Thursday, December 18, 2008

Use vignetting to create focus.

According to; vignetting (vin-ye-ting) is a reduction of an image's brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center. A similar effect occurs when filming projected images or movies off a projection screen, the so-called hotspot, defining a cheap home-movie look where no proper telecine is used.
Although vignetting is normally unintended and undesired, it is sometimes purposely introduced for creative effect, such as to draw attention to the center of the frame. A photographer may deliberately choose a lens which is known to produce vignetting. It can also be produced with the use of special filters or post-processing procedures.

OK, I am not sure about you but that is about as clear as a muddy stream. However, with all that stated we are going to look at vignetting in a creative and positive manner to create focus. In the first example, I used Lightroom to darken the edges which created an interesting effect to the image. This effect causes our eyes to focus on the center of the image. In the second example, I lightened the edges which caused a framing effect. This pushes our eyes to the center of the image and changed the look of the image.
I use Lightroom to create both types of effects. However, this can be done in Photoshop and no doubt Photoshop Elements. Experiment with a copy of one of your images.

In the final image [which is one of my favorites] I lightened the edges to cause the focus to fall on the mom and her baby. Lightening the edges does not match the wikipedia definition but it causes the eyes to focus on the subject. I use both types to create a 'different' look to an image. Experiment and see what effects you can create.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

10 ways to go broke

I saw this article on

How to shrink your bottom line

I know this has nothing to do with photography.  However, I think it is an excellent article that should be shared with others.

10 ways to shrink your bottom line
1. Spend too much
2. Don't save
3. Use credit as an emergency fund
4. Try to get rich quick
5. Buy high, sell low
6. Raid retirement funds early
7. Pay lots of fees
8. Go bare, or ... inappropriately covered
9. Let taxes run rampant
10. Believe everything you hear, read and see

Monday, December 15, 2008

Side light and its value

I used two lights for this portrait. There was a 'hot' box to my left and the on board flash. I used two lights to create some dimension in the image. The hot box caused light to fill the left side of the image and the flash filled in their faces, eliminating dark shadows under the eyes.

Experiment with using two lights to light your subjects. Keep in mind if you use a hot box or any light that is 'on' always, the subjects will get 'hot' and blinded by the lights.

The settings for this image: f/5.6 1/60 second ISO 200 using the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The value of photography

I write this as I think about a dear friend of mine who recently died.  How many photos do we have of him?  How many photos does his family have of him laughing and enjoying life?  Ten, twenty, or thirty years from now when our families and friends look back on our lives, will they have enough pictures to remember what took place through the various seasons of life.

Those around me, know that I bring my camera everywhere I can.  I take pictures of life, as it happens and as we 'pose' it happening.  I want to help folks remember life's little events that make up our wonderful lives.  I do hope this is not depressing or too philosophical.  I get this way during holidays and special moments of life.  Did I get enough pictures? Did I capture the mood and 'tone' of the event?  Will everyone that wants a picture get one?  Does everyone look their best in the picture?  Did I forget anything?  Then later when everything settles down and I put my head on the pillow to go to sleep, I smile and tears of joy flow down my cheek as I think how wonderful it is to capture the beauty of life.  

As we enter into the holiday seasons where folks gather around for Christmas dinners, New Year 'parties', and other celebrations, I hope you are able to use the skills you gained as a photographer to capture the beauty of life as you enjoy it unfolding.  Get out and take pictures of everything and share them with others!  Don't forget to print a few and post on your walls to admire and enjoy.  Yea, I know, we post them on the web, on our facebook wall and other electronic places.  But there is nothing like the appeal of a picture you enjoy when you look up from your desk.

This is an image of the edge of the patio off our porch.  The most important question in life; is Christ in you?
Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: