Week 35

Settings: Late 1970’s film print

Old red

Set up. Take an old photo that has faded & reddened somewhat. Crop, then lower the saturation of the red channel to bring back the original colours. Adjust the levels, a little dodge & burn plus minimal sharpening & hopefully you’ll have a reasonable end result.

Opinion. I was fairly happy with the end result, bringing some of the colour back or at least, lessening the red tint to this photo. Obviously I couldn’t do anything about the focus. Also, this being a scan of an old photo & not a RAW file as I’m used to, I was limited to the amount of corrections I could perform (even sharpening it to a moderate degree made the image very grainy). I think we’re all a little spoilt these days with our digital images & post processing techniques. In the end this photo brings back great memories & sometimes that’s all a photograph needs to do.


Week 34

Settings: f/5, 1/80 second, ISO 100, 45mm focal length

Set up. Arrange some coffee beans into a shape, then add the smoke in Elements using a brush.

Opinion. Just a little idea I was trying out. It has potential I think but is clearly an initial draft as opposed to the finished product.

Week 33

Settings: Samsung Galaxy S4

Set up. Take a small square of cardboard & prick a hole in it with a pin. Hold the card up to the lens of the phone (making sure the cardboard is tight to the phone otherwise the border will be a grey colour rather than black) & take your photos.

Opinion. I’d seen this technique demonstrated in a YouTube video from Cooph entitled 8 DIY Smartphone Photography Tips & wanted to try it out. At first I tried the technique on flowers around the garden (one of which I put on Instagram) before turning my attention to my daughter’s playhouse. I like the old-fashioned “Alice in Wonderland” kind of feel it produces. This image is straight out of the phone too, no Photoshopping or other alterations have been made which makes a change. It’s nice to get back to basics sometimes.

Week 32

Settings: f/11, 1 second, ISO 100, 18mm focal length

Set up. I placed my camera underneath the floor tom.

Opinion. Many photography articles discussing how to improve your composition skills talk about adjusting your perspective of a scene. Instead of taking pictures standing up (resulting in an image everyone would recognise) try a different view of your subject such as, a bird’s-eye view. After re-skinning & tuning up my drum kit I wondered if I could capture a picture from directly underneath a drum while I was playing. The result wasn’t as good as I’d imagined. Not only were there focus issues with both skins vibrating but the stick contact with the batter head often looked like a mark you’d normally delete in post processing! In the end I opted for the sticks just lying across the drum. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the double reflection of the camera in the top skin & considered erasing it in Elements. But as time passed it bothered me less.