Travel Photos Part 2 - Up Close and Personal in Paris

 Friday, October 29, 2010

As I mentioned in my Bali post here sweeping wide angle landscapes like this one can be very important when travelling.
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But i also think its very important to zoom in and grab some of the details that really define the culture like food (I love taking food pictures when I travel), flowers, sculptures, etc. Here are some of my "Paris in the Details" pictures.

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I also think its great to try to get pictures of some of the people (good zoom lenses help for this!) and some of the buildings.

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Hope you enjoyed, "Paris in the Details"!!

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You Capture - Paris in the Fall (Autumn)

 Thursday, October 28, 2010

This week's "You Capture" assignment was Autumn, and I was lucky enough to be in Paris this past week to take pictures.

See, this is me in Paris last week, taking pictures.
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I took hundreds upon hundreds of photos (ok, 879 to be exact) but I grabbed a few that I thought fit this week's Autumn assignment. Hope you like them!

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(ok this last one doesnt really have anything to do with autumn except that the colors match my autumn ones...and you know, I TOOK the photo in autumn, so I'm sticking to it!)


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Roxy

 Thursday, October 14, 2010

This is Roxy, my boyfriend's boxer. She is the sweetest girl, such a cuddler.

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I posted this for "you capture" a while back but I just had to use it for "I Heart Faces" pet contest, because its my favorite pet face! :)





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Travel Photos - Bali

 Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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In addition to taking landscapes, like the shot above, I like to try to take close-ups of unique things that define a place. So don't be afraid to get your camera up close and personal! Find things you wouldn't see anywhere else and try to make it the focus of your picture. I found this especially fun when I traveled to Bali, Indonesia a couple years ago. Yes the beaches and the mountains were beautiful, but so was every little detail that I walked past!

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Inspiration Everywhere

 Friday, October 8, 2010

The most common photography advice you'll ever hear is to keep your camera with you everywhere you go and keep taking pictures. So I tried that out last weekend and here are some of the shots I got.

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This one's blurry but I still really like it.
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Photoshop Before and After

 Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Here is a picture I took of a butterfly while hiking in Taiwan. I took it with a regular old point and shoot camera and used my macro setting (sometimes designated by a flower icon on your camera) to get the butterfly in focus and the background just a bit soft. Here is the picture SOOC (straight out of camera.) Its pretty bland.
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So the first thing I did was mess with the brightness/contrast bars. I upped the brightness a bit and the contrast a lot. I think pictures almost ALWAYS need contrast added to them. Then I upped the pictures saturation until the colors popped. Then I duplicated the layer of the photo and went to Filter-->Blur-->Gaussian Blur. I set the Gaussian Blur to about 19 and hit ok. This results in a very blurry layer! Then, I went to my layers panel and changed the blending mode to "multiply." This ended with a very dark photo. I then went to my paintbrush, made sure i was on the color white and changed the brush size to be VERY large. I then "painted" over the areas that I wanted to bring light back into while leaving the edges a little dark to create a bit of a vignette. The Gaussian Blur adds a bit of an ethereal look to the picture. This is what I ended up with:
Butterfly After
Much better!

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Photoshop Made Easy with Actions

 Monday, October 4, 2010

One of the greatest Photoshop tricks is Photoshop "actions." The Pioneer Woman (www.thepioneerwoman.com) is a great place to download actions. Her actions can be found here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/04/actions/
They are available for Photoshop Elements as well.

So here is a picture I took SOOC (straight out of camera.)
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It was a little drab and dark and was definitely exposed for the background, not the foreground, leaving cute little Roxy's face in the shadows.

First thing I did was crop the photo and adjust the lighting. You can use your basic lighting/contrast and hue/saturation bars to do basic adjustments. But little Roxy's face was still in a shadow. So to adjust the lighting I created a dupilcate layer then went to Filter-->Render-->Lighting Effects. I changed the setting from "spotlight" to "omni" and moved the circle over Roxy's face and made the circle large enough so the edges went off the edge of the picture. When I hit ok the picture was WAY too bright. So I adjusted the opacity of the layer until it was just right. Then the picture looked like this:

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Then my picture was ready to play with. So I ran some different actions to experiment. These are some Pioneer Woman actions, that were completely free to download and install.

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Going clockwise, I used the actions Seventies, Black and White Beauty, Soft Faded, and Fresh Color. It gives your picture a fun, unique look! Google "Coffee Shop Actions" for tons more fun, free actions!

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And...We Begin...

 Saturday, October 2, 2010

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Welcome to my first blog. I started this blog just to have a place to share some of the pictures I've taken that I like and to track my progress as I try to learn more about photography. These were taken with my Nikon D70s with my new prime 50mm lens that the lovely Krisitn was so nice to find for me. Here are some pics I took on a morning walk around my neighborhood the other day. I used some free photoshop actions to process some of them. Enjoy!

Daisies in the Sun

Daisies in Sun

Dew on Leaves

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