Jubilada, Thanks for doing that comparison. I do like the fact that there are no halos in the second one. I hadn't even noticed the halos in the first one until I processed my photo using that formula and you mentioned that they were in your image too. I also like the more normal, photographic quality of the second one. But, I must admit, I like that pop of W&C in the first one too.
I think what really makes this image special is the composition. I'm going to like it no matter how you process it!
I have found that in most cases, I always like what I can do in Photomatix better than in Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro. I don't even try processing my HDR images in Photoshop anymore. One of these days I might try the Nik EFEX pro (I think that's what it is called). I've heard good stuff about it, but I'm not ready to learn yet another photo processing program.
Really beautiful stuff, Jubilada. Like Patti, I'm going to like that photo regardless! I'm tip-toeing through those gorgeous tulips, making my way to the gazebo, with both in my focus. I don't have to sacrifice a clear view of one for the other even for a moment!
Well, I've been to Dixon Gardens again (yesterday) and have a few goodies to share.
1. ♪ Silhouettes on the Shade ♫
2. Azalea and bench
4. Tulip, Fotosketched
5. Wood Poppy
Wonderful bunch of shots, there, Miss Mary ... looks like Spring has really sprung in Memphis ... and has it been as warm there as my news stations tell me? ... Along the walkway is really lovely ... Love those cherry trees, especially that shot along the roadway with the fence ... very nice! I can almost smell the fragrance!
Miss Mary, What a treat! My cousin has a son living in Memphis. I think it's time to go visit Aaron so I can sneak off to Dixon Gardens when they are not looking. That tulip with the shadows is a really fun image. The one on the left is a bird! And, that song will be running through my head the rest of the day. ^_^ Had to look up the words. http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_rays/silhouettes.html
Wow! The magnolia tree has changed in the short time from the last photo. Ditto what Jubilada said - the image with the cherry tree and the fence is such a lovely scene and so nicely composed.
Jubilada, That is another wonderful composition. I love how the red branch flows up through the image. The colors work so well together and the framing really appears to be 3D.
I thought I might comment a bit on my gazebo-tulip shots. They were inspired by what I read in a couple of books by Bryan Peterson:: "Understanding Exposure," and "Understanding Close-up Photography." In these books he talks about "storytelling apertures," specifically with wide-angle lenses (which I now understand sometimes offer a greater depth of field than other lenses might). So, trying to follow the examples he cited in his books, I targeted the tulips and the gazebo in Gamble Gardens. I manually set the focus at 3 feet, and set my aperture at f22, focal length at 24mm. The camera was on a tripod, and it was quite low to the ground. I was in aperture priority for the 3-exposure series, and I believe I set exposure compensation to -2/3 for the other shots. I know I shot a whole bunch, so what you've seen here are the only examples I felt were successful enough. I was certainly happy to see the great depth of field! Sometime soon, I hope, I'll take some shots at Filoli Gardens ... we'll see ... next week I'll revisit Coit Tower, but who knows what the weather will be like!
Cool info! It is so interesting to understand how a shot was made. Yep, the wider the focal length, the greater the DOF. You should see the DOF for my fisheye. You don't hardly even have to focus the thing. I was thinking about getting the Bryan Peterson Close-up Photog book. Understanding Exposure is probably the best book I've ever read on Photography.
Thanks for that link, Patti, I will definitely check it out ... I also love that "Understanding Exposure" book ... but I have to keep re-reading and re-reading, because my point of view/experience changes so often it takes me a while to "grasp" certain elements! Whew, it's hard getting old! But, I definitely recommend that "Understanding Close-Up Photography," too ... great stuff, not meant to be digested in one sitting (of course) ...
Oh, I almost forgot this one...I stopped for lunch at Krystal yesterday and, wanting to eat in my car, I looked for a shady parking spot. Yes, Jubilada, it is as warm here as you've been hearing! Anyway, as I was eating, I looked up and saw this bit of reflective magic...edited with Picnik (HDR-ish et al):
Yes, me too! It's a quadtych! What a cool way to make triptychs or quadtychs in this case. Is there a word for that? I dunno.
I was playing around with Depth of Field (DOF) when I was out shooting at the Park. Here's a comparison of apertures. I was in Av, so when I changed the aperture, the shutterspeed changed to keep the same exposure, but everything else is exactly the same. Camera was on a tripod and I processed the two images exactly the same in ACR. Wish I had opened up to f2.8 or at least somewhere in between 2.8 and 8. I was already having trouble getting the whole flower in focus though, so I probably couldn't have gone any farther open on the aperture.
All of the info you two share amazes me. Patti, I like #2 as well. It really draws out the main subject.
Jubilada, that's one fine, fine kaleido. I like that rich color and the multi-layer look. I would be proud to have that on my wall!
I went back to Cherry Road today. I believe the Cherry trees peaked out today. All those white blossoms in the bright sunlight had me coming down on my exposure to compensate in the photos I took Tuesday. Today, I didn't do that and I think it made for (somewhat) clearer shots.
1. Except for the utility pole, fire hydrant and bag, this one was good. I Fotosketched it but couldn't seem to "doctor" that much stuff out of it without it looking awkward.
2. Selective softening use on this one.
The one at f/8 is closer to what I usually go for when I shoot macro of flowers. I always try to get just my subject in focus and leave the background nice and smoothly blurred so it will not distract. I couldn't quite get it blurry enough in this case because the flowers were too close to the background. Many P&S cameras will choose an aperture that will do this on the Macro (Flower) setting.
Shooting where you have a lovely background and want the background in focus (Jubilada's tulip gazebo shot) is just the opposite technique. Most of the places I shoot don't have very nice backgrounds. I was able to try some of this when I was in Big Bend National Park. For this technique, you should use the Landscape setting on a P&S cam.
Love that kaleido, Jubilada! I'll echo Miss Mary. The vibrant color is beautiful and the layers really add a 3D look.
Miss Mary, Your cherry tree images are so pretty! They are just covered in blossoms! Wow. I really like both of them. The composition of the first is fantastic and the selective softening on the second is really nice to focus attention on those flowers.
It is very difficult to properly expose photos that have white in them. You did a great job. Snow can really be a problem too.
When you have mostly darker background and just a small area of white, the ones you posted before, you do need to underexpose a bit as you correclty did. You can always bring the exposure up in post processing, but if you blow out the whites, you can't get them back.
When you have a lot of white in the frame, your camera wants to make that white into approx. 18% grey since that is what camera meters do. So, believe it or not, when you have a lot of white, for example, your last photo, you actually want to overexpose just a tad.
Wow! I did something right without knowing it! I found that, when I tried to capture a row of the Cherry trees, the closest one(s) would be in (somewhat) focus and the latter ones would be awful. Not just in degrees of OOF that added loveliness, but in horrible-looking pixelated stuff. On my second trip to photograph them, that didn't happen as badly. Is that because I didn't bump the exposure so far back?
Miss Mary, The exposure shouldn't have anything to do with the focus. Something else changed too from one day to the next. The amount of "stuff" you have in focus depends on the aperture (f-stop or f-number). The bigger the number, the more you have (from front to back) in focus.
Most P&S cams use a very big f-number (which is actually a very small aperture to confuse the issue) when they are in Landscape mode to get as much in focus (large depth of field) as possible. So, if you want to get a lot in focus, use that mode.
I'll try to see if I can look at the EXIF in your photos and figure it out.
What this tells me is that the two shot on the 13th (posted on the 14th) were using a wider angle focal length on your zoom lens. This is likely will account for the difference in your depth of field. That first one, at an aperture of 8.6 should have really had a very large DOF. It is a "big" aperture number (small aperture) and it was shot at the wider angle focal length.
As Jubilada pointed out, wider angle lenses will give you much more depth of field, all other things being equal.
When you start zooming in to those telephoto focal lengths, your depth of field starts suffering and you have to be very still and get the focal point just right on the critter's eye or whatever your subject happens to be.
Not to add confusion, but just for completeness, here's what will affect your depth of field...
1. Focal length which we've already discussed. (wider angle = shorter mm focal length = more DOF)
2. Aperture which I already mentioned (Bigger f number = More in focus)
3. Distance from camera to your subject. ( The closer you are to the subject, the less DOF)
So, if you shoot at the longer focal length (105mm) with a smaller f number (f4 ish) and are somewhat close to the subject you are focusing on, you will have a very narrow depth of field. That's what happened. I think...
