Friday, August 14, 2009

225/365 - i'm not bluffing

225/365 - i'm not bluffing
Originally uploaded by ddiemont
been a while... again. sorry ;-)

so had a couple of request to explain how this was done, so here we go.

first things first, i pulled the royal flush out of my card deck. I then set up the camera about 3 feet in front of my face. i set the camera to manual focus and focused on a point in space 3 feet in front of the camera... this is where i would stand. i then tethered the camera to a laptop so i could see the results of the shots as i took the pictures. if you are unsure what tethering looks like, check my pic for day 9.

below me, at waist level, i set up a flood light and pointed it at the cards in my hand. i then proceeded to take several shots until i saw that the focus and positioning was correct.

i then went into photoshop and removed the reflection of the tripod, camera, etc. out of the reflection in my glasses by cloning them out. tweaked some of the color settings, cropped... and posted.

that's it... not too difficult ;-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

171/365 - june is for jumping

another long delay between posts... so, uh, sorry!

So, this is a composite of two photos. The key with taking this type of shot is planning out what you will be doing with photoshop before you start doing it. Here I took two shots, one with the props and the second without. both were take with the exact same camera settings, and from the exact same position. The Straight Out of the Camera shots are shown below.

The shot minus the props was used as a base layer in photoshop... And the important portion of the props were copied and pasted onto a layer above the base layer. I used the quick selection tool to select the props and refined the selection by adding a bit of a feather and expanding the selection a bit, so I could fine-tune once I got it into the main picture.

Once the dog and man were over top of the base picture I took the eraser tool and went around the edges of the dog and man in their layer to ensure that they looked ok together. then i applied a slight motion blur to the base layer to give a bit less of a static feeling...

and there you have it... a stick man and stick dog jumping... it's as simple as that ;-)

source 1

source 2

Sunday, May 31, 2009

150/365 - fireflies

150/365 - fireflies
Originally uploaded by ddiemont
it's been a while since i blogged about a photo i've taken, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity to start back up...

as summer approaches in my neck of the woods my yard gets filled up with fireflies. The spectacle is kinda magical, and i wanted to try and capture that a bit for this photo.

So, I took 88 photos. which may seem like overkill to most of you, but here is why approached the shot this way.

I wanted to open up the aperture wide open (1.8) so I could capture as much of the flashes of light from the fireflies as possible. But with the aperture wide open I couldn't keep the exposure open very long without completely overexposing the shot. So to compensate for this issue, I took one base shot at 8 seconds f/1.8 (which is the picture that allows you to see the fence, tree, etc). next i took 87 shots at f/1.8 and 3 seconds... these are the shots that capture the fireflies.

I then imported the 88 shots into photoshop as a stack, and then set the stack mode to "Maximum". This would combine all the pictures by showing the brightest pixel available for that location in any of the 88 shots. And that is how I got the fireflies to show up.

The process takes a while (about 2 hours of processing tim on the mac), but at the end of the process, it worked out ok ;-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

121/365 - A Walk To The Back

121/365 - A Walk To The Back
Originally uploaded by ddiemont
A quick little blog here to explain how this was done.. then it's off to throw some stuff in a bag before i head off on vacation ;-)

So, first things first, you need a lot of pictures... this is a combination of 883 pics at 12 pics/sec... So, I set my camera up to take a burst rate of about 3 frames per second and set it to the lowest resolution JPG it could take (no need for super high res RAW here)... Then I set a low aperture f/4 and focused to infinity (while setting the focus mode to manual).

The camera was then set to aperture priority (so it could adjust the shutter speed on the fly) and then i held down the shutter and started walking... my buffer will allow me to take about 130 shots or so before i had to stop for a moment.

Once I had gotten all the shots I then headed into the house and then imported the images as an image sequence in quicktime pro (Open > Image Sequence)... here you just navigate to the first image in the sequence and the rest will be imported in in order.

I then exported the movie and used iMovie to add some Muzaak and a little subtitle... and that's was it ;-)

Well, I'm off to pack for vacation. Thanks for stopping by ;-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

113/365 - beer and wings

113/365 - beer and wings
Originally uploaded by ddiemont
for those who haven't followed my antics, I'm a HUGE Red Wings Fan (actually, I'm a huge Detroit Sports Fan)... so tonight was the Detroit Red Wings 4th game of the playoffs and since I was headed out to have some drink while watching the game decided to take a shot of some "Wings and Beer" (obviously a play on buffalo wings and beer... yum).

