I am Back!

Sorry everybody that I have not been posting lately, but we haven’t had a lot of assignments. But I am back and I have a fun new tutorial that my class and I tried out! Its called Screen Frequency Retouching! Its basically for all those portrait shots that you want to take. HERE are some examples. Basically what you do is go in and edit the skin without making it look like you just dragged the spot healing brush/healing brush across all the skin. It helps the photo keep some texture. Its kind of a long process, but well worth your time. Now to my pictures-

Before-

before frequency editig

As you can see from the picture, this person doesn’t have a ton of skin blemishes, but they are still their and they can be a little distracting.

After-

Screen filter retouch

This is the after photo and you can see that a lot of the blemishes are gone. It was also easier to edit some patchy or blotchy areas of the skin. One of the best things that I believe I learned from this video was adding a single black and white layer.This layer once added over the background, actually makes stuff pop out of the skin that you didn’t even know was their! Once you had gone through and got those spots, you added two curves layers to make the picture look alien and cool. Besides looking cool, the picture also brings out splotchiness, which you can make fade away into the skin with the lasso tool and gaussian blur. This tutorial was really helpful and I will definitely use it more for portraits.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 8.47.01 AM Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 8.47.37 AM

 

These two pictures are posted to help show you what the different types of layers I used where, and who they looked. The one on the left was the black and white layer, and you can see when clicking on it that it really does a lot to enhance facial “blemishes”. I chose this picture because its really good to show a before and after image, and the person had some redness around the nose that was fun to experiment with getting rid of. You use the solar layer to look at skin tone and blend the two together and make red skin tone blend smoothly with the normal skin color. All you do is go along the edge of the dark black spots on the solar layer, and use the lasso tool to select little circles and then gaussian blur tool. Well thats all for this blog post, I promise to be a bit better about posting in the future!

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Fun Shooting!

For this assignment we were just told to go out and try something different. To get away from the same type of pictures that we normally take. So I chose to do studio lighting. I have never taken that many studio pictures, so I thought that it would be really fun. So when I was asked to take pictures at a family reunion, I thought it was a perfect timing. I didn’t really have any inspiration on this one besides what our teacher taught us about studio lighting on friday. I took those ideas to heart when taking these pictures, so thats really it! Here are my pictures.

1

For the sake of discretion, I will not give out any names. I took over 300 photos, and it was difficult to pick a manageable number to post. For this post I decided to have ten. My photography teacher let me use a studio light and a backdrop for this reunion, and I basically just set the light up directly behind me and up as high as I could get it. This way was the best choice, because it eliminated shadows on the subjects faces.

2

The people their thought it would be fun to have some funny little props with them. I wholeheartedly supported that idea. It also kept some of the smaller kids from running around and tripping on the man cords that I had running around the area! A lot of the families got really into the idea, and many were even crazier than the ones here!

3

This is one of the simple portraits that I took. I like this one a lot because of the fact that its simple. So many portraits that I see now are heavily photoshopped, and full of lights and distractions. I think that simple portraits are a ton better than those ones.

4

This is another one of the joking ones. These are the parents of the parents for the family reunion, and they were by far the happiest to be having fun! But dang were they difficult to get set up. If it weren’t for the guy in the green, I may never have done it! They were probably my favorite to photograph.

5

As the day went on, more and more people kept trying to shove themselves into the picture. At one point I was asked if it would be at all possible to get everyone who was at the place, into the picture. 105 people were supposed to be in the picture. I had to tell them no several times… They didn’t understand that a 10 foot wide backdrop was not enough room for that many people. But otherwise, this family was really good about posing! They were all super nice and they were a joy to photograph.

6

This is a picture of the shop teacher here at CHS with his sister, grandma, and his two kids. The kids are normally smiling all the time, but for some odd reason, they decided to be sad! It took a while for me to get them smiling again. For this picture, I had to crop a lot out actually. I guess I backed up a lot, but I had a lot of the room in the picture besides the actual backdrop.

7

These were the Mothers and Fathers of the group. I liked this portrait because of the blinding green shirt in the picture. Originally, it made the picture over exposed, and too bright. But once adjusted, I think that it looked pretty good! For most of the pictures that I take, Over 50% of the work that I do is through camera raw. The rest of the work is small slight retouches. I have never been a fan of adding layer upon layer to a single portrait.

