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EXPLORE December 5, 2007
Better LARGE On Black
Inspired by The Fountain, which, i think i'm going to have to say, is my favourite movie ever. If you havn't seen it already, please do!
watch the trailer here (id give the youtube link but my computer hates youtube at the moment lol)
I'm mostly pleased with how this turned out, but I think it could be alot better...the roots are rubbish but it's the best I could do
Tree stock photo from sxc.hu
ps. DAMN FLICKR SHARPENING! it sharpened it HIDEOUSLY! i blurred it in photoshop and replaced it XD.
i'll be doing another photo inspired by the fountain for tomorrows 365 i think.
EDIT: im open to critique on this piece, if anyone has any comments or suggestions they'd like to make about how it might be improved?
I get a lot of mail asking questions about my photography, my processing, etc. I'm always happy to answer but I just thought it'd be easier to put all of this out here....
And all of this is just how I do it. I don't believe there's one right way to do anything ~ you figure out what you're comfortable with and you do it. As an example, the Nikon vs. Canon debate bugs me to no end ~ they're both good. Get what you're comfortable with. I use Nikon because my film camera was a Nikon. If you're thinking of getting a dSLR then go to a camera store and hold them both ~ see what works for you. It's the same with everything else ~ just because so and so does it one way doesn't mean that's the way you have to do it. Try different things a figure it out for yourself ~ being comfortable doing something seems so important to me.
Go out there and take pictures. Take your camera with you everywhere. Take a lot of pictures. Try different things. I go out in the afternoons just to shoot flowers around my neighborhood, or to throw one of my kids in front of some bright colored wall.
1) My #1 suggestion to people is to buy a 50mm lens. Shooting on a really low aperture is what creates the shallow depth of field in a lot of my pictures, and the 50mm lens is perfect if that's the look you want. It's my favorite lens.
2) Lenses make a HUGE difference. I would rather invest in good lenses then camera body.
3) I am a "focus and recompose" person: I have my focus mode set to S (C drives me absolutely batty). So I focus on what I want and then move the camera to get the composition I want; it's hard to explain if you're not used to it. I've tried moving focal points around but I get better results doing it this way.
4) For portraits 95% of the time I focus on the eyes. I think that's what people are drawn to, and what should be the sharpest.
5) I try to leave room for post-processing cropping. I am very picky about my cropping and I'm drawn to the square crop (or 6x7) these days so when I take my pictures I tend to keep that in mind.
6) I use matrix metering most of the time. Spot metering occasionally, if the lighting is tricky.
7) I shoot aperture priority 95% of the time. I know how to shoot manually, but A works just as well for me and it's aperture I usually want to control. If I need to I'll adjust the exposure compensation, but I do that rarely.
8) I shoot RAW. I like fiddling with stuff, so RAW works for me. Mainly I love it for fixing the white balance, but I also do almost all my black and white conversions in Adobe Camera RAW.
9) I pay attention to my histograms ~ I make a concerted effort not to blow my highlights. I don't care too much about shadows.
10) Pay attention to light ~ I read some book long ago that said all photography is is capturing light (you should hear Cindy squeal about good light, seriously). If you're doing portraits, make sure you can see the catchlight in their eyes ~ position them near a window, or a reflective surface. And shoot at different times to get a feel for different light ~ morning vs. sunset, etc. There's no bad time to take a picture (though 1pm on a sunny day with no shade is challenging) but there's definitely better times to do so.
11) Look through the viewfinder and figure out what's in your shot. I know that sounds redundant but it actually took me a long time to make this a habit. What's appearing in the picture that's going to distract from the subject? Take it out, or move.
12) If you are going to shoot wide open, understand what's going to be in the focal plane. Position your lens directly parellel to your subject. If you're shooting kids, get down to their level. If you're shooting flowers, try different angles.
13) Your shutter speed should never be less than your focal length, to avoid blur due to camera shake (so if you're using a 50mm lens, you want to be at at least 1/60 ss)
I love Photoshop ~ not everyone does. Some people set up their cameras so they need to do less post-processing but I enjoy that aspect, almost as much as the actual shooting. Very rarely I have something SOOC that I think doesn't need any adjustment. I believe that film has been developed to create a certain look (so if you want vivid landscapes you shoot Velvia, pretty portraits you shoot Portra) and tons of stuff occurs in the darkroom during development. So I use Photoshop to get the look I like.
1) I do have actions for sale now
2) I own a ton of actions but mostly just to learn how others do stuff. If I use an action on something I post I make note of it (I love lilyblue's honey action and her black and whites)
3) I adjust the individual color curves on almost every picture. I am going to make public a few tutorials I put up for a group, which will be in a set with this 365 ~ it shows what I'm talking about
4) I pay attention to my histogram in Photoshop, as well. I really don't like blown highlights, lol. What I mean by this is ~ if you open your histogram, the right hand side of it pertains to the highlights in your picture. If the edge of the histogram is up against that wall, it means your highlights are getting clipped and information is lost. Google it because I'm not explaining it right but I think it's really important.
5) I love gradient map adjustment layers ~ they tone down colors and add richness to black and whites. I will generally add a black to white gradient map set to 10-25% opacity on my pictures.
