Mrs Baine

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Posts Tagged ‘photography tips’

playing with photoshop filters…

Posted by MWPA on June 16, 2009

Using photoshop elements and a self portrait, I came up with this ‘art’ I think the overall effect was made better, by the lighting I used fo rthe selfportrait, giving the picture good shaddow and depth.

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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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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.

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Picture of the day is….

Posted by MWPA on January 23, 2009

MellowMellow! (click to see it larger.

Yesterday I went to the dollar stor to buy some props that I could use with my photography,as I am trying to practice and get better with my lighting skills, I also wanted to get some props suitable for my valentines day project. I chose to go to the Dollar Tree because they  are cheap, and I figured there must be some things they sell there that I could use. Well I ended up spending just about $8.00 and came away with 3 bunches of flowers, some valentines day candies, a vase and some pebles to fill the vase and some hearts on sticks. After visiting te Dollar Tree I went toi the next store along which is Ben Franklins craft store,I always find the store a little pricy but I knew the sold fabric and I wanted to see if they had anything suitable for a background. I ended up choosing 3 yrds of mottled blue material that makse quite a nice background.

The pictures that I took were using my camera-a 30d and the nifty fifty lens-named that because it is cheap and neat, it is the Canon 50mm 1.8, I love how sharp this $80 lens is, and I use it alot. I attached my external flash the 430exii and pointed the flash to the cieling so Mellow wouldnt get the red eye effect but he would still be lit nicely. The flowers came out so bright and colourful, I think this may be my favourite picture of the year-yes I know its only January!

I am going to try and take a picture a day from this point on, so that I can get more cresative with the things I have aailable, even if its just things outside my appartment, I really want to push my creativity, as I feel that my photography lacks the wow factor.

I am also going to push myself to learn a forighn languarge, We have a Rosetta Stone CD which was given to Will and I, so I really want to try and learn some Spanish-especially as it is spoken so widly accross the world.I am not sure how well I will do, as I have never been good at getting the accents correct, but I guess practice makes perfect. Even if I get a couple of ‘lessons’ in before work, eventually the language has to start sinking in, hasnt it?

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Dentist… and chicken stew with dumplings.

Posted by MWPA on January 6, 2009

003aSo I had my six monthly dentist check up today  and it seems that one of my teeth is becoming ‘soft’ so they want to fill it! the thought of going to the dentist scares so much-last time I made Will come along with me-this time I went alone-my dental hygienist knows I am terrified and is very nice to me. I have to go back another day for my filling appointment-and Will is coming with me, as the thought of the needles in my gum and drilling and filling, scares me-It probably is just the unknown that makes me nervous, but still-I am not very happy about the idea. My dentist is also talking me into getting my wisdom teeth removed-even though they are not causing me problems, he says that later in life I may get an over crowded jaw. I am still undecided if I will make an appointment soon for the wisdom teeth.

As my appointment was at 9am I decided to go back to bed when I got home, I intended just to sleep for a couple of hours, but some how my couple of hours turned into a full sleep and I re-woke at 2pm. I tidied the kitchen, walked Turk-the neighbors dog and tried to decide what to eat for dinner. I ended up boiling some chicken and then pulling it. ( I find this makes the chicken last more than one meal, as it appears like there is more chicken than there actually is.) I sauteed some onion and carrot in my new cast iron ceramic covered sauce pan, added some chicken stock, potatoes and then the pulled chicken and ended up with chicken soup/stew, using some pre-made refridgerated busicuits that I cut into quaters, I made a quick dumpling and simmered the whole mix until we were ready to eat. When we ate, it was yummy, and just what we needed as the weather was damp and cold today.

And now for the rest of the evening, I have some cleaning and tidying to catch up on, and of course I have to eat the cookie that I just pulled out of the oven!!

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My DIY Light Box

Posted by MWPA on October 2, 2008

Well the other night I really was feeling the need to take some photographs, it was dark out side and I didn;t really want to drive any where, so I pulled out my home made light box so I could try out some stock style photography.

A light box helps give you a clean back ground with no harsh shaddows, you shine lights through the sides of the light box (which are paper) and the light is defused giving soft light so you don’t get harsh shadows.

My light box is made from a big breakfast cereal box, some white paper and tissue paper with a white card back ground.

With my tripod set up opposite the box I used two table lamps on either side of the box to light the item inside. attached my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro lens to my Canon 30d and set my camera to self timer so I would illuminate any shake from me pressing the camera button. I chose a slow shutter speed as even with the two table lamps I didn’t have enough light getting to make my picture bright enough, so my setting a longer shutter speed I allowed more light into the camera by keeping the shutter open.

These are a few of the pictures I took with it-I know I could have worked harder in post processing to make my back ground more white.

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How to Create a Rainbow Water Droplet Picture

Posted by MWPA on February 8, 2008

I recently learnt how to create some rather interesting effects with water droplets and a CD, To start with make sure you have a VERY clean CD. The CD must be clean because shooting in Super macro mode will magnify every speck of dirt and scratch that there is to be seen. You will need a well lit area, I prefer natural light, so either set up near a bright window or take a trip outside.

Use a spoon to drop a small drop of water on to the CD, I found that a droplet that was approximately 1cm worked best, move the CD around and watch how the light changes the colours on the CD and through the water, once you have found the colours you want take your picture, It is best to use Supermacro setting if you have it, when I took these pictures I was almost touching the water drop, so be careful you dont get too close.

To get clear images I set my shutter speed as fast as I could, with out the image appearing too dark, I tried to set the aperture as wide as I could to create the depth of field I wanted. A wide aperture is a low number (f2.0), I was aiming for the drop to be nice and focused and the further away from the drop you looked the burier the picture became. It was important to use the fast shutter speed because I was holding the camera in my hands, if you find your pictures are out of focus, try using the delay timer, I set mine to 2 seconds, that allowed me to press the button, and get nice and steady before the picture took.

These are some of the pictures I took in my kitchen, remember you can click on any image to view it full size.




I did minimal editing to the pictures, I added a slight blur and did a little bit of noise reduction on photoshop elements 4

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