Friday, February 25, 2011

There is always something "NEW" in Digital Photography

This image was made with my Nikon and processed in an APP for the Mac Laptop...called Vintage Scene an App that started as an iPhone app.....I ran the image through onOne PhotoFrame for the touches around the frame of the image.
This image is the image above run trough Nik Silver Efex Pro2 which has some nice additions in borders and effects. I added the black border in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 as well as the toning.
New: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, Vintage Scene app for the MAC Book...geesh.........and I thought the world of clothing or Ready to Wear Fashion was a "fast" changing business.......I am beginning to believe digital photography is Faster!! It was November when I bought Silver Efex Pro...and now there is another release....well, OK I bought the first edition quite a while after it was first released so I guess that's my fault.....but I wanted to upgrade to the newest I did yesterday, spending a few more bucks on software. But there are lots of great options for making creative images in monochrome and color toning....
Penn Camera just posted a couple new presentations I will be making..on creative use of Photoshop Plugin's for artistic images and a new iPhone Photography presentation..check out the side bar of my blog for more details.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vintage Scene App on the Laptop

Had a great class last night of folks who want to make better pictures! Isn't that is always great to be able to help folks along that path. Mostly I find people want better travel images and people images...that's what we do document our journeys and take pictures of people important to us...a pretty universal theme.

That aside I was doing some updating on the laptop today, and went to the new APP store for Apple looking for the Find my phone app, not that I lost it, but that I wanted to install it. So while I was trying to find it I went to the whats and found an app I have been using and enjoyed on the iPhone has now been delivered to the laptop store...the price is higher @ 7.99 but compared to the plugins I have been looking at for $399.00 for vintage effects it seemed like a I downloaded it in a few seconds and gave it a quick is what I will not process a tiff or raw file, so you will have to make a high quality jpg to run into this little app. but it functions like the iPhone app and produces the same results as far as I can see. It seems like it wants to save files as PNGs instead of .jpg's so I had to force name the files as jpgs to be able to open them again in Photoshop. I also noticed that it took my 240 dpi file to 72 so there is some compression that occurs..but I like the far as on the computer. Another little issue is the background around the image or the "canvas" is white so I had to take this into Photoshop and make a selection to black out the white canvas....
Printing one is a whole 'nother subject, but for now it is fun to play with the idea that it might be worth it to try and see what happens...I have enjoyed making images on the iPhone with this app so I look forward to processing some more images on the laptop and seeing what quality of prints I can get out of it.
Now I have to get back to my original mission...I was so excited to see Vintage Scene, that I got distracted.....Oh and the image above was processed in Vintage Scene on the laptop.
Tonight I will be presenting at Penn Camera on Reisterstown Road, on composition, light and my thoughts on personal vision in photography...for a couple hours...there are a few more spots if you are looking for something to do on the tab on the right side of my blog to sign up..

Monday, February 21, 2011

A little Snapart2 painting on my images

These images I made at Longwood last Friday, and as I have been working through them, certain shots fall into collections. Before I headed to lunch and called it quits with the tripod, as they will only allow tripod's up until noon, I put on the Lensbaby with the Soft Focus insert and made a few shots of the floating arrangements in the pool in the main room. The feeling of this space reminded me of a garden filled with summer blooms. I like the way the Lensbaby works with the Snapart2 plug in as it already has areas that are more impression than literal. So working these as "photo paintings" was natural for me. Some were worked with the Impasto filter, and the Pastel filter. I think that is about it for the Longwood shoot...well as much as one can get in three hours..... My Intro to Digital Photography classes at Hopkins start again tomorrow it should be fun helping folks explore the world of digital photography...that is unless the predicted snow causes cancellation..and my cough gets better....arghhhhhh...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A few more from Longwood...

Doing some office work today catching up on paperwork and filing. : - ( But it has to be done...feeling a little under the weather as well, some cough or cold bug must have taken hold..these shots were also made on Friday at Longwood. The Camellia's are blooming and I think they are one of the most beautiful flowers. The peach ones really got me with their crinkled petals!

This color was my mother's favorite color in the garden, we had roses along the driveway I think they were called "Fashions" at least that's what I remember Dad calling them when he had to prune them or Mom bemoaning when Dad cut them too hard, saying "Your Dad cut the Fashions back too much."  We had tall Gladiola's this color in the summer, mixed with white ones in the garden. Mom was a gardener, an "English" gardener trying to make a garden in our red clay soil and dreadfully hot summers...but she found a way to make it beautiful! So maybe this post is for her. The morning she passed away I was on the highway taking some photos of her to the frame shop for display at the funeral services and I passed an old restored Hot Rod in this exact color heading the other direction on the highway........hmmm......have not seen one since in this color.......

