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Bill and I spent yesterday wandering around Melbourne;  we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens, watched one of the graffiti artist in Hosier Lane, witnessed a group of small children learning to ride a skateboard and crowding onto the historic city tram #35 with all the other tourists!


Lady with Umbrella at the Flea Market, Paris France – after-before forum

lady with umbrella at the flea market; Paris France; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
lady with umbrella at the flea market; Paris France; after;  copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

if you have been ready the blog for a while you will know that we love to visit the different street markets. while we were in Paris the weather was a little drizzly and cold. Our lady with the umbrella was all set for the weather.

What started out as an exercise in street photography quick became an exercise in photo editing, and I thought it would be another good post for the after-before forum.  While there were many things about the original image that I like there was much I didn’t like, here is the original image.

lady with umbrella at the flea market; Paris France; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
lady with umbrella at the flea market; Paris France; before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Mostly it was the cluttered distracting background that I wanted to minimize. The photo editing was all done in Photoshop, I am sure there are many ways to do the same thing, Photoshop is the software I am most familiar with.

My first step is to duplicate the background layer, working on a duplicate layers allows means I am saving the original as it was, if I don’t like what I have done I can delete the layer or simply go back and start again. Working on a duplicate of the background and using a combination of the healing brush and patch tool I eliminated the tree branches and buildings in the background as well as the tag on her umbrella.

Once I had cleaned up the “sky” or top portion of the picture I duplicated the cleaned up layer, and using the tilt-shift blur tool blur the background.

Screenshot 2015-01-11 10.28.27

once this is done I press okay and the blurred image is on a separate layer in Photoshop. Using a mask on the layer I can mask over the areas of the umbrella and lady’s jacket eliminating the blur layer and allowing the layer below to show through. For those of you who want to learn more about layers and masks check out YouTube or Adobe Help

Next I added a cloud layer over entire image, with the layer blend mode set to Darken at 64% opacity, this created some depth and texture through the image. I did mask off the lady on the umbrella and I wanted this part of the image to be bright and clear.  Next I created a black and white adjustment layer, to create a black and white image. Locking the layers together I brought the image into Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4 and using the Darken/Lighten Centre adjustment layer, placing the center on the lady’s face to lighten the area under her umbrella and place a small vignette around the edge of the image. This draws attention to the lady’s face.

Screenshot 2015-01-11 11.29.48

Above you can see the Nik Software and adjustments that I made. I wasn’t happy with the “glow’ around the umbrella so once back in Photoshop I selected the sky area, duplicated it to a separate levels adjustment layer I brightened the sky finally getting to the final image you see above.

I have learned a lot doing this, writing it all done, keeping track of the steps, writing the blog post.  In most cases I have an idea of just what the final image will look like, and I sort of know how to achieve the outcome.  It is still a lot of experimenting with the software, a little like doing a Rumba with Photoshop. One step forward, back, circle around, step forward again, and after a few minutes we have something we like. I am sure there are other ways to achieve the same image, this was my process using the software I am familiar with.

If you like this post and you are interested in learning more about processing images hop on over to Stacy’s After-Before Forum where several photographers have submitted images and discuss their process. Much to learn, so little time!

If you have any suggestions let me know, I am always happy to learn.

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.

Winter in Amsterdam; a little sunshine on the shortest day of the year.

Winter Sun on the Amsterdam Streets; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Winter Sun on the Amsterdam Streets; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere December 21 is the shortest day of the year, it means everyone is bundled up against the cold and rain, and long shadows when the sun does appear. Winter is not always the most photogenic time of the year to see a new city, but Amsterdam has so much to offer its visitors anytime is a good time to be here!

The Gamaldegalerie, Berlin;

I have doing some reading about street photography, and wanted to share some photos taken at the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin. The gallery founded in 1830 contains a collection of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th century. The Gemaldegalerie website notes that a complete tour of the gallery includes paintings from some of the great masters as Raphael, Titian, and Jan van Eyck, to name a few, as well as a gallery of Rembrandt’s work. There is approximately 1000 masterpieces on display at any one time.

Our visit to the gallery seemed like a perfect opportunity to practise some of the tips and suggestions I had been reading for street photography. After all walking around the gallery can be a lot like walking around a small neighbourhood.

