Thursday, May 28, 2020

Lessons in Learning Video

149/366 making video can be a challenge 

Whilst our newer cameras, and especially smartphones, are great at video. It is a large step from still photography, especially in the time taken (or maybe I think of it as time wasted) on editing the video. Streaming techniques that capture everything, mistakes and all, have a strong appeal compared with filming the clip, saving it to SD card transferring it to the computer for editing. Editing the clips together and rendering the final "cut". Time evaporates. This little clip was one take with minimal editing and just adding some music. I see it as a bit of a big step forward for me. 

My investigations so far have reinforced the need to get as much right in camera as possible and minimize the need for editing. This reminds me a lot of the film days and using slide film, which was very unforgiving of exposure and other mistakes. With the results that you were much more careful when taking the photo.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Looking for Superblack

I have been struggling with creating a DYI calibration card for photographing art work. Not so much in the theoretical mainly in the practical aspect of getting a true black on the card. then Today's "Here's a Thought" podcast by Brooks Jensen was on the very relevant Three Kinds of Blacks.

DYI Calibration Card

... then it struck me my inkjet printer doesn't do super black! (it doesn't do CMYK all at once just K)

I'll discuss how this calibration card can be used in a future post.The card itself does appear true black here because it was created in sRGB colour space (and black set to R:0 G:0 & B:0) and that is the colour space of your browser/monitor

If you art interested in a more art and philosophic perspective on photography I can highly recommend Brook's Lensworks podcasts.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Colour Composition - complimentary colours

Complimentary colours, those on opposite sides of the colour wheel generally make for an interesting composition.
142/366 Showing his true colours

Color Matters is an excellent site to brush on some of the basics of colour theory

Friday, May 15, 2020

Colour Compostion

To help you break the focus on leading lines and rule of thirds and other compositionaspects oversaold to photographers and free your mind for a little creativity. Pick up your camera and take a walk (might just be around the house or your back yard.

134/366 Got it Pegged

Look for strong colours. Maybe they might be complimentary colours (that bounce off each other, The red and blue pegs) or analugous (similar in hue, the sky and blue peg)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ive spent more time than expected making a YouTube video. I suppose I learned a lot but I still have a lot to learn.

I did find something really neat. I was able to record mt phone sequence using zoom. I set up a private meeting logged in from my phone and shared the screen and pressed record meeting locally back on the host PC.  No exotic hardware or software required.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

My Walk in Stop Motion

In Victoria we still have stricter Stay At Home conditions than other Australian states. However we have always been able to go outside and exercise and Jells Park is very popular, too much so. Thus I enjoy walking along the tracks less traveled. This was largely flooded a few days ago, so definitely has less folk on it today.  Nature is doing very well without us, by the way.

The flock of Cockatoos was at the end of my street. I pretty well find great things to photograph everyday, even if I only take a photo very 10-20 meters or so. 

Most importantly it was fun to play with stop motion again, not so sure about bloggers handling of the video.

The Surreal Painting

124/366 The surreal painting

This time I am paying homage to a surrealist artist, Rene Magritte, whose man in the bowler hat was made popular again in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. I believe his canvas on the easel that disappears into the scene behind is called The Human Condition. The idea of being able to see through the current situation to the world outside appeals to me during the COVID-19 social isolation period.

To make this picture I took a couple of photos, one with a canvas and one with no canvas. I have a nifty remote control for my little Olympus so you can't see me triggering the shot with my right hand by my side.  Rather than try to do a blended image I used the cloning and context sensitive retouch tools in On1 instead, to cover the window frame and easel where the picture would been.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Artist with Idol

I know yet another self portrait, but this pays homage the the Post Impressionist Artist Gaugain and his "Self Portrait with Idol". I was trying to capture the mood and lighting rather than strict copy of the pose, and that required a fair bit of turning on and off the lights (all standard lights in my home) and shift the mask from New Guinea around a bit.

I don't have any dark walls so I had to live with the lighter background, which makes the mask standout a bit. more ominous and his cowrie shell eye stand out. I also did some double processing of my image in On1. First I took the RAW file and darkened it somewhat and lifted the contrast a little.Finally using a warm cinematic colour grading look (CG12 for the ON1 folk). I then saved this as a Tiff file (to keep the dynamic range). I reloaded that and added a vignette and a subtle canvas texture overlay before exporting to the final Jpeg.

Definitely not a master piece but fun to do. I guess this #StayAtHome project has morphed from surrealist portrait into #artinspired self-portraits, such is life during a "lockdown".

Monday, May 04, 2020

More Ethereal than Surreal

Today's photo is another heavily post processed contribution, in fact it is using the one-click style filters that I generally dislike. However... ... you'll never know if you don't give it a go... This image (I'm not going to say it is still a photo) was completely created on my phone. Starting with a way to close selfie, then I used an app called Porta to generate the watercolour style feel with faded edges.

I'm not sure how the blood shot eye effect arose but it suits the apprehensive and ethereal mood. (My eye isn't blood shot at all).

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Puddles of Fun

I started photographing my (almost) daily walks about 6 week ago, Over COVID-19 restriction allow us yo "exercise" close by for an hour. In particular I was closely observing what was under my feet. The original intent being to create a photo easy of my walks but from a very different perspective. Well the project is still ongoing and I don't see any need to finish it to soon, I think we have a few more weeks of "lockdown". I enjoy the walks and always carry my camera.

The wet weather has created a lot of puddles and wonderful reflections and with some floating Autumn leaves. I am reminded of a couple of the lithographs that where displayed in The M C Escher  X Nendo exhibition at the NGV last year.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Surreal-ly into a Deep Dream

This was an accidental selfie. I was in my favourite spot for the afternoon light beside TheWindow. I stopped to finish my coffee, right in the shadow of the door frame, and didn't realize I set off the self-timer on my camera from my phone. The actual photo was lame but I decided to try it out in Google Deep Dream Generator, using a "modern art" style pattern.

I think the results are somewhere avant garde 1920ish.

Friday, May 01, 2020

The Window X :: Getting close with a phone camera

No this is not an advert for an operating system or the next smart phone. It is the last, at least for a while, it my #StayAtHomePhotowalking series on TheWindow.

The cameras in smart phones have improved greatly over the last decade. They only have tiny lenses and thus their apparent depth of field appears very wide (almost everything in the image will be clear). They also can be taken very close to the subject (ie minimum focusing distance might just be a few centimetres. Their downside is they are not so good in low light and if you are really close you are likely to cast a shadow over the subject.
You could of course use  a magnifying glass between the phone and the subject, but there is generally a significant downside doing this, the focal distance of the magnifying glass might be 5 to 10cm meaning you must be further back from the object even though the magnifying glass is enlarging the subject, it is the distance of your phone must be reduces the size of the subject in your camera. Pretty much cancelling out the percieved subject size advantage.

I have a nifty little (and cheap) wide angle lens that clips over the camera lens and being a wider angle now I can get closer to the subject but now the perspective becomes extreme (which may or maynot help your image)

Hmm not many pictures of my window ... such is life