Monday, October 31, 2011

Photoshop Curves Tool

The photograph is shot against the sun. Too bright in some places, too dark in others. You can adjust it using the Brightness/Contrast controls in Photoshop.

But the Curves option is easier.

1. Open the Layers Palette. Click on the small black and white circle at the bottom.
2. Click on the Curves option.
3. A histogram will open. Position the mouse pointer on the curve and click and drag, experimenting until you find the right composition of light and dark.

You can also select parts of the picture to adjust using the magic wand tool. In the above photo I would keep the sky and the sea as they are and lighten from the shore down.

Even a rough iPhone image can be tweaked into visibility and even usability!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photographing Books


In a sense, a photograph of a book is a piece of text.
There’s writing in it. The medium just happens to be jpg or whatever.

Photographing books. There are three approaches: (1) snap their spines, (2) mugshot the cover, (3) knock them flat.

Same as when cops arrest someone. (1) Bend them over the vehicle and put on handcuffs, (2) back at the station photograph them head-on looking stunned, and (3)  knock them around to get a confession.

Another analogy is a conference. (1) The chair introduces you to the audience with a sliver of who you are (name and title), (2) you, the speaker, gets up and faces everyone, appearing innocent or stoic or blithe, (3) in the Q&A you are beaten up and forced to fudge and maybe even dissemble. Despite your best efforts, much is revealed.

Laid out

Panasonic LX-2, f2.8, 1/25, 111018

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photographing Cars (1)

Mercedes 170d
Taking pictures of classic cars: Cars are not so difficult to photograph, unless they are jammed into a parking place or moving at speed. A wide-angle lens is helpful if you are shooting from close. Talk to the owner if you can to learn of what special features to focus on. Snap also the details: the emblem, or the hubcaps, or louvres. If the car lights can be turned on, this can sometimes add life.
Not always possible though, seize the moment (couldn't find the owner, used a digicam). However, the front of the car impresses as it emerges into the sunshine from a darkened garage,
Panasonic TZ5, f4.6, 1/125, 081222

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