Thursday, September 26, 2013

FMTSO Theme: Sparkle

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While these look like sparkly bubbles, 
they were really glass balls placed in the water garden. 

Our weekly spotlighter is Pauline
Our next weekly theme is Another Place from a Visitor's Perspective



FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Spotlight photos for Sept. 20th.

Spotlights 


I wish I was able to use the technical terms to describe the shots I choose but just don't have the grasp of them yet.
I just know what is pleasing to my eye.


 Simone's German Flag and elections are Sunday, how appropriate.
I would not recognize the German flag so glad to have the chance to get a look at it.


 Flags and grass are the favorite subjects used to demonstrate the theme.


Jama's reeds give us color, contrast and the splash of the color from the birds make this photo pleasant to look at.





 Dian's shot from her car is a perfect example of the rule of thirds and I love reflections.




 The green of Pauline's grass and the white strike me as a sentry on duty.




Our weekly spotlighter is Peggy
Our next weekly theme is Sparkle



FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blowing in the Wind



Our weekly spotlighter is Peggy
Our next weekly theme is Sparkle



FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quick tip: How to create a backlit portrait

This is not a tutorial, but more a quick tip that I wanted to share with everybody. It's about backlit portraits. If you happen to be blessed with some sun these days, then get your loved ones out into the nature or a park and try this.

What I love about this method is, that I am not saying: "Here is a nice tip for you, now go out and buy the expensive gear to create it!". Well the gear in this case wouldn't be expensive, since it's only a Light Reflector, but still it can be homemade!

This is the type of image you could create:


As the sun was barely holding on to the sky we decided to make the best out of the light we had. In order to have the face lit properly we used aluminum foil wrapped around a big board, that we held in front of her face. That way you don't lose detail in the face, and still get the gorgeous orange glow behind her. And on top of that it's a very cheap method with maximum effect.

Just make sure that the foil is wrapped nicely and secured. You can then lean the board against something a position it in a way that fills the front of your subject with light. If you have a third person nearby they can even hold it in move it in the right direction.

I hope this can inspire you for your next shoot out!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to create dramatic black and white landscpaes

In order to sync up with the tutorials on my blog I'm reposting this here, since it's a useful tool to know, when you have that one bland image that just doesn't work in color. 

I want you to try this with a landscape image of yours, and edit it into black and white. You can post your results on your blog and give us the link in the comments below. Would love to see what you make of this!

This is so easy, but yet very effective. I'll cover RAW and JPEG editing, so anyone can do it. I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS6 again, but the filters applied can be found in almost any image-editing software.


This is what we'll be creating
(You can click on all of the following screenshots to make them bigger)



As you can see, this dramatic looking black and white photo actually enhanced certain features in the color image. It was taken during my journey back from the mountains (click here to view this series of images).

First two Steps are for RAW Editing in Photoshop's Camera Raw. If you are using a JPEG image then skip to Step 3.

Step 1: Open your RAW File in Camera Raw


Step 2: Edit your RAW file
In the screenshot below you can see my settings for the black and white transfer. Of course you'll need to bring the Saturation slider on the bottom completely down. I also played with the highlights and shadows, overall exposure and contrast. There is no precise way, you just have to move the sliders and see what fits your image. Tip: If you don't like it click cancel, and open the RAW file again, and start over.

Once you are done, click "Open Image" and move on to Step 6!

Step 3: Editing a JPEG image
Open up your image in Photoshop. File > Open.


Step 4: Apply Black and White Filter: Image > Adjustments > Black & White


Step 5: Adjust the settings
As far es the settings for a dramatic effect go, you'll always want to have the Cyans and Blues darker. So slide those somewhat to the black end of the spectrum. But as with the RAW method, you'll have to play around with the sliders to see what fits your image. Once you're done click OK and move on to Step 6.


Step 6: Enhance the Drama!
Landscapes that are shot in a wide angle tend to have planes in the background that are less visible. Now when you make them visible you can actually create some drama in the image, because the contrast will be bigger. Click on the Elliptical Marquee Tool  (or just press the letter M on your keyboard), and make sure the Feather is set to a higher number like 200 (you can adjust this in the top of the screen).


Step 7: Darken the background
With the part of your image selected, click on Image > Adjustments > Curves. In the settings darken the overall area by moving the central point down, then the bottom point even lower and the high point higher. Again, play around, until the background becomes visable and contrasted. Click OK once you're done.


Step 8:  Save your image by clicking File > Save As.

You are done! This is the final image that I have created:


I hope you liked this second tutorial. You can find all of my tutorials so far by clicking here. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Retro Spotlights

I have the time zone advantage, it's Monday here before it arrives for all the other participants, except Ann.
That should give me more time to make up my mind about the Spotlights but, in fact, doesn't help at all.  Not when I start procrastinating.  
I'm tempted to say I choose to spotlight Peggy's blog for her creative thinking.  Then I question myself - am I so impressed with her interpretation because I didn't think of it? Yes!
And do her photos do justice to her off the wall interpretation?  Yes! 

