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Posts tagged ‘Australia’

UfD: Black and White Photography My Way

A few people yesterday expressed an interest about me doing a tutorial on how I do black and white images. There are so many different ways of doing this, and so while I’m going to show you what I do, this is only part of it. This is going to be an easy way, I hope.  Just a few steps, though the first part you can do and leave it there if you choose.

Here is the final image and then I will show you how I did it.

melbourne-star-tutorial-black-white

The first step is alway going to choose the image. The best types of images are ones that have lots of contrast, which is lots of darks and lights.  If you choose one that is very colourful but with little contrast it won’t convert to monochrome very well.

I choose an image that was taken in at the Docklands recently of the Melbourne Star. I have opened it in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), which you can do by using the o Browse in Bridge. Click on the image then go to the file menu and press Open in Camera Raw.

You can see the basic processing I did in the image below.

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Everything that is done is ACR can also be done in Lightroom.

In the panel on the right, the area above the red oval in the image above and press the fourth icon from the left, as in the image below. Check the box to Convert to Grayscale. You can see the sliders for the different colours or tones that are in the image.  Try playing around with them and watch what happens to the image.

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Each colour will give you a difference effect.  Be careful with Aquas and Blues.  They can make skies very pixelated and make them look unnatural.

The image was opened in Photoshop CC 2015. There were some marks on the edge of the image so a new layer was opened and the spot healing tool selected. Make sure the Sample All Layers is checked in the tool options under the main menu at the top.

image-3If you do the changes on a separate layer then you are starting to work non destructively so you never have to do anything to the original image.

To make a new layer you go to the panel where the layers are and down the bottom are a series of icons. Click on the one next to the rubbish bin and it will open a new transparent layer.
image-6You can also open a new layer by going to the Layer Panel in the main menu at the top.  Click new and then okay.

Add a Curves Adjustment Layer. (I don’t know why but sometimes on my computer Curves is upside down, so you might have it up the other way.)  If you click on the triangle at the lighter end and move it along it will increase the highlights a little. Be careful doing this that you don’t blow the highlights out.

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Open a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer. Move the contrast to the right, again be careful that you don’t go too far.  Go to where you think it looks good, then go further so it looks horrible, then go back until it looks better again.

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Add another new layer (1). Go the tool box and select the gradient tool (2). Up in the tool options turn the opacity down so it isn’t strong (3).  Then add some to the top.  Make sure the gradient is set to Foreground to Transparent.(Do this by with the long icon/window in the tool options bar.)  Click outside the image at the top, then do the same inside just down from the top. You will see where the gradient has been applied. Take a look at the image below. Make sure that black is set as the foreground colour.

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A new Curves Adjustment Layer is added and the image is made a little darker. With the lasso tool (located in the tool box) make a selection around the middle of the image. Though this can be done for any part, depends on your photo.

You need to feather the selection, click Shift F6. In the Feather Selection window change Feather Radius to what you would like, I chose 200 pixels.  Press OK.

image-8

Add a new Curves Adjustment Layer. In the layer mask, the square that is normally all white now had some black in it. You can see that in the image below. In the curves panel make the image lighter.

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You should have noticed that it only happens in the area that you selected.

You are going to add a tone to the image now, but to do this you have to convert it back to a colour image.  If you don’t whatever tone you add will look like a shade of grey.

In the Main Menu at the top click on Image, then Mode and select RGB colour. You will be asked to do a couple of things, pick the don’t do it for each option.

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You will need to select the Paint Bucket Tool (1below). If you can’t see it then click and hold on the gradient tool and a window will pop up. In that you will see the tool.

Click on the foreground colour (2) and the window below will appear and you can select your colour. A blue tone was chosen for this image. Press OK

image-11

Add a new layer and with the Paint Bucket Tool click on the image, make sure the new layer is highlighted. The whole image will go blue. In the image below you can see the drop down menu that was opened, these are the blending modes.  Go to Color and select it.

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Once you have selected it you should see your image have that tone. Look at the image below.

