Today’s photo (well, actually taken last night) is attempting a silhouette – where due to the lighting and exposure, the people are almost black. Works well with simple, identifiable shapes against plain backgrounds, like the sky. This shot is from the county fair, with people on bleachers watching the tractor pull.
Today’s experiment is trying a black and white HDR – I’ve tried a number of HDR’s in color, but this is the first time I have tried black and white.
I used HDR Efex Pro. I didn’t like any of the monochrome presets. At first, I had trouble figuring out how to make the adjustments that resulted in pleasing effects. But then when I concentrated on getting a good distribution of tones by looking at the histogram, it was easy to adjust the remaining factors.
Today’s experiment is tilt-shift – applying the tilt-shift effect in Photoshop CS6 to a photo. The photo was one I took in 2005 in Central Park of The Gates – it was taken on slide film, and then I scanned the slide to convert it to digital, so the image is not of the highest quality.
The tilt shift technique is interesting, but would benefit from a lot of pre-planning in taking a shot that would make sense when viewed from a tilt-shift perspective. The above image is okay, I think, but not perfect from this perspective.
Today’s experiment is using 2 cameras to take one photo. I’ve read about this technique using a twin-lens reflex and taking a photo of its viewfinder, producing an interesting vintage look. But since I don’t have a twin-lens reflex, this shot is simply an Iphone photo of my DSLR’s viewfinder. Might be an interesting technique for producing some dream-like photos.
Today’s experiment is not exactly photography – this image is produced by scanning.
What I learned:
- getting all the dust off the scanner is critical, and frustrating
- composing isn’t easy, since you see the composition from the back side
- I couldn’t get one of those super-high-res scans due to my scanner’s limits – so this was at 600ppx (while my scanner goes up to 2400ppx, it won’t handle the resulting scan size – so the 2400ppx scans are only possible if you are scanning something that is just an inch or two across).
Definitely something to try again – probably with multiple scans so that the layering and composition can be more sophisticated.
Today I tried a fisheye lens – so it didn’t take much effort (although I did find out that one can create a lot of boring images with a fisheye before finding some subject matter that works). I don’t have a fisheye lens for my DSLR, so this is using the olloclip fisheye on the Iphone.
It does create an interesting illusion – this photo is exactly the same width and height, but that is not how it looks.
Today’s experiment is focus stacking.
I took 12 images of this flower, with a 60mm macro lens about 15 inches away. With the lens set on manual focus, I moved the focus of the lens slightly between each photo. Then I stacked the photos in Photoshop, and used the auto-blend layer stack option.
The result is pretty good. What could make the result better:
- more patience on my part
- an automated way of changing the manual focus – there is equipment for this. I just tried to manually turn the lens a small amount between each photo
- a steady tripod – mine is the $20 tripod version, so is not rock-solid within and between shots
- probably a different scene or getting closer to benefit the full use of the macro lens would be a more interesting shot
- Photoshop’s autoblend action creates a different layer mask for each layer in the focus stack, so it would be possible to adjust any of these masks to refine the results. I kind of liked the way the automation created sharp focus in the gray background at the bottom, but not at the top, so I left that alone.
Today’s experiment is lightpainting.
This image was shot in a dark room, using a flashlight that had multicolor light. For a few seconds, the scene was lit by the blue light from the flashlight, then with a quick burst of white light directed toward the middle of the scene. I held the flashlight in one hand and a camera release with the camera on bulb mode in the other hand.
What I found was that it took a lot of tries to get something that was lit enough but not too much. The main issue was that the flashlight beam was large in relation to the scene. Next time I try this, I will either use a larger scene or modify the flashlight so that the beam is smaller, so that the light can be more selectively applied across just certain parts of the scene.