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

Six Hundred Abandoned Photos

In my food photography project for Photoshop class, I have been through a lot of photos and a lot of edits.  My virtual trash bin is full to overflowing.  But I am finished with the project, six hundred photos later.  Here are some of the photos from along the way:

Along the way I have written three other posts, and I would like to thank all of you who commented on any or all of my versions of this project.  In each of the steps along the way, I have found that your comments made me think more about this project and helped me decide what my final vision was for this project.

Here is the final photo:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

This version combined the light and dark of other versions.  I also straightened the image a bit.  I also boosted the blue in the tea cups a bit.  If you are a regular reader you know that it took me awhile to get here.  If you are interested the other posts they are available here, here, and here. A version of this photo is available in my Picfair portfolio.

The next step is to turn in a digital copy on Monday and a print on Wednesday.  The final print will be approximately 15×10 on a semi-gloss paper.  I haven’t done any test prints yet, but will probably on Monday.  I’m curious to see how it goes.  The digital version will also be entered in the weekly photography competition at my photo club.  As for the other versions along the way, well except for maybe the top fifteen or so, the rest will be abandoned, relegated to the trash bin.

So, what do you think of my final version? Quite a bit different from where I started.  Feel free to leave a comment about the final version or wish me luck in this week’s competition.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Take Three

The WordPress weekly photo challenge asks for a story told in three pictures.  I have three pictures for you.  It is another evolution of my food photography project which is now on it’s third post.  Here are the photos:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/4 1/100

These photos were taken as the sun was going down, hence the golden light.  I shot a series of them also in the morning light and they have a much colder feel to them.  The second photo was shot with a piece of black paper in the background to make the steam visible.  The third photo is actually a combination of the first two photos that I created in Photoshop.

First, I started with the two photos in Bridge and went to Photoshop-load as layers.  That opened the two photos in a single layered file in Photoshop.  From there I went to Edit-Auto Align Layers and used the auto function to line up the two photos exactly.  Because I used a tripod and shot them in a sequence, the two photos had already been pretty close, but not exact.  Then with the darker photo on top, I dropped its opacity.  That is how the third photo came to be.

What do you think? Is the hybrid photo your favorite or do you prefer one of the other ones?  I have also changed the composition of the photos again.  Do you like it better or do you prefer something you saw in post one or post two?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting on this project as I have been working on it.  Once one of my photos is accepted in class, I will probably be making some other adjustments in Photoshop, just to clean it up.

Cheers!

 

 

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

It’s a fad, but do you like it anyway?

If you look at food advertising, particularly in magazines, I’m guessing you’ve noticed that there are some similarities in what you see.  The current fad is for clean, simple images.  Usually they are simply lit.  Often they convey a sense of casual elegance, an invitation to linger.  I think this trend speaks to something that is pretty basic, the need for community, an opportunity to connect.  Our lives tend to be full and rushed, these ads speak to the desire to slow down and savor.  For my current Photoshop food project I am attempting to capture a bit of that.  My images went through a second round of critique and here are two that came out on top:

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/125

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/2.8 1/125

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/50

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/50

If you missed the first round, or just want to look again, you can do so here.

So, they are a bit different from the first round. I simplified the composition, and took a lot of shots because I was working with natural light and wanted to have a lot to choose from.  What do you think of these images? Does one appeal to you more than the other? are there certain elements that you like or dislike?  Do you like this trend in food advertising?  I have to admit that I do.  The problem though with fads, is to still make your own work look original, that can be tricky…

I will be shooting again, and have a few ideas of my own, but I would like to hear what you have to say.

Cheers!

Standard
Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

Something that changed my life in a lot of ways was living in South Korea.  As a family we have lived a lot of places and traveled as much as possible.  I have a lot of things to remind me of where I have been.  One of the things I am doing in my life now is taking a Photoshop class.  I have a food assignment now and I have been taking test shots to get my ideas together for this project.  Here is one that I shot a few days ago:

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/25

ISO 100 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/25

I thought this project would mean more to me if I picked something that represented me.  The mini kimchee pots in the background are from our time in Korea.  The teacups were a gift from my husband when he went to Taiwan.  Tea brings back memories of my time in Asia as well as England and Canada.

The photo above is unedited and was shot using my point and shoot camera. In my next photo shoot for this project I will have reconsidered the background, the lighting, and the staging.  This original shoot includes approximately 300 shots, taken over the course of the day, with two different cameras.  Most of them will end up in the trash can. Right now I am using them to think about what I want to change.

Since I am going to be taking and editing and thinking about this project so much you can see why I chose to shoot something that I treasure.  How about you? do you have something that you photograph over and over because of what it means to you?  What do you think of my test shot? The red tablecloth has to go right?

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

I got an unexpected gift in the mail this week.  It was a sample set of teas from Capital Teas, sent to me by a friend who knows I love tea.  If you read this blog regularly you know I love photography and that I am currently taking a Photoshop class.  So it should be no surprise that I took a photo and then created something in Photoshop.  Here is what I came up with:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/4 1/125

What I am working on learning in Photoshop is how to remove a background and add another.  There were a couple of difficulties in creating this image.  The first was to get a good shot of the tea tins on a plain background.  If you have ever tried product photography you know that it is harder than it looks.  When you look at a good product photo it should look clean and simple. It takes a lot of time and effort to get that right.  If I was to re-shoot this I would think again about my lighting, I needed some more in the front.  I also would have shot on a simpler background, you will see in this original photo that I shot it on a wood floor which created some problems when I went to take out the background.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/4 1/125

It’s too dark so the first thing I did was adjust the exposure in Camera Raw before I opened it in Photoshop.  The blue background that you see is one that I created in Photoshop earlier and then I added it to the file as a background layer.  I used the refine edge and refine mask commands in Photoshop to remove the background layer and insert my new one.  This technique isn’t hard to understand but it does involve a lot of little steps, instead of trying to list all that out I am including this link to the tutorial that I used to learn how to do it.  The video runs about fifteen minutes and will give you a good start on learning how to remove a background.

You will notice that mine isn’t exactly clean.  The blue background can be seen in the lids of the tins and also the labels.  I did leave that like that just because I liked the look.  What do you think? Do you use Photoshop to replace backgrounds?

The tea, in case you are wondering, is wonderful.  The set I got contains three black/green tea mixes and I really like them.  Unexpected is the theme this week at the WordPress Photo Challenge, and this unexpected gift really made my day.

Cheers!

Standard
iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photography, Technology

Travel Theme: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day.  That is an interesting theme. I was a bit stumped on this one, but I thought of something eventually.  I ended up choosing two pictures:

It's a photo taken by my Mom.

It’s a photo taken by my Mom.

This photo I scanned and I use it as my gravatar.  My Mom took it.  She is gone now, but she was really computer literate.  It is a line of work she started in when computers were just really becoming fixtures in businesses and then homes.  In some ways, my Mom and I didn’t have that much in common, but I am thinking she would have loved this blog.

The second is this:

Taken on my iPhone, just for fun.

Taken on my iPhone, just for fun.

I love tea.  This photo was taken at the London Tea Room in St. Louis.  If you are in St. Louis and “need” tea, that’s the place to go.  Not only do I love tea, I love to share a cup with my girlfriends.  The venue doesn’t really matter, and a few of my friends don’t even like tea (mock horror), but for me it is the connection with my international collection of women friends who are sharing this journey with me that matters. A lot.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

This week’s challenge from WordPress, home, certainly could have a lot of interpretations. Here is mine:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1.6s

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1.6s

Having a nice cup of tea means home to me, even if I am not actually in my own home.

Cheers!

Standard