Archive for the ‘flower’ Tag
So frequently I post a picture and then don’t talk about it that I’m sure it’s almost becoming expected of me. Today does not break that tradition. What can I say? It’s a flower. I like it, but there’s no story behind it.
On a slightly more interesting note, I added a new piece of kit to my camera bag this weekend. I had a wedding reception shoot on Sunday night. It was going to be indoors and pretty dark so I needed to have my flash ready and responsive. Rather than rely on the on-board batteries alone, I now have a TD-381 Flashgun power pack from Pixel. This unit cost me just $70 as compared to the Canon version that runs for $150 in the US or as much as $275 here in Canada.
I read the forums before ordering one from Amazon and everyone had good things to say. After using it on Sunday night over a period of four hours and about 500 shots, I have to agree. It kept up easily, keeping my flash ready when I needed it. When we did formal portraits, I moved the power pack to a second off-camera flash with an umbrella and it had no trouble powering the big shots with full power flash to light groups of up to 20 people.
If I’m planning on using my flash, I won’t leave home without my new battery pack.
To explain a few non-posting days and many very short posts of late, I’ve been doing the family vacation thing – a combination of camping and visiting in British Columbia. I was away about two and a half weeks. This is not the bad news.
The butterfly above is also not the bad news, though he clearly had bad news of his own. He’d lost about one-third of his wings – the back left wing is entirely gone as well as a decent chunk out of his right wing.
This past Saturday, we were camping in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. All is going fine. On Saturday evening I was capturing a couple of shots of camp life and instead of my standard shutter sound I get the ‘click’ and I get a ‘tink’. The ‘tink’ is accompanied by a blackened view finder. With a perplexed look firmly planted on my face I look around to the front of the camera to check for the lens cover (pretty sure I was just shooting, but must check anyway). I then look through the viewfinder again. Still dark. Better look inside. Found the mirror. Detached. This is definitely the bad news.
I’m happy to say that I did not cry at this stage. I took the bad news calmly albeit it with a mild dose of disbelief. What am I supposed to do on vacation without a camera? I still had plans.
After getting home and searching online, I learned that a detached mirror is unfortunately a common enough problem in 5Ds. So I decide to track down my local Canon repair agent. Lucky me, Canon decided to centralize that capability in 2009. The only service centre in all of Canada is in Toronto, so I have to ship it. This is more bad news.
The online auto-estimate is $250 plus tax, plus shipping. Not as bad as it could be I suppose. The estimated repair time (excluding shipping) is three to four weeks. Could be longer depending on how busy they are. Looks like I’ll be without camera for at least a month and probably a month and a half. This is more bad news.
Starting up a photography business and not having a camera seems like a less than ideal situation. So, it seems I need to invest in a backup camera body (as, of course, I should have a while ago). My first thought was a used 5D. Then I thought maybe a 7D as a backup. Now I’m wondering if a 5D MK II would be a better long-term investment with my soon-to-be-repaired 5D as my backup. Thoughts?
Saw this gerbera the other day as I was passing a flower shop and couldn’t resist picking it up. I love the vibrant colours and those petals look just like flames!
Here are some of my favourite photo posts from the week.
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As per my previous post, I’ve learned that some things take time, more time than I necessarily have. This blog, for instance, has been taking more time than it should lately. These texture pieces are particularly time consuming. As we arrive at summer holidays for the kiddies, they are going to be much more demanding of my time. Putting these things together, I plan to cut back on the blog over summer. I’ll still be posting regularly, but it will be less often – probably every few days.
In the meantime, I’ve officially hung out my shingle and launched my website for my photo business (Mike Moruzi Photography). You can find me at the very cleverly named website – www.mikemoruzi.com. It accompanies my Facebook business page that I launched a few weeks back. Hopefully a lot more of my time will be consumed as I get my business up and running.
I learned something new these past few days (and posts). I learned that while the technique of applying textures to photos isn’t too difficult it is actually quite a bit harder to produce something I like and hence, feel is worthy of sharing. Broken arms and additional required parenting/child nursing time aside, this is a much more time-consuming process and I find I’m just not able to set enough time in the day aside to meet a daily posting regimen. This explains my sporadic postings of the last few days and conveniently serves as a prefab excuse for any further late posts in the near future.
So, the title of today’s post is not referring to my Photoshop skills, but rather to the creative process. Unlike with a photograph that is more lightly processed, this type of image is not one that I arrive at quickly. It requires far more experimenting with treatments that work and don’t work (and there are a lot that don’t work). Most significantly, I find I need to allow these image to breathe a little, to rest, to hide from prying eyes.
This particular image required four attempts to get it to a stage where I was prepared to post it. I had a previous version uploaded yesterday in an attempt to post on time, but when I saw it in the blog, I realized I was rushing an image out the door that I didn’t even particularly like to meet a self-imposed deadline.
I like this image now, but tomorrow when I see it again I may just change my mind.
Once upon a time, I had this picture of a rose. I thought it was a pretty decent picture (as flower pics go) when I shot it about seven years ago. Until yesterday, I was still pretty happy with it. That is, until I reworked it with a few select textures. Now the original looks flat, and boring to me.
When the weather turns around (it’s cold and raining in Edmonton these days) I’ll actually get out and shoot with the specific goal of exploring textures, but for now, everything in my back catalogue is available for a do-over.
Regarding the processing notes that I usually include in my postings. I didn’t include anything yesterday and I wasn’t going to include anything today because the process of applying textures isn’t a step by step approach. I find it involves a lot of trial and error. There are techniques that I’m using, but they’re not in any particular order.
In general though, I start by selecting an image with a clear subject. I then open in PS and make a copy of my background layer, adding a mask and brushing out the background so my subject is isolated. This gives me my primary layer with my subject. This is the most time-consuming part of the process, especially if your edges have a lot of detail. Getting the mask right so it doesn’t look like you took a pair of scissors to the original photo takes time, heavy magnification and a lot of feathering.
I keep a white layer beneath the primary layer so I can tell if I have any gaps in my mask. Once I’m happy with the mask, I start trying textures above and below the primary layer. Some work, some don’t. Sometimes I copy the mask (from the primary layer) onto a texture layer to control the area the texture is affecting. Moving layers up and down changes the outcome as well. On each layer, I experiment with the blending mode and the opacity until I find something I like.
I find Overlay and Soft Light work well as blending modes for texture layers, but they can lead to unseemly hot spots in the image and that where the burning tool comes in handy.
Then, as I mentioned yesterday, you just have to decide when you’re happy enough with the image to call it done.
Working with textures is interesting. It’s hard to decide when you’re done. I’m not sure I’m happy with this photo yet, but apparently I’m happy enough with it to share.
I actually uploaded this once to the blog and when I saw it in thumbnail form, I found something I didn’t like. I’m sure I’ll come back to this a few more times before I really think it’s done. Might need to give it a total overhaul.