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.

Pilgrimage through Leon Spain to Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrimage through Leon Spain

Pilgrimage through Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Bill and I have travelled through Leon Spain a couple of times, first as part of our walk along the Camino to Santiago de Compostella the autumn of 2013 the second visit was the summer of 2014 when we spend about three months visiting the beautiful cities of Spain.

Leon was one city we remembered fondly during the camino, during this visit we only had one day to see the city. During our visit last summer we spent a week wandering the streets, enjoying the festival and seeing the historic sites. It is often difficult when visiting a city to find an image that hasn’t been taken, I want it to have personal meaning, and contect with people.  I think the statue of the pilgrim sitting resting his sore feet in Plaza de San Marcos in front of the Parador “Hostal San Marcos

What is now The Parador had originally been built during the 16 century as the western headquarters for the military Order of Saint James. Built on the site of an old pilgrim’s hospital that had existed to house and help the pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. So the image of the pilgrim sitting resting his feet and looking at the convent, his resting place for the night reminds me of the first time we were in Leon.

 

Morning Coffee Still-life

Morning Espresso in a Green Glass cup, the perfect way to start the day

Morning Espresso in a Green Glass cup, the perfect way to start the day 

Yes another cup of coffee! I love my morning coffee! I think there are so many ways to serve and of course photograph a cup of coffee. I love these little green glass cups, almost as much as the coffee that is served in them, or maybe because of the warm dark aromatic liquid it holds.

It has been a busy couple of weeks, getting home after months travelling around, spending time with family and friends. It has been a wonderful few weeks, and there are still so many friends to re-connect with. All this has taken time, and while I believe there is always time for coffee with a friend, it is now time to building a new routine that involves the camera, and taking photos.

I have enrolled in Kim Klassen’s Be-Still 52, she describes it as a year of artful inspiration, each week there is a new lesson, and new inspiration for still-life photography. I want to spend a little more time learning to photograph still-life images; little vignette’s of my day to share with you.

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!

Soaking up the Sun

Soaking up the sun

Soaking up the sun 

Just last Wednesday we were soaking up the Sun near Cancun Mexico! Today we are in Calgary and it is snowing! It isn’t that I mind the snow, but I do have to say that I prefer the warm sunny beaches of Cancun to the slushy streets of Calgary.

The lizard sat very still, watching me as I inched closer and closer, I wanted to see how close I could get before he bolted, as he did shortly after this image was taken. I was using the Canon 70-200 lens.  I am pretty happy with the image I did get.

After-Before One Photo Focus

after-before one photo focus; after image; photographer Manual Ali

after-before one photo focus; after image; photographer Manual Ali

It’s Friday and that means the After-Before Forum, this week we have a group challenge. In fact the first friday of each month will be a group challenge, One photographer will share an image and each of us will process the image, sharing on our blog our processing interpretation.

The image this month is from Manual Ali, I have to admit that I know nothing about this photo, I don’t know where it was taken, or what was of interest to the photographer,  his raw image is below, and below that I describe my process.

Manual Ali, before image

Manual Ali, before image

The challenge of processing any image is deciding what features to draw out, and what story is to be told. When I looked at Manual’s image I immediately saw a main street of a small city in the midwestern United States, while this is a modern city, I wanted to give it a 1960’s look. I wanted to reduce the tree branches come from the top right corner  and correct the perspective (keystone) of the lamp-post and buildings.

Working in Photoshop, camera raw, I used the auto lens correction, once this was done, I turned to Nik Analoge Efex Pro 4 software to produce the old photo!  Nik Analogue Efex Pro 4 has many options, so many that it is worth an afternoon just exploring their effects on a photo if you have the time! I knew the look i wanted so I went straight to Wet Plate #6. The screen shot below;

Screenshot 2015-01-25 17.41.35

One the right side of the screenshot you can see there are several areas to make adjustments, and personalize the image as needed.  i moved the Bokeh to the bottom right hand corner, keeping the building in focus and the rest of the image out of focus. This adjustment feature is similar to the tilt shift blur filter in Photoshop. Once the adjustments have been make and I was happy with results I hit the “okay” button, this brings the photo back into Photoshop as a separate layer. I changed the blend mode on this layer to color dodge. “The color dodge blend mode brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by decreasing contrast between the two, while lending with black produces no change”   I found the information regarding blend modes on the adobe.com pages,  I provided a link just in case you wanted to learn more about blend modes. For the purpose of this image, it reduced the branches that I found distracting.

If you visit Stacy Fischer’s After-Before One Photo Focus page you will find several different versions of the image, each photographer interpreting the image from their own perspective drawing out the features that they saw as important. This exercise is meaningful to me for several reason, first I get to see how others might interpret the image, it is enlightening to see what others have seen, we don’t always get that when we are working on different images. As well we learn about their process, each photographer has different software, and skill level, and I become more sensitive to alternative processes, learn tips and trick I might not have thought of on my own, and finally I hope to get some useful feedback on my process.

I hope you will hop on over to Stacy’s blog for a look at what the other photographers have done with the image.

In transit

In transit

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.