Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

August was a pretty quiet month for us, photographically at least. However, we did have a couple of interesting images to make. Marcia’s first:

ST EVAL

ST EVAL

One day while we were down at the Inner Harbour, we spotted this yacht in port. She looks to be a converted fishing trawler, beautifully done up! We took three of Marcia’s images and combined them into one triptych.

Happy Faces

Happy Faces!!

About a week later when Mike went to the grocery store he encountered this group, all with the most beautiful, happy faces! It was too good to pass by without making an image!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – June

Hi Folks:

We had a fairly busy month photographically in June, including some time at the Oak Bay Tea Party and several walks along Dallas Road. It can be a challenge selecting one image from each batch for the month, but we’re happy with our choices. Marcia first:

St. John's Wort

Marcia’s image is a bit different from our regular work in that it was not only made with her phone, but processed using phone software as well. Prisma was used to create the slight graphic effect, and then that image was overlaid on the original image using Snapseed. Phones don’t have the memory or processing capacity of a computer, but used well they can still provide good results!

St. John’s Wort grows with wild abandon here in Victoria (although it’s not as invasive as some other species), and while we love its bright yellow flowers, it also reminds us of a short clip from the wonderful book ‘My Brother’s Farm‘ by Doug Jones. In the book he mentioned that his brother had tried to grow St. John’s Wort on the farm, but it wouldn’t take. His thought was, “I don’t know why…maybe it’s depressed.” 😉

Dallas Road clouds

We get some great clouds here in Victoria, both in the inner harbour and along the Dallas Road walkway, paralleling the Juan de Fuca Strait. This is a composite image made of four exposures, combined and pushed around some in Lightroom.

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – Big Skies

Hi Folks:

We thought we’d do a themed post for May’s images. Although Marcia is mostly renowned for her flower photography, she does in fact shoot a wide variety of other work as well! As we’re both big fans of clouds and cloud watching, we thought we’d use clouds as the basis for our photos of the month. Marcia’s first.

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Photo of the Month – April

Hi Folks:

Eek! Already mid-May and we haven’t done a Photo of the Month post for April yet! Just so much happening in this town… At the end of April we had the opportunity to go out to Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria and wander around for a couple of hours. We had a great time. There’s one place in the gardens where four saplings have grown together, and where the stems join they form a perfect bowl. Victoria’s spring rains filled the bowl with water, and falling camellia flowers completed the scene. Here’s Marcia’s image!

Treebowl

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

Hugs,
M&M

Softproofing in Lightroom: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

In my opinion, digital photo printing is equal parts art and science. It covers much greater depth than can be contained within one blog post, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other resources on the ‘net. If you want an introduction to photography and colour management, you might want to start here: Photography and Colour Management.

Okay, this is going to be a quick (for me) blog post. Assuming that you have some understanding of colour models, you know that while Lab is completely device independent, CMYK is completely device dependent (RGB is somewhere in the middle). As Vincent Versace has been known to say, printers are default devices: they only work with the information you send them. As such, the colour on a print relies on the printer and the inkset it contains, the paper chosen and the .icc profile for that paper. The printer profile is a set of instructions that translate the RGB colour space from your monitor into a CMYK colour space that your printer will recognize. Every printer/ paper combination has its own .icc profile, whether custom made for an individual machine or provided by the paper manufacturer for their stock. Now, while the only way to know 100% what your print will look like is to print it (known as hardproofing), one can get most of the way there by softproofing. This simulates (as much as possible) what the print will look like on your computer screen. Once you have an idea what the print will look like, you can modify the settings to make the print emulate what you want. Keep in mind that monitors are emissive devices (they project light) while paper reflects light.

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Photo of the Month – January

Hi Folks:

January was somewhat of a month of recuperation for us, and as such we didn’t make a lot of images. We did get out some, however! As always, Marcia’s image is first. This is a close-up image of some frost (uncommon for Victoria) on the glass of a bus shelter. Marcia loves her flower photography and although we did have flowers blooming in January, today we’re presenting some ‘frost flowers’ instead.

Frost Flowers

Frost Flowers

This second image is Mike’s and shows the reflection of a Garry oak tree in a tidal pool in Victoria’s inner harbour. In more ways than one, the branching patterns are ‘returning to the sea’.

Returning to the Sea

Returning to the Sea

Both images were made with our phones, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

Okay, that’s it for today. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Using Dehaze with Lightroom 6.x

Hi Folks:

One of the features available in Lightroom CC 2015.x that’s not available with Lightroom 6.x is the Dehaze tool. I’m not sure what magical coding is going on behind the curtain, but if it’s possible to duplicate this effect using the other sliders, it’s neither inherently obvious (at least to me) nor easy to do so. If you have a Lr CC subscription, updating to the latest version should give you access to the Dehaze tool. If you’re using a standalone version of Lr 6, all is not lost – thanks to Stu over at Prolost.com – as he’s made a series of presets available for download. You can buy the Dehaze presets as part of a larger preset package here, or you can download only the Dehaze presets for free (or by donation) here.

If you have Lr CC2015.1 or later the Dehaze slider will be under the Effects panel in the Develop module (below Grain). It’s also available as a slider with the mask tools (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, etc). If you’re using Lr 6.1 or later, using Dehaze will only be possible using the downloaded presets mentioned above. As such, one of the limitations is that the presets are in graduations of 10 – i.e. one can add 50 or 60, but not 53 the way one could set the slider in Lr CC.

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2017 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the seventh year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we did last year we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

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Creative Use of the Lightroom Radial Filter

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since we did a Lightroom tutorial, so it must be time for another one. The Radial Filter is our focus this time; it’s the third and most recent of the three tools in Lightroom (the Adjustment Brush and the Graduated Filter being the other two) that allow you to target specific parts of the image by masking out certain areas and making adjustments to the rest. As such the Radial Filter uses the same layout and the same presets as the other two tools. Let’s get started. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

One of the benefits of living where we do is that we’re frequent visitors to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. In addition to the many trees from all over the world, shrubs, perennials, ferns, etc. the park staff plant several thousand flowers every year. And we haven’t mentioned the wildlife, from dragonflies to black-tailed deer. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and the changes through the seasons are something to behold.

As usual we have two images for our photo of the month post, one from Marcia and one from Mike. Both were made with our cell phone cameras, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom. Continue Reading →