Motherly Love

Baby gets a moment with Mom after feeling sick...

Baby gets a moment with Mom after feeling sick…

My youngest was feeling under the weather Friday…doing better now but not getting far from a parent’s arms (writting one handed now as I make this Saturday AM).

I love capturing these emotional scenes. They really speak to the moment, and tender love my wife gives the children.  It speaks volumes to the peace I feel when I come home at night. (Yes even with four kids you can have peace in your home).

On an editorial note…I edited this RAW photo with a few curves, and a brush to handle shadows on my daughter’s face.  Overall I wanted a more analog quality to the photograph.  I personally like contrasty photos with natural skin tones.  In this photo the light in the room reflecting off those purple/pink sheets gave everything this glow I wanted to keep.  It was that color mood I wanted to freeze.

Is that perfectly, and technically correct?  Nope.  Is it what every camera maker and software converter does when they process your photos into JPEGs though!

So just be aware that you are always being influenced by different parts of the photographic process.  Everything from 77-automatic exposure zones, to JPEG processing, to the color calibration of your screen, and a hundred other sub-routines we cannot even begin to fathom.  If you want to be in charge of the memories you make, be aware of this and take charge of the photo wherever possible in this process so it looks the way you want.

…and that will take me to tomorrow’s piece…


Bright Light in the house!

This little lighthouse guards...a sidewalk!

This little lighthouse guards…a sidewalk!

For this little challenge I wanted to do two things: Study a high contrast light environment in post and see what type of results my little Fujifilm X10 can make in this harsh environment.

I took several pictures, but this one looking up and into light gave me the photo with the highest contrast between highlights and complete darkness.

I like the color range and detail rendered despite the bright light attempting to overpower both.  To prevent radical blowout of highlights, and the edge areas between them, I used the camera’s EXR mode with a -1.33 exposure.  I ran it through Perfect Effects to help bring out some details, and extend the dynamic range with some HDR effects.

This little camera had a ton of data for the Perfect Effects to work with (much more than I anticipated).  Remember, the best software in the world can do nothing if you and the camera give it bad data to work with.  What you see is the result of my two minute and done rule in post.

So the moral of this story is to push the limits of a scene by taking enough shots to find one which will get the effect you want, and remember to use post processing to pull all the data out of the photo possible to give you the best image possible.  A corollary to running through many perspectives is to work with other settings such as exposure compensation in each camera position to observe its effects on dynamic range and composition.


Edge to your photos

Tilting your camera puts you a little off kilter!

Tilting your camera puts you a little off kilter!

I just had to try this…

My lovely daughter was enjoying her book in the warm afternoon sun, and I wanted to see what effect camera tilt would have on the scene.

When you are taking a photograph most of the time you want the horizon to be perfectly straight.  That way the viewers mind does not have distractions.  The scene looks like it “should.”

If you tilt your camera just a little, you make the viewer have to search and make sense of the photo.  Sometimes being off horizontal can also give the photographer a “this is real life in motion” feeling.

If you do this every once in a while ok…but do it for an entire photo album?  Sorry not for me.  I’d bee sea sick and ready to head for steady shores.



Color me Purple

Little Experiment with color or lack thereof...

Little Experiment with color or lack thereof…

I was out front a little while ago on a glorious Sunday and was playing a bit with backlight and fill flash…

While developing the “roll”I thought it would be fun to make the purple really stand out and make a statement.  What better way to make a photographic color statement than to make it the centerpiece of the photo?

Since one of my co-workers today said they liked photos with one color left outstanding, I thought I’d make this post for him!