Week 52

Settings: f/2.8, 1/15 second, ISO 100, 50mm prime

Set up. Open a cookbook near the middle & turn two pages in on themselves to create a heart shape. Arrange various baking props around the book. The camera was placed on a tripod.

Opinion. I have seen numerous pictures similar to this one however, the background is usually quite plain to emphasise the shape created. I wondered if it would work with props in order to create an “I love baking” message.


Week 51

Settings: f/10, 1/20 second, ISO 100, 21mm

Set up. I placed my camera on the pier to get the low point of view. After experimenting with various exposure compensation settings I opted for an HDR image in an attempt to get more detail in the sky.

Opinion. Continuing my project with Cyril the cyberman, I found this bent lamp post sculpture on the harbour front in Halifax, Nova Scotia & thought it would make an interesting composition. The idea was to try to make it look as though Cyril had bent the posts himself using some strange cyberman power. I’m not sure it entirely works due to him standing so far infront of the lamp posts & with his back to them. But the original premise is sound.

Week 50: How to do a head swap – the easy way.

Open both images. Go to the image with the head you wish to keep. Duplicate the layer (Ctrl J) & use the “quick selection” tool to select the head. Edit>Copy.

Now open the image with the body in it & Edit>Paste. Click on the “move” tool to position the head. Ctrl T (transform image) will let you adjust the size of the head until it looks similar. You may want to decrease the opacity of the head layer in order to match the face below as accurately as possible. Click the tick to confirm once you’re satisfied.

Ensuring the head layer is highlighted you could use the “eraser” tool to rub out any untidy bits around the head eg. the neckline. However, a less destructive way to achieve the same result is to add a layer mask Layer>Layer Mask, ensure the foreground colour is black & use the brush tool to erase any bits (this way if you erase too much you can turn the foreground colour to white & paint them back in). Next, to help blend the two images together alter the opacity of the eraser to about 12% & using a soft brush, go around the entire head to feather the edges.

If you need to match the skin tone a little better, again with the head layer highlighted, go to “hue/saturation” & alter these settings until you get the desired effect. You could also use the “curves” adjustment after this step if you have the full PS software.

Week 48

Settings: f/16, 20 seconds, ISO 100, 35mm focal length

Set up. With the camera on a tripod positioned on a bridge over the motorway. Turn IS off, mirror lock on, focus a third of the way into the frame & then switch AF off. Keep the ISO low & in TV mode have the shutter open for as long as it takes the cars to enter & exit the frame. You may require exposure compensation depending upon how light the resulting image is. I also used the 2 second shutter delay function to avoid any camera shake.

Opinion. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while. Winter is definitely the prefered time of year to attempt this technique as the short days mean you can coincide the sun setting with peak traffic times. I like the effect of the car indicating to come off the motorway resulting in dashed yellow lights on the left of the red trail.

Week 47

Christmas heart shaped bokeh

Settings: f/1.8, 0.6 second, ISO 100, 50mm prime

Set up. Draw around the lens cap on a piece of black card. In the centre use a modelling knife to cut out the shape of your choice (in this case, a heart). Remember the greater the distance between the bauble & the lights, the better the bokeh. You could use a torch to illuminate the bauble if it appears too dark in the image. Focus on the bauble then place the cut out card in front of the lens (ensuring there are no light leaks) & take the shot.

Opinion. This is a similar photo to the very first one I took when starting this project. However, I’ve taken it a step further by altering the shape of the bokeh.

Week 46

Settings: f/11, 10 seconds, ISO 100, 55mm focal length

Set up. With the camera on a tripod & in AV mode, select a mid-aperture. Initially focus in on the tree. As you press the shutter, zoom out steadily (not too fast or the light trails won’t be as bright).

Opinion. This was the one of the first pictures I attempted to take for my project, back in January. However, I wasn’t happy with the results. So here we are 45 weeks later (& after the purchase of a significantly more stable tripod!) to have another go. Still not perfect but I’m improving with time!

Week 45

Settings: f/6.3, 1/200 second, ISO 100, 55mm focal length

Set up. Place Cyril on a post, backlit by the sun & shoot from below using the post to block any lens flare.

Opinion. I was going for a zombie/Cyberman type idea here with the foreground nicely out of focus. I know, there are compositional problems (don’t crop at the knees but in the alternative shots I’d cropped him at the ankles which is also a no go!) Overall, I like it.


Week 43

Settings: f/16, 1.30 seconds, ISO 100, 55mm focal length

Set up. A cyberman toy in a sink!

Opinion. Inspired by Kristina Alexanderson’s work with her stormtroopers K. Alexanderson Flickr page I thought I’d start my own project. The aim is to help improve my composition & forced perspective skills while having a little fun along the way. I had thought of making it a 50mm prime only deal too. This way I could really narrow down the depth of field. But I decided it’s probably better to concentrate on doing a couple of things well rather than attempt several ideas all at once.