The way you can fix it if you notice that you don't have as much sharpness from front to back as you would like is to zoom out some if you can, go to Landscape setting so cam will choose a bigger f number or choose one yourself if you can, back off of the subject some... It's all a trade off.
Hopefully some of this makes sense. I tend to make simple things more difficult.
Good information Patti, and well put ... it's taken me quite a while to understand some of those elements ... always something to learn! Here's an excerpt from Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure," which deals specifically with "fixed lens" cameras ... It answered few questions as regard my "fixed lens" Canon G10... hope it's readable, and hope it helps!
Then, just for silliness ... I doctored one of my pink tulips ...
Miss Mary, Good ones! I love that Redbud! That is such a beautiful flower shape and color. I like the background in that shot - complementary color and blurred. What a cute little spider! Lovely image of the cherry trees. I like how the fence extends from the corner back through the photo. That is a classic leading line. And I don't have a clue where that speed limit sign was.
Wow. Your movie making debut is a great success. Loved the photos and the music. Lots of photos in there we hadn't seen! I have to ask... Who played the guitar?
Ever since you posted that Wall of Springtime loveliness, I've wanted to make another wall. So, I made a St. Patrick's Day wall with some of my 2004 Ireland photos. Took me forever to remember how to do it. Cripes, by the time I get it posted, it won't be St. Paddy's Day anymore...
Oh, Wow! I sure suspected it was you. My goodness, you are so talented!
Yep, that's how it's spelled. I thought about putting that on there, but opted for the Irish blessing instead. There are so many good Irish blessings, I had a hard time deciding.
I like this one:
May you be in
Heaven a half hour before the
Devil knows you're dead!
And, of course, the classic one:
"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand."
Oh, wow! I am inspired, comforted and lifted up! Jubilada, your video and your music...oh! Such a delight! And Patti, your lovely wall and words of blessing and cheer! Just before plopping down at the computer, I was having some really low and difficult moments. And then I found two little angels had posted some lovely things to draw me out (and up!).
Glad you are feeling better and glad we could help. You have done the same for me many times.
Whooohooo - First time I have been called an "angel". ^_^ If you could have heard me yesterday when I couldn't get that Wall action to work, I think my moniker would have come from somewhere lower in the cosmos.
Miss Mary, so glad our little musings were uplifting! Hope all is now well ...
After four days of dribbles (could hardly call it rain, at least in our area) ... I finally went out to check on my Community garden plot ... oh, what a little moisture can do ... the weeds are back ten-fold! Ugh!
Really pretty Daffies and Tulips, Juilada. Isn't it nice to see them again?
I hit a low spot last night, just a bump in the road, I guess. A friend of mine had called to tell me about her elderly mother being admitted to the hospital. Our conversation brought back some memories of my mother and her last couple of years a little too vividly. I'm okay today -- those cheery little posts really lifted my spirit! (Patti, you're a hoot!).
For years I've bought a calendar called "Cat Lovers Against the Bomb," which is produced by Nebraskans for Peace. Yes, I suppose it reflects my political proclivities ... but I digress ... the year I retired I decided to submit some photos of my kitties, to see if they'd be published. What do you know? They selected a picture. I submitted one for the next year, and what do you know? Etc. After three years in a row, I figured it was time to cool it (actually, they stopped selecting any of my selections) ... but I decided to try again this year ... and guess what? Consuelo will be the December cat in the 2013 calendar. I post here the trio of photos that were previously published, and the one I think they will be using (I submitted several, they didn't tell me which one ...) ... Consuelo is very excited! Oh, and yes, they have to be black and white (those people have a limited budget ...)
Jubilada, Wow! Big congrats! To you and your model, Consuelo. She is gorgeous. All of those photos are exceptional. All of those kitties looking out the door is so cute and the last one is just beautiful. It really works great for December! Nice to see all of the flowers from your yard. So colorful and full of promise of more to come. I know about weeds. That's about all I have.
Miss Mary, That camellia plant is so pretty. I love that deep, deep red against the shiny green foliage. You paired up those complementary colors again. Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Purple and Yellow. I planted some orange zinnias last year so I could get a shot of the orange zinnias against the blue sky. Only one problem. They only grew about 5 inches tall. I would have had to dig a hole to get the camera low enough to shoot the flower against the sky. Best laid plans and all that ...
Wonderful, wonderful photos of the kitties, Jubilada. Wow, kitty fame! I seem to recall the one of them looking out the door...KTV must have had a special on that day! When I looked at the cabbage thumbnail, it looked like a coin! It sure does look yummy. I'm with Patti. I'm wondering what kind of cole slaw Californians eat! I've got a good recipe myself but I'll bet you make it differently.
Cole Slaw: Sometimes I do the mayo version (also add a little sherry vinegar to that), and will sometimes add shredded carrots and sliced green onions. Sometimes I do the version with rice vinegar and sesame oil. Depends on what else I'm serving.
But sometimes I like to saute sliced cabbage with onions and butter and then add a little sour cream. And if I want to go further with that version, I'll mix in some cooked noodles and more sour cream!
Finally got the processing done on Kathy Clark's Wild and Crazy Light Painting photography class I went to Sunday night. It was a blast!
We did it in the lower level of the parking garage behind the Leisure Learning building. They were supposed to turn off the lights, but they didn't. We improvised and pulled out some of the fluorescent light bulbs. It worked okay.
The idea was to set up the cameras on tripods all aiming the same general direction. We set them up so that the exposure time was for about 15 or 20 seconds, so plenty of time to run into the scene, paint stuff and run back out. The five of us were all lined up aiming at the back wall. The idea was that we would shoot a bunch of photos and then sandwich some of the better ones together into one photo.
First image is an "orb" which was done by swinging a light on the end of a string in a circle always passing over the same point on the ground and walking around that same point. It is hard to do. We all tried our hand at making orbs.
The tool on the next shot is a paint roller. A frame with EL (electroluminescent) wire attached in a pattern is fixed to the handle of the paint roller and the part of the roller where you put the paint is attached to the tripod. Then the handle can be rotated in a perfect circle. We need a black tripod for this one. Half the fun of this stuff is making the tools.
Third shot is a spiral created by starting near the wall, swinging that orb tool and walking forward. At the end, we tripped a flash and froze Kathy, the instructor. Joe, our best spiral maker, made lots of spirals for us.
And, the last one is my final composite of four of my favorite images. I stacked the four, changed the blend mode on the top three to Lighten so only the lighter areas would show through. I had to move them around a bit to get everything lined up, did some serious manipulations in Photoshop to get rid of the ambient light and make our lights pop. Then, I wrote the text using Photoshop. No way that I could do that painting with a flashlight, but some of the students were able to do some pretty good writing with their flashlights.
Then I wrote this little fake newspaper story ... Yes, I spent way too much time watching SciFi. Loved Star Trek.
UFO spotted over Houston near Kirby and Richmond Ave
Last night, March 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm, stunned witnesses reported that a brightly glowing red orb was spotted hovering over a parking garage north of Richmond Avenue. The orb appeared to enter the lower level of the garage. One witness actually went into the garage and found it difficult to describe what he saw. He watched an alien exit the orb and traveled through what appeared to be a tunnel created by an apparent rift in the time / space continuum. The alien captured five individuals in the garage and transported them to an undisclosed location. Amazingly, the witness had the presence of mind to snap a photo with his iPhone camera.
Light painting at night is incredibly addictive and lots of fun! Try it! If you want to play, let me know and I can send you some links that will help make some easy tools to play with. The orb tool is made with battery powered LED Christmas lights.
Whew... Sorry, that was way too long winded, but I'm still wound up from all that fun.
What fun, Patti! That is cool and then some! Your trekkie tendencies have served you well.
Jubilada, that slaw sounds good, especially the first one. It's funny how cuisine varies from region to region. When we cook cabbage, it is boiled (only a little water) with onion and seasoning meat like bacon.
Here's my favorite cole slaw recipe. Many people down here do something like this but there are as many varieties as there are people!
