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David's Photo52 2011

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  • #31
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    And now from the sublime to the ridiculous...
    David

    Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
    flickr - Photo52 2011
    My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

    Comment


    • #32
      Week 6 - Clutter

      Cellary


      Untitled by morganthecat, on Flickr

      What:
      A set up shot of my Week 5 shot.
      Why:
      Last week's shot was one of the best I have ever taken, but behind the simplicity of the image there was carnage as I drilled, hammered and sawed to set up the shot. I wanted to capture the chaos that went on behind the shot.
      How:
      The intention was to repeat the shoot but triggering my lighting set up and seeing the result on the live view screen of my camera. I couldn't get the flashes to trigger and the image on the LCD screen lacked any contrast or sense that it was the shot that had just been taken. So I turned on the lights, and then photoshopped last week's picture onto the screen.
      Learnt:
      It gave me the chance to play with layers and import an image into a cut out frame (here the LCD screen). I was already late submitting this week, so it was a case of damage limitation and getting a rough mock up done.
      Improvement:
      Where to start. As much as I felt I had achieved with last week's shot, I am disappointed in this.
      Triggers. I need to get a much better handle on wireless triggering my flashes. I resorted to using them in slave mode with the pop up on my camera and that gave a horrible effect. In the end I didn't trigger the flashes at all and used the ambient light which is not good here.
      Photoshop. At this resolution my failings are not apparent but I basically had to bodge a fix for the fact that having imported last week's shot into the LCD screen that I had deleted in the CS3 layer, I ended up with a horrible fringing effect. Judicious use of a dark brush blended the worst of that out but it was a bodge not a fix. I suspect I need to have used a feather when selecting the LCD screen and deleting it, or a different blend mode. I tried some empirical things but nothing was working. Time to move on, but I must take time in the future to learn from the experience.
      Fisheye. It hasn't been my intention to do so, but I have used the fisheye in 3 of my 6 shots so far. It worked really well I felt in my Week 2 shot, but it wasn't the right lens here. To make the foreground interest of the LCD screen a feature of the shot it is too close to the lens whilst the clutter is too far away and so I haven't achieved the balance in this shot that I wanted to between the two elements.
      David

      Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
      flickr - Photo52 2011
      My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

      Comment


      • #33
        Week 7 - Delicate

        Strawberry Sable


        Week 7 - Delicate by morganthecat, on Flickr

        What:
        A product photography shot of a strawberry ice cream sable, a pastry based dessert.
        Why:
        I had made this the week before and liked the delicate nature of the pastry layers and the delicate flavours of the home made strawberry ice cream. I did shoot at the time using natural light during Week 7 but was not happy to post up at the time and instead delayed until I got this and my Week 8 shots done first.
        How:
        I prepared the dessert, placed on a white place and photographed against a white infinity sweep. You can get a sense of my thinking in producing the final shot by looking at my step-by-step guide.
        Lighting set up was as follows:
        1. Olympus FL-36R (1/8 power) with Apollo Micro XL fitted to soften the light, 8" to the left and in front of the subject - lights both the subject and blows out the background;
        2. YN460-II (1/32 power) with flip down diffuser set at 12" to camera right and behind to add a rim light and illuminate the parsley leafs; and
        3. YN460 (1/32 power) with flip down diffuser and Lee 106 Primary Red filter fitted 16" right of subject and slightly in front to provide depth and texture.
        Improvement:
        Avoid melting. I should have got my lighting sorted first and then brought the plate in at the last minute to avoid photographing a melting, messy, unstructured goo. But on the plus side it forced me to shoot close which I might not have otherwise done.
        Lighting. I am pleased with the result but I have a lot more to learn, especially in the use of small, hard light sources for food photography.
        Shadows. A corollary to the lighting is the shadows which were pretty ugly under the plate (obviously not an issue in the final edit), which can be addressed by more practice.
        Mint. If using greenery on a dessert, mint would be a far more appropriate choice than parsley but it was proving concept rather than a culinary suggestion.
        David

        Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
        flickr - Photo52 2011
        My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

