Posts tagged “talke

More Experimentation With The Brenizer Method

Bokehrama (cropped a bit) 50mm, f/1.4, 1/400s, stitched from about 20 frames

Single Frame (cropped a bit) 50mm, f/1.4, 1/400s

I’ve just got to get out and try this bokehrama thing (see my first post on it here if you have no idea what I’m talking about) in a better setting but I’m posting this quick experiment for my friend Pete Talke (check him out here, here, and here).  At lunch today Pete was asking how this compared to just a straight shot with f/1.4 for example so I grabbed a couple of shots out in the yard to experiment.  For starters, you’ll just have to trust that my subjects were standing in the same place for each photo.  That’s not obvious given my differing position in the shots.  The top image is a bokehrama created from a stitch of almost 20 frames.  The second image is from a single frame.  Both were shot in manual mode with the same exposure @ f/1.4.  I bumped the exposure of all frames up equally but they are otherwise straight out of the camera.  I’ve made them a bit smaller in this post in hopes of allowing them to be viewed together on most screens.

I really don’t intend to scientifically analyze the shots.  I design microprocessors for a living and I get enough technical stuff at work and am not interested getting too deep into the techie stuff with photography.  Some random qualitative observations: You’ll notice that the bokehrama (top) has a wide-angle look and that’s simply because my panning around from a position close to the subject mimics what a wide-angle lens would do.  I cropped both shots to get make the subjects roughly the same size and you’ll note that the subjects in the single frame are super soft — the 50mm isn’t known for being all that sharp at f/1.4 and being cropped from a single frame it’s not a big surprise to see this.  The subject in the top image is very sharp (at least when viewed outside this post — hopefully you can see that on WordPress too).  Even if I zoom in quite a bit he’s still sharp because his image comes from a single frame where he filled much of the sensor.  Finally, with respect to the depth of field you’d be hard-pressed to get this bokeh out of many wide-angle lenses.  Note how the tree trunks have completely lost their detail in the bokehrama at the top image compared to the bottom one (which was also shot at f/1.4).

As I said, I want to try this in a different setting.  I also want to experiment with longer lenses (toward the longer end of my 70-200 f/2.8) to see what this does to the perspective and DOF.  There are probably different looks that can be achieved and your mileage may vary on how much you like it (both the bokeh effect and the wider perspective), which is of course one of the cool things about any art — it’s all subjective and personal.


Blue Hour Baseball

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5692534656/in/photostream/

Blue Hour Baseball 135mm, f/3.5, 1/250s, ISO 3200

I recently took in a high school baseball game in the role of the official photographer (filling in for Pete Talke).  When on the first base side I often tried to get photos of a baserunner avoiding a pick-off when he took a big lead.  I generally would prefocus near the base to avoid having autofocus go off in the weeds.  There were a few decent images from the night and I decided to process this one with some textures in order to put into practice a few things I’d learned recently.  This isn’t the most exciting image (other images had dirt flying, etc) but I chose it because both players are shown well and the coach is completely out of the frame.  It also happened to be the “blue hour”, that time of deepening darkness after sunset when the sky has that deep blue hue.

First step: clone out the light poles from the original (shown with basic edits below).  Had I been at a wide enough angle and the actual light fixtures themselves been showing I likely would have left them in as they would add that baseball park feel to the image.  They were simply annoying in my framing.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5693931862/in/photostream

Original image

I continued by choosing a few textures which had potential.  Some were picked based on color, some solely on the actual texture (It’s “shape”?  Not sure what words to use to describe that…).  I loaded up the starting image and the textures and began experimenting.  I blended in earthy-toned textures more heavily into the dirt and grass while using more blues in the sky.  Some textures I incorporated into the whole image and some only in a portion.  Blend modes used were overlay, soft light, and linear light.  Below I show a screenshot of what I ended up with as layers and masks.  There were many pleasing combinations and frankly it was hard to decide what direction to take at times.  I also took the liberty of modifying the texture layers with the clone stamp in two cases.  One example was the “Office” texture had some text in it which I found very nice until I added the skyline — just didn’t work so I cloned out the text.  Some layers are more prominent than others as well — the second scratched copper layer was rotated about 30 degrees from the first then blended in but in truth is barely noticeable at all.  I could probably remove that layer without changing the image much.

The skyline was added as an afterthought when I already considered myself done.  My original intent with it was to use the layer (original skyline image is here) to create something similar to what an artist would sketch in pen then blend the hard pen strokes into the sky as another texture.  However, I ended up using a gaussian blur of 5-ish pixels to soften it like the existing background then blended it in with a blend mode of ‘soft light’.  Your mileage may vary but I like how it’s there but very subtle and not too distracting from the action.  It’s not intended to look real but just add another element of texture to the image.  [Artistic honesty disclosure: The Austin skyline is not visible from the Lake Travis High School baseball diamond…I added it in post in case that wasn’t abundantly clear].  Incidentally, the skyline layer is the same image which the Red Cross of Central Texas uses on their website.

I used 4 curves layers: A general s-curve, a darkening curve for parts of the image (luminosity blend mode), a lightening curve for a very small piece (could’ve just used the dodge tool), and another darkening curve for adding some vignette.

One last change I considered was adding a ball in-flight to the first baseman.  I decided against for now because the only positions for the ball that I thought were natural seemed to unbalance the whole image IMO.

Scratched copper texture is from Tymcode

Office texture is from ArtByChrysti

Scratched rainbow texture is from Pink Sherbet Photography

Paper texture is from Visualogist


Lunchtime Photo Shoot Downtown

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5581203942/

Pete Shooting Tiffany on the Bar

