Friday, February 26, 2010

Playing with Photoshop

I think my Photography class is finally going to get serious. So far we have just been more or less reading about important aspects of photography, shutter speed, aperture size, depth of field, focus, and trying to learn about our personal cameras and how those aspects affect our photographs. Next week we have an assignment to photograph textures, and print a contact sheet of about 20 photo's. The following week we will print in a larger format 4 of those photos and create an artist statement to go with them as to what we were trying to show in our images - I may not have what is to be in the statement quite correct but... close. Should be interesting.

So far we have not spent much time learning or using Photoshop, we have opened it up and done some playing around to see what certain features are, but no real work with it. One of the things we were doing was to use Photoshop to create a HDR photo. A HDR photo is a composite image that combines 4 different photo's into one image. It is used in certain lighting situations, such as an interior where the interior is lit but you can't see anything outside the window. The photographer takes (usually) 4 pictures with different exposures see my examples below.

As you can see the first one is overexposed, the 2nd slightly overexposed, the third I would consider a normal exposure, and the last is underexposed. Note in the underexposed image the sky is blue and you can see the tip of a tree out the window. Below is the HDR image as I adjusted it. I am sure that someone with more experience could get a better result, but hopefully you will get the idea of what this technique can do.

This last photo of the jade plant was taken with a flash. Note that there is no detail outside the window and the yellow curtains are very washed out.

None of the first four photos used a flash. I had the camera mounted on a tripod so I could have longer exposures without shake. For those with Photoshop who would like to try this the menu options are FILE - AUTOMATE - MERGE TO HDR, you get a screen where you have to select the photos to be merged, it is easier if you have them already open in Photoshop. After Photoshop does the merge, you can make adjustments to the image, when you are happy you can save it.

I have 3 more photos to show, first one is of some trees at what I would consider a normal exposure, the 2nd is a rather overexposed image, but with the snow on the trees I though made an interesting pattern. I brought that photo into Photoshop, did some cropping, then using the Image, Adjustments, Hue and Saturation sliders I changed the colors of the trees, making them green, blue, and a purple. I keep thinking there should be a way for me to use this in a quilt, I know print it on fabric first - but it is what I do with it afterwards that I am still pondering. 


Any suggestions will be welcomed. That is it for this post. I Will hopefully have some more drawings next week.