Well, here it is August 1. I have been neglectful of my blog and Willie is angry with me. I am going to try to redeem myself. To my followers, I apologize. Anyway, I participated in the 3rd Annual Scott Kelby PhotoWalk last Saturday. We were in Santa Monica for a couple of hours and I took a lot of photos. Here is the famous Santa Monica Pier as seen in many movies and TV shows. I used my Nik Silver Efex software to convert to black and white and then I added a slight vignette. It is a very colorful photo, but I liked the black and white better. It was a gorgeous day there so I will add a few more so you can see the colors of the pier, the sky and the water. Here are the other photos if you want to see them all. Until tomorrow…
This is my nephew Caleb’s first 4th of July Party. As you can tell, he loves the water! He is 8 months old now. Here is a photo I took of him at 2 weeks old. He has the most gorgeous blue eyes and blond hair now. He looked like he was going to be a redhead! Anyway, I took a lot of photos and this was one of my favorites. I just did a little fill light in Camera Raw then a levels adjustment in Photoshop. Since I used my telephoto lens, I was able to take a lot of good candid shots.
Lily looked so cute when we were there for a Father’s Day barbecue. I liked this close-up photo because you can see her pretty eyelashes. Her hat looked really cute too. At least she is not frowning! I brought the image into camera raw and did an exposure adjustment to brighten it up a little. Then in Photoshop, I did a levels adjustment, some noise reduction and a little sharpening. I do enjoy taking photos of her but I think she is getting tired of seeing me with a camera in front of my face!
I finally got that photograph of my orchid. I took this on my patio in natural light. I guess I was “feeling it” today! As usual, I did a levels adjustment in Photoshop plus a vibrance increase. I put everything on a new layer and changed the blend mode to multiply. It highlights the details on the flowers. I decided to include more lens info in my caption. Specifically, the manufacturer and size of the lens. The lenses I use are all Canon except my Lensbaby. That reminds me, I haven’t used that lens in a while. Maybe tomorrow or sometime this week-end. I am trying to give you as much info as possible about what I do and how I do it. I hope you find some of it helpful.
Here is another photo from the Claremont Historic Depot. This is the entrance to the depot from the train side of the building. I think it looks good in black and white. When I brought the image into Photoshop, the first thing I did was straighten and crop the image a little. I then did a levels adjustment. I converted to black and white using Silver Efex software then added a vignette. You can see the door in yesterday’s image in color. I got my Lily fix this morning, so all is well! I’ll be out taking more photos tomorrow.
We were out doing some errands today and ended up in Claremont. I saw a sign for the Claremont Historic Depot. Since I had my camera with me, I wanted to stop and take some photographs. As you can see, it was a beautiful day. The sun was a little harsh and still high in the sky, but I was able to work with it. You can see the time of day on the clock. This is the back of the depot facing the tracks; I am standing on the opposite side. The building is beautiful and all the Jacaranda’s were in bloom. I upped the exposure by 1/4 stop in Camera Raw, then took it into Photoshop where I did a levels adjustment and a few other little tweaks. I have more to show you! Tomorrow I am going to get a Lily fix – I can’t wait to see her!
Got a little break in the clouds late last night. You can see some cloud shadows in this photograph. I took two dozen photos and this one shows the face of the moon and some clouds. I did some sharpening and noise reduction in camera raw. Also some exposure adjustment so the moon would show up clearer. A levels adjustment in Photoshop and I was done. Maybe I should have increased the ISO and some of the clouds around the moon would have shown up. Compare this to another full moon photo I took almost two years ago.
This is my neighbors tree in their parkway. I noticed one day how intricate and intertwined the branches are. You can’t see any of this just looking at the tree straight on. I went in the house to grab my camera and Willie wondered what I was doing. When I showed them to him, he said he had never noticed this before. I did increase the saturation and contrast in Photoshop. It did not need a levels adjustment. I then cropped it some because the sky looked white at the two bottom corners of the photo. It was too distracting and I wanted you to be able to see all that is going on with the tree. I hope you like it. Tonight there is a full moon. I am going to try to get out and take a photo. Why don’t you do it too and we can all post tomorrow and compare. Also, go outside and look up to see if there is anything interesting to photograph!