        Comment


        • #34
          Week 8 - Chaos

          The Eye of the Storm


          Untitled by morganthecat, on Flickr

          What:
          Director of a local amateur theatre production centred in amongst the chaos of the last minute rehearsal.
          Why:
          I was shooting a series of publicity shots for Ashcan Theatre's latest production entitled Mixed Doubles. I had tried this type of long exposure shot on the platform of Victoria Station on my way to work earlier in the week, but hadn't got my tripod with me and it just wasn't happening, and then Irealised I had this shoot coming up and I thought I could fit this in at the end of the rehearsal.
          How:
          I set up my camera on a tripod low down and set it for a long exposure, asking the Director to stand still whilst the cast wandered around him. I then applied a fairly heavy dose of PP to emphasise the central figure,
          Improvement:
          Flash. Most importantly this shot should have been taken as a long exposure with the Director lit using flash to give a nice sharp picture. Standing still for 3 seconds results in a lot of motion blur.
          Artifical lighting. A corollary to the lack of flash is I had to have the room lit with the ugly fluorescent lights as otherwise the exposure was nearer 15 secs and then the motion blur of the standing Director destroyed the image. And with such a longer exposure all detail in the light is lost.
          Composition. I was rushed for time as I was the only thing standing between the actors and the pub - I like the low positioning but I was battling the lights and with a wider lens I could have brough the Director further forward into the 'centre' of the shot.
          David

          Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
          flickr - Photo52 2011
          My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

          Comment


          • #35
            Week 9 - Finish

            I've got the Power(ball)


            Week 9 - Finish by morganthecat, on Flickr

            What:
            Just a regular Finish Powerball.
            Why:
            After Week 7's shot I wanted to try a different style of lighting. By shooting this as a macro shot I wanted to have a very tight light, and so I slapped on one of my DIY Grids (made out of coroplast) onto my FL-36R held on by a DIY velcro strap.
            How:
            Shot at a narrow aperture to compensate for the thin DOF you get with a 50-200mm lens with EX-25 extension tube added. I then remote fired the camera whilst holding the flash above and slightly in front of the Powerball. I then kept making small adjustments until I got a shot I was happy with the light fall off and the exposure. Adjustments to flash power were all done manually as well.
            Improvement:
            Shadows. I'm a little unhappy with the shadows underneath. This is the consequence of a one light setup but I think this would have been difficult to address even with multiple flashes without getting light spill that would negate the tight spot above.
            David

            Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
            flickr - Photo52 2011
            My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: David's Photo52 2011

              David,

              i am really enjoying your series of images, keep the good work up.

              Cheers

              Chris

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: David's Photo52 2011

                Thanks Chris - I had a bit of a dip, but seem to be hitting a stronger vein of form.
                David

                Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                flickr - Photo52 2011
                My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                Comment


                • #38
                  Week 10 - Trio

                  Steal from the poor, give to the rich


                  Week 10 - Trio by morganthecat, on Flickr

                  What:
                  A triptych depicting two of the most despised groups in modern society... The Hoodie and The Banker. Hey, I'm a solicitor so I don't rank any better in a lot of people's eyes.
                  Why:
                  In light of the recent news about Bob Diamond's recent multi-million pound bonus I wanted to shoot a triptych that depicts the idea of the reverse-Robin Hood... robbing the poor to feed the rich.
                  In the triptych:
                  Shot 1 - is a detail from the Animal Hoodie;
                  Shot 2 - is a self portrait with amalgamation of the Hoodie and the Banker; and
                  Shot 3 - is a detail from the Shirt and Cufflinks of the Banker.
                  How:
                  If you click on the image and go to the flickr page all the lighting details for each shot are on there. I then took my 3 images and using CS3 and a free triptych frame I downloaded from PhotoRadar I composed the final image. There is also a short guide on the PhotoRadar website as to how to achieve this in Photoshop or Elements using layers. It's not the first time I have done this, but I was glad of the opportunity to practice my CS3 skills as I use CS3 rarely.
                  Improvement:
                  Shot 1. The detail lacks enough interest to make this element of the triptych pop, in particular the embroidered animal branding is hard to read.
                  Shot 2. Overall I'm very happy with the lighting here but I would have liked to include a fourth light as a rim light to provide better separation from the background.
                  Shot 3. Reasonably happy with the lighting but think this also lacks enough drama to stand as a shot in its own right.
                  Triptych. A nice opportunity to play in CS3, but think the triptych lacks sufficient balance to work overall. The central image is very strong, and it needed the other two images to match it dramatically in describing the narrative of the trio.
                  Hoodie. The narrative of the shot would have worked better with one of the infamous 'chavvy' brands such as a Burberry hoodie.
                  David

                  Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                  flickr - Photo52 2011
                  My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Week 10 - Trio

                    I look forward to seeing your weekly instalments. They are both creative and inspiring. My one gripe........ why didn't you do a 365!

