Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some before and after practice

I've been working on trying to get some practice on my photoshop skills.
I do not use Photoshop (or in my case Photoshop Elements) very often at all. I use Lightroom for the VAST majority of my editing. Version 4 of Lightroom is really amazing for editing actually.

These photos however, needed more then what Lightroom can do.

NOTE: You should be able to click any of these and make them larger.

So in this first one I liked the eagle, but the smoke stack and the blurry crow didn't work for me.



This one, I quite like the body position and the sense of action with the Eagle carry a clump of garbage. Unfortunately, I chopped the wing off.  So I extended the canvas above the bird. Then I copied the bottom wing tip. Flipped it, enlarged it so it fit, then rotated it in place.  I cloned out part of the garbage heap that I found distracting.  Then I burned (darkened) the heap.  
The hard part of this one was the sky. I found smoothing out the sky was tough. I am sure there is an easier way to do it, but I will have to learn it.
I also decided to try the square crop.



So, what's the take away for you? Try playing with stuff on your computer! This is what I did.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Foggy Wallpaper

I made this my desktop wallpaper. You can have it too if you like, full size it's 1440x900 pixels.
It fits my computer well.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So, you want to get into photography?

Camera Bag Geekiness 2011
Click Through to see Labels on the Flickr Page
So, you want to get into photography?

This post is about gear.

People ask me regularly about what DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera they should buy.

 That's not an easy thing to answer. I often tell people that you are buying into a system. When you buy a particular brand of camera you enter into their little world of lenses and other accessories. Certainly there are accessories and devices that you get that are far beyond your camera manufacturer.

I chose Nikon gear. I had a Nikon film camera and used some of my film gear when I was starting with digital. My Dad has used Nikon cameras my whole life, and actively shoots with a Nikon DSLR. For me it made sense to shoot Nikon because of the gear I already had, and that I had access to knowledge from someone close to me.

Now this post is NOT meant to scare you away from photography. The beautiful thing about photography is that you don't have to get everything right away. You can start shooting with what you have already. Your mobile phone likely has a camera, use it!

That being said, as you begin to develop your skills there are other things to consider with regards to gear. There's an old saying about photography equipment: You can have it fast, sharp or cheap, pick any two (fast refers to how much light you are able to record with a given piece of equipment). Everything in photography can be perceived as a compromise, you choose one thing and it will  determine other things. For many of us - budget is a concern. The type of photography you want to do will influence your buying decisions. For example, wildlife photography can involve some very expensive lenses. What you want to do with the photos will make a difference too, shooting for large prints is different then shooting for Facebook.

 I wanted to make a list about some of the things you *might* eventually might buy if you are into photography. I don't have all the things on this list by any stretch of the imagination, but I have thought about getting them. It's good to consider the costs of a hobby and being smart about where you are putting your money to get the most value you can for your money.

What goes into a camera hobby.
  • Camera body(ies)
  • battery grip
  • Lenses
    • prime
    • wide 
    • 'normal'
    • telephoto
    • zoom
  • Lens accessories
    • macro tubes
    • teleconverters
  • Flash(es)
    • Flash modifiers
    • Reflectors
    • Light stands
  • Tripod 
    • legs 
    • head (on cheaper tripods this is attached to the legs)
    • Quick Release system
    • focus rail (macro)
    • nodal point system (panorama)
  • Memory Card (s)
  • camera bag (s)
    • small for day trips
    • big for bringing everything
  • extra batteries
  • remote
  • filters
    • protective(maybe not)
    • neutral density
    • polarizing
  • after market strap
  • flash triggers
  • oldnew camera selfportrait
    What I learned a lot of my photography with...
    • radio
    • optical
  • lens cleaning equipment
  • computer
    • data backup solution
      • local backup
      • offsite backup
    • software
      • Lightroom
      • Photoshop (Elements)
      • software for backing up
    • Website memberships to share
      • Flickr
      • Smugmug
      • Blogger
      • etcetera...
    • bigger monitor(s)
    • monitor calibration tool
    • tablet input device (Like a Wacom)
    • Memory Card Reader
    • how do you deal with data when you are away from your desk?
  • training
    • books
    • online
    • workshops
    • clubs
  • travel