So, first things first, take shots... i poured a glass of beer and got several shots of it in various states of beer headedness... for this shot i used one with no foam for the base layer and second shot take a few seconds earlier with a thin coating of head on the beer...

Now, open both those shots in photoshop and place the no foam version at the bottom layer... then i went online and found a red wings logo and imported that into the composition in it's own layer...

so, at this point i have 3 layers

- red wings logo on top
- beer with a lot of foam on the layer below that
- beer with little foam on the bottom later

ok, now select the logo and use the distortion feature (in photoshop it is under "Edit > Transform > Distort" to distort the perspective of the logo such that it appears as though it is laying atop the beer.

ok, now we've got the elements laid out the way we want them, we just want to get rid of that wacky looking logo atop the beer... so with that layer selected we do a color range selection (luckily the red wings logo is only red)... in photoshop it is "Select > Color Range..." this allows us to choose the red portions of the image... which essentially is the red wings logo. when in the color selection tool select the red from the image and adjust the fuzziness such that the logo is highlighted and not much else... then click ok and now you have your selection.

so, now we have the logo selected, it's time to start erasing some beer head... select your second layer and now your selection is going to apply to that layer... next i selected the eraser tool and set the opacity to about 20% and erased the entire logo...

The next thing i did was select the selection tool again and then open the "Refine Edges Dialog" and decreased the size of the selection by contracting it to about -30 or so... then selected the eraser tool, changed the opacity to about 70% and erased some the entire selected area...

saved and re-imported into aperture and added the vignette and did some work with levels (obviously i could have done this in CS3, but i've got a workflow in Aperture that I am MUCH faster with, so that is what I tend to work with for things that i know)...

and that's about it... sounds kind of intensive, but it really only took about 10 minutes to put all the pieces together. just took a bit of planning ahead of time and knowing exactly what i wanted to do ;-)

thanks for stopping by...
4 games down, 12 to go.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

107/365 - the colors of spring

blah So early yesterday i was contemplating what my shot of the day was going to be... well, i picked up some metal pipes that were laying around my house in thoughts that i could build myself a new ghetto lightbox with them... well, didn't have enough pipe to make the lightbox, but I decided to pick them up and look through them. I can't quite tell you why I did, just an accident I suppose, but as I looked through the pipes I notices that the light refracted through each of the pipes differently when pointed at the same item.

So, now I had my photo idea for the day, I just needed to execute. So I took a couple of rubber bands and strapped the 6 pipes together and went outside to start looking through them for some cool colors. I eventually ended up in front of some Wisteria and found the colors to be perfect. I set the pipes up on the boat in the yard and started shooting (see picture below).

Just in case you are looking to reproduce, the pipes were about 1" in diameter and about 2 feet long. I'm not quite sure what they are from though...

So that's about it. nothing terribly special, just some pretty colors ;-)

Thanks for stopping by

Saturday, April 11, 2009

101/365 - the escape plan

101/365 - the escape plan
Originally uploaded by ddiemont
It's been a while and I'm back!!! So today we are going to discuss how to do a ghetto macro lens. Be forewarned... this is crazy... I am a professional driver on a closed course ;-)

This is pretty simple stuff, but a real pain without the proper equipment (which i do not have). Basically what you are going to want to do is to take your camera, mount it on a tripod (for some semblance of steadiness) and then mount your 50mm lens onto the camera backwards... well, that is if you have a reversing ring, for nikon's it is a BR-2A, this is an accessory that will allow you to mount your 50mm lens backwards onto your camera, effectively turning it into a macro lens... I, in this case, just held the lens in front of the camera... truly ghetto.

so there must be a catch right??? otherwise no one would ever buy a macro lens. well, there are several catches... this is a completely manual solution, so a lot of trial and error will be part of your photo shoot. this is because your camera can't meter without a lens attached (and essentially you aren't mounting the lens... even with the Br-2A). So you will have to adjust the iso, shutter speed and aperture manually). there doesn't appear to be a way to adjust the focus when the camera is reverse mounted as well, so you will have to move the camera to adjust for this.

So, what I did for this shot was reversed the 50mm, and then started shooting the dandelion which was taped to a piece of black posterboard... bumped up the iso to 800 to allow for a faster shutter speed and then took about 10 shots with the timer shooting mode so i could get as steady as possible. then brought the shot into aperture and cropped slightly, adjusted the exposure, and then converted to monochrome using the green filter.

that's it... so what did i learn??? i learned it is time to get a real macro lens. i really like getting up close to items and this allows you to do just that. so i think know what my next photo purchase will be ;-)

thanks for stopping by.

before flipping the lens:

after flipping the lens: