Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

David's Photo52 2011

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 46 - Living

    Living in a Box


    Week 46 - Living by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    My current facebook timeline cover photo that extends the profile pic into the cover as one 'seamless image'.
    Why:
    The idea of "Living in a Box" had popped into my head and I decided I wanted to shoot a series of images in which I was trapped inside a box, in a Marcel Marceau mime kind of way.
    Then along came the new facebook timeline and I realised I would be able to apply the idea to my new cover.
    How:
    Many shots of me in various poses against my bedroom wall were taken. My walls are Dulux Night Jewels 2 which is a dark grey.
    Strobist info was as follows:
    1. YN460-II (1/8 power) into a 30" reflector umbrella, 48" to the right of the subject and at 30 degrees in front of the subject;
    2. Olympus FL-36R (1/16 power) bare, 18" to the right of the subject and at 30 degrees behind.
    Both flashes triggered with a PT-04 wireless trigger.
    The individual photographs were then combined in a composite using CS5 and arranged using Neal Campbell's excellent facebook timeline cover psd file.
    There was quite a lot of light spillage on the walls which I dealt with by burning each individual photo once it was placed on the cover with the burn tool set to 100% exposure and set for shadows.
    Photo frames:
    The 'photo frames' were created in CS5 by first opening a new square layer with a transparent background that was 10 px larger than the final frame would be.
    Onto this transparent background was placed a black square that was layered upon a white rounded square, that was 8 px larger than the black square and with a radius of 3 px, which in turn was layered upon a 50% grey rounded square that was 2 px larger than the white square and which also had a radius of 3 px. This was all done using the 'shapes tool' towards the bottom of the left hand tool bar below the Path Selection Tool.
    This can be done haphazardly as the next step involves taking the various shapes and aligning them by selecting all of the background layer then selecting the three 'shapes layers' and using Layer>Align Layers to Selection>Vertical Centres and then repeating this using Layer>Align Layers to Selection>Horizontal Centres.
    The black square was selected using the magic wand tool and deleted to reveal a transparent aperture.
    Action:
    Although the 4 layers had to be created manually because you cannot retrospectively edit the properties of a shape, the selection of the background layer together with the other layers, the alignment, selection of the black aperture and deletion could all be saved as an Action which made this process much quicker.
    Saving transparent files as png files:
    Each photo frame was saved as a png file to allow the transparent background to be used in the final image - transparent images cannot be saved as jpgs where the transparency will be saved as a white background instead. Useful to know when wanting to create 'borderless' buttons or for watermarks.
    Gradient background:
    In the final image a gradient background was created by adding a layer filled with green to which a gradient layer was applied.
    Cropping:
    For the cover:
    I used Neal Campbell's psd file as a template for the crop then deselected the layers relating to the template and the 'profile pic' and saved the remaining merged layers for the cover.
    For the profile pic:
    I used Neal Campbell's psd file as a template for the crop of the layers relating to the profile pic and then deselected the layer relating to the template and saved the remaining merged layers as my profile pic (these are the layers relating to what's inside the box that crosses the main body of the image into the negative space). Although your profile pic is a 125 px square, facebook requires that the minimum size used is 180 px square. As a result the crop I used was a 180 px square to minimise the amount of compression that facebook would apply.
    Learnt:
    How to create more creative timeline covers.
    How to create a transparent border.
    Improved my understanding of how powerful and efficient Actions can be in Photoshop.
    Improvement:
    Lighting. The weakest part of this image is my lighting which was done fairly quickly in order to give me the bank of images to use in the final edit. In particular I have some harsh shadows on my hands and the 'hair light' doesn't provide a great deal of separation from the background. However, as a proof of concept, I am pretty pleased with the outcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 45 - Safe

