Do you think the admin folks could correct it from their end? I didn't even notice...I just followed the links. (I did something like this before, by the way, but I think I ended up renaming the whole thread!)
Jubilada, Thanks for the new thread. I like 43. Can I go back to 43? ^_^
Love all the great colors and fall leaves. I am going out tomorrow in search of fall colors. Ditto what Miss Mary said - "Down the street" is awesome! I really like your window too - great, simple composition and fantastic texture. And the porch with the repeating maroon colors is one of those wonderful images that you see and I never see. Great eye!
Ted, I love the framing and the grunge look in your image!
I do not want this to get political and have no intention of making it so. I just wanted to whine about losing my park.
Last Thursday my computer at work decided that it needed a break. While the IT gurus were trying to revive it, I took a break too. There is a nice little park two blocks from my building that was my refuge when I needed some time to think or just unwind. I would eat lunch there sometimes and just sit and watch the pigeons. I loved to see the sunlight filtering through and lighting up their irridescent feathers.
No more. Houston, we have a problem. My little park has been invaded by folks that think it is okay to park themselves and all their junk and trash for days (or will it be months? years?) on end while they protest something or other. Ironic that Tranquility Park is the name of the park and it is everything but tranquil now. When did it get to be okay to turn a protest into a sleep-over? They could at least pick up their trash and go home at night. If it was just people out there, no problem. It's the sleeping bags and boxes and chairs and junk that I don't want to see.
Oh well, only another few weeks for me, but I feel sorry for the other folks downtown that used to enjoy that park before it became a tent city.
Shot these with my iPhone. Totally processed this one with a freebie iPhone program. Amazing what those little phones will do.
Went out to Willis today. Three Wood Ducks jumped off of the pond as I approached. I got two shots, one almost in focus. Well, it is in focus for Mrs. Wood Duck, but Mr. Wood Duck is not in the same plane and I had a really narrow depth of field, so he's a bit OOF.
I like it anyway.
Cropped about 1/3 away., tweaked exposure, levels, noise reduction, sharpened and added a frame.
Jubilida love the down the street compositon and color.
Pattie like the duck works. Sound like I am doing refrigeration. LOL Ayway it looks great.
Mary back to 43 sure sounds good to me.
Here is a shot of a residential street in San Gimignano, Italy eddited with topaz 5
Ted, I loved San Gimignano. I think it was my favorite city of all we visited. Your shot shows off the wonderful arches over the walkways and the colorful doors. The treatment looks great. I want to go back.
Lots of Robins out today. This one was up against that bright white sky, so I had to spend forever trying to get rid of the fringing - purple and green. I am not so good at this. You can still see traces along some of the limbs. Miss Mary, I need lessons.
Patti, I'm all too familiar with fringe! It shows up in more photos than I'd like to admit...
In PSE, I just use the lasso tool to capture the areas (loosely) and then select Enhance > Adjust Color > Replace Color. I click on the purples or blues, do a little fine tuning and then play with changing the hue and/or decreasing the saturation and/or darkening (to blend with the branches) or lightening (to blend with the sky). I really have a major problem with glowing edges when I'm trying to capture those tall Autumn-clad trees!!
Your Robin seems to be keeping a close eye on his/her surroundings. I think you tamed the fringe quite well, by the way...
Thanks Miss Mary. I still see some lighter colored edges, but I didn't do all the work you described. That's a lot!
Here are a couple more Robins. This female and male hopped down toward the water for a drink. They kept an eye on me, but they must have been more thirsty than they were afraid. No need to be afraid. I could barely see them in all the leaf/twig litter.
One more from me tonight. Since I went out in search of fall colors, I thought I'd better post at least one photo with some color ... I didn't see much - just a few patches of color here and there - not trees full of color. This is just a plain old Chinese Tallow tree that I saw in a park near my house. They do transform into some beautiful yellow and red colors, but they are considered invasive in Texas. They are all over the place, but I haven't seen very many on our property at Willis.
Oh, I like those red leaves! I don't recall hearing about any of those trees around here.
Those Robins are well-camouflaged, aren't they? I really like the reflections you captured in the water!
I'm not at all confident that my way of handling fringe is the best (or easiest) way. I'd be interested in hearing about some others' methods. I do know I haven't had any success with the automatic fringe-fixers (I know PSP has one).
