Posts Tagged ‘photography’


Playing With Totally Rad Photoshop Actions

January 21, 2010

I’m playing with the Totally Rad Photoshop Actions and used quite a few on the image here.  I worked on the below image with the Totally Rad and TRA2 – The Revenge actions.


Hangin' with the grandparents

The recipe for this was the following:

  • Can-O-Whoopass (100% with layer masking hiding people)
  • Claire-ify (71% with layer making to lighten faces)
  • Yin-Yang (Yang 61% with layer masking to bring back some dark clothing)
  • Orange You Glad… (40% with layer masking to lessen red on faces)
  • Boutwell Magic Glasses (100% with layer masking to hide faces)
  • Rusty Cage (40% with layer masking to affect only background)
  • Pro Retouch (30% with layer masking to affect faces only) with Eye Bump (19%)
  • Slice Like A Ninja (100% with layer masking to affect only a few details – rings, glasses)
  • Prettyizer
  • Burn-Out

I’ll probably find the image too overcooked in the morning (upon smaller export it looks even more cooked — oh well), but it was an exercise to learn the different actions.  I’ve used the OnOne plugins, and they’re good as well, but I see how Actions are a more surgical solution as you have access to many of the steps that make up the action and you can adjust each step independently.  Using layer masks to apply the effect only where needed is key as well.  Overall, I’m impressed with the range of effects offered by the Totally Rad actions.


My Lightroom import settings

January 6, 2010

My Lightroom import settings

Here is my setup when importing photos into Lightroom, illustrated in the screenshot below:

Folder structure:
My photos are imported to a separate internal hard drive to a folder of Photos/{Year}/{Event}.  So photos of Halloween in 2009 would be imported to Photos/2009/Halloween.  This structure allows fairly quick identification of photos when browsing the folders or identifying them for back up purposes.  Movies (manually copied until Lightroom supports movie import) go to Movies/{Year}/{Event}.

Storage file format:
The photos are converted to DNG format as they are imported.

File naming convention:
Photos are imported and named using the following template:
{Date (YYYYMMDD)}_{Hour}{Minute}{Second}_{Import # (01)}_{Sequence # (0001)}.dng
The date and time refer to the capture date and time of the photo.  Import # refers to a sequential count of the imports performed today, and sequence # is a counter that increments during the import session for each photo.  So photos end up having names such as 20100106_130532_01_0001.dng, which would indicate the first photo of the first import, captured January 6, 2010 at 1:05:32pm.

Import grouping:
I import similar photos separately, so if I had photos of a wedding, a soccer game, and a portrait session on the same memory card, I would run 3 imports, selecting photos from each of the groups separately.  This allows me to apply the appropriate tags to the photos during import.

I use Lightroom’s built-in import backup functionality to send a copy of the photos to an external drive as they’re imported in case I need to recover a photo prior to its normal backup process.  Photos are copied to another drive across the network as well as sent to the online backup service Mozy.


Night Timelapse

March 15, 2009

This week I set up a night-time timelapse exposure with the Canon 5D Mark II using a new timer I purchased from Gadget InfinityThe camera was set to a 30 second exposure, with the timer set to a 45 second interval.  I used the Sigma 8mm Fisheye Lens for this one, so you get a full view of everything.

The video can be seen here.


Cyber’s PetSmart Pickup

March 2, 2009

(Click to watch the video on YouTube)

A rare snow, a timelapse photography session, and a PetSmart grooming date collided and the attached video was created. The video was shot using a Canon PowerShot G9 sitting on the dash attached to a POD Camera Bean Bag tripod. The resulting video was brought into iMovie ’09 and put together with the audio. The G9 was set to timelapse video mode, shooting at 1 second intervals, with the ND filter turned on for the longest exposure possible.

Gear Used:

Timelapse Photography Tips:

  • Use a tripod or support to keep the shooting perspective steady.
  • Set a manual white balance so the camera does not change from shot-to-shot.
  • Set a manual exposure to keep the camera from adapting to changing light.
  • Drag the shutter – use a longer shutter speed to blur the motion from shot-to-shot to prevent “blips” of new subjects entering the frame.

Made the paper

November 3, 2008

Or on anyway – I’m the 4th one in this gallery of Halloween costumed freaks:

Photo shoot entry coming later.


Photo shoot: Joe Satriani concert

October 29, 2008
B&W conversion

B&W Conversion

Guitar god Joe Satriani played the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta and the venue allowed “non-pro” cameras to be used, so I brought the Canon G9 with me in what could be its last gasp.  The new Panasonic LX3 would have probably come in handy with its better low light capabilities.

With the help of a female friend (which helps to prevent being punched), was able to work our way up front behind a layer of a couple people.  Took shots the whole show – about 400, until the battery almost ran out.

I had the G9 set to manual mode, no flash, using ISO 400, he lowest aperture available and played with shutter speeds from 1/80 – 1/160.  A tip I came across is to use manual mode as the lights are always changing.  Find some settings that work and keep them there. 

I got some fairly decent exposures considering.  The best came when the lights were up full of course.  Noise at ISO 400 on the G9 in that light is pretty pervasive, but it lends an interesting quality to the shots.  I had trouble with the auto-focus so I needed to look into setting a manual focus point, but got some good results and mistakes nonetheless.

I post-processed the shots using Lightroom 2.1 only, converting some to B&W and using Matt Kloskowski’s Sin City presets as a starting place on the shots when Satch was playing his red guitar.  Played with the color temperature to achieve some good results.  Shots with a lot of noise or lower light I went with B&W or muted colors to control the noise.

A slideshow of all the shots is up on my Flickr page here.

B&W - Some mis-focus leads to a neat effect

B&W - Some mis-focus leads to a neat effect

Satch hitting his trademark artificial harmonics - tilting this shot adds some interest

Satch hitting his trademark artificial harmonics - tilting this shot adds some interest


What’s in my bag? Episode 2 – Kata Sensitivity V

September 23, 2008

This is a 7-minute video walk-through of the packing job I did for my next international trip using the Kata Sensitivity V Backpack. The backpack remains awesome and it’s carrying just about everything I need – I don’t know that I’d want to take more or go heavier anyway.  The bag ended up approximately 23lbs. in weight.  It could be made lighter with a Macbook Air, but you have to show some restraint :).  This is for an upcoming trip to Capetown, South Africa for touring and Botswana for safari.  My kit for the trip is listed below.  In the video I start with the backpack loaded and unload it an item at a time.