8

This is the entire family! The grandma through the granddaughters. I chose this picture because they really did an amazing job lining themselves up. Im not a very loud person by nature, and I don’t like to give orders to people. Thats why I find this picture cool, it was just random. They didn’t even have to do anything, they just all positioned themselves like this.

9

This is probably one of my favorite photos. There are four things that I really like about this picture. 1) The person on the left has super awesome sunglasses. 2) The person on the rights shirt goes with the backdrop perfectly. 3) They are in the direct middle of the picture, leaving an appropriate amount of space on each side of them. 4) They were not standoffish. They were fine with standing close together unlike most of their family. I had to physically move somebody next to another, cause they kept inching off to the side while I was taking the picture.

10

For my final image (Drumroll) I have the birthday girl with her two kids. In case you couldn’t tell, she is right in the middle of them. A lot of portrait shots can be considered awkward with the positioning of people according to height. Like THIS photo here. If you position somebody with a lot more height than the person next to them, it diminishes the value of the shorter person. This family are all generally the same height. Well thats all for this blog post, as always I try to post every friday.

EOCA Time!!!!!!

Its that time of year again! Almost the end of the first semester and with that comes the dreaded End Of Course Assessment. For this years photography assessment, we were tasked with two objectives. One is to create a portfolio with our 5 best pictures, and the other one is too take ten pictures from a given subject HERE. First, here are my best photos (In my opinion) that I have taken for the portfolio.

American Flag

This is a photo of a american flag. I like this picture because I took it right when the sun was on the tip of the poll. This caused the entire poll to get a ray of light around the entire length, which I think is just awesome. I also like how the flag is pretty transparent, so the clouds are being shown through the actual flag. Also when I upped the contrast on the photo the trees and the clouds got a cool dark look to them the mixes with the brightness of the sky a lot. It gives it a great background and a simple yet easy depth of field.

cool sunset

For those of you who saw my blog post before this, this image was my headliner. This is one of my favorites because of the different colors that are present in the sky. Its got leading lines too, and a lot of natural framing. This photo covered many of the different “Rules” of photography that we are taught in class. When I took the actual picture and looked at it through bridge, the trees actually had a sickly green color that was not very appealing. So I just took the brush tool, set the opacity low, and painted over them with a black. I think that made the picture look a lot better.

friends studio light

For a past assignment our goal was to take pictures ourselves or others using the studio setup that we have in class. This was one of my favorites because of the serious look that he has. With the shades and the leather jacket on, it makes him look slightly out of era. The main thing that makes this photo good in my opinion is the fact that I was able to bump the clarity a ton! It didn’t ruin the actual picture but it gave a lot of definition to a picture that was relatively bland.

white tree

This image just looks cool, but it also has the most photoshopping done to it. After making the clarity and the contrast high, I decided that this picture needed something else. So I spent the time working on getting the perfect Gaussian blur, then I spent the same amount of time undoing it. ūüôā I got the idea when looking at some depth of field. The picture didn’t have any to begin with, it mostly just blended in with all the other green parts. But when I blurred the entire picture then brought a specific part of it back into focus, it made it “pop”. I especially liked the way that the ends of the needles were covered in frost, making it look like winter!

My Dog Boomer

This is a picture of my dog Boomer. Boomer is an old lab, and lazy as all get out. That makes it perfect for taking pictures of him. I don’t quite remember what he was looking at, I just remember looking at it and thinking, wow thats going to be a great picture. I brightened the redness around his eyes to emphasize his age, and brightened the white hair he has growing around hit forehead. I can’t remember the exact settings I had on the actual photo, but I know that I had the f stop

EOCA Subject Photography

Besides the portfolio, we had several tasks to accomplish. We were assigned a subject, and we were told to take ten good pictures of that subject. We were also given the choice to choose the subject, and mine that I chose was time lapse photography, or slow-motion photography. We were also assigned to take one picture with a  large depth of field. But for the slo motion photography assignment, THIS would be my source. This guy has amazing photos! I am seriously going to invest a lot of my time taking these kinds of photos, and I can not wait to try some more of them! Now here are my photos!-

Slow motion car

For my first photo, I went out to a street and sat on the edge of it with my camera and a tripod. Then I sat and just waited for cars to drive by! Word to the wise, make sure to stand far enough to the side that they won’t accidentally hit you when they go around corners. Apparently, people get mad when your out in the middle of the street. But I liked this picture because of the streams upon streams of lights are inside the single beams. Of course to take this picture, I had to have a slow shutter speed, of about 4 seconds.

