Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Some more images

First of all, you can see most, if not all of my images by going to my photo gallery. Click here, or at right. But since there seems to be an increase in the activity level -- more people reading this blog -- I thought I'd add some images for y'all to look at (too many Southern friends. I'm starting to talk like y'all).

Also I've been getting comments (mostly good, keep it up!) by direct email and in some newsgroups, but did you know you can also comment here? So other people can see them?

Try this image on for size:

My friend Kevin sent me a link, or I found one on his photo site, to some similar shots, and they stuck in my mind. So I wanted to see how I could do. I deliberately went out one afternoon up in Minden, to try to shoot this kind of picture. I found a slough (that's pronounced "sluff" and it means a swamp or a shallow lake. See? And you thought you were too old to learn anything!), I put on my chest waders and ventured out to where I saw some weeds. With every step, my feet sank about 6" into the muck and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pull them out. There I was, carrying a camera which I REALLY didn't want to drop in the water. It didn't work out. I didn't get the shot I wanted. I took a few lily pad pictures which were "OK" but not great.

Anyway, the following week, we were on the workshop with Rob Stimpson and we went to a spot called "Wren Lake". Rob wanted us over on the south east side but as I was walking there, I spotted these weeds and with his permission, hung back long enough to get this shot.

There is some PhotoShop in it: I cleaned the water a bit (not much), then I used the threshold tool to create a silhouette. Next, using a couple of adjustment layers, including hue/saturation and a graduated screen mask, I added the colour back in the way I wanted it.

What do you think? Does this look like a saleable image?

The following day, Rob got us up before dawn and we watched the sun rise across the lake behind the Frost Centre just south of Dorset. He took a canoe out and told us to yell at him to position himself where we wanted him. OK, so I did! My favourite shot is the background for the header in this Blog, and here's another one:

Yes, the light did look exactly like that (although I may have pushed the saturation up a tad). The sun didn't look good, though. As Rob pointed out, digital still has a ways to go before equalling film for smooth rendition of wide dynamic ranges, so I had to play with some adjustment layers and Gaussian blurs to make it look better.

OK, one more image for today:

I wanted to frame Sally with the trees, but since it was backlit, I had to overexpose to get the detail in the tree bark and a reasonable exposure of Sally as well. So all I did was to create an adjustment layer which I masked, then reduced the exposure on the Sally part. The sky was blown out, so I decided to play with rendering clouds, but I didn't like it until I transformed the sky selection by growing it and laying it softly over the trees to make it look like a low cloud or fog. I was told it didn't look realistic because of the sun on Sally, but hey, there could have been a hole in the clouds, no?

PS: if you blow this up (by clicking on it), check out the detail in the tree bark on the left. I LOVE the new D300!

I'll show you some more images tomorrow. Waterfalls. I LOVE shooting waterfalls!