Creating ‘Solarized’ Images in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

Solarization or the Sabatier Effect is a technique that goes back to the 19th century. While it was likely first discovered accidentally, it came to be used for creative purpose. Solarization is a technique of grossly overexposing a negative so that some or all of the image becomes reversed – the brightest become darkest and vice versa. This was sometimes seen even in early Daguerrotypes and was later adapted to printing as well.

Fast forward a couple of centuries, and overexposing your sensor simply gets you a histogram with no highlight detail… not nearly as exciting.

While it’s possible to create this kind of effect in Photoshop using layers and blend modes, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts I like to play around to see what I can create in Lightroom. Now, since Lightroom doesn’t work natively with layers, it’s really impossible to do this with just Lightroom, so I turned to the LR/Enfuse plugin from Timothy Armes instead. Originally created for merging HDR exposures, the LR/Enfuse plugin can be used creatively in other ways as explained here: Using the LR/Enfuse plugin for Lightroom. LR/Enfuse is donationware, and well worth whatever you can afford to pay for it.

Creating this effect in Lightroom is actually quite simple. Essentially one begins with an image, converts it to monochrome (B&W), duplicates it and creates a negative version of that. Then the two are joined together using LR/Enfuse. We’ll go into that in a little more detail. Continue Reading →

Victorious Voices, 2014!

Hi Folks:

Earlier this month Marcia and I were pleased to attend the 5th Annual High School Slam Poetry contest known as Victorious Voices. Started by Jeremy Loveday, this fifth year had contestants from more schools than ever before, and this is wonderful news!

Slam poetry was founded by Mark Smith (So What!) in the late 1980s. For those new to slam poetry, the competition rules are fairly simple. Each poet (or team) has three minutes to present their poem. Following that is a short grace period, but going over that time results in a time penalty. All poems must be original and poets can read their work, but props and costumes are not permitted. A few poems this year (or rather parts thereof) were sung, something we’ve not seen before.

Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Tofino… Again!

Hi Folks:

Back at the end of March we decided to indulge our fascination for beach walking and combine it with a little winter storm watching by heading across the island to Tofino. We’ve stayed in Tofino three times now; as it happens each time was at a different location. We wanted to wait until after the Whale Festival to avoid the crowds, but we weren’t aware that many B&Bs and the like don’t generally open before April. We ended up staying at the African Beach Cabin, and were very glad we did! Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – Angel Wings

Hi Folks:

It’s been a challenge to select a Photo of the Month for March… partly because together we made over 1500 images in March (admittedly many are for composites), but also because, in addition to Victoria’s colourful beauty this time of year (with the explosions of blossoms all over the city) we also made a trip to Tofino for a little beach walking and storm watching time. The weather while we were there was blessedly cooperative for a pair of photographers! We also made a stop in Coombs at the the Butterfly World and Gardens on our return trip. How to pick one image to represent all that?

Finally decided on this one as it sums up the best of everything from the past month. The beach sand and the shell remind us of our walks on both Chesterman Beach and Tonquin Beach in Tofino and our own Dallas Road shoreline here in Victoria, the shape pulls up memories of the butterflies in Coombs, and the butterfly also brings us to the many wonderful flowers we experience every day in our walks around our Pacific island paradise. Might also be a nod to the invisible ‘angels’ who seem to guide serendipitous events around us… 🙂

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

Original image made by Marcia on her Samsung Galaxy S4, pushed around some in Lightroom. Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!