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It may be too strong and  you will need to change the opacity for the colour layer. Use the opacity slider at the top of the Layers Panel. Look at the next image.

image-14Here is the final image again.

melbourne-star-tutorial-black-white

You don’t  have to do all of these, but it gives you an idea of what I do.  Please remember that, it is what I do, and lots of other people will do different things. I’m sure that we will get lots of ideas for what else you can do to Black and White photos.

Good luck with your own black and white images.

Weekend Wanderings: Beautiful Afternoons Along the Yarra River

A couple of weekends ago I got to spend an afternoon taking photos along the Yarra River in Melbourne. It was a stunning afternoon and one of those perfect winter ones that we look for.  I had a lovely time along there.

I was teaching a One on One Photography Session and the person I was teaching liked photographing bridges and, well, Melbourne has some great ones along the Yarra River.  So there are lots photos of the bridges and from all different angles.

We also did a couple of photos going indoors to look at how to take photos in low light and what you can do to get the best results.  They were inside the Crown Casino complex where it is very flashy, lots of bling.

Most of the photos are things you’ve seen before, though I did take a couple of photos of Polly Woodside an old sailing ship that people can go on and take a look around.  I hope you don’t mind looking at more photos of Melbourne, I seem to be taking heaps along the river at the moment, what can I say, it has been great weather for it.

I’m just going to leave you with a gallery today. I’m in Sorrento this weekend and not sure how much time I will have to look at comments, but I will do my best to catch up with you all.  I hope you have some great things planned for this weekend. Have a good one.

Quiet Thursday’s: Very Quiet

It’s been a funny week.  I’ve been out taking photos a few times and I’m off to Sorrento for the weekend. Looking forward to spending a bit of time down there and taking photos around there.  I’m also teaching the Astrophotography class on Saturday night, so that should be good. The weather is looking okay, so hopefully we will get some good shots.

I wanted to give you a link as well today, Susan from The Insatiable Traveler asked me if I would give you the following link, The Elusive Desert-Adapted Lions of Namibia and the Man Who Loves Them, as she wants to bring some attention to the desert lions.  I know you will all go and take a look at it for her.

I only have a couple of photos for you today and they are both long exposures and taken on the weekend. The first one was of the Melbourne Star at Docklands.  I wanted to see if I could take a photo using the Firecrest 16 from Formatt Hitech and see what I could get with it.  I wanted to see how the wheel would look with a long exposure.

The second image is from Banyule Flats.  I went there the other morning to do a sunrise shoot.  Unfortunately there was too much cloud to really get a sunrise, but I did notice that the clouds were moving quite fast.  Just before I left I went to a different spot and put the Lee Big Stopper on. It wasn’t too bad, I think I got the clouds going in a good direction.  The time might have been a bit too long, but I’m starting to understand that more.  Trial and error, you have to love it.

I have my meeting today for my book, I’m a bit nervous about it, but I’m sure it will be fine.  I hope you have a productive day.  Take care.

Quiet Thursdays – Looking at Time

It’s been a productive week and I’ve managed to get quite a few things done.  I’m feeling less stressed which is great, and I’ve been keeping to my plan of working at home on certain days. I can feel myself getting a grip on things.  Now I just need to work on the blog some more and get some more posts done ahead of time.

Last weekend I was in the city taking some photos and some of the shots I really liked.  I haven’t done a lot to many of them, but I did play around with a couple for you for today.  I will do more soon.

Here are the ones I worked on.  The sky was lovely, lots of clouds rushing by, but more on those in a minute.

Speaking of clouds rushing by I decided to have a go at doing some time lapse photography. So I set up my camera to take a series of images over 10 minutes.  When I got home I played around with them and got this short time lapse video.

Then I noticed some clouds reflected in a building and so had to do another one.

Take a look, you might see more moving than you expect.

On Sunday when we went to Cranbourne for Social Snappers again I noticed the clouds and thought, why not do another one.  This one was done over 15 minutes.

They are all very short. They were fun to do, and I love watching how the world rushes past.  I will be out again this morning, all in the schedule.  I hope you have a great time and quiet time today.

