Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Technology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

I was taking some photos of our Christmas tree and processing them in Aperture just for fun so:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/20

to you and yours!  This photo was taken with my point and shoot on the macro setting and then in Aperture I applied the vintage setting.  But that was yesterday, this week’s photo challenge is all about now.  So this is me this morning:

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

ISO 80 4mm f/2.8 1/24

There I am reflected in the screen on my computer as I take a photo with my phone.  This photo was edited in Aperture and a sepia low tone effect added.  How is this now? It’s me sitting at my desk thinking about the technical issues I am having with my technology and wondering how I am going to fix it all in the coming weeks.  It’s a work in progress and what I am working on right now.  It’s a lot to sort out but since it is important to me, I’m sure I will come up with something.

A very Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all of you.  Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment below, maybe even a line about what big projects are on your plate right now.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops!

For this week’s challenge, I invite you to take you on a walk around the zoo with me as I go in search of a photo. I take a lot of photos and I’m grateful for digital photography.  It’s easy to go ahead and take a photo, try another angle, another setting perhaps.  Think for a minute, try something else.  The beauty of digital is that you can throw away all the duds.  My laptop trash bin often has a lot in it. Here is a little gallery of our walk:

You can roll over any of the photos to see why they will not be making it into a blog post other than this one where I show you all my oops moments.  For those of you who visit regularly, you will recognize that cheetah.  He was in last week’s post looking like this:

I see you

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

To get that one photo, I took one hundred and twenty two photos, for me that is almost nothing.

I have a few that I will keep.  I’ll edit those, make sure they are tagged, and save them to a separate hard drive too.  The rest, well those are headed for the bulging trash bin.

Thanks for taking a walk with me. I always like chatting about photography.  Feel free to comment below, either about what I have done here or about your own creative process.

Cheers!

 

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

Sometimes a visit to the zoo is like a game of  I Spy, as in good luck finding anyone out and about.  Not so a few days ago on a cool autumn morning, a lot of animals were out enjoying a bit of the morning sunshine, including this cheetah:

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

Usually when I am taking animal photos I try to get a shot with their eyes in focus.  In this case, there was something I liked about the photos with its eyes closed.  A bit relaxed and aloof at the same time.  While I was shooting that morning I had set my ISO to 800 because I felt like with the sun going in and out, 800 would cover the changing conditions.  I had my shutter speed at 250 because a lot of the animals were moving around, and that speed was enough to capture that motion.  In this particular photo, that wasn’t really necessary.  I have not done much post processing with this photo, the original is below, and you can see the biggest change is the cropping:

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 0ev 200mm

In this case I was mindful of the rule of thirds, and placed the cheetah’s closed eyes along one of those rule of thirds grid lines.  I think keeping it simple in this case made for a good photo, but what do you think?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

Some of the most interesting and ornate patterns can be found in nature.  Every year, we have an interesting combination of man made structure and natural elements that comes together in our driveway.  As the leaves pile up on damp days, they leave an impression on the driveway.  It only lasts a few days, but I love the patterns the leaves impress upon the asphalt:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

This was the image that I created from this year’s offering.  I started here:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

This is one of the original photos.  I shot a bracketed exposure and this was the darkest version.  I used Photomatix to create my HDR version.  The original HDR version looked like this:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/200

The final version, which is the first photo in this post has been cropped in Photoshop and then had a warming photo filter applied to it. I also sharpened the photo to bring out the texture of the driveway. In a few days it will rain and these impressions will be gone.

What do you think of these fleeting natural impressions? Do you have a version that you prefer over the others?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

When it comes to photo editing, sometimes you have to be careful. While I do mean that you have to take care with your work, I also am talking about your time. Once you have started working on an image, when is it finished?  That is something that I find myself thinking about a lot.  I spent sometime outside this week taking advantage of the beautiful weather, and looking for nice outdoor images.  When I came across this scene I thought it would look nice with some editing:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

When I got to the editing process even though the first thing that struck me was that the image would need straightened, that was actually close to my last step.

I had bracketed this image because of the shadows, with the thought that I would make an HDR version in Photomatix.  In this case I made a color and black and white image.  Then in Photoshop I combined the two images using the the color version as the base layer and masking in the black and white where I wanted it. Then I cropped the image and sharpened it:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

Combining color and black and white is not something I do a whole lot of but I have fun with occasionally.  A few days later, I was doing some research on a graphic design project and I came across this article on using the apply image function in Photoshop.  While it didn’t help what I was working on at that moment, it did make me think again about trying that as a basis for editing the scene I had been working on earlier in the week.  So I gave it a try:

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

As the tutorial I linked to suggests, the apply image feature actually has a lot to offer once you start exploring the dialogue box that opens up.  This version above ended up being the my favorite of the edited versions, so far that is…

What do you think, is there a version that you prefer? Do you find yourself getting lost in the process of photo editing? It can be both fabulous and maddening, don’t you think?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

There is no doubt about it, I love to be outside. I don’t always take my camera with me because I find that having my camera changes everything. I tend to be more analytical with my camera in hand. Sometimes, I find myself looking for photos instead of just enjoying the moment. Then there are the days when I plan to take my camera. A few weeks ago it was sunny and warm after a few days of cooler weather.  I went looking for bees, they didn’t disappoint:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

Now there are some who would point out that the light is too harsh in this photo, that I went at the wrong time of day and the light is all wrong. Technically, they are right. My argument against that line of thinking goes something like this, to me this harsh light creates huge contrast between the light and dark parts of the image and that says Fall to me. Fall is what I was trying to capture here.  Also, being outside just makes me happy, the time of day doesn’t matter so much to me.

When I got this photo home, I was pleased with its clarity.  So, in Photoshop I cropped it, messed with the levels a bit to bring down the harshest of the highlights, and then sharpened it a bit.  Here is the original:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

I think the crop helps this photo a lot.  I’ll also say that I used my 200mm lens to be able to get in close to the bee, but not be so close that I would bother it.

How about you, do you have a favorite place to shoot? would you consider yourself more of an indoor or outdoor person? Anything you’d like to say about the edits I have done?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Fall is officially here in this part of the world.  The leaves are starting to change here and the day is noticeably shorter. To me, the light during this time of year seems more intense, and I have been thinking about ways to grab that photographically.  This week, I found myself thinking about creating backlit images, here is a link to some photos I was looking at this morning.  Earlier this week, I was taking some photos at a local park, and the sun was causing some harsh shadows, so I decided to change up the way I was shooting and shoot into the sun instead of with my back to it.  Here is the result:

ISO 125 70mm 0ev f/8 1/1250

ISO 125 70mm 0ev f/8 1/1250

This photo has been edited.  It is actually an HDR image that I created using Photomatix.  Changing a photo using editing can be fun, but there is another way to change and image and that is just to move.  Here is what that scene looks like standing at street level:

ISO 125 70mm 0ev f/8 1/160

ISO 125 70mm 0ev f/8 1/160

But this particular morning, I wasn’t looking to just take a picture in the park, I was daydreaming about light and wide open spaces, so the top photo was my result.  All it took was a few steps down the hill and a little editing and I was where I wanted to be.

How do you feel about changing an image to suit an idea rather than being an exact descriptor?  Personally, I like trying to combine both things, so this image is a bit of stretch for me.  Feel free to comment below about the changes I made in this case or to comment on how you feel about this type of change in your own work.

Cheers!

 

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