Here's the progression ... From Boring to Weird in a few simple steps
Started with me trying to get some fall color and getting this boring shot of what I think is a Black Gum tree. Then I decided it would look better blurred and wished I had moved the camera around when I was out taking the photo. But, Photoshop to the rescue. I did a Motion Blur at 90 degrees and 100% and got the middle image. Then I duplicated it, rotated the dupe 90 degrees and pasted the rotated dupe on top of the original. I stretched it up to fill the frame, changed the blend mode to Lighten so the lighter stuff on the lower layer would show through and boosted the contrast. Weird, huh?
Patti, your weird mood suits me tonight, I guess. I gave your process a try with one of my already enhanced photos of a rose, but I did a Hard Mix blend on it...it's totally abstract and that's how I'm feeling at the moment:
Well, Miss Mary, I should say that's abstract! Any relationship between that rose and the "hard mix" seems to be purely coincidental! But, striking, nevertheless!
On the subject of paperwhites (rather tame, after all this wired abstraction) ... my small clump planted themselves a couple of years ago. Each year they multiply a little. They live outside the bed which this winter is hosting garlic, and during the summer was home to a couple of varieties of squash, some parsley and basil. The parsley is still there, and will be until next spring, when it will go to seed. Here's a shot of the paperwhites from last January 1.
Miss Mary, That is an awesome abstract! It reminds me of one of the inkblots in a Rorschach test. I'm not telling what I see. ^_^ Okay, I'll tell. Elmer Fudd is in black over to the right, looking to the left. Can't find that wascally wabbit though.
Jubilada, Those paperwhites are a lovely way to bring in the new year.
Gingko tree (there are so many of these trees here, and they're so grand, but sadly amidst many power lines ... this was a "baby", therefore not tall enough to be hampered by those distracting wires ...)
Well, what can I say...? Ginkgos are my favorite Fall trees! I can't imagine a community full of them! The shot of that one against a backdrop of fallen Ginkgo leaves tickles my fancy to no end! The window box in the sky is outstanding as well -- really neat theme and combination of elements.
Jubilada, Cool stuff! I like that Ginkgo too! The window box is such a great idea - reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. I expect to see Dorothy peeking out of the window any minute. Really nice composition incorporating the lamppost. And yes, I love that grad filter! I've even used it in reverse of how I normally think to use a "real" grad filter (darken the sky). I take the photo underexposed to protect the sky from blowing out and then I use the grad filter from bottom up to add light to the foreground. It saves me from shooting multiple exposures and doing an HDR processing.
Today, I made Thanksgiving dinner for myself and a friend I've known since we were 9. Not saying exactly how many, but that's a lot of years! Here's a shot of my little dinner (Chicken and Dressing, Mashed Potatoes & Rutabaga, Cream Style Corn, Homemade rolls and Sweet Potato Casserole) incorporated into a wish for all to have a wonderful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day!
Wow -- that beautiful line of Ginkgos! You know, I hardly noticed the power lines. I think the Ginkgos "interrupt" them in my eyes! Is that a Bradford Pear on the other side of the street? They are so beautiful in the Spring and Fall.
That's a beautiful Tulip Tree composition, too. The red tones in the Maple shot are really lovely. I like the background on that one. It looks like the photo of the Maple is lying against it for real. Palo Alto sure has its share of Autumn beauty!
Miss Mary, Your Thanksgiving dinner looks delicious! My mouth is watering. Sweet Potato casserole, oh my! I love the arrangement of leaves! And the image you created is beautiful.
Jubilada, The leaf wreath is so colorful and lovely. And all of the trees with their vibrant leaves are a treat to see. I'm curious about the red one across from the ginkgo trees too. It looks lovely.
I went for a walk yesterday and found some slim pickings in the park. A few things caught my eye. The little bitty butterflies were so pretty, but so hard to photograph. Only about the size of a penny and flitting all around. I finally just sat and waited until a few came my way.
Left to right, top to bottom: Indian Paintbrush, Chinese Tallow Tree leaf backlit with shadow of Mimosa pudica grass, I don't know?*, Ceraunus Blue underside of wings, Mexican Hat, Mexican Hat, Ceraunus Blue topside of wings.
*Any ideas on that yellow wildflower? It appears to be growing on a vine like stem. Some sort of daisy, I guess?
Oh, what a delightful collage, Patti! I really like the backlit leaf. So many interesting things going on there! I agree with Jubilada about that yellow flower. The blossom looks a lot like my Maximillians and the leaves remind me of those on the annual Sunflowers.