The colors just revealed themselves when I was working there and when I began processing...all these were made with the Nikon 200mm macro coupled with a 52 mm extension favorite macro hook up. I played with processing them...and here I created a layer for the background filled it with the color I wanted using the color picker and then ran the filled color layer through Snapart2 filter to add some texture to the mat of the images. I also used Photoshop to add the drop shadow and stroke around the back to work!
The background in this shot came into focus when I was looking through the lens and noticed the lower plantings around the Calla Lilies were the same color as the I worked hard to use the out of focus color as a clean background for the Calla.
And I had to take a picture of some orchids, after all that's why I went! But sometimes in the field we see more than what we expect and need to be open to the opportunities.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Calla Lilies: Longwood

Today ~ I learned that I misspelled "Calla" yesterday, when I just now Googled them...well, you learn something new every day! This morning was a fun morning helping folks figure out their cameras and helping them understand the macro world a little takes practice, but is so cool. I do love seeing detail and interesting shapes and textures through the macro lens. These are a collection of images I made yesterday at Longwood. As I mentioned yesterday, I went for the Orchids and Stayed for the Calla Lilies....I love their shape and texture. I was able to shoot some in a location where the background was very dark among the foliage and then with some processing in Photoshop, took the backgrounds black. In contrast to the images I posted yesterday these are a little less abstract...and make use of the black background to make them pop. The opening image here and the one from yesterday were bracketed shots processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro, then further processed in Photoshop. The Calla Lily Spin I released my tripod collar tension pin and spun the barrel of the lens while making the exposure ever so slightly to get the spin effect...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Longwood Orchid Extravaganza

Well I finally got up to Longwood Gardens today to see their annual Orchid display.  It was really good to get out and do some shooting with the big camera, that is not the iPhone...(but I did some of that too, after lunch when tripods are not allowed.)  It was a beautiful day, it started off cloudy and then the sun came out and it warmed to 72 degrees. The warm temps brought out every stroller in the Longwood area as the place quickly became very crowded after opening. I arrived early and was the first one in so I was able to get some wide shots of the display in the main room before the crowd arrived. I went for the orchids, but ended up loving the Cala lilies which are scattered around the Orangery, at ground level so they were easy to work with after blowing off some dirt.  Tomorrow I will be in the Baltimore Conservatory with a group of students from Penn Camera....should be fun. I have a few more spots left for the Cylburn Flower Photography Workshop...see the side bar of my blog here for the link to sign up! All, but the opening shots here, were made with my 200mm macro with a 52mm extension tube, tripod of course and cable release. The frames were all added in onOne PhotoFrame Pro.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Office Day

Today I spent the entire day in the office.....most unusual....but I was writing and developing some new presentations I will be doing for Penn Camera this spring. As the new additions get posted to the Penn site I will be linking them to the sidebar of my blog. We added two more field shoots, Fells Point and Annapolis, and a creative image processing lecture followed up with a day-long workshop on working with plugin's and yes an iPhone image presentation.
I was working on images today, for one of the sessions on creating images with Photoshop Plugin's, and processed one more image I snapped while working with a client in Fells Point.
As I worked on this image I made a conscious decision to actually focus on creating more images with people in them. I loved the feeling of this image by the harbor, with these two friends out for a day in the city, or just coming back from a brunch at a local restaurant on a snowy winter morning.
When I started my journey in photography, it was the natural world that I focused on most. I loved shooting Dewy spiderwebs and Dragonflies, but living in an urban environment for the most part, I find myself enjoying the inclusion of people in my shots, when it works! This image is processed in Photoshop with Snapart2 filters. I did something a little different and used two filters here, Pencil Sketch combined with an Impasto layer. I selectively added or subtracted layers with a mask, as I felt the image needed, and came up with the opening image.

I hope some of you might be able to join me on a workshop or for a photo processing session.
Here is the raw file of the processed image, a grab shot with a slightly crooked horizon....... ; - )

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fells Point

Sunday, I was working with a client and as we were working on some exercises for depth of field, I felt I wanted to actually capture the scene in front of us.  People running and walking along the snowy pier with the old style lamps really spoke to me; a bit of street photography, so I pulled my camera out of the bag  and made a shot.

A little later as we walked around the streets we came upon some men dangling their feet over the edge of the walkway along the waterfront and I once again felt compelled to snap a photo.

and.....As we walked toward the harbor the snowy benches, on the snow covered pier also caught my eye, so my client and I made some images there. At the end of the session as we walked along the water we passed The Crossroads School with its colorful mural wall and little snow covered boats in the water. we made some pictures. It was a fun day working and talking about photography!