil Paint.  Here is a screen capture of the settings I used:

The screen shot within the Oil paint filter

The screen shot within the Oil paint filter

After I did that, I sharpened it a bit using the High Pass filter.  To do that first flatten your image, then make a duplicate layer.  Then Filter-Other-High Pass. I set it to 4 pixels then changed the blending mode of the layer to soft light.  Then I ran the Oil Paint Filter again, using the same settings to intensify the look.  I decided I liked the effect of running it twice.

Here is the original image:

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

So, my final image is a bit abstract, but do you like it? Questions about my process? feel free to leave them below.  This look isn’t hard to create, and has a lot of creative applications in my opinion.  Been to see “The Bean” in Chicago and wrote a post about it? Used the Oil Paint filter and wrote a post about it?  Feel free to leave a comment with a link to what you have done.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

According to these signs, we are in the middle of World War II:

These signs are taken from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where they have a German submarine, a U-505, on display.  This exhibit was really interesting, and I would highly recommend it.  I thought it was going to take us a half hour to walk through, it ended up taking closer to two.

Getting the photos of these signs was tough, the lighting was pretty dim overall, but then there were bright lights on the posters.  I used my lowest f-stop setting to let in as much light as possible, so f/1.8.  I also increased my ISO to 800.  The shutter speeds used were still pretty slow, so I braced myself against the wall to be as still as possible.  Looking at the photos now, I am thinking that I should have tried the ISO a little higher to see if I could get a faster shutter speed.

This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress.  The theme this week is: The Sign Says.

Your comments are most welcome below.

Cheers!

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

Stained Glass in Chicago

I was intrigued when I walked past The First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple and saw a series of stained glass windows at eye level.  This one in particular caught my eye, so I thought I would share it:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/320

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.2 1/320

The story here is that the third building this church had that was at this location burned down in the Chicago Fire of 1871.  The other windows told of other parts of the church’s history.  I think this was the first time I have ever seen a fire like this in stained glass.

This post was written in response to Thursday Lingering Look at Windows.

Cheers!

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