Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wisteria Cluster – Charleston Photographic Workshop

Every spring I look forward to teaching a workshop and capturing images in Charleston. With each visit I find something new something that I had not seen before. Sometimes it is one flower or part of a Wisteria vine that may not have been there before or had not been in bloom when I had past it by. Often it is the light and the way it interacts with the environment that makes the difference. I had past by this Wisteria vine dozens of time over the 20 years that I have visited Charleston and last year was the first time that I caught it in bloom. I revisited this location 5 or 6 times over a period of three days taking images and this one exposure captured it better than any of my other attempts.

It was early enough that the soft morning light before sunrise lit up the background without washing it out  and there was no wind moving the delicate petals during the half second exposure. I set my f-stop was set at F/4 to bring the wisteria cluster into focus and leave the background a soft blur.

Wisteria Cluster - Charleston

Wisteria Cluster – Charleston

After opening this image in Photoshop CS6 I used Film Effects in Color Efex Pro to give it the look of an image captured on film.


Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes

To make Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes you first make a layer. When you make a duplicate or copy layer it opens in Normal Mode and has an Opacity of 100% in the layers pallet. Normal Mode does not change the appearance of the image. In the Layers Pallet Layer 1 automatically becomes an active layer and the Blend Modes become active and you are able to change the Blend Mode and Opacity of this layer.

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

I find blend modes the most effective way to make exposure adjustments. In the Layers Pallet to the right of the word normal lick on the arrows and a menu pops up, scroll through each Blend Mode in the menu to see how they affect the image. The two I use to affect exposure are Screen and Multiply.

Make a selection in Blend Mode

Make a selection in Blend Mode

I selected Screen mode to lighten the image, this will usually make the image to light but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images, I lighten the image to the exposure I want.

Blend Mode - Screen 25%

Blend Mode – Screen 25%

 

I selected Multiply mode to darken the image, this will usually make the image to dark but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images I darken the image to the exposure I wanted.

Blend mode - Multiply 25%

Blend mode – Multiply 25%


Exposure Adjustments in Camera Raw using the Exposure slider

If your exposure is over or under exposed you can make adjustments with the exposure slider in Camera Raw. I had already worked with this image and saved it as a tif. In Photoshop if you go to FileOpen As  the image can be opened in Camera Raw like the original raw image.

File-Open As

File-Open As

To select a tif or jpg file by left clicking on it.

Select the tif or jpg file to open in Camera Raw

Select the tif or jpg file to open in Camera Raw

In the Open As dialog box to the right of Open As at the bottom of the dialog box click on the arrow and select Camera Raw for the file to open in Camera Raw.

Select-Open As-Camera Raw

Select-Open As-Camera Raw

I had already processed this image. In order to demonstrate how to make an exposure composition I have moved the exposure slider the left to -0.50 which  under exposes the image and makes the image darker. If I had moved the exposure slider to the right to +0.50 it would make the image lighter and over exposed the image.  

-0.50 exposure Slider

-0.50 exposure Slider

I moved the exposure to the left +0.50 stop to 0 to lighten the image to the exposure I liked best. This is also the exposure that I captured in the Camera. I try to expose and crop the image in the Camera to create the best possible file. My goal as a photographer is to use Photoshop to make a good image better not make a poor image usable. In Photoshop Elements 11 and CS6 you can make adjustments up to 5 stops  plus or minus but I find that if you have over of under exposed the image by more than 2 stops your recovery efforts will brings poor results.  

xposure slider adjustment to 0.00

xposure slider adjustment to 0.00


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Quiet Reflection-Saint Peters, Rome

Quiet Reflection-Saint Peters, Rome

I hope everyone’s Christmas was filled with family and friends and that everyone had some time for Quiet Reflection.


Award Winning Nighttime images of Rome and Pisa without Post Processing

Congratulations to Robert Perry from Cleveland who captured these two night images during the October 2012 Italian Photo workshop. The Lakewood Photographic Society competition was for nighttime photography. Robert had a busy work schedule after returning and entered thes two images as they came out of the camera without any post processing and won a first and third place in his local Camera Clubs competition.

1st place image in nighttime photography.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

In the digital age where everyone uses software to process images there are a lot of people who think that software can fix any image and make it an award winner, this is seldom the case. Why not capture each image using good composition and proper exposure that can win awards without processing and then if there is time use the software in Photoshop and Nik Software to make them into even better images.

3rd place image in nighttime photography

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy


Sunset in Chianti Tuscany

 

During the Italian October workshop Janice Maguire a portrait photographer from New Jersey captured this image in Chianti Tuscany just south of Florence. Her composition has the grape vine leading you into the picture with the fence poles, road and rolling vineyards draws your eye across the image to the mist. The clouds and light of this amazing sunset was a gift we all enjoyed capturing

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

This image was processed using Film Effects in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.

Check out Janice’s portrait work at smug mug.  http://jjm7777.smugmug.com/


Sunset Over Ancient Rome

Faye from Australia who joined me for last Octobers Italian Photographic workshop just emailed this image with an inquire as to where we were when she captured this image.

Saint Peters – Rome, Italy

Saint Peters – Rome, Italy

Each year I take clients to this vantage point which allows us to enjoy the changing light of sunset while capturing Panoramic views of Ancient Rome. This image that Faye sent me shows off the elegance that is Old Rome with wonderful balcony gardens and ancient tiled rooftops. Seeing Saint Peters framed between two of Rome’s other domed churches always takes my breath away.


%d bloggers like this: