Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Texture Tuesday--Dream-Like eDition

The theme at Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday this week is 'dream-like'. This is an unprocessed image from a few months ago that I found and  decided to process early this morning. I have been trying to go through and clean out unneeded photos to free up more space on my hard drive. My son uses my computer, too, and lately, he has decided he wants to record his Minecraft game play to put videos up on You tube. This seems like something people (other gamers) like to do. I am not going to pretend I understand the attraction of this, though. So just as I am clearing out some gigabytes of data, my son is adding it!

The image was processed with Lightroom, Radlab and a couple of Photoshop adjustment layers and then two layers of Kim's 'Sybil' . . . one at soft light and one at color burn.


Friday, February 22, 2013

leaves, leaves, leaves

I have always been fond of leaves; each one is unique to me. I like dried leaves in autumn and winter especially. I like the crinkles, curls, cracks and tears--the tiny imperfections. I like how leaves seem to age ever so slowly and gracefully until they finally fade away.  Lately, leaves have become a prominent subject in my photographs. This is a good thing because they are so abundant around here. I have a habit of picking up ones that I notice when I am out and about. I do this often when I go running outside down the path by my house, often turning quickly and back tracking to retrieve that leaf that caught my eye. I am sure people might be wondering why I am jogging down the path with a handful of dried leaves--many of which do not appear to be particularly pretty or striking to them. I tend to keep them on a now mostly unused workbench in the garage (I used to use it for stained glass and jewelry making, which were former hobbies). I have quite a collection of dried leaves and weeds piling up there. My husband does not like it and, although, he does understand to an extent, he also finds my habit a bit strange. I figure it is okay as long as I am keeping them in the garage. For a little while, I had them in a shoe box, but I had to sacrifice the box for one of my daughter's school projects. (Keeping boxes around in the garage is another thing that my husband does not like and since I have no desire to take pictures of boxes, I let that one go).

I do not always 'stage' the leaves, but sometimes I do.


Sometimes I find them already posing for me. I especially like them with snowflakes.

  . . . and with raindrops.

 I  like them on ice and on snow.

Sometimes I find interesting ones on the garage floor.

Often, they are just there . . . a leaf; a beautiful single leaf.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Texture Tuesday. Downton Edition

Downton Abbey is not a show I have watched . . . not yet anyway. I do not know that I need to start a new series because I can barely get through the ones I do start, but . . . people sure seem to love this show. We'll see.

Kim Klassen gave us a series of textures she created for the characters in the show. I have no idea if this image fits anything close to the style and tone of the show, but here it is. I used an 'old' image from my archives (I've been trying to clean up my hard drive . . . I am so bad about keeping up with the deleting process!). I used 'Edith' with the soft light blend mode (46%) and 'Anna' with a soft light blend mode (27%).


Monday, February 4, 2013

Beyond Beyond--Week 2

This week in Beyond Beyond, Kim shared some information about f-stops (aperture size) and how that affects the depth of field (dof) in a photograph. Of course, there are many things that affect the dof of a photo, such as the distance to the subject (having the lens closer to the subject produces less depth of field), the distance between the subject and the background and the focal length of the lens (e.g. a 100 mm lens will produce less dof than a 35 mm lens). If there is one thing I do know about photography (and I still have so much to learn), it is how my camera settings and my position affects depth of field. Typically, I am trying control depth of field, so I almost always shoot in aperture priority on my camera. I don't find that I have a lot of reason to switch over to full manual most of the time and even if I am looking for blur--for example, in long exposures of moving water--I know how to do that in aperture priority as well. I will switch to full manual, sometimes, when I am using a flash indoors and want to drag the shutter to balance the flash with the ambient light. I don't struggle to understand the technicalities of the camera. That part comes relatively easy for me.

The things that I struggle with the most in photography is finding my style (figuring out how to get a unique and artful image that does not seem contrived or boring).

Kim challenged us to have a go with the aperture settings on our camera and also showed us her start-to-finish processing on a simple composition of a bowl of pine cones on a white chair--complete with adding textures and text. She gave us a sample image to try the steps on or if we prefer, she challenged us to do our own thing. I chose to use my own photographs, but took the lead from Kim on the simplicity of the compositions. I was using my 100mm macro lens, and knowing that lens, I knew I wanted the aperture opening rather small to get good sharpness in the subject (with the exception of the leaf. I was rather far from that subject were all taken at at least f/19). Being a macro lens, my 100mm has a fairly shallow dof from the get-go.

I followed many of Kim's processing steps--going from Lightroom, to Photoshop CS5. I added textures to a couple of the images and text to all of them, thinking about where to place the text and what fonts to use, etc.. I had not previously known how to preview fonts in the image, so I am very grateful for that time saving tip.

I do not add quotes to images very often, but when I do, I always enjoy the process.

100 mm, f/22, 1/15 sec. ISO 200
100 mm, f/32, 0.5 sec ISO 200
100mm, f/4.5, 1/350 sec, ISO 200