Friday, August 13, 2010

Some Cool For A Hot August Day

Every once in while we need to be reminded that today isn’t the only day to shoot. The camera isn’t a summer time thing, or a vacation thing, it’s an everyday thing. A couple friends are doing what’s known, on Flickr, as 365 projects. 365 refers to shooting “something” every day for a year. It’s not an easy task. Some day’s you’re tired, at times you just don’t have the motivation or maybe the inspiration or inclination to pick up the camera. Here’s one of the projects I’ve been following: . What you might notice, if you look at the first image of the project and look at the most recent images, is that they’ve become more interesting and more creative rather than getting duller and sloppier. That’s one of the beauties of trying to shoot something, without having an assignment, for an entire year. The other friend with a similar project has this as a photo stream: . One photographer is male and the other female. Without paying any attention to the URLs, take a look at the photo streams and try to figure out which is by the female and which is by the male. You’ll see similarities and you’ll see differences. Looking at the thumbnails it’s hard to think of one set being a feminine viewpoint and the other being a male perspective on life. Both are photographer’s views of their worlds passing by. One thing I hope for both is that neither project slip into obscurity once they’re finished. I hope their children will be able to show their children a year in the life as seen by their respective grandparents. Counting on Flickr to be around for the next twenty years is probably not the best way to preserve these memories. Putting the year on a CD or DVD won’t guarantee they’ll be seen by the next generation. Things change. Home movies on VHS tapes were the way to go when these photographers were kids. I think they’d be hard pressed to show their kids the memories their parents created because there aren’t many VCRs kicking around today. I’d probably recommend a book from My Publisher as a method of having something tangible to pass along. One book for themselves and one for each child. Having something physical is still saver than trusting memories to the vagaries of electronic media. What’s all this got to do with today’s image? Today’s a great day to take a picture. Every day is a great day to shoot something. It matters not, what you’re shooting with. It only matters that you’re active. By being active you hone your craft and your mind. To find out more about today’s image, hit the “read more”.

Today’s image is a drive by. I was heading somewhere and came across this scene in the snow storm. One reason for making the image a vertical pano is that there’s a factory building just to the left, out of frame. By narrowing it up it makes a more dramatic image. Some of the snowflakes in the sky had to be removed. They looked more like sensor dust than snowflakes, so taking them out using the Healing Brush Tool (J) was simple work. There was a pink glow in the sky that looked a little unnatural so two Red Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers were used. One had a negative value to bring down the pink in the sky. The other a positive value to bring out the color in the foreground reeds. Ttypical Yellow and Green Hue/Saturation Layers were used to bring out the green in the trees. The tips of the trees glowed a little too much, so just the tips were selected using the tragic Magic Wand Tool (W). A second yellow H/S Adjustment Layer was used to reduce the unnatural glow.

Sharpening and Vignetting each had their own issues. That’s not seen very often. Both are typically pretty straight forward. Using the gallery’s normal High Pass Sharpening technique resulted in too much sharpening. The Opacity slider was used to control the amount of sharpening and bring it under control. Applying a vignette ended up adding a blue cast to the snow in the lower corners of the image. A Layer Mask was added and the Multiply overlay was removed. In order to hold the viewer into the image an Inside Stroke was added to give the image a frame rather than having the snow spill off onto the blogs natural white border.

There’s not a lot of steps to get to where we are on today’s image. Just different steps than are normally taken to get to a finished image.


Kathy Marciante Photography said...

Oh thank you Tom for exposing everyone to the 365 Project! Throughout the project you've had such kind words and much encouragement that is so appreciated! It's a project that has opened so many door for me and I'm so glad that I've been able to stay committed to it so far. Great to know a few other's in our club are in the project too.
Wonderful winter image to cool down these hot days of summer. The reflection is gorgeous!