Friday, August 26, 2011

Art Walk Saturday 8/27 7-10PM

I'll be there with this new image all framed and ready to go. It is a hand colored black and white negative that is scanned and printed with the help of a PC on archival quality matte paper. The shadow detail is stunning if I say so myself...this is a big part of the reason why I am doing my own B&W work rather than simply converting a digital image to monochromatic.

Silver based materials really do have a depth of gray that you can't match by simply removing color or desaturating a digital image. For the few extra steps needed to bring an image about and get it ready for show the image quality is in another world. Definitely worth the effort.

Enjoy "Wet Lily" and see it in person this weekend at the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts last Summer Art Walk to be held in Old Town Monrovia. I will be near the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery and will be available to talk to you about what I do as well as show you what I have both at the Art Walk and in the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery. Look for me on the 400 Block of South Myrtle in Monrovia.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

HDR to the rescue in an airplane hangar

The Palm Springs Air Museum is pretty much lit by massive skylights. Makes for bright tops and very dark bottoms of the planes you try to shoot. Also it leaves for dark corners and ceilings. HDR fixes that by blending frames set to expose the highlights and shadows in with that done for the middle tones.

To get these shots I shot "RAW" and bracketed +/- 2 stops...or EV in todays DSLR lingo. I used Adobe's CS5 to do the HDR file generation and tone mapping for "photorealism". If you look close at the images areas that were completely dark such as inside the engine cowl you now have detail. Ditto the tops of the planes that were blown out because of the direct light from the skylights above have detail too. It even helped bring out details from a black plane that was in the shadows. Its all good.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A little travel R&R

This last week was spent in the Palm Springs Area. We love going out there to just hang in the pool and enjoy the desert heat. Yes, August can be beastly but all is right with the world as long as you have a pool to cool off in.

On our radar for a while has been the Palm Springs Air Museum on the airport property. This year we finally made it too there and wish we had done so much earlier. What a great place to spend an afternoon. It is two huge hangar just stuffed with old airplanes from WWII along with a ton of dioramas giving you a terrific snapshot of that era. The docents wound up being extremely engaging and probably the best I have ever seen for bringing history to life...some of them are actually old enough to have served in the war and have their stories to share.

This image was shot with an ultra wide angle lens and stitched together with Adobe's CS5. The photomerge tool there does an amazing job of combining images into one panorama. If you haven't played with it you should.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is located at 745 Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs. Their web site has a ton more details as to when they are open and any special exhibits going on.

There are quite a few images also in my Palm Springs Air Museum set on flickr HERE.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A "duh" moment, playing with masks

I don't know why I never thought of it and its stupid easy to do. Using either the magic lasso or quick selection tool in CS5 you can outline an object, select inverse and turn the area outside your subject into a black and white or whatever type of image.

These are just fooling around with tool images, nothing spectacular but they do illustrate the ease and potential of the tool.

For the graffiti trash can I opted to add in an extra layer, one that I used the lens blur filter in to throw everything but the trash can out of focus. Blending that layer and then cutting out the trash can in a mask again I could then turn the background black and white making the trash can stand out more. Fun stuff now to do something practical with it all. Or not.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Autumn Walk, CS5 cleans up a negative scan

Although my scanner, an Epson Perfection v600 Photo, does a very good job of scanning images not losing detail etc., the resulting files do need some help bumping contrast without losing too much detail in the process.

To achieve this image I took the scanned negative and rather than using "auto contrast" that simply reduces your curves I opted to apply a gradient map. Yes, another layer of black and white then applied as overlay. Gave be much better blacks while maintaining some detail in the shadows, ditto better detail in the highlights. When done I just merged the visible and sized it for here...the resizing does eliminate a lot of detail but you still get a good feel for the final image.

Love me my scanner and adobe's photoshop CS5.