Monochrome Madness

Imperial Sand Dunes, Yuma Arizona at Sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Imperial Sand Dunes, Yuma Arizona at Sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

Tuesday and time for a black and white image. I have been going through my hard drive, trying to sort, catalogue, keyword and combine two Lightroom Catalogues. While it is a time consuming project, it has it’s rewards, I am finding gems among the forgotten, images that I still love, and memories worth revisiting!

This image for example, taken early one morning at the Imperial Sand Dunes near Yuma Arizona. We were last in Yuma Feb of 2014, visiting my parents, seeing the sights and enjoying a little time by the pool. I wouldn’t normally process an sunrise photo to monochrome, as it is the colour of the sunrise that inspires me to click the shutter. Here I was drawn to the shadows and lines in the sand and sun-flare. These details were muted and lost in the colour photo, processing the it to black and white enhanced the long sweeping lines along the dunes.

A year of learning, exploring and seeing new things has given me a new perspective, I will be giving at least some of these old photos a new look as I remember where and why they were taken.

I was too late getting this image processed to submit for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, but hop on  over to her blog to see what the other photographers have been up to this week.

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After-before Friday One Photo Focus

ab friday photo by Lore Dombaj for March 2015
ab friday photo by Lore Dombaj for March 2015

it is the first friday of March, that means it is time for the after-before, one photo focus post. If you have by following the blog for a while you know that on the first Friday of the month a group of photographers take one photo and edit to their liking. It is amazing to see the final image of each participating photographer and how they are all so different. You can check out the Stacy’s blog to see all the submissions.

Over the last few months I have beenfollowing a couple of different blogs, photographers who are using phone cameras to take images and phone apps to process their images, typically referred to a iphonegraphy. Photographers like Kat Sloma over at Kat Eye Studio as well as Bob Weil at Iphoneartist and Emil Pakarklis at Iphonephotography School

I received the email with a link to the group challenge photo while visiting Chicxulub Mexico, there was no internet service at the apartment my parents had rented, so I decided to download the photo to my phone while sitting in a coffee shop. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a few of the apps I had been reading about and experimenting with.  Using the Mextures App I cropped the original image and played around with different textures and layers until I was happy with the results. To be honest I made so many changes back and forth returning to the original and starting over again, and again I could really tell you the exact formula I used for this image. I really do need to keep better notes!!!

Here is a side by side of the after and before images….. Thanks Lore for the image, and the opportunity to use some of my iphone apps for this group post!

Head on over to Stacy’s blog to see just how the other photographers have edited Lore Dombaj’s image, head on over to Lore’s blog to learn a little about the image and how Lore processed the image.

Good Morning

Good Morning Sunshine; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Good Morning Sunshine; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

Good Morning, I took this photo in southern Ontario during one of our many visits to the family. I have always loved the layers of farmland and shrubs that run along the lower part of the image and the sun breaking through the tree branches.

We have been home in Calgary almost two weeks now, and I have been working to combing two catalogues in Lightroom, and organized the photos, a task that is much more time consuming than I would like it to be. On the positive side I am finding some great treasures that are sparking some wonderful memories.

Spring Flowers; After-Before Friday

Cherry Bloosoms in Spain
Cherry Bloosoms in Spain 

The Cherry trees were starting to bloom while we were in Spain, I couldn’t resist taking several images of the tiny buds and flowers. Now that I am back in Canada, home of the ice and snow it is nice to have these images to look at. I know that sometime in May I will have another opportunity to photography the lovely spring flowers!

It is friday and time for an after-before blog post. This is where I describe a little of my editing process. Some image on the blog have very little work done, others have way to much work, it all depends on the photo and what I want the final image to look like.

Here is the image that I started with……

spring blooms before
spring blooms before 

I edited the photo in Photoshop; the first step was to crop and remove the distracting branches in the bottom of the frame. Next I applied a Florabella Action called Soft Color Pop. Florabella has some great actions, templates and textures, I don’t use them a lot, but always fun to play a little. The action I used had a reduce red layer, and I masked the flowers to keep the nice pink color. I liked what the action did for the flowers, but it really washed out the nice blue sky.

Rather than mask the action to bring back the sky I thought I would add a textured layer, something that would add the blue with a painted quality.  I have a folder of textures I have collected over the years, from the internet artists like Kim Klassen, as well as painted papers, cement and stone walls, fabric, scrapbooking paper, I have photographed myself. The textured I decided to use was a soft blue painted paper. The edges of the blue paper is a little darker and has a little more texture than the center of the frame, this worked perfectly for the flowers. I sent the blend mode to darken, and the opacity at 80%.

There you have it, my custom-made spring flowers. I would love to hear from you if you have questions or comments regarding my process or photography. You can find more of my work on Instagram, or we can connect on Behance  If you would like to see more after-before images head on over to Stacy Fischer’s Virtual Venturing blog

Tulips in Black and White

Tulips
Tulips 

we have been busy getting our lives organized here in Calgary, I am not sure where the time goes, but my routine for photography, blogging, exercise, and reading seems to have gone right out the door!

