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. We’re doing things a bit differently this year. In the past we’ve also included a .pdf of our own calendar to download. We’ll be adding that later, but for our own calendars we use an image made in that month for each month (i.e. the December 2021 calendar image will be made in December 2020, and we haven’t gotten there yet). We’ll add in our calendar once we’re done, but this way you can start working on your own.

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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Learning to See in Black and White

Hi Folks:

This is the sixth 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. The last talk was on the basics of colour so this one is on making black and white (grayscale) images. For most people, the best way to make grayscale images is to shoot in colour and then convert the images into grayscale on the computer. We explore the reasons for that and a few ways to maximize that colour information…even when all you can see on your screen are shades of gray.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below or fill out our contact form.

Two versions of an image of the Koksilah River: the top in colour and the bottom in black and white. This image is the link to the tutorial video.

Learning to See in Black and White

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.
P.S. II, the sequel. Harvey Stearn has an excellent post: Black & White Image-Making In the Digital Age. Well worth reading.

Playing With Colour

Hi folks:

This is the fifth 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. As I mention in the introduction, colour is a topic on which one could easily earn several PhDs. I’m not much above the Kindergarten level of understanding myself, but understanding the basics of light and colour is essential to photography – even if one only shoots black and white (grayscale) images.

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

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.

P.S. II, the sequel. A couple of links:
This Woman Sees 100 Times More Colors Than The Average Person
Online Simulator Shows You What Photos Look Like to People With Color Blindness

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.

Image Processing with Snapseed

Hi folks:

This is the third of the YouTube videos we did 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. There are about a googol (and a half) of apps out there related to different aspects of cell phone photography (and Mike has far too many on his phone). For serious editing we use a computer and desktop software, but for quick social media posts from the phone we use Snapseed for (almost) all image processing. It’s very powerful given it’s constraints, and one should never release images naked!

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.

DAM You, Lightroom!!

Hi folks:

This is the second of the YouTube videos we did 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. DAM in this case refers to Digital Asset Management. DAM is probably one of the most underutilized and most important aspects of digital photography. To me it doesn’t matter if you have 500 images or 500,000 images. The question is, how easy is it for you to find the one image you’re looking for? This video covers DAM in an older version of Lightroom, but I don’t think Adobe has changed that aspect of the software. 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.
P.S. II, the sequel. We’ve threatened to do a video on DAM in Capture One as well. To come…

An Introduction to Capture One

Hi folks; Mike here:

Since the pandemic effectively shut down the world, the people at Meetup.com suggested that people hold all meetups virtually. It’s a little ironic considering the foundations of Meetup.com, but it is what it is. We care for each other. Also ironic is that for a person who doesn’t do cameras (the day Marcia and I were married there were so many cameras it looked like a paparazzi event) I’ve begun to put myself up on YouTube to share a bit of information with the members of 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. This is the first of the four; we’ll add the others in a somewhat timely manner. Although I still have and occasionally use Lightroom 6.14, for my Sony A7RIII files I’ve jumped completely to using Capture One 20 for my Digital asset management, raw conversion, etc.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post 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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An Unusual Lightroom Problem… And Solution

Hi Folks:

Last fall we were at Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads University and (among other works) I made some bracketed images for building HDR panoramas. Unfortunately, due to a technical error (the nut behind the camera) I violated one of the basic tenets of making panoramas: always use manual exposure. As such, for one of my panorama images (made from two bracketed sets of exposures), the right group of images came out visibly lighter than the left. Compare the large Douglas fir in both images:

In current versions of Lightroom one can make HDR panoramas in one step, but in my older version I have to do this in two steps. No matter. The challenge was that when I joined the two HDR composites together, it was easy to see where the join between them is:

What to do? Fortunately, Lightroom has a built-in solution, although it’s not well known. In the Library module one selects the group of images involved (two in this case) and moves to the Develop module. Under Settings, about ½ way down the menu, click on Match Total Exposures. We did a blog post on this back several years ago (Match Total Exposures in Lightroom) if you want to know more. Basically the tool works only with the Exposure slider, and – using the most selected image as a baseline – adjusts the exposure of the other selected image(s) to match. In this case it turned down the exposure on the image on the right by ¾ stop:

Comparing the above two images you can see that they’re much more in line with each other. This time when I combined the two into a panorama the results were much more even:

Finally, after setting the white balance and pushing the image around a bit we come to the final output:

Japanese Garden, Royal Roads University

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

Hugs,
M&M