                    David

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: David's Photo52 2011

                      Thanks dj69 for the kind comment.

                      It's amazing how a couple of good weeks can really push you on... I was really pleased with the Week 5 Hard Hearted shot, then things seemed to go wayward in terms of the execution or completing the shots within time, but what a great feeling to be ahead of the game for a change rather than playing catch-up.

                      It's also interesting when shooting to such a diverse range of briefs what you produce. I think it helps you to understand your natural palette (mine is generally dark tones and low key), and bring out your strengths and weaknesses (I'm not sharing that here).

                      By the end of the year I hope to be shooting the same quality, or hopefully better, but to do so in half the time. I'm a natural procrastinator so maybe if I can become a faster shooter here it will help me to develop a more 'fit for purpose' attitude in other areas of life.

                      Only 42 more to go!!

                      ps a 365 would be the ruin of me, it's bad enough doing a 52.
                      David

                      Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                      flickr - Photo52 2011
                      My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Week 11 - Knowledge

                        Who has The Knowledge?


                        Week 11 - Knowledge by morganthecat, on Flickr

                        What:
                        A series of Black Cabs queued up outside Victoria Station, London.
                        Why:
                        I quickly hit on the idea when this week's theme came out of The Knowledge, the famous test that all licensed London taxi drivers need to pass before they can drive a Black Cab.
                        How:
                        I shot a hand held 3 shot HDR +/-0.7 eV using my very portable dslr combination of an E-520 and 25mm pancake lens. I combined in Photomatix using Enhanced B&W. I took the HDR output and the underexposed of the 3 original colour shots (as background) and using layers in CS3 aligned the two images and then erased the B&W layer to reveal the yellow taxi lights underneath.
                        This was an opportunity to produce a selective colour image and improve my Photoshop skills around using layers, magic wand and feathering.
                        Improvement:
                        Composition. Using the pancake prime lens severely limited me, but I knew that the final image would not be the native Olympus 4:3 format but would be more letterbox. I should have taken more time to pre-visualise the final shot, in particular to place the closest taxi light on a 1/3 and to step back so that the cab at the head of the queue would have more picture to 'drive into'. As it is it looks too cramped. I have also missed the opportunity for a stronger leading line going from the line of the cab's bonnet into the bottom right hand corner which would have improved the composition.
                        Photoshop technique. At this size there is no issue but as you enlarge the image you can see that I could have made a better job of the selection that I deleted to reveal the light. I need to learn more about the best techniques for masking/deleting etc
                        Taxi driver. It is the cab driver not the Black Cab itself which is associated with The Knowledge. I should have had the guts to get up close and just ask a suitably crabby or interesting looking character if I could take their portrait sat in their cab.
                        David

                        Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                        flickr - Photo52 2011
                        My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Week 12 - Moderation