I hope you enjoy the tulips, I am hoping to start back into photographing at least one still life a week! I think that should be feasible?!

Drop a line, let me know what you think of the tulips. Share the post with your friends if you like it, and you can find me on instagram if that is where you like to hang out to look at pretty pictures!

The Painter and the Ponte Vecchhio, Florence Italy: Monochrome Madness week 48

Painting the River Arno; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Painting the River Arno; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

I have been travelling back in time, going through my (many) photo files, finally finding time to process a few that were take last October while we were in Florence. So many wonderful memories of our time in the city. Wandering the streets, getting lost in the laneways! I use to love walking along the river pathways, so much to see.

Buskers and mimes of all descriptions providing enterainment, vendors selling just about everything a tourist might want to take home, tourist reading guide books, taking photos, and getting lost. One of my favourites to watch was the various artists who set up their easel and begin to work. Watching them transform a plain white piece of paper or canvas to the scene in front of us is both magical and inspiring.

It is Tuesday, and Leanne Cole has her weekly Monochrome Madness blog, if you like black and white photography head on over to her page and check out some of the image submitted by the other photographers.

Sunny Saturday at Malaga Beach

BBQ on Malaga Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
BBQ on Malaga Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

It is Saturday, and it sunny, so I expect the beaches and the beach bbq restaurants near the Malaga Beach will be busy at lunch time. Sardines on a stick, the heat and smoke rising from the pit. I am not one to eat fish very often, but this looks worth a try.

What do you think? have you been tempted to try a new food or a new recipe recently? I find that when I travel, break my usual routine I am more likely to try something on the menu. Over the last year, travelling around to different countries, the menu’s not always in English, I have at time surprised myself! I realized after the food arrived I had no idea what I was going to get. I don’t care how they cook tripe or sweetbread I cannot eat them!

We are off to the beach today, maybe I will try a Barbecued Sardine, I haven’t yet decided………..

After-Before Roses

Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015
Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015

It’s Friday, and that means another After-Before Friday Blog Post, I am becoming a regular contributor to Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum, were photographers share they photographs and their working process. For some, or at least me, it is an opportunity to read and learn some new Photoshop or Lightroom skills. The photographers who submit to Stacy’s forum range in skill level from novice to those with advanced skills. The one thing I have learned is  there is more than one way to process an image, and personal style is more likely to affect the final results as software! Each photographer has a unique way of looking at the photos and deciding the final outcome and I never fail to learn something, mostly keep it simple!

I have been taking an on-line still-life course with Kim Klassen, she has provided the inspiration for this weeks post. The florist down the street had these beautiful roses for sale! Kim’s Friday blog is Friday Finds, it is all about the week and what she has found this week. I am going to give a shout out to her this week as well, as I have found her on-line course very inspiration, and I have used one of her Lightroom presets on the image. But let me start from the beginning. Above, the image I ended with, below, the image I started with…..

Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

The work on this image was done in Lightroom, I love that, because I can go back through my history panel for details, it makes learning, and writing this blog post so much easier! First I cropped, that is pretty obvious. In the Basic Develop module I went to my auto button. I like to do this, sometimes Lightroom is right, and there is little to do after that.

For this image I also moved the Highlight slider to -24, then added a preset from Kim-Klassen called kk_truegrit.  This preset does affect the exposure, contrast, whites and blacks as well as clarity. Presets are a good way to establish a style or a particular look if you want a cohesive look for a group of photos, and to automate your workflow.

Next I moved down to the Lens Correction Module to enable lens profile and remove chromatic aberrations, added a little post-crop vignette, and I was satisfied with the outcome.

Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum has links to several great photographers and you can read more “how it was done” type posts, and Stacy usually has a video showing her workflow, if this interests you. I always learn a something from the contributors.

If still-life, textures and presets is something you want to learn more about head on over to Kim Klassen’s Cafe.

My Friday find: beautiful roses, and learning about presets and how to use them in Lightroom. I hope your week has been a good one, and you get to spend time being inspired this weekend.

Share your thoughts with us, in the comments box below,

remember to share with your friends if you think they might be interested

Be Still and Breath

Treasures at the Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Treasures at the Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

I wrote last week that I was enrolled in an online still life course, BeStill 52; the class manifesto from  Kim:

I believe ….. there are bits of lovely everywhere….stop, PAUSE… look…see…
Shadow, light…. lines and cracks…the weathered, the worn….tattered, torn….
Life is messy………ups, downs… ins …. outs….
Amongst it all… there’s beauty …just waiting to be found

I too believe there is beauty everywhere, we just have to take time to see it. We have been spending time reading and relaxing at the beach, walking down the shoreline and find little treasures.

A simple subject, and an uncluttered background! I hope you are having a great weekend.

Enjoying the Beach; Malaga Spain

Lazy day at the Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Lazy day at the Beach; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

It isn’t really warm enough to be sunbathing, and the beaches are quiet this time of year, but it is still a good place to spend the afternoon with a good book, soaking up a little sunshine, and watching the waves roll in and the clouds roll by!