    One in Six


    Week 45 - Safe by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    Light trails of cars crossing the zebra crossing whilst I stand in the middle of the crossing.
    Why:
    One in Six is a reference to the 6 zebra crossings in the town, but also reflects the odds I feel of me being knocked down every time I cross at this crossing to and from work. It is absolutely shocking the number of drivers that fail to stop. I have even been on the crossing before and somebody has gone through. It isn't terribly well lit, and I do tend to wear dark clothes but nonetheless, most drivers are local and know of the crossing. It is just laziness, or plain bloody mindedness or poor driving that leads to this.
    I envisaged this shot many months ago and finally committed to taking this as it was my last submission to the 2011 edition of A Year in the Life of Faversham.
    How:
    This is a composite of 5 photos; 4 were taken with the light trails in mind, whilst the fifth was taken of myself in the middle of the crossing. These were then blended in CS5 using a combination of the lighten blend modes (stacked as layers using Russell Brown's Stack-a-Matic script) for the light trails with the normal blend mode for shot of myself - this last one was added as a layer and the layer mask was applied to remove all elements other than myself from this shot. Some cloning was applied and then finally the usual adjustments in LR 3.6.
    Learnt:
    Use of Russell Brown's Stack-a-Matic script which I intend to use more extensively in 2012 as an alternative work flow for star trail photography:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMERM7qQ_Ng"]star trail photography[/ame]
    Improvement:
    Composition. Shooting wide angle means that whilst there are leading lines from the star trails and the road markings, the principal subject of the photograph (namely myself at risk of being run down) is not strong enough in the image.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    Originally posted by Bikie John View Post
    Wow, talk about a labour of love! A fine record of a fine house. In a fine town as well - some friends moved there recently and I'm looking forward to visiting.

    Thanks for the tip about using paths for the healing brush. I will have to read your description again several times and try it very carefully before understanding it, but it looks like a very useful technique.

    I wonder if you have overdone the de-keystoning a little bit as the right hand house appears to be leaning away slightly.

    Ciao ... John
    Faversham is a nice town, especially on the vintage car rally and hop festival weekends when the town is heaving with people.

    I think the 'outside' edges are correctly aligned, but because the 'inside' edges aren't it gives the visual impression that the building is leaning outwards.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bikie John
    replied
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    Wow, talk about a labour of love! A fine record of a fine house. In a fine town as well - some friends moved there recently and I'm looking forward to visiting.

    Thanks for the tip about using paths for the healing brush. I will have to read your description again several times and try it very carefully before understanding it, but it looks like a very useful technique.

    I wonder if you have overdone the de-keystoning a little bit as the right hand house appears to be leaning away slightly.

    Ciao ... John

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 44 - Pair

    After and Before


    Week 44 - Pair by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    Photo of two similar, albeit not identical, Victorian houses along Newton Road in Faversham.
    Why:
    The renovation of Rose Bank (left) has completed in 2011. I have been fascinated to see the revealing of such a vibrant and colourful building. My view of Victorian buildings has always been that they are dour, dark, coal stained, imposing monoliths of Dickensian suppression. And Rose Bank probably became this in just a matter of months. But also this reveals the truth that when originally built they were sparkling jewels of colour with ornate and intricate detailing.
    I have intended to take this photograph since earlier in the year when the renovation was complete as I think it is a magnificent building, as of course is its more classically envisaged neighbour. It was a lousy day with lousy, dull and dreary flat light but I needed to shoot this as my penultimate submission to the 2011 edition of A Year in the Life of Faversham.
    How:
    Composition: shot from down low which may appear a curious choice given that I knew I would need to deal with both keystoning and distortion in PPing, but it was a purposely choice as I wanted to remove distracting elements behind the garage in the final edit (I suppose I could have shot from a higher vantage point and cloned these out instead).
    HDR: a handheld 5 shot HDR covering +/- 2 eV, as I wanted to get as much detail and pop out of this image as possible especially given that it was shot on a dull, flat day. The RAW images were adjusted in LR 3.6 first - this included recovery to ensure as much detail was retained, fill light and blacks, sharpening, noise adjustments, clarity and a little vibrance and saturation - before processing in Photomatix Pro with I hope a degree of subtlety.
    Keystoning: the HDR image was then imported as the tif file into CS5 and the keystoning was addressed using a combination of the distortion and skew tools in the Free Transform mode.
    Cloning: the telephone wires and street lamp were removed using a combination of the clone stamp tool and the spot healing brush in content aware mode. It was a case of empirically using each depending on the situation.
    Removal of wires was made easier using the Pen Tool which by selecting two anchor points will draw a straight line - on a PC you can take your straight line and 'bend' it slightly by adding a third anchor point in the middle and then whilst holding the Ctrl key (to bring up a hand icon) you can then drag the third anchor point so that the straight line curves to match the drooping wires. This creates a path and if you then select the spot healing brush, you can stroke the path with the brush by selecting the Paths tab (to the right of your standard Layers tab in the bottom right hand corner of Photoshop) and clicking the "Stroke path with brush" icon at the bottom (where the "Create fill or adjustment layer" icon is on the Layers tab).
    I found that where the wire crossed brick work, roof tiles and sky, it worked best if you dealt with the wire as if there were 3 separate wires rather than attempt to do it in one go.
    Removal of the cars in front of the garage was a case of taking small sections and using the clone stamp tool to 'build' the garage door. The right hand side wall was cloned just using the clone stamp tool in small patches rather than resorting to the vanishing point clone tool as ably demonstrated by the excellent Gavin Hoey.
    Dodge/burn: the final step was to lighten Rose Bank and darken the neighbouring house as the HDR process had made the two buildings look too similar in their vibrancy. This was a subjective choice, and is based on the several times I have stopped to look at Rose Bank during and following its renovation.
    Learnt:
    The varied ways of using the clone stamp tool as well as the excellent spot healing brush in content aware mode in my newly upgraded CS5.
    How to remove keystoning in CS5.
    A number of keyboard short cuts which I have overlooked as I don't tend to use Photoshop a great deal, preferring Lightroom as my standard tool of choice.
    Improvement:
    Sky. I am unsatisfied with the sky, particularly where the removal of the telephone wires has left some lightening in the sky (that may not be the case, and may be more my imagination).
    Composition. I should have shot slightly wider to ensure that once I had removed the keystoning, I would retain the far left pillar of the front wall.
    Dodge/burn. I should have applied a touch of the history brush to remove some of the haloing (at least to my eye) around Rose Bank following the dodging to help give the sense of how radiant the building looks next to its neighbour. I also appear to have failed to dodge a little of the top of the gable wall, and not dodged the chimney stack at all.
    Distortion. I purposely did not want to shoot ultra wide as the distortion of the Olympus 7-14mm, although not severe, is somewhat complex and I did not want to have to try and correct that. However whilst I have successfully addressed the keystoning at the far left and right, there does appear to be some distortion remaining in the 'internal' edges of the two buildings.
    Artistic licence. There was a big decision to be made in the presentation of this image. Whether for a historical 'record shot' of these buildings I should have included the street lamp and telephone wires of the original shot, or to offer an interpretation of the building when it was originally built without these items. I decided to go with the latter as I wanted to not draw the viewer's attention away from the comparison of the buildings which is the purpose of the image. I am very please with the final image, but will not be too distressed if it is not selected for the Faversham 365 as it is an artistic interpretation and not truth.

