If you're anything like me you'll have dozens of photographs in your collection which come under the "I'll-stitch-that-panorama-together-later" category. No? Just me? Ah well - read this and then go and take a bunch!
Now that 2017 is done and 2018 is here I've been going through last year's wannabe-panoramas and actually stitching them together. Here's a quick guide to using Lightroom to do this (no Photoshop needed!).
The process itself is actually very easy - you'll usually have taken the photographs immediately after each other, so once imported into Lightroom they'll appear next to each other so long as they are ordered by "Capture Time" in the Library screen...
You may have noticed that I've not blogged for quite a while! This is owing to two things - firstly I got a real grown-up job requiring actual attention and time, and secondly I have been, rather than blogging, fulfilling a self-imposed challenge routine since January. This is the story of my challenge.
At the turn of the year, as has become routine, various friends decided that they would turn their resolve to fitness regimes. There was talk of timed workouts, weight-loss goals, new and exciting exercise styles....none of which inspired me. BUT - I thought - maybe some form of challenge WOULD be good for me. And so the random word phot...
So here's a simple tip. If you're taking a photo of anything with eyes - ANYTHING - whether animal, bird, or human... catch the light in their eyes. Catchlights!
Assuming you know that the first rule of portrait photography is to focus on the eyes, the second (a very CLOSE second) is to get catchlights. Studio photographers angle their lamps to get the best catchlights, and there are even filters which will ADD catchlights if you've not managed to capture them in the original image.
Simple rule. Short blog post. IMPORTANT!
Here are some with and without examples:
Animals (cute meerkats at that) without catchlights in their little eyes, and with:
These last few weeks I've become a bit of a sneezing and eye-streaming wreck - all because the pollen count is soaring and my hayfever has struck. BUT what this means is....the flowers are out! So off I go, dosed up to the max on antihistimines, into the woods with my trusty camera.
Taking photos of flowers can be seen as a bit of a joke in "serious" photographic circles , as it is CLEARLY only beginners who spend time doing such a flippant thing. I disagree. I think there is FAR too much cynicism around, and I'm on a mission to re-claim the joy of well-captured images showing the simple beauty of the world in which we live.
This last week it was not only Shakespeare's 400th birth/death anniversary (hence the quote - The Tempest if you're wondering), but I have also made a new-to-me discovery very close to my own home! Truth be told my husband has advised that I would enjoy it and I never really got round to it, but NOW I have discovered the joys of Colinton and Craiglockhart Dells!
The weather is just starting to give a few glimpses of summer (interspersed with grey and rain - it IS only April...). This week the sun decided to show itself and, despite the still-cold wind, I ventured out with my camera for a walk along the Water of Leith, from Currie back eastwards towards Ed...
I'm ashamed to say that it took replacing my computer (and poor weather keeping me indoors) to motivate me to organise my photographs properly. I DO use a common sense folder naming system, but there still remained older, ill-named folders, and a whole bunch of photos that required properly backing up.
Everybody's file management system varies BUT I recommend that, if you're not doing so already, you use a naming system which makes it easy to track down "that picture from that holiday X years ago". I now use "YYYY MM Event", and I retain the camera-issued file names (simply adding "edit" once edited) in order to retain the photographs in the order they were ta...
All the Springiness of Spring has Sprung (here in Scotland anyway)! There have been little hints for a few weeks but, now that it's official, the evidence is all around! It might be a little obvious, but what better inspiration for a nature photographer? Not only are things growing and new life is emerging, but also the weather is (occasionally) a little more clement and the daylight hours are increasing - so what's your excuse? Get out there with a camera! I did...
OK, so basically I've been indulging in the new outpouring of flowers and birds.... but spring only happens once a year! Even if you're not of the cutesy-pretties persuasion...
I recently had the chance to indulge in a bit of studio fun with my photography group and thought I'd share a few tips...
Things you need for studio portrait photography:
A large space
A monochrome backdrop (ours was blue)
Portable lighting which can be placed as needed
A tripod (recommended)
(Also a model and your camera, of course)
Firstly set up your backdrop - ours was a portable setup with a roll of blue paper on a tall stand. Ensure it is tall enough to surround your model from every angle you want to shoot, bring it out under the space where your model will be, and tape it to the floor so it doesn't move.
This New Year ("Hogmanay" here in Scotland) brought two quite photographically different challenges within minutes of each other. Both outdoors, both after midnight, both capturing lights in the sky....
FIRST there were celebratory fireworks. I love fireworks. I get very excited and bounce around like a small child. Photographing fireworks requires a bit more attention and care... You will need a tripod (a LOT of fireworks images are spoiled by blurred foregrounds or building silhouettes) and you will need to keep tweaking your settings throughout at least the first few shots.
Fireworks are fleeting, and an exposure over 2 seconds or so will start...
This November the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh staged an after-hours event called "Botanic Lights". Each evening, as the sun set, the gardens lit up in spectacular fashion, with colours, projected images and videos, and sounds and music, which combined to create eerie, tranquil, exciting, and magical atmospheric experiences for those present. I couldn't help but take a camera to capture the effects (which usually would have to be added in post-production).
On camera, the power of the vivid colours juxtaposed into this natural setting is evident:
Light and colour was spread throughout the undergrowth, as well as the larger freestanding trees, creating de...