8 cups finely chopped cabbage
1/4 c. shredded (or finely chopped) carrot
2 T minced onion
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 T white vinegar
2 1/2 T lemon juice
Patti, I am absolutely fascinated by that "light painting," and hope some day to give it a shot. Your dissertation was hardly long-winded, and I enjoyed it and your examples! I have no doubt it was plenty of fun! Please, I'd love to see those links! Don't know when I'll get to try any of it out, but can't have too much stuff in my arsenal of information!
Miss Mary, that sounds like a mighty fine recipe for slaw! I think the only thing I'd cut out would be the sugar!
So I was trying out those "whirls" or whatever Bryan Peterson calls them (I watched one of his videos), and thought I'd try my hand at it. I can see that the technique will take a bit of working on, but I managed to get a couple that were at least pretty circular. Since the images by themselves weren't particularly enchanting, I added to them with some "un-whirled" stuff.
Wow, Miss Mary! What a treat to see all of the pretty flowers and creations. The framing for the Weigela is the perfect color and lovely. Very cool how you changed the color of that Fotosketcher frame to match the violet. The shapes are beautiful. The color is so soft and pretty and the shadows really add depth to them. The second one reminds me of the Native American sun god images.
Wow, Miss Mary, indeed! You are on a roll! Wonderful creations all, and I especially love that shot with all the yellow and white tulips!
My "photo shoot" at yesterdays Coit Tower tour in SF was only marginally successful. At Coit tower there were about 20 or so people with out guided tour, plus quite a few other tourists tagging along. It was a little difficult to get the inside shots I wanted, and also the sun was shining very brightly high in the sky (not so good for picture taking outside), as you will see in a couple of the following examples ... I've posted others (including the murals) on the Daily Pics page ... and Patti, you will be pleased to know that I jacked up the ISO to (gasp) 400, and it worked out fine (used my G10 for the interior shots) ...
Anyhow here are a few that I've altered or manipulated in one way or another ..
Columbus statue (yep, lots of lens flares all over ... I knew it)
Agapantha, stone fence, walkway and tree ... (that's probably spelled wrong)
Skyline through trees with sunburst
Waiting for the train 1
Waiting for the train 2
And Patti, I want to add, you're absolutely right about under-exposure causing worse noise than raising the ISO ... I've just been too stubborn to accept that, but I've proved it to myself (finally). Now, if I'd only put that new-found realization to work more!
I can't imagine trying to take photos inside the tower with 20+ people in the way. Your outside shots are fantastic compositions even if the lighting was harsh. Great catch on getting that sunburst! That's one of my favorite things to try. Love all the leading lines in the first Waiting for Train image.
You'll have to go back and spend the night in SF so you can get sunset and sunrise photos of SF. That would be awesome.
Wow! ISO 400 on the G10! Noisewise, I think that would be equivalent to an even higher number on your DSLR (maybe 800 or so) since the G10 sensor is so much smaller and it uses a different processer that doesn't handle noise as well. Although, don't hold me to that. It's just what I've read about most P&S sized sensors and noise.
Yes, I've also had lots of problems with underexposure and noise. And if you already have the ISO cranked up and you underexpose, you are really in a heap of trouble. That's the biggest problem I have shooting birds in the field. I like to shoot early in the morning or in the evening, so the light is low and I'm usually at around 1600 ISO. Underexposing under those circumstances makes a nice file for the Recycle Bin.
Any shots from inside the tower or was that impossible with all the people?
Woo-hoo, Jubilada! Those are excellent! You know, my favorite is #3. There are so many things to see in that one shot. I have the might tree, the shrub, the perfectly framed skyine and is that the bay far left? My goodness -- what a wonderful composition!
1. Well, we've had some mighty warm temps here and the Camellias start to fade out. After yesterday's rainfall, this is what I have today (lots of manipulation).
2. There was a little Violet among the fallen Camellia blossoms.
Oh, Miss Mary, that's some shot of your fallen Camellia blossoms ... and that little Violet is just too sweet!
Out at my garden plot this morning ... Blue Dutch Irises and some Narcissus and a Red Tulip. There was a lot of slider action in Raw with the Irises (it was hard to differentiate them much from that messy and "in focus" background), and then I did some masking, and a layer with neutral density gradient filter set to multiply, flattened the image and ran it through Topaz ... with the Narcissus I removed a Tulip which was distracting using "content aware fill," cropped it, and then I Topazzed it a bit and added the blue background ...
1: My Purple Dawn Camellia, now some 35 years old, decided to change its style this year. Huh? I called a local master gardener, who said it sounded as though it was a cross-pollination issue. My flowers, which were always darker, now have some variegation, stamens in the middle (never before) and some frilly petals. These were four fallen flowers that were in fairly good condition today...
2 - 3 & 4: First Iris bloom. Had to take down a utility pole and some power lines for the first one.
Miss Mary, the shot of the violet against that hot pink background is so pretty! I like the new color for your camellias. The Iris shots are awesome. I love the ones against the sky - very creative angle. Glad you got rid of the pole and wires. Next time I need to get some electrical work done, I know who to call. ^_^ The close up is so good - such wonderful detail of the inside and tapered off focus keeping the eye on the subject.
Jubilada, You did a great job processing the Irises with the sky in the background. Whatever you did pulled the flowers out. The Narcissus are gorgeous!
Went to Brazos Bend State Park this morning. Got there right at sunrise and started shooting when it was still pretty dark.
I saw these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and couldn't wait. They were so cute perched on the Wood Duck boxes.
I processed the first one with the Auto feature in Camera Raw and nothing else just so you could see all the noise. I was shooting at ISO 12,800. Yep, that's not a typo. 12,800! And I could only get 1/200th of a second shutter speed at that. And, I was handholding the Mark IV with the 400mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. Crop factor on the Mark is 1.3. So, I was shooting 728mm, handheld, at 1/200 th of a second! Of course I plan to throw away 99% of the photos shot at that ISO and slow shutter speed, but I just wanted to see if I could get anything worth keeping. The noise reduction just pulls out all of the detail in the photo.
For the Second image, I opened the RAW file in Photoshop,and ran the Topaz noise reduction plug-in and sharpened it.
Third one was opened in Photoshop, ran Imagenomic noise reduction plug-in. Then, I sharpened it and couldn't leave well enough alone, so I did a little Pixel Bender oil painting and masked it off of the ducks, pole and box.
I'll eventually get to processing the images I took when there was plenty of light.
Well, Patti, those are interesting experiments with that incredibly high ISO ... it's great composition, cute ducks, but pity about all that noise ... those last two look kind of like illustrations, so that's cool ...
Yeah, that's about all the extremely high ISO photos are good for. Strip out the noise and make them into some type of painterly image that doesn't have any detail. I don't know why they even bother to have settings that high. I have gotten some good, usable images at ISO 1600 and even 3200 if I get the exposure spot on, but any higher and it's just fodder for play.
I went back out there this morning, so haven't had any time to process anything except one shot. Yesterday, this Great Blue Heron was getting so close to me and another photographer, we kept having to move back because we couldn't get him all in the frame. I stayed put until I got this shot and then had to move back. He walked right up to me! I could have reached out and patted him on the head.
I got several shots of him catching a fish. Hopefully at least one of those came out. Need to process those next.
Oooh, Patti, very nice head shot of that Great Blue Heron ...
I just spent a very long time downloading and installing the beta version of Photoshop CS6 ... I'm too exhausted to even think about playing with it, but it's supposed to have some swell new bells and whistles!
I don't care about the color scheme. The content aware move didn't appear to work very well to me. I don't care for the Oil Paint filter. It isn't as good as the one in Pixel Bender. I like some of the new blur filters.The content aware patch tool is okay, but I already have ways to do that. I really like having highlights and shadows in Camera Raw and having a noise control in the adjustment brush in Camera Raw. Those last two improvements to Camera Raw might be worth considering it for me.
Patti, I don't know yet what I think of CS6 -- haven't played with it enough. These things take time. I will say so far I'm quite pleased with the RAW enhancements; the Oil Paint is "Mickey Mouse"; any of those "content aware" things have to be used judiciously--they either work a miracle or cause a mess; the rest of the stuff I haven't really explored.
Awe, all those baby tomato plants! So cute and so much work. Good idea to shoot the B&W on the Calla. It works. Yes, too bad the bottom one wasn't in focus. The top one is so sharp!
I haven't even begun to get filters to work, but I did download CS6 and started playing. So far, I really like Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). The black and white sliders seem backwards to me, but I'll get used to it. It will take a while to learn how to use them all. I need to load up some video and play.
