Monday, August 31, 2015

Wanna Get Better Images? Stand In Front Of More Interesting Subjects

Okay, it doesn't hurt to stand in front of a beautiful woman with flawless skin.  Casual portraits can be had in almost any circumstance.  Today's image is of a dancer at an Indian Pow Wow held over the weekend.  She was just walking out of the tribal dance circle and was unaware of my taking her picture.  (She was, as were all the dancers, aware that the "tourists" were snapping away, but none knew if a camera was pointed at them.)  The current plan is to take several images shot over the weekend and make a composite depicting the ceremonial activities of the day.  It'll be a fairly complex piece, so it'll take a while before it sees the light of day.  There were a couple considerations when the original shots were taken and (so far) minimal post processing done to today's image.  To find out what the thought process was, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Making Big Things Small With Photoshop Blur Galleries

Every once in a while you'll look through the viewfinder of your camera and see something that really isn't there.  That was the case with today's image.  We were taking "a shortcut" (not really) home and were on a road that follows the Naugatuck River.  It's one of my more favorite routes home.  We heard a train whistle blow where there is no regular service, so I knew it had to be one of the New England Railroad Museum's tour trains.  If you were to flip back a ways in these posts you'd find a couple shots for trains along this track.  I had Doris pull up the museum's schedule (ain't the internet great for such things on the fly).  The train had left the station about twenty minutes before, so it had to be on it's downward leg when we heard the whistle.  The typical ride is a half hour pushing the cars down the track and pulling them back to the station.  The "pulling" stretch is the one to shoot.  Figuring a one hour round trip and where the train went under a bridge put the engine coming round the bend about ten minutes to three.  As it worked out, it was about nine minutes of when it came into view.  As I looked through the viewfinder a model railroad came to mind.  To find out how a real train got to looking like a model training, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Sometimes Photoshop Just Can't Do A Person Justice

The fellow in today's post is a friend.  That's a word I don't take lightly.  I have many acquaintances, some I like more than others.  But, the term friend has special meaning to me.  The guy in today's post is ninety five years old.  He lives in the same "active over 55" village we do and is truly "active".  His name is John.  Early in what he calls another life he was a photographer for Kodak.  Kodak doesn't hire bums as their official, shoot the world photographers.  At least they didn't.  Somewhere, in mid-life, he changed careers.  He became what I know him as, a master woodworker.  He's still at it.  He's the monitor at the village wood shop on Sunday mornings.  In the heat of the summer or the frigid air of winter the shop can get pretty lonely for most of the monitors, but not during John's shift.  When he's in charge there's always people there to see what he's doing, to learn from him, to enjoy the treasure we have in our midst.  
Here's a link to a 1982 article about John from the New York Times.   Read more!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Using Photoshop Luminosity Masks When Dealing With Harsh Light

Light doesn't get much harsher than a bright blue cloudless sky.  That's what we were up against on Saturday.  The next town over from us was hosting a Civil War Reenactment.  The subject of today's image was one of the Confederate Volunteers.  These folks (men, women and children) come out for the weekend to different locations around the country with the idea of "putting on a show" for the attendees and having a good time for themselves.  Some are pretty straight laced.  They tend to be the "officers".  The "rabble", the "common ruck", the enlisted men and volunteers tend to be much scruffier.  That's where the characters are.  They're portraying the bone crushing weariness of having endured years of conflict and suffering.  The fellow in today's image shows that weariness.  But all wasn't peaches and cream as someone trying to get a decent photograph of these guys.  With the bald sky and the beating down sun it was almost impossible not to get shots with extremes of highlight and shadow.  One saving grace was that both the Union and the Rebel "armies" setup their encampments on the edges of the fields where there was a bit of shade.  Today's image was taken as "the Rebel troops" lined up for inspection.  Right out in the open sun.  To find out what was done in camera and in post processing, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, August 3, 2015

How I Shoot

Never guess from today's image what we did over the weekend would you?  Okay, so maybe you would.  We (I) heard about this small track in Milford Connecticut where a group of guys get together (apparently mostly informally) to play in the dirt.  I took a look at their website and saw there was no entry fee for spectators unless a formal event was going on.  Hey, free action shots?  Why not.  When we got there we found five guys sitting around taking a break.  I asked if they were going to be riding any more or if the day was done.  They said to give them five minutes and they'd do a few laps specifically for Doris and I.  Not bad!  I asked for spots where they thought the best angles were and they pointed out here, here and here.  No problem.  For my decision making process on that day, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, July 27, 2015

PLaces You Can't Go Without Photoshop

Click on image to enlarge
Today's image definitely qualifies as a place you can't visit without, at least, some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop (PS).  Why?  Basically, it's because the earth doesn't curve that way.  The horizon of an image can do many things.  It can be tipped (a big no no).  It can show the sweep of the land as in a arĂȘte along a mountainside with an apparent (but not real) slope to the surface.  Using an extreme wide angle lens the horizon can be bowed either up or down, but it can't be bowed both up and down.  In any case, today's image isn't what it seems.  To find out how many shots were used in today's image, hit the "Read More".

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Ways To Makeover One Image With Photoshop

Click image to enlarge
We were away for a couple days this past weekend (plus).  First to a photography conference in Massachusetts and then up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a couple days.  Today's image was taken on a visit to the "Castle In The Clouds" mansion.  A New Hampshire preservation site.  A nicely preserved mansion high on a mountain (hill) overlooking the area.  The "original" image looked almost nothing like what you see.  It was actually a couple horses in a field (just kidding).  I've just gotten an 8mm fisheye lens and spent all day Monday using only the "fish" to see what it would (could) do.  The image doesn't look much like it was taken with an extreme wide angle lens, but that's where the Adobe Photoshop (PS) "magic" comes in.  To find out what the "five ways" the image has been changed, hit the "Read More".

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