Saturday, 29 January 2011

The magical world in the upturned glass

The challenge was set and the keyword was “glass”. It could be interpreted in any way, and having seen an early entry, I almost didn’t bother. How could I compete with that...and then I got to thinking - what’s the point of a challenge if I give up so easily? That wouldn’t be the spirit of it, so it was time to think hard and give it a go. Each day I would formulate an idea in my head whilst working out if I could pull it off, trying all the while to build the image in my head. In the end, I decided to pursue a dandelion idea as there was a perfect one in our lawn. Thanks to some butterfly stock over at Deviantart and quite a few adjustment layers, I’m happy with the result – a magical world in an upturned schooner glass!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Why shooting in RAW is worthwhile

Whale Beach afternoon , originally uploaded by Adriana Glackin.

Last week I met up with a fellow photographer friend of mine, Matt Penfold, and we spent a couple of hours clambering over the rocks at Whale Beach on Sydney’s northside. While it was more an exercise to check out a possible sunrise location, the tide was just right for some interesting seascape shots. The problem was the lighting, with the sun still being a little too bright and the shadows just that little bit too long and dark. Using ND filters certainly helped, but if you’re like me and you use Cokin filters, then you would have noticed the unsightly colour caste created when stacking two or more filters; a colour caste that does nothing for the image unfortunately.

This is where it’s really handy to shoot using RAW and not just jpeg. I actually shoot both; I use jpeg as my proof and I edit using the RAW file. The RAW file is considerably bigger and contains the complete image file as captured by the camera sensor and unedited by the camera software. I managed to “rescue” this seascape image from the trash thanks to having shot using RAW. Had I only shot using jpeg, I don’t know that I would have been able to rid the image of the murky muddy purple caste in the sky. Instead, using ACR and making adjustments to hue, saturation, colour temperature, levels and curves, I was able to eliminate the muddy purple hue in the sky and enhance the afternoon warmth instead.

One book that you might find handy is the Focus Guide Photoshop: Get More From RAW. I switched to RAW when I bought my first DSLR and I used this book to familiarise myself with ACR. Now, I do much of my editing in this format. The guide is easy to follow and is suitable for both PS and Elements versions. I’m not sure if this book is still available new, but it would certainly be available in second hand book stores and of course online.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

~ sleepwalker ~

~ sleepwalker ~, originally uploaded by Adriana Glackin.
My first post for 2011 and I’m saddened by the natural disasters befalling many Australians at the moment. Extensive, horrific floods in QLD, NSW and Vic and raging bushfires in WA. Such is Mother Nature. My sympathies go out to those who have lost so much, and to the volunteers who are working tirelessly to help restore some normality to those who have been affected by these disasters.

With everything going on, and with up-to-the-minute reporting on TV and via the net, that is so difficult to ignore, I haven’t given any more thought to commencing my photographic project for 2011. My camera also is in need of servicing. The photo above is my first offering for 2011.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve seen the links on how you can donate to the flood victims, in case you haven’t, I’ve included them below. If you can give of your time and/or your money, please give generously. Let’s hope these disasters aren’t a sign of things to come in 2011.

Donate your $$ here

Donate your time here

If you have other links, then please feel free to add them in the comments. Stay safe.

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