Processed another shot of that friendly Great Blue. I just wish he was looking a bit more in my direction, but he didn't want to share that fish.
Patti, that is an awesome shot! It looks so real, I thought I saw it move! No kidding...it did! Excellent!
Jubilada, your little Rhody is so sweet! I like the effect. When I first looked at your tomato plants, I thought, "...pretty little maids, all in a row..."!
1. The Native Azaleas are blooming at Dixon Gardens this week. Boy, what a day! My allergies weren't bothering me very much, so I just stood under the canopy of this one and got lost in the sweet scent of the moment! (I used Picnik HDR-ish and then Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes.)
The Dixon Garden images are lovely! Our tour starts with the inviting path under the azalea and then a nice bench for a rest before heading out to the explosion of color and beauty in the Cutting Garden. While I love all of the colors in the third image, there is just something soothing about the pure white azalea flowers that invokes a calming mood.
Jubilada, So nice to see that butterfly! Flowers and kaleido are beautiful! Whew, potting all those tomato plants makes me tired just thinking about it.
Need some help again. Both my larger veggie bed and the smaller one have fire ant infestations. The beds have one mound each, both on the east side of the beds. I plan to plant anyway and just avoid the area where the ants are, but I want to get rid of them so I can plant the whole bed and not have to worry about getting bit. I'm not allergic, but they do make nasty,painful, itchy whelps and even scars on me. I don't want to put any insecticides in my garden plots, so what to do? I've heard about the boric acid/peanut butter or boric acid/sugar baits but I don't know if that will work for fire ants?
Patti, I've never had to deal with fire ants before (ugh)! I do on occasion get villages of regular little wood ants, and I've tried the boric acid/sugar baits, which work marginally. Ultimately I just stopped worrying about them, because they don't really cause much harm ... some ants farm aphids, but usually a good squirt with a hose takes care of that ...
Ants are gone! My x-boss is an avid gardener - always brought a box full of veggies to work for us. I went by to have lunch with the guys and he went along, so I asked him about the ant problem. He said to get a big pot of boiling water, stir up the nest with a gardening stake, when they start climbing the stake, jam it down into the nest and pour the boiling water down the stake. Said I might have to do it two or three times and that eventually, they would move to another part of the yard, hopefully one far enough out of the garden area that I could treat with insecticide. I started the water boiling and enlisted Randy to carry it out for me. When we started stirring up the nests (which I had been doing on a daily basis just to tick them off), there were no ants. I guess my daily trips out to annoy them did the trick.
So, I planted my plants and seeds. I learned from last year that I was trying to cram too much into that little bitty plot, so I planted a lot less this year.
Cherry Tomato, Early Girl Tomato and Roma Tomato
5 different types of peppers - Sweet Green Bell, Sweet Banana, Habanero (Wheeee), Jalapeno, and a Mystery Pepper that didn't have a tag. I love mysteries.
A row of Contender Green Bean bush beans
One little eggplant - this time the white kind. That's what my Dad always planted.
I have a basil plant in the little 4 x 4' garden just to the right of the one in the photo. The only other thing in that bed is the transplanted Rosemary from last year. It did well in its own little plot (thanks to advice from Jubilada!)
Glad I don't have fire ants at my community garden plot ... getting a pot of boiling water there would be problematic, at best ... but glad to hear, Patti, that you've taken care of those awful creatures! Habañero peppers? ... have you had much experience with them??? I'll tell you, I grew them several years ago, and after trying one or two I finally gave the entire plant to some hispanic nannies who were wheeling their charges by the garden plots one day (of course they were thrilled ... as was I to get rid of a pepper whose heat more than exceeded my expectations ... I remember telling one of them, "me traigan muchas lágrimas a mis ojos, me hacen llorar" ... they bring many tears to my eyes. they make me cry ...)
And with all this distracting talk of fire ants and Habañero peppers, completely forgot to say: Patti, your little veggie garden looks adorable ... so tidy and organized! May all your plants grow and thrive!
A playground on a rainy day is generally a playground without children ... I was interested in shapes, verticals, horizontals, etc ... of course they've been processed in RAW, may be cropped, and may have topaz filters added to a degree ...
Jubilada, Your creativity was certainly in high gear today (or, I guess yesterday - after midnight here). Puddle photos are so much fun! The compositions on the playground photos are fascinating with all their leading lines and curves. I especially like the one of the swingset.
Yes, I know that those habaneros are going to make me cry. At least I know better than to try to chop them up bare handed. Last time I did that, my hands burned for days. The bad thing is that my sweet peppers are going to have a bit of fire to them too. My Dad told me that I should not plant jalapeno or habanero peppers anywhere near sweet peppers because they would cross-polinate and the sweet pepper will get hot. I thought it was a bunch of hooey. But, years ago when my Dad helped me plant a garden, we tried it and sure enough, my bellpeppers were hot. The old man knew what he was talking about.
Rats, I just noticed that I mistyped the date on the garden image. I'll have to fix that. Should have been March 31, not 21.
Good-looking plants, Patti and Jubilada. I always like watching your veggies growing. Patti, you are brave, just growing those Habaneros! Whew! I know this probably sounds silly, but I was wondering -- does planting them near other veggies (besides peppers) have the same result? Like hot tomatoes or eggplant, I mean.
Jubilada, I love the playground shots. The swingset looks like giant paper clips. I like the way you caught the offset circles in #4. That's cool!
1. Raindrops on Hosta -- B & W and original droplet color brought back in.
2. Raindrops on Hosta
3. & 4. The old, old pink roses The big rose is about 9-10 feet up, so I stretch and take "pot shots" at it. One shot was so clear but only captured part of the rose!
5. Pink Rose Kaleido
HelloMissMary wrote: ... I know this probably sounds silly, but I was wondering -- does planting them near other veggies (besides peppers) have the same result? Like hot tomatoes or eggplant, I mean. ...
Miss Mary, I don't know, but I'll find out. ^_^ I had a couple of jalapeno plants right next to my tomatoes last year and the tomatoes were not hot. I had the jalapenos as far from the bell peppers as I could get them last year. The bell peppers were not hot. So, I don't know if they have to be right next to each other or maybe it only happens with certain varieties??? Or maybe is is a bunch of hooey and the bell peppers I planted way back when were just a hot variety. I need more data.
Your pink rose is absolutely beautiful! Oh, my! The raindrops are icing on the cake. Cool selective color treatment on the hostas! I love the kaleido. The rose in the middle is a wonderful touch.
Thanks, Patti. My yellow Irises blooming always remind me of what little girls looked like on Easter when I was growing up!
1. The old, old, old Chrysler Imperial Rose bush (50+ years) hasn't shown off this much in years. Today, I counted 5 open blooms and 18 buds!
2, 3 & 4. While waiting in line at the Vehicle Inspection Station today (my annual "favorite day"!), I noticed the flag just outside my window billowing in the breeze. Two shots, three different treatments.
Beautiful floppy Iris shot, Miss Mary, but oh, boy, those flags ... what a fluttering display of flirty frisky flapping ... not a one of them flagging ... my favorite is number 2 ... Also love that dear old Imperial Rose!
Frankie, yawning ... ain't he just so handsome (he's been Topazzed)?
Collage of gorgeous tulips at a neighbor's community garden plot.
Spanish Bluebell Kaleido, ala Pixel Bender (btw, Patti, Photoshop CS6 will not be supporting the Pixel Bender plug-ins ... hmmmm)
Jubilada, I truly like the tulip collage! Wow! That just makes me want to get up and dance! Frankie really is a charmer...looks like a big baby for sure!
1. A really artified picture of some birds high up in the Pecan Tree today...
2. A highly manipulated (mostly for color correction) shot of raindrops on my rose. No matter what I do, I don't seem to be able to get the actual color of this rose down pat. It's a deep red and my camera just won't get it anywhere near right...! This is not the rose's color but is an improvement over the garish original shot!
3. I'll supply a link to explain the wherefore and why on this one. Suffice it to say that it is made of tile and mirror pieces and was a real eye-catcher! http://www.memphis.edu/alumni/tigersaroundtown/index.php
Love those backlit, flying flags! Great timing on capturing them at just the right moment.
