52frames week 17

This week the 52frames challenge was upside down. I struggled, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find to photograph. To be honest, I have been at the computer most days, processing images for our travels. I haven’t been out and about with my camera. Sunday, we were going to drive to my home town, the weather forecast for the area wasn’t great, highway road report between here and there was less than ideal, so we stayed home, and I played… setting up a still life with a tiny flower jar and tiny flowers.

I wanted to learn more about focus stacking, both photographing for it and processing it in photoshop. I was clicking away when I decided that I would dump all the flowers out of the bottle, this would be my 52frames “upside down”

Focus stacking (also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.

I love the way the still life turned out, and I love learning new techniques for producing images. Did you learn something new this week?

Pink Roses; always learning


pink garden roses
pink garden roses https://society6.com/product/roses795980_print?sku=s6-7743875p4a1v45

I love this image, but it wouldn’t work on many of the Society6 products, the image size of a single stem didn’t meet the pixel dimensions needed for some of the larger products and the single stem didn’t look great on products like the backpack.

For the shower curtain and floor pillow, I layered copies of the image. The material on the floor pillow add to the texture and delicate detail of the image, but I needed a different idea for items like the duffle bag and backpack so I decided it was time to learn how to create a pattern.



At the Fence

pony at the fence, a foggy day in Galicia Spain along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela

I spent a quiet weekend at the computer exploring the cache of old photos on the hard-drive and working with textures. There is a lot to learn when overlaying images with textures, and using multiple images together.

I still haven’t decided if this image is a complete success, but I am happy with the outcome for now, as a stage in learning. I am sure that as I work my way through the various lessons and ideas I will develop new skills.

I am curious, as the pony at the fence, to see where this might take my photography.

For those who are interested in using textured layers for developing images, I would recommend Kim Klassen, who has a number of wonderful textures and online classes on using those textures.


After-Before Friday; Cee’s Garden Gate

Cee's Garden Gate
Cee’s Garden Gate

It’s Friday, and the after-before blog post, and the first friday of the month, If you have been following the blog for a while you might remember that on the first Friday of the month the One Photo Challenge to process another photographer’s image. I have to admit that this can be difficult.

For Cee’s image I decided to explore the Filter Gallery in Photoshop. Anyone familiar with this gallery will know that the range of options is staggering. I captured a couple of screen shots that show my settings, but you can see from the screen shot that there are many many variables, and each setting can be adjusted to personal taste. Using the Watercolor setting with the Watercolor Paper setting gives the image a painted quality.

Screenshot 2015-03-28 15.24.56

Screenshot 2015-03-28 15.25.09

Head on over the Cee’s Blog to see what she has done with her image and her final image.  Don’t forget to hop on over to Stacy’s Virtual Venturing blog, she hosts the One Photo Focus, and the After-Before blog posts, it is there you will see all the different edits submitted by several photographers.  I love to read this blog post, and see and learn from the creative photographers who participate.

after-before Friday; Cherry Blossoms

spring in Ronda Spain, final edit; copyright jmeyersforman 2015

It is Friday and time for another After-Before image. This photo taken in Ronda Spain during our visit in January 2015. It will be another 6 weeks or so before we see the Cherry blossoms here in Calgary! On the plus side I will be able to see and photograph them again this year. For this post I wanted to describe a little of the editing choices I made, you can see below the image I started with….

cherry blossoms_stage 1_4686-2
Spring in Ronda, original capture

After importing the image into Lightroom, I started my adjustments in the Basic Module, starting with auto tone, to see where the program would take the image. I modified tint to +13 bringing out the pink in the image. I then opened the image below in Photoshop.

cherry blossoms_stage 1_4686
initial image opened in Photoshop 

I then added a textured layer that enhances the pink, warms the image slightly, and unifies the pink through image and the mottled background. Below is the textured layer that I used for this image, before adding to the layered texture to my cherry blossom image I modified it by increasing exposure +70, and decreasing clarity -6. I also increased saturation on the magenta and the red +6,  softening the colours and texture slightly and bringing out the pinks. I almost always modify the textures as needed for each image, to bring out the qualities I most want to enhance.

FireplaceHazy texture

The blend mode on the textured layer was set to soft light, at 70%, and the final result above gives us that bright spring day look.

For more after before image head on over to Stacy Fischer’s blog, she host a forum on Fridays, and photographers from all over the world participate. Sharing their work and their image process secrets. There is lots of inspiring photography and lots to be learned. I am looking forward to hearing from you, does the textured layer add to the image or detract?

If you like the blog please share it with your friends, and hop on over to my website to see more of my work.

After-before friday; Leon Cathedral


Leon Cathedral; after; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Leon Cathedral; after; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

This week’s after-before image is an interior photo of the Leon Cathedral. I wanted to do something simple that showed the power of shooting RAW and processing in Lightroom, and with a just few simple steps we can straighten the columns, bring back the detail in the stain glass window, colour correct for the yellow cast. Below is the original image.

