Mrs Baine

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Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop’

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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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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A New Camera.

Posted by MWPA on February 12, 2009

001For a while I have been thinking about staking up film photography, you know the kind of photography that doesnt seem to be very common any more, we have defiantly been taken over by a digital age, and with nice film camera’s available at low prices I though I would give it a try.

My forever friend,  Sharon actually inspired,me, she has an old nikon,  that she uses and I like seeing the pictures she makes with it-when she gets round to uploading the scanned prints! HINT HIMT, if you are reading this Sharon!

So I took the plunge on Ebay, I spent $29.52 plus shipping on an Olympus OM-G or an OM-20 depending on what part of the world you are from. The cameras were in production between 1983 and 1987, so I have a camera, that is as around the same age as me, which I find rather cool.004

The camera that I purchased came with an Olympus 50mm 1.8 lens and a Vivtar 70-210 lens which can be used for Macro and Zoom. The lenses are in great condition, there apears to be no dust inside them or the camera, there are a few scuff marks where they may have been dropped, but apart from that the lenses are great. The camera on the other hand has a damaged dial, the dial is cracked and when I change the settings the dial comes off. It is not a big problem as the camera is still functional, but it is a litte irritating, as you can see in the picture.

It certainly was an experience trying to find a manual for this camera on line, and I definatly needed a manual, I had no idea how to open the back of the camera to put a film in-which actually turned out rather easy. I took the camera out on Sunday with a black and white film so I could test everything out, adn I was very happy. It is different having to focus everything yourself, although the split image screen helps greatly with this. The zoom lens was heavy, so I mainly shot withthe 50mm and I got some nice results, I had them developped at Ritz Camera store and the photos look great. I did upload the pictures to my computer through my scanner, but the images lost some quality, I will post a picture of my favourite on eanyway.

The pictures of the camera, I took with my canon 30d, and a couple of continuous lights with a white paper back ground.

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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.

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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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How To Make a GIF ‘moving’ Image

Posted by MWPA on July 7, 2008

A GIF image is made by a series of layers, each layer may have a slight or dramatic change from the picture below it, You can make a mini slide show or an animation that can be displayed on the internet or on your computer.

I make my GIF images with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4, it is very simple. When you open your picture in Photoshop the picture is displayed on a layer, this layer is called ‘background’ this background layer will be the start of your GIF image.

You can duplicate the layer of your original image or open up a new image and use the copy and paste function to add the new image to the GIF image, by adding a new image a new layer will be created, this will be the second part of your GIF, your third layer will be the third part of the GIF and so on….

Once you have finished adding your GIF image Click FILE and SAVE FOR WEB. I normally use the save for web function for resizing my images for emails and upooading pictures to websites, you can choose the size and image quality and file type in this function.

Now you have the save to web box up you will see two pictures and on the right hand side some text with drop down menus. the first thing you need to change is the second drop down menu, it most likely says JPEG, change this to GIF, Next select the box that says Animate. If your pictures are large then you may need to resize, for GIFS I normally set the size to 500 pixels on the longest side. In the right lower corner there is a small box titled Animate, you can select how long you want your frams / Layers to be displayed, If you made an animation you may want it short, but if you made a mini slideshow then you may prefer a longer time.

Once you are done then hit OK and fill in the file name to complete the saving process.

This is a demonstration of a very simple GIF, I used 7 layers and made the text slightly bigger and a darker background on each layer. You may need to click the image to open on a seperate web page to view the animation.

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Photoshop Elements Clone Tool

Posted by MWPA on July 6, 2008

While at the cat shelter on Saturday I was sat on the floor when I noticed two of the cats fighting-they had been play fighting all morning, so they were not hurting each other. Theye were on the back legs and it looked like they were boxing, they even had an audience, Pearl was in the Sink, Robbie is the cat on the left and Shawn is the cat on the right.

The only way for me to capture the shot with out the cats running was to take the picture through the  mirror, which was really dirty, so I had a lot of edditing to do with the picture. I used the clone tool in photoshop elements and set to work. its not a great removal of splodges, as there wasn’t much ‘clean area’ to clone from.

This is a GIF image so you will see the before picture and then in two seconds it will switch to the after picture.


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