Light bulb Trails

Colored light shoots out of a light bulb Colored light shoots out of a light bulb So one day I read that the shape of your aperture determines the shape of your bokeh, so I set out to explore this further. I cut out a bunch of cardboard circles, cut different shapes into these circles, and stuck these circles in my lens. Sure enough, the bokeh matched the shape of the hole, however, what I found to be interesting was to play around with a pin-hole cut into the cardboard, mimicking the effect of a pin-hole camera. It must also be noted that because I’m not the best at cutting out circles there was some light leaking in from the edges of the cardboard. This is one of the pictures I took with this “pin-hole” camera.

Looking Out

looking out at the crowd looking out at the crowd As I often do, I messed with the foreground-background relationship. I applied a focus blur to the background, and brightened it up. I would like to talk about the way this picture was sharpened. It’s quite interesting. When blurring the image, instead of obtaining the high frequencies by applying a gaussian blur, I used a bilateral filter.

Looking Up

Looking through the crowd
Looking through the crowd

final version

The colors in this picture distracts the viewer from the main subject, and doesn’t add any value to the picture so I converted it to black and white. Notice how you can see the eyes of the person in the bottom left. A great way to make a person fade into the background is to remove their eyes, either by cropping them out or by placing an object in front of them. Here I wanted to crop in a bit more than that to remove the people in the top left and focus on the subject, and the people surrounding him. I used RawTherapee’s HSV tool to modify the brightness of different colors to try to make the background people’s shirts uniform with the background. The most important part of this image has to be the childish feeling it portrays by putting everyone else aside and focusing on one child.

Delicate Stream

A river rushes through rocks little stream flowing through rock canyon This picture was taken early in the morning as soon as night started lifting and the sky brightened a bit. There was still over an hour or so until the sun would come up, and it would be what photographers like to call the golden hour. I sort of like taking pictures at this time of day better than the golden hour, but I think that might just be because I like the feeling of being up and taking pictures in the mountains early in the morning. The only source of light in this picture was the moon.

April Snow

Early SnowFall
An unexpected surprise in the morning. Lots of snow

April Snowfall

When this late snowfall arrived last year, I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures. The combination of snow and blooming, green plants is amazing. The snow that’s falling down is actually coming from melting snow from the overhead trees. It was weird, all of a sudden the sun came out from behind the clouds, and big clumps of snow started falling everywhere. I took cover, and started shooting like mad.  

Woody Scene

Old looking pic of a forest woody scene This picture was a revolutionary picture for me. I discovered an interesting style for creating pictures. It works like this.
  1. duplicate the top layer
  2. use the GMIC filter “old photo”
  3. use the GEGL filter c2g
  4. set the layer mode to value
After doing a bunch of other preliminary tweaks, I used the above series of steps on the featured image and loved the results. In trying to replicate these results in other images, I found a few helpful tips that I’ve listed below. When applying this affect keep in mind:
  • The old photo affect adds these annoying black splotches and changes the image to a sepia image. To fix this use GMIC’s custom code (global) filter instead of the old photo filter and type in -noise 20 -bilateral 30,60 -blur 2 -sharpen 100 -n 0,255 you can tack on a -sepia to that if you want to get the sepia affect.
  • Before applying the c2g filter, experiment with adding masks to the old photo layer. Splotchy looking masks created with paint brushes that have a big spread work well.
  • These filters take awhile to process. Especially the c2g filter, which can take hours to process if you push the sliders to far. You’ll also end up with a normal black and white picture, so your not going to want to push the c2g sliders too far. At the same time, the c2g filter often looks better when the sliders are pushed up a little.

Flipped Tree

final image Tree sticking out sideways I love the way this image almost looks natural when it’s flipped on it’s side. You can see a version of the picture flipped upright here. That same link also describes some of the techniques I used to manipulate the color in the image.