Slow motion car 2

This picture is my favorite of the ones I took of cars. I brightened the inside of the beams more, and it gave it a cooler and deeper orange color. I also like how this car had the small little light on top of it, so it created a small little stream going off the top. I don’t really know why, but that just makes the picture too me. I would have liked to crop out the mail box that is sitting on the side, but I think that it would have made the picture too small to be a good picture.

light painting 1

This was my first attempt to Light Paint. Light painting is simply setting your camera to a shutter speed of 5 or more seconds. and then waving a bright light or glow stick around to make it leave a trail. When done correctly, you can have many cool patters made out of light. I think that the idea of light painting is just awesome, and I am glad that I chose this for my subject. To take this picture I took a small LED light and waved it around while the shutter slowly opened and closed. The part that makes this picture cool is how a car drove by while I was taking the picture. It created a cool red light going right through the middle of the picture. The only thing that I am going to do different next time I do this assignment, is limit the light that is shining on me. It made me stand out a lot more than I should have and made me stick out. Maybe having a longer shutter speed will fix that but for now this is a cool picture.

light painting 2

For this picture we used a phone screen, and changed the color to a blue. Because the phone isn’t as bright as the glow sticks, the lines were a lot fatter. But you also have to do slower movements with less light shining through. Your camera will have a harder time focusing, so it will make the background darker. That to me is more beneficial, because it makes your light painting stand out more. That is really the focus of this kind of photography. The surrounding area is cool and gives you a sense of seeing more in the picture. But the important part is having the light.

light painting 3

I was wearing a black sweatshirt when I took the picture, but I wondered if it would look cool with a different color in the picture. My brother was wearing a bright red sweatshirt, and I immediately thought that it would be cool! I basically just told him to go crazy, and go crazy he did. For some reason only the red hood he had on showed up in the picture. Not really certain. But the thing that makes this picture pretty neat is the fact that the lights look a little like Japanese letters. One of the things that would make this picture better is if I had closed the garage door! It would have shown less concrete and more colors!

light writing

For some odd reason, blue was the only really good color of light for this. We tried green, but it didn’t show up. But the thing I focused on was trying to write with the light. When done correctly, you should get neat flowing letters. Mine was none of those, but if you look closely, you will see a R and a Y the first letters of my name. I didn’t have a lot of room to take the picture, so I couldn’t do my full name. The problem I had when taking this picture was what to do when I finished what I was doing, and still had the shutter taking the picture. It was difficult to say the least when timing my picture to finish taking. Thats why their are a bunch of looping lines going around it. I just kept swinging even when I should not have.

steel wool 1

These pictures are my pride and joy. These were by far the coolest of my pictures. This is called steel wool photography, and it is super simple to do. All you need is a egg beater, some fine grade steel wool, a non flammable cord, and some copper wire (or any wire). Take your steel wool, and spread it apart until it is thin and see through. Then fold it gently into the egg beater. You must spread it out inside or you will not get very effective sparks. DO NOT FORGET SAFTEY CLOTHING! Sparks hurt when they land on bare skin, especially when you are slinging them around the danger is real of coming away with burns! The first time I did this I didn’t wear a hat, about twenty sparks landed in my hair and it hurt. Wear a hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt, long pants, closed toe shoes and some glasses! Sparks hurt don’t forget that.

steel wool 2

After you fold them into the egg beater, all you have to do is set your shutter speed to a number around 15-30 seconds. Then make sure to wrap your wire around the egg beater as tight as humanly possible. The reason why is because without the wire, their is nothing preventing the steel wool from flying out. You can actually see that happen in this picture, with the little flare of light going out to the side. The first time this happened it went straight up and landed on my head. Thankfully I was wearing a hat or that could have been bad. The faster you swing, the smaller sparks you will have, but with more volume. The smaller you swing the larger fatter the sparks will be, with less volume. To each and their own, but I prefer swinging faster to get more sparks.

steel wool 3

This is one of my favorite pictures. This one I actually believed was a screw up when I started. I was standing to far to the left, and wasn’t in the center of the photo like I believed. But it ended up looking cool, especially with the car driving by. The red light through the middle was super cool and really beneficial! I also lost control of the string a little bit, but instead of ruining it, it gave it some more definition. It wasn’t so uniform, which I for one, loved! I for one hate it when a picture is to uniform, and perfect in balance. I can see the uses, but I believe that the world is so random, pictures should match it.