    For reference, here is the base exposure used for the HDR:


    Untitled by morganthecat, on Flickr

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 43 - Abstract

    Untitled


    Week 43 - Abstract by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    This will somewhat give away the nature of an abstract shot if I say what it is.
    Why:
    This will somewhat give away the nature of an abstract shot if I say why I shot it.
    How:
    Abstract photo taken, usual adjustments in LR 3.6 and then blended in CS3 with struckdumb's Film Border that I found on deviantart, before deleting the edges of the original shot layer so that it fitted the border.
    Learnt:
    Playing around with blending modes and layers to place a "background layer" inside a border.
    Although not used in the final edit, I also learnt about how to create an identity plate with transparent space to use as a frame or border in the "Print" tab of LR 3.6.
    For details of how to create png files with transparent spaces, see here. The technique involves creating a duplicate layer to work on rather than your background layer. Alternatively, click on the drop down menu on the eraser tool and select Background Eraser Tool or Magic Eraser Tool - using these erasers will reveal a transparent (chequered in Photoshop) space rather than reveal the background colour.
    For details of how to use creative borders in Lightroom see Gavin Hoey's tutorial here.
    Improvement:
    Border. By choosing such an intricate border has drawn the eye from the abstract nature of the intended shot. A simpler, more classic film negative border rather than a distressed border may have been more appropriate.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 42 - Weave

    The Guiding Thread


    Week 42 - Weave by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    A macro shot of the weave of my jeans as I travelled home on the train.
    Why:
    A simple interpretation of this week's theme.
    How:
    Shot in Super Macro mode and then usual adjustments made in LR 3.6
    Learnt:
    Just how competent a macro performer my compact XZ-1 actually is. In many ways, it is easier to get macro shots with this than with my E-30 using an EX-25 extension tube.
    Improvement:
    Composition. There is nothing for the eye to rest on, nor is the eye drawn in this shot and as a result it lacks interest.
    DOF. I shot with a highish ISO and wide open to get the shutter speed up but I should have given more thought to the DOF of the shot given that I was shooting in Super Marco mode - I find it's too shallow and would have benefited from more DOF in the final edit.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 41 - Rapid