Jubilada, triple-chocolate pumpkin pie????
Maybe I should start checking for flights to your neck of the woods...
Miss Mary, The landscapes at the River should be found in the dictionary by "tranquility." They are just lovely and I find that lone tree on the point a wonderful subject for your composition in the first image. The first leaf image is so creative! What a great idea and beautifully executed. And the second one is so wild and crazy! Cool effects going on in that image.
I went to a bird sanctuary and the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge today. Got some decent shots at the sanctuary, but saw very little that was in range of my 400mm lens at the NWR. But I took a bunch of photos anyway just for ID purposes.
This one really surprised me. I was actually going to throw it away once I identified the hawk, but I ended up liking how the noise reduction and huge crop made it painterly looking. I'll keep it. I just added a stroke around the outside.
It's a Northern Harrier. They were gliding around all over the place, but very careful to stay out of range of my lens or between me and the sun.
More stuff from my outing. Be prepared. I took a lot of shots. I'll be playing for a while. ^_^
I just love grebes. They are adorable little birds and they like to mess with people. As soon as you get all set up and ready to trip the shutter, the little imps dive. Then they come up all soaking wet and laugh. No, they do. They laugh. Okay, maybe it's just a big grin, but they absolutely know they have ruined your shot. In case you hadn't noticed, I love to slip into the anthropomorphism dreamworld too. ^_^
These White-faced Ibis were plentiful and the light was really making their feathers glow. I have never seen them this beautiful. For this one I did a lot to try to de-emphasize that ugly, busy background (unsuccessfully, I'm afraid), some clean up and a crop and frame.
I really wanted to show off those feathers, so I cropped it in really close, did a noise reduction on the background and sharpened only the bird. I had no idea there was that much color in the feathers of a WF Ibis.
Patti, what a cool variety of goodies! That last one has me chuckling. How in the world did you ever think of that? The colors on that Ibis are incredible! It's quite a handsome bird! You did well drawing my attention away from the background. And, since you mentioned it, I think I do see a smirk on that Grebe's face!!
Miss Mary, your River Landscape shots are really beautiful ... and those leaf compositions, wow! Very nice! And, very inventive!
Patti, as usual, your bird shots are stellar. Those Kinglets are such darling little birds, and your triptych and collage just swell!
That white-faced ibis is some bird, ok, and I think you did a fine job of setting it apart from that golden background ...
TAR, that looks like a bunch of whipped cream to me!
And speaking of whipped cream ... the triple chocolate pumpkin pie was a smashing success ... except that it turned out to be double (thin layer of bittersweet chocolate on the crust, and a few ounces of semi-sweet chocolate in the pumpkin filling) ... the triple part of the chocolate was to be melted milk chocolate that was drizzled on the pie immediately prior to serving ... for whatever reason I could not get the chocolate to melt to the proper consistency, so I simply chucked that idea and it was served with whipped cream instead (a fine substitute, I might add) ... anyhow, for the curious, here's a shot of the pie, which has been run through the pixel bender droste and oil painting filters ...
My Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia is going to get a chance to bloom before our first frost (this blooming is very late ... should have been in October) ... here's a shot of the first bloom, done up in Topaz Adjust and then Pixel Bender Oil ...
Lupita is adorable as always. And peeking out above her blankie is too cute! Love that big brug bloom and your treatment. And I am just sitting here looking at my cup of coffee thinking how much better it would be if a slice of double chocolate pumpkin pie with a large dollop of whipped cream on top were sitting next to it. Very cool image!!!
Filtering through the last few now. Started with 380 and now have it down to 85. Still need to weed out some more losers, but some I just can't throw away. This was the only Mocker I got and even though I have lots in my archives, I couldn't toss this one.
It was dusk, ISO was sky high so very noisy. I tried to shoot it underexposed to get a silhouette, but there wasn't enough light in the sky behind the bird. Photoshop to the rescue.
Jubilada, that swirly pie literally had my mouth watering! Wonderful treatment.
Patti, that Texas Mockingbird turned out beautifully! Great choice of color and enhancement! Hey, that's Tennessee's state bird, too...
That little Grebe kept diving, surfacing, and looking over to make sure I was still watching him. I snapped quite a few shots. This is a composite of three of the photos.
I move two into the third file and changed the blend mode to darken on the top two layers so the grebe would show through the water layers. Then I just moved the layers around until I liked the grouping. Then I ran a Sharon's mat action for the double mat and added a frame with Fotosketcher.