6) I'm a huge fan of the "Apply Image" function, under "Image". I choose the green channel and set it to soft light. Then I adjust the opacity of the layer down, anywhere from 85% to 20% ~ it just depends
That's all I can think of. Ask questions if you have any and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.
And I just need to add that I feel like I learn something new weekly ~ I read, I shoot, I get inspiration to try something ~ it all leads me to try new things and experiment.
And hopefully you see that there really is no magic. It's just figuring things out.
I'll be honest. I'm pretty much to the end of my resources. I'm so tired! There's so much I need to accomplish!! My girls start school Wednesday and I couldn't make it to their open house tonight. I've only got two days off this week and I'm thinking about crying already. lol. Somebody call the WHAAAAAAAAmbulance!!
So, what to do for a pic at 10pm when you have to get up the next morning to go back to work? Thinking...thinking...thinking... OOOoooOOOooo SHINY THINGS! Look carnival mirror faces! Good thing I can blame it on the warped reflections... I'm sure I look like crap at this point anyway.
I'm going to try to make rounds before crashing....
Day 361 of 365 more.
I'm not even going to talk about today's weird photo. It is what it is. I gave my SP its one chance and that's what I had to work with. :-)
It's all coming to a close shortly and my last picture (Wednesday) is gearing up to be very anti-climactic. It'll be my typical weekday shot. If it's at work, you'll probably see a rushed photo of me on the stairs. If it's at home, well...I won't even be able to attempt a shot till 8pm(pst). And even then I'm pretty much limited to boring lamp light. So, don't expect much out of me. :-)
Explored January 7, 2008 #94
Explore #266 on Dec 11, 2008
well wouldn't you?
i fell over so many times doing this...lol
I BOUGHT DARK KNIGHT ON DVD YESTERDAY! i dunno how long it's been available where the rest of you flickrites live, but yesterday was the day it was released here and i was so excited that i SQUEALED! i also bought Prince Caspian, even tho it was pretty lame, and Ben Barnes' accent was phony "IY UM PRINZE GUSPIYAN" <---wtf?
oh and, this is my backyard btw =]
and, where would i be without ghostbones?
Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
kelsi and tasha
today my film camera might have broken forever and I might have lost the last roll of film that I had in it. I'm quite upset about it but it's hard to stay upset when I'm in such a beautiful place.
I know I don't say much, but I would really like to take this opportunity to thank any and everyone who has ever left a comment, added one of my photos as a favorite, or put a photo of mine in one of their galleries. I really do appreciate it, and it means a lot to me. I started this project three hundred and sixty five days ago totally on a whim, and I'm so happy that I decided to do it, because it has been a blast, and I have had the chance to meet some really incredible people along the way.
This won't be my last photo, if anything it's only the beginning...
Admittedly, I'm trying to convince myself...
I'm working tomorrow. In times past, I've found Labor Day to be a monster of a day to work in the ER. Everyone seems to be a bit more careless when they're carefree? We usually wind up with a ton of "repair work" such as suturing and splinting. The good news is that I'm working the early shift... maybe I'll be home before the chaos really sets in?
Hope all of YOU people have the day off with picnics, BBQ's and family get togethers planned. :o) My only request? BE SAFE!
Oh yeah, and have a great holiday!
Right now I'm working on Charcoal portrait job
I still have quite a few left to do and I have to get cracking.
Once I sit down and start drawing.. I get into the zone. that's when I feel most like myself and entirely in the moment. Everything around me fades away.
Day 32 of 365 Days
I try to keep it up but it's already there
Grinning at the world in a cynical way
talking to myself though there's nothing to say
Mar 21 81/366
Just saying hello everyone..ill be back around later to finish commenting!!
Saw this today! It was one of those "Holy Crap!" moments. Thankfully it was friendly!
We took the dog's on a long walk to some friends stoop, they were having a stoop sale (aka yard sale).
Just finished a shift, have a TON to do... would rather just zip myself up in the suitcase and GO! It won't be that easy, but it will be worth it :o) We have one kid to drop off at college for her Junior year... and then it's off on a little summer adventure... FINALLY! We have been home and working hard all summer long.
The possibilities of my presence on flickr are sketchy.
Hope you all had a wonderful day, see you when I see you!
I'm falling in love with adobe lightroom.
(80/365) ever since i rewatched one of my fave films, "down with love", a few weeks ago i have been wanting to do a shot with tulle and big hair and this morning i found some tulle laying around in my room... so guess what??..... :) i love that movie.. the whole oldschool vibe, that style permanently has my heart.... :) go oldschool!!!
Our psychology teacher told us some really interesting stuff about communication today. She talked much about eye contact as well. Did you know that your pupils get bigger or smaller not only when there's much or little light but also when you find the person you look at attractive or not? And did you know that we tend to take to somebody rather when he/she has bigger pupils? I didn't. I'm so impressed. :]
Feb 14 45/366
3 weeks and I'm done. I'm so looking forward to ending this project. I'm tired of the burden and nuisance of having to come up with some sort of shot day in, day out. No way in hell I'll go for a second round of this. :-)
Part of a series about 'being watched'. I took some more shots today (might post some more on my blog later) but this one is definitely staying in the series.
I will delete comments that contain either of the following: group awards, group invites, admin invites, other sparkly images or .gifs.
I block assholes.
my photos have been lame lately, so i tried to do something good XD.
am proud of this =]