                          Canterbury Cathedral Through the Morning Mist


                          Week 12 - Moderation by morganthecat, on Flickr

                          What:
                          A view of the Cathedral taken from the local university campus.
                          Why:
                          I had wanted to shoot The Great Hall of the Methodist Central Hall Westminster. It has just been refurbished but sadly this week the scaffolding was being taken down and so access wasn't possible. I was really struggling beyond some ideas of placing a glass of orange juice in amongst some alcoholic drinks. Saturday I had to go over to Canterbury early and although the mist did not match the wonderfully foggy mornings we have had all week down here in Kent I got this shot of the Cathedral and thought that as the seat of the Church of England moderation would still be applicable, just not as well as a Methodist church.
                          How:
                          I shot a 5 shot HDR +/-2 eV tonemapped in Photomatix to bring out the detail of the Cathedral amongst the mist. I took the HDR output and played around in CS3 with hue and saturation. This was an opportunity to improve my toning skills and use a much lighter palette than I normally end up with in my images. I am pleased with the depth of layers in the landscape stretching back into the mist.
                          Improvement:
                          Composition. I tried several crops but felt the letterbox was best as there was nothing of interest in the sky to balance the foreground and I wanted the eye to rest of the Cathedral. My only concern is whether the foreground is too strong and sharp that your eye doesn't lead on to the subject of the image.
                          Photoshop technique. My toning skills need improving but I am generally with what I have produced except for the sky. I have worked hard with the PP to make the Cathedral discernible but in doing so I have lost of the image quality. I have also possibly applied too much sharpening so the diffuse look of a typical mist shot is lost.
                          Lens. I only had my short zoom 12-60mm lens and think this image would have benefitted from my 50-200mm so that the Cathedral is more prominent in the shot.
                          Subject. Although I find this a pleasing shot I should have worked harder to shoot something to fit the brief... perhaps the moderation was to be found in my saturation and PPing of the final shot

                          Just imagine what snaarman could have achieved with this opportunity though
                          David

                          Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                          flickr - Photo52 2011
                          My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: David's Photo52 2011

                            Hi David,

                            Just caught up on the last few weeks and I'm staggered by the vaiety, imagination and skill of your pictures. Your commentary, too, is very informative. Keep up the good work and don't fall by the wayside as I have done with my 52.
                            John

                            "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Week 12 - Moderation

                              Originally posted by David Gethin View Post
                              Canterbury Cathedral Through the Morning Mist


                              Week 12 - Moderation by morganthecat, on Flickr

                              What:
                              A view of the Cathedral taken from the local university campus.
                              Why:
                              I had wanted to shoot The Great Hall of the Methodist Central Hall Westminster. It has just been refurbished but sadly this week the scaffolding was being taken down and so access wasn't possible. I was really struggling beyond some ideas of placing a glass of orange juice in amongst some alcoholic drinks. Saturday I had to go over to Canterbury early and although the mist did not match the wonderfully foggy mornings we have had all week down here in Kent I got this shot of the Cathedral and thought that as the seat of the Church of England moderation would still be applicable, just not as well as a Methodist church.
                              How:
                              I shot a 5 shot HDR +/-2 eV tonemapped in Photomatix to bring out the detail of the Cathedral amongst the mist. I took the HDR output and played around in CS3 with hue and saturation. This was an opportunity to improve my toning skills and use a much lighter palette than I normally end up with in my images. I am pleased with the depth of layers in the landscape stretching back into the mist.
                              Improvement:
                              Composition. I tried several crops but felt the letterbox was best as there was nothing of interest in the sky to balance the foreground and I wanted the eye to rest of the Cathedral. My only concern is whether the foreground is too strong and sharp that your eye doesn't lead on to the subject of the image.
                              Photoshop technique. My toning skills need improving but I am generally with what I have produced except for the sky. I have worked hard with the PP to make the Cathedral discernible but in doing so I have lost of the image quality. I have also possibly applied too much sharpening so the diffuse look of a typical mist shot is lost.
                              Lens. I only had my short zoom 12-60mm lens and think this image would have benefitted from my 50-200mm so that the Cathedral is more prominent in the shot.
                              Subject. Although I find this a pleasing shot I should have worked harder to shoot something to fit the brief... perhaps the moderation was to be found in my saturation and PPing of the final shot

                              Just imagine what snaarman could have achieved with this opportunity though
                              I think that it is just fine as it is...great photograph!!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: David's Photo52 2011

                                Originally posted by Zuiko View Post
                                Just caught up on the last few weeks and I'm staggered by the vaiety, imagination and skill of your pictures. Your commentary, too, is very informative. Keep up the good work and don't fall by the wayside as I have done with my 52.
                                I think the process of self-critiquing and having to put those thoughts down on (electronic) paper is really helping me develop as a photographer.

                                It's a shame you have fallen off the wagon John as I was really enjoying your 52 too. But if you're an experienced photographer I can see why you wouldn't want to carry on, it's pretty gruelling. Next year I will be shooting substantially less though hopefully with better shots.
                                David

                                Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
                                flickr - Photo52 2011
                                My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP

                                Comment

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