Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Design, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Superhero

Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post I wonder how in the world I am going to distill the process into something easy to read.  Not because I think you as the reader needs something easy, it’s that I do.  I keep this blog as part journal for myself, to refer back to different things that I have tried.  Perhaps if I was a superhero I would choose recall as my super power, so that I could remember my own thought process; also perhaps so that I would not need a grocery list.

Here is my favorite superhero though:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

The wildflower, able to restore the planet and look beautiful at the same time. Perhaps it would be no surprise to learn that I am taking a graphic design class on line and was thinking about text and typography this week.  When it came to creating this image I used Photoshop.  For fun, I clicked the 3D button once I had “Superher” as a layer.  There is a lot that you can do within that 3D setting, so basically I just worked with the settings until I came up with something I liked. As far as the color of the text, I used the eyedropper to click around on the wildflower until I came upon this color option that I felt suited the flower.  I wanted the text to both stand out but yet resemble a petal.

Then came the cropping, the version of the image I was working with first looked like this:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

More about how I first edited this photo is here.  As you can see I have chosen in the superhero version to crop out a lot of the green.  I also made the choice to crop out the tips of some of the petals.  What do you think of this crop?  It’s rare that I crop out part of the subject, so it feels a little odd to me.  How about the text, do you like it? do you think it works with this photo?  Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Childhood, Flowers, Nature, Parenting, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Portrait

Who do you see when you look at this photograph?

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I see a portrait of my youngest child.  I see that child has come back from a walk. Bringing evidence of the outdoors, flowers in this case.  The last few weeks it has been likely to be blackberries or an unripe apple fallen from the tree brought back to the house for further “research”.

I had been doing some research on photo editing at the time these flowers arrived and had just finished reading this short article on split toning.  I took some macro shots of the flowers so I could experiment a bit using the information I had just read.  I shot images with both my DSLR and my point and shoot, but ended up liking the point and shoot versions where I had used the macro setting better.  Here is the shot I decided I liked best:

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

ISO 400 4.3mm f/2.7 1/200

I thought this version was a good candidate for my split toning experiment.  I did all the editing for the photo in Lightroom. The article I had read had suggested that when using split toning, you should pick the highlights or the shadows and just edit one of the two. That seemed like a logical starting point, but after making the highlights more yellow, I decided to go ahead and make the shadows more brown.  It transformed the photo from very cool to very warm.  I then boosted the color saturation of the purples a bit so they would stand out a bit more.  I added a bit of sharpening and then cropped the image.

How do you like the final version? I think I added in the warmth of color to reflect the warmth of the moment that I felt in receiving these flowers.  When I look at the original I think it would be possible to edit a colder tone version that would be very different but perhaps beautiful in its own way.  I tend to gravitate to warmer images, how about you?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Editing photos can be a fun way of interpreting the earth around you. This photo is an image I created in Photoshop:

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

The reality of what I saw was closer to this:

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

ISO 400 4.3 f/2.7 1/250

The larger story was that I had gone to the park bench these flowers were growing next too because I thought it would be a good photo.  It turns out it wasn’t.  Even the various edited versions could not match the beauty or serenity I saw in the moment.  That’s a bit frustrating.  But when I got home, this images above, that I didn’t think much of when I was taking it, ended up being the image that I liked best.   On this particular day, I had both of my cameras with me, but it was this image taken with my point and shoot that I liked best.  In Photoshop the image was cropped and sharpened.  I then applied a preset filter in Lightroom that gave it a different color and I also added a bit of grain.

Has that ever happened to you? You are sure a certain image is going to be a gem, only to find out the riches are hidden in another image?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  The edited image looks quite different from the original, what do you think of the change?

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

I was up early this morning taking photos of my wildflowers when it occurred to me that perhaps I did have an entry for this week’s photo challenge, half and half.  As much I love taking photos of just the flowers, the photos tend to be more interesting with their other half, bees:

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

In this case, just a single bee.  He was the only one out this morning.  When I edited this photo, I did something I don’t usually do, I did a fair amount of the editing in Camera Raw before opening it up in Photoshop.  I used the sliders in Camera Raw to adjust the exposure, clarity, and highlights.  Then I opened it in Photoshop to crop and sharpen the image.  Here is the original shot:

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

I think the image is a bit stronger with the edits.  With the bee almost dead center, it does break the “rule of thirds” photography rule.  In this case that doesn’t bother me. To be honest I think part of what I like about this photo, is the fact that I was up early enough before work to have the time to go and be outside in one of my favorite places.  Do you have a photo like that, one that is more about how you were feeling at the time and not so much about the photo itself?  What do you think of the edits?  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: Dreamy

It’s a bit of a contradiction but one of the things I hate about Photoshop I also love. As a photographer, I love to create an image in camera and not have to edit it later. However, I do also enjoy creating a new image out of the one that was taken straight from the camera. For me, editing often involves creating an image that is softer, a dreamy take on the original.

In honor of this week’s photo challenge I took a photo I had taken a few weeks ago and created two versions, both artistic takes on the original.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

One of the reasons I took this photo using the settings I did was that I knew that it would blur out the background pretty well.  To me, this was important because the garden is a very crowded place and I wanted to focus on these two flowers.

When I edited the photo, the first thing I did was crop, specifically to get rid of the yellow in the background that I found distracting.

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

I did like this version but for this challenge I took it a step further, and created a version using the paint filter in Photoshop:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

You may also notice that I took the liberty of removing the two little bugs from the flower.  No bugs in the garden? Now you know that is a dream, certainly not reality thankfully.

So how do you like my oil paint version?  Do the other versions appeal to you more?

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

It’s been a long summer and some of the wildflowers in our garden have seen better days:

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/4 1/250

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/4 1/250

It’s a small act of endurance to live in this spot in the garden. The flowers that grow there are subject to heavy rain, blistering sun, and wind.

It’s been a long and busy summer in our house as well. If you have stopped by this blog before you know that I took the summer off to focus on a few things. I’m still working on my Illustrator class, but I have missed blogging so I am back, hopefully once a week.

The photo above I took this morning in our garden with my new (to me) Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens. I will show the original photo below. I increased the exposure and clarity in Camera Raw.  Then in Photoshop I cropped and sharpened it. I was pleased with the outcome.  I’m looking forward to playing around some more with this new lens.

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/4 1/250

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/4 1/250

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Blossoms

I live in suburbia.  Over the years I’ve lived in several variations of suburbia.  Whichever variation of suburbia I am living in I like to put native plants and wildflowers in my gardens.  The native plants I put in over the last few years are struggling this season because we had a non-native winter, far colder than usual.  So are first spring flowers this year are not native plants but wildflowers.  I love photographing these blossoms as they appear in the yard. On this particular shoot, I took both of my cameras with me.  This first was taken with my Canon Powershot:

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/100

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/100

This version was shot using the color picker setting in the camera. I selected purple and it changed the rest of the image to black and white.  I do wish the camera had picked up more of the purple.  I did love the way the light turned up in this image.  It was beautiful in that particular moment, and I think the camera honored that.  This image was edited in Photoshop, I cropped it and sharpened it.  Here is the original:

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/100

ISO 100 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/100

This next flower I shot using my Canon 50D:

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/400

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/400

I chose a very shallow depth of field to draw your attention to the front blossom and deal with the very busy background by blurring it.  This photo has also been cropped and sharpened.  Here is the original:

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/400

ISO 125 50mm 0ev f/2.5 1/400

So, what do you think of my editing?  How is your spring going, did your plants struggle this year? Ours are just now starting to bounce back.

Cheers!

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