Mrs Baine

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Posts Tagged ‘DSLR’

An old photo.

Posted by MWPA on May 27, 2009

I have so many things I should be doing, but instead of doing them I am looking back through the last yar at the photo’s I have taken. Its great to see how I have improved, I cant belive how many pictures that I thought were great at the time actually are terrible and not focussed corrrectly due to me using the wrong settings, I am reeditting a few pictues too, just to see if any are savable, here is one that a little bit of editing changed completely, this is my new desktop background!

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How To Create a High Contrast Muted Color Photograph

Posted by MWPA on March 17, 2009

One of the photograph magazines that I subscribe to is Rangefinder. Rangefinder features personal stories from excellent photographer’s. This months issue was a special edition as it features all black and white photographs, and many of the article had sets of photographs taken from the same place or using the same theme. This inspired me this morning to get out my camera-the Canon 30d with the 18-55mm lens and start taking photographs around the house. Photographs from the set that I called ‘Randomness’ can be found HERE. With these photos I tried to look at regular house hold items with a different light, experimenting with my angles and post processing editing too.

With the ‘Meat’ shot I decided to make a tutorial so that you can replicate the post processing. I use Photoshop Elements version 6. The tutorial covers how to sharpen, how to correct a color cast,and how to convert to black and white.

This is the original photograph, as you can see it is bland and boring, It is very flat and almost a little soft looking and has a yellow tint.

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Open your photograph in Photoshop Elements 6 and duplicate the layer, to do this look to the right side of your screen at the pallet bin and right click the visible image. From the menu select duplicate layer. you will now see that there are two images in the area now. Always make sure you work on the top image. Layers are great to use when doing lots of editing, each time I start on a different part of the editing I open a new layer so If I make a mistake on one of them I just delete or re edit that layer instead of having to start all my editing from the beginning.

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Sharpen the photograph using the unsharp mask or the USM

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You can see the settings I chose for the USM bellow, I don’t normally go over 85% for the amount and I try to keep the radius below a two-anything above that creates a funny highlighting around outlines.

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Next I did a levels adjustment, I do this on every photo, it helps bring the image alive and adds pop, it also keeps colours true and gets rid of strange tints and color casts.

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I find the best way to make an adjustment is to use the eye dropper tools. There are three under the auto button, click the first one and select the darkest black on your image, you will see a change in your image when you do this, for fun now click on a different color and watch the way it effects your photo. Once you have used the eye dropper to select the correct black click on the right eyedropper-the one that is colored white. Use this eye dropper to select a portion of white from your image. This may brighten your image and make your whites whiter. I used mine to the extreme for this photograph as I select some of the white that was shadowed, so the photograph ended up being almost over exposed.

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This is the photograph after having applied the levels adjustment.

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Next you need to duplicate the layer that you have edited. Use the top duplicated layer for the next steps, This is the part where you convert the photograph to black and white.

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In the new window there are a few different versions of black and white to choose from, you can experiment or choose Urban/Snapshots like I did, I then used the moved the contrast slider to more to the right until I was happy with the way the photograph looked.

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This is how the black and white layer looks, the photograph is nearly completed.

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Still working on that top black and white layer in the pallet bin reduce the opacity so some of the color shows through to produce a muted effect.

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Now you have your finished photograph.

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This effect works great on all different kinds of images, from portraits to abstract, the key is to experiment with how much of the levels to adjust and how much to adjust the contrast once converted into black and white.

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An Important Day

Posted by MWPA on February 12, 2009

Two Weeks ago Will came home from work saying he needed to borrow my camera, and that he needed me to teach him how to use it, I asked him why and said its taken me a year to get to know my camera, and I still have lots to learn. He explained he had been asked to help photograph a promotion ceremony for one of his colleagues. Well it turned out that the day of the promotion was my day off, so he said GREAT, you can do it then…So I agreed.

I went in the morning of the ceremony to the rehearsal to find out exactly what I was up against, the lighting was terrible, as I fired off a few practice shots, I was informed that I would be up in front of about 40 people taking these pictures, so it was like I would be on display too. I was extremely nervous about messing up, I had never taken pictures like this, I wasn’t sure how the whole thing would work, but I was up for a challenge. I went home and looked at my test shots, and became even more nervous, I wasn’t sure my lens would be up to it or my flash powerful enough without being to harsh.

At three o’clock people started arriving and the ceremony was soon underway, I used a short zoom lens-the 18-55 kit lens, so I could be close and still gt everything in the shot, and I angled my flash to the ceiling so it would bounce a soft light to the subject, I turned my camera ISO up so I would not underexpose, and I ended up being happy with the pictures. I took about 60 photos and 28 of those were good enough to be printed at 8×10 if they wanted.

The whole thing was very nerve racking, I had to remind myself to breath in front of all those people, of course I know they were not looking at me, but it didnt make me feel any less uncomfortable. I think if given the opportunity  I would do another ceremony, although maybe I would charge instead of doing it for free as it took up a lot of my time, I spent the whole day going between base and home and then a few hours processing the photographs.

Here is one of the photos from the ceremony, I wont post the others, as I don’t have any model releases.

