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

Designed for You

When we were planning our trip to Wales, we decided we wanted to explore Snowdonia National Park.  Our hardest hike of the week was going to be Mt. Snowden.  For us, the path that made the most sense was the Llanberis Pass, at nine miles, it was the longest way up and back, but is the least technical of the six main paths up the mountain.  We would be climbing 3,199 feet and the Llanberis path had the most gradual ascent of our choices.  This is what awaited us at the top:

ISO 800 50mm 1/2000 f/13

ISO 800 50mm 1/2000 f/13

Technically, this is a panorama.  It is two photos stitched together.  The originals were incredibly hazy, but after I had created the panorama in Photoshop.  I used Lightroom’s “dehaze” sider to make it clearer.  I also used the clarity slider and sharpened the image a bit.  I didn’t take the haze out completely though because I knew I had a clearer image.

I also had hiked with my iPhone and I created this panorama:

ISO 25 4.15mm1/2500 f/2.2

ISO 25 4.15mm1/2500 f/2.2

It’s clearer, and certainly the sky is bluer, but to me the first photo more closely represents what this hike meant to me. We had designed our trip around this hike.  It was what we scheduled ourselves for the first day in case we had to delay or reattempt it another day later in the week.  It was the hardest hike I’ve done in awhile.  So getting to the top was more about the serenity and silence of the first image than the community that is represented in the second.  The haze and lack of people in the first image to me look more like a postcard or an image you might print and put on your wall.

Do you plan your holidays around a single activity or goal? Do you bring back a photo from your holidays that represent the trip? Do you sometimes go with out a camera on purpose?  How do you feel about my two images, they do represent two different things don’t you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Portrait

Who do you see when you look at this photograph?

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I see a portrait of my youngest child.  I see that child has come back from a walk. Bringing evidence of the outdoors, flowers in this case.  The last few weeks it has been likely to be blackberries or an unripe apple fallen from the tree brought back to the house for further “research”.

I had been doing some research on photo editing at the time these flowers arrived and had just finished reading this short article on split toning.  I took some macro shots of the flowers so I could experiment a bit using the information I had just read.  I shot images with both my DSLR and my point and shoot, but ended up liking the point and shoot versions where I had used the macro setting better.  Here is the shot I decided I liked best:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I thought this version was a good candidate for my split toning experiment.  I did all the editing for the photo in Lightroom. The article I had read had suggested that when using split toning, you should pick the highlights or the shadows and just edit one of the two. That seemed like a logical starting point, but after making the highlights more yellow, I decided to go ahead and make the shadows more brown.  It transformed the photo from very cool to very warm.  I then boosted the color saturation of the purples a bit so they would stand out a bit more.  I added a bit of sharpening and then cropped the image.

How do you like the final version? I think I added in the warmth of color to reflect the warmth of the moment that I felt in receiving these flowers.  When I look at the original I think it would be possible to edit a colder tone version that would be very different but perhaps beautiful in its own way.  I tend to gravitate to warmer images, how about you?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Connection

An interesting thing about the Harris’s Hawk is that they hunt in packs.

ISO 50mm f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 50mm f/5.6 1/1000

This photo was taken at a falconry show at Leeds Castle.  For these birds, having a connection with a larger group makes hunting easier. I thinking blogging is similar, it’s more rewarding when you are part of a larger community. Just this past week I published my 500th post. I started this blog with the idea of using it as a journal.  It was be a way for me to keep track of my photography journey; specifically I wanted to write about how I was editing photos. It’s been a good way to keep track of what I’ve tried and what has or hasn’t worked.  What I wasn’t really counting on when I began blogging was the visitors to my site, many of them bloggers themselves.  They would leave a comment or like a post which would lead me to look at and comment on their work.  It’s been a conversation that has improved my work, helped me think more critically about my editing process. Also, I’ve seen other people at work in their photography in ways that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t a part of this blogging community.

When I took this photo, I knew there would be some work to be done before it was finished. The photo was taken under really harsh lighting conditions. I was glad that I had my Canon 50D with me, which meant that I could shoot in RAW. Basically, I knew the detail I would want to see in the final edit would be available in the RAW file, even if I couldn’t see it here in the original photo:

ISO 50mm f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 50mm f/5.6 1/1000

The first Photoshop edit I made was to work with the highlights and shadows.  I knew I wanted to bring out more details in the wings and that was a way to start.  I also did a slight levels adjustment and then some sharpening.  Sometimes, I start my editing with cropping, but in this case I left it to the end.  The crop wasn’t extreme, but I do think it made the composition more interesting.

How do you like the final editing outcome? They are beautiful birds aren’t they?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  I’d also like to take a moment to thank all my readers over the past few years, I appreciate what you have added to my photographic journey.

Cheers!

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