Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Muted Colors

I've been experimenting on some post-processing and I wanted a photo that have muted colors. What I meant by muted colors is something that's near black and white with shades of color still in them. This effect is different from color isolation wherein the black and white photo gets a pop of specific color that's in the photo.

I just tried this without any instructions and just played with the hue and saturation controls.

Here is the original image:

And after several days of tweaking the controls and trying out different combination here's what I got as a final image. What do you think of it?

The vignette is an extra on the photo which I think helps to make the viewer focus on the sneakers instead of roaming around the photo. I'm not actually a big fan of vignette but I wanted to try it for a little change from my work flow.

So how did I do it? Here's how:

1.) The photo. As always, I duplicate the image into another layer wherein I play around with different settings. In this case, I tweaked the settings in the Hue and Saturation control to my liking. I lowered the saturation on this and adjusted the hue to have more green tint.

2.) The vignette. I created another layer (on top of the photo) and filled it entirely with black. I then created an oval selection that is feathered which is a bit larger than the actual image. After the selection is made, I deleted it to reveal the underlying later that contained the muted color photo. I minimized the effect of the vignette by adjusting the opacity of the cut out black layer.

There you go! Hope this helps.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stuck At Home

Having on-call duty work gets me stuck at home apparently just to avoid connection issues. Wife and kids are out and I'm really stuck at home. It's both a bad thing since I'll be stuck at home and a good thing as I got a chance to practice on my product photography without staying up until the wee hours of the night.

Here's a preview on my practice.

On this practice session I came to realize that my watch have a lot of scratches on the bands. I actually get to see the gritty dirt too. The glass part though doesn't have much scratch that are visible and that's a good thing.

Photographing shiny things like this by the way is very challenging as it is important to take note of the reflections that can be seen like your face, your background, your camera lens, and many more things.

Talking about lens being reflected on the watch face especially the camera lens, a telephoto lens will help in this case, but since I only have the kit lens I have to position the camera where the reflection won't be seen.

I quite miss shooting these things.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flutter flutter

Flutter flutter.. flutter flutter..

I have seen for the past few days several butterflies flying around the garden.. I really want to get some decent shots of them but every time I sneak on them they fly away and flutter about. I guess it's really time to get some telephoto/macro lens for the job (sadly can't yet, but soon!).

Anyway, I have to do with what I have. With my beloved kit lens I was able to snap a photo of this butterfly.

It was perching on a high leaf and thus the angle of view. No time to get a stool or anything to prop myself higher as this will surely fly away again.

The following day, I tried camping on the grounds and wait some butterflies to perch somewhere near me but to no success, I wasn't able to get any photos that day. Then the next day, I went out again this time I was able to take photos something different though not totally different as this was on it's second stage of it's growth cycle. Do you have any guess? This was easier to take photos as it would stop on the sense of motion.

It's a caterpillar!

I was able to snap more than enough of this crawler but only a couple passed my taste for technical aspects of photography -- exposure, image quality, and composition. Here's another view of it:

Now, I am on the hunt on what kind of specie of butterfly this is. And yesterday morning, I was able to collect three of them and placed them in a glass enclosure with twigs and leaves. I am hoping to rear it into a full blown butterfly. When I got home, only one was left. I guess the other two was able to crawl out.

I'll try to search the grounds again for others and I think I'll be able to find some. It's butterfly time!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Feline Encounter

This morning, when I woke up, I heard a tiny voice of a kitten in the garden. At first I didn't mind it at all. After breakfast I didn't hear it anymore and so I forgot all about it.

Sometime around before noon I heard it again. The tiny squeak of the kitten. My youngest daughter and I went to the garden and looked for it. Surely, there it was. As we are approaching, the kitten got spooked and goes snarling against us but still we looked at it.

Then it hit me! This is a good photo opportunity to try and get this snarling kitten's attitude. I quickly grabbed my camera. As I went out, I checked the current settings and change the necessary parameters and visualized what I wanted to get.

I'm quite happy as I hit the sweet spot of my settings even before I got to take photos. In the back of my mind, I was already considering the amount of light since it was near noontime with patchy clouds and so I dialed down my ISO to my lowest. Then I wanted shallow DOF and dialed aperture to low value. Since, it was a bright sunny/cloudy day and with low aperture value, I need a fairly fast shutter speed. Though I need to dial down mu shutter speed from my original settings as the kitten went out hiding under the tree.

This little fellow has a really nasty attitude and every time it snarls, my heart jumps a beat as I was also taking caution as this little fellow might come charging and I really don't want to get scratches.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Green Effects Unlimited Website

About a week ago, Green Effects Unlimited Photography website was published in the the Internet. It was an enjoyable experience doing it with the help of Weebly. Check it out at

Flash It On

For the past few weeks that I have been tied up with work and rarely had the chance to take photos, I'd squeeze a little research on the side. I wanted to enhance the website with some flash animations that I have been putting up.

I found several free to try applications but they always have this watermark on it until I found one the other day. This one is a great application though the features are very limited since it is free. Try to checkout FLIP Flash Album.

And here's the Portfolio where I used a sample output I did using FLIP Flash Album.

Flash away!