Flexible Edits

This week we did three main edits on four pictures.  We did one with an adjustment layer, one with a smart filter, and two using dodge (lightening) and burn (darkening).

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I shot this creepy little gem in the Spori in one of the office areas on the third floor.  I then used an adjustment layer to make it monochromatic, then masked out the background to keep that mustard-y yellow.  It definitely helped make her less blended into the background.

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This shot was snapped at Eagle Park here in Rexburg.  I then went in and selected the tree and applied a smart filter, so I could keep the natural-looking background but pop the tree and birdhouse a little more.

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My wife found this little guy on the bank of the river at Eagle Park while we were shooting there.  I got lucky enough to capture a couple of shots before he took off, and I noticed he blended into his surroundings pretty effectively.  So for this shot I burned the frog (not literally) to darken him up.  I also added some saturation with the sponge brush with that as well, and the combination of those brushes really made him pop.  I also used the dodge tool on the leaves to create a little more contrast with the frog against his surroundings.

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This was also taken at Eagle Park.  I really like the thick texture of this tree’s bark, but everything was so dark it was hard to settle on a focal point.  I used the dodge tool to lighten the foreground to create a spot the eye would be attracted to as it circles through the photo.  I also burned some of the background branches as well to create a little more contrast between the foreground and background.

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Perspective of Twelve

We had a very unique assignment this week: to take 12 shots of the same subject from different perspectives.  At first it sounded easy, but once into it I realized it’s hard to find that many unique angles on almost anything.  Earlier this morning I was actually on my way out the door to go work out, and I noticed the sunrise peeking right over a hill and hitting my living room perfectly.  I opened the blinds and set up my condenser recording microphone.  I figured the grill and soft champagne finish would create interesting photos when combined with the morning light.  Plus I love making music, so it would capture part of my personality as well.

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Bannack Best

So, this last Friday October 17, 2014, our Digital Imaging class took a field trip to the ghost town of Bannack in Montana.  We left at the crack of pre-dawn (around 7 a.m.) and drove for over two hours.  We had a list of assignments, and I have included each one in a separate post under this one with further details of what we were asked to shoot.  I had an absolute blast on the trip, made several new friends, and stretched my abilities and preferences with photography.  It was definitely a life-changing experience as a learning photographer.

In this post, I included a handful of my favorite non-portrait shots.  As requested, one of them has been edited to black and white, and one to sepia.

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Bannack Portraits

I have a confession to make.  Two weeks ago, I was a bit of a portrait hater.  I had no intention of ever really taking pictures of people–I always had more fun with abstract photography.  After the couple of portrait shoots I did over the last week or two, and especially after photographing my friends on this trip, I feel like I connected the most with the portrait shots I took.  I couldn’t wait to get home and edit my portraits first, and am excited to show my friends.

It’s weird.

I’m going to break this into segments by model.  We’ll start with my friend Kate because, quite frankly, we hung out the whole trip and I definitely took the most pictures of her.

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With speedlight

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With speedlight

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With speedlight

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^This is my favorite portrait and arguably favorite picture of the whole trip.

Now I’ll include an array of portraits including my friends Jared, Lauren and Collette as well as a few of the models they had available for us at Bannack.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that Jared is the first boy I’ve taken pictures of.

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I actually added a little noise to this.  It makes it feel like an Abercrombie ad or something…which is funny because I don’t shop at Abercrombie.

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With reflector

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Motion & Depth

For this segment of the assignment, we were required to have two blurred motion pictures (low shutter speed), one frozen action (high shutter speed), and two photos of the same scene but opposite shallow focus points.  This was a really fun activity to do in a group, and became really interactive as we brainstormed for ways to get creative.  It also caused some of my most time-intensive editing with the frozen action shot trying my hardest to use the spot-removal brush to get hair out of my friend’s face and mouth.

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Blurred motion 1–Ghost Picture

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Blurred motion 2

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Frozen motion 1

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Frozen motion 2

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Shallow focus 1

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Macro Abstract

For this assignment, we were asked to post two texture pics, two close-up objects, and two blended images involving a close-up and a texture.  I used Photoshop to do the blending, and used Lightroom for the rest of the assignment.  On that note, I’ve really been falling in love with Lightroom lately.  Every time we have to use something else, I’m so relieved to come back to it.

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High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR ended up being cooler than I thought it would be.  The method to the madness of HDR is that you set your camera to take three shots of the same image, each in a different resolution.  So you end up with a high exposure, balanced exposure, and low exposure shot of the same subject.  Then we used Photomatix Pro, a specialized editing software, to blend all three images in different combinations until we find one that showcases the image the best.  We also edited a single image in Photomatix to see what results that would bring as well.

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