Archive for May 2011
This is a shot from Jason and Meghan’s wedding a week ago. This was one of my favourite photos of the day. I actually processed this image about five different ways. This version uses the same method as I described in yesterday’s post. I love the contrast of the red dress against the green grass.
It was an interesting day for a shoot. Thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon and we had over an hour of the shooting planned in the great outdoors. When we got started it was overcast, which was fine – better for portraiture anyway. As we approached the end of the pre-wedding shoot, the clouds were darkening and the humidity was going up. Unfortunately that brought out the mosquitoes. A lot of mosquitoes (they’re the worst Edmonton has had in years). Between shots, everyone would be slapping away. At least it kept us moving.
The rest of the day progressed well as we moved indoors. The wedding was in a glass pyramid (at the Muttart Conservatory) which made shooting a fair bit more tricky when the sun came out as the sun took over control of lighting. That said, the sun was well-timed for the ceremony. It came out just as the bride arrived. Almost like it was all planned out for them.
Yes, it’s another cherry blossom, but I promise it’s the last (for now). The flowers are all withering now so I’m out of time. As the title says though, I’ve chosen a different approach here. Back in the good old pre-digital days, a friend of mine and I enjoyed making slide-sandwiches. That is, we took two slides, removed them from their slide carriers and put them together carefully aligning the two images to create a composite. We then snapped them back into their slide carrier and voila! Slide sandwich.
There was a process we used (he used it first – I just followed the master) called Orton Frames (or the Orton Method). The process involved two over-exposed images of the same subject – one in focus and one very much not. The two images are then combined to create a correctly exposed image with both a sharp and softened focus creating a dreamy kind of image with warm, saturate tones.
Somehow it’s just not as satisfying a process since the tactile nature of the process is gone. Now it’s just duplicate the layer in Photoshop, apply a Gaussian blur and change the blending mode to multiply. Fuss with the layer opacity a bit until you’re happy and that’s it.
Somehow it the images seemed so much more satisfying when I had to shoot them separately and combine them and align them by hand. Doing this with Photoshop is just a bit disappointingly easy.
Yesterday morning, a salesperson came to my door telling me she’s aerating lawns in the area and would I like her to aerate mine. I said no thanks. She decided to push on anyway. She started by telling me about the virtues of lawn aeration and what it can do for my lawn. She then pointed out the bare patches in my lawn that need desperate help. I told her how we only just moved in before winter arrived and with Spring only young in Edmonton, perhaps it was a bit soon to panic.
Concerned that she wasn’t quite engaging my interest she said I must be embarrassed to have people over with my lawn looking like it does. At this point, I take a step back into my house to subtly indicate that she has put me off a bit with her aggressive tone. She didn’t notice. She then suggested that I must not care about my lawn and wanted to know if I even water it.
I suggested that her sales approach was perhaps a bit aggressive and she might want to try not insulting her prospective clients as that might lead to fewer sales. She assured me that she is the top salesperson in her company so she must be doing something right.
I can only sigh and shake my head (and enjoy my lawn just the way it is).
Okay, so apparently I forgot to blog yesterday. I didn’t even realize I didn’t post anything until I got up this morning. The thing is, my wife’s away. So, I blame her. It disrupted my routine. She’s off enjoying some conference.
In the meantime, I’m spending altogether too much time sitting in front of my computer tinkering with photos (like the one above). Last night, when I’m sure I had every good intention of posting a photo, I had my nose in the depths of Photoshop. I look up at some stage to discover that it’s nearly one o’clock in the morning and I decide maybe I better get myself to bed.
The blog never even entered my mind. You’d think 138 days of blogging would have established some sort of routine.
Processing notes: While I can apply this technique to a photo in about five to ten minutes, it would probably take a long time to explain. If anyone cares, I’ll post a follow-up with the details.
I seemed to have developed a nasty habit of late posting this week. I’ve been busy during the last few days finishing up the wedding photos from the weekend. It definitely took me a little longer than it should have, but I wanted to take particular care. I also had more photos that I wanted to give a bit of special treatment to than I should have strictly allowed. I’ll have to try to streamline my workflow a bit for next time!
I prepared today’s cherry blossom a couple of days ago. It’s a simple crop, B&W conversion and split-tone.
We’ve been doing well in Edmonton up until a couple of days ago. The sun has been shining and it’s been a warm, well-deserved Spring. Unfortunately we’ve finally received the weather that much of the rest of Canada has been tolerating – cool weather and rain. On an exciting note though, we had a major gas leak in the neighbourhood tonight. Around 7:30 as we were finishing dinner, a loud, pulsing whooshing sound started, much like the sound you get from a hot air balloon as they pour on the flame to get lift. Turns out there was good reason for the similar sound.
While it was very loud in our back yard and sounded like it was coming from the next street over, it was actually coming from about 8 blocks away. I hopped in the car to go see what was up (along with half of the rest of the population of South West Edmonton). Police were just cordoning off the roads and the fire trucks were pulling up. They blocked off a very wide stretch of streets around the leak which continued to pulse very loudly for just over an hour before they got the gas shut off.
Apparently they evacuated homes and local businesses, but thankfully nothing more happened than gas billowing into the air (and scaring my youngest enough to have her ask if she can sleep with her big sister tonight).
Processing notes: This is a simple light-touch split tone (using Silver Efex Pro 2) of a black and white image. I took the photo with the camera pointing directly into the sun with a flash to fill-in the shadows.
Look, more cherry blossoms! I’m looking a bit repetitive this week, but having this beautiful tree in my backyard is really allowing me to get blog material rather easily while I work through the 750 photos or so from the wedding on Sunday. I’m really happy with how the wedding shots have turned out and I’m looking forward to sharing them with the bride and groom in the next couple of days.
Processing notes: I used Silver Efex Pro to convert this to B&W. In Silver Efex, I washed out some of the details in the background and brought out the details in the foreground. I added a bit of a white vignette before dropping on the border. I then chose a hard light blending mode and changed the layer opacity to around 50%. That gave me the ability to darken and desaturate some of the colours while bringing out the details in the foreground flowers.