Articles & Reviews
Super Simple Light Tent
I'm going to make one of these. Looks simple enough for someone like me to do.
Build your own blue or green screen backdrop
The Leica Freedom Train
It's a bit long to post here, but a worthwhile read. (shouldn't take more than a minute or two to look at)
I've put it up at http://www.firemark.net/lft.html
how about sony
Delete or Replace???
Any help would be appreciated.
Tripod for bicycle
Make your own tripod fro your bicycle for less than $5.00
Weather covers..../ Rain covers...
NAPP-National Association of Photoshop Professionals
The website is http://www.photoshopuser.com/
Extender examples for Kayn
I seen your question about macro lens and such. I don't have a true macro but I do have a Kenko 25mm extension tube for Canon AF. I seen you have the rebel so I grabbed mine and stuck on the tube and shot a couple shots quickly to give you an idea of the difference in image size. This is not a scientific test! All pics were handheld at my desk using a 28-80mm kit lens at 80mm. I set it on manual focus turned focus ring to focus as close as possible and moved in on a dogbert sticker on my monitor until I could no longer get focus confirmation then backed off till focused. The first pic is a little blurry... I was holding a ruler, camera and coors light (I told you it was not scientific). The second, same conditions except I put the ruler down (got to have priorities). Both dogbert images were full frame reduced in size to 20% of originals, no other post processing, the sticker is about 7/8" high.
Dogbert 1 -focus distance @8.5"
Dogbert 2 -focus distance @4"
I hope this helps you. If you go this route, be sure you get a tube for your camera as they couple most if not all normal lens functions. You will lose some light naturally but most macro (unlike this test) is done on a tripod
Photo printing question!
I don't really have a use for the prints, my goal is just the photo cd and the negative incase there is a picture that I would like to print.
Thanks for your help.
Kodak/Shutterfly Colors are off and pics to dark....
Any help appreciated.
Photoshop Levels - How to
We all know that a properly exposed photograph will be a better looking photo. And as hard as we try, we or our meters don't always get it right. Yeah sometimes one part is perfect but another part of the photo maybe too bight or too dark. Is all lost for these photos? Maybe not, through the use of Levels, we may be able to turn that photo you were about to delete into a Jewel.
I was going to write this and send it to Smalltown in an e-mail but thought maybe more would like to see it. She was concerned about a photo that I and Lil said seemed Dark on our Monitors. So she asked how would I correct it and I showed her the photo redone as I would. She asked how I did it and that leads us here.
I think the tool I use most often in Photoshop is Levels. Levels is a finer controlled version for adjusting Contrast and Brightness. It breaks the Light Spectrum up into three bands (It actually can do even more if you break it up into each color but that is beyond the Beginner view we are taking here) It Break it up into Shadows, Midtones and Highlights. And displays them in what is called a histogram. A correctly Exposed Photo should show levels all across the band and spectrum of light without Big Plateaus or Big Peaks. (Yes there are exceptions)
I took two Photos, one close to correctly exposed and one totally and purposely too bright and over-exposed.
Let's look at the Photos and Histograms for each.
The Overexposed one you can see has a very Large Plateau on the left side of the histogram or the Shadow area extending into the Midtones and a very big spike on the right in the Highlights area. This is unacceptable Exposure.
On this one where I exposed correctly with the in camera meter you can see that the spectrum of light is for the most part all across the spectrum with a slight amount of Plateau in the right Highlight area and a spike in that area cause by the whiteness of the cup. This is a more correct exposure but perhaps not perfect.
How to Use Levels
Now on how to use Levels to correct for an incorrectly exposed Photo. For this I will use Smalltonwn's Image from her post the other day. This is a very well composed image and uses the shadow in the image wonderfully. But in my opinion could use some Levels work to bring out all the detail this photo has to offer.
Let's look at the Original Photo and its Histogram
We can see that There is a huge Plateau on the right in the Highlights area and also that there is a tall spike on the left in the Shadows area which is probably attributed to the Black of the #4 sign.
So, let's drag the slider on the right that controls the highlights and move it to the left and smooth out the highlights area of this photo. It will look like this.
Now I would like to bring back a little more of the Contrast to this photo so I am going to drag the left slider that controls the Shadows area a little to the right and also move the middle Midtone slider till I get the look I really like. (Remember this is all up to your artistic eye and should not be based on the histogram or mathematics only)
It now will look something like this.
I then hit OK and applied these adjustments in Levels to the Photograph and it resulted in a Photo and Histogram that looked more like this.
This is what I, in my view, would rather see for this photo.
Now I wanted to still take this photo one step further and this step is only available to those who have a Full version of Photoshop which Smalltown does.
I next went to Image/Adjustments and Shadows and Highlights and then set the shadows to 10% and the Highlights to 20% this resulted in an image most pleasing to me although it may not to Smalltown. But at least now she has the ability to adjust this image to her liking in what ever way her artistic eye sees.
Here is the final comparison between the two images
Mine is on the left. In my opinion it brings out the wood grain that is in the background and also shows off the number 4 that is cast in a shadow on the background but the Black in the number still stays black. I still would have liked to get rid of a slight amount of Blowout on the right which I could have with the Dodge tool but that is for another lesson.. Is mine better than her's? Not necessarily, it is just the way I saw it and the story the Histogram had to tell.
Just a note, I did not spend a ton of time working on Smallys Photo cause that is for her to do and I wanted to spend more time writing the story, so if you think my version stinks, that's OK as long as the writing was acceptable. Hehehe
Or is it simply to challenge us photographers to try new things?
Borders and Adobe Photoshop Elements 3
Home made light tent for under $20
Put the object you are shooting in a tent. It works wonders. No direct light = no hot spots.
The size of the tent you need depends on the size of the objects you will be shooting and how much room you have. The one I built is about 3' X 3'. Bigger than most will need but if you have the room, go for it. If you have a folding table like a card table, make it to fit on it.
You will need:
- 10' lengths of 1/2 inch plastic pipe (sch 40) is fine
- T fittings
- 90º elbows
- End caps
A white sheet or material to cover the frame
Cut 2 pieces 24" (for the legs) and 2 pieces 34 1/2" from each 10' length. You should have a 3" piece left. Cut it in half. What you are looking to end up with is this when you are done. Dry fit it before gluing and work on a flat surface. Here is a close up of one of the corners so you can see how it goes together. Note the one do not glue joint. This will let you pull the legs off so it will store flat.
This shot shows the white paper background and floor in place. Use one long sheet and let it curve at the bend to give you a seamless look. Don't fold it. Now get your material and make your tent. I ended up a bit short on the sides. You really want it all the way to the bottom, across the top and down the back leaving the front only open. Place your lights to the side or from the top depending on how you want the shadows to fall. You do NOT want them shining in from the front. Remember.... we don't want direct light on the subject. You don't have to use strobe. Good old Home depot type shop lights will work fine but remember.. not too close. You don't want to burn down the house.
If you saw the violin post I made you saw what can be done in the tent. Here are a few more I took using it. Put a sheet of clear plexi glass in the bottom and play with reflections. Leave the plexi out for a more "normal" look. I ever mention that I like hats?
That should keep you playing and in where it's warm for a while. Feel free to ask questions.
Light Box Plans
Here's a site to show you how to make a cheap light box for taking pictures.
High Speed Photography Kit
Capture high-speed events -- A splash. Popping balloons. Breaking glass. Or?
Adjustable flash controller triggered by light or sound.