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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

Part of Christmas is putting everything away.  I’ll admit, we are doing that a bit early this year, before the end of the Christmas season on the Church calendar.  This year, our packing up is a bit more involved.  We will be moving this coming year, so we are sorting though everything, and deciding what to keep, what to get rid of, and what is going into storage.  Since we are moving from the US to England, all our lights are going into storage.  That’s easy.  Harder is sorting through the decorations.  Or at least I thought it would be hard.  It turns out my kids thought it was fun.  Also, I drug out my camera to take some photos, and that is always fun.  Here is an ornament that will be coming with us:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

To shoot this photo, I used a magnifying, close-up lens on my 50mm lens. I lined Santa up so that the light would be smooth and luminous behind him.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

I cropped the photo and applied a vintage filter in Aperture:

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

ISO 3200 50mm 0ev f.3.5 1/30

I liked the vintage feel, but thought it was too strong.  So to get the final version I started this post with, I opened the image in Photoshop and then duplicated it.  One layer I made into a black and white version, that was the top layer.  Then I dropped the opacity of that layer to about 50%.  I then made a mask on that layer and masked in the santa figure. The result was the more toned down vintage feel in the background.  That, to me, is more appealing.  What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

A version of this image is available on Picfair.

Happy New Year to all my readers and visitors.  This year will be a busy one in my household as we relocate. It is a cycle that we are use to, we move every few years for work reasons.  To me, it often seems like a circle, we move, get set-up, get situated, get ready to move again.  In a way this cycle feels like the smaller yearly cycle of celebrating Christmas.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

Ok, so if spiders aren’t your thing, click away and come back to visit another time.

I had been working this week with sepia tones and I thought that might work well with this week’s theme of creepy.  The images I had been working on earlier in the week were mostly landscapes; images which could be but are not necessarily creepy.

A spider though? that’s creepy:

ISO 1250 f/3.5 1/60 0ev 50mm

ISO 1250 f/3.5 1/60 0ev 50mm

This is a female Zebra Tarantula, common in Costa Rica.  Actually, this is mostly just a leg shot.  I was using my 50mm lens with a close up lens that actually looks more like a filter and screws onto my 50mm lens.  I thought that would be a nice way to focus on the leg striping and hair.

In Photoshop to create this sepia effect, I made a black and white layer but I also created a hue and saturation layer.  On the hue and saturation layer I clicked colorize and then moved the slider to the tone I wanted.  I then duplicated that layer and made the tone on that layer a bit different.  I put a mask on that layer and then masked some of the lower layer in.  Combining the two layers like that was a technique that I had never tried before. I liked the outcome.  In this case, I saved my cropping for last.  I wasn’t really sure when I started how the sepia tone might affect my choice of what to crop.  Here is the original image:

ISO 1250 f/3.5 1/60 0ev 50mm

ISO 1250 f/3.5 1/60 0ev 50mm

So, what do you think? Do you prefer one image over the other?  I like the edit, but I do like my nature shots to look natural, so I like the original color image as well.  If I was to edit the original again and keep the color, I think I would pick a similar crop because I think the crop makes the image a lot stronger.  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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