Picfair version here.
Picfair version here.
I wrote a post about some roses that I had in the house a little over a week ago. Then I kept the flowers until well after their scent had faded. As you can imagine, it was so that I could get some photos. Here is one that I shot a few days ago:
What I was thinking about was light. I knew I wanted to shoot in the early morning light, to take advantage of that lovely tinge of the first light of the day. In this case, my tripod was mandatory, you see the exposure time of two seconds? there is no way for me to get a clear shot while holding the camera. So, with my camera set up on the tripod, I worked a bit with my f-stop. I wanted the roses to be fairly in focus, but I wanted the raindrops on the window behind to appear as bokeh. F/8 was the answer for this photo shoot.
So then to the editing, cropping was my first step. I then created a color version and this black and white version:
You can see that I have cropped out the left side of the photo, just a bit too much going on there in my opinion. The slightly warm tint to this version I got by sliding up the temperature slider in Lightroom. I’ve also added a bit of grain to this version.
With both a color and black and white version created, from Lightroom I opened them as layers in a single file in Photoshop. Here is the final version of that experiment:
To achieve this look, I have the black and white version as the top layer but I have lowered its opacity. I did trying adding a mask to add in more color to the roses, but ended up not liking the effect. The original color of the roses seemed garish against the more muted background of this combined version.
What do you think of my versions? I added both the black and white and the combined version to my portfolio on Picfair. I like them, does it bother you that the roses are not their original color? have you ever tried combining black and white and color photos? the result can be lovely or jarring, it is interesting how varied the outcomes can be.
I tend to take a camera with me everywhere I go, even if it is just my iPhone, because while I think you can come back to a place and photograph it many times, I also think that it will not ever be exactly the same. While I was out running the other day, I saw this spiderweb and decided that if I did stop right then, I would never get this photo:
While you could make the argument that I will never be a better runner if I’m always stopping to look around, you’re right! I wouldn’t disagree. But I also know that one of the reasons I run is to be present in the here and now, and that includes looking at my surroundings.
Now, before you get to thinking that I am some purist about photography, have a look at the actual original unedited photo:
Can you tell I am sorry that summer is over? Sorry enough that I edited in some warmth. In this case I used split-toning and added a copper tone to the shadows. I also cropped and sharpened the image. I’ve added a graduated filter, in this case from top to bottom, and a vignette to darken the corners. While I did the cropping and sharpening in Photoshop, I did the other edits in Lightroom. I felt that the graduated filter was an important edit, that’s what brought a bit of texture and interest to the sky.
I was happy the graduated filter worked in part because I had used it recently when editing another photo and ended up removing the edit because it worked so poorly in that case. As a result of that edit gone wrong, I had a bit of a discussion with another blogger about the use of that filter. I think with editing tools, sometimes you just have to try the edit and see if it works. The results can be interesting, if not always what you wanted. That’s what your digital trash can is for I think. It was another blogger named Amy that I was talking with, and I’m including a link to a recent post of hers that I enjoyed. A version of this photo is available on Picfair.
What do you think of my edits? do you liked the warmed up version, or do you think I should just face facts and stick with the original? Do you sometimes have conversations with other people that influence what you are doing in your own work? Feel free to comment below.
Part of Christmas is putting everything away. I’ll admit, we are doing that a bit early this year, before the end of the Christmas season on the Church calendar. This year, our packing up is a bit more involved. We will be moving this coming year, so we are sorting though everything, and deciding what to keep, what to get rid of, and what is going into storage. Since we are moving from the US to England, all our lights are going into storage. That’s easy. Harder is sorting through the decorations. Or at least I thought it would be hard. It turns out my kids thought it was fun. Also, I drug out my camera to take some photos, and that is always fun. Here is an ornament that will be coming with us:
To shoot this photo, I used a magnifying, close-up lens on my 50mm lens. I lined Santa up so that the light would be smooth and luminous behind him. Here is the original photo:
I cropped the photo and applied a vintage filter in Aperture:
I liked the vintage feel, but thought it was too strong. So to get the final version I started this post with, I opened the image in Photoshop and then duplicated it. One layer I made into a black and white version, that was the top layer. Then I dropped the opacity of that layer to about 50%. I then made a mask on that layer and masked in the santa figure. The result was the more toned down vintage feel in the background. That, to me, is more appealing. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.
A version of this image is available on Picfair.
Happy New Year to all my readers and visitors. This year will be a busy one in my household as we relocate. It is a cycle that we are use to, we move every few years for work reasons. To me, it often seems like a circle, we move, get set-up, get situated, get ready to move again. In a way this cycle feels like the smaller yearly cycle of celebrating Christmas.
The prompt for the WordPress photo challenge asked participants to think about not only the size of something but its impact when considering what to submit for this week’s theme, grand. So, I thought small. This photo is of an Eastern Screech Owl, a version of which is available on Picfair.
If you are a regular reader of this blog this image is familiar to you. I originally created this image as a full color HDR image, if you would like to read about that original version click here. This particular version I created in the last week because we did some lessons on HDR in my Photoshop class and I created a series of new images for an assignment but then came back to this image to do something a bit different.
Even though it is a Photoshop class, my preferred software for HDR is Photomatix, so that is what I used to create this image. When shooting this photo, I used the exposure bracketing feature in my camera, so I had three exposures, one light, one dark, and one in the middle. If you’d like a bit of an explanation of HDR, there is a brief overview here.
For the image you see above, I already had created a color HDR version. I went back to my bracketed photos and created a black and white version. With my two HDR versions on my desktop, I then opened them in Photoshop. Each of the photos is on its own layer. Then I spent a bit of time creating different combinations until I came up with this version. In this version, the black and white is on top of the color version. I put a mask on the black and white layer, and with my paintbrush painted over the eyes, revealing the color version underneath. That’s it. Probably the simplest version I worked on, but the one I liked the best.
This particular photo I took at World Bird Sanctuary, which if you are ever in the St. Louis area, is a great place to visit with your camera. I’m sorry to say, that this little owl passed away this week. A tribute is here, and as a regular visitor to World Bird Sanctuary I can say that this bird was an excellent ambassador for the work they do there. A little bird that made a grand impact indeed.
So what do you think of the combined HDR version? I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions below. If you don’t have anything to say about this particular photo but would love to leave a comment, take a moment to wish me good luck on my Photoshop final exam which is coming up this week!
How about looking into the eyes of this guy?
The reason he is here perhaps explains the intense look in his eyes. He was seized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service when someone cut off his crest, spray painted him, and attempted to sneak him into the US with the thought of selling him illegally.
When I took this photo, I was hoping to catch this intense gaze because I think it helps tell his story. To get this image, I had rented a 70-300mm lens. I was also using a tripod. I settled on an f-stop of 5.6 because I thought it left a lot of detail in the bird and also blurred out the background in a slightly surreal way. I was hoping that the odd background would also suggest that this bird really does not belong here in the US, he should really have been left in the wild but now has to stay here.
I took a bracketed exposure because I knew I wanted to create an HDR image. I used Photomatix to create the HDR and then did my sharpening in Photoshop. This bird is part of a series that I created. Other birds I have blogged about include a Eurasian Eagle Owl and a Barn Owl.
A version of this images is available on Picfair.
What do you think of this bird? Pretty intense looking? Have you ever seen one? Have a comment just in general? feel free to leave it below.