Sunday, July 26, 2015

Black And White

So why convert this image to black and white? Well, I felt the image was a bit flat, but didn't want do drive the colour to unrealistic levels, and wanted to emphasize the form rather than colour (after all it only had one colour).

I converted the image with a B&W conversion layer, no special filtering, then added a curves layer and then a threshold layer to check for diving the image to pure white (or not). This I did by moving the top right corner of the graph to the left, giving me a straight line that was steeper. I then adjusted the curve of the line to an s bend to give the image more contrast.

I then added another curve with the top right moved leftwards and applied it to the light on the boiler below the saddle. Lastly I used my warm tone action, with the saturation turned down a bit.

I could have done all this with the colour image, but where in black and white it has some power,m in colour it would be over the top.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tractor Seat

I'd noticed this seat on a steam tractor last time I visited and liked the shapes, but it was rather high off the ground. This visit, I tried harder, and found a trestle sitting on the other side of the lot. I brought it over, climbed aboard and raised my tripod to its maximum (no centre post but it's the four section legs RRS so it goes sig. above my eye height (5 foot 9 in my dotage).

I did have a short stool in my previous car - time to dust it off. Oddly, there's a lot of editing to this image. For a start, it's four vertical images stitched horizontally - just what worked while perched on my trestle - then there were a couple of areas of green in the background that needed to be toned back and a hint of magenta added. The sun started to peek through for the right sided images and the boiler in the background was too intense in colour - so a bit of desaturation and less yellow.

There was a cob web - so the healing brush, and a small amount of pigeon poop on the saddle - so a little bit more. I used Akvis Enhancer, toned back to 75% then entirely masked out, and only brought back on a very small section of the front of the saddle (where the focus is). There's no blur in this image - just shallow depth of field with my 120 macro at f5.6

I cropped a little off the left and right and bottom - the sides to reduce the amount of light area, and the bottom to bring the edge closer to the dropped part of the saddle.

I do wonder if a little field blur in the upper right corner might be appropriate. Might try it - soften that sharp edge between very dark and very light.

Rusty Container

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I quite like this image from earlier today. Not entirely sure about the white in the fire pit. I already cropped a little off the bottom to minimize it and still wonder if I should take it out entirely, but I'll put the print up on the office wall and live with it for several days before making a decision.

I've just made a print and compared to what I'm seeing here it looks a bit flat, so I'm adding a little contrast - see if I can get closer to what is on the screen. Image colour is not too difficult to match but brightness can be a bugger - even though I have screen brightness set way down as per the colourimeter (Colormunki).  Yep, the second print is better - an S shaped curve adjustment layer, no masking.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Peony Post Prime

Pentax 645Z, 120 macro, shot indoors.  I used a combination of shallow depth of field with judicious use of field blur and gaussian blur applied selectively via layer duplication and masking.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

This, That, and the Other

Interestingly, the first and last are lit with artificial light. I picked up some 312 LED barn doored variable colour rechargeable battery operated lights and stands. I was very afraid of an artificial look to the images but compared to the flat lighting of the second and third images, I'm thinking I should reshoot some of the farm implements with some additional lighting to add some directionality.

I really like the LED lights - cool, compact, no power requirements, can take an umbrella. Perhaps not bright enough for hand holding and moving objects like portraits, but for the work I do....

I also like that I can control the colour temperature. Yes, I realize I could get a brighter output with non adjustable temp light, but for balancing the available light and to give realistic highlights and shadowing, very nice thank you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pioneer Acres- Black And White Or Colour

They're different shots so a straight out comparison isn't fair - but working on the top image it seemed to make sense to go to black and white to avoid the distractions. Given the lower image is more tightly cropped, I liked the colour and in fact feel this is the stronger image - a series of diagonal lines and the complete wheel.

1949 Cadillac

A little change of pace - not only a car, but shallow depth of field too, and I'm quite happy with the result.