Still playing... Shot this Monarch at the bird sanctuary. It was against a very bright, overcast, white sky. Yuck. I tried selecting it and putting it on a nicer background, but my selection skills are not there yet. So, I put it in a retro frame that I got here: http://paxtonprints.com/index.php?x=retro_frame
And then I ran a Vintage Photoshop action on the framed photo.
Thanks, Patti, for the Tennessee Mocker! That's really classy-looking. You did a great job with that shot.
The retro Monarch is sweet, too. I went to that site and downloaded a frame pack but am not sure how to incorporate it into PSE9. The "how to" link on the site is broken and the hover text doesn't help me at all. Did you copy and paste the downloaded frames into a folder in your Photoshop files? If not, can you tell me how to use them?
Miss Mary, I copied the files into a folder with my photos. I just double click on a file and it opens in Photoshop. They are .psd files, so I don't know if they work in PSE or not??? I also don't know if they can be converted. I'll see if I can find out anything.
Edit: I sent a note to Steve asking if the files will work with PSE or if they can be converted to something that will.
New Edit: I just found out that you need Elements 10 to open .psd files. Maybe Steve has a way to convert. Stay tuned. ^_^
You just copy your image and paste it into the frame file and make sure the layer with your image is the one right above the one that has the text on it. Then you can either throw that text layer away or just make it invisible (clicking the eye on the left of the layer in Photoshop).
There are several ways to copy and paste. You can open your photo, select all, copy and then open the frame file and paste. It should appear on a separate layer. Move your photo layer just above the text layer.
Or you can have both images open side by side and using the Move tool (PS anyway), just drag your image over and drop on the frame image.
Patti, that "trio" of Grebes is really adorable ... and a fine job of photoshopping! Good work! Like that Sharon Mat, too ... I checked that out! As well as your link to the retrp frames. Thanks! The Monarch is framed very nicely!
Miss Mary, that "diamond" in the elephant garlic (if that's what it is) is really stunning! And that Camellia, well, whew, what a flower! Great capture and wonderful treatment.
TAR, nice job of framing ... but is that border part of the frame? Or is that something you added? I downloaded a couple of those sets and didn't see anything like your frame ... and your frame is pretty cool!
Here's a shot of the whimsical front yard of a local artist (Waverley Street), lightly topazzed ... I tried out the Sharon Mat, and framed in Fotosketcher ... I'm going to have to spend a little time fiddling with those Sharon Mats, trying to understand them a little better ... but they're cool!
Three very nice images, Jubilada -- I don't know which I like best! I think maybe the artist's yard. I've been in a whimsical mood today. Those are all so nice and your choice of mat/frame colors is just perfect to highlight each one!
Okay, Patti. I had a little time to sit down and play today. I've got it now...thanks again for all the coaching.
Miss Mary, I have seen those diamond drops before too. Fantastic capture of one! It does glisten. Your camellia images are always so beautiful and this one has to be the best one yet. The color is lovely and that leaf is so shiny and healthy looking.
Ted, That is a wonderful old photo! I don't remember seeing that frame either. It looks too good to be vintage. ^_^
Jubilada, Wonderful images! Great job with the Sharon's mats. I haven't spent much time with them either. I ended up cropping away most of the outer mat until I tried out the custom mats and figured out you could select the size.
I think your artist neighbor would love to see your photo of his/her yard. It is a work of art in itself. You have used that wall as a great leading line into the image. Perfectly balanced. I think I could spend hours taking photos in that yard.
I love the new image of the bottle house. I remember your last one when they were still constructing it. This perspective with the high
rise building in the background is really cool. That crazy azalea is way cool. Nice work on blending it all together.
I sure wish the views around my neighborhood were half as interesting as what you see. Pretty boring around here in comparison.
We cross posted. You got it all right! That is totally awesome. You have exceeded the coach's capabilities. That's for sure. Very cool image, OOB and framing. Wow! I'll bet Steve would really love to see that on his forum. Below is the note he sent back to me when I asked if the files would work in PSE. Just as I was reading his answer, you also said that you were able to open them. I let him know that you were able to open them.
I am so glad that you could use the vintage frame set! I have made several vintage Christmas card templates available (http://goo.gl/TWmZY) that you might like.