And I’m super sorry Twitchell for not having this posted! I can’t figure out why it would not work, but I have it posted and I’m super sorry for the inconvenience!

Christmas Break!

As you all know, christmas has come and gone and with that comes another post! This post is mostly a mash up of different photo opportunities that I saw and took. Some are of my dogs, some are of a beautiful sunset that happened to be in progress behind my house, and others are just random things I have taken pictures of. ¬†HERE¬†is a link to many different sunsets. The most prominent thing about all these pictures is that the sky has a lot of colors in it. These different colors are all usually brightened, which is what I did in mine to make the image “pop” more.

cool sunset

I was actually quite lucky to get this picture, I went outside to get my camera out of the car, and just barely got this picture, literally ten minutes later this was gone. The cloud in the lower part of the picture is what I believe makes this picture good. There are several different patterns and colors in the clouds, and when brightened by the dodge tool, it makes it look pretty cool!

boomer moose

My family is a very un photogenic family. Nobody likes to get their pictures taken, even me! So, my next course of action is to photography my dogs! They are both very lazy dogs, so its pretty easy to get some pictures without motion blur. Boomer is the tall labrador, and Moose is the short little one. Both love to sit there and get their pictures taken, so its pretty fun to take their picture.

moose

I like this picture because of the point of view that I was able to get with Moose. He was perched on top of out couch so he was higher up from the ground. I like the white balance, and i like the way that his eyes are kind of shining from the camera. He also gets a evil mustache when he is lying down so its kind of funny to take pictures of him.

boomer2

One of the thing that you will notice about pet photography is that the pictures are all on the pets level, or above the pet generally. So when taking these pictures, i tried to integrate these ideas into my photo.

antoher cool sunset

This is another photo of that really cool sunset that I got, but this time I did to different things to the picture. I took the contrast up instead of down, and I decided to add more vibrance to the image.

car lights

For this image, we went out shopping and the way that the light reflected off the side of the building was pretty cool! I also like it because the snow itself is dark, and then there is just a line of light across the middle. I brightened out the lights themselves, and I whitened the light on the side of the building.

Fedora front sign

After shopping we went to this great restaurant to get a monti cristo! I thought that the way that the sign popped in the darkness was just awesome! I cropped the image in, blackened around the letters, and fixed little spots of light that kept popping up. I also tried tilting the image a little, just a smidge, to give it a different look than just looking at it straight on.

fidora emblem

This is the emblem that fedora uses on their boxes and glasses for drinks. This image would have looked a ton better if i had figured out a way to get the little white spot out of the way on the top of his hat. Its from a light that they use to illuminate it better so that people can see it, but its really freaking irritating for a photographer… Well that’s it for this post! I know I have been bad recently about posting, but I will post again next week!

Thanks Giving!

For this assignment our goal was to just take pictures:) In some of my first posts, I said that I like free choice more than having an assignment. Im coming to realize that I don’t like that. I like the challenge of creating or taking pictures of stuff that I have never done before. When we do free choice I don’t challenge myself like I do when we have an actual assignment. ¬†Anyways, I didn’t really have a major theme for this, but here was some pictures of deer that I think are really cool.

Some deer shots

Then the rest of my pictures were just some odds and end pictures that I took over my break.

black and white statue

This is a broken waterfall that we have in our front yard. For some odd reason the water in the fountain just drains out the back. But ANYWAYS, When I took the picture I thought about it being entirely black and white, but I realized that it probably be a boring shot. So to give it something to focus on, and some depth, I added the color back into the statue. Its not a brightly colored stone, and it almost blends into the background, but I think that its enough to tie the picture.

lone wolf tree

When I took this picture, I thought that there would be some more color to it. But no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t get some more colors into the picture. Maybe I didn’t do something right, but besides the fact, I thought this picture was kinda cool. Its a little boring, but there is still some definition to it. I liked the thought of the picture being isolated to the other trees. I don’t know…. this picture was really difficult to talk about.

