Week 6- Editing Digital Images

I had a lot of fun on this weeks task. The task was selecting a photograph on Retouch Pros’ restoration challenge section which I then edited and played around with a few of the features to try to bring the photograph back to life. The program I used for this task was Picasa. I found it very easy to upload and edit images using Picasa. All of the tools were easy to find along the left side. I also thought the having the undo button so easily accessible it allowed for some exploration of different techniques.

Before Image
The restoration challenge I chose was #100 and the image was of a girl posing for a portrait photograph. As you can see the image was quite damaged with rust stains and was missing some parts of the photograph around the edges.
My plan for this photograph was to keep an authentic feel for the image whilst repairing enough of the damage.
I started by clearing up the rust stains. I used the retouch tool to clone parts of the image that were similar in colour to the damaged part so it replaces it. I was careful using the one spot to retouch some areas because the pattern becomes grainy if it used over and over on the one spot and can look unrealistic.

After Image
I changed the contrast of image; I added more shadow around her face and hair to highlight those features. I also softened the image too using a filter. I was happy with the colour and filters so I went back to retouch any areas of damage that showed up after using the filters. Some areas of damage did show up so it is always a good idea to re-examine the image so that it holds its integrity. Finally the missing areas of the image around the edges were too severe to fix so the best option was to get rid of them. I used the cropping tool in Picasa to take them out of the photo. If I left the damage there it would detract from the real subject of the image therefore losing its focus.  Here is the image after my restoration attempts; I hope you like it.


Week 5- Landscape + Portrait Photography

This week I looked into framing a photograph correctly to the particular subject that I’m studying. Landscape photographs are a wide shot and is best used with subjects such as mountain ranges. Also, if you want to take in a complete scene and not unintentionally crop an important item of that scene it is very useful. I looked at a couple of websites to further my education in the subject and I came across a useful resource with an article called, “When to shoot in Landscape or Portrait Mode”, which David Peterson wrote. David explained in clearly and concisely terms how a landscape photograph is effective for certain shots.
Portrait photographs differ from landscape as they have a narrow frame that usually is better used when taking a large single object such as a skyscraper or if you want to have a deeper spatial perspective for your subject.
I have included my examples below of how portrait and landscape photos are effective when used correctly.
Landscape not effective I took a sculpture as my subject to show portrait works better than landscape in some circumstances. In the landscape photograph it is clearly seen that there’s no clear subject as the landscape has brought two bikes into the frame and that can confuse the viewer. Portrait used effectively I then took a photograph using portrait framing and the subject can clearly be seen by the viewer. I didn’t want to photograph the sculpture in the middle of the frame so I thought about the rule of thirds and placed it to the side as placing it in the middle tends to bore the viewer. The portrait photograph for the subject in my opinion is a lot more effective in capturing the sculpture where we can isolate the subject and draw the viewer’s attention to it.
Portrait used ineffectively I decided to take a different subject to convey the advantages of using landscape framing compared to portrait. My subjects were an old and new structure. The old structure was a boundary wall and the new structure was a weir for a stream. The two structures are beside each other so it made framing the scene a lot easier.
When I took the portrait photograph it cropped most of the weir out of the frame so the subject is not clearly defined. All the viewer can see is the wall and some metal railings. When the viewer realizes the subject is “Old and New Structures”, they can see that the image is a poor representation of the subject.Landscape used effectivelyA landscape view gives the subject and the complete scene becomes more clearly defined than the restriction the portrait view had given it disappears. The weir can and the wall are both included in the shot and the subject is an accurate reflection of the photograph.


Week 4- Further Digital Photography (Shutter Speed)

For this weeks task shutter speed was our focus. Shutter speed determines how much light is let pass into the lens of a camera. A slow shutter speed allows a lot of light in therefore showing less detail and creating a motion blur of the moving subject. For high shutter speeds an object could be moving very quickly but by allowing less light in, the end product is a detailed photograph.

I had to decide on a particular place and subject to show different shutter speeds effectively. My front garden was the perfect. It was a rather windy day so I hung the very edge of a tissue to a branch on a bare tree so the effect could be clearly seen.

The first photo I took was of the tissue at a fast shutter rate. This snapped the tissue moving with the image still clear as well as the background images.

high shutter speedThe faster shutter speed has allowed me to take a photo of the tissue while it is blowing without losing the clear focus of the object. In my opinion this shows how effective a faster shutter speed is when capturing a fast-moving object. The detail of the object makes it clearly identifiable that it is a tissue.

An interesting tutorial I found on the internet was courtesy of an online community called, “Cambridge in Colour”. The website explained the different uses of shutter speed and how the effects could be maximized. There was also a shutter speed calculator that gives you the “minimum shutter speed needed to make a moving subject appear sharp in an 8×10 inch print.” The calculator is a useful tool if you needed a photo for demonstration in an e-journal on the uses of shutter speed as the images would have to perfect to illustrate effectively. shutter speed 2

The second image I took used a slower shutter image. The tissue seemed to take on a life of its own in the photo becoming quite ghostly. I can see how photographers in the early 20th Century used the effect of shutter speed to fool people into thinking they had taken a photograph of a spectre.

My subject blurs in the image to show how when more light pours through a lens it can create  a dream like effect in the photograph.

Week 3- Digital Photography- Beginnings

In week 3 we began to learn about digital photography and the basic workings of a camera. After our lecture I looked at the documentary,‘The Genius of Photography’. Our lecturer brought the documentary to the classes attention and I am really glad I took time out to view it. The documentary really opened my eyes to how accessible Photography is when compared to the time it really took off in the early 20th Century. It also occurred to me that anyone can take a really brilliant photograph. Practice, practice and more practice seems like the order the day aligned with a basic understanding of the principles that make a good photo.

Displaying Depth of Field

Displaying Depth of Field

In class we discussed Aperture and Depth of Field (DOF). With Aperture it is the opening in the window of the lens that light through. An F-Stop tells the user how open or closed the window of the lens is. The smaller the window the deeper the DOF (higher F-Stops) is allowing more of the scene in focus; like a photograph with the subject being a safari wide shot of the Savannah. Whereas with a large window (lower F-Stops) is creates a shallower DOF; this could be used for a portrait photograph.
The class was given a task to photograph any particular subject but to show that you have an understanding of the aperture. My photographs subjects were a leaf, a bush and a bridge. The leaf being in the foreground; the bush in the middle ground and the bridge being in the background. By using a lower amount of F-stops I was able to focus on the leaf in the foreground and blur the bush and bridge in  the middle and background of the image. I was very impressed with this photo as I had never attempted anything like this before I undertook the task. I took me a while to get the right shot but when I did I just knew it was the one I wanted to publish in my Digital Photography Portfolio.