More time is ALWAYS a good thing – almost.
This month I made photography low on the priority list.
Today I planned, set up, shot, post processed and now published a picture that I consider well worthy of being called part of my “2014 photo project”
It probably wont win any awards for “best story” or most imaginative, but it is a testimony of how much creative power lives just under the surface.
My kids remind me of it constantly – the power of imagination – when you are willing to let go of the “rules” are engage an idea fully.
I hope these pictures are as much fun for you as they are for me.
If you have been following along on my monthly project July should prove to be a bit better on the “open spaces front” I still plan to include some of my ideas for wide open spaces, but I will have to save that for next month.
For now. Enjoy some bubbles with some even more fun lighting.
Thanks for looking and reading.
Feel free to share and comment!
Well after about 100 million frustrating attempts to actually capture a bubble where I wanted it to be I ended up with a handful of useable shots.
Below you will see how I post processed them.
From the Raw image the first adjustment is for white balance exposure and basic contrast.
This is a bit of a trick as with so much of the image being black the histogram is of very little help. The idea here is to boost as much of the light while keeping the background crisp and black.
Next is noise reduction. I like how lightroom handles noise reduction as the color noise tends to be more of an issue. In this case the low iso (only 400) and the relatively large image (36 MP) means very little noise reduction is required to publish and image on the web (say 1024 x 768). There is very little noise in the image to begin with but with the help of the sliders we can clean that up nicely.
I also turn off all the sharpening in camera raw as I prefer to sharpen later in the process (as is the case almost always if you intend to do any post processing beyond the camera raw). Open the image for further editing.
I then did the same thing with a second image.
I copied the second image and pasted it into a new layer on the first image.
Then blend the layer together using lighter color. This is a great method of exposure stacking and will add the second bubble to the first. I used layer masks to ensure the background and bubble edges stacked correctly.
I moved each layer around until the bubbles were in their desired positions. I had some issue with a few of the bubbles at the top or bottom of the frame as they could not be moved to the center of the frame without looking flat due to their missing edge.
Next I flattened the image and adjusted the “levels” allowing me to clip the blacks for a much sharper image and making the blending of the two images look a bit more natural by setting the “true black” across the board for both images.
And last of all, sharpen.
Here you go.
The final image is a bit more complicated, but I’ll post that later. For now, give it a try – see how well your images turn out.
Posted in 2014 Photo Project, post processing
Tagged bubbles, camera raw, crop, edit, jpg, photo, photography, photoshop, pictures, post process, post processing, project.
So the concept isnt always easy to execute. No matter how well planned it takes a bit of finesse toget things right. Thats why there is gaff tape. If you are a photographer and you don’t have gaffer’s tape (aka gaff or gaffing) GET SOME. Duct tape is not the same.
Okok enough about that.
I got some pretty preliminary test images. I wasnt entirely happy with the flat images I got. Too much light too much white background and not nearly enough contrast.
Not a bad photo just not amazing. The catchlights (which you cant really see above) are what I was looking for so with a few minor changes I was hoping for the best.
I reduced the diffusion, I increased the flash intensity, I removed the white backdrop and lowered my f stop to f8.
This is what I got
Not bad. Entirely useable and much more dramatic but I noticed the catchlights looked better from above ( I was standing over the whole thing while shooting) so I repositioned the camera.
This is an example of the result.
On to post production.
Wish me luck only 3 hours to go.
My kids reminded at supper tonight that bubbles are super fun. Yeah bubbles have been done a hundred times but hopefully not like this.
I have decided to reuse an old backdrop and repurpose it as a lighting modifier. My epic selfy (you can take a tour through the archives) used a pegboard as backdrop and since I love making my own lighting modifiers I decided to reuse it to make a cover for a speedlight.
With this set up I should be able to freeze bubbles midair. I hope to capture one popping but with no timing rig I think this is pretty unlikely.
Wish me luck. I’ll post a quick shot of the setup as soon as it is ready. Only 6 hours to go. This one is going to be tight.