Friday, September 28, 2012

Waiting Around

I am working on portraiture slowly. It is not a long suit. What I have discovered is this. Ask people to pose and them take a few shots but make them wait awhile and they begin to interact with each other. That's when the fun begins. Here is an example. I really wanted to get a photo of Rick with his mom and dad. They all smile for the camera but...

Wait a bit and they smile for each other. What fun! Love this one best!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post Processing

There are several step I take when I get an image into my PC. Using Photoshop, the first is always a levels adjustment. Control + L gets you there. You will see a histogram of data. When photos are too  dark or too light, moving the sliders inward on each end to where the data (black in the histogram) begins will adjust the lightness or darkness of the image. The center slider is for all the midtones and I usually tweak it ever so slightly either left or right to see the outcome. One or the other generally appeals to me.

Here is a SOTC image of my nephew. It was taken under a pavilion and so he is in shadows. The backdrop is much lighter especially with the white car. The subject is under exposed. I also don't like that the telephone pole is coming out of his shoulder and the wire from his forehead.

The adjustments I made were:
  • a levels adjustment to lighten the subject
  • the self healing brush to remove both the pole and the wire
  • I then used the magic extraction brush, which is one of the selection tools, to separate  Paul from the background. This is fairly easy to do since their is so much contrast.  I set the feather factor (in the extraction box options) to 3 in order to soften the edge of subject and background.
  • After extracting him and while he was still selected, I put him on his own layer. Layer-New-Copy. This places just the subject on a layer above the entire photo.
  • To further camouflage the healing brush actions and the white car, I gently blurred the original photo which is only serving as the background . Filter-Blur-Gaussian=6.0

Here is the final result. The changes are subtle but significantly improved. The order in which things are done is important. I could have first extracted Paul and then only lightened him.It is a choice to be made. In all. these adjustments took only a few minutes. Photoshop skills are worth having.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Exploring Space in Photographic Images

In this months Exploring with a Camera Series, Kat Sloma has selected Exploring Space. She defines this as  "a single, continuous visual element in a photograph that fills more than half of the frame but is not the subject."

In this example, my brother and I are standing on the beach in Hilton Head. We are the subject, the beach is the space.

In this example, my niece is placed in the frame with foreground and side space. It is probably not as strong an example because of the busyness of the background but the viewer can certainly breathe.

In this image, the sky provides some of the space. The foreground is busier but by applying the rule of thirds and positioning the focal point on the edge, visual space is provided.

This image is similar in structure to the last. The red tea pot placed on the right side, allows breathing room for the viewer eye.

This image is a clear winner in the Visual Apace category but again the Rule of Thirds has a huge impact on the space.

I had to search through a lot of images to find these examples and found it interesting that all of these are horizontal orientation and none are portrait. More of my images tend toward portrait however. It was also interesting for me to note that most of my photos are more closely cropped either during their taking or in post processing. Perhaps because I like the detail of the subject. I plan to pay attention to these observations as I go out and shoot additional images.I need to turn my camera to horizontal and step back allowing more space into the image. They certainly provide a sense of calm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I am forever intrigued by new things and like to give them a go. Someone on the internet was talking about an Olloclip, which actually is a lens that clips onto your IPhone. 

The lens does three things. One end is a fish eye lens; the other side is either a macro or wide angle, depending on how you rotate it. The quality is actually fairly good, considering. Here are some examples:

This is an image of my back yard from the deck. You would need to crop this to eliminate the corners. Isn't that distorted look kind of fun! Sort of like carnival mirrors.

My favorite is the macro. Here are some examples of that one.

a tiny herb

a close up of a kitchen towel

The last type is the wide angle, probably my least favorite. Here is an example. It's a bad photo with long shadows but you can see the width of detail the lens is able to capture.

I would say the only drawback to this gadget is that you need to remove your camera case for it to clip on. Of course that would be so, since you would want a tight fit and camera cases come in every size. But how nice to have a few options with your phone and this 
1 inch by 2 inch lens. 

What fun things have you discovered?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I have been having fun with my I-phone and some of the creative camera apps available. These images were taken using Hipstamatic, which replicates different lenses and film types. The app gives you a choice of four lenses, three flashes and 4 film types. These were taken with the John S lens, Ina's 1969 film and no flash settings. I love the greenish cast the images take on. It does resemble the poloroids that were showing up back in the 60's. 

I am sure there are folks out there who think this stuff is horrible but it's way too much fun not to try. It is totally addictive. Come on, give your phone a try.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Question of Balance

Thinking like an engineer, mixing salad dressing, adding the ingredients one at a time with the same measuring spoon. No mess here! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Airport Art

Killing time in the Charleston airport was joyful. There was a lot of wonderful art to look at throughout. Most have a river theme. At least that's how I saw it. Beautiful colorings and drapings and delight.I have tried to discover who the artist is but have not been able to. What a shame. If anyone in blogger land know, please let me know so that I can give credit here.

I love these draped panels the most. So graceful and elegant. The view changes as you walk around them. How sweet are they!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Doesn't this just say it all!!!


Happy, Happy Hour!