Creating an Autumn Scene in Photoshop

I’m not sure about you guys but I’ve found the Photoshop tutorials on the YouTube channel PIXimperfect super helpful. There is one tutorial that is only 1 minute long and shows how to make a picture look like it was taken during autumn. It’s really effective! I used the technique today on a couple of photos I took while we were in Savannah, Georgia a few years ago.

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It’s not 100% perfect (a couple of the leaves in the street sign picture turned cyan instead of yellow and I had to do some correction) but it’s a really quick and easy way to get started.

If you’re interested in using this method on any of your photos, you can find directions here:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCMrvLMUITAImCHMOhX88PYQ/videos

Of course, you could also go outside during October and take some real pictures of autumn colors like I did yesterday.

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Have a great weekend!

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Glacier National Park

We recently visited northwestern Montana and spent a few days in Glacier National Park.  Neither of us had ever been to Montana before but we heard good things about the park and couldn’t wait to go.  I took over 300 pictures during our few days there and we were both blown away by the beautiful scenery.

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If you have been to Glacier National Park, what did you think?  What was your favorite part of the park?  Are there other National Parks you’d recommend?

Enjoying the Outdoors

Yesterday I decided to take my camera out and go exploring a bit.  I found a footbridge that goes across a lake we have nearby.  I knew the lake was there, of course but I didn’t know about the bridge and I was surprised by how many people were there exercising, walking dogs, or spending time with their kids.  It was fun walking around and taking pictures.

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I hope you had a nice weekend, too!

Food Photography

I’ve taken some food pictures for this blog but I never put much thought in to applying  the best techniques for food photography.  That is, until yesterday.

I am trying to put together a list of recipes that I use often and one of the stipulations I have for myself is that I need to include a picture that I’ve taken of the food to include next to the recipe.

Yesterday I made a breakfast sandwich and I could not get a picture I was happy with.  I used my 18-55mm lens and it was just not working out.

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photo taken with 18-55mm lens and artificial light

I got frustrated with the 18-55mm lens because it would not focus if I got too close.  But if I got further away from the food, the picture lost some of the detail that I wanted to capture.  I thought maybe I can spruce up the picture in Photoshop. Nope.

So I read a few posts about food photography and two of the recommendations that stood out to me were 1.) use a macro lens and 2.) use natural light if possible.

So, that’s what I did this morning.

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photo taken with 60mm macro lens and natural light

Huge difference!  Before I took the picture, I wasn’t sure if it would work because there was barely any light coming in through the kitchen window.  But my lens knew how to make it work.  I like this picture because it shows the detail of the food and the lighting indicates that I was about to enjoy the sandwich in the morning – which I did.

Don’t get me wrong – I have taken decent pictures of food with my 18-55mm lens, like the one shown below but I think I’ll stick with the 60mm macro for a while.

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photo taken with 18-55mm lens and artificial light

What tricks or tips do you have when taking pictures of food?

52 Week Photography Challenge

Anyone else participating in the 52 week photo challenge hosted by Dogwood Photography?  It started at the beginning of 2017 but don’t worry if you missed a few weeks.  If you’re interested, go ahead and jump right in!

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Each week focuses on a different theme designed to improve your photography skills.  You can find the full article and a list of weekly themes here on the 52 Week Photo Challenge website.

Themes so far this year have been:

  1. Rule of thirds
  2. Straight out of the lens (no photo editing)
  3. Artistic landscape
  4. Tell a story using a mirror
  5. Take 10 pictures of the same object from different angles, distance, etc.

If you decide to participate, I’d love to see some of your pictures!  My week 1-4 pictures are posted above.

Happy picture taking.

 

 

2017 Calendar

I’ve finally decided on the pictures I want to use for my 2017 calendar.

All pictures were taken by me in 2016 and here’s a description of each:

  • January – this picture was taken outside of our house after a snowstorm last winter
  • February -this was taken in February when I was out for a walk
  • March – this was at a local garden on a warmer winter day last winter
  • April – This is a neighbors tree.  I sat down under the tree and pointed my camera upward toward the sky
  • May – This was taken at the local garden one weekend morning
  • June – Also taken at the local garden (I guess I go there a lot!)
  • July & August – Also taken at the local garden (yikes!)
  • September – At a local university
  • October – My front porch after it was decorated for fall
  • November – this is a bush we have in our yard that turns red when the leaves start to fall.
  •  December – I took this when I was out for a walk on a warmer day last winter.

I used a fixed 50mm f/1.4 lens for all of the pictures except for January.  For January, I used a 18-55mm f/5.6 lens.  My camera is a Canon Rebel T3i.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!