Thursday, June 26, 2008

All natural colors

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

For this photo friday I dug out a few photos that are a from the fall season. I wanted to get a few showing the colors of nature and what better season for that than fall. Well other than spring and well ... anyway I chose fall this time around :-)

I couldn't even begin to tell you about how many times I got the comment sounding something like "what are you going to do with a photo of a single tree with red leaves???" followed by something like that is crazy...

Anyway those comment sort of faded a wee bit after a similar shot ended up on the cover of outdoor photographer. Here it is:

The next one I have had on my desktop at work and somehow just started liking it more the more I look at it. I dunno why but... there's just something... for me anyway ;-)

Now I like waterfalls, water, mountains, fall colors and all that. Here I have tried combining a little bit of everything and get some punch by doing some simple color isolation. One by removing all other colors and the other simply by have the main yellow color "stick out" from the rest.

That's it for this week. Hopefully soon I will get some more from the mountains :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Collage of the kids

Here is the latest collage of the wee folks.

Interested in knowing how to this was created? Leave a comment and I will get around to making a tutorial on this one too ;-) If the interest is there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Smooth new adventures

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Sooo It's kind of a long story but I will try to keep it short.
I guess my opinion on artistic subjects or artists in general always has been kind of square and black & white.

What do you picture in your mind when thinking about an artist? and what is artistic?
For me I am thinking an artist is someone that use some material to create a piece of work that most wouldn't understand. Then some will do the standard thing and put one hand in support of the head while exclaiming a hmmm as they study it.

yeah I know... But bear with me ;-)

Anywho, with that in mind and once (while browsing through an exhibit of photos) I was asked if I am an artist... First thing that comes to mind... No way.... I take photos, capture nature, moods, portraits and all that. But an artist... come on now!!!

But I guess I am changing a bit on that one. Now I guess I am an artist. Not that I am putting out my work and stuffing my nose in the sky with the "if you don't get it you #$@%#!@" attitude.
But I ventured into a new area for me yesterday (and no I am not camouflaging nudity as artistic... don't get me started on that one). Anyway, getting my project through and viewing the first test photos I got one comment.
"yeah it's kind of cool but what are you going to do with that!!!"

So yeah folks there you have it... I guess now I am an artist ;-)

But on to the subject and mini project. Just keep in mind these are the first I have ever done in this line and I found a few things to improve on. But everything has a first.

If you want to see images from someone with a little more experience and read up on the subject here is a few links:
- Reading material
- Photo collection

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tickle me Tuesday - photographer edition

Photographers are found in all shapes and sizes. Primary interests are different for different photographers.

So here are a few different photographers in different situations. These are maybe a little different ;-)

First remember the boy scout motto? Be prepared...

yeah I know... It's probably a guy thing but come on now.... Going to the car show to get some good shots of the cars... yeah well.... ain't gonna find one there buddy...
ohh I hope someone that knows him and even better a woman that dates him sees this one ;-)

Blondes and a camera... yep it never fails to create a funny moment. So the last tickle for today goes right here.

Have a great Tuesday and have fun with the other Tickle me Tuesdays...

Flash trigger

After pre-ordering my replacement triggers I finally got it yesterday.
Can't say anything other than they just work... Even if triggered from the opposite end of the house (don't know why I would do that though).
Emma was a good help in testing them since she ran around with the trigger and kept hitting the test button to see the little red led light go off ;-)

Sooo sometime soon I might actually get to do a few photos in the studio again. There should be enough people around the house to grab someone for 5 minutes or so ;-)

Anyway. Strobist just had a blog on the triggers I bought. Read it here

Ohh and btw. doesn't this just look "cute" :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo story Friday: Reflections

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Story telling with photos is always interesting. If nothing else it still holds that a photo tells more than a thousand words ;-)

The following photos are from one of many trips and not some of my usual photos. The theme is reflection. I wanted to try something different and catch the reflections of the sky with white fluffy clouds and colorful trees.

The second photo is kind of by accident. It's not really visible in the photo but this is one that I took while visiting a small store on the way to Shenandoah. Jacki and Emma went in the store to look at all the little things they have up for sale. And what better to do than walk around and see what the store has to offer outside all for free.

Turns out they have a lily pond outside and once again I was trying to get some nice reflections and "just" experiment to see what it would look like when put in a photo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tickle me Tuesday - photographer edition

Time for a little Tickle me Tuesday fun and this time the special photographers edition. I got a few photos tucked away from here and there and just want to share them with you.

I bring you the ultimate event photographer. It's one you can find at many events and you can buy prints right then and there. This photographer is just taking it one step further. Best service ever... talk about photos on the spot!!!

Next up. Photographing in a museum with valuable antiques you really want to get up close to really appreciate the fine details in each fine piece of history...

Speaking of getting up and close. To get the best photo possible you have to fill the frame with your subject and unless you have a telephoto lens that means getting up close and personal. I dunno... somehow I think the parents maybe should have stressed other things than getting up close...

Speaking of family, parents and all. Who said photography isn't for everyone???
Sure it can be difficult to open the pill container but a full size SLR with a telephoto lens... no problem what so ever...

Have a great Tuesday and have fun with the other Tickle me Tuesdays...

Portrait professional

So I have been trying out this new piece of software (well new to me). Portrait professional. You may have tried taking portrait photos and afterwards you need to do a few touch ups.
Photoshop is usually the tool of choice and you can indeed do just about anything (just about since it still doesn't make coffee and bring it to you).

However using photoshop you have to know the tools and all the little tricks of the trade or well at least it does help you.

Now trying to cut down on the time spend touching up on photos I was trying out the software package portrait professional.

Basically the software is doing what photo editors have been doing for many years. The good news for you is that you don't *really* have to know all the tricks or why it works the way it does. You just pick your photo to edit help the software correctly identify eyes, nose, mouth and outline of face (yep it does multiple people in a photo too).
Once you have identified the key elements a few adjustments can be done to ensure that the adjustments are done in the right areas. This sounds difficult but trust me once you get to it... it's a breeze. I think from start to finish it's less than 10 min. to begin with and once you get used to the interface it most likely is a 2 min. task tops... Gotta love that :-)

Once the portrait is done you can select degrees of adjustment using some very easy sliders. e.g. pick the eye adjustment and just roll the slider and it's all adjusted real time. Now how hard can that be.... btw. the skin controls can even give you a tan!!!

But that's not all (Ok now I really sound like a sales representative) if this is too much then there are a number of preset adjustments which most likely will cover all you need in 90% of your photos.
The presets include: complexion, dramatic, glamour, subtle, spot removal, sephia and black&white. If you do a custom setting you can save that as a preset too (yeah) :-)

Here is a quick example done with a low res (it was already on the blog) photo.
Here is the starting photo.

Using portrait professional to add a female complexion:

And finally trying the somewhat extreme dramatic preset:

And finally a side by side comparison of the different versions:

Right now the software package is $59.95 which isn't really bad for what you can get out of it. But check out the company website

ohhh and btw. I am not on the payroll with them but well commissions or donations are accepted ;-)

photosites on the web

Trying to keep up with several photo site or searching for quality photo sites that cover your interest?

I found one site that has news or latest posts from several of the top photo sites. It gives you a great overview of the postings and lets you quickly find what you are looking for. Just a little time saving trick ;-)

Check it out here: