The Power of Technology

Polaroid Stormtrooper

Polaroid Stormtrooper

It is not often i get to bring to the table new technology. My love of technology unfortunately does not stretch much further than what my wallet holds. Luckily for me, the cheapness of phone plans and available deals at the right time is almost like the moons aligning.

SO i have now aquired a new HTC Desire running Android 2.1…. my first thoughts are WOW. After passing on the iPhone bandwagon for sometime now I decided to take the route that has been less travelled somewhat for the time being.

As someone who is deeply interested into photography, the bane of my existence has been seeing numerous people do iPhone 365 projects… great i think.. as I take a pretty crappy looking photo on my old Nokia E63, I wonder how I can make my own phone into a Photo Project Machine.

So after unboxing the device and getting used to the new fandangled touchscreen and pinch techniques, my first point of call is camera apps. Played with a few before i stumbled on fxCamera, presets for Polaroid, Fisheye, Warholing, Symmetry and just regular shoot and process.

Im astounded and in love at the same time.. i simply just click share.. flickr.. upload.. and its done.. my photo is on my photostream and ready to go.. whats better.. its process and not looking half bad.

What i might do is have a go at writing a few guides to making the most of your cameraphone, i mean why not.. it can only get better from here? I feel like I am one step closer to being Maxwell Smart.. and if I pick up my game.. by the time im ready to take the next leap to the new phone generation.. I might just be James Bond.

Zeb Warholed

Zeb Warholed

Week 24 – Tales from Rapa Nui

Week 24 - Tales from Rapa Nui

Little tribute to the wonderful Moai carvings from Rapa Nui (easter island). This was given to us by a friend who’s father carved them.

This piece of history has created a security risk for Stormy since day one, now he’s trying to show who’s boss.

Till next time..

Week 23 – Glass Case of Emotion

Week 23 - Glass Case of Emotion

Week 23 - Glass Case of Emotion

Im Ron Burgandy? Stormy’s most watched movie is infact Anchorman.

No.. i have not forgotten about you all! It has been busy :) I uploaded Week 23 at the end of the week, so stay tuned for Week 24 which ill update tomorrow. I am thinking about re-writing my little article about tilt shifting, as well as perhaps written a couple more articles about Post Processing techniques I learn, as I learn them.
I found the article written by Wisie detailing how to mix/blend exposures to ensure a complete image just fantastic.

Hope you like this one.. I have had a few suggestions for Cone of Silence.. but perhaps this can come another day :)

Till next time..

Guide to Post Processing Tilt Shift Effect. Buckingham Place.. with a Shift.

Buckingham Palace Tilt Shift

Buckingham Palace Tilt Shift

So you can get a Tilt shift lens, but on my budget it all comes down to… Photoshop!

This is an effect where you can almost minaturise different situations by creating a very thing DOF (Dept of Field)

The process is quite simple, however i think it lies more within the shot of choice to create the effect.

The shot needs to be able to be blurred enough to still form the frame of the shot (i.e – you can still know what you are looking at even tho it is severely out of focus).

I currently do this Post Processing in Photoshop CS3 and CS4.

Method.

1. Load the image you want to edit into Photoshop
2. Press Q (to open Quick Mask)
3. Select the Gradient Tool (where Paint bucket is) and ensure you have the Center fading to top/bottom option selected along the top bar.
4. Now shift draw your line and you will see it create the gradient look… i find to get the best results dont try and keep too much in focus.
*TIP* The area you want in focus; draw your line downwards from roughly 50% through the area you want in focus. Draw this line a little below where you want the DOF to end. Also.. experiment with different effects.
5. Press Q again (to Exit Quick Mask) and you will see a rectangular selection of your photo.
6. Go to the Filter Menu. Filter -> Blur -> Lens Blur.
7. Ensure that Hexagon is selected, and start with level 20.
8. Apply the effect and see how it has turned out. From here, you can go back to Step 6 (or click back in History) and adjust the settings to suit your taste.
9. Once you have the desired Tilt Shift Effect you can further enchance the look by adding some Sharpness and Saturation.
10. Go to the Filter Menu. Filter -> Sharpen -> Smart Sharpen
11. Start with 20%, Radius 20.0 pixels and Remove: Gaussian Blur
12. Apply the effect and see how it has turned out. From here, you can go back and adjust the sharpen effect until you are happy.
13. Go to the Image Menu. Image -> Adjustments -> Vibrance (On CS4, earlier versions please select Saturation)
14. Bump the Saturation level up to 30 – 40. Add some Vibrance too, anywhere up to 50 and see the effect. From here, repeat or go back through the process until you have enhanced the image the way you like.
15. Crop the image to suit (If you have not cropped pre-edit). Please keep in mind the idea behind the Tilt Shift is that you would like to create the minature feel, and this means the viewer must be able to make out what the OOF (Out of Focus) area is, as a scale size for the IF (In Focus) area.

In the above image I have;
- Slightly straightened and cropped the image.
- Created a thin DOF based on the people in the photo
- Lens Blur Settings: Hexagon & Level 30
- Saturation +40
- Vibrance +75
- Smart Sharpen of 25% at 20.0 Pixels.

This image was difficult, as I wanted to retain some of the details of Buckingham Palace, otherwise it would be lost in the image. I am more happy with the OOF area at the bottom of the image.

I hope you find this small guide useful.

Till next time..

You can view some more of my Tilt Shifts here.

Star Trails.. Hills Hoist.. RIP

Hills Hoist Trails

Hills Hoist Trails

I am back from my trip up the coast.

RIP Robert “Barry” James

As a side I decided to take some photos as a momento and in memory of Barry.. so i decided to take some shots of the epically vast universe beyond our wee little planet. This is a shot I am going to reshoot at some stage in the future.. but I would i would share it now.

This is 3 x 5min exposures stacked in Photoshop using the Script > Stack Images function.

Till next time..

Cookietopia

Cookietopia

Cookietopia - OCAU Iron Photographer Entry #1 May 2010

I have entered the OCAU (http://www.overclockers.com.au) Iron Photographer Competition for May 2010 and this is #1 of my entries.

I had given this some thought, and ordered the figure from ebay at the start of the month but left it a bit late. TYPICALLY it was much smaller than I first expected, thankfully… my friend Zeb had the great idea of mini cookies!

And so it worked out well :)

I am off for a few days to attend a funeral.. update the blog upon my return.

Till next time..

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