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Posts tagged ‘processing’

Quiet Thursday’s: Tea and Packing Up

Today is going to be a busy day, ahead of an even busier weekend. I’m off to Jan Juc for the weekend with Chris from sv-takeiteasy. We have star trails, long exposures, and well lots of photos to take. We are going to try going further and seeing what we can get. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It should be good though. Lots of photos. I’m hoping we can get back to the lighthouse at Airey’s Inlet as well.

I haven’t been putting up a lot of photos on Social Media this week. I got distracted trying to get my computer fixed, which it seems to be now. I turned it off last night and this morning it turned back on no problems.  I still have the high resolution that I was meant to get with my monitor, so all good really. Good to get the computer all going properly.

For the photos today I am going to show you one I did do and put up.


I spent quite a bit of time on this image.There were so many reflections in the window and it was hard. Of course it isn’t really this dark, but I wanted to concentrate on all the cakes. I haven’t done an image like this for a long time, and it was good to just play and see what I could get. I think I spent all morning on it.

Of course, what would the Tea Rooms window be without all the cakes. So I apologize if this makes you hungry. I do love photographing this window. As I said before the reflections were really bad and I took my polarizer with me. I put it on, but I couldn’t really see that it was making any difference to them. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing with it. Hopefully the cakes just stand out.

I’m off, I will leave you with a gallery now. I hope you have a quieter day that I think I’m going to have.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.

Quiet Thursdays: The Macro World

The weather last weekend was shocking, we had lots and lots of rain.  Don’t get me wrong, the rain was good, but not good for taking photos.  After using my macro lens again recently I’ve really got back into  macro and am having a lot fun taking photos with it and then processing them.

I’m trying to keep experimenting on the macro images, like the ones I did for the International Flower and Garden Show.  I am trying to refine it more and work out what I want with them.  I do like where they are going.  I will continue to keep experimenting.

The other day I took the Tamron 150-600mm that I have on loan from Maxwell International Australia back to the Melbourne Zoo and was taking photos.  As we headed to the gorilla enclosure we walked around the corner and there in front of us was Kimya and her baby. She has a name name and is being called Kanzi. She was sitting on a hill eating.  I quickly got some photos then, as I was doing that, she climbed down and within a couple of minutes she was gone. I got a nice image of the new baby, so I thought I would share it with you today.


I will leave you there with the image of mother and daughter. I’m out and about again today.  Some busy days ahead.  Think I will leave next week very free.  I hope you get some quiet time.

Starting the Year as I Plan to Finish

Happy New Year

It is the first of January as this post publishes, and I no doubt will be fast asleep, well I hope I am.

In the last 12 months I have concentrated on learning things and trying some things.  In between I did a few art images. Admittedly the year started badly with a bad back that meant I couldn’t sit for very long and wouldn’t able to spend a lot of time working on images.  As the year progressed I still didn’t do many, but it is something that I want to get back to.  Robyn’s One Four Challenge was great to help me get back into it and realised that perhaps I should be doing more.  So I am hoping to do a lot more of this next year.  It is something I love doing a lot. My back is so much better now and it is much easier to sit for longer periods of time.

I have gone through this blog and the one on my website and found images that I have enjoyed processing.  Some you have seen, some you may not.  Funny when I look at them now, they are nearly all architectural, I had really noticed that before.

Be careful with the celebrations, but I hope you all have a great evening bringing in the new year.

Quiet Thursdays

I really look forward to Thursdays, it means Monochrome Madness is done for another week and I can just relax, or play with some photos on the computer, which is what I have been doing.  Actually I did more of it yesterday.  I like seeing what I can get.


I’m afraid it is not a very exciting image.  It is the doorway to ANZAC House in Collins Street in the city of Melbourne.  I took this image one Sunday during a Social Snappers Photography Excursion.  I do love the opportunities I get to take photos on these excursions.  My photography catalog has grown so much because of them.  I know I go on about them a lot, but I do want them to be successful. Funny how people in Melbourne are so hard to find.

Oh well, back to the image.  I’ve been trying a few things, incorporating some old techniques and then looking at some new ones.  Trying to decide what I want to be important in an image.  I am happy with quite a few aspects, and glad that I finally found some time to try them out.  I know I will have more time in the weeks to come with things winding down for Christmas and January is often a slow time for me.

I have also done a great deal of work on another image for Stacy’s AB Friday, but you will have to wait around 36 hours to see it, and it will be on my other blog.  You will also be able to see most of the entries on Stacy’s blog, Visual Venturing, again, you will have to wait for Friday where Stacy is.

I plan on taking it easy for the rest of the day, I hope you can too.

Quiet Thursday’s – AB Fridays

For today’s post I thought I might highlight another challenge that has been going on, some of you know about it, others not, but the challenge is being held over on Stacy’s blog, Visual Venturing.  The challenge is called After-Before Friday, the idea being you show a before image and then the after.  The results can be great.  You put the images on your blog, and send them to Stacy where she puts them up in a post on Fridays. I’ve done it a few times, but over on my other blog.  I thought it would be nice to show some support and do it here this time.


This is my before photo, it is one I took last Sunday at the Docklands.  I see this building all the time when I catch the train, and I’ve tried photographing it before, with mixed results.  I love how it sits, the layers of the floors and the vertical lines in the glass.  It is an interesting building.  So I wanted to take some images of it, especially with the crane reflected in the glass, there is always new things going up around Melbourne.

