Articles & Reviews
A Girl and Her Toad
Howdy Amelia here,
I love being out in my garden and finding all the little creatures hiding. This past summer I gound this little taod hopping away and I carefully moved it closer to me and held it for a minute before it hopped anxiously onto my hand and sanpped this photo before it went back into the garden.
I love these toads Toad just chillin'
Toad just chillin'
PS Elements - Photomerge
Here is a little something I discovered in Photoshop Elements. I took some shots of the construction guys discussing the job. I wanted to capture their collaboration. All the shots in this series came out pretty much unusable. But I liked the shot of my contractor (on the left) in the first picture below but the concrete guy was looking down, face covered. And I liked the way the concrete guy was paying attention in the second picture but my contractor looks lame. I decided to see if Photomerge would let be combine the best of both. YEP, no problem. I simply circled the concrete guy in the first photo while in Photomerge-Group Shot and it substituted him from the second and aligned the included parts of the house. The last photo is the result. (I cropped and enhanced the final a bit).
PS: I just found this; PS Elements 9 for $40 which probably means they are coming out with PSE 10 soon.
Thru their eyes - Construction ac.jpg
Firstly I hope I don't get a scolding for posting quickly in succession and secondly I hope Mackinawman forgives me for borrowing his images!
I took a quick snapshot of his knitted bags dilema and tweaked it in Bridge. The downloaded image I took off Photographica obviously doesn't do Mackinawmans original image the justice it deserves. I'm no photoshop expert by anymeans but I sharpened the image and increased clarity and I think there is a little improvement though I guess there is room for lot's more.
The original was downloaded off Photographica and resized by 300% which gave an image size of 597kb.
...Silhouette enhancement!... Photoshop project!...
I know this project isn't strictly photography or in fact photography by any means, but the end product is hung on a wall and I worked with them as JPEG images. This is more of a Photoshop project. Hope it's ok!
I very recently decided to surprise my mother for for her 68th birthday! I mean, what do you buy a woman who has everything that she needs! She has very few favourite possessions but I knew for sure that this little scissor cut silhouette was one of them! I managed borrow it off her for a short time without letting her know why I needed it (long story). She was 6 years old when the original was cut while she was on holiday in Blackpool. The man did not sketch the silhouette but cut it directly with scissors! My granddad was fascinated watching this very talented artistic man. I was going to make her a large wall mounted copy which is easy to look at from a distance, the original measures only four inches high by two and a half inches wide! It is also somewhat the worse for wear!
The original scanned image. The image was scanned at 4800dpi. The silhouette is mounted on scruffy white card and then a blue fabric background and mounted in a plastic oval frame. It looks terrible when it's on the wall!
Trimmed silhouette with background. Using Photoshop I erased everything except the silhouette profile then mounted the image on a white background!
Trimmed silhouette with over colour. After saving a couple of layers I filled the silhouette with pure deep black!
Poor detail in original. There are creases and scratches on the original!
Silhouette pencil layer. This is where my artistic talent came in handy! The problem is I am not artistically inclined in any way what so ever! Using one of the saved layers I drew over the remaining detail of the original image trying to pick out every detail. I know it could be better!
(5).The final silhouette..jpg This is it, the final finished project. An A4 printed version now hangs on my mums wall, with a suitable oval frame. I know it will never replace the sentimental value of the seaside memories of the original!
Was my mum pleased?............. Priceless!!!
Our little Shredder!
Tinkerbelle Our family had a new member quite recently! Only three weeks ago I came home from work, weary and tired as usual only to be confronted by this bundle of fur dumped in my lap by my stepdaughter, I had hardly had time to put my slippers on! Let alone have 5 minutes to have a coffee and put my work brain back in the cupboard. Cleverly playing on my weakened and tired self, Samantha managed to secure a permanent home for this feline waif Queen.
