Creating a Ragged Edge Frame with Affinity Photo

Hi Folks:

Depending on the software you have, there are a myriad of ways to add a border effect to your images. On some of our images I like to add a white border with a ragged edge that allows a little bit of the image to bleed through into the frame. In Capture One (and, previously, Lightroom) I’ve used four graduated filters of the same width and parameters to create such borders, but I’ve just discovered a much easier way to do this using Affinity Photo. (click on any image to see it larger)

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2021 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eleventh year now that we’ve made our photo calendar templates available, both for MS Word users (for those who don’t use graphics programs) and as .png files for those who do. As before, we’re also making our own calendar available in .pdf format for those who are interested. For our calendar we’ve used images made in that month (i.e. the image for May 2021 was made in May 2020). Because 2020 has been what it was, we didn’t do any significant travel off of Vancouver Island this year and 11 of the 12 images were made in and around the Victoria area. We did manage to trade Victoria for Tofino (on Vancouver Island’s wet coast) for a bit in October, and the image for that month was made in Ucluelet.

click on the image to access the .pdf file for download

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom, Affinity Photo or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the graphics stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2016 to make the template and saved it as a .docx file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

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Mirror Images

Hi Folks:

I haven’t made any of these in a while, but they can be fun. Take an image and crop it in half. Invert it, then paste the cropped image back in place. Push it around a bit in whatever software you’re using. You never know what the final result will yield. 🙂

Holland Point

Holland Point

Forest Creatures

Forest Creatures

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Merging Images: Four Ways

Hi folks:

This is the fourth of the YouTube videos we’ve done for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. Most photographers make one image and use that – they may process it further, they may post it online and/or print it, but that image is it. There are some, however, who elect to use two to thousands of images to composite into one final image. There are at least a half-dozen reasons to do that; this video discusses four of them. Most of the work is done using Affinity Photo, but there are mentions of other software as well. BTW, the background software if you will, used to display and categorize the images is Capture One Pro 20.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.

Affinity Photo Panoramas: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

A little while back we did a post on Affinity Photo, HDR and Panoramas; this is a follow-up of sorts to that.

Marcia and I were out at Rithet’s Bog recently and among the images made that day I took six images that were made into a panorama. When one creates a panorama in Affinity Photo (or any other panorama program), the software uses control points (matching features in two or more images) to bend, stretch, twist and manipulate the individual images into something resembling one image. In the film days this was called a photo-mosaic and its completion was much more complicated. In any event, the result inevitably ends up with having some ragged edges, depending on how well one lines up the base images. An example:

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Affinity Photo, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

I’ll be the first to admit there’s a lot about colour I don’t know, so feel free to correct me if I misstep. I have a Sony A7RIII, Capture One Pro for Sony 20.1 and Affinity Photo 1.8.3.

NB: I can’t see what you’re seeing because your monitor is different. Also, these are sRGB .jpg screen captures of what I’m seeing. Still, there’s value in comparing them to each other.

Since Lightroom (Lr) 6.14 doesn’t work very well with my .arw files, I’ve been using Affinity Photo (AP) to combine my HDRs and panoramas. I’ve learned a few things. I took nine images made last October to play with. None of this is worth keeping, but it’s good to play with.

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Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

This started out as an idea for a blog post, evolved into a one-hour presentation for our local camera group, and now I’ll try to compress that into a blog post. We’ll see how it goes.

There are several questions to begin with, the first of which is… why do this? The answer is to extend or expand the capabilities of your camera, no matter the camera. There are at least five different reasons that I know of to combine multiple exposures into one image. These are two of them. The second question is, why cell phones? This post doesn’t only involve cell phones, but cell phones are ubiquitous. Some people only make images with their phones, despite the technical challenges, but the bottom line is that it depends on how you’re planning to use your images.

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Focus Stacking for Landscape Photography

Hi Folks:

We’re certainly not the first to entertain this idea, but while most people associate focus stacking with macro photography (at really high magnifications one’s depth of field (DoF) can be 0.05mm, or less) focus stacking can have value in architectural and landscape photography, even product photography as well. It’s something I’ve only recently tried so I thought I’d share some experiences.

For any image there’s one point (at most) in the frame that is in exact focus. Depth of field is the range of distances within any particular image that appear to be in focus. We’re not going to weigh you down with the details, like Circles of Confusion, Scheimpflug principle, etc. There’s more than enough information on that available on the web.

Focus stacking is a process whereby one takes a series of images with different points of focus and then uses software to choose sections of each image to create a composite image. Here’s an example:

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An HDR Comparison

Hi Folks:

When you mention the term HDR, many people’s thoughts automatically jump to tonemapping and the results that can produce. That’s not what this post is about. If you don’t understand what HDR is all about or why you might want to use it in your photography, I suggest starting here: Why Use HDR? I’ll wait…

Okay, welcome back. I recently acquired a Sony A7R III and one of the features of this camera is that it has a very wide dynamic range – 12 to 14 stops are claimed. To that end, HDR capture with this camera isn’t often necessary. However, a friend of mine and I were out at Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens last weekend and I wanted to try bracketing a few exposures just to see. Now, when it comes to the question of how many exposures to make and at what EV levels, there’s really only one answer: it depends. It depends on the scene and it also depends on the camera you’re using and what capabilities it has. For my experiment I decided to shoot 5 bracketed exposures at -4/-2/0/+2/+4 EV. Here’s an example of one of those combined images after having been pushed around a bit in Lr.

Water Dragon
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