OK, I'm making progress.  I can't just tell everyone to go have another look at her Shoot-Out.  Why can't I?  No reason, it's just not sporting.
And how can I not Spotlight one of Dawn Treader's images?  (They were both excellent.)  I can't.  Darn, now I'm resorting to double negatives!  But the negatives are in different sentences so maybe I can get away with it.  

You see how my mind is working (or, more to the point, not working) today?  
So, before I talk myself into knots.  Here are my Spotlights for this week.

Retro reflections by Dawn Treader

Retro-grade by Peggy
(retro-grade meaning to go backward, falling from better to worse.)


Next week we will be "Blowing in the Wind"  
Spotlighter will be Peggy. 

FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Retro

Model at a vintage car show.
Conshohocken, PA

Our weekly spotlighter is Pauline.
Our next weekly theme is Blowing in the Wind.

And make sure you didn't miss Mersad's first tutorial contribution for us! 
Keep an eye out for more tutorials. 
Thanks Mersad.



FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to make daylight images work

This tutorial was previously posted on my blog mersad-photography.blogspot.com, but I wanted to include it here, since it's so useful for everyday shots, and so easy.

Daylight can be harsh. Very harsh. Photographers will tell you never to shoot during the middle of the day, but to wait for sundown or sunrise, because the light is much softer.

But sometimes you can't help it or don't have a choice. And this is where this short tutorial comes in. If you are shooting in JPEG mode then there are two simple steps on how to make daylight images work. (RAW mode images will be covered in another tutorial).

This is what we are creating (click on the image and screenshots for a bigger view):


As you can see the shadows and highlights are much softer and the image works much better. There are only two easy filters to achieve this in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1: Open your image
Go to File > Open and find your image and open it up in Photoshop


Step 2: Open Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights...



Step 3: Adjust the filter
You can adjust the two sliders to make fit to your image. Make sure not to overdo it. Especially the highlights slider.


Step 4: Apply the Curves filter Image > Adjustments > Curves
Since the Shadows/Highlighs filter greys out the image, you can apply the Curves filter and play with the RGB curve that opens up first. Just like in the image below. (You can click on the screen grab to see a bigger version). This step is optional.


Step 5: Save your image
That's it. Save your image and use it to your liking!

This week was a rehash, but next week I'll have something special, for the whole community to get involved in! Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Coming Soon: Tutorials by Mersad


Mersad has recently started participating 
in our weekly link-ups 
and he is willing to jump right in 
and start writing photo tutorials for us! 



Mersad blogs from Bosnia.
He takes beautiful images of 
his surroundings and travels 
which you can view on his blog


So look for Mersad to post in the coming weeks...
in the meantime, 
check out his blog. 

Welcome and Thank you, Mersad!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Spotlight Photos – Tastes of Your Town

I am really bad at two things, well I am sure there is more than two but for this week’s topic – two things.  One, I tend to eat food without taking a picture of it and second when I do, the pictures look awful.  This boils down to my full appreciation of photos of food that look appetizing and make me want to try it out.  So here is just a few examples of what was presented to us this week.
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Ann’s Pork Belly Salad.  She says she cooks without recipes, I do most of the time also, but am not sure anything I cook looks this good. 
pita-zeljanica-557c9db8a87e322eb48cac3751b91dbd_header mersada
Mersad’s Pita-zeljanica – color, texture, presentation AND recipes.
MBS 2011 jama
Jama’s smorgasbords of tastes and color, and if I understood correctly she does all this cooking herself. 
I am totally impressed with all of you, and the food you chose to show us.
Next week: Retro
With Pauline back from her rest giving us the spotlights.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Taste of {Your Town}

Feature some of the classic foods enjoyed where you live. 
This is going to be a mouth-watering week.  

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Mexican deliciousness as served in Old Town, San Diego, CA

Our weekly spotlighter is Ginger.
Our next weekly theme is Retro.



FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spotlight photos for theme Vibrant Colors.

 Wanted to say welcome to our new participants.

A nice number of entries this week and all vibrant colors and very appropriate.
I  pick spotlight photos based on how many entries.
Out of 15 I usually choose 5.
It is hard.

I loved Jama's batik paintings but

The M&Ms are definitely answer the call of
vibrant.
Ginger V's The Color of Air and Light
has a composition that catches the eye.
In fact looks like an eye. Great composition.

Pauline's cake left me wondering how does someone do that.


Mersad's bridge is one of my favorite types of photos. I love bridges. The light and shadow is perfect.

Simone's macro shot of the inside of this flower is a technique I have been working on forever.

A great bunch of photos this week, as always.
Look forward to
Taste of your town with Pauline as spotlighter next week.

Peggy