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Posts tagged ‘Photos’

Up for Discussion – Combining Film and Digital Images

When I put the call out for people to guest blog I received an email from R.C. Fountain from the blog, THE WORLD IN TWILIGHT  , saying “I’d like to write a post about some sample methods of marrying film with digital techniques, e.g. compositing a digital image with a film image.” I thought it sounded like an interesting idea, we often don’t think of combining both, so I have been looking forward to hearing what he does. 

The Frankenphoto: Fusing Analog and Digital

When I was a boy, I looked at the world through squinted eyes. I closed those eyes to mere slits so that only a faint line of light and moving shadow remained to show the world. It was a filter that lended itself to dreams and one that I still occasionally find myself applying in order to recall those fantasies of my youth. And I sometimes use it to create new ones.

My fellow photographers, I have a revelation: it’s a mysterious universe no matter your age. Powers exist that we shall never fully know: truths that would overwhelm us because they are too grand and wonderful. There are enigmas right around the corner that we will never solve, fancies that will remain larger in our minds than the actual facts. And the artist whose vision is shaped by the unknown has a task that compels her creative faculties to rise to the task of making a story in pictures.

 

House Side View

 

The target of that creative impulse can rapidly and unexpectedly present itself. Not far from where I now live is an old boarded-up house. Its inhabitants are long dead and the current owner, for the present, has left it for time to try its teeth on. I was naturally drawn to the rotting bulk; for, laying aside the fact that I’m an armchair history buff and lover of all things old, the structure seemed to stare at me. And technical application rapidly followed imagination.

As photographers we’re often pushing ourselves to improve our craft in the name of our own vision. This means not only making each image a bit better than the one before, but learning techniques that might be wholly new to us. But if this sounds too much like slogging toil, take heart! There’s no reason it can’t be a lot of fun.

Half-and-half

One day a little web surfing led me to discover the world of cheap plastic cameras. Their unpredictable results contrasted so sharply with the precision of the digital world, I knew I had to try them out. But I still love the fine control the modern DSLR gives. So I wondered what might be produced if the two were somehow married to one another.

Old House Digital

The first step I took was to capture the house digitally, precisely. It was during magic hour and I brought out my trusty Canon 7D. Because I’m often a stickler for the moist noiseless digital images I can get, I chose ISO 100. The light was so abundant that even with an aperture of f/16 I was able to handhold the camera with a shutter speed of 1/200. A few Photoshop effects later and stage 1 was complete.

A few months later, winter had set in and I found myself driving by that selfsame house. I decided I wanted to take the shot again, but in a more candid, unplanned manner. I had a Diana F+ with me, known for its unpredictable results. I snapped another shot and produced a modern day Polaroid with an “instant back” attachment filled with ISO 400 Fuji Instax film with exposure settings of f/22 for aperture and shutter speed of 1/60.

Old House Diana

Remember when I mentioned I often looked at the world through slitted eyes? After looking at both photos, the analog and the digital side by side, I began to remember all those stories I ever read about hyper-reality, dream worlds, and the unknowable universe from the pen of every writer of the fantastic and inspirational from Lewis to Lovecraft. I interlaced my fingers and decided to form a composite where the house itself stood out amid a soft and hazy backdrop.

What followed was a fairly simply operation. After scanning the polaroid and bringing both shots into Photoshop, I used the polaroid image as my starting point and created a new layer. In this layer I placed the digital representation and used a soft eraser tool to remove all but the house itself. By the way, It’s important to note that both the shots needed to be taken at roughly the same angle or this composite would not have worked.

Once the digital house was rotated and dragged over its analog counterpart, I flattened the image and added a few minor effects, such as non-destructive vignetting, to put a bow on the project. I was rather pleased with the final result.

House Hybrid Photo

Does anybody remember that old Jonny Quest cartoon from the sixties? When I was little, I caught that show in syndication and saw the episode where a scientist on a desert island accidentally gave birth to a monster with his experiments. Lying in the ruins of his lab he cried out, “What have I created?”

In a way, I suppose that the resulting “frankenphoto” is a little risky. It’s not what most would call tack-sharp, and it’s not purist to either digital or analog camps. But I tend to laugh at the elitists of both factions; to paraphrase Jared Polin, don’t let anyone tell you what is and what isn’t a “proper” photograph.

