Earlier this year, when I dove back into photography, I was pining over a higher quality camera. At that time, the camera of my dreams was a Nikon D200...I didn't dare dream any higher. But one quick look at our finances swiftly put to rest any hope that a D200 would be mine in the foreseeable future.
Fast forward a few months.
We're debt free. We sold our gas-guzzler, were smart about buying an older yet more gas efficient car, completed our emergency fund...and had money to spare. All the sudden, affording a new camera no longer seemed so impossible. Add to equation that we received a sizable refund check from our house insurance on the house in Baker, and suddenly the dream becomes a reality. A reality that we paid cash for! Except the reality was so much sweeter...we were able to afford a Nikon D300s, which is a model they just came out with last month, complete with HD video capability!
Momma's got a brand new toy!
Ok, ok, it's Daddy's new toy too. And it's not really a toy. Well...sort of a toy. But it's also for business. You see, as professional photographers, it's pretty embarrassing to tell clients, "I've got some great shots for you but the problem is that my camera is, well, old...so the biggest print you can get is an 8x10."
With this camera, we can go as high as a 24"x30" and still get a great quality print. Muuuuuch better.
That's just a smidgen of an example of what is awesome about this camera. I won't bore you with the rest. Just suffice it to say that it's a phenominal camera and money well spent.
Last night's and tonight's skies were graced by big, beautiful harvest moon. I've never had the chance to do night photography before so I jumped on the opportunity the full moon presented.
Night photography is...HARD!
It takes forever to find the right exposure. And once you finally find it, it's next to impossible to get a good focus on the subject because, well, you can't SEE it! Because it's DARK!
But once you get it right (or as close to right as you can get it) it's breathtaking. Try to believe me that these were taken at 10 pm, with no flash, simply a camera and a tripod. And a reeeeeeally long exposure.
Yep, that's the big dipper in the first photo. Let me tell you, I was ridiculously giddy when I saw that it showed up in the photo!
I've missed you. Yes, yes I have. I've missed having my camera plastered to my eye. I've missed tweaking and adjusting in Photoshop. I've missed being pleasantly surprised by what comes from my adventures, and have even missed the photos that disappointed me. After all, we learn from our mistakes, right? At least, that's the general idea. So here are photos from my first foray into Yamhill County (and a couple from Clackamas County)...there's just SO much photo fodder out here!
...and the only cure is more plant photos! (please tell me you get that SNL reference)
At the beginning of this month, I went back on day shift after being a graveyard zombie for two months. So rather than getting of at 6 am, I am now arriving home at 6 pm, and yesterday the lighting outside was de-li-cious. When I come home, I sometimes drive up the alleyway that also doubles as part of our driveway, and in doing so yesterday I noticed some beautiful tulips against a small white shed with a pretty red roof and a black window. The first word that popped onto my mind was "idyllic'. The second was "camera". So I jumped out of my car, rushed in the house, grabbed my camera, ran down the alley, snapped a couple quick photos, ran back up the alley, into my house, and kissed my husband.
Unfortunately, the sun was behind the shed but not low enough to provide good backlighting. Ah well, done is done. I didn't have time to dilly dally outside waiting for the sun to go down further. I had a husband and babies to get back to!
As it is, I was pretty happy with how the photos turned out.
I'm going to use the first photo I posted in my last post because it simply had the biggest 'WOW' factor.
Here's the SOOC image, no editing what so ever.
Ok, first you open the photo in Photoshop. Duh, right?
See the palate on the bottom right, where you have your layers? That would be your layers palate. Actually, I don't know if that's what it's technically called, but that's what I call it, so that's what we're going to call it. Ok? Good. See the only layer there that says "background"? Right click on that. A menu will pop up. Select 'Duplicate Layer'.
A little window will pop up that says 'background copy', just click ok. You now have two layers.
Now, in that same palate, see the little drop down menu on the top left that right now says 'Normal'? Click on that and select 'Screen'. This will lighten your photo a bit, don't panic and don't do anything to change that!
Now, go up to your layer menu on the top of your screen. In the menu that pops up, toward the bottom is Flatten Image. Click that. Now you'll notice that you're back to just having a 'background' layer in your layer palate on the bottom right.
Right click on that layer again and create another duplicate layer. This time, you're going to go up to your Filter menu, click on Blur, and then select Gaussian Blur. A little screen will pop up. You'll want to change the radius to 3.0 pixels then click ok. This will slightly blur your photo...again, don't panic.
Now, go back down to your layers palate and click on the drop down menu that says normal again. This time, you're going to select Multiply.
And shazam! Suddenly you have a photo that is crisp and colorful in the foreground and has a wonderful blur to the background, amping up any of that yummy bokeh that you may have already had. Here's the SOOC and the finished product side by side so you can really see the change. I did no other editing besides what I put on here, cross my heart.
If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and then check back there for answers!
After a three year hiatus from photography, I dug out my trusty Nikon D70 and rediscovered the magic of looking through a lens. I've also recently fallen in love with playing with various aspects of Photoshop. This is a place were I can record my thoughts and adventures without taking the spotlight away from my adorable twin boys and my husband. Feel free to let me know what you think!