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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside the Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo has an event every year for folks who participate in their Zoo Parent program.  One of the presentations was a talk by an orangutan keeper.  She was showing how they train the orangutans to present body parts to the keeper so that any medical care they might need can be as non-evasive as possible:

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

ISO 1250 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

This wasn’t a particularly easy photo to get.  It was a very contrasty scene.  I was standing in the shade, as was the keeper, but you can see that it was very sunny in the background.  I did not want to use my flash in this situation as I thought it would be too distracting.  So, I have my ISO set high and my shutter speed is slow.  The keeper is a bit blurry, but I was OK with that in the case, because I really want you to look beyond the keeper to the orangutan.  I edited this photo in Photoshop.  I added a Levels adjustment and slid the black slider to the left.  I also did both some dodging and burning on the square that includes the orangutan.  Parts of it needed to be darkened and parts lightened.  When I was dodging and burning I also changed the opacity level of that tool, because having it set at 100% seemed a bit too heavy handed.

Watching presentations like this are very interesting to me, because it is just a glimpse of what goes on inside a zoo.  Inside is the theme for this week’s photo challenge at WordPress, so you can click here to see other interpretations.

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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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