Monday, July 30, 2012

I don't know the couple above.  I liked watching them, and it's pretty pleasant to look at the photo and daydream about their lives, with a wealth of history.  I know it's fiction, maybe this is their second and forth marriages, but I get a sweet little Lifetime channel movie picture of them when I look at this.  I've been disturbed by several news stories I've read in the past 24 hours or so, so it's particularly soothing to have this love endures feeling when I look at them. 

The altered photo seems a more accurate depiction of what I was seeing with my eyes as I lay on the beach that day, blissfully cooled and heated by ocean and sand.  Similar to how the storyline I created in my head might be actually more real than say a print out of facts of their life provided by the social security administration.  Reality is whatever your perception of it is.  I borrowed that line from a sign in a nursing home I used to work in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Photo editing has improved my photography skills

I am finding more and more frequently that I take photos like the one on top, that needed virtually no retouching.  I liked banding it in black, to make the colors pop a little, but it didn't need exposure or color tweeking, and I liked the composition.  Also, I've gotten less reluctant over the past decade with digital photos to be conservative.  I shoot lots and lots of shots, so I keep the best and throw out the worst without worry.  Occasionally I still use photoshop elements to improve the basic flaws in a photo as I did with photo 3 from 2.  I blurred out a messy background, sharpened the face a little and did a color correction before cropping it down to a more focused subject area.  I couldn't do much with the motion blur.

I was REALLY BAD at taking photos when I bought my first digital camera and started playing with edits.  My subject was usually out of focus and had parts cut off (usually the top of the head, but I could miss other pieces) and I ALWAYS caught my subjects with their eyes closed, mouths gaping, and leaving the frame.  If there was a mess or flaw in the background, I'd have it in the picture.  If not, I could always insert a finger.

The more I edited, the better I got at fixing some of those things, switching out heads and backgrounds if needed along with sharpening and blurring and color and exposure, and then, joy, joy,  cosmetic touches.  Along with the skills in altering, I must have got into the awareness of them as I composed and shot as well, I just don't do as many of those terrible things as I used to.  I was starting to become kind of fond of my dead on capture of the just missed shot, but I can still do that quite well :).

I saw a post the other day about challenging yourself by shooting some film, but it may be another two decades or so before I'm ready for that, if ever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Joy of CameraBag

I keep talking about this program, and here's a little illustration why.  I touched up a couple blemishes first on photoshop elements first, because camerabag won't do that (though it will crop, straighten, etc.)  But after 90 seconds or so of quick touchup, I loaded it into camerabag and had thumbnails the size of the small images above in over 100 choices.  What fun!  If you've seen "actions" for sale, you can see why I guess that's pretty much what this program is doing.  Saved sets of color and exposure settings all ready for viewing and picking your favorite treatment.  You can do batches too, and apply a filter to a series of photos to get the same effect on a whole shoot.  If you just are not satisfied with any of the choices they give you, you can tweak further, and name and save THAT for future use.  Wow.

The model is my eldest daughter, a product of the myspace (I KNOW no one is there anymore, but that's where it started) school of photography.  This generation is so comfortable with having their picture shot anywhere, anytime.  They know exactly what the pose will look like, cause they've seen it 6,000 times already.  Whereas my generation still stiffens up and grimaces a little bit more often than not.  Still, this group is so self conscious about how they look.  Make up and fake nails and hair (!), colored contacts and surgeries, to look how they think they should (not saying the model above has any is sporting any of that).  It leaves me so baffled about one thing- I started editing a few years back and thought they'd all want me to "fix" and touch up every photo.  They DON'T!  They post them all up there on facebook uncut and as is.  Maybe after all the "in person" retouching they believe they should be rated on how well they put it together before the picture was snapped? 

I don't know, but every shot I put up has a little weight loss and skin smoothing going on, sometimes even the makeup is after.  I keep it me, just better, like meeting me in a nicely lighted bar after a few drinks. 

I'm hoping the kids like this program.  I haven't heard from miss thing up there what she thought about these retouches.