Tag Archives: photo

My beautiful butterfly

I love photography.  I really do.  I really really do, but i have found the last few months to be an unmotivated self critical self-depricating void.  In other words i haven’t  given myself the freedom or the space to create.  Consequently the other aspects of my life have suffered.  
Today i read an article on 500px.  I didnt really engage with the article and the suggestions were almost pointless (why im not sharing the link).  It did however remind me that i do actually want to take pictures.  My twitter feed was full of hundreds of worldphotographyday posts and i just happened on a scene with aome very dramatic lighting. 

My wife had cooked supper on the barbeque and left our window open.  Smoke filled our room and the setting sun cut a sharp beam through the swirling smoke.  At first i just took pictures of the “cool smoke”.  An amateur mistake forsure but then my daughter happened into my room with her mettalic winged butterfly.  She was excited to dance and play in the smoke and the sun reflected off the butterfly wings making a magical bright glow. 

Here is the result…

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Happy world photography day!

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A critical eye

I am starting to wonder if it is my own sense of “not good enough” that has taken my joy of photography away.  My own critical eye sees only the imperfections when i go to share a picture i have taken with someone else.  I am afraid all of the “things i have done wrong” in lighting technique composition and post processing will be immediately  obvious to everone else. 
I have to admit I have trouble sharing my enjoyment of my photos with others.  Maybe it is the uncertainty of what i really like about it. 

Long story short  i am posting a picture i took of my daughter.  I like it for almost all of the reasons i don’t  like it, but i do like.  I really like it and i need to be ok with enjoying it rather than dumping on all the parts that i “should” have changed. 
My biggest critic is myself.  My greatest triumph os to continue to create even where i might have failed.  To discover how many more ways there are to tell a story in photography.

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2015 – An old favorite of mine.

I started going through my archives.  They begin in 2008 when I switched to digital.  I bought my d60 that day my first daughter was born and have shot over 25000 frames on 3 different cameras since. 
I have to say I still need to go back through my film shots too but looking back 6 years and a handful of months my photography has improved by miles. 

That being said I still captured aome great moments, memories and stories.  If you follow my 500px account you may recognize this old photo I dug out of my archives and post processed again.  Im sad to say I switched to shooting raw about 3 months after this was taken.  But the tools in photoshop still allow for huge adjustments to jpgs as well. 

You decide if you like this image better the original way or the new way

Link to original:
500px: https://500px.com/photo/18663955

The new version:

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December 2014 – frost and cheer

I am reminded again this year how wonderful and blessed I have been to grow up celebrating Christmas. Now, that’s not to cast shame on those who hold other traditions, but there is something joy-filled about this season that causes me to remember how good life is. For me and my family it means getting together (huge groups of us on both of my parents respective sides, and my wife’s family too) sharing the good times and the hard times, rejoicing in the season and in each other. It means trying to express our love for one another in gifts and words of encouragement. It means spending time together playing games, laughing and enjoying the outdoors. It means reading the Christmas story and watching our favorite Christmas movies (like Charlie Brown’s Christmas or The Muppet’s Christmas Carol). It means PEACE, LOVE, and JOY.

I am happy. That’s not a statement I make often, but I feel like, on this Christmas vacation, I have finally managed to relax and de-stress. I can actually enjoy the moment. Moments like the one captured below. The magical moment when the frost covered trees are lit brightly by the setting sun and the kids are laughing a playing in the snow. The freezing drizzle sparkling and shimmering in the yellow light. I wish I could bottle these moments.

I would love to tell you I have a plan for my final photo of 2014. I would love to say that photography no matter the season is #1, but the truth is, for me right now, it isn’t. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is more important than any picture – no matter how once in a lifetime. At least for now.

Merry Christmas all. And to all a good night….er good morning.

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No snow – Nov 2014

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Well November 2014 will go down in history for me.

I thought snow would be an easy target for a winter shoot especially here in November.  That didn’t quite work out so I decided to take it indoors with a “sno” globe

A little early christmas cheer for all of you.

I will document the post processing for you, but I’m already 9 days late.

Enjoy.

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October 24 – Explorations of high speed photography

I know I know there is nothing original about milk and high speed photography, but lets be honest our ideas and inspirations usually come from an extension of someone else’s ideas. When I see others peoples work I often find myself thinking “Pssssh , I could do that”. When I saw the photos at http://aurumlight.com/ (slightly NSFW), especially the series with the sword fighters, I realized – no, no I couldn’t. I was, however, very inspired.

My son spends a lot of time walking around the house yelling things like, “Dad look it’s “Pida man” or “Soup – e – man!” (He’s 2. Enough said.) He loves superheroes, and so do I.

I thought I can make a superhero. I’ll just use a lego man and try to get a highspeed photo of him “wearing a cape.” A milk cape that is! Well it turns out the only lego man I actually have in my house is a Vetruvious figure from the lego movie and he’s already a superhero that wears a long white robe, so not much to go with there. Unless I put another robe on him or something.

My son does have a few little tikes figures that he calls his “friends” and since they were readily available I thought I would give them a try.

After all they are little farmers and around here farmers are the closest things we have to superheroes…

After about 7000 failed attempts at getting anything awesome in camera I finally had enough source images to try and accomplish what I wanted through post.

Here are the two source shots I used.
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DSC_2747

These two shots gave me the two building blocks to make the cape (the milk splash was a good shape and while totally in the wrong spot still entirely usable) and have a nice clear image of the figure.

First things first I correct the expose and tried to tone down the blown highlights.

Then I opened both images in seperate documents in photoshop.

I cut the man from one image and the large milk splash from the other.

I then created 3 new layers on the original image of the man. I had the background layer then the milk splash then the top layer was just the cut out of the farmer.

I then set to work with the layer masks to try and create a nicely defined edge on the cape as well as blend the man and cape to make sure that the right parts of the cape were behind the man and that some of it was in front of the parts of the man that would be covered had he actually been wearing a cape.

Then I used some blend as well as some simple brush strokes to try and perfect the lines.

I then selected all the foreground and any background parts of the image that were just clutter. I filled black over everything and left the stacked layers to create the depth without it looking like I had just cut and paste a picture from a magazine.

Using a brush with soft edges I carefully painted black over every remaining unwanted surface. I then made the edge of the brush more solid and lowered the opacity to create a bit of shadowing along the edge of the cape. Flattened the image and then rotated it and cropped it.

Here is what I got.
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You tell me what you think.

Oct 2014 – a bit of wedding fun!

My sister got married this weekend and my kids had the opportunity to be involved.  My son was a ring bearer and my daughters both flower girls. 

I did have a chance to shoot some photos and loved every minute of it. 

Here is one photo I thought I would share.

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Hope you like it.