Friday, January 31

Welcome to My Digital Photography Journey Blog

This Blog was created to capture experiences to aid in developing my photographic skills through self-examination - with an emphasis on low-light photography. Below this post are 'Labels' which act as keywords to search posts within the blog for similar content. 

Thursday, January 30

Peer Comparisons

Photographic style is unique to each individual and viewer. Below I have collected 'like' destinations that have photographed and processed by Eddie and myself. My purpose is to understand the styles we each favor, as well as identify features or elements in composition, lighting and post-processing that may be incorporated into future shoots. You always learn by 'viewing the work of the Masters' ... See Peer Compare.

Friday, January 17

Foto Feedback - Bradenton Pier

(+) Good leading lines to the subject - the clock tower.
(+) The moonlight over the water helps the mood, the photo is level and color is good.
(+) Use light to 'hide' cars
(+) Light reflection in the water balances the cars distraction
(-) The halo around the top of the tower is a little distracting 
(-) The left side is not as photo-friendly as the right
(-) Remove halos(My Notes: PP attempted vignette to hide cars)
(-) The eye catches the halos around lights around the clock tower. 
(My Notes: could not address the peak of the tower, not sure what to do with cars on left - maybe take the shot from a different angle)

Using Light to Enhance

Recently, I have been concentrating on 'light', specifically sunlight and artificial light with respect to how it floods or highlights the subject of the photo. Doing so highlights the color, structure and draws one's eye to the subject. Now I focus on the light's direction and, where appropriate, increase or decrease the exposure on selected areas of the lit subject. In the photo to the left, I increased exposure on selective colors, reduced exposure on parts I did not want the viewer's eye to be drawn to and highlighted light sources.

Monday, January 13

Foto Feedback - Pier 60

(+) Sky adds to the mood
(-) Prefer that the photo was taken from the center
(-) Mood lost when sharpness and clarity (prefer softer to recall what 'I' remember
My Notes: in PP added light extensions, I shot this for leading lines vs centered, multiple images - took one that moon did not overexpose.

Sunday, January 5

Google Photos Album Index

One of the 'problems' with Google Photos is that keywords or tagging does not exist for photos or albums. I have created my own by using the title of an album followed by 3-4 keywords in lower case letters. Example: Amelia Island (trip, lighthouse, ferdinand beach). Then, within Google Albums open, I use Command + F in a Mac to open a search field. Done.

Recently I asked a tech and photo buddy - Bill W for help in creating a photo albums index (in a spreadsheet) using Google scripting. Technically above my pay scale, but as I knew/learned, easy-peasy for Bill. 

Here are the script directions: (note to self - see archived email)
1) Open in Chrome.
2) Open the "Albums" page (if you're not viewing the albums this won't work)
3) Open the console (Command-Option-J) 
4) Access Snippets
5) Paste in the Script
6) Execute
7) ..and you're done. Save the script if you think you'll need it again.

Thanks, Bill

Saturday, January 4

7 Simple Tips (YouTube)

7 SIMPLE photography TIPS I wish I knew EARLIER (landscape photog)
1. Aperture Priority vs Manual (depth of field and then use exposure comp if exposure looks bad
2. Use Histogram for exposure (and lean towards pushing the exposure to the right so in PP you don't bring out the noise in shadows to get details (ETTR)
3. Know your camera and what works for you (#1 tip) (additionally, If shooting very wide, focus on the subject in the distance (infinity) to insure all is clear in hyperfocal distance zone)
4. Simplify your images (ask "what do you like about the scene and 'remove' everything else. Zoom lens helps. Also, think about what you want to take out of the image NOT what you want in)
5. Use different lenses not different cameras (since today's cameras are fine, stick with it and learn it. Use prime lenses for simplicity, composition and less decisions (than zoom lenses), but zoom allows you to 'take distractions out of the scene)
6. Check where you are standing (shoot from multiple heights and angles, go out with one lens (wide) and one camera
7.  Light is most important (need to 'embrace' light, time of day)

Seven Tips (above tips)
Four Camera Setting You Should Know
Seven Tips for Improving Composition

Wednesday, January 1

My Post-Processing Applications

(Update Jan 2020) Not every edit/post-process application does it all, but different applications offer features and controls better than others. Here are my current applications and use.
#1 Lightroom Classic CC - my primary post-process application. Best features: DAM, Collections, Transform, Crop Overlay, Adjustment Brush and web sharing options: My Portfolio and Spark.
#2 easyHDR - 3-exposure bracketed tiff and/or single image HDR development. Best features: Merge, Lens Correction, Initial Tonality.
#3 Luminar - a Lightroom alternative used as a plug-in to Lightroom. Best features: Looks, B&W Conversion, Erase, Sun Rays, Sky Replacement. 
#4 Nik Collection - Once the top-rated editing software (now free). Best features (applied uniquely): Color EFEX Pro (tonality), Silver Efex Pro (B&W), the Dfine (noise reduction). A key powerful tool called Control Point offers direct application of feature enhancement to specific image areas.