Interior Cathedral, interior; after; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Interior Cathedral, interior; after; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

In Lightroom in the Lens Correction panel, three simple clicks; Enable Profile Correction, Remove Chromatic Aberration, and Auto Upright. In the Basic panel I moved the highlight slider to -100 and clarity +25, Vibrance +25, shadows +61, and I used the auto white balance to tone the image. It always amazes me how just a few steps, and Lightroom can make a difference to an image.

The Leon Cathedral is one of the great Cathedrals in Spain, for more before and after image visit Stacy’s after-before blog and see what the other photographers have done this week.


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.

Malaga, so many lovely streets and cafes

Quitapenas, Malaga Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015
Quitapenas, Malaga Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

Malaga has lots of wonderful streets and lanes to walk, cafe’s to get a cup of coffee or glass of wine, for those times when it is just a little too cool to be at the beach.

I have tried something a little different with this image. I wish I could draw, but it is so much easier to let Photoshop do the hard work! Combined with a red and yellow texture layer we have the perfect Malaga streetscape.

I hope you are enjoying your day.

After-Before Friday Week 31: One Photo Focus

Emilio Pasquale's old cars, by jmf
Emilio Pasquale’s old cars, by jmf

It is official, I have joined the After-Before Forum that appears on Stacy’s blog, if you have been reading the blog for a while you might recall I have contributed to this forum before and I will attempt to make this a regular feature of the blog each friday. As part of the group we will, once a month one photographer will submit an image that each of us will work on, and in our own blog post we will describe the steps we took to process our image. Stacy’s blog will show all the different images with links to the various photographers who are participating.

I am pretty sure that you won’t see two images alike. It is a great way to learn, to expand both our processing skills as well as our own visual awareness.

Emilio Pasquale has submitted the first image of the year, I titled it old cars. I don’t know if Emilio has a bunch of old cars sitting in his back yard or if he visited a place on a photo expedition, it doesn’t really matter. Here is the image he sent to us.

Emilio Pasquale RAW

I knew as soon as I opened his file what I wanted to do with the image, and it always takes me longer to write these blogs than it does to process the image! I should tell you the Emilio has a sense of humor and I couldn’t look at that yellow truck without thinking it needed a little happy face!

I opened the file in Photoshop, and my first job was to find a happy face, on the internet to copy and paste to the truck, using the transform tool to twist and distort to fit the grill. There are dozens of great learning videos on YouTube, that will explain the transform took way better than I can. I have provided a link, check a few of them out if you want to learn more about how to use the transform tool.

Each time you paste a clip art to your original photo you have a separate layer, that enables you to adjust the blend mode and to opacity of the layer, each will affect the final look, for this layer I set the blend mode to overlay and the opacity to 64%, this allows the grill of the truck to show through slightly. Before I can go on I have to flatten the image into one combined layer.

Staying in Photoshop, my next step was to use the tilt-shift blur tool, the screen shot below will show you where I placed the blur tool and adjustments made.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 08.46.00

This keeps the yellow truck in focus while blurring the other trucks. The Photoshop blur gallery has various ways to blur an image, and there are times when it is fun use these effects to enhance an image to tell the story. My next step was to use Analog Efex Pro 2, using the setting for Classic Camera 2 to get the grungy old photo feel. Below is a screen shot showing the program, you can see on the right side all the different areas that can be adjuster to suit you image and your vision.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 08.58.59

It is easy getting lost in these programs, at each set there are literally dozens of options to choose from to achieve the final look. I have to admit that I have previously spent several hours watching training videos, and working with different images to see the results. I am to old for beach volleyball, and a bit of a geek, I would rather be doing this than knitting! I knew exactly what I wanted Emilio’s Old Cars to look like when I open the image for our first Challenge so the total time was about 30 mintues, that included taking screen shots to prepare for the blog post.

Drop me a line in the comments section, let me know what you think of the final image, then head on over to Stacey blog to see what others have done with Emilio’s image.

I’ve painted the Eiffel Tower!

I've painted the Eiffel Tower; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
I’ve painted the Eiffel Tower; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

If you have visited the Eiffel Tower you know that the lights on it are incandescent yellow with the occasional display of white twinkle lights that sparkle. Thousands of tourist gather around the base, and along the streets and river to watch and take photos. The Eiffel tower is iconic architecture at it’s best.

I wanted to try something a little different, and provide you with something you haven’t seen before! Using Photoshop I applied a silver-grey grunge texture, with the blend mode set to Hue and 100% opacity these beautiful blue, green, and purple spots appear over the Eiffel tower as if it has been painted.

I think we should petition the French government to have it painted in neon glow in the dark colours so it looks like this! What do you think, do you like my painted Eiffel Tower?