Your red roses are beautiful! Red is hard with all digital cameras. I don't understand why, but I have fits with it too. Best to photograph red stuff when it is in the shade, but even then, it is hard. Oh, and I will be singing that Sound of Music song all day now.
Very cool bird silhouettes with the crumpled paper background! Grackles? How did you get that background?
That UM Tiger is wild and crazy! Great angle on the shot!
Yawn! I'm with the adorable Senor F. ^_^ Time for a nap. Spanish Bluebell kaleido is sparkling! That is a beautiful poppy collage! Each image is beautiful.
I find that I keep going back to, "Wait for the next Photoshop and forget CS6." The video tool in CS6 is lame. I love the Pixel Bender plug-in. Hopefully only the beta version doesn't support PB or they will change their mind on that before the real CS6 comes out.
Patti, I was afraid someone would ask how I did the background on the birds...
As best I recall, I changed the image to B&W. It was taken in mid-afternoon, so the sky was bright blue and the leaves were green. The birds, of course, lacked detail so I figured I'd go for broke and blow out all the detail and color in the pic and start from there.
Picnik -- (closing on the 19th) -- I chose to make a duo-tone image, playing around until I found a good blue for the sky and left the rest black. I then chose a texture and played with the blender until it looked right to me. I sharpened it up some or maybe bumped up the contrast to get some nice, crisp edges on the black areas. I took it to PSE, used the magic wand tool to select all the blue areas in the top right corner, copied and made a new layer from that. I drew a circle with some feathering and maxed out the brightness, thus creating the non-realistic moon. Copied and pasted that back onto the original (enhanced) image, which left those black tree branches alone and let them stand out starkly from the "moon" behind them.
Hope that makes sense (and that I didn't leave out any major steps!). There's probably a much easier way to do it, but I was just shooting from the hip as I went along.
1. Here's another one of the old rose and the color is a bit tamer.
2. This one was taken inside -- this is really close to the right color.
3. My backyard
4. Roses on the arbor, finally reaching the top this year!
5. First Columbine bloom
MIss Mary, I love the first image - color is gorgeous and it is all rose! What a beautiful yard! I'd be sitting on that bench all day and not get a thing done. You did it again - the red/green complementary color combo with that Coumbine. Very cool.
I tried to get something close to your bird silhouette image, but no dice. I couldn't figure out how to get that cool looking crunched paper background. So, I just saved a bunch of versions of this hummer and put them all in one composite.
Miss Mary, that's a really swell "artified" picture of the birds in the tree ... photo editing fun at its best! Your old rose is surely beautiful ... and isn't it something how light affects things! ... Lovely garden you have, and what a special columbine (great color) ... my Columbines are still just buds ... but soon, soon ...
Patti, your hummer composite is very cool ... very arty! Would make a nice poster!
This morning I spied the pineapple sage bloom from my office window with the sun hitting it just so and everything else in shadow ... quickly ran outside and took a couple of shots ... pity I'm almost blind as a bat, because the resulting images viewed up close showed the plant to be a bit scraggly, with many little spider mite webs stretched from limb to limb ... I cleaned it up using a variety of methods and then toppazed the dickens out of it ... turned around and took a shot of the nasturtiums in a pot, fotosketched that ... later in the day took a trip to the Cantor Museum at Stanford to catch a Walker Evans photography exhibit ... I hate to admit it, after living here for so many years, but this is the first time I've there, or seen the wonderful Rodin statue garden ... so I include a couple of shots taken there, which have only been marginally manipulated in RAW ... The Thinker (whooped the ISO up to 400!), Three Muses, and Seated Woman (Cybele) ... yes, it was middle of the day in blazing sun ...
Patti, I like that Hummer composite -- makes me think of a quilt! Very folksy indeed! The crumpled paper is one of the textures on Picnik. I used the fader tool to strike a balance between too much and not enough.
Jubilada, I like that red sage. Of course, if it's red, I'll probably like it, whatever it is! I'm particularly fond of the Nasturtium shot -- that vase is so right for the flowers (and vice versa!).
MIss Mary, I'll have to take that Hummer into Picnik and see if I can get the crumpled paper. Thx!
Jubilada, Andy Warhol! Flashback to my hippie days. Bell bottoms. Chains. Flower Power. Oh, my. Yes, I did all that silly stuff. Even painted flowers on my little orange Vega. ^_^
Echo Miss Mary's comments about the vase and that Nasturtium. Great match! I love the shadow on the wall adding depth and the composition is fantastic - in very close and perfectly balanced.
Great job on shooting the Rodin statues in the middle of the day. I've always admired Rodin's work, well most of it anyway. I'm not too thrilled with the type of sculpture that chops off body parts. On purpose! There's a name for it, but I can't remember. I don't know who started that trend, but to me it is disturbing. Can't help thinking that someone goofed and broke off a head and then called it art and gullible people bought into it. But, that's just my non-artistic, dominant, left brain talking.
Playing with some more of the shots I took last week ... finally.
I really, really like the Orton effect, but I have mixed feelings about it on critters and I think I tend to overuse it.
Take a look at these images and let me know which you prefer - with or without the Orton.
1. No Orton
3. Comparison of blown up section of images in one frame.
Well, Patti, I thought this was going to be a no-brainer. Of course, critters look better unOrtonized, right? I love to invent new words...
Well, I can't decide which of those two I like better! Agreed, Orton removes some of the sharp detail that makes my heart skip a beat when I look at your avian shots but...
Hmmmm. I like the softness it can add to things like feathers and, to tell you the truth, I'm not seeing anything in that second picture that detracts from the beauty and clarity of the first one. I like the way the effect scatters the light over the bird's wings. Overly done, I'd have to say Orton can be a problem on a photo like that but it doesn't look like you've been heavy-handed with it at all!
Miss Mary, I did reduce the opacity of the Orton layer to only around 18%, so pretty light-handed compared to what I usually do. I do like the softness and the glow that I see with the Orton. But, agree, the loss of detail is a big trade-off.
Jubilada, Good point about the depth. I didn't notice it, but now that you've mentioned it, the Orton does seem to blur the bird into the background.
I think I need to stay away from Orton on critters. Usually, when I use Orton, I do the technique on the whole image and then mask out the critters or anything else I want to be sharp.
Struck by the sunlight on Calla lilies at my back wall, tried several shots of this at f8 and different shutter speeds ... this was 1/800 (spot metered the Calla lilies) ... pretty much as it came out of the camera ... added a frame ...
This afternoon, I noticed the sun shining through my Hosta leaves and thought it was a wonderful backlit photo op. I held my camera next to the ground and began taking "pot shots" at an upward angle. It wasn't until I got them on my computer that I saw what I'd (accidentally) captured...never in a million years would I have succeeded if I'd been trying for this!
I used a little exposure correction and sharpening and then Topaz Cleaned them slightly...
Pretty flowers, Miss Mary! Gorgeous colors. The pattern of the Hosta leaves is interesting and not what I would have expected. It seems to be somewhat random instead of all radiating out of a center point as I would have imagined.
I had fun with that kaleido. The white framing is a nice touch! I do see your butterflies and beanie cap heads. But the first thing that struck me were the barnacles that are housing the beanie cap folks. If you've not been around salt water, you might not see them, but I was raised in Galveston, so saw barnacles growing on just about everything left in the water.
I had never seen this done, so had to try it out. Fun Stuff! I didn't have the reflective poster board, so just used one of DHs sports posters. It is a glossy finish, so I figured it would work okay. I do want to get some of the poster board though.
1. My set-up
2. Tools I used*. Canon 1D Mark IV + the 24 - 105 lens usually zoomed in to around 90 to 100mm. (Not exactly wide angle as in the instructions.)
3 - 5. Examples of the shots I got.
I processed these with the Photoshop CS6 Beta. It is quite a bit different from CS5 and will take some time to figure out. Adding contrast really bumped the saturation way up, but I left it. In my mind, they should be oversaturated.
* Use of the LED light bar needs more work. It lights up the interior of the tube which is cool, but I need a plain gold or silver tube for one thing and I need to put the light bar close to the top of the tube so it can't be seen in the image. I also need to put some tissue over the light to soften it a bit.
Pretty flowers, Miss Mary ... I especially like the Iris!
Well, Patti, you sure had some fun there ... with very interesting results! Thanks for that link. Don't know when or if I'll try that, but I'll keep it in my data bank of things to think about ...
