I am moving this site to a new site that includes my online portfolio/galleries as well as a store where purchases of select prints can be made. This blog going forward will be on the new site as well. You can find it here: http://www.bruceatracy.com/blog I am editing/updating and re-posting some of the articles from this blog on the new site. Please take a moment to visit the new site and let me know what you think!
Changing your point of view can provide an interesting image of a subject that would otherwise be rather boring. In this image, a sunflower stalk becomes the “bean stalk” in Jack and the Bean Stalk. I wonder if there is a giant at the top of this one! There is! A giant sunflower head that is
To capture this image I simply held my camera next to the stalk of the sunflower and pointed the lens up the stalk to take this image. This can take a little practice to do because you cannot look through the view finder and it can be difficult to see the camera settings. Sometimes you get lucky and get a good image on the first try, and sometimes you might end up taking a number of images to get one that looks good. Either way, it’s worth the effort.
Anyway, a few days ago I was reading about a creative technique when shooting fireworks, so I decided I would give it a try.
The technique is really simple, rotate the focus ring on the lens while holding the shutter open. That’s all there is to it. Or so it would seem.
When using this technique to shoot fireworks, it becomes a bit of a challenge because you don’t know what type of firework is going off next, and well, let’s face it, the technique doesn’t work with all of them! I had a number of misses. I had an even larger number of really bad camera shake while trying to rotate the focus ring. And, I had a few that actually worked, like this one.
It’s always a good thing to try something new and creative, but I’m thinking this one might not be one that I do very often. What do you think?
This is a fairly simple restoration project, especially when using Photoshop CS5 with content aware fill tools. The first step in restoring a photo like this, is to get a good image of it for a starting point. This particular image presented some challenges here because it came out of a frame where the glass was convex and the image was painted on cardboard that took on the shape of the glass. What this meant was scanning the image was out of the question as this would further damage the image when attempting to get it to lay flat. So the option left is to take a picture of the image, which is what I did.
If you look at the “Before” image, you can see the pins I used to hold the image to a white board so I could take a picture. For the picture, I used f/8 at 1/320 sec with flash from two SB-700 speed-lights (one on each side of the camera at 45 degree angles to the image) bounced in 24 inch umbrellas to provide nice even light. Once I had the image, I imported it into Lightroom and made some minor adjustments in blacks, whites, contrast, vibrance, clarity, and saturation so the color was a good match to the original. Then I opened the adjusted image in Photoshop CS5 so I could use the content aware fill tools to repair the damage on the faces and clothes. I used the spot healing brush set for content aware fill and set the brush size just slightly larger than the damaged area (did one at a time) and painted over the damage. Photoshop then magically filled in and repaired the damage. I did this for every damaged area except around the border, and the spot on his eye.
To repair his eye, I selected and copied a portion of the other eye and pasted it into place over the damaged area. Then used the clone stamp tool to blend the edges of the patch. I also used the clone stamp tool to reconstruct her nose as the content aware spot healing tool didn’t repair this as well as I had hoped.
After the other repairs were complete, I used the clone stamp tool to repair the damage around the edges of the photo, sampling (often) close to the damage areas so I could maintain color and textures. Then saved the image and returned to Lightroom for final adjustment of applying sharpening to the image. The end result is what you see in the “After” image.
Restoring old photos is not as hard as some imagine, and it can be a lot of fun. So before you toss the old damaged photos, you might want to consider restoring them!
The first car show of the year occurred this last Friday at Fatso’s Diner here in Loveland. Even though it was a car show, there were motorcycles at the show too! This image is of a very cool chopper.
Again, this is one of those images that I didn’t bother to look through the view finder to frame the shot. I find it odd that many of the shots I take when looking through the view finder and trying to frame the shot just right, don’t work for me once I get the image on the computer! On the other hand, those I take when I just point the camera without looking through the view finder do work more often than not once I have the image on the computer – go figure. I guess what this is trying to tell me is that I should trust my instincts a little more and just go with it!
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that Amazon has Lightroom version 3 (the full version) at 70% off today. That is a sweet deal for Leap Day! It makes the price $89.99 which is the same as the education discount except you don’t have to prove your a student or teacher. If you haven’t got a copy of Lightroom and you’ve been waiting for a good price, you don’t need to wait any more…check it out at Amazon
For those who would be asking about Lightroom 4 and should I buy Lightroom 3 this close to a release date for Lightroom 4? Well, historically, upgrades for Lightroom have been priced at $99, and the full version price is $299. If this holds true, which there is no indication that it wouldn’t, then by taking advantage of this deal on Amazon and then upgrading when Lightroom 4 is released, you will have saved about $100. Is it worth it? I would say so!