Tinkerbelle hiding Now this so called bundle of furry joy has a fully developed affection for my slippers! Not at all in the comfort and love them sense but in the 'rag em' and 'shred em' sense. I'm sure you get the picture! They are forever covered in cat spit and have more pluck holes than a naked Turkey! I had grown quite fond of said slippers too! If I scold Tinkerbelle she just runs away and hides and waits until the fuming rage steam no longer erupts out of my ears!
Tinkerbelle laughing Then when she does brave a show of her face to mine she is laughing, would you believe it! A scraggy little article laughing at me! I now have to secure my slippers under lock and key for fear of reprisals!
The moral of this short story is:- Patience is truly a virtue!
Last year I was fooling around to see how difficult "selective focus" processing was to do. For detailed things, at least, is was not worth doing. However I found a free product that does it automatically. Here is the result.
I posted a thread in the Photographic Forum.
C&Cs always encouraged.
Shades Of Gray
Gray Tulip This was inspired by a vase of parrot tulips on my parents dinner table. The one shot at the beggining if this entry is one of the post on my blog 'Shades Of Gray' where I take some my images from my Flickr photostream or elsewhere and take the color out see how they stand on their own.
Adjusting his colorful robe, Sophon grins as he ponders his future. “My first choice is to be a monk my entire life, but tomorrow I am not sure”. He can vividly recall his parents’ disapproval when he told them at the age of 16 that he wanted to become a monk. Coming from a poor village in Cambodia, his parents had hoped he would have higher aspirations then living a life of solitude in a temple. The lack of opportunity to obtain a higher education in his village was not in dispute; however he had to convince his parents that he would not be leaving home to simply meditate in a temple for endless hours. Sophon was very ambitious and eager to learn and after explaining that he would have an opportunity to further his education by moving to Thailand, his parents quickly gave him their blessing. Gaining his parents’ approval was the first of two requirements for becoming a Thai monk. Being healthy and free of any diseases, he successfully passed his physical and fulfilled the second and final requirement.
He was accepted at the Maha Chulalongkorn, MC, Buddhist University in Chiang Mia Thailand as a Novice Monk. There he studied for 4 years and at the minimum required age of 20 and was ordained as a monk. He is now 28 and proudly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Buddhist philosophy but he is by no means satisfied with his success to date. He is just weeks away from embarking on his pursuit of a Masters degree. “My goal is to teach people in distant lands who are poor and have little opportunity “. He speaks Cambodian, Thai and English so travel to foreign lands may be within his grasp.
The next few years will no doubt be challenging in terms of his academic pursuits but he must not forget his duties as a monk. He has his daily chores that are usually performed in groups. He and his fellow monks who have come from such places as; China, Laos, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh, gather each morning and evening for 30 minutes of chanting. When temples require maintenance or cleaning, monks again perform these tasks in organized groups. Everyone is thought to work together and help his fellow man.
Thai monks must memorize and actively practice 227 precepts or rules. These precepts date back to the time of Buddha himself and may seem a little outdated and even humorous in today’s society, however they are an integral part of a monk’s daily life. The precepts outline required behavior for both on and off the temple grounds. For example, Monks are not permitted to laugh or talk loudly or even tickle each other. They must cover their body properly and are limited in how they can move their bodies. There are very specific instructions how to adorn the robes and even though it may look fairly simple to dress oneself, it is in fact quite an ordeal. It is rare for any monk to remember all 227 precepts, therefore they meet monthly to go over them and help those who are having difficulty remembering. When a precept is broken, a monk must confess the fault and normally only a warning is issued. On more serious breaches, actual expulsion may be warranted.
“Buddhism is not a religion” explains David, an instructor at the university. “There is no higher being, no God to worship - It is a way of life “. David points out that Buddhism is fundamentally based on; morality, wisdom and meditation. These 3 principles are the pillars of Buddhist life. The objective is to live one holy life. A life focused on peace and harmony; a life free of greed, and the accumulation of wealth. That is not to say that monks cannot accept money. They do receive donations for offering prayers and chants at people homes as well as during holy days. The money is used to pay for expenses at their temple.