I am pretty sure that Photoshop Elements will open PSD files. The PSD (Photoshop Document) file format was created by Adobe so I am guessing that it is compatible with Elements. I don't have Elements so I can't test it out. Everything I could find online seems to indicated that the files will open in Elements. Another option is to open the files for her in Photoshop and then re-save them as TIFFs. The trick is to get the files to open with the layers intact (so that you can customize them and drop your own images in behind the frames).
I invite you both to jump into the F/Stop Spot Photography forum (http://fstopspot.com/forum.php ) - it's a great place to share your images and meet other photographers. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
The frame border I applied out of PSP. Thought it make it look old. Applied topaz film, Grunge I to it to burn the edges.
Jubilada I had that Brug for a while. Meally bug got it. Nice photo and effect. The Azelea photo is outstanding.
Pattie love what ou did with the duck photo.
Mary love the oob effect and composition on that one.
Another old photo done the same way
TAR, that frame absolutely suits that old photo ... and what a great old photo it is! Looks like the photographer used a quilt as a backdrop ... those subjects all had to hold pretty still for the shot ... frozen in time ... fascinating!
I am so enamored of this brug ... it's blooming so late this year, and I was so worried that frost was going to get it before it got a chance to, and I can't say how thrilled I am it's got this far, even though it is a bit scraggly ... of course there's a big wind storm forecast for later today and this evening, so it may get blown to bits ... nevertheless, here's my homage to my Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia ... (photos taken this a.m., they are all HDR, 3 exposure, processed in Photoshop HDR pro, and then briefly topazzed ...)
Jubilada, It is so nice to see that Brugmansia. I am amazed that the plant can support those huge flowers. I hope it survives the wind storm. I love the collage! The arrangement and the framing are excellent.
Ted, Ditto what Jubilada said. That is a wonderful old photo and the frame looks great!
Really good collage, Jubilada. It brings out the graceful loveliness of that Brug. Isn't it a treat to be able to enjoy something a little longer than you expected!
Ted, I used to love to look at old photos when I was a child (I never grew out of it!) and used to think that people back then were mean. No one ever smiled in photos and some even seemed to be grimacing! That frame really works for your picture above. Tell me, does the woman on the right have some Native American ancestry?
Walking bridge over the Wolf River. This bridge really had very few right angles. The sides went up and out at various degrees along its span. I think all I did to this one was straighten and apply Picnik HDR-ish.
Hi DoGooder! Welcome. That is a beautiful pink color. I love the subtle painterly look that you achieved with the filter.
Miss Mary, That blue and gold together on your fall colors is perfect! That one should be printed big and hung on the wall! I love all of the sweeping, curving lines in the walking bridge and the shadow adds so much. Good eye to see that one! Was the lack of right angles planned or did the bridge builder fail engineering 101. If the latter, I'd be a bit worried to cross. ^_^
Ted, That last retouch really shows the artist in you. To visualize what might have been there and then make it happen is pretty amazing. I had some old photos scanned several years ago and I cleaned some of them up, but nothing like you have done.
This is a retouch of a photo of my oldest sister. It must have been taken around 1932. (Remember, she's the oldest. I'm the youngest and there is a big gap in between. ^_^ ^_^ )The photo was in pretty bad shape.
HelloMissMary, thanks! I admire your first bridge photo, especially the curved shadow and the contrast between the tan bridge and blue sky. I like tan & pale blue color combinations. As for the second photo it seems that the architect was seeking a modern art look.
Mary I love the look of that bridge. You have an eye for it. Great work nice colors.
DoGooder The oleander was done real nice to highlite the colors. Love it.
Patti the redo on the photo is great. A tool I find does great on the bright spots like the dress is the Burn tool in PSP. I set it on only about 10 on hardness and the Opacity on 20 and paint over the whole dress. It will even out the bloches. That one would bve a good canadate to colorize.
Miss Mary, Yep, I think you and DoGooder are right on target. That wild bridge design was intentional. Very cool.
Thanks to all for the kind comments on the retouch. I did it quite some time ago, so don't remember how long it took, but I do remember that it took the longest of all of the ones I did. I spent several days working on it. If I remember correctly, I did it all with the clone, healing brush and paintbrush tools in Photoshop. At times, I was going one pixel at a time. Pretty tedious.
I have such trouble getting good moon shots, with everything in focus ... I know I've read this somewhere, and I believe that Patti suggested it as well, to merge two photos ... one with the foreground in focus, and the other with the moon in focus, so that's what I've done here ... photos taken this early evening, I call it "sunset moon blended" (I've posted a couple other moon photos which have not been manipulated, except for cropping, on the "Shooting the Moon" thread) ...