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Comfort Food

Posted by MWPA on January 26, 2009

Carrot SoupCarrot soup is my ultimate comfort food. It is packed full of carroty goodness, carrots have been proven to help prevent heart disease, the Beta Carotene rich vegetable helps fight against cancerand macular degeneration which is an eye disease, it really does help improve your night vision with the vitamin A. It is said that  a carrot a day reduces the risk of a stroke my 68% and for diabetics, carotenoids help reduce blood sugar.

When ever my throat starts to hurt, or my nose gets stuffy I make a nice big batch of carrot soup to help me feel better quicker. Of course I don’t just save it for sick days, I actually eat this yummy soup all year round! Carrot soup is very easy to make, with very basic ingredients that keeps the cost down. I love my carrot soup with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. you can view a bigger picture by clicking on the image to the left.

Here is my carrot soup recipe:

1 tbsp butter

2 cups freshly cut carrots

1 small (ish) Onion

1 1/2 tbsp plain flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups of water

3 chicken boullion/stock cubes

Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan, chop the onion and added to the melted butter. keep the butter and onion on low heat with the pan covered, chop the carrots, when you have 2 cups worth add carrots to the onion and butter, cover and allow to sweat on low heat until the carrots begin to soften, make sure you stir the ingredients often. Once the carrots are tender stir in the flour to absorb the juices-this will help your soup thicken too. Add the milk and water, bring the whole thing to a boil and add the three buillon cubes. keep the pan simerring for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the carrots are nice and soft, take the soup of the heat and allow to cool slightly. Place in a blender, and blend until the soup is smooth. serve imidiatly or re heat when needed. top with cheader cheese for an extra kick.

Posted in Daily Ramblings, Photography, Recipes & Cooking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Vacation Time

Posted by MWPA on August 28, 2008

Well as many of you know my parents and sister are visiting Will and I in Virginia, They arrived Tuesday evening and will be heading to Washington DC on Monday to catch their flight back to England.

Yesterday was our first full day with them and we tried to do some fun stuff even though the weather was gray and nasty, we went to Newport News Park and then to WIlliamsburg to visit the Yankee Candle Store – which is huge! and then to the Prime outlet mall where I bought a tshirt some sneakers and Will bought a couple of things in the Timberland store.

While walking in Newport News park not even 15 minutes into our walk I really had to use the restroom, of course there was no restroom nearby, and to get to one would involve walking back to the car-which only my dad could drive-due to the rental agreement and everyone was moaning at me, so I ended up finding a secluded spot and using it, which was extremely embarrassing! I cant remember the last time I had to do that…

While walking we stopped often to take pictures and a few times we caught glances of the wildlife, Will was walking ahead and told us to be quiet as there were a small herd of deer grazing, after they saw us they ran , but didn’t run to far and I was able to sneak up and get some pictures, they were about 50 meters away.

Click image for full size!

Canon 30d with the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro Lens, mode set to manual F/5.0, 1/125seconds with ISO set to 640, focal length 168.

For post processing I applied a high pass layer set to soft light and reduced the noise on a separate layer with a reduced opacity. This image is also cropped.

I have other photos to add from the trip to the park, but Ill do that later.

Posted in Daily Ramblings, Photography, Places Ive Been | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A New Favourite

Posted by MWPA on June 17, 2008

I took this picture a few weeks ago while visiting the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, there was somthing about the trees that really captured my eye, I converted the original into black and white and gave it a boarder-its now my computer background. (click to see it bigger)

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Coming Soon……New Camera

Posted by MWPA on April 8, 2008

I shall soon be purchasing my first ever digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR), these cameras are based on the same concept as SLR film camera, but with the advanced technology that allows the pictures to be recorded on to memory cards instead of film.

The DSLR works by using a mirror to send the image that is seen trough the lens up to the view finder, a bit like a periscope. When you compose your shot the mirror moves up out of the way, the shutter opens and the light is projected on to the sensor, capturing the image.

The DSLR camera’s have a huge selection of lenses, each lens has a different function, for example there are telephoto lenses which enable you to see the subject as being closer than it is, a bit like a telescope, Macro lenses that allows a tiny subject to be seen several sizes bigger than it actually is.

I currently own a ‘point and shoot camera’ these camera’s are basic and allow you to take quick snapshots with satisfactory quality. I use a Canon Powershot S3IS which is slightly more advanced than the regular $200 cameras you see in the stores. It has manual controls that allow you to set your shutter speed, aperture, ISO, flash, white balance and more. It is a nice camera, but I have got to the stage where I am becoming frustrated with it because although it has manual functions, they are limited, and I want more freedom.

My new camera will be another Canon, this time it will be the 30d, this is a middle of the range DSLR, its not the newest model in its range, but they have yet to discontinue it, so I am taking advantage of purchasing new for a cheaper price with the canon guarantee included.

I will buy the camera from an on-line store, either B&H or Adorama. Most products available to be bought on the internet are cheaper, than going to a local store. You must be wary of GREAT DEALS because more often than not, if they sound to good to be true then they are. If your thinking about making an on-line purchase use this website to check the reviews and ratings of the store in question.

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