I was at Larry and Shelley’s yesterday to take some photos of Lily for her two month birthday. Shelley and I were in the backyard and she was very proud of this pink calla lily. The photo came out very nice and I really like the shadows falling across the lily. Since it is a raw image, I opened it up in camera raw and made a white balance adjustment. Then in Photoshop, all I did was a levels adjustment. Maybe I need to do something more exciting and artsy with my photos so I will have more to share with you.
It is such a beautiful day today! I went outside to take a photo of the first blooming orchid of the year. Well, as you can tell, I did not have much luck with it. I will try again later. I told Willie I wasn’t “feeling” it. However, these very colorful geranium leaves came out great. Aren’t the variety of colors beautiful? Willie has a good green thumb. I did a little cropping in camera raw then took it into Photoshop. There I did a levels adjustment to make it pop then I opened up the lens correction filter and added a slight vignette. That is an easy way to do it. It’s a little windy outside now so I guess I will try the orchid again tomorrow.
Well, not really, but that is what I thought when I saw this on the pier. I was at the beach yesterday, an absolutely beautiful day, and I took several photos. I put a new photo up at the top of my blog today also. I will take some more down there maybe this week. I converted this to black and white to give the image a more industrial look. It is actually a very bright turquoise color. Maybe when I change a photo like this, I should put a little thumbnail here of the original? Like a before and after. What do you think?
The original photo of this tree came out exactly like I wanted. I did have to do some exposure adjusting in Camera Raw, but no cropping or anything else. When I got it into Photoshop, I decided I didn’t want to show you just another tree surrounded by green grass in the park. I started playing around with different filters and settled on this to give it a black and white, high grain solarized look. What that means is, parts of the “negative” are reversed. If you look at a black and white negative and it is reversed in post processing, that is one type of solarization. Did you learn something new today?
It was such a gorgeous day and after having lunch with Larry, Shelley and Lily, Willie and I took the dogs and the camera to Central Park to go for a walk. We certainly were not the only people with that idea! I took some good photos which I will share with you. I put this one in today because Willie likes it. I like the shadow and the rust and texture on the pole, but I am having difficulty looking at it. My eye keeps going off the page. Start with the base of the pole and follow the shadow. Then go a little left at the top of the shadow and follow the trees to the pole. What happens? You go right off the page! There is nothing to lead you back down to the base and off again. Compare this image to the black and white geraniums I did last. You should be able to easily see what I am talking about. Let me know what you think of this image.
I have never done a black and white geranium photograph. This was a beautiful pink with many colors going through the leaves. I opened up my Nik filters and decided to go black and white. This has a blue filter which really made the flowers pop. I made a slight contrast adjustment (lowering it) along with a levels adjustment and here is the result. I hope you like it. I like the way it has a circular feel from the leaves in front and the leaves and stems in the back. It makes your eyes stay on the photo and not go off. Do you agree?
I do all of my shooting (well, maybe 98%) in manual mode on my camera. The meta data on this image seems to be pretty common for me. I really liked this photo because of the sharpness of the buds – you can even see little fuzzies (a technical term) on them if you look close. I did a slight levels adjustment in Photoshop, then I added a little of a vignette so the buds would stand out more. We have many geraniums in our backyard, and this was my favorite photo from this day.
Here is frowning Lily at one month old, sitting on her mother’s lap. Maybe she is tired of me taking her picture! For this photo I set my ISO to automatic to see what it would do. As you can see, it went to 320 where I probably would have put it at 500 or maybe higher. This did create less noise, but maybe with the higher ISO the shutter would have been faster. I will check that out next time. I got a new Firmware update from Canon today for my camera. This is my first one – I hope I download it correctly!