    Into the Void


    Week 41 - Rapid by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    A motion blurred photo of a commuter travelling down the escalator at London Bridge Underground Station.
    Why:
    I wanted to try something different in terms of the motion blurred shots by keeping the subject in focus whilst the surroundings blur, and my panning technique needs a lot of work so this shot from behind allowed me to stay still relative to the subject.
    How:
    Shot with a longish exposure such that the advertising boards to the side are blurred whilst the subject and stairs remain in focus.
    Learnt:
    A different approach to motion blur - want to take this shot again on the travelators at either Heathrow or Waterloo underground as examples.
    Improvement:
    Composition. There needs to be more drama in what happens around the subject, particularly to the subject's right, to convey a greater sense of rapidly descending into the bowels of the underground.
    Post processing. The limited dynamic range of the XZ-1 means I have lost a lot of detail in the lighting in the ceiling. I struggled to get the right look without being over saturated as I wanted to bring out the detail of the advertising signs.
    Shutter speed. I could have afforded to go with a slower shutter speed as the subject remained fairly still.

    Leave a comment:


  • Barkly
    replied
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    First time I have seen this - very nice series. Well done and very educational.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 40 - Explode

    Eruption


    Week 40 - Explode by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    A cornflour-water mix exploding on the surface of a speaker.
    Why:
    This was the perfect opportunity to shoot some aqueous explosions which I have wanted to try for sometime as an alternative to water drop shots.
    How:
    Photos of my setup for Eruption together with a detailed write up of how it was done can be found by following the link.

    Please take the time to read Ryan Taylor's excellent Water Figure Tutorial which I pretty much followed.

    My pc is running Multisine 1.74. Using the headphone output I have then connected my pc via the Mic input to an old stereo (at the the top of the picture) which is connected to the speaker.

    The speaker was wrapped in clingfilm, and a small amount of a 50:50 cornflour (cornstarch)-water mix was placed on top.

    I set the aperture to f/16 to get sufficient DOF as I was using my macro extension tube. This meant I could run a 5 second exposure without the ambient light spoiling the photo and giving me a window to do the following:

    Using my wireless remote shutter I triggered the camera. During the 5 second exposure I activated a 0.2 sec pulse at a frequency of 120Hz on my pc and using a PT-04 wireless flash trigger in the other hand tried to time the flash to coincide with the sound. This took several attempts to time it right, and in actual fact the final shot is actually a blend in CS3 of two images in order to increase the drama.

    The ghosting in the final edit is not an artefact of blending the two images, but due to some double triggering of the flashes when I pressed the remote trigger.

    Strobist info:
    1. Olympus FL-36R (1/32 power) with flip down diffuser, 8" to the right of the subject and at 15 degrees upwards;
    2. YN460-II (1/32 power) with flip down diffuser, 8" to the left of the subject and at 15 degrees upwards.
    Both flashes triggered with a PT-04 wireless trigger.

    The pink/orange hues in the conflour-water mix of the final shot are, I think, attributable to the flashes bouncing off the bare plaster walls. This was not intended but presumably it would have helped to soften the light as specular highlights are not too much of a problem.

    The final edit involved usual adjustments in LR3.6 to saturation, levels, sharpening etc together with burning in CS3 to darken the background which in the original shot I felt was distracting.
    Learnt:
    How to take a Water Figure shot, although there is lots of room for improvement when you look at Ryan Taylor's work which is just stunning. I learnt that it is a good way to kill a couple of hours.
    Improvement:
    Colour. Bolder, primary colours would add to the impact of this shot.
    Lighting. Lots of experimentation possible here such as use of a Stofen or other diffuser to soften the light, use of filters, changing the position and directionality of the light.
    Surface. I wrapped the speaker in cling film which did not result in a perfectly smooth surface, although as I shot in macro mode with shallow DOF means it is not too distracting. Ryan Taylor uses a stretched balloon but my speaker was way too big for that.
    Timing. I will invest in a HiViz multi-trigger at some point which will give me much more control over shots of this type or classic water drop shots. That said my shoot and see technique wasn't too bad as I got a couple of good explosions - I was running at about a 1 in 10 ratio as sometimes I would manage to not click the button on the pc (I was looking the other way and if my mouse moved, the button was missed) or the flashes didn't fire.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 39 - Volume