Cool composite, Jubilada! That's a good way to do it!
There are two others that I know of. One is to do everything you can to increase the depth of field (DOF) so that both are in focus. Getting far from the foreground will increase DOF between fore and background, so use a telephoto lens and get far from the foliage. Using a small aperture (big f-stop number such as f22) will increase so DOF, so use the smallest aperture you can without having to crank the ISO too high. On your camera, you should be able to crank the ISO to at least 800 and even just using PSCS5s noise reduction in Camera Raw, you can take care of it. You do need at least I think around a 1/100 shutter speed since the moon moves, so keep that in mind too.
The other way is how it was done back in the old film days with a double exposure. For this one, we wold minimize DOF, get close to the foliage and use very small DOF (f5.6 or so). We would set the camera on a tripod and frame it up the way we wanted it and focus on the moon. The foliage was so far OOF, you couldn't see it. We would take the moon shot and then just leave the camera on the tripod until the moon moved out of the frame. Then, on the same frame of film, we would focus on the foliage and using a flash, illuminate it and shoot the second exposure. Then we would wait a few days to see if it worked. Film! Arrrrgh. You can, of course, do this with digital too. But, the way you did it is much easier and less hazardous to the health of your camera sitting outside on a tripod.
Cool. Now I want to pull out that telescope and go get some moon photos.
Glad you liked it.
Pattie that really made that tractor, but I liked the bird house best.
Jubilada you can get up off the lawn now. LOL Nice shot
Did this one today. Sliping back to some of our old work and used topaz.
Patti, first of all, those are all very nice photographs ... with or without the color selection ... my favorite is probably that piece of farm equipment (thresher?), what with my penchant for geometry, shapes, and such ... also, I don't know why, I do have a fondness for tractors(!) ... and thanks for that GH link ... using the Black and White adjustment layer is a revelation!
TAR, that's some fantastic OOB ... nice work!
Anyhow, I tried that GH color selection on a Brug shot ... then ran it through a couple of Topaz filters ... interesting result, I think ... kind of muted, I suppose ...
This morning we had the first frost ... at least out at my community garden plot ... all the hoses were frozen stiff, the bird bath, etc. ... so I took some pictures of the frost on the cabbage and cauliflower leaves ... and, voilà, a frosty kaliedo (the background is the original photo, and then there's a gradient fill layer on screen blend mode at 75 percent or so) ... kind of wintery, eh?
And speaking of the moon shots ... Patti, thanks for your advice ... however my Tamron lens is somewhat difficult ... I've tried using those little apertures (in some cases I can get to f36), but this lens simply does not handle them well in terms of sharp focus, and seems to be happiest at f8 or f11 ... also, when I zoom to the max (270) depth of field basically is narrowed to practically nothing (depending on, yes, how far I am from the closest subject) ... I just have to try and try, and hit and miss, and cuss and moan ... but here's another shot I took yesterday evening, and it has been manipulated quite a bit in raw and then in topaz ... f8 at 1/80th sec and, yes, ISO 100 (as usual) ...
Ted, That horse stepping out of the pasture OOB is wonderful work! Love the perspective and the vibrant colors.
Jubilada, So cool to see the progression on the Brug image. It is just getting better and better. I think the selective color treatment really pulled the brugs out and made them more noticeable. Then, the PB work really made them stand out more and I love your Cassini frames. That was a great idea when you started it and, as you know, I've stolen it several times. ^_^
The frosty kaleido is just beautiful. The background image is lovely and the kaleido just really fits with all of the crystals.
I think you have outgrown your lens. It happens. I am always looking for better lenses to replace one or two of mine. While all lenses have a sweet spot for aperture and most are around f8 to f11, good lenses all usually work fairly decently at other apertures. Now, the farther away you get from that sweet spot - wide open (f2.8 or wider) and closed all the way down (f22 or more) - will be a challenge even for the best lenses. You will see some diffraction at f22 even on the best Canon L lenses, but not as bad as you are describing. Have you had a chance to rent a Canon L lens for a few days and give it a workout? If you get sharper images, sell your lens and get a new one. I must admit, after buying some off brand lenses and even some of the Canon non L glass, I have become a Canon L glass snob. They are just so much better quality and it does make a difference when you start pushing the lens to do more.
