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Posts tagged ‘processing’

Another Bits and Pieces Post

Today I thought I might just talk to you about things that have happened or will be happening.  The post isn’t about anything special, but there are little things I’ve been meaning to tell you about, but haven’t had a chance so I thought Iscartfair-hpm1569-6

would do this today, I hope you don’t mind.

Website

I thought I would start with my website. I decided to give it an overhaul and thought perhaps I would buy a theme for it, so I did lots of searching and kept coming back to one, Photographer Theme by Organic Themes.  Since purchasing it and downloading the theme, then installing it, I have to say it has been very disappointing.  It is nothing like what was advertised and the instructions are not correct.  It tells me to do things and they don’t seem to be options that are available.  I hope there is an out clause, though knowing my luck there won’t be.  They do have a support system and they will be hearing from me a lot.  So keep an eye on it.

Teaching

Part of the reason for wanting to update my website is because I really want to get into teaching.  Since teaching at Living & Learning Nillumbik I really have discovered how much I love it and how I really want to do more.  I also think if scmallee-hpm8580-9I teach, then I can just take photos of what I want.  I always find it unnerving doing photography for a client.  I don’t mind doing it, but if I could make a career from teaching, then I wouldn’t have to worry about doing that so much.

I will continue doing my short courses at Living & Learning Nillumbik, along with some one off photo walk style ones, but I also want to start doing some of my own.  Planning excursions for people to come out with me to take photos, not so much to teach, but more a social thing.  Of course, if someone has problems I will be there to help them make sure they get images, but if people have no idea what they are doing, then they would need to do my short course first or do a one on one with me.  I know that for many people, they don’t know other people to go out with to take photos, or they can’t think of anywhere to go, so this could be great for people. I do think many women would like this a lot more, safety in numbers so to speak.  I can always make the city, or somewhere like that my central base where we meet.

The One on One Photography Lessons are slowly happening, and I am getting more inquiries all the time.  I do enjoy doing them and love meeting new people.  It is interesting seeing sccity-hpm6648-5what they know and then working out the best way to help them get wonderful images.  I have even had an inquiry from someone on the internet if we could do an online one, and so I am now working out the best way of doing that, and think it could be an interesting approach.  Thanks to Skype I can teach people online.  So online photography courses could be available soon, I hope people will be interested in those.

More recently I have started offering One on One Photo Editing classes as well.  Fantastic way to start to learn, or for people who have some skills but don’t know where to go from there.  I had my first one this last Monday and it was a great success, I think.  The client brought photos that needed to be worked on and we worked out different things in Photoshop that they could use to edit the images.  It was very specific to what her needs were.  She said it was great, and that she is already applying many of those things to the images now.

The next question is can I do it online?  I think the answer has to be yes, there is no reason why I couldn’t do One on One Photo Editing using Skype.  Laura Macky and I skyped each other last week and did a lot of stuff sharing our screens, so I think it is very possible.  So if people are interested they should contact me.

Up for Discussion Posts

scmallee-hpm9256-6I really enjoyed the discussion the other day on colour monitors and there was so much information there for anyone who needs to know about this.  When I started the Up for Discussion Posts I realised that there was the potential there for what happened on Tuesday.  My blog is perfect for that sort of thing and with most of you either experts or beginners, there is no reason why this blog can’t be used to help everyone.  It is definitely something I encourage.  I would love to hear from people who have a problem with something, photography related, that they would like help with.  I have seen it time and time again how generous people can be with their knowledge and how much help they have given me and others.

So if you have something you would like to put up for discussion send me an email and we can talk about it.

I have included images that I have done a lot of processing on.  Though all done in 2012, I don’t think I would change much in them if I did them again.  I will include a gallery of them so you can look at them individually.  I hope you don’t mind the way I put images into the post and then include a gallery.  I put them in the post to break it up a bit.  I know I find lots and lots of writing quite hard to read, but with images in it, well always seems to make it easy.  Weekend coming up, lots of plans, hopefully taking some photos.

Introductions – Laura Macky

Laura Macky and I haven’t known each other for long, but during that time she has become a great friend.  Now we do the Monochrome Madness Challenge together and that has been great too. Emails are always going backwards and forwards.  I know you know her, but I thought you might like to get to know her a little better.  You might say I thought it was time to do one of my introductions posts on her.

cockpit2-webMost of you are aware of her monochrome work.  She picks some great images to do in black and white.  She has a great eye for photographs and it is a joy to look at her work and see what she does.

I asked Laura why she takes photos.

I take photos because my original hobby of being a pianist went by the wayside when I developed nerve damage in my hands and had problems with my right leg which made it hard to pedal the piano.  I missed expressing myself artistically, so I thought perhaps taking pictures might be a good outlet.  I started about four years ago on my first DSLR but in the last year I’ve been more serious about it.  After all, in order to express a myriad of human emotions through the lens of a camera, it takes technical and artistic effort which I’m enjoying trying to improve upon.  I love a challenge!

organ-webPhotographing architecture is something I have a real passion for and I think Laura does too.  I like the way she sees things,  the angles she chooses to photograph things.  It is great seeing all her architectural images.

