Added some new photos

I feel like I have neglected wordpress recently… My bad. I have uploaded some new images to the gallery page for design project use:

 

Royal Flush Photo

Dealer Button

Poker Chips

These are some of the initial images that I plan to use for a project dealing with a charity casino night. The make-shift light box is still intact, though I need to experiment with (and learn more about) bouncing light.

 

 

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Crayons

Worked with my make-shift light box (featured in an earlier post) today. The tripod that I have rigged up is from… well I don’t remember where it came from, but it’s less than stable and has a crooked foot on it.

Simple color correction with Gimp

 

 

 

statue-color-f

 

For this project I will be working in Gimp. If you are not familiar with the program, I highly recommend checking it out (especially if you do not have any photo editing software): gimp.org

The above image shows some simple techniques for correcting some minor issues with photos. On the left is the edited version and on the right is a copy from my gallery page. My goal was to create more contrast and give the statue a ‘bronze’ appearance –  (this image was taken on a semi cloudy day and has a pane of glass between the camera and the subject. ie: windshield).

The first thing to do, color correction & balance:

statue-hue

On the menu bar, click ‘color’ and then ‘color balance’, this will bring up a window that you see on the screen shot above. I played with each setting: shadows, midtones, & highlights. With careful control of the sliders, I was able to rid the statue of that green washed appearance and bring in tones of red.

Next I further adjusted the coloring with the ‘Levels…’ found in the ‘color’ tab on the menu bar. Because I wanted to wash the green out of the statue, I choose it’s complimentary color on the color wheel, red. Notice that I’m working exclusively with the red channel bar at this point (this option is right above where it says ‘input levels’ and below ‘presents’ on the adjust color levels pop up).

statue-color-ad

Because I couldn’t stop messing with reds, my leaves in the back ground became slightly discolored and washed out themselves. To try and correct this, I open the ‘Hue-Saturation’ option in the ‘Color’ drop down from the menu. Notice I have the color green selected. These sliders are a little touchy, so take it easy on them by moving in small increments until you are happy with the results. statue-hue-sat

And wah-la, these simple steps allowed me to create more contrast in this image.

statue-color-f

 

Creating a mosaic with your photos

Andrea Mosaic is a really neat & easy to use program that I have used for years. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift to surprise someone with this Christmas, you might want to check it out.

07

I’m not sure if the website offers a newer version than the one I’ll show you, though mine is years old and operating on XP.

01

 

First, as shown above, open the program and select the plus sign near the top to insert the image you want all of your pictures to form. In my case, I selected the crane.

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02

Notice the setting on the left. If you hover your mouse over an area for a minute, a pop-up will appear explaining what each option does. For print, you want the ppi to be set high. Next, click the ‘select tiles’ button on the bottom. This will open a window for you to navigate to your folder with the images you wish to use to create the mosaic. Note that it can also select any subfolders located in the selected folder.

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Click ‘OK’ to select the folder.

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And save your archive.

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05

 

This shows the images added. Click ‘OK’ to continue.

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Click ‘Create Mosaic’. The statue bar at the bottom will show your progress. When it’s completed, it should give you the option to open the folder it was saved to so you can preview it.

Before printing, make sure you zoom in at 100% and check for pixelization. Also, double check your measurements in inches. If you plan on having a print shop print it, run a test print to check for sharpness.

These make great gifts and are easy to do. Check it out: http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/

 

 

 

Computer problems, other writers, and a photo

I carry my camera everywhere with me. To the store, to work, when visiting family… Even when I get gas in the car. You never know when a good picture might come up; though as someone said on twitter, the difference between and amateur photographer and a professional photographer is knowing when NOT to shoot. I’m an amateur, that’s for sure. But, you gotta start somewhere. The camera case looks kind of like a purse, so I don’t think people assume I’m crazy or a stalker. I was at my sisters the other night in a terribly lit living room. Had to lower the shutter speed down and still produced a crappy image:

bad light, bad stability, just a bad image

bad light, bad stability, just a bad image

I was hellbent on making this photo look at least a little desirable. I tossed it through my photo editing software. The first thing I did was edit the levels and curves to lighten the whole image up and heighten the contrast so you could at least see it. Secondly, I used a stamp tool to get rid of the plug and wires. Thirdly, I added a filter to it and cropped the image. I’m pretty happy with the quick results:

cropped, edited and filtered

Looks like it may have been a painting in another life, except for the window could use some straightening.

On to mundane problems, I think my trusted 2001 Dell XP is finally on it’s way to dying on me, or maybe it could just use a reformatting, which I’m too lazy (or busy, take your pick) to do right now. I’ve got a lot of programs installed on the main drive and surely some files there too. So, I’m in the living room on the kids computer writing now and pondering what to do with my oldy-but-goody computer. Thankfully I remembered most of my passwords, even wordpress, and have been able to at least migrate some of the important things like email and my web host.

Since I did remember my password to WordPress this morning, I logged in and noticed some other blogs that were following mine. First off, if you read this, thanks for following me. I still consider myself new to WordPress and honestly have not taken the time to look around the whole site to figure it out. I can post something and change my theme as well as find the ‘freshly pressed’ button. I can also click on names of people who are following this blog, which I did this morning, and found some really excellent writers! I spent about an hour reading between two other bloggers and instantly recognized that they have a natural talent for writing (something I lack, though always appreciated). I followed them back, because frankly, their writing style rocks and I look forward to reading more from them. Me… I’m not a natural writer.

Brushing up on ye olde website

Well… It’s starting to look better. I did a few minor css changes and modified the header on soft-graphix.com and some tweaking to twitter & wordpress. At this point, I’m going to try and incorporate the chosen color (#35290f) to bring consistency across the various sites. I’m not entirely sure what my limitations are with WordPress, though I’ll put that thought on the back burner for the time being. The new theme that is in use now has a sans-serif font and a white background… so it’s closer than before.

draft

Now I can get back to taking pictures. Today I opened the fridge and snapped a shot. Not a great picture:

photo of fridge

On the checklist of things needed, a tripod. Because my hand is less-than-steady I opted for a high iso instead of a slower shutter speed. By doing that, I caused my picture to become very grainy indeed. I did run the image through a photo editing program to crop and add some different lighting techniques. The goal was to try and make an interesting image with the refrigerator. Came out kind of dark and bleak. Has a very ‘homemade’ feel to it.

What a great day!

A day out on the town!

photo of brick wall and neon sign

Looking up the wall at neon!

Trying to train myself to take pictures of things I wouldn’t normally think to take a picture of… like a wall. I have an automatic setting on the camera that looks like a candle burning for low-light conditions (the camera only allows me to manually get up to 1600 iso, while the candle icon selects 2000+ iso that’s great for low light.  Just have to keep a steady hand as the shutter speed is also low. The black ceiling helps the brick really stand out.