And yes, all things being equal, you will have less DOF at a longer focal length than at a wide angle focal length. That will be true for all lenses. When you do the technique of waiting for the moon to move out of the frame, that fact will work for you, because you can completely blur out the foliage in the near foreground by focusing on the moon. And then, when the moon is out of the frame, you focus on the foliage and there is nothing out in the distance to blur but dark sky.
Patti, I rented the Canon 24-70L, f2.8 for a few days, and of course I loved it. It's very expensive. I want to rent the 24-105L, f4, because the camera store guy said I really ought to give it a try. It's a little less expensive, but I think I want it already ... the thing is, can I really justify buying such an expensive lens? Oh, and have you tried the Canon 500d close-up filter? If so, what do you think? Yeah, this is like a disease, because now I'm thinking I need a full-frame camera (OMG) ...
I have one of the close-up filters and I didn't like it much. But, I got it a long time ago when I got my first Canon dSLR in 2004, so I don't really remember. I'll drag it out and take a look. That 24-70L f2.8 would be a dream to have, but I really like the 24-105L f4. It is a great all around lens. My photography instructor uses hers most of the time on our trips and Gavin Hoey uses his a lot. My next lens will be a 500mm f4. I want to get serious about bird photography. But, I'll need a Sherpa to carry it around.
LOL. You have been bit by the camera accessory bug. A full frame camera! I won't get one because I like the crop factor. When I'm shooting birds with my 400mm lens on my 50D, I have 640mm with the crop factor. I miss that extra crop when I shoot that same lens on my 1D Mark IV. It's only a 1.3 crop factor compared to the 1.6 factor on the 50D. But, that full frame would sure be nice on the other end when you are shooting landscapes and need the wide angle or when you are inside and want a wider angle. But, that's why I bought that fisheye zoom. It covers the wide end and then some.
Yes, that 24-70L is VERY heavy (I dragged it around in that photo workshop, and it really gave my wrist a workout when I wasn't using the tripod) ... I can't imagine schlepping around one of those really big ones ... the 24-105 on the other hand, seems to be a very manageable size, comparable to the Tamron ... I'll see ... Oh, my, so many things to try ... and so little time ...
Thanks, Jubilada. And, I do believe, you are there. I love that image! Technically, it looks great. Lovely framing. The moon is centered and it should be. Perfect example of when to forget the ROT. But, it is the mood that it creates that makes it such a good image. That ethereal glow with all the dark branches is eerie and calming at the same time. It's a very powerful image.
Thanks so much for your comments, Patti! And, your advice is always good, it's just that sometimes it takes a while for it to sink in this thick skull of mine. Of course that moon is centered ... I used my center auto focus point! And then moved the camera just slightly down enough to get the tree leaves in (sort of) focus for the second shot. But ... your pointing out the center thing jogged my mind and brought me back to your suggestion of using live view and manual focus ... duh ... of course! I mean to try that out this evening (if my wits are about me) ... and I will use a tripod this time!
Live View is really a great way to manually focus. My eyes are not what they used to be, so I use it a lot. You can click the button that is a magnifying glass (twice on my camera) and it will magnify what is in the Live View so you can really see what you are doing. I've even used it on birds. Some of them actually stay still long enough.
I was motivated to go outside and get some moon shots last night after seeing your work. I ran out to take a look and there was the moon with Jupiter quite close! But, it was freezing cold. I'm a wimp. No photos of the moon for me. Maybe I'll drag out my parka and head out there tonight. Brrrrrrr.
Miss Mary,Cool shot of the icy leaves! While I would like to be able to take some similar snowscapes, I think I would rather just enjoy yours. My bird bath was frozen this morning, but I guess it was dry enough that there wasn't any frost.
Jubilada, Those moons are very detailed and sharp. I'll be curious to see what you get with your 2x TC! And, that last one does look nice off center with that break in the branches. The one you did the other day that was centered looked right though. I think probably since it wasn't in a gap between branches, it really belonged in the center. I don't think it would have looked as nice off-center. One of the exceptions to the ROT is when the elements of the photo are symmetrical and I think the branches all around the moon fit that exception.
Jubilada, What a beautiful visitor to your garden! That treatment was a waker upper for me this morning - wild and vibrant! Wheeeee.
This is another shot I tried to salvage from going into the trash can. I know it should go. The little guy is horribly OOF since he was running to Mom for dear life when he finally figured out I wasn't a statue. Poor little guy. He got over it though and came back to check me out. I hope his Mom teaches him the difference between the critters that go "click", and the ones that go, "boom."