I asked Laura about inspiration.

One inspiration is my drive to always be better.  I’m that way in general and I try to translate that into developing my skills in photography.  It’s also inspiring when I make a connection with someone else through one of my images in that they are seeing and feeling the same thing I do.  Lastly, there is a lot inspiration gained from the incredible images I see every day here on Word Press. I look at them and wonder how they process their images and try to pay attention to how they see things.  That really helps to open my mind a lot more creatively.

lighthouse3-printLandscape and the natural environment are not something that I am very good at doing, I don’t think, I do love seeing other people photographing this.  I find a lot of inspiration in seeing what other people do, and Laura is no different here.  I love seeing how she photographs the landscape, but also how she processes it.  That is important to me as well.

I asked about her gear and if there was anything special about the way she worked.

I usually try to think of the emotion I feel when I see something through the lens and then I try to convey and enhance that in post processing.  I’m a huge fan of Nik Efex plugins, so I usually use those to fine tune my images.  As for gear, I have a Nikon D7100, three filters, and a few lenses.  I love my little 35mm 1.8 lens and my wide angle as well as my telephoto.

moon2-webI loved seeing the moon images as well.  You know know that it is something I want to do more of, so I was really happy when I was going through her blog and seeing some images with the moon in it.  They are great.

I want to thank Laura for letting me do my introduction post on her.  I would love it if you could visit her blog, Laura Macky, and see how wonderful her work is.  I have a gallery of images for you to look at now. Please enjoy.  I have you have had a great break.

The Ones that Didn’t Make It

Wow, yesterday was a great day for the Monochrome Madness and with so many entries it was fantastic to see how many different images there were.  The MMC has been great for me, I am looking for black and white images everywhere.  I even go out to see if I can shoot one, rather than wondering what I have that I could convert.  This last week, I did more than one image.  I could leave them and show one each week, but then that would take away the challenge of doing an image each week.  So, I thought, I would show you the other images that I had prepared.

LeanneCole-city-5224-bwThis is one of the images I took last Saturday morning when I was the city.  I like the dark sky against the white building.  I did make the sky that dark, it was actually a beautiful blue colour.  It was a pretty gorgeous morning for photos.  You really couldn’t have asked for more.  I do need to head into the city for more early morning photography and with winter coming it should get interesting.

LeanneCole-gerbera-5264With all the talk about Macros and such recently I was reminded that I had a close-up filter for doing this sort of thing.  It is only a +2, but I thought it might be fun to try it on the 70-300mm that I have and see what I came up with.  It was harder to use than I remember and trying to get a shot that was in focus was a lot harder.  I will have to try it on some other lenses as well.

Recently I bought some Gerberas to take photos of, but never did, now they are pretty much dead, so I photographed them.  I like the way flowers go when they die and you get some interesting photos, and they are perfect for black and white.  I like the textures that you get.

LeanneCole-flower-5260I had some other flowers mixed in there as well, they weren’t gerberas, no idea what they are, sorry.  They were the flowers that I photographed with the macro lens when I first got the loaner from Nikon.  They have also died, but I really like the way they just droop like little lanterns.  Something very delicate about them.  I tried to bring out that delicateness while I was processing them.

Some fun, I am enjoying playing with black and white images.  It isn’t as straight forward as I thought, and you can do a lot to them.

I’m going away for the weekend with my girls, back up to the Mallee, so I am hoping to get a lot of images from there that will look great as monochrome images.  I will put the images into a gallery so you can see them individually.

The Same Sort of Theme

Since this week we seem to have been looking at Black and White Images, I thought I would go through the images I took up in the Mallee and see if I could find some more that would make good Black and White images.  Though I suspect I did the best ones the other day.  I don’t know, I couldn’t seem to make these ones work.  It could have been because I was tired, but you take a look and see what you think.  I will put them in a gallery for you.

Some of them you have seen before, so if you want to go back and see the originals you can.  They aren’t completely black and white and there is a little colour in all of them, but I do like that and think it adds to them, but I have to admit one thing I am learning is to be careful about which colour.

Short post today.  Getting ready for a cooler weekend, and hopefully a chance to get out and take more photos, or work in the garden, not sure which just yet.  Take care everyone.

It isn’t Always Black and White

sccemetery-7919Yesterday I did some photos in Black and White and added a touch of colour.  It was a fun process to do and I think the images came out well.  I know there are many people in photography that think black and white is the only way to go, there are others who think most images look better in black and white, then there are some of us who think it depends on the image.

I am not going to get into an argument about what is best, it is purely a personal thing.  However, having said that, I know there are many images that could be great black and white images, but due to the processing they aren’t.  Again, I know this can be a very personal thing, so all I can do is talk about what I think.  You can all have your say in the comments section.