Monks are part of Thai culture. They do spend most their time on temple grounds but are often seen gently strolling throughout city streets and frequenting shops and markets for needed supplies. For the most part they are treated with respect, sometimes with indifference and very rarely with contempt. Many are well educated and informed. In today’s fast paced world it is not enough just to surround oneself with a stack of library books therefore it is not uncommon to see a Thai monk conducting research on his laptop, flipping pages through a daily newspaper or chatting on a cell phone. In fact, if it wasn’t for the bright orange garment, one would be hard pressed to distinguish a monk from a typical Thai citizen. The peaceful and friendly demeanor, characteristic in most Thai people can perhaps be explained by the fact that some of Thailand’s males were at one time monks. Unlike some religious organizations, Thai monks are not obligated to devote their life as servants of a temple. They are free to disrobe and leave at any time. In fact, many Thai men become monks to obtain an education but eventually may leave to marry, start a family or pursue a career; all with the benefit of a valuable and fulfilling experience.
It is common for parents in Thailand to send their young children to temples for several weeks during the year in order to introduce them to Buddhist culture and expose them to a life of discipline and harmony. “It’s sort of a summer camp for them” adds David. Young boys are often seen engaging in a playful manner on temple grounds and since this type of behavior is innate to them, it seems to be accepted by the elder tutoring monks. The introduction to Buddhist life is not exclusive to young boys. Girls receive similar exposure under the tutelage of Thai nuns.
Amid all his studying and chores, Sophon does manage to find time to unwind. He does fancy the occasional game of football and Manchester United is his team. “I like Wayne Rooney “, he timidly remarks. At the age of 28 Siphon understands that other opportunities may present themselves and that the future is not cast is stone but at this moment his life is good and he has no regrets.
When visiting Thailand be sure to stop in at Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai and engage in an enlightening conversation with a Thai monk. The experience will certainly be educational and rewarding.
Photographica Roll Call 2009
Has Photographica ever had a Roll Call? I think not.
My name is Cory R. King and I own this joint, I've been born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication. I currently work as a contractor for Microsoft were I create software to help support MSN's infrastructure.
I became interested in photography after inheriting this site from a man named Jonathan Prince. Without Photographica, I dont think I'd be nearly as good of a photographer, nor would I be as good of a developer, support person, designer, and a whole host of other things. I've got one ladyfriend whom I've been with for more than 10 years. Also acquired a new cat after we had to sadly put the last one down--pictures will be forthcoming when he comes out of hiding.
Who are you? Were are you from? What do you do? Why do you post here?
How to Create a Story
I felt this needed to be updated since we haven't had a how-to in a while and the site has been completely revamped since the last time this kind of tutorial was done.
- Create a New Story
- Type your story whether it's just pictures or pictures and txt
- Insert popups where you want them placed in your story by either clicking in the story or highlighting the word that you want the popup to become.
- Then click on the popup icon located in the txt editor, then select the image you want be to placed into your story
- Repeat steps 3 & 4 (Illustrated HERE) until you've finished your story.
- Add tags, pick a thumbnail from the list located to the right of the editor, save and then publish!
VIOLA! You've created your first story with popups. YAY! Now, explore the site. Read about photographica through our Welcome Letter (drafted by various seasoned members) and then enjoy the site!
If by any chance you have published a story and realized there is a mistake, you may edit it at any time yourself and even delete them yourself. If you have problems, feel free to send me a PM.
On some side notes: if you wish to enter you shot into any a different sections (such as "my best shot") click the drop down menu to the right of the edit box or if you want to enter the story into the current challenge click the box under the heading "Bi-Weekly Challenge."
