Archive for photography

Me And The IPhone

Posted in Image Post with tags , , , , on May 19, 2013 by Art of Photography

I have been away from the blog for some time now. As explained earlier, I am back in college once again. It is also springtime here (lots to prep & clean). Additionally, rather than working in my traditional media, I have been spending time (way too much of it) with the iPhone 5 camera. I have found that while the camera is your basic phone camera, there are some interesting apps that seem to add value.

Here then are a few samples:

1. One of the first thoughts with an iPhone is ‘Selfies’ (taking pictures of yourself)




2. Also your immediate surroundings

Indoor Light

Camera plus


3. The nice thing about it is how you carry it with you everywhere

Always with you



4. Then there are the Instagram effects

Light Leaks



5. You can use it to document in a more visual way

(La Crosse Wisconsin writes in its sidewalks)

(Its bridge looks like a Batman symbol)
Bat Bridge

(Art has been integrated into the city)


6. I have learned that the front facing camera is also good for candids shot “over your shoulder”

Forward Facing


7. Using the upgraded camera app (Camera Plus) gives you some pretty good art filters

Color 50s

(I can’t decide which treatment I like better)

Color less 50s


8. Even the mundane can be rendered interestingly




9. Well I guess that is about it. Sorry I didn’t make this a ‘top ten things about’ story, but hopefully you found some of the images justified your time on this site. As always, don’t forget to click the images for the larger size.


Photography Photoshoppers

Posted in Photoshop Tutorial with tags , , , on April 7, 2013 by Art of Photography

This is for the photographers who post process their compositions in Photoshop (or possibly Lightroom).

When you are processing your photographs, you want to avoid clipping shadows and highlights. Clipped shadows (a completely black area) or a blown-out highlights (areas of solid white) means portions of your image have lost their detail. The usual precaution against this is to use the histogram tool. However histograms cannot show you where in the image the clipping has occurred. You’ll see indications at either end (left for shadows, right for highlights) but there are no indications of midtones issues. The middle of a histogram can take any shape depending on the content of an image and isn’t much help with actual evaluation. Fortunately, Photoshop has come up with better tools that address these shortcomings.

Clipping Preview Before

The one I want to discuss today is the easiest one to use, the Clipping Preview. It is, in effect, a histogram overlaid on your image and not just a graph.
To see the clipping preview, Alt/Option-drag the black (shadows) or white (highlights) slider at the bottom of a Curves or Levels adjustment layer or panel. In Camera Raw and Lightroom it is the same thing but with the tone sliders. Highlight is a solid white image while shadows is solid black. Where you see Indicator colors is where clipping is occurring. Not all clipping needs to be addressed, but you do need to evaluate the loss of detail and decide if it should be returned. The color keys are the same as in the histogram’s window, the colors shown are channels or mixes of channels. All black in the highlight or all white in the shadow is all channels clipped.

Clipping Preview After

That’s it for today but remember, if processing for printer output, make sure your are in CMYK mode and your last processing step should be soft proof ( view > proof colors or Ctrl/Cmd Y). My personal workflow is to run Gamut Warning first, then Soft Proof to evaluate the actual clipping (not all out of gamut needs to be compensated for).

About Art in Photography – Color

Posted in Image Post, Photoshop Tutorial with tags , , , on March 29, 2013 by Art of Photography

About Color
Whether dressing yourself, evaluating a setting and model, or color adjusting an image, knowing some of the basics about color will really make the difference between okay and WOW. While this can be a very complicated discussion, there are some simple basics that just seem to work.

The basic color wheel is twelve (12) colors
Red, red-orange, Orange, orange-yellow, Yellow, yellow-green (lime), Green, blue-green (Cyan), Blue, blue-purple (violet), Purple, purple-red (magenta). Red is in the 12 o’clock position, Green is at the 6 o’clock.

A palette is all the colors you are using in your image (Comes from the days of painters holding a wood plate with all their various colored paints on it).

The best color to make another color stand out is its compliment (the color opposite on the color wheel). If featuring Orange, use blue colors around it. A variation of this is split compliments where the color on either side of the opposite color is used instead. (Opposite of Red is Green so green-yellow and cyan would be used with the red color in this palette).

Black & White pictures are actually various shades of grey. You can do the same thing with color by using four colors that are next to each other in the wheel (Red, red-orange, Orange, mustard) – this is called an Analogous Color palette.

A pure color is a hue. Add white to it (lighten it up) is Tinting. Adding grey to it is toning. Darkening it (adding black) is Shading. Apply the same rules to Tint/Tone/Shade that you apply to Hue (compliment, split-compliment, analogous). Green and Yellow colors go together okay but green and light yellow can look better and dark green (hunter green) and dark yellow (gold) can really pop (ask the Packers).

We do not see with our eyes. We have cones and rods in our eyes that send signals to a part of our brain that filters them into a single signal. That signal is then processed further by our cognitive process. Colors around a color, the content of the scene, emotional experiences all affect how we see, and more importantly, react to a color (White is traditional mourning colors in the Middle East, brides dress in black). In fact, be careful about supposed psychology attributes of colors. How a color is used, where it is used, the subject matter, tinting/toning/shading, where the person is when they see it, the type of frame (or display screen), size of the image, ambient lighting, on and on, can create very different feelings in the viewer about your color.

Is this it? Not hardly. There are palettes made up of double split compliments, triad combination, and there have been uses that completely break the model. Colors on a computer screen are additive while colors printed are subtractive. That is why when designing for computers you use the RGB model but for printing you use CMYK. In fact, you can spend many (many) days researching the various aspects of color. But I find if you adopt a few simple palettes and work the tint/tone/shades this becomes a relatively simple process.


B.T.W. – Where is brown? It is a heavily toned (lightly shaded?) yellow! A brown frame with dark green matting is one of my favorite combinations (you should now understand why)!

Spring in Wisconsin (1″ to 3″ of it)

Posted in Image Post with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2013 by Art of Photography

Just sharing a picture today…


The Art of Photoshop

Posted in Editorial, Image Post, Photoshop Composition with tags , , , on March 13, 2013 by Art of Photography

Photoshop can be used to enhance a photograph but it can also be used to create artistic images. Either use is valid in my opinion so long as you are clear about doing it.

Two pictures; a young woman’s face and a cityscape, is artistically modified and blended in such a way as to create something new. It is completely fictional yet still retains the same qualities as any visual piece of art. Whether you like this composition or not is a matter of personal taste but the process is as valid as any used in the creation of art work.


Photography does not have to be simply the faithful replication of existing visions. For me, there was nothing going on with either original image. Just pictures like so many other taken of cities and women. But transmogrified this way, something more creatively interesting was produced. Gestalt says the sum can be greater than the parts. I hope you find tonight’s work such.


In The Mirror

Posted in Image Post with tags , , , on February 17, 2013 by Art of Photography

In The Mirror

The Fine Art of the Pin Up

Posted in Image Post with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by Art of Photography

There is a sub-culture dedicated to the art of the pin up girl. One of the bigger communities (combined with burlesque) is in Minneapolis. I have been looking into this art form for about a month now and it seems like a self-affirming activity. Something we all need to do for ourselves once-in-a-while.
So, here is my first contribution to the community.


If you are interested in this and want to learn a little more, here is an online magazine dedicated to the art. Pink Bow City

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