    Boom (Cardboard) Box


    Week 39 - Volume by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    Cardboard radio and speakers for sale in Peter Jones, Sloane Square
    Why:
    I had hoped that I would stumble across a stylish Bose shop or other high end audio retailer in order to shoot something focussed on the volume control of a beautifully designed amplifier. Instead I took a grab shot of this cardboard radio in the shop window.
    How:
    Usual saturation/clarity/levels adjustments made in LR3.6 on the RAW file before going to work in CS3 on cloning out the rather distracting bokeh (well you wouldn't expect a compact, even a high end compact, to produce smoothly gorgeous bokeh now would you?) and removing the advertising sign in front.
    Learnt:
    Perfecting my cloning technique and by chance stumbling across the different blending modes when cloning. The luminosity mode was quite effective when cloning the body of the cardboard box. I need to invest some time in the new year in CS3 to better understand its capabilities.
    Improvement:
    Creativity. Not the most creative take on the theme.

    And for comparison, here is 'before' shot so you can see what was cloned out:


    Untitled by morganthecat, on Flickr

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    I plan to shoot number 52 before 31 December 2011 and collapse

    A 365? Nooooooooo This has been hard enough

    Leave a comment:


  • Garrie
    replied
    Re: David's Photo52 2011

    Some Fantastic Photos in this 52, please you stuck it out (unlike myself)

    Almost on the home straight. Do you plan to produce a photobook of the 52? Maybe a 365 for 2012

    Cheers
    Garrie

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 38 - Fun

    Amusements


    Week 38 - Fun by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    Amusement arcade on Herne Bay seafront.
    Why:
    Interpretation of a fun activity... on a bitterly cold, empty Wednesday afternoon it was many things, but fun it wasn't.
    How:
    Shot with my ultra wide angle lens and saturation/clarity/vignette adjustments made in LR3.5.
    Learnt:
    I need to invest in some suitable gloves for the winter season.
    Improvement:
    Creativity. This leaves me with the feeling of a shot to brief and very little effort put into it. Must try better.
    Composition. I was sloppy and I have ended up captured in the reflection of one of the windows.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Gethin
    replied
    Week 37 - Mix

    Protection, Recreation, Construction


    Week 37 - Mix (Version 1) by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    The Thames Barrier with the O2 and Canary Wharf behind.
    Why:
    A shot that captures the mixture of purposes of architecture - to act as a defence, to act as a place of enjoyment, to act as a hub of wealth generation (and loss!).
    How:
    I shot this with the intention of a 3 shot HDR. However, there was a strong wind and I find that my long exposure HDR skies end up looking a right mess and so instead I settled for a 2 shot 'intensive fusion' in Photomatix Pro rather than tone mapping. I took this image, created a virtual copy in LR3 and adjusted the Tone and Presence settings to add more drama to the sky, imported both images into CS3 and manually blended away to give some definition in the sky whilst retaining the buildings and milky water of the base Photomatix image. I finally made some lens correction adjustments in CS3 and cloned out some artefacts.
    Learnt:
    I need to master the use of histograms as the LCD display on an E-30 is not the best screen to chimp your long exposures. Controlling the light in this situation was particularly challenging.
    Improvement:
    Composition. Although I prefer this shot, it does not speak so well to the theme as the focus subjects (barrier plus O2 and Canary Wharf) are lost in the scale of using a wide angle lens. Which is why I also present version 2 as my submission for Week 37:


    Week 37 - Mix (Version 2) by morganthecat, on Flickr

    What:
    The Thames Barrier with the O2 and Canary Wharf behind.
    Why:
    A shot that captures the mixture of purposes of architecture - to act as a defence, to act as a place of enjoyment, to act as a hub of wealth generation (and loss!).
    How:
    This was shot as a much tighter image using the zoom end of my 12-60mm lens. Processing was done in LR3 making various adjustments to WB, Tone, Presence and colour saturation before applying the Stylised1 LR preset. I then had more of a play with saturation, hue and luminance but using the HSL sliders in LR3. Finally used the heal spot removal tool to remove the small amount of cloud in the sky.
    Learnt:
    Use of the HSL sliders in LR3.
    Improvement:
    Quality. Focus - I had to sharpen this image considerably. Aperture was simply the same as above which had been chosen with exposure time principally in mind. A long exposure was still desirable to flatten the river but more attention should have been placed on achieving best quality in the focussing of this shot, although I did use Live View and magnified zoom to assist.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X