Today I had a comment from someone wanting to know about how I did the photos yesterday.  It was an interesting comment, and I remembered that I had done posts on this in the past.  I did a tutorial on doing Black and White photos in GIMP, Black and White in GIMP – My Way and then I did one on Black and White Conversions.  It is a very subjective subject and I thought I might tackle it again, especially since I sccres-hpm5786-7wrote the latter over two years ago.

I think black and white images can be very dramatic, but they can also be boring, and it really depends on your subject matter.  I have always felt that your subject matter should determine which images should be made into monotone or duotone images.  Does it enhance the image more, if the colour is gone does the image miss something?  There are so many questions, but you have to answer those. In the end it is your image and has to be what you want.

However, having said that, there are still ways of taking a photo that would be great in black and white and then making it look horrible.  When I wrote the article on conversions it was because I was seeing so many black and white images on the scbarwon-8016-se1internet that had a lot of potential, but they hadn’t been processed right.

Many cameras now can take black and white images for you, it is not something I have ever done.  I like to take all my photos in colour, and then decide once I get them on the computer if I will make them black and white.  I like to have that choice, but I know many photographers that just shoot in B&W, again it is a personal choice.

Once the image is on the computer there are many ways to make it black and white. You can convert it to grey scale (if you do this, you won’t be able to use colour in the image, unless you save it, then convert it back to RGB), you can completely desaturate your image, or if you have Photoshop you can use the black and white adjustment layer.  I like the last option because then you have the choice to play with the tones of each colour, not sure that is the right way of putting it.

There is something that a lot people do to their images, or don’t do, and that is lookscbarwonheads-hpm8063-1sep1 at the contrast.  The contrast is the different between the darks and lights in your images, or the black and whites and everything in between.

When I started photography, I started with black and white, and developed my own films, and then printed them.  I converted my laundry into a darkroom that could only be used at night.  It worked, and I spent many evenings in there working on my images.  I was given some advice from another photographer that said, “make sure there is a black in your image, and there is a white.  He suggested using a piece of white paper and a piece of black to help make sure I had those.  It is good to also have the greys in between.

LeanneCole-ocean-ant4173You don’t want the image to be just black and white, that would be horrible, but you want a range of tones from black to white.  When I was at art school and drawing, I can remember my lecturers telling me that my drawings had no contrast, I didn’t know what they were talking about, now I do, the drawings had no darks, and they were very grey.  I worked it out eventually and my drawings got a lot better.

Photography is the same, if you don’t have that contrast, the images can look washed out if there are no blacks, or too dark if there are no whites.  It is a good thing to remember.

So how do you like your black and white images?  What is your favourite subject for those images?  Lastly, what do you use to process them?

Here is a little gallery of the images if you want a better look at them.

 

Sometimes You Have to Play

After doing the post yesterday on Mark Simms I found myself inspired by his black and white images and the touch of colour in them.  I have been sitting on the images that I took up in the Mallee, thinking about what I could with them, then I thought maybe I should try making them black and white and adding a touch of colour.

LeanneCole-woomelang-20140125-7295-bwI played around with the highlights and the colours in the images.  It was an interesting thing to do.  I don’t do a lot of black and white. I have struggled with the idea of doing black and white, as I don’t always know which images to use.  I don’t believe every image is better in monotones, but some can be.

It would be easy to just convert them, but I wanted more control than that.  I have the Nik software silver efex, and was going to use that, but in the end I just used Photoshop.

LeanneCole-yaapeet-20140125-8090-bwI also wondered how the fire photos would turn out, so I played with a couple from Yaapeet.  I don’t know if I have added drama to them, but I actually quite like them. When I converted them to black and white I played with the colours again, and lightened some, darkened some.  I really love how the tree came out.

I am not going to go through each one individually, but instead will put the five images I did into a gallery so you can see each one on its own.

A Different Way of Looking at the Shearing Shed

It has been a pretty heavy week for blog posts, that is two posts about subjects that we all feel strongly about. I thought for today I would just work on some photos and have a light day so to speak.

The image I choose to work on was one I took of the old shearing shed in Woomelang when I was last up there.  You have seen the image before, and I’m not going to show it to you again right now.  So here are two versions of it for you.

- click on the images above to see them on their own.

The first one is I played with a lot, trying some different things.  The second is the first one processed with Silver Efex with the Nik Collection.  I haven’t been playing with that a lot lately and it was nice to use an image in it.  The only thing with the second one was that I didn’t like it completely black and white, so I let a little bit of the colour come through.  I think a real black and white image misses the point, the colour of the shed.

I don’t know how I feel about these images, I am a little on the fence about them.  I liked them when I did them yesterday, but waking up with fresh eyes, not so sure.

We have a lot more hot days coming again, not as bad as last time, but still enough to be so annoying.  I suppose it will be a good time for me to be working on my photos and checking out some new things.  I am so glad we got the air conditioner  fixed.  Keep cool if you are in Australia, and keep warm if you are north of the Equator.

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