Pa’i ki’i Imagery

August 11, 2011

Flaming Circles

I was treated to an impromptu fire dance with Poi Balls.  It was near dark and with no tripod at hand I hand held with a long shutter speed to catch the movement of the flame.  In Lightroom I desaturated everything but the flame.  Then I reduced the clarity for a softer look.  To add a little more interest to the photo I also split toned the image.

 

 

Flaming Circles

May 7, 2011

Lightroom Fun or How to do More with Less

Just outside the Assagio’s at the Ala Moana Shopping in Honolulu is a 12 foot tall water sculpture. I took pics of it a few months back but didn’t think too highly of what I got.  The picture bottom left was the best of the lot.  Images like this are candidates for Lightroom presets.  Presets range from a simple Black and White to a very funky looking infrared treatment.  I’ve posted numerous images on the blog utilizing presets.  Creating a preset is just a matter of changing the different settings in the Develop Module and then saving a group of settings you like.  Then click on that preset and your image will instantly change to reflect those settings.  If you like it, print it or export it to your photo sharing site, and whatever changes you make have no effect on the original image.

Here I am with an “EH” photo looking for inspiration in a preset and I stop at the Point Curve Presets.  These are presets which manipulate the Tone Curve.

Tone Curve

This one makes the curve look like an “M” as you can see here.  Presets are not set in stone.  You can play with it if the initial look isn’t what you wanted.  Which is what I did here. Moving the Dark slider back and forth,  I liked the different results but didn’t think the individual images were as interesting as the kaleidoscopic result I created from moving the slider back and forth!  How to recreate that effect?  An animated GIF file!!! The first step is to create a series of virtual images with incremental changes to the image. In this case, I moved the dark slider over ten points at a time starting from –100 ending at +100 resulting in 22 different virtual images. To create the GIF, I had Lightroom export the images into separate layers in Photoshop with the “Edit in” command.

In Photoshop I select all the layers then open the animation palette by choosing “Window” from the menu bar and selecting “Animation“.  With the animation palette open, ( it’s a long strip at the bottom of the window)  I needed to convert each layer to it’s own frame in the animation palette. With all the layers selected, I clicked the flyout menu in the upper right hand corner of the animation palette and choose “Make frames from layers”. The animation palette will be populated by frames of each image. Then I needed to choose how long each image will display in the GIF with the frame delay option.  For this, I picked .05 sec.  Finally, I saved it with “ Save for Web and Devices (.gif under this option)” in the File menu.

There is one caveat to this. Make sure you reduce the images to a manageable size!!!  Assuming you’re working with images from a DSLR as I was, you can’t work with the original size in Photoshop.  Especially since I had 22 versions of the image.  Photoshop will choke and die when you save for the web. I could have used a smaller number of images but I liked the effect with 22.  I exported the different versions as JPEG’s  resizing on the long edge at 1024 and a quality setting of 25.  Then I Imported those images back into Lightroom and used them to create the GIF in Photoshop.

From a plain Jane to a Kaleidoscope of Color!  (click on the image to see it change)

Shifting Colors                                                                    

March 6, 2011

Having Fun

A friend of mine took a picture of herself recently and I saw some possibilities for having fun with lightroom presets. This emulates a Kodak film Porta VC 160 along with edits to the tone curve to create a negative image.   You can create your own presets or download ones for free or purchase them from other enterprising photographers such as Gavin Seim .  You can quickly go thru dozens of presets looking for just the right one.  I chose this one because it shows her eyes and eyebrows nicely.  Catwoman eyes! Enjoy!

 

Tony Neg Kodak1

December 28, 2010

Go Thata Way

Go thata way

December 27, 2010

Panorama Sunset

Panorama Sunset

October 22, 2010

Kick it up a notch–Maybe two

A friend of mine had a party recently with half of them being musicians who spend the evening playing Rock and Roll, Blues, Jazz and whatever else catches their fancy.  While they played I took pictures.  I don’t use my add on flash as much as I’d like and this provided a great opportunity.  The basic setup is shutter priority with your shutter set to a 60th sec.  I haven’t liked the results because the aperture is usually wide open resulting in a shallow depth of field.  I’ve found that’s okay if you have one subject in the image.  With more subjects in the image and a shallow depth of field, one subject will look fine but the other subjects will be less sharp and that annoys the heck outta me.  So I set the aperture priority to f8.

I got a lot of nice shots but I was looking to do a little more with a few of them.   I’ve got a lot of Presets in Lightroom but none of them really caught my fancy.  Then I viewed Episode 247 of Photoshop User TV.   Scott Kelby explained a tutorial creating a bleached bypass effect in Photoshop.  Duplicate the background layer twice.  Then desaturate the middle layer and change it’s opacity to 80%.  Switch to the top layer and change the blend mode to Overlay. Quick and easy and a nice effect.  Bringing the image back into Lightroom,  I did some minor adjustments and then used a Develop Preset that mimics the look from the movie “300” and I was done.

 

 

 

Rock and Roll beforeRock and Roll 300

September 16, 2010

Family at Beach

 

 

Family at Beach

September 10, 2010

Goto Landing Funky Twisty

 

 

Goto Landing Funky Twisty

April 19, 2010

Infrared Trees

Other than the cost of living, there aren’t too many downsides to living in Hawaii.  However, after growing up in New England, I do miss the season changes.  I tend to feel left out when the different photo sites run a contest based on the season. Spring being the current subject for photo submissions.  This musing was prompted by my going thru some photos I took while visiting  Moanalua Gardens three years ago.  Monkey Pod trees are the big draw and standing under the canopy of the trees provided some interesting textures to play with.  Using one of the Lightroom presets I created a what if fall came to Oahu look.

 

Infrared Trees

December 30, 2009

When it comes together

Over the past four years I’ve taken tens of thousands of pictures.  The vast majority are action photos, such as, baseball, surfing, volleyball, hang gliding and paragliding. While I’ve got a decent camera and lenses, they certainly are not top of the line. This means I’m pushing my equipment, specifically the lenses, to the max.  For instance, capturing movement of a paraglider or hang glider while hand holding your camera on a windy ledge can be a challenge.  Hitting that sweet spot between the camera, lens, subject and light makes for a gratifying moment.  The picture for this post is an example of that moment.  What caught my attention is a combination of things. First the exposure was spot on. Shooting a flying subject whose background can change from a blue sky, to a white or gray cloud, to a dark green or light brown island means the exposure can be all over the place. Since I’m shooting in shutter priority I need to set my exposure compensation accordingly.  Usually I need to adjust exposure in post processing in Lightroom. Not in this case.  Here, I  kicked up the blacks to increase the contrast and bring out the blue in the water and the greens and browns of Rabbit Island.  Plus, I increased the highlights in the Tone Curve to bring out the brightness of the island.  Next is the sharpness of all the elements.  The paraglider is the main subject and needs to be in focus.  I like having other elements in focus. Assuming they add a sense of depth and space and don’t distract.  Here Rabbit Island and the surrounding water is as sharp as the paraglider and adds to the sense of clarity I remember.

 

Paraglider at Rabbit Island

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