Weekend Wanderings: Waterfalls Around Marysville

As  I said yesterday I have been to Marysville a few times lately and while photographing the fungi was fun, we were also there to photograph some other things.  One thing that I am starting to discover is that there are so many waterfalls around that area. Every time we go we find a new one.  They are all marked and there are maps to follow.  It is also so nice to see it all regenerating after the 2009 firestorms that went through the area.

The second time we went we really only went to Keppel Falls. On the way back to town we stopped at the bottom of Phantom Falls and took some photos of Taggerty River before heading back into town to find somewhere for dinner. After dinner we headed up to Keppel Lookout and took some photos of the milky way.

The third time, last time, we went earlier in the morning.  We decided to try the Cumberland Walk.  That took us to the Cora Lynn Falls, then Cumberland Falls.  We headed back into town for some lunch. After lunch we went in search of Taggerty Cascades and we weren’t disappointed.

I am going to put the photos into a gallery for you now. I have put the names of the falls underneath each image so you will know where they were taken.  I hope you have been having a good weekend.  I spent a lovely time in the city today doing a One on One Photography Class. By the time we finished the weather was turning and the forecast for tomorrow isn’t great.  I have Social Snappers tomorrow and it looks like it is going to get rained out again.

Weekend Wanderings: Fungi Around Marysville

In the last few weeks I’ve been to Marysville three times with a friend. The first time it was raining so the only photos I took were with my phone.  The second time was lovely, but we think we might have got there too late in the day. We did find a lovely waterfall, but we also wanted to do some photographs of the mushrooms and the fungi, but it was too dark.  Then the last time we went I put the macro on the camera while we walking around and I took lots of photos.

It is incredible how many different types there are.  Then there are also other small things to take photos of. I had so much fun.  I had to delete a lot of photos as the lighting wasn’t great, but I am happy with the ones I got. It is something I would like to do more of. Rainforests are so interesting and there are things to take photos of everywhere you look, especially after all the rain we’ve had.

I am just going to put them all into a gallery for you today.  I don’t know what any of them are, I just think they look pretty. The weather is mixed here this weekend, I hope you fair better where you are and get to take some wonderful photos.

Weekend Wanderings: Photographing Bays in a Bay

Melbourne is in Port Phillip Bay, I’m sure I’ve told you that before.  It is a large bay, and the city itself is around an hour and a half to two hours to the coast.  In some ways we are very protected in our bay.  Though lots of ships do come in and go out through it.  However, because it is so large there are so many different little bays inside the main bay.  Last Tuesday I got to visit two of them, which I was excited about, as it was also the first chance I had to use my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.

daveys-watkins-bay-melbourne-longexposures1050

The first bay we went to was Davey’s Bay.  There is a little pier there and not much else.  It is quite secluded and very nice. I am glad I went with others as I’m not sure I wouldn’t have found it by myself.

It was a great little spot and perfect to try out the Firecrest 16.  This is  ND Filter, or a Neutral Density filter. The idea of the filter is that it is dark in colour and it stops some of the light going through to the sensor so you can get different exposure times, or rather longer ones.  The darker they are, the longer the exposure.

They are called neutral because they are meant to be neutral in colour, so supposedly they don’t effect the colour of the image when it’s taken.  If you buy cheap ones you will often find they have a colour cast. Though some of the good ones also have them as well, I’ve noticed that my Lee Big Stopper can give a blue cast.

The Firecrest 16 is a 16 stop ND filter, so if my camera says for a normal exposure you will need a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second, then with this filter you could get an exposure of around four minutes.  It means you can get that smooth water and blurry clouds. Most of these images were done with a six minute exposure.

I decided to convert many of the images into monochrome, but to do this I used Silver Efex which is part of the Nik Collection by Google.

I took a lot of images around this area with that filter and got lots of long exposures, before we went to the next bay, Watkins Bay.

daveys-watkins-bay-melbourne-longexposures1059

This area had a few piers, some good, some not.  The bay was so still here, and there really wasn’t any need for the 16 stop ND Filter.  I think I took one photo with it, but then it was getting too dark and the exposure times were getting too long. I did start using the the new ND graduated filters, but used them as full ones rather than as graduated.

I have a gallery for you now, I really like the effect of the filters, and I will be trying some more this weekend.  I hope you have lots of plans for photos this weekend.

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