Occasionally I find my eyes wandering back to this picture, and I let my mind take its own trip along imagination’s paths. And the deep voice of the dramatic reader Wayne June growls in my ears, speaking of a place that Poe passed by, not noticing what was in the corner of his own vision…

“And yet that house, to the two persons in possession of certain information, equals or outranks in horror the wildest phantasy of the genius who so often passed it unknowingly, and stands starkly leering as a symbol of all that is unutterably hideous.” (H.P. Lovecraft, “The Shunned House”)

There’s probably no vampiric entity in this house’s basement. But I have a few friends who understand how my mind works and who give me that knowing smile when they see my eyes settling on a crumbling building. I think they’d be disappointed if I didn’t start to imagine a weird and hidden history for a nameless house.

But then again, it is a mysterious universe after all. Who knows? Squint your eyes with me. Maybe it’s not in your imagination…

Thank you RC and if any of you would like to find him and more of his work, here are the links:

Website: THE TWILIT LENS

Blog: THE WORLD IN TWILIGHT

I am going to put the above images and a couple of extras in a gallery for you now.

 

MM31 – Monochrome Madness 31

What a week, I don’t know how it has been for you, but it has been such a busy for me, hence sending no reply emails to all the entries we have had this week. Monochrome Madness is a fairly big one this week, well so far, so I hope you enjoy it. Let’s move on to the madness.

nyahwest-towanplains-salt-pan-afternoon

This is one of the images I took during the workshop last Saturday. I really like the way the sun is hitting the water and salt that is laying on the ground on top of the mud.  The ground was very damp and we had to be so careful where we stood.  There was a yellow tinge to the original image, so I added the same tinge to the image once it was black and white.

mmcsucculent-2

Laura Macky has sent through her image this week and to find out more about it you can go to her blog, LAURA MACKY and look at her post Tucked Away – Monochrome Madness.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Weekend Wanderings – Snapping the City in the Dark

Last Sunday I went into the city for another Social Snappers Photography Excursion for a night photography session. We met at the MCG at 6pm, ended up at Flinders Street Station, and finished around 9.30. The idea was that we would start on the bridge that goes over the train lines, photograph the city from there, then slowly make our way along Birrarung Marr and end up at Flinders Street Station, or near there, to photograph car trails. I knew the area from riding a bike a few years ago, but I had never tried to photograph it, so it was new for me too.

train-lines-city-dusk

The plan had been to try and get the sunset, but by the time we got there it was pretty much over, I think it was because there were no clouds.  One day, I will get it.  It was a beautiful clear night so we couldn’t complain about that.  Being a Sunday night also meant that there weren’t many trains.

melbourne-city-night-photography-socialsnappers-403

So from there we started walking to the city.  There are paths and they are quite well lit, so it wasn’t hard to find our way. I think the most curious thing was that so many people wanted to know what we were shooting, or why we were taking photos.  I think seeing a group of women out taking photos is not something people see every day, it is something that I hope to change.

melbourne-city-night-photography-socialsnappers-405

This is the Birrarung Marr bridge.  It helps link the city with the MCG.  The MCG is one of our major sports arenas, possibly Melbourne’s oldest.  If you know about Melbourne, you would know how sports mad this city is.  The photos we got from here were wonderful, but it was an area that drove us insane. They have speakers on this bridge that play music, like folk ditties and stuff, and they have more than one going at a time.  It is horrible.  You can’t hear anything, and, well, you just want to enjoy the sounds of the area, but no, you have to listen to a whole bunch of songs and music playing at the same time.  Please Melbourne, turn off the music.

melbourne-city-night-photography-socialsnappers-411

This is a massive sculptural piece that is by the river.  It used to be in front of the National Gallery of Victoria, but was moved a few years ago. Not an easy piece to photograph.  There are too many things in the way, rubbish bins, bright lights.

flinders-street-station-car-trails

Finally, we went back into the city, where we all had fun taking photos of the car trails.  This is an iconic image and most people want to get it.  Every time I go and take photos here there are always lots of other photographers there as well. It wasn’t as busy as it normally is. Sunday night probably had a lot to do with it, but it was nice to get more photos.  The above photo is another stacked image, I can’t remember how many, I think around 20.

It was a very good evening.  One of the women that came along has said that she was feeling a bit shy, and was worried about doing this sort of thing, but she said that I gave her lots of information and that she learned a lot.  Her tripod broke and we had to share mine, which was fine.  She started using a lunch box to support her camera which, surprisingly, worked rather well.  I had so much fun, and I can’t wait to do more of these excursions.  I really think Social Snappers is such a great idea, it is good to go out with a group of women and just enjoy taking photos.

