Let's Just Try It

a compilation of inspiration and creative endeavors of a mom and daughter duo

Category Archives: Photography

Black and White Experiment: Photoshop Actions

Mom and I are having lots of fun learning our new cameras. She’s doing great practicing getting her camera in people’s faces and shooting. I hope she shares soon more about what she’s learning ūüôā I learn so much from her!

Remember my frame a day challenge?   I am not keeping up as much as I wish I was, but I have about 8-9 frames representing Jan, and 4 or 5 from Feb so far.  I still forget to take my camera with me when I leave the house, most days are devoid of interesting tidbits to shoot. But one day recently, after dinner, we felt a little bored, and we drove to a nearby coffee shop for strong cup of coffee.

I fussed and fiddled with my camera, but in the low light situation of the restaurant, I really struggled to get a clear, crisp photo. Most were blurry, and fraught with bad composition, and terrible shadows. As I uploaded, I was so sad and felt that I couldn’t toss all the photos on upload, purely because I couldn’t miss another day! With the odds clearly against me, I felt awful that I wasted a good days shooting on *trying*¬† low light manual tricks without success.

But I looked again.

This photo of my husband isn’t *very* blurry. Sure, the focus is on his hands, not his eyes like I prefer, but at least there isn’t too much blur going on in his face. I tried to fix the colour, but it just wasn’t working.

then I accidentally desaturated too much.

and magically the colour problems disappeared! But with the absence of colour, a new problem arises. It’s boring!

So, I looked through my photoshop actions to see what I could use to spice it up.

Here I ran an action from one of my favourite action sets from Alex Beadon.

(Get the set here)

Suddenly, Dave looks like a 70s rocker, and my poor composition is an artistic accident.

I tried another set of actions from Pioneer Woman:

This is the B&W Beauty from this set. I like the subtly of this one. It is a nice groundwork for more post work, since it doesn’t try too hard. I think it looks like the desaturated photo I started with, but on steroids.

Then I tried running one more from that same PW set.

And finally, here is one with burned edges and a dark moody feeling.

I think it’s great how Dave looks like a cool rocker in the first to a moody thinker in the last. I haven’t yet decided which photo I will use for my frame a day, but it sure was an interesting experiment. And I was able to salvage a photo I should have thrown away!

Which is a good thing. Because look how handsome he is ūüôā


Project Document Life

Last year, on our trip to Dubai, my hubby bought me a DSLR camera. I had been drooling over one for eons, and I was super excited to get it. But life got in the way. From October to December, the camera sat virtually alone, while I pondered what to do with it. Without many interesting events or challenges to photograph, I waited for the time to use it.

At Christmas time, we went to Mozambique and I brought dusted it off to practice shooting in Manual.

When I got home, I was truly surprised at how great my photos turned out. In just 3 weeks, my photos were crisper, brighter and less grainy. Bonus. Then I looked at the number of photos I took. Over 1500 frames in our 2 week trip and countless more that I deleted before heading home. No wonder I improved!

I decided that this process cannot be forgotten. As an effort to improve my camera skills, and to better appreciate this very special time in my life where I have freedom to do what every the heck I want, I am striving to capture 1 frame a day.  I am not going to stress about making sure I meet a picture every single day, but to just remain more mindful of the beauty around me. If I can get 4- 5 frames a week on different days, I will be happy and will consider it a win.

Life is beautiful, even the everyday mundane moments.

I’m not going to be Type A about it- I’ll look back and appreciate the attempts I took to document the year- I won’t look back and pine over the one day I missed.

What are you doing in 2012 to help yourself focus on the parts of everyday that bring you joy?

Drive-By (Photo) Shooting

On my list of things to learn… number 4….. Photography.¬†Thanks to a generous gift from my hubby, I have a fantastic camera, but I find that I suffer from photographic shyness.¬†Something about pointing a camera in a public setting makes me feel like I’m intruding into people’s¬†lives uninvited…. yet I long for those amazing shots of beautiful faces, candid moments and picturesque settings.

On a recent trip into Mozambique, Elizabeth and I tried a new technique we call “Drive By Shooting”.¬† A word of warning: do not refer to this technique casually in a public setting. It tends to draw strange looks and unwanted interest in your conversation.

A long stretch of road lined with a collection of¬†informal shops¬†as well as¬†many people was the setting.¬† I set my camera to action¬†(remember that I am still in beginner status here…) and clicked off a series of shots with the camera placed on the open car window as we drove at about 40 km¬† down the road.¬†I played a little zooming in and out and came up with many quick glimpses into the local life. A quick run through the shots, deleting those that were of nothing interesting, left me with a collection of¬†photos that have given me many great subjects for artistic endeavours¬†as well as a great memory of the feeling of the area we were in.¬† A little Photoshop help for lighting and composition¬†and I will be happy.¬†

(please forgive the low resolution…. we have a VERY slow connection, and I had to reduce¬†the size of the photos to get them loaded)