Thursday, June 30, 2011

On wonderful new lenses and all that...

Sorry folks, I'm on a bit of a photography kick right now.

Recently I ordered a new lens: a Minolta 50mm f/1.4.  I've been pretty pleased with my new camera, as anyone who reads this blog knows, but this new lens?  Wow!  I tossed it on the camera yesterday when I got home from work and took a few photos and what came out of my camera even blew me away.



Both of these were taken with the f-stop at 1.4 because hey, it's a new lens and I might as well try that aspect out.  They look so beautiful and naturally colored, so crisp and the bokeh is just amazing.  I'm in love with my new lens!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Even good photos can be edited

Here's another photo I took this past weekend.


Now, I love this photo.  I think it says a lot about the relationship between Dahlia and her Daddy (whose hand you see in the photo).  The earnest look on her face, the angle of her body and leg leading to joining with her Daddy's hand.  I just really like this photo.

But in looking at it, I wondered what it would look like in sepia tone and with a softer focus.  Would it take some of the eye away from the contrast of black fur against green grass?  Would it give more of a focus on the joining of canine paw and human hand?  So I took to the editing programs to see what I could do.  I altered the photo to be in a fairly low-key sepia, softened the focus, and added a bit of vignetting.  I also photoshopped out that annoying little piece of grass hanging off her foot and the tags hanging from her collar.

This is what I ended up with.


And again, I like it quite a bit.  So moral of the story: Play with your photos and see if you can make something else of them!

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to make a bad photo better (aka not every photo comes out good!)

On Sunday I took a large group of photos.  Some came out great.  Some came out horrible.  And then there were ones you looked at and thought Wow that would have been a great photo if only...

This was one of them.

It's easy to see what is wrong with this photo, but let me give you a short rundown:

1. It's washed out.
2. The colors are all wrong (too blue).
3. The highlights are blown out.

How did this happen?  It was a cloudy day and I was not quite aware of which direction the sun was coming from when I squatted down to get this photo.  As soon as I took it, I realized the mistake and moved to keep the light behind me.  But I didn't get another shot quite like this.

In attempts to edit it, I ultimately ended up with this as a photo.

This is somewhat better.  She's not quite as faded.  The colors are somewhat better though her face is still blue and washed out funny.  The background is still blown out a bit.  And after editing it, another flaw was brought to light: there's something hanging out in the top lefthand corner of the photo.  What was it?  A treat bag that had floated into the photo.

At this point, I was ready to give up, but I had one more thing to try.  I got into Adobe Lightroom and turned the photo B&W, which immediately improved it.  I lowered the exposure quite a bit (-1.24), increased the blacks (17), and also increased the contrast (+9).  Then I edited out the baggy by using the cloning tool in Adobe Photoshop.  And voila!  This photo.


I'm really quite pleased with it.

So basically, what I'm trying to say is: Don't give up on a photo just because it didn't come out good right from the camera!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I have a problem

See...once long ago when I first got Dahlia, I thought it would be funny to dress her up as a prisoner for Halloween. Alas, the costume was too big and the hat? Well, she looked like THIS.

bad dog

Basically, she looked horrified. And yet OH SO CUTE with those big eyes. I swore up and down that I wouldn't put anything else on her because she looked so UNDIGNIFIED and clearly thought I was a big fat meanie for doing it.

But then there was this.


Which was a photo that was 100% accidental. There was no intention to put anything on her, but then suddenly the hat was tossed on her and she looked so HAPPY that I snapped a photo. She became Ferocious D and I swore I would find a way to photoshop gold chains onto her. Alas, my photoshop skillz are still somewhat lacking, though a friends are not.

There was also this...graduation from obedience class at Petsmart! How dignified does she look here?


Ok so she might look somewhat horrified there too.

And here...also horrified.


Imma cut you bitch.

So I decided all I was going to do was collars. And a ridiculously silly rubberband thing that a groomer put in her hair.


She was obviously very proud of that look, even if she did look like she had some sort of Christmas mohawk.

Pity da fool!

But then St. Patrick's Day rolled around and I couldn't resist. This time I got hot dogs out and VOILA! Dog with ears up!


Such a dignified old man, she is.

Still, she had her moments of absolute resignation.


I will kill you in your not doubt it...ever...


Mom, frisbees are NOT hats.

And then I went whole hog for Christmas! LOOK AT THAT DOGGEH!!


And one cannot forget the reindeer antlers.


I CHASE deer Mom. I am not ONE of them.

I was at Petsmart one day and I could not resist...DOGGLES. Those had to go on her too!


I dare to be stupid...

And then there was Pirate Dahlia...



So what I'm trying to say is I bought a baseball cap for Dahlia to wear to the Chiefs game next week. Yeah...I have a problem.