Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea(pia)

I will admit to you that even though I am a horrible at spelling, I do know that sepia is not spelled “seapia”; so I am stretching this week’s photo challenge of sea a bit.  But wait, there is more!  I took this picture at the Bay of Fundy, which is also taking some liberties with the challenge.

ISO 640 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1600

ISO 640 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1600

I shot this photo in color and I have, in the past, edited it into a black and white version.  I wasn’t crazy about the outcome.  This week in my Photoshop class we edited some black and white photos into sepia, and that is where I got the idea to revisit this photo.  There are many different ways, I am sure, to create a sepia image using Photoshop.  For this workflow, you start with a black and white image.  I had my black and white image in Aperture and so I imported it into Photoshop.  Then I used Levels (cmd L).  In the dialogue box under “Channels” you can change the Red,  Green, or Blue values in an image.  Under the Red, I moved the middle slider to the left. Then in the Blue I moved the middle slider to the right.  The result is the sepia tone you see above.  Then I sharpened the image and cropped it a bit.

Here is the original:

ISO 640 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1600

ISO 640 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1600

The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is a beautiful place.  We spent several days in the area but this photo was taken on a whale watching trip.  I had a really good time taking photos.  Having said that, I also put my camera down for awhile, just to enjoy the larger experience.  I think sometimes when I am taking photos, I get so involved in taking photos, that I forget to enjoy what is going on around me in other ways.  Did you know that humpback whales smell of rotting fish? makes sense when you think about it, but it is hard to photograph.

Have you ever taken so many photos that you forgot to enjoy the experience? What do you think of my sepia version? I’ll be honest, even though I like the tone of the sepia image, it is the color version that really speaks to me.  It reminds me more of the actual trip.  What do you think? Do you have a preference?

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

When I first saw that focus was the subject of this week’s photo challenge at WordPress, I thought about taking a photo creating focus based on depth of field.  But I have also started a new term at school and I am taking a Photoshop class.  I am going to be very focused on learning new ways to edit my images so I used some of the techniques we covered in class this week to create this image:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/25

Here’s how I edited the image in Photoshop:

  1. Created a duplicate layer
  2. Did a hue and saturation adjustment and moved the saturation slider all the way to the left.
  3. The hue and saturation adjustment came with it’s own mask, so I used a black paint brush to brush back in the color of the bee and the flower.
  4. Then I wondered what the density and feather sliders on the mask would do so I dropped the density to 80% and added a feather of 1.7 pixels.
  5. Then I decided that I wasn’t crazy about the completely unsaturated background so I moved that slider to -78 which brings back a bit of color to the background.

The bottom line here is that I was messing with the color to create focus.  Here is the original:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

I took this photo using my Canon 50D and a 50mm lens.  I was using a tripod and a fast shutter speed with the hope of stopping the movement of the bee as much as possible.  I was only somewhat satisfied with the way these original images turned out.  I think I am going to take my point and shoot camera along next time to see if I can get a closer view that I might be happier with.

So, what do you think of the images? In response to a recent post, a reader commented that they liked photography to look as natural as possible.  I have to say that in general I do agree with that statement particularly when it comes to nature photography; how do you feel about that? Does the fact that I used Photoshop on this bee put you off? Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Color is the theme at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  Nice timing because just this week we are starting to see some of the colors of Spring.  For the challenge I took some photos of my favorite flower, the daffodil.

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

This first photo I took using my Canon 50D.  I did a bracketed exposure because I knew I wanted to try some HDR post-processing using Photomatix.  I used a fast shutter speed in part because it was windy when I was taking these pictures.  This particular photo has been processed using the “painterly” setting in Photomatix.  Of the different settings I tried, this was the one that showed the most detail in the petals.

ISO 100 11mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 100 11mm 0ev f/5 1/100

This second photo I took using my Canon Powershot ELPH.  I used a setting called “super vivid” to get this effect.  While I sometimes like what I get using this setting, this photo I think shows a pretty common “side effect” of using super vivid.  Sure there is a lot of color, but you lose some of the detail.  It is interesting to me that some of the flower has detail and other parts just don’t.  So, as with most camera settings, there isn’t a one “setting for everything” button.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Canon 50D, Photography

A Colorful Photo

One assignment that I had for my digital photography class was to have the longest focal length and smallest f-stop that my camera was capable of using manual mode to take the photo.  Here was my result:

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

ISO 100 135mm 0ev f/5.6 1/6

I really ended up liking this shot.  I suspect part of the reason I like it is because of the contrasting blue and orange colors.  This photo is marbles in a candle holder, sitting on top of my Mac that has a blue cover.  A pretty easy to stage photo.  As a bit of a weird side note, this is the second thing that I have taken a picture of that has broken within the next day.  The other was my mailbox, which I wrote about here.  This time it was the candle holder which shattered the next day.

Given the slow shutter speed, a tripod was necessary to get the shot.  I used my kit lens which is a 28-135mm.  The lowest shutter speed that you can get here is a f/5.6.  Given that it was a sunny day outside, there was more than enough light to get a good exposure, so I could have my ISO at 100 without a problem.

I think the other reason I am liking this photo today is that it is cold and rather dark here.  A bit of cheerful color just helps to brighten my day, I hope that you enjoy it as well.

Cheers!

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Animals, Flowers, iPhone, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another bee in the series

Last week I posted two bee pictures.  One in sepia and one in color.  This one is in color, but is a bit different:

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/694

ISO 64 4mm f/2.8 1/694

It is different because I took it with my iPhone.  Now that it has been edited, it is a very small image, but good enough for this format.  I snapped this picture because I thought it was interesting that the bee and the bug were sharing this flower.  This photo has been edited in Aperture.  I used curves to make it just a bit brighter.  I didn’t want to make it too bright because I liked the green and yellow tones as they turned out in camera.  I also sharpened the image a bit.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another day, Another bee

I wrote yesterday about a bee that I had photographed and then edited into a sepia image.  The post is here if you would like to take a look.  Today I was looking at another series of bee shots and here is what one of the final images looks like:

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

ISO 800 135mm 0.67ev f/22 1/125

I think it was the bright yellow of the flower that made me decide to keep this a color image.  I managed to get a pretty sharp photo, even with the movement of the bee and the flower.  I had used my tripod earlier in the shoot, but did not for this particular image.  I think the most challenging thing about this image is the background.  There is just a lot going on.  So, the original image I cropped to try and get some of the background out but still leave enough to convey the scene I was shooting.  In Aperture I corrected this photo a bit using curves, I just wanted to darken the image a little bit.  I have also sharpened the image.

Cheers!

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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!

 

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