ImageMagick: Which Resize Filter Should I Use? - UPDATED
Alright folks, I've been pretty unhappy with the filter I used to make thumbnails here on Photographica. Like Photoshop, the image library used here has many different algorithms that can be used to resize an image. Photoshop has three (Bicubic, Bilinear and "None" I belive), ImageMagick has more than a dozen. Some are quicker, some look better for enlargements, some look better for reductions. When there are a dozen to pick from, selecting the right one to be used for all image reductions on Photographica is a challenge!
Bottom line? I want you guys to help me pick the best filter to use for creating thumbnails on Photographica. The filter you pick will get used to resize your originals to whatever smaller image is required. What you are looking below at is a random image I picked out of my uploads, resized to "thumbnail size" (no greater than 175x175) using a variety of filters and than saved as a JPEG. Above each thumbnail is the name of the filter and the filesize of the generated image. Inside the full story, you will find the original image uploaded to Photographica.
Note: The samples are small for a reason. They are no bigger than the thumbnails found on any of your image pages . I want to find the best filter to use for taking your "normal sized" images and shrinking them into thumbnails. I might consider using different filters depending on the size, but for now lets just look at what happens when you resize a normal image (say 800x600) to a thumbnail (175x175).
If you want more examples of the filters available for use, somebody put together a page comparing all the filters available in ImageMagick . When looking at the linked page, note that I use a "Blur" of "1". If somebody can make the case for using a blur value of less than 1, I'm open to hearing it. Looking at the thumbnails on the linked page , a value of 0.8 or so might yeild higher quality results sharper results (but larger images).
This year has been one of the worst years of my life. My wife Tina passed away in February from breast cancer. I have only recently started to come out of a fog and into a more aware frame of mind. I am not sure if my recent photos reflect this state of mind. All I know is that photography has always been my escape/distraction when the enormity of life becomes too heavy.
SLR Questions! (Sun in frame and lens protection)
Yes, I've got myself a DSLR. I wasn't going to get one so quickly but we noticed the price had dropped to £220 so I decided to grab it. Turns out it was a good call as just today it's back up to £249! Phew. 'Tis a Nikon D40, as you probably guessed from the price.
Now I'm acquainting myself with this new little friend, and there are a few things I'd like to ask you knowledgeable people. ;)
- For my first question, what does it mean when it says not to let the sun get "in or close to the frame"? I read this in the safety instructions - it claims that the sun being "in or close to the frame" can cause fires inside the camera and all sorts of nasty stuff. But I'm pretty sure I've seen shots taken with the sun in the shot without people saying their cameras exploded afterwards! Does it mean something different from what I think it does (I would think of the frame as being the entire photo)? I've taken sun-in-frame shots with my point-and-shoot and it hasn't caught fire. ^^;
- Second question, would I be best waiting for my lens protector to arrive, or would it be all right to test the camera without it? How easy is it for dust and detritus to get on the lens? I haven't dared take the lens cap off yet. XD
Advice would be appreciated! I'm probably just being overly nervous but I don't want to break it. :P
just kinda liked this shot
we were blessed , but for a couple of days it was like this... when they thought Ike was gonna hit Corpus Christi..d
Picture_1658 at the beginning of spring i saw a plant starting to come out in my garden , i decide to keep it to see what it was> now for the early summer i notice a flower start to come out and for my surprise for a lily> probably the previous owner of my house plant them i dont know how they get there but i think they are beautiful!
Does this work? Motion Blur
They are now back and lost no one, thank God! One came back minus a leg though...NOT GOOD! We were on pins and needles the whole time he was away. It is awful to watch someone you've loved and watched grow from a baby, to child, then man go off to war where you know people will be shooting at him; and he at them!
He now suffers from PTSD, but is doing okay. We pray that this war ends soon and he doesn't have to go again! It doesn't look good though. Too bad they wanted it so badly that they were willing to lie to get us there! (I'm trying VERY hard to avoid the politics of this whole thing!) Better stop here...more another day, but this is the best I've got!