Here's my interesting experiment ... one of the first assignments for this class I'm taking now is to "emulate" something by a favorite photographer. These are the four examples I have managed ... and it has not been an easy task. I spent HOURS on it. I'm surely going to be curious at how the instructor critiques what we've done. I imagine that one of the lessons I learned from it was how incredibly important light is ... and another could be "How on earth do I get my camera to see what I see?" and vice versa ... I did shoot everything in black and white ...
1. Edward Weston, Pepper #30 (this is an approximation rather than an emulation ... couldn't find a pepper like he used!)
2. Tina Modotti, Calla Lilies
3. Imogen Cunningham, The Unmade Bed
4. Ruth Bernhard, Lifesavers (this one almost killed me, and I never did get it quite right!)
Marvelous job!!! The calla lilies are about as perfect as you can get! Amazing. The lighting in all of them is exceptional. I can't imagine arranging all those life savers. Did you have to glue them down? The shadows are so incredibly close to the original. I'm sure you will get an A+ for these!
Lovely flower combination and what an interesting find with the fence and vegetation removal. And a cool reflection too.
Patti, as I said, that Lifesaver one just about did me in. No, I did not glue them down ... however, I had to experiment with several different surfaces, and that meant setting them up time and again. As you might imagine, some surfaces did not work at all (the darn little things rolled all over the place). I also had to experiment with different light sources. It was exhausting to say the least! I did wind up eating quite a few of them out of utter frustration! Incidentally, knowing the instructor, doubt that I'll get high marks for anything ...
Wow, Jubilada! That Wisteria/Poppy collage is such a treat! I really like the colored bars and the way they complement the Poppies, not to mention the pinwheel placement of the photos! All that shape and color is so pleasing to my eye. The Daff Kaleido is beautiful, too!
1. Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes on my Iris
2. Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes on a shot of my backyard (overcast sky)
Hey, that Rose-Wisteria piece is really cool, Jubilada! I love the shadow effects spilling over onto the rose...now how did you do that? Tulip Sky is really sweet, too. The sky and the tulips seem to be made for each other. It has such a light, airy feel to it! Somehow, it made me think of the Wizard of Oz when I first looked at it -- like Almira Gulch should be riding her bicycle out in the distance...☺
Thanks Miss Mary! What I did to get that shadow over the rose was to trace with the polygon tool the existing shadow in the original image, save it as a selection, then I put it on a separate layer and filled it with a gray that I picked from the other shadows. I gave it a gaussian blur (can't remember how much) and changed the layer blending mode to "subtract" and reduced the opacity to about 27%. Something like that. I was actually surprised that it worked out that well!
In tulip sky, those were clouds I saw from my back door last night!
What a wonderful way to do it, Jubilada. It really turned out super!
I went to Lichterman Nature Center today and walked around for a few minutes...until the heavily blooming Privets got the better of me!
1. It's nesting time for the Canada Geese so they are really edgy and active. I missed the goose that left this in its wake while using the lake for a runway!
2. This one was quietly patrolling the area.
3. I loved the ripples this one made.
4. Something blooming by the lake
I used various Picnik enhancements on these, including HDR-ish, and then Topaz Cleaned some of them afterward.
Jubilada, Wonderful arrangement of the images in the Wisteria/Poppy collage. Poppies are so colorful! The fantasy pictures are fantastic! I just love Tulip Sky! It is beautiful and whimsical and pure eye candy. Thanks for sharing how you did that shadow on Rose in Wisteria Frame. That was a really nice touch.
Miss Mary, Ditto what Jubilada said. The first one reminds me of a lot of my photos - the splash where the frog jumped in or the empty twitching (blurry) limb where the bird was - those "just a second too late" shots. But, they tell a story too! I love the treatment on #4. It is a very nice painterly look. And the last one is so tranquil and soothing. Love it!
A few images from Featherfest in Galveston the last couple of days.
The first few are some of my favorite shots and then I blended them together in a collage. Last one is from my Sister's deck. I stayed at her house while going to Featherfest since she lives about 15 minutes away. If I lived at her house, I would sit out on the deck all day long and not get a darn thing done. What a wonderful view of the Bay! Birds are real, not photoshop.
Okay, Patti...which photo contest will I have to watch in order to see the blue ribbon hanging on that last one? Major wow! And look at those birds! The bunny seems to have just popped up from his hiding place -- every time I look at it! Isn't that first bird a Grackle? As much as I dislike those birds, I have to admit that I really like that shot.
Thanks Jubilada and Miss Mary. I appreciate the kind words. It was a fun trip. While shooting that bunny, I was flat on the ground on my belly holding my camera propped up on my elbows. I had to just wait until he would look up or all I'd get was ears sticking up. He'd look up and I'd start firing. Then he would put his head back down and start munching and I would do my best army crawl to get a bit closer. We played that little game for about 20 minutes until I got close enough to get this almost full frame shot. I did crop off some. The other three people that were shooting him stayed standing and were shooting from their tripods. They were moving closer slowly just like I was, but they had the "in focus" grass behind him as their background. The difference in the photos is night and day. So... if you guys get an opportunity to shoot a bird or bunny or something on the ground, get down at their level. It makes a much better photo!
Yes, Miss Mary, that is a Great-tailed Grackle. On Galveston, they have a few Boat-tailed Grackles, but mostly the Common and Great-tailed.
The duck is a Blue-winged Teal.
Leaving tomorrow to go to the Valley, aka: South Texas. There are some really nice birds flying in to the State Parks and rec areas since Spring Migration is in full swing. I hope to get some really nice bird photos while there. Randy is staying home to take care of my garden. What a deal!
Jubilada, I don't know how you come up with those perfect frames and borders for your collages! Aren't Columbines just happy little flowers? That one's beautiful and the collage is very handsome indeed!
1. Lamp in Dixon Gardens - Picnik HDR-ish and Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes applied.
2. Rhododendron at Dixon, Expressive Brushstrokes
3. Under a Dogwood canopy, Dixon Gardens. Used some Picnik effects here.
4. Dixon Gardens Amaryllis, Orton-ish
5. Water Lily at Dixon
Jubilada, The columbine collage is wonderful! Those flowers are so intricate. They look like something out of a scifi movie.
Miss Mary, Beautiful images from Dixon! Flowers are lovely and the sunrays coming through the dogwood is awesome. I have a challenge for you. Turn that lamp image into a night-time photo. That would be a perfect image for the Day to Night (DTN) conversion technique. I haven't done one of those in a long time. There are lots of tutorials and examples out there ... Google Day to Night photo conversion.
What a nice selection of photos, Miss Mary, and they've all been processed wonderfully! That Dogwood Canopy is especially interesting!
Speaking of Dogwood, we're having an epidemic of Dogwood blossom thefts in Palo Alto ... imagine that!
Thanks for that link, Patti, I'll see if I can work up anything with it.
In the meantime, "Teatime at the Palace Hotel," from a visit last week to SF. No, I didn't have tea there, was just passing through on the way to a tour of Art Deco buildings in SF's Financial District. Anyhow, didn't do much to this picture but process it in RAW and then slap it in a frame. Looks almost HDR, but it's not ...
I saw a bunch of birds on my trip to South Texas. Migration was slow at first, but on our last day, there was a fall-out and birds were all over the place. I took mostly grab shots just for ID purposes, but I got a few nice ones. Hopefully I'll have time to process them.
This is a 5-shot HDR in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. I processed it normally and then I had to add some serious Wild and Crazy. I also tried a B&W conversion.
I missed your Palace Hotel shot! Wow. It is aptly named. The photo does look like an HDR image. Wonderful ambiance.
And there is nothing plain about that collage. It has your signature creativity stamped all over it. The artichoke image and the cool texture make it so much more than the usual assembly of photos into a collage.Beautiful flowers! And my mouth is watering over that artichoke. I love 'em. I wonder if they will grow around here? I'll have to check that out.
My favorite bird wasn't one of the exotic migrants that we never see. It was just a Buff-belllied Hummingbird. But, they are so cute. It stayed in the shade, so I had to boost the ISO way up just to get the shot. Still a little too dark, but that was the best I could do.
Well, now Patti, that little Buff-bellied hummer shot is just too adorable! I can barely contain myself! Wow! Not too dark at all! A wonderful catch! What a darling!