I’m running behind today, I was out all afternoon photographing Lake Albacutya, and then last night doing the milky way at Jonesy’s Bush Retreat.  Today, I’m off to Nyah West for my workshop on landscape and night photography, that should also be really good.  So for now, I have a gallery of images from last Sunday.  I hope your weekend is good and you get lots of chances to take photos.

 

MM30 – Monochrome Madness 30

When someone sent me an email with MM30, I was slightly shocked, 30 weeks already.  It seems to hard to believe that we have done that many, so in real terms for me, that means I have made 30 monochrome images that I otherwise wouldn’t have.  I think that is fantastic, so thank you everyone who sends images, to everyone who looks at the images, to everyone who comments, really to everyone who supports this series, I really appreciate it.

apollo-bay-fishing-traps-harbour

For MM30 this week I thought I would try these cray pots that I saw stacked up in Apollo Bay.  I had thought of doing another one once before, but I liked the colour version better.  I decided this time to just do it and get rid of the colour quickly, you know, before I had a chance to change my mind about it.  I don’t mind it, I think the monochrome version is nice, though now I’m starting to wonder if shouldn’t have added a sepia tone or something like that.  Mm, maybe another day.

countryride

Laura Macky has sent me her image and if you want to find out more about it, then please go to her blog, Laura MackyOn The Road Again – Monochrome Madness

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

 

Up for Discussion – Instagram

When I put the call out for guest bloggers David from Blinded by Light put up his hand and suggested doing one on Instagram.  I thought it was a great idea.  It is a form of social media and one that many of us use.  I love playing with, but after looking at his post, I can see I don’t use it well, or nearly enough.  So take a look and see if you do.

To Instagram or Not To Instagram?

Let me just start this off with a short story, so lend me an ear (or two).  A couple of months ago, I showed the photos on my blog to one of my friends, who replied with, “Dude, I bet you’d have a really sick Instagram”.  Questionable language aside, I instinctively mentally scoffed and recoiled.  All I said was “oh, I don’t use Instagram”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I was actually thinking in my head was “Instagram?? Of course I don’t use Instagram, as if it was some sort of bizarre insult.  I realise that I’m quite stubborn with my views on some things, but I am quite aware of it and I like to think that usually I have a reason for them.  In this case, I guess that for a long time, I’d neatly pigeonholed Instagram into the category of ‘casual photography’.  I thought that it was a place only for photos of cats and dogs and food, all taken with smartphones.

In a way, I think at some point I considered that Instagram and its filters somehow cheapened the art of photography.  This is absolute pretentious rubbish, obviously, but I do have my “back on my day” moments, despite not being that old.  I have been called a 1000-year old man before… Besides, I thought that anyone who’s a serious photographer (and has serious equipment) uses Flickr, right?  Well, and 500px if you’re really good, I guess.  I’d already been using Flickr for my old film/toycam photos on-and-off for years, so Instagram didn’t factor into the general scheme of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthings.

As I said, I’m a stubborn, stubborn man, so I held that view for a very, very, very long time.  Not until my partner Tiff started using it did I even think about using it again and even then it took a lot of convincing.  She picked up Instagram as an adjunct to her knitting/sewing/craft/life blog, so it didn’t seem super relevant to me initially, since I neither knit, sew nor craft.  I guess I do partake in a bit of living on a day-to-day basis, though.

The point is, one day Tiff was telling me that Instagram is super fun and that I should post my photos on there too.  I raised the above points to her, thinking I was making very valid points, but then she proceeded to show me a series of amazing photos on Instagram.  That sure showed me!  I was genuinely surprised to see photos taken using everything ranging up to 5D Mark III.  I started to use it, slowly, but I wasn’t really sure how to use it properly, alongside my blog.  Since then, I’ve OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeen Instagramming my old photos, along with ones I don’t think are quite good enough for blogging purposes.  Turns out Tiff was right – Instagram is a hoot.

Instagram didn’t invent the hashtag system (as far as I know, anyway), but it really does make it easier for you to find specific themes, as well as making it easier for others to find your photos.  I haven’t been using Instagram for that long, but I’ve already had the local museum and university alumni contact me and repost my photos on their own Instagram and Facebook pages.  I’m not making any money from them (I’m not looking to), but it’s great validation that people actually like my photos.

