Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Do You Do On A Raining Day With Photoshop Lightroom?

I run into a lot (okay, some) people who are doing what's known as a 365 Project.  You can find many examples of such tasks on Flickr or some of the other social photography sites.  The trick is to take at least one photo every day for an entire year.  It is a good idea to live someplace that has beautiful clouds or sunsets every day, but most people don't live in Shangri-La or other Edenistic locales,  Most of us live in the real world.  Today's image gives those of us in not so pristine climates a chance to keep the momentum going.  It's simple to do and comes up with unique images.  I say unique because no two images are ever the same.  To learn what this "secret" technique might be, hit the "Read More".

Have you ever heard the expression "like oil and water"?  Oil and water don't mix.  A light oil (like olive oil) floats atop water.  Grab a macro lens, or a closeup filter (a Canon 500D), or some extension tubes and shoot through an oil and water mix.  Today's image is in a Pyrex baking dish sitting atop a cheap photo frame suspended above some colored paper.  The "colored paper" can be almost anything.  Scraps of paper, a colorful magazine cover, flowers, toys, a fancy shirt, anything.  As long as it's colorful you've got a shot. 

Here's the setup for today's image.  Two dining room chairs were placed about 16" apart.  The cheap photo frame was placed between the chairs, resting on the lips of the seats.  A Pyrex dish was put on the "glass" (actually acrylic plastic) of the photo frame and filled slightly with water.  Olive oil was put in on top of the water and stirred around with a finger.  Colored paper was put down on the floor in a scattered layered effect.  A tripod was suspended above the setup.  One trick was that the center post of the tripod was inverted and the quick connect for the camera was pointed down.  The camera, with a Nikor Micro lens was mounted about four to six inches above the water level and focused on the water.  The paper was lit using a cheap ($30.00) 160 bulb LED continuous light arranged so there was no light spill toward the camera.

That's the whole setup.  Swish the oil around and start shooting.  Every shot will be different from the one before.  The water and oil are moving, so no two image will ever be the same.

Once the images are brought into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) you can go a little crazy with the sliders.  There is no right or wrong, so play, play, play.

Will every image be a piece of gold?  No, some will look stupid.  By taking enough shots you will wind up with a number (large or small) that are "keepers".  Once you have a set of interesting images you can use them as is, or as backgrounds or blended Layers, or anything else you can think of. 

Next time you have a rainy day (or a lazy day) try it.  You'll be surprised how fast the time goes by.