Some pointers I have picked up from this experience and from my reading;

  1. be patient – working on that one, still working on that one, yup will probably be working on that one for a while. Some times it pays to sit in one place for a while, in a museum where it is alright to sit or stand and study a painting I look a little less awkward, okay I feel a little less awkward. People are generally pre-occupied with the art work, and less concerned with what I am doing.
  2. choose the right lens, 24 mm to 50 mm,  allows for more background or foreground, and provides context to the image, while pulling the viewer in, as if they were part of the image unfolding before them.
  3. have your setting right before you start, ISO and shutter speed fast enough to stop movement. Pre-planning and be aware of light changes is essential. I choose to practise in a space where light was constant, one less thing to worry about for the day.
  4. Look for juxtaposition, or in the case of the museum photography, I looked for people busy viewing the art work, but not blocking the art, so we could see both.
  5. focus; with modern auto-focus cameras and a wide lens, in the 30 – 35mm range, set to lens to f8, generally works to keep most the subjects in focus.

So there you have it, my gallery of images, and a few lessons I picked up along the way. It should be noted that I have a noisy camera, and in a quiet museum people are going to notice, on more than one occasion someone apologized for being in the image!  It is important to check with the museum before taking any photos, and remember to turn off your flash!

I love to visit the museums, the audio guide playing in my ear, learning about the masterpieces on show along with a little history, now I have another reason to spend time in a museum! I hope you have found this helpful, if you have any tips to share please leave a comment.

Bubblemaker or Dragon Catcher?

Bubblemaker or Dragon Catcher? copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Bubble-maker or Dragon Catcher? copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

If there is a tower I will most likely try to get to the top to see the city from a different vantage point. Yesterday 3 towers, just under 900 steps (counting up and down) and several different views of beautiful city of Prague, almost all of them I have seen on postcards around the city. So I thought I would show you something you won’t see very often, a bubble maker on the cobblestone street. It was Bill that pointed out the dragon, it isn’t something you see while it is happening, in fact the bubble shifts and reshape, colours moving so quickly I just enjoy the moment, because this dragon was soapy bubbles on the street within seconds!

Mortadella Festival in Bologna Italy

Along the Via Zamboni; copyright jmeyersforeman
 The Church of Saint Giacomo Maggiore, along the Via Zamboni; copyright jmeyersforeman 

The festival was on again, the streets were filled with people enjoying the music as well as the wonderful food.  I have read that Bologna Italy has over 53 kilometers of arcades, arch covered streets, in the historical centre, where people can walk, shop, and enjoy life.  Here is just a few images from my Sunday Street Photography practice…..

Bands play for the crowds, Bologna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman
Bands play for the crowds, Bologna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman  
Bubbles for the kids to chase, Bologna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman
Bubbles for the kids to chase, Bologna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 
Dinner in the sidewalk cafe; copyright jmeyersforeman
Dinner in the sidewalk cafe; copyright jmeyersforeman 



St. Michel’s Bordeaux and the Sunday Morning Flea Market

St Micheal's Market, Bordeaux France

I love to walk around flea markets, just to see what people are selling. Checking out the tables, poking into boxes, and taking pictures of the interesting collections. I did find several old cameras, in those old boxes, so I have added to my collection. I may need a bigger shelf by the time I get home. More photos of Bordeaux tomorrow!

these images and more are available for viewing and purchase.  If you like what you see please share with your friends.

Umbrellas and a Rainy Day in Leon Spain

Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain
Red Umbrella, reflections on the streets of Leon Spain ; copyright jmeyersforeman

Even the rainy days in Spain are nice, especially for photos.

Nothing better than wet cobblestone streets for reflecting the brightly coloured umbrellas that people sometimes carry.

Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman
Rainy Day; Leon Spain; copyright jmeyersforeman

Or watching the families walking together.


one of the few days we have needed our umbrellas!

One of the few images we have of us together! We hope you are enjoying your friday.

Plaza de Maria Pita, A Coruna Spain

Plaza de Maria Pita after the rain
Plaza de Maria Pita after the rain 

We arrived in A Coruna Spain yesterday afternoon, just before the rain! By the time we checked into our hotel and headed out for a walk the rain had stopped. During our walk we visited the Plaza de Maria Pita the cities many plaza and gathering centre. It, like a lot of major plaza’s is surrounded by buildings filled with shops and restaurants. Today those shops and restaurants were not too busy, it was the middle of the day, and tourist season has not yet hit its peak. What was great, at least for me, was seeing the buildings reflected in the puddles! I just had to wait a few minutes to get a couple of people to walk through the puddle.