Hummingbird feeder

This is ¬†humming bird feeder. What inside is actually frozen nectar. What i thought was odd, was that it didn’t hid the inside like ice does, it froze with a opaque inside. It almost didn’t look frozen. I thought it was cool because of the extreme different color, and the way that whats on the outside and covered up by the actual feeder, is shown inside of the nectar. Its also pretty neat because its a really warped inside, with a bunch of patterns and cool little swirls inside the nectar.

white tree

This picture I thought was the best one in this post. When I had the picture, nothing was blurred. But I thought it would look cool to apply a gaussian blur, then bring the main picture back into focus. It had just gotten done snowing, so he edges of the plant were white and really sharp. I tried to use a poor mans macro on this, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture. Thats a technique that I’m going to try using more in the future. For those of you who don’t know what poor mans macro is, its a technique that is used for slr cameras. A macro lens is used to zoom in really close on an image, and still get it into focus. But those can cost thousands of dollars. A poor mans macro is simply taking your lens off, and turning it around, then holding it as close to the camera as you can. This¬†is a good example of poor mans macro.

deer1

I think one of the items I am going togo out and buy  is a larger lens for my camera. The one I have is slightly better than a 50 mm, with it being at 55 mm. These deer were at the most fifty feet away from me, and this was about the maximum zoom I could get. But besides me complaining, these pictures were very difficult to get. I like photographing wildlife, but I have never before realized how difficult deer are to photograph. The second you get within ten feet of them, they are gone!

deers

 

Most of the deer ran, but this one decided to be stubborn. Every time I got closer to take a picture most of the deer ran. That deer, ran towards me and started huffing. Being freaked out by the aggressive deer, I hung back to take this picture. I like it because of the other deers head sticking in the picture. I only noticed it when I was taking the picture, and I thought that it would be a nice surprise.

Surrealism

For this post the idea was to create surrealism. Surrealism is something that you just can’t take a picture of and call it done. You have to use a lot of layer masks to bring other images in, other wise it just doesn’t work well. Im going to be the first to admit, I’m not very good at this type of photography. I have a lot of difficulty picturing what I want to happen in a picture. I can take the pictures, they are usually just the wrong type of picture or the idea. Here are some ideas of surrealism, ( I didn’t use any of the ideas except for one. but they are all still great examples or surrealism.)

http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-blog/40-extravagant-surreal-and-fantasy-scenes-photoshop-tutorials/

This website is really cool because it even gives you tutorials to do these actual pictures. Some of them are pretty difficult, but for those of you who use photoshop, they are a lot of fun. When I have free time I make these at home, and they do really look amazing when done. They even give links and downloads of the actual picture they used.

This is one such link, its lengthy, but its really cool.

Cracked horse final

This is the first picture I did. The theme I was going of twas futuristic spacey and galaxy. But I couldn’t decide which one to do, so I incorporated both. When I was editing I thought it was pretty cool, but now that I look at it, the combining doesn’t look very good. But in my stupidity, I only saved it as a jpeg, so I couldn’t go back and fix it. I got the cracks along the horses side and head from a photoshop brush, and I like the way they look. They might be border lining on being too bright, but I think that they add to the whole idea of surrealism The horse itself I got from a spokane Chinese restaurant. Its called P.F. Changs. Every time I go there, I remember thinking that the horse would look cool in a picture, but I always forget my camera. This time I was lucky and had it on me when we went after school. I like the idea of the picture, but next time I am going to decide on one or the other background theme next time. Here are the layers I used to create this. Notice how almost every layer except for the background has a layer mask-

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 9.00.12 AM

Layer masks are one of the most important tool I think that is in photoshop. Its one of the essences in photoshop. Bringing a picture into a picture then getting that picture isolated in yours, is just cool. That is what surrealism is, making something from one picture, and changing it into something else.

fire and water

Recognize this picture? This is a studio light portrait I took of my friend Jacob. I was looking through my pictures, and saw this one pose that just stood out to me. Looking through the tutorials on the top, I decided to try that method out. But instead of warp, my teacher suggested that I use the tool puppet warp. Im not certain I liked it more than using the warp tool. It gave it a lot of sharp angles that didn’t look like the water and the fire were flowing around him correctly. But the whole idea is still there! I think that I’m going to try it again, but this time use the stock images that he provides in the tutorial.

tutorial on whtie tree

This tree is from a tutorial I got from that cool website. THIS is a link to the actual tutorial , its such a cool website really. You get a lot of awesome and cool tutorial videos form the actual site.