What I Saw

Maybe this happens to you. You are looking at something and you see what is actually there, but in your mind you see something else. This happens to me a lot. When it comes to my photography it can create a bit of tension; part of me likes to record just the facts while another part is off imagining.  This image is from that imagining side:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

This photograph is a panorama and the original files looked like this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

The original files are kind of just ho-hum, but what I liked was the green and also the texture of the brick.  I was also just intrigued by the fact that the building was there.  It’s part of an old sewage farm and was first constructed in 1887.

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/640

The building now is in pretty good shape but does have an abandoned look about it. When I created the panorama, I knew I wanted to bring out that aspect of it.  A quick sketch of how I created this image looks like this.  I selected the original files that I wanted to use in Lightroom. Then Lightroom-Photo-Edit In-Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.  From there I cropped and straightened the image. Then I sharpened it and saved it back to Lightroom.  From Lightroom-Photo-Edit In-Analog Efex Pro.  I ended up using a wet plate camera setting but then changed the settings within that filter and saved it back to Lightroom.  In Lightroom I made a few more adjustments, mostly to get the green colors to a point where I liked.

In addition to posting this in the Weekly Photo Challenge, I am also posting it in an interesting challenge called Thursday Doors.

How about you, do you often look at something and imagine something completely different? Is the green of Spring emerging where you are or are you on the opposite side of the world, springing into another season altogether?  Feel free to leave a comment below.



Travel Theme: Illuminated

This week for the travel theme illuminated, you will have to humor me because the traveling I am talking about is in my mind.  I started a new semester this week, so here is my desk as I am trying to illuminate my mind with Photoshop:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50

To take this image I used my Canon PowerShot.  I chose my point and shoot because I wanted to try a few of the creative settings it has to see if I could tell a story using one of the settings.  The settings I tried before this one were fisheye and toy camera. Neither struck my imagination.  Then I decided to use the setting which lets you choose one accent color and the rest of the image is rendered in black and white.  I knew the accent color I wanted was green.  I wanted to pick up the file that I was working on, the dinosaurs in my screen saver, the textbook, and a hint of the photo that is sitting on the desk.  Because that is a lot to look at, I think it is important that the rest of the image is black and white.

I did choose to blow out the background by having a lot of light behind the desk.  Do you like that effect?  What so you think of the use of the single color green?

I’d also like to know that my awesome screen background was created by The Queen Creative and a link to a blog about that background can be found here.

For those of you who stop by on a regular basis, I would like to let you know that I got an A in the first semester of this class and I’d like to say thanks to all of you who wished me luck and encouraged me through the semester.


Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue is Green

This panorama is the second of two that I created for my Photoshop class:

It's actually two panoramas in one.

It’s actually two panoramas in one.

In full size this is a 36″x 17″ print.  I know there is a limit to what can be viewed here on the blog, so I have put it in my Flickr photo stream as well.

Since the theme of the WordPress photo challenge is hue, I will start by talking about that.  When I was thinking about the final panorama, I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to stick with the green tones that were in the original photograph.  So, I experimented with that a bit.  You might remember that I blogged this photo a few weeks ago:

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/400

ISO 250 50mm 0ev f/1.8 1/400

At this stage I was trying to decide if I was going to make the panorama match this more golden hue instead of the green.  I decided to stick with green, but if you would like to see how I made the green photo golden, the post is here.  You found the green version of this photo in the panorama above right?

Once I had decided to stick with the green hue, I created the panorama of gravestones in Photoshop.  In order to get these photos, I used my tripod.  My tripod can pretty much lay flat, and I used it in that position, because I liked the angle that included the grass in the foreground and I also like the way the background turned out in the series of photos.

If you are going to shoot a panorama, consider using a tripod or other flat surface because it makes it easier for the software to put together your final image.  The other thing to remember when shooting a panorama is to leave overlap in your photos so that the software has things from your first image that it can match up with your second image and so on.

But this is actually two panoramas.  The stone angel is a panorama as well, although a smaller one than the gravestones.  I put these two panoramas together in Photoshop.  The gravestones are one layer and the angel is another.  The original canvas was white, but I put a stone texture on it and then a layer of green.  I chose the specific green color by using the eyedropper tool and selecting a green that was in the gravestone panorama.  The cross that is behind the angel is actually a photoshop brush that I downloaded from Obsidian Dawn.  I included just a general link so that you can see the wide range of brushes they have, but I used one from a series of celtic crosses.  The text is Psalm 23, and I just used a separate layer for that and typed it in.

So, that is actually a pretty brief version of how I created the panorama, it was a fairly involved project.  What do you think of the final version? Questions and comments are welcome below.

I look at a lot of different blogs, including those of artists whose work is quite different from mine.  I get a lot of inspiration and other tips from various blogs here on WordPress.  The blogger I’m about to thank is one whose blog has content that some would label as “mature” in terms of content and vocabulary, if that bothers you, don’t click on the links. I’d like to thank Cardinal Guzman for the idea to post my larger panoramas on Flickr, he does a lot of street photography and has some beautiful, moody images on both of his blogs, which can be found here and here.

Also, the other panorama I created in this series is here on Flickr and here on my blog.


Travel theme: Green

Green is the theme at Where’s my backpack? this week and as of today I am still waiting for some green to turn up here, it has been grey and quite cold here lately.

Inside our house is another story though.  My youngest is working on a science fair project, so we have some green sprouting this week, green beans to be precise.  The project is to vary the amount of water the plants get daily and compare their growth rates.

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/50

ISO 1600 50mm 0ev f/4.5 1/50

ISO 1600 60mm 0ev f/4.5 1/50

ISO 1600 60mm 0ev f/4.5 1/50

These plants are growing very quickly, these two photos were taken one day apart.

It’s nice to see some green around 🙂



Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

This week’s challenge from WordPress also includes the challenge of adding a gallery, so we will see how this turns out.  For my “green” I am using some photos I took this past spring at the zoo.


Single Fall Leaf

This past week I was working on a color assignment for my digital photography class as well as a natural symmetry themed contest.  This photo fits in both of those categories:

ISO 100 50mm f/2.2 1/160

I tried a bracketed exposure for this shot of -1,0,1 for editing in Photomatix.  Once I had put the photos in Photomatix, I picked a version which I felt was pretty natural looking because part of what I was wanting viewers to see was the way the red was basically imitating the overall shape of the whole leaf.  When I was composing and editing the shot I was trying to blur the background as much as possible.  I liked the green color, but didn’t want any competing detail.

Any thoughts?  feel free to leave them in the comment section.




Award Winning Frog

This photo got an honorable mention in competition in at my camera club. Yippee!:

ISO 500 135mm f/10 1/50

The grumpy old men (as I call them) who often sit behind me at club meetings, grumbled that this photo was just good because I had a really big lens.  Actually, I do wish I had a really big lens, and I may own one in the future, but this was taken with a 28-135mm kit lens.  I was just lucky enough to sneak up on this frog without it hopping off.

This is a handheld shot.  In Aperture I boosted the greens a bit, cropped and sharpened the image.

This image is also available for purchase on my website.