Our assignment this week was to complete our calendar with the pictures we took a couple weeks ago. To finish it, we used a template on Adobe InDesign. For me, it was easy to do because I have used InDesign many times. The thing I wish I had done better was in regards to the pictures themselves, some were more zoomed in than others which caused some slight cropping of numbers. For the first few pictures (the days of the week), I noticed that there were some very visible crumbs from the cereal. So I had to take the pictures into Photoshop and use the spot healing brush to get rid of them. So it definitely came in handy! other than that, I think it turned out like I expected.
This week we took a trip during class to the senior art show on campus. There were 4 great artists represented in the show, and the artist who focused on photography was Morgan Taylor. The subjects of her photos were “everyday things viewed in extraordinary ways.” They were basically things that she would see in her daily activities, including coffee, the local market, the metro, and street signs. The several qualities that were consistent throughout all of her pictures were muted colors, shallow depth of field, and focus on small details. There was also a lot of repetition in her pictures, especially with lines. I would describe her style as sort of rustic, vintage, or organic, due to the texture and the gray/brown tones.
The photograph that stood out to me was the one titled “Success,” which was of a girl opening a fortune cookie. The focus was on her hands, which had black and white coloring, however you could see the warm golden color of the cookie between her hands. Even the details of the crumbs that fell on the table stood out. I thought it was a very interesting photo. This inspired me as a photographer because it showed me that you don’t have to have extremely unique subjects to make unique photos. You can take small, simple things, and shoot them in a way that makes it eye-catching. It is very important for a photographer to be able to do just that if they want to be successful, and it’s what I will strive to do!
For this week our assignment was not to take pictures, but to clean up 6 pictures we already had using the clone stamp, healing brush, spot healing brush and patch tool. For several of the pictures, I had to adjust the exposure and color as well. It was good practice in Photoshop, as I haven’t used some of these tools in a long time.
For this picture, I used the healing brush to get rid of what seemed like sensor dust in the sky, then adjusted the colors of the image using curves.
For this picture, I used the patch tool and healing brush to get rid of the large glare at the top of the picture. This one was hard because even though I first got rid of the glare, a glow still remained. I had to go over it several times.
For this picture, I used the patch tool and the spot healing brush to remove the orange cone and the people on the road. I also used brightness/contrast to brighten the picture.
For this picture, I used the patch tool to delete the light pole. I also used a photo filter to enhance the picture a little.
For this picture, I used the patch tool to delete the pole coming from behind the white picket fence, and enhanced with the hue/saturation layer.
For this picture, I used the patch tool to erase the bug from inside the flower, then used curves to adjust the exposure and colors.
Doing this assignment, I realized how useful and easy the patch tool is in removing unwanted spots in your pictures. I am also getting used to curves and how I can use them to adjust the colors as well as exposure, and I found myself using it a lot more than before.
5 Black and White Photography Tips
by Darren Rowse
I found this article at the Digital Photography School website, which I have probably used several times now. I can find almost anything that I am interested in learning on that site, so I use it often! I looked up some tips on Black & White photography because I had found it a little difficult to enhance my B&W photos enough so that it would really make a difference. These 5 tips were very useful, though some I already knew.
The first tip was to shoot in RAW. This I believe has been my biggest problem, I had edited my photos as JPEGs which doesn’t allow for as much control when adjusting the different tones. I definitely want to start shooting in RAW now that I have a better grasp at photo editing in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop. The second tip, which I already knew, was to shoot in color so that you can make your own adjustments later. The third tip was to shoot with a low ISO to prevent noise, which is very visible in B&W. The forth tip was to actually shoot in low contrast situations, which I found surprising. The fifth and final tip was to pay close attention to the details of the composition. The article said to “pay particularly attention to shadows and highlights which will become a feature of your shot”. These 5 tips will be very helpful in future edits.
For this picture I used the dodge tool over the entire image.
For this image I used the spot healing brush tool to remove the people standing on the shore.
For this image I used the perspective crop tool and traced the shape of the front of the building, to make it look straight-on.
For this picture, I used the patch tool to remove the light towers, the clone stamp to move the sun into the lighthouse, and the spot healing brush to remove the graffiti from the rock.
This week, our theme for our photos was depth of field. We were to take half of our photos with a shallow depth of field, and the other half with a deep depth of field. I knew from previous discussion that aperture was what controlled the depth of field, so I used Aperture Priority (Av) to take all of my shots.
I really like shots with shallow depth of field to I was excited to take these pictures. It wsa a little hard, because I couldn’t get the amount of blurriness I really wanted in the background with my particular lens. My kit lens only goes down to f/3.5. I was able to get some decent shots, though. This assignment made me very interested in saving up for a macro lens, where I can get a very shallow depth of field for close-up shots.
My 3 Favorite Photos:
In class today, we experimented with the various ways to color correct an image. Here I have several before and after pictures, each using a different type of adjustment layer to correct the colors. I’ve ranked them from my favorite to my least favorite techniques.
1) Hue / Saturation
This is probably my favorite way to adjust the colors of an image. I like the control of being able to adjust colors, the brightness, and the saturation all on one panel. I would probably use this method the most.
2) Photo Filter
This is my second favorite method due to its easiness, yet it has a variety of different filters to change your image. You can even make your own filter out of any color you want, which is a great idea.
3) Color Balance
This is my third favorite method because of the amount of control you have in editing, because you can adjust shadows, midtones, and highlights separately. However, it seems like it could be very time consuming to do to every picture.
Curves is my fourth favorite method because it is one that I have never dealt with before this class. I still have to get used to it so its a little hard for me to use. However, I know it is important to know so I will keep practicing.
5) Auto Color
This is definitely my least favorite method. It’s easy, however you have barely any control over the final result. In this example, I actually think the after picture looks worse than before. So I probably wont be using it too often.
5 Techniques for Enhancing Contrast in Digital Photos
By Darren Rowse
This article on enhancing contrast was found at Digital Photography School, a very helpful and reliable website I have used for past articles. This week we have been working with Photoshop to adjust the exposure and contrast of various images, whether they are under exposed or over exposed. I picked this article because it has several ways to do just that. It covers curves and masks, dodging and burning, unsharpening contrast, apply image, and selective color. The one that interested me the most was working with curves and masks because that is what we experimented in the last class.
In the article, they showed an image with a single curve adjustment that only made a small difference. Rowsw’s tip was to make 3 separate curves: one for the sky, one for the water, and one for the shore. This way, he was able to adjust each one separately so that they would stand out from one another. This is most helpful for black and white photos because the colors are so close to one another. The resulting image was much more detailed. The article said, “This is a very powerful method, and may be all you ever need to make your contrast adjustments,” so I will definitely work to improve my curve and mask skills.