Tag Archives: image

Link Roundup 01-19-2008

PROJECTS

  • Revisit and Retouch
    CameraPorn
    There’s not much time left on this one, but you still have a chance to get in on it. Inspired by a previous Epic Edits project, Ryan is asking his readers to process a photo from his archives. So give it a shot, I’m curious to see what other people come up with. I’m still working on my entry.

READING MATERIAL

  • Are 14-bit Raw Images Really Any Better Than 12-bit Raw?
    Earthbound Light
    From the earliest days of raw file capture with digital cameras, they have always been 12-bits per pixel. Now both the Nikon D300 and D3, as well as the Canon 40D can do 14-bit raw captures. But since 14-bit files are bigger, are they really any better?
  • DIY Flash and Lighting Hacks for Digital Photographers
    digital Photography School
    Most of us can’t afford a full lighting rig – however what if there was a way to experiment with the type of lighting gear that pro photographers use without spending too much money? What if you could make it yourself.
  • “Best Photos From 2007″ by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers
    JMG-Galleries
    29 photographers from around the globe show off their self-chosen best photos from the year of 2007.
  • A Proposal for the Creative Commons
    Dan Heller’s Photography Business Blog
    A proposal to require CC-users to register themselves, thus adding a layer of trust (and complexity) to the whole system.
  • Saving About $50 On a Bounce Flash
    Digital ProTalk
    David shows us a neat little DIY project for flash lighting accessories.
  • How to Create Bokeh in Your Photos
    Beyond Megapixels
    Great introduction and overview for working with and achieving bokeh (background blur).
  • Guitars for Sale
    The Image Crucible
    A well-done critique of one of my photos… though, it’s not exactly one of my better photos (the critic chose it, not me). Regardless, I’ve been reading the Image Crucible for several weeks now, and the author does a VERY good job at providing a well thought out and informative critique.
  • Video of the Week — Sorry, no video this week.

Forgotten Fortress

Forgotten Fortress

Brian Auer | 08/04/2007 | Santa Monica, CA | 157mm * f/2.8 * 1/30s * ISO400
[Buy Prints] [Buy Rights] [See it at Flickr]

This one was taken on the beach at Santa Monica in the summer of 2007 during a group Photowalk. The light of day was fading, and the beach was fairly empty. I saw this little sand fortress (complete with swimming pool) and the bucket that was used to make it. The scene kind of struck me as interesting because of the bucket laying there abandoned and the handle detached off in the background. It had a solemn mood about it, so I snapped a few shots as I made my way down the beach.

Forgotten Fortress Post-Processing

  1. In-Camera JPEG
    As you can see, the bright green bucket is probably what first caught my eye.
  2. Processed RAW
    This is unusual for me, but I did a ton of processing in Adobe Camera Raw. I converted to black and white, adjusted my exposure options, adjusted my curves, added a warming tone, and finally added vignette. I’m not sure if I like this method of processing because it leaves me back at ground zero if I want to make some tweaks. Maybe I should start saving the XMP settings for each file… Or is there an easier way to do this?
  3. Curves Adjustment
    Once in Photoshop, I just applied a curves adjustment layer with an “S” curve to bump the contrast and give it a bit more saturation.
  4. Sharpening
    I sharpened the lightness channel in LAB mode using the unsharp mask at 75%, 1.5 pixels, and a threshold of 0.

Enjoy!

Organize – Getting to Grips with Image Management

A note from Brian: This is a special guest post by our friend Neil Creek. I’ve been following his photography and his blog for quite some time, and I’m thrilled to have him share his knowledge of photography with a guest post series here on Epic Edits.

Part 1 – Introduction

Getting to grips with image management

Digital photography’s greatest strength can be a problem. Fast, easy and cheap photos help you to learn faster, and you’re never afraid to waste a shot, but very quickly you can end up with hundreds or thousands of photos. A strategy to sort, store and retrieve your photos is essential if you want to get the most out of them.

In this short series I will discuss my experience handling tens of thousands of images accumulated over more than four years of intense photography. The solutions covered are not perfect, and won’t be ideal for everyone. However, they helped me turn an unmanageable mess of images into an organized archive, from which I can quickly and easily find almost any image I want. There is lots of room for improvement, and I expect to hear some interesting suggestions and techniques from readers who respond to this series of posts. So please don’t take my word as gospel, but instead glean and adapt what knowledge you can to organize your own collection.

FOLLOW THIS SERIES OF ARTICLES!
NEXT — A WAY OF THINKING

What we’ll cover

Photo of photos

I’ll be covering the subject intensively, using my own system as an example, and taking an in-depth look at major issues facing digital photographers, including the following:

  • Step-by-step organization from capture to output
  • Naming conventions for files and directories
  • Metadata management
  • Hardware setup
  • Backup methodology
  • Search and retrieval
  • Suggestions and stories from readers
  • Looking to the future
  • References and resources of interest

How to participate

There’s a wealth of experience in the huge community of photographers but I can only relate my own experience. I would like to make this series as interactive as possible and to get some real brainstorming going, to make it a more useful resource . Working together, we photographers will be able to create a resource that can save hundreds of photographers much time dealing with disorganized images and save anguish by minimizing inevitable losses.

You may want to participate in the following ways:

Organized images
  • Leave a comment below asking a question about image management you would like answered
  • Post a favourite link or the title of a favourite book on the subject
  • Write a case study of your own management system on your blog and post the link here
  • Leave us with a tip or small nugget of wisdom that others might find valuable
  • Write a short account of a horror story where your poor management caused you to lose some images or a valuable job
  • Make a suggestion for an issue to be covered that I haven’t mentioned above

So if there’s anything you’d like to share, please leave a comment or a link below in this posts comments. If I use your contribution in a later post in the series, I’ll fully credit you and link to your site. Of course you will retain full copyright on your submission, but by posting it below you agree to allow me to use it on this site.

