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

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.


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

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Unusual POV

This weekend I had an idea of what I wanted to try for this week’s photo challenge, a unusual point of view.  It took some time to create this image, but here it is:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

This is actually one dragonfly that kept landing on this plant.  The image that you see is three photos that have been blended into one. This is a technique that we covered in my Photoshop class last week.  The homework had been to create an image like this using images that were provided.  I did the assignment without any problem, but felt like I was just getting the end result because I was following the instructions, not because I really understood what I was doing.

With that in mind and seeing what the theme of the photo challenge was this week, I set out to create an image, using the technique and my own images.  I was hoping to create an awesome image and learn a lot.  So, how did it turn out?  well, I did learn a lot.  The image is not awesome, it’s OK, not bad for a first try.  I am going to keep writing this post and talk about how I made the image and what I learned, so if you’re curious keep reading.  If the details don’t particularly interest you, feel free to stop reading now.  I’d love to know what you think of the image though, so if you have a moment to let me know before you go, that would be great.

On with the details!  I’ll start with the photo shoot and move on to the editing.

What I did for the photo shoot:

The photos were taken using a tripod because I knew that other than the dragonfly, I was going to want everything to be the same.  I used a high shutter speed because I wanted to catch the action of the dragonfly with as much detail as possible.

What I learned:

Even though my settings were the same in the photos, the light changed in the time that it took me to get the images that I wanted.  I did not think about that at the time, so that was something that I had to change in Photoshop, so that the dragonfly would look the same in the composite.  Also, the dragonfly is a pretty small subject for this project.  For this effect working on a larger subject matter might have worked better.

What I did for the editing:

  1. I started with my images in Bridge:
  2. Bridge-Tools-Photoshop-Load Files into Photoshop Layers

The next steps are in Photoshop CS6:

  1. Select all the Layers
  2. Edit-Auto-Align Layers.  This will line up the non-moving objects in the photo.  In this case, it is pretty important that the plant stay still.
  3. Then I turned off the eyeball on all but the base layer.
  4. Turn on the eyeball on the next layer up that you will be working on.
  5. Make a mask.
  6. Paint the dragonfly on that layer in black.
  7. Command-i to invert the layer and that made the dragonfly appear visible on the base layer.

That’s pretty much it.  Have you ever tried something like this? Did it work for you? Feel free to leave a comment below, and if you have written a post on the topic, feel free to leave a link.