As for artichokes, they are very forgiving plants that go on from year to year, needing only a modicum of fertilizer and water ... so plant one, and give it a shot! Besides producing a wonderful edible product, they are beautiful plants!
Oh, gosh, Patti -- the Hummer image needs to be on a calendar! It's so fine! What a cutie (I'm partial to them anyway) and you really got a good shot. Too dark? Maybe I'm just looking at it with sentimental eyes, but it looks perfect to me!
Jubilada, I like that collage. Those roses are gorgeous! What is the little white flower? I was trying to figure out the pattern in your background...do I detect some flowers in there? That's really good!
1. I'm not sure what all I did to this. Picnik has closed now, so I went to PicMonkey, which has most of the same features plus a few more. I'm calling this Moonlight and Rose, though it was taken in broad daylight.
2. Vetch. I've been experimenting with using automatic and manual brushstrokes (overall with a large brush, low in detail and precision and then a small, precise, detailed brush in selective areas).
3. Nasturtiums at Dixon Gardens, Fotosketcher.
I think you accidently figured out how to do a Day to Night conversion. That rose does look like a night photo. The color is lovely. Great job on the technique used on the Vetch. It doesn't look like it has been altered. Wonderful composition - I would like to wear that beautiful necklace. That nasturtium image is so bright and colorful. It should be printed large and hung in a children's ward of a hospital. It would cheer up the place for sure.
Bird from S. TX - A grackle! But, they are so pretty. Fotosketcher oil w/ frame
Also from S. TX - Vintage Whimbrels
At Featherfest in Galveston, I visited the Canon booth and was able to play with their newest camera - a 5D Mark II. It is a full frame camera, so I put my fisheye zoom on it and finally I see what the full circular fisheye image looks like. As you can see in the second fishy image, it's hard to get the photographer out of the photo. ^_^
It's hard for me to think of Grackles as pretty, but I have to admit that the colors they flash when the sun hits them is pretty keen. They do have a nice form and their eyes are just plain wild! I have to try and weed out the images I have of them in my mind -- hundreds of them covering my yard, seeing them dive in and kill smaller birds at the feeders, etc.
The vintage (Whimbrels? That's a new one for me!) is a cool shot. I keep waiting for Charlie Chaplin to come waddling across the photo! Patti, those Fisheye pictures really are neat. That last one is almost a wraparound photo! You had fun...
A cousin of mine posted a photograph (taken with her iphone) on Facebook. I thought it was such a sweet picture but the background was way too busy. I went to Microsoft.com and downloaded several of their images (free) to use as a replacement background. After removing the original and fine-tuning the subject as best I could (it wasn't a very big photo file and so was pixelated), I added it to three different backgrounds and then Fotosketched the pictures I'd made. I used Expressive Brushstrokes on all three and then used the manual brush to paint back in some original detail in key areas. Which do you like best?
Wow! Miss Mary, they are all fantastic. You are right; the original is so sweet, yet so busy. Lovely pose for a lovely youngster. The painterly look in her hair reminds me of when "smudges" were all the rage. If I had to pick one, I think I would go with the first one since it is the most realistic looking. But, I love the big flowers! I think a triptych is in order. If you put all three on one image, it might even have enough resolution to print, at least at 4 x 6 if not 5 x 7.
Well, well, well, some busy little bees here ... Miss Mary, love that "Moonlight and Rose," just gorgeous, and nice job on the day to night conversion! Wonderful job with the little girl with flower backgrounds! I'm just amazed at the quality of photos those i-phones take!
Patti, great Wall-o-Colorful Birds! And that little bee on the cactus blooms is great! Very handsome treatment of the grackle, and those Whimbrels look like they're in pretty scorched territory ... fun stuff with that fish-eye!
From me, a calendula "zoom" and a playground collage ... (trying out "abstract" shots for a class project) ...
No pro here. Just a chemist wanna be photographer. With your classes and creativity, you've left me in the dust. I'll just have to try harder. Getting some good wildflower shots out here in the Texas Hill Country. They are same old, same old though. I need to try something new. Already tried some blurs. Too tired for the creative juices to kick in.
Now, Patti, you're not left in any dust by any means! You're so far beyond me technically it's not funny! I couldn't begin to touch your bird shots! I'm still learning and I've got a long way to go ...
Nevertheless, I keep fiddling around ... I'm just an old retired lady with plenty of time to fiddle (thank heavens!) ...
On my walk today these things:
1. A stairway, doorway, and window
2. Courtyard of an old theater on University Avenue (I remember seeing a saxophone orchestra named "Nuclear Whales" there about 30 years ago), which became ultimately a Borders Bookstore. Of course, that's gone now, too ... don't know what's to become of the building at this point. There is a net stretched across the courtyard, and I'm supposing it's to keep birds out. I took the photo through the (large) chain link fence in front.
3. Glass Bottle House Revisited #1
4. Glass Bottle House Revisited #2
(All photos taken with my trusty little G10. Also, they've all been straightened, cropped, topazzed, or otherwise enhanced/altered.)
Jubilada, that glass bottle house always amazes me. What a treat to see more photos of it. You always pick just the right angles to maximize the light coming through them! And that "stairway, doorway and window" -- I had to look at it for a few moments before I realized it was a collage! That background is so perfect I thought it was part of the structure!
Today's photo at www.Bing.com is really breathtaking (most of them are!). I was wondering if one of you might shed some light on the type of lens that would be used to capture something like it. It's a shot of "the world's tallest trees". If the photo has changed by the time you get to go to Bing.com, just click "previous" in the bottom right corner.
Wonderful examples of Leading Lines in your photos!
I also am fascinated by that bottle house. Each time you photograph it, the photos get more intriguing.
I can't see the photo you describe. I just see a funny looking sponge. There is nothing in corner to click, so I probably need to wait until I get home on a computer. This iPhone does weird things on some web pages.
Miss Mary, I saw the photo of the trees.That is a cool shot with the fog. Agree with Jubilada. It is a wide angle - probably a superwide angle like a 10 or 12mm. Or, with all that distortion of the trees, it could even be the fisheye zoom (8 to 15mm) set on around 15mm or just a mild fisheye.
I'll try a shot like that with my fisheye next time I go out to my property.
Jubilada, The bird nests are all incredibly unique.
I've started processing the photos from the last few days. Most of the ones during my classes were shot for ID purposes, but I did get lucky and got a few good ones in spite of less than ideal lighting conditions.
I was thrilled to get this bird - a dickcissel. I don't see them very often and this Refuge I visited had jillions. The first one I saw was in a difficult to shoot spot - a horrible thorny plant that the bird liked. I noticed the spider web and kept shooting hoping for something good. Didn't get it, but this was the closest I got to good. Web and bird are in fairly good focus, bird's face at least is not obscured by thorny branches, but what is that ugly distracting white ickiness. I dunno. Just me not paying attention to details.
Then I started seeing them everywhere. Singing up a storm ...
Fourth shot is just silliness. Had to photograph the little round mirror separately because I couldn't get it's reflection and the other mirror's reflection in focus at the same time. Has to do with the distance on the reflections being doubled ... physics was way too long ago, but something like that. So, I copied and pasted the little one. Anyway, there was too much blue nothingness, so I put in some of my throw down bird silhouettes. I need to wait on a day with a pretty sky to do this.
My first class was at a ladies house that lives on the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. She donated her land to the refuge but can live there as long as she likes and can pass the house on. She has no kids. I really wanted to ask her to adopt me. She has let the land grow wild with minimal upkeep. She keeps paths mowed and she moves plants around to suit her wildscape gardens. It was so beautiful! There were about a dozen of us following her around while she ID'd the plants, told us something interesting or amusing about most of them and taught us about how to put plants in Families. I was so busy trying to document ones she pointed out, I didn't hear everything she said. I need to go do it again. It was wonderful.
First shot is the Columbine that is native to Texas. She also has some of the non-native yellow columbine planted out there.
Third shot is a hybrid of the native Columbine and the yellow one. She doesn't know if it will be sterile or not. It just came up this year.
Last shot is not a native plant. It is a Georgetown Poppy that apparently the birds planted after dining in someone else's yard.
Very nice selection of photos, Patti ... that little dickcissel is quite an appealing little birdie ... and I wouldn't worry about that "white ickyness," I don't think it's particularly ugly or distracting, just part of nature! I think the whole photo with the gnarly thorny branches and the spider and web is wonderful. Love the birdie on the barbed wire! That rear-view mirror compilation is very clever and cool! Love the columbines, too, but that Georgetown Poppy is something special!