Oh, dear, Christmas season starts ... on my walk this morning, some statuary in one yard, interesting tree stand in another, they belong together, add a teeny big of colorizing ... and then how about a decorative background and some words ... ho, ho, ho ...
Oooh, Patti, my 2.2x Telephoto whatever ... huge bust! What a mistake! Not only horrid vignetting, but, egad, the CA is horrendous! I need to revisit, with a calmer attitude, of course, but I'm, how shall I say it, nonplussed! Ack! I hope they'll let me return it!
edit: You get what you pay for ... and I should know that!
So, I got up at 5:00 to watch the eclipse ... it was FREEZING (literally)! Here's a collage of some of the shots, starting with last evening's moon at 5:26 p.m. As you can see, by 5:45 this morning the moon is starting to slide behind some trees ... the last shot, at 6:14 a.m. is just before it disappeared completely behind my neighbor's cypress trees ... and it's not in focus, probably because it was an 8 or 10 second exposure and of course, the moon was moving (duh!) ... I should have opened my aperture, booted up the ISO and decreased the exposure time ... ah, well, you know what they say about hindsight ...
While everyone else was still sacked out yesterday morning, I went for a walk near our hotel in San Antonio and took a few photos with the giant heavenly photo softbox of overcast skies. It makes for a nice way to shoot people portraits outside since there are no harsh shadows, but the skies in landscape shots are sooooo boring. So, I tried to take a few shots of the hotel where we stayed. One taken from a distance with the telephoto end of my zoom lens to minimize distortion and then tweaked for the perspective correction. The second one taken up very close to the building with a wide angle lens to magnify the distortion and not corrected. Fun to experiment.
And, I had to take one flower shot even though the wind was blowing 90 mph. I just waited until there was a little lull and started snapping. Took six shots and this one was the closest to being in focus with the least motion blur. I think this is Bougainvillea, but that's just a WAG on my part. I haven't looked it up yet. I did a crop and some serious noise reduction and sharpening - several passes.
Oh, my! Patti, I really like these. First, I think you guessed correctly on the flower. I absolutely fell in love with some of these this year and the folks on the ID forum said they were indeed Bougainvilleas. Really good shot, especially considering you had wind to deal with!
That really is a great optical illusion! I'd have been fascinated with it, too. Now, I like both of those building shots. The "perfect" one is so ... perfect! I like that. It satisfies the OCD in me. In the other one, however, I find myself drawn into by -- of all things -- the motionless flag! The angle you used turns it into a graceful arrow, pointing my eye upward, where the lines of the building carry me to the top. Wonderful!
Jubilada, those moon shots are truly beautiful! I like the aura in the 5:14 capture. Isn't that soothing! Thank you for getting up so early!!!!
Patti, I like those photos! That is bougainvillea. Nice shot. The "perfect" building is really perfect ... almost unreal ... maybe like a pen and ink drawing with water color ... and of course I like the geometry ... and so, I really fancy those "optical illusion" columns ... kind of M.C.Escher-ish ...
Here's one inside the hotel. This is the decorative area near the pool. It's a 4 shot HDR so I could capture the view ouside the window and still have enough light on the plants. Then to Fotosketcher for Pencil Sketch 1 merged back with original and a frame. Also removed some of the pool safety signs.
Patti, that Boug play is great ... you've got that Cassini frame dance down! The hotel lobby shot is very cool ... lots of color and lines, and your treatment with the Fotosketcher is subtle and effective!
Yesterday I went on a Palo Alto Heritage Holiday House tour ... some very cute little places (and a couple of big ones) in the College Terrace area of Palo Alto ... the most notable things to me, however, were a couple of "century" oak trees ... one in a "common" area shared by 5 bungalows (three in Tudor style, and two in Mission style, ranging in size from 625 square feet to 925 square feet). Sadly, I had left my camera on 800 ISO from some earlier experimentation, and the shots turned out kind of peculiar ... in an interesting kind of way ... here's oak tree one (with some topaz adjust filters) ...
Jubilada, I can see why you were attracted to the trees. They are beautiful and you framed them perfectly. I especially like the second one. It just seems to be spread out and protecting the little cabin. Either your camera handles noise well or you are expert at removing it because I don't see it in either photo. See! You can bump that ISO and still get cool shots.
I like that Christmas stuff! Is that the same house that always has the cool looking Halloween decorations? Looks like it.