I never have any idea what I will do to an image until I start playing with it. So I started playing and a couple of hours later I had this.


I put in a new sky and gave it some blur.  I tried to bring out the glass in the building.  I darkened parts and lit some up more. I saturated some parts, and desaturated others.  I tried to bring the focus to where I wanted it to be.  I hope you can see the difference, according to my daughter there isn’t much difference.  I like the change, I like how the building comes out.

If you are interested in being involved in Stacy’s challenge, then check out the After-Before Friday Forum where you can find a list of other weeks, and more importantly you can find out how to participate and what you need to do.  I hope you will read them better than me, sorry Stacy, I should have read it more closely.

The next AB Friday is tomorrow, well it is Friday here, and if you want to see what is happening you can go to Stacy’s blog, Visual Venturing.  For now the link is just to her blog, but as soon as I know it is published on Friday I will change the link. Here is the link to the actual page, After-Before Friday Week 27

Thanks Stacy for another great challenge.


Up for Discussion – Architectural Photography

My turn this week.  I have been trying to work out all week what I would discuss with you, I mean what could I possibly talk about?  I went through lots of ideas, copyright, critiquing images, something about blogging, and then I remembered my friend from a week ago telling me how she didn’t know how to photograph architecture.  So here we are on a Friday and I thought I would tell you something about photographing architecture, well I hope I can.

Architectural Photographyscchambers-5hpm7601-5

This has been my favourite type of photography, but for the last year I haven’t been doing a lot of it.  I think the new camera and learning to use my lenses in different ways has been partly responsible for that, but just recently, and with some reminders from other people, I’ve decided I should get back into it.

There are lots of different ways of photographing architecture.  Open any newspaper and you will see lots of pages of images of houses for sale and the real estate images.  Real estate images are about getting images of houses that are representations of what is there.  They try to show a house at its best to help sell it.  There isn’t a lot of scope for doing anything different.

Nothing wrong with that sort of photography, it just isn’t something that I have been interested in.  I like to do something different with my architectural images. I am more into fine art images of scmu2-4hpm2487-7-3architecture.  I like to try and get some mood or drama into an image.

When I look at buildings I like to find old ones, and ones that have some sort of character. Not that it is a hard and fast rule, I do occasionally find newer buildings that I also find interesting. When I am out and about I will photograph everything and anything that I think might be interesting.  It is rare when I am out taking photos that I find something straight away that I know I will want to do more processing too.

I don’t have particular angles that I go for.  I try everything.  I might show you one image, of a building, but I might have taken about 50 images of that same building.  When I have a building in front of me I try every angle I can think of.  I will photograph it from across the road, right in front of it.  I will try to the right, to the left.  I will try photographing the whole building.

LeanneCole-inverleighhotel-20130924-5936_4hpm-3Once I have all the angles for the whole building then I start looking for details.  Buildings are something that I have that I have always enjoyed looking at the details of, though I haven’t tended to look at really small parts, but rather parts that I think will tell part of the story.

When I get an opportunity I do like doing the inside of buildings as well.  Especially older buildings that have been, either kept in their original state, or restored to it.  I find those sorts of buildings have more of a story and you can get more from them.

I know a lot of photographers who do architecture will spend a lot of time taking photos in different light, use their tripod, or use tilt-shift lenses, but I don’t do any of that.  I will use the tripod for indoors, and only use it outdoors if the lighting is bad and I can’t get shots with low ISO.

For me the magic starts to happen when I get home and put the photos on the computer.  I never really know which one I will work on.  I go through the sccity-3hpm0031-2images and mark my favourites and then one will often stand out and I begin.  I try not to have any preconceived idea of what the final image will look like.  I have found in the past that I usually just end up disappointed when that happens. So I just go for it, try things, delete, or go back, go forward and I just keep going until I think I am happy with an image.

When I work on images I’m not always trying to get a true or accurate image of the building.  I try to provoke something more like, I don’t quite know, a feeling, maybe or drama, I have always like the idea of putting some theatre into my images.  I like to give the building a story I suppose.

I like to change the lighting, manipulate it, and put the focus where I want it to be.  It is a hard thing to describe, it is just something I do.  I know that doesn’t help, but when you don’t have a client and are just doing it for yourself, it means that you can do whatever you like to the image.  Experimentation is the key and just trying things.  I will often replace the sky to get the one I want, and I do a lot more manipulation as well.  It is my image and I will do what I want, I will try everything, delete most, but keep going.

So that is basically how I do architecture.  There is no real plan or goals, I just shoot and work with what I have.

laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromeI have some videos that I have done over on my other blog if you are interested in looking at how I do them.  They are sped up, but give you an idea of what I do.  Here are the links,

The Before, then the After, and some of the Inbetween

The Old Shearing Shed in Woomelang

Taking a Look at Another Image While Being Processed

I might try doing some more too on just a straight image process.

I think that about rounds it up on how I go about photographing architecture, I hope it gave you some idea of what I do.

Guest Posting

I am always open to having people guest post, so if you are interested, then send me an email, my contact are here.  The discussion needs to be about photography, or blogging.  I don’t mind it being about blogging, but obviously being a photography blog, photography is best.  You can go through the archives to see what has already been done, and maybe you can give a different point of view to that.

If you are interested, then please send me an email and I will send you the guidelines. Please take note that I don’t pay people to guest post and I want accept posts that are advertising of any sort.




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