This should be interesting! Please look forward to my next post in the series in about a week’s time. See you then!

FOLLOW THIS SERIES OF ARTICLES!
NEXT — A WAY OF THINKING

Destined For Retirement

Destined For Retirement

Brian Auer | 07/11/2007 | Independence, MO | 15mm * f/6.7 * 1/30s * ISO100
[Buy Prints] [Buy Rights] [See it at Flickr]

This photo was taken at my Grandfather‘s house in Missouri while my wife and I were on our move from New Jersey to California. His brother stopped by to visit, and he happened to be driving this big ugly rusted-out beast of a truck. He’s kind of a character, so something like this wasn’t totally unexpected. He’s actually very good at restorations and building custom vehicles — he just happened to be on a “rust rod” streak at the time (I think that’s what he termed it anyways). Here are some photos of the entire thing — no joke, this is what he used as his daily-driver… though I’m not sure if he’s still using it or if he’s moved on to another project.

The photo I shot for artistic purposes was the front driver’s side corner of the vehicle. I got in there real close with my 10mm lens and got some of that neat rust and paint texture. I processed the photo to focus on some of the colors and tones while making those textures and contrasty areas stick out. All in all I’m pretty happy with this one.

Destined For Retirement Post-Processing

I actually took most of the processing steps from Jake Garn’s Tutorial Video: Everything Old is New Again — and I tweaked it a bit for this image.

  1. In-Camera JPEG
    Not really much to say about this one, but it wasn’t much to look at either.
  2. Processed RAW
    I actually processed the contrast down a bit because I knew I’d be using the technique in the next step as soon as I got in Photoshop.
  3. Hard Mix Layer Blend
    I duplicated the base image and set the blending mode to “Hard Mix” at 43% opacity and 29% fill. This boosted up my contrast and saturation while giving it a little bit of a hard look.
  4. Black and White Adjustment
    I used the Black and White adjustment layer with a green filter in Photoshop CS3. I then set the blend mode to Overlay and dropped the opacity to 65% to de-emphasize the effect.
  5. Saturation Adjustment
    To wash it out a bit more, I used a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set the saturation to -36.
  6. Warming Filter
    I added a Photo Filter adjustment layer set with a Warming Filter (LBA) at 40% to give it the final tint.
  7. Sharpening
    I sharpened with the Unsharp Mask at 86%, 2.0 pixels, and a threshold of 0 to help make the textures more pronounced.

Enjoy!

16 Inspirational Portrait Photography Techniques

I’m learning that portrait photography can be tough in more than one way thanks to my participation in the December Challenge. I’m already getting bored with taking the standard cookie-cutter portrait, so I started digging around Flickr for some inspiration. Here’s what I turned up:

[tweetmeme]And yes, I realize that the accompanying text is much shorter than I would usually supply, but the idea of this post isn’t to teach these techniques — it’s to introduce you to them and hopefully give you some inspiration with your own photography. I feel that these photos are strong enough to stand on their own without lengthy descriptions.


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1. PHOTOSHOP

If you’re good with post-processing and manipulations, use it to your advantage. Get crazy with the adjustments, try some new Photoshop techniques, and maybe even a composite image.

2. TEXTURE

If texture is a big part of your subject, make it stand out and make it obvious. Match up the textures between your subject and your background. You might even try texturizing the entire photo for additional impact.

3. OVEREXPOSE

Blowing out the highlights or making a high-key image makes a nice soft portrait with kind of a light airy feeling. Another advantage of high-key photos is that the smaller details and defects are blown away, making the image look much smoother.

4. UNDEREXPOSE

A dominantly dark or low-key image will naturally draw your eyes to the lighter parts. These tend to have a grittier and harder look to them than the high-key images.

5. BACK-LIGHT

Hair lights up like crazy when it’s back-lit, so if hair is a big part of your subject make it stand out by placing your subject between you and a light source. You could also take this a little further and push the image to a silhouette.

6. POSING

Get crazy with the pose and positioning — extra points if it looks uncomfortable. Not only with the poses, but also with your own positioning — shoot from different angles to achieve different impacts.

7. CULTURE

Capture the local culture — what’s mundane to you is exotic to us. Culture is everywhere, even in your own town. Just image you’re visiting from a different country — what things would then seem more interesting to you?

8. REFLECTIONS

Make use of different surfaces to add that extra dimension — windows, mirrors, and water are all very good reflective surfaces that give a different result and texture.

9. SHADOWS

Make the shadow an important part of the image. Sometimes the shadow can even be more prominent than the actual subject casting the shadow.

10. GET CLOSE

There’s no rule against cropping out most of the subject’s face. This draws more attention to the parts that are left in the frame.

11. (UN)FOCUS

Out-of-focus subjects can be more interesting than the in-focus subjects. It kind of adds some mystery to the image because you can’t quite make out who that person is.

12. MOVEMENT

Use movement to show action, even if it blurs out the subject entirely. In cases like this, think of the person as a means of creating the subject rather than being the actual subject.

13. CAPTURE THE MOMENT

Catch somebody doing something they love, even if it’s not staged. Street photography is one of my favorite genres because it captures life as it happens — unstaged and unposed.

14. COLORS

Use vibrant and contrasting colors to draw attention to parts of your subject. This could be makeup, clothing, accessories, or whatever else you can get your hands on.

15. GET SERIOUS

Not all portraits need to have a smile, capture the serious emotions too. Some of my favorite portraits have no hint of a smile in them, and they’re highly emotional.

16. PROPS

Use the props and tools around you to make the setting more interesting. Find things to place your subject in, on, under, around, etc.