Try something a little different

23 05 2009

Normally, I think of myself as a “true-to-life” photographer (if I could even call myself one! :P). I really dislike over the top HDR images, or anything that you can tell has been PhotoShopped to death. Today, I took some pictures out on the porch and when I reviewed them on the computer, they didn’t really do anything for me. Available light can be so boring at times.

When I go into PS (through Adobe Bridge), the adjustments I touch are what I consider “traditional wet darkroom” techniques. Basically, if it couldn’t be done before the advent of computers, it’s too much for me. At the risk of calling myself I liar, I do enjoy PS Fuji Velvia film style once in a while. The visual styles from the movie 300 also appeal to me here and there.

What have I done today? Well, no plugins first off. These were tweaked with the settings/sliders in Adobe Bridge and USM (Unsharp Mask) added inside CS3. I just started sliding and this is what came out!

(Both taken with Pentax K10D and Sears 55mm f/1.4 lens @ f/4, ISO 400, hand-held)

I wanted to accentuate the mask’s colors and also emphasize the wood’s grain since they are basically on the same focus plane. If the mask were 6-12 inches away from the wall, I would have downplayed the wood. Vibrancy of color is something I enjoy immensely, one of the reasons I can’t “just” shoot B&W film. Color is too awesome! (I realize the mask is not straight. I wanted to work with the wood panel’s lines, for sure, and the mask seemed more natural while tilted a little.)

Mysterious Tilt
(900px link here )

This next shot, however, was taken with bokeh and highlights in mind. When I sat down to review it, the background was plain distracting. A square crop was what I felt worked best with the pot and the shape of the plant. The colors just didn’t “pop” to me so lowering the contrast seemed a good workaround. I’ve titled it something appropriate 😀 Although I didn’t have a hand–errr…thumb–in its demise 😉 (Still not sure if I like this pic or not…)

Dr. No Thumb
(900px size here )

Have a great long weekend! I hope you have good light, and be safe 🙂
-Ryan

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