Don’t forget about Flickr

I do still very much like to use Flickr, but it was never really the same after Yahoo bought them out way all those years ago.  It might be just me, but I find the site irritatingly difficult to navigate.  It’s not that it’s actually challenging, but it just feels like it’s harder than it should be to find whatOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA E-P5you want to look at.  For example, I still haven’t figured out how to browse a list of the groups without typing in a search term.  In saying that, I’m nowhere near a professional level and I’m taking photos purely for fun.  I know that the pros are able to leverage Flickr to find work, so I know that the Flickr community is alive and thriving.  It’s become a place where I occasionally bulk upload my photos, not all of which end up making it onto my blog.

Other social media networks:

I’ve focussed on Flickr and Instagram so far for obvious reasons, but we shouldn’t forget about the other heavyweight social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

In my mind, Facebook was the first of the big-hitting social media sites.  While I don’t use it for photography, it’s easy to see how it could be a staple for anyone serious about their photography.  It’s an easy way to interact with your fans, secret admirers, clients, what-have-you.  Plus, most OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApeople use Facebook in some form already anyway.

Twitter is one service I’ve never quite figured out, so I can’t really help you here.  I guess tweeting links to your posts could work as an easy way to reach out to more people

Google+ is an interesting one.  I was one of the first to jump on the Google+ bandwagon, though I wasn’t hopeful that it would ever get anywhere.  Since then, it seems Google has bet big on it, rolling it into a lot of their services.  Some might say they’ve integrated it a bit too much, but that’s a discussion for a different article.  It seems to have carved a niche for itself though, lying somewhere between Twitter and Facebook.  It seems like its become a nice way to follow sites/brands/people you like, while still maintaining a way to interact with them.  Additionally, by setting up your own Google Plus page might also have the possible additional benefit of search engine optimisation.  No-one knows the search algorithms employed by the servers at Google, but it can’t hurt to have more hits to your name.

At the end of the day, social media sites should be viewed as additional avenues for us to reach out to more people.  My initial reaction to Instagram was just my stubbornness and arrogance showing through, more than anything else.  What I love about photography is that it doesn’t discriminate and it breaks down barriers.  A powerful image can convey a range of themes and feelings, without a single word, and that’s something that can be achieved with any equipment and through any outlet.

 

David.
Blog: Blinded By Light
Flickr: Blinded By Light
Instagram: @blinded_by_light

David has given us all his links above, I will have to make sure I am following him.  My Instagram is in the side panel, but I may have to see if I can start using it for other photos besides what I take with my phone.  

I hope you will all thank David for me, I think this a great post.  I think he is answering the comments, so any questions, David will answer them.  Thanks David.  I also have a gallery with some more images.  

 

 

MM29 – Monochrome Madness 29

Another week of madness in monochrome is here.  Lots of great entries again, and I want to start the post this week with an apology.  I haven’t responded to the emails as they have come in this week, I hope you don’t mind, but with our internet being so slow, though back now, it has been crazy on the internet.  Though I think I might stop emailing people back, if you are uncertain of something, then please ask, but for majority of submissions, I will just put them in the MM folder.  Anyway, on with MM29.

melbourne-zoo-pygmy-hippo-monochrome

I know it isn’t a great image, but sometimes, well, you just have to laugh, and the nose of the Pygmy Hippo definitely makes me laugh.  It was taken at the zoo when I was there for a Social Snappers excursion, and you have to photograph this guy from behind glass.  So you get the distortions of the glass too.  How would you like to smooch with this guy?

windowpanes2

Laura Macky has joined us again this week with this fantastic image, remember if you would like to know more about her image, then go to her blog, Laura Macky.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

MM28 – Monochrome Madness 28

Another week of Monochrome Madness, yet another great week of images and lots of them.  However, first, I wanted to say something, a few people have been confused about the theme of the colour image looking monochrome, I just wanted to let people we aren’t doing that anymore, it was just something special for our six month anniversary. We are back to our usual black and white or monochrome images now.

sorrento-beach-waves-blurred-monochrome

This week I thought I would play with some beach scenes of water crashing on the sand.  I saw Bryn Forbes images of the waves and I did some shots and after I got them on the computer I realised my shutter speed was a little slow, but I liked how they looked.  I had to crop the images a lot, but this one seemed to work the best, and I have done some other work on it as well.

Laura Macky sends her apologies this week, she is trying to ease her way back into a photo routine, so we hope she has a good week.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

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