Saturday, February 21, 2009

Indoor Photo Without a Flash

A family gathering always means; load up the kids; grab some food and head over to moms. Don’t forget to bring the camera because good times are waiting to be captured for future reference. Especially, if one of the twins drinks too much - and if you are in the neighborhood stop by. BYOB

For this weeks assignment take a well composed photo and enhance it using Photoshop or PaintNet. I decided to use the fill flash feature which allowed me to adjust the hue and saturation ratio. It lightened the subject and created more shadows. My nephew, Matthew loves to read and most generally is engrossed in a novel.

I tried another feature called Graphic Pen it allowed me to give this photo a new look. I increased the stroke length to 15 and opted to have them come from the right side of the photo. Changing the light/dark composition to 50 which added another dimension giving it more contrast. I really like my new free download tools.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be Bold! Using Picasa 3 to Create a New Look

Original Photo - when I snapped this photo my goal was to capture the children (my nephews and nieces) interacting with the sea gulls. I enjoyed experimenting with many of the different features Picasa offers.

Cropped the photo and changed to B&W and adjusted the shadows and lighting.

Be Bold - I used the saturation feature to show the contrast between the different color schemes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rule of Thirds

When composing a picture, the rule of thirds can promote most any average photographer to the next level almost instantaneously. The idea is to break down the scene into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Strong horizontal elements should line up with (or be close to) either the top or bottom division lines in the frame. Similarly, strong vertical elements should line up with the right or left division lines in the frame. [Some digital cameras have grid lines in the viewfinder that can be turned on and off, but with most cameras, you will have to use your trained eye to imagine a grid over the scene and place scene elements accordingly.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Using Picasa to Enhance My Photo's

The original photo was taken on a cold winter day and the birds nest is weathered. It still holds a nice compositional feeling. The branches of the tree reach out to the corners of the photo forcing the eye to follow. Conversely, it lacks a feeling of life and in the next illustration, I will demonstrate how a tint of color can enhance this photo.

The "graduated tint" feature in Picasa 3 was used to increase the level of "saturation." This put emphasis on the pinks at the bottom of the photo. A tint of olive green was used in the upper right corner. However, I have not yet achieved the desired look that I am seeking for this photo. So, I will continue to strive for a better result and will post the updated version soon.

Cropping For A New Look

For the second portion of our class assignment, I decided to give this photo a makeover. It was taken as I was traveling on a guided tour bus to the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery last summer.

The original photo and the subject is not defined.

In China there is a place called Shangri-La, in the northwest of Yunnan province (southern part of China.) Zhongdian County was renamed Shangri-La County in 2001 by Chinese authorities after the fictional land of Shangri-La in the novel “Lost Horizon.” Previously the county was called Zhongdian, among Chinese, and Gyalthang, among Tibetans. The capital of the county is also known as Shangri-La, before 2001 it was named Jiantang Town.

The myth of Shangri-La was born in 1921 with the novel by James Hilton “Lost Horizon.” In his book, Hilton describes a paradisiacal place in the foothills of the Himalayas isolated from the outside world where people lived a harmonious and happy life.

I was able to make several adjustments in Picasa 3 which allowed me to focus more on the subject. However, I am not sure how to remove the rain drops from the windshield of the bus? My personal opinion is this photo does not warrant saving. The composition is weak and no matter how hard I tried to enhance it using Picasa 3 - for me; it still is an undesireable photo.

Nevertheless, this assisgment taught me how to crop and change the dynamics of a scene by adding an array of colors. I will continue to practice using this software which allows me to edit, organize, and share pictures over the Web.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken as I was looking at my reflection in the mirror. Picasa 3 was used to illustrate the dynamic features this program offers its user. First of all, as you can see, I cropped the photo and used the enhancing lighting feature. I changed the look of this photo when I turned it into a B&W which I think gives it a depth of field feeling. It takes on a new character by showing the contrast of shadows on my face.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Did Poorly On The Quizz - But Look At What I Have Learned

This semester I am enrolled in a college course called Visual Communications in a Digital Age taught by Professor Worth Weller at IPFW University. For the past serveral weeks now I have been learning about the "camera." Even though my camera came with a manual the information is overwhelming. So, this is my reasoning for taking this course so that I may have a better understanding of photography.

As photography is painting with light it is also about visual expressions...using a camera to freeze in time those moments that are soon gone forever. Composition is all about the art of subjective arrangement. Knowing what your subject is and when something catches our interest, the mind tends to focus on only that which has attracted our attending. If we use these same principles when we take the photo then it will be easier to concentrate on the composition (subject.) Learning to use light, composition and to communicate ideas and move from taking “snapshots” to creating exciting photographic images. In fact, I think the single most important step you can take to become a better photographer is learning to see light and learning how to manipulate with both the camera and most recently the computer.

What Is a Blog?

Look at me now Ma – I’ve got my very own spot on the World Wide Web. In fact, just the other day I learned how to create a blog. Yes, your daughter the one who is technically challenged. It’s funny; because I’m not sure what blog even stands for? So, I decided to do a little research on the topic. According to our text and Google, the definition is fairly simple: a blog (short for "web log") is essentially an online journal or diary where anyone can post messages, photos, music and videos on his or her own site...

  • Blogs were initially created for the sole purpose of providing an avenue for people to “journal” their thoughts online.

  • Blogs are meant to be updated regularly.

  • Now blogging has become a way for any business to advertise their products and services.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My First Blog Photo

This is one of my favorite spots to stop and absorb the elements of nature. No matter what the season in northern Michigan the convergence of the Manistee and Pine River at Tippy Damn Pond offers the viewer many diverse photo opportunities.