Sunday, September 21, 2014

Making your digital camera into a sketch book

Sketching can be a very relaxing and rewards activity. but it takes time and effort.
My Sketch Pad & Camera Bag  Today's Sketches
As I mentioned yesterday, I carry a small sketch book in my camera bag. It is handy to record shapes, tone, and lines (edges). Even with a small set of paints I’m less concerned about colour. It is much easier just to take a picture but ….
An EV bracketed set of Diver Dan's Boat Shed I used picturenaut to create a HDR 16bit Tiff file.
A big short coming of photos, and particularly digital photos, is they usually don’t record the tonal range in the same fashion an artist might have seen it. The Issue is the dynamic range, which an artist would know as the tonal range. You can often approximate this by stretching the histogram, such as using Tone Curves in lightroom or Levels in photoshop. Another way to lift an photo and give it the punch, you remember is HDR. Whilst many use this to technique to produce very enhancement images (aka over cooked), it is the perfect method for this situation. All that is required is to take a set of photos at different EV values, then use suitable software (like picturenaut) to build the HDR image (in this case I’m using conventional adaptive logarithmic (aka Rheinhard) tonemapping.)
diver dan's boat house
However I do recommend resisting the urge to copy the photo exactly. There is a lot of detail that can be left out and just suggested in the appropriate texture. But hopefully this is a stronger reference photo to remind you of the scene and act as inspiration for a sketch or painting,
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