Here's a composite of a few more of my snapshots on the Blossoms, Butterflies and Birds class.
I know most of them, but not all.
Top row, left to right = Blue Curl (Darn, I picked one that wasn't curling yet.), American Lady on Prickly Pear cactus bloom, Indian Blanket
Middle row, L to R = Bull Thistle, Barn Swallow on Nest, Sleepy Orange on Texas Thistle
Bottom row, L to R = Red Admiral on ?Flower, ? flower, Pipevine Swallowtail
I really needed a Plamp and a tripod on the first one, but shot it handheld. The wind was blowing so hard, I had to raise the ISO and try to time the lulls to get this photo. I used the gradient tool in ACR to darken the sky. The frame is just solid blue layer with a "render clouds" layer above. The clouds layer was reduced to around 20% opacity.
Second one is what much of the scenery looks like in the Texas Hill Country. This was shot at a bad time of day, so harsh light. I did an Orton at about 15% opacity, removed some power lines and added a vignette.
Jubilada, when I was shooting #3, your ears should have been burning. I kept asking myself, "What would Jubi do to get this shot?" Still in the middle of the day, but the harsh shadows were working for me with the pattern in the cactus. I shot several photos and ended up cropping to get this image. Tried a B&W conversion, but it didn't do much for me.
Just another butterfly on that Texas Thistle. They love that stuff. This one's a Gulf Fritillary. I didn't do much to this one other than a crop.
Wow, wow, wow, Patti, another round of fabulous shots! Whew! Number two is so exotic, in that Texas-Hill-Country-way ... lots of depth! ... number three, That cactus shot is perfect! ... number four, exquisite! Love 'em!
That is beautiful light, Jubilada. So soft and diffuse. I wonder if a neighbor has that California variety of columbine. Maybe what the instructor has is CA columbine and not a hybrid. Sure looks similar.
Really wonderful stuff from both of you. Patti, the mirror shot is quite unique. You really worked it well! I'm a sucker for Columbine, so neither of you could have gone wrong on those photos in my opinion. So pretty. Patti, your collage is so nice and I love the background! Is that "pre-fab" or one of your own images?
I must say that cactus takes the cake. Love the shadows! So intricate and bold...wonderful!
Jubilada, your African Daisies are truly eye-pleasing. Lovely color and a wonderful shot. With that angle, I can see all their little happy faces!
Miss Mary, Thanks! That background is one that I had in a folder that I keep called, "textures." I'm not sure if I took it or if it was one of the freebie textures I found on the web. I take photos of brick walls, wood fences, gravel , sand, you name it! I blur some of them for a more diffuse look and some I just use as is. I use them for backgrounds or for adding texture to a photo.
Here's an example of when I used a texture to grunge up a photo. I was really into this for a while and then got bored with it. I'll pick it up again one of these days.
First image - texture shot I found on web and original of a Mexican Hat flower
Second image - Flower image with texture layer added. I used one of the soft blend modes and lowered the opacity. I erased it from some areas.
Someone had a suggestion that I should have used text that came out of a gardening book or catalog. Good idea, but I didn't have any cool images of photos like that, so it is what it is.
Next images are an example of when I used texture as a background.
Third image is original photo of the wall at Big Bend National Park with the blur of that image.
Fourth image is the original of a Roadrunner
Last image is the roadrunner with new background. I blurred the wall, added it as a layer, blended on some soft mode and lowered opacity of layer. Then I added a mask and painted away the texture from the Roadrunner.
Good idea to combine the fava beans with the fava blossoms - sort of a then and now concept.
I'll give that color lookup adjustment a try. I like the treatment you did on the Columbine Foxglove image. I preordered CS6 too. I resisted as long as I could, but I like the new ACR so much. I am still trying to learn how to use those new sliders, but I already get better results with it than with ACR in CS5. So much for saving up for a 500mm lens. I keep spending what I save. ^_^
Really beautiful stuff! I do like your Clematis OOB creation, Patti. It looks so story-book-ish! Fantastic. Thanks for the information on background textures. As Jubi said, such a good tutorial!
Jubilada, Lupines are so pretty and your triptych is nothing short of beautiful! Love the colors and the corresponding frame. You have the eye!
1. Cherry Laurel blossoms in a vase, sepia-toned with selective color brought back. Topaz Clean, PSE frame.
2. Stella D'oro daylilies, Fotosketched
3. Asiatic Lily, up close and personal, moderately enhanced
Jubilada, That is such a beautiful poppy - so intricate. I didn't know there were peony-type poppies. The classes I took on flower identification only served to remind me that I know so little. Ditto what Miss Mary said on the lupine triptych. The colors in the frame work so well in the composition. Good catch on that sharp little bee.
Miss Mary, That blossom on the edge of the frame is pure genius. I love it! I also love the color treatment. The lighting on the daylillies is so cool. I tried a "Miss Mary shadow in the backlit or sidelit flower" shot last weekend. Not so good. I need more practice.
Wow! That view of the Asiatic Lily makes me want to buzz. It's definitely a bee's eye view!
Garden is coming along. All of the Green Bean seeds germinated except for two in the middle of the row. Strange. I guess I'll leave it since I still planted them too close even though I tripled the distance from last time. Some flowers on them, so not too much longer for some green beans for dinner. Eggplant is growing out, but not so much up. Flowers on all three tomato plants and tomatoes on two of them. No Romas yet. Flowers on all of the pepper plants. One big old Habanero. Not sure what I'm going to do with that bad boy. Probably just use it very sparingly in a few dishes to see how hot it really is. Basil is not growing too well. Looks yellowish. Maybe needs more water. Or less? I never know.
The second shot is an old barn. I'm a sucker for old barns and really any old buildings. I shot it at the wrong time of day, so tried to make it more interesting. I ran two actions from the Action Central website. I've had these two for years and usually use them together. I put the Gothic Glow action on the top layer at about 30% opacity, the Midnight Sepia action in the middle at about 70% opacity and the original at the bottom. Then I merged all the layers and added a touch of Fotosketcher Expressive Brushstrokes and the frame.
Edit: I forgot. I think a touch of Pixel Bender Oil Paint sneaked into that barn image at some point. ^_^
Patti, your barn scene looks so enchanted and dreamy. Great mix of effects! Lovely garden goodies, too. Must be so good to sit down to a meal made with what you grew yourself!
In case you weren't aware of it, there's a thread for backlit photos. It seems that several of us have caught the "bug". I've had to really play around with how to do it myself. Trying to get the backlit effect without catching the back light itself can be tricky sometimes but we just have fun with it over there.
Hi guys! I've been busy with non-internet things like gardening and cycling. It's been raining for days so I did a little 10 image melange to stay busy. This great blue heron was in the field next door.
Thanks for that link Miss Mary! I will check it out. I looked at it a long time ago when I first started with DG, but haven't seen it since then.
It is really nice to go out and pick veggies and then eat them right away when they are so fresh. Stick a tomato plant and a couple of herbs in your flower garden. Can't hurt. But, beware, you will get addicted.
The best thing I've ever eaten from a garden was the one time many years ago when I planted some corn. There is nothing better than picking an ear, cooking it and eating it right then. It is so sweet compared to the starchy stuff you buy in the store. No comparison.
Wonderful job, Andy! If you hadn't said otherwise, I'd have thought you'd had a field full of them!
Patti, the only edible I do have is Rosemary. I like to cook with it and just like to pluck a leaf and smell it once in a while. I have actually planted some corn this year and we'll see how it does. I have a feeling the squirrels aren't even going to stop and say "thank you" when they run off with it...
Miss Mary, your "Cherry Laurel Blossoms in a Vase" is absolutely exquisite!
Patti, so happy to see the progress of your vegetable garden. Oh, gosh, you've got baby tomatoes already! I'm just now setting out my tomatoes, and while some of them do have blossoms, the tomatoes are a long way down the road!
Andy, that "melange," as you call it, really is something! Good job! Wow, what a bunch of herons!
Oh, I gave up trying to plant corn some time ago ... the squirrels always get it, despite my cleverest of ruses and tricks, and as Miss Mary says, they do not stop to say thank you!