70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

When it comes to inspiration for my photography, I just go outside.  I love taking nature images and this past week, I was away for a few days camping by a river.  Close to our campsite was a garden full of butterflies, here is one:

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

This is the edited version, I’ll show you the original in a bit.  For this photo I chose an ISO of 400 because even though it was sunny, the garden itself was full of harsh shadows. I picked an f-stop of f/10 because I wanted most of the image in focus, but I was OK with some of the background detail fading away. A shutter speed of 250 seemed to be fine to catch the movement of the butterfly.  In editing this photo, I first cropped and sharpened it.  I then made a layer with a gradient map that was yellow, but dropped that layer’s opacity to about 70%. That was the top layer; I also put a mask on it and masked back in the original flower and butterfly.  The result created some contrast between the two layers. I then decided to use the oil paint filter to give the photo a bit of a dreamy look.  Here is the original:

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

So what do you think of my two versions? Feel free to leave a comment below.

On another note, what do you do when things go seriously awry? One of my favorite bloggers and certainly my favorite dinosaur, just got out of prison.  She’s going to use her experience to help other women who have been incarcerated.  To me, that’s brave and inspiring, read her thoughts on it here.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturation

This week I am  working on creating a panorama for my Photoshop class.  It is a series of gravestones that includes this image:

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

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

In the panorama there will be a panning to the left to reveal other gravestones.  But as I was looking at the image and thinking about this week’s photo challenge theme saturated, I was thinking about not only the amount of color but the actual color and the texture.

I also, just a few days ago, downloaded some free software from DXO and Sony.  It is DXO FilmPack 3 which is free to download until October 31, 2013.  I had installed it and have it  running as a plug-in in both Aperture and Photoshop. The software allows you to give your digital image the feel of film.  So, here is that same photo with a Kodak Elite Chrome 400 filter:

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

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

Completely different isn’t it?  What do you think?  I like it, but I think for my panorama project I will stick with the green version.  I’m also thinking that I am going to be able to find a lot of uses for this software.  I will also say, that I think it is fairly easy to use.  I didn’t really dig into it, but I got it up and running really quickly which is something that I always appreciate.

I’ll also tell you that I found this software thanks to another blogger, Lignum Draco.  I have included a link to a recent post of his that I enjoyed.  He does mostly street photography, which is something I almost never do.  I enjoy looking at the work of photographers whose images are a lot different than mine.  You never know where you will find inspiration or free software, so I’d like to thank him for blogging and sharing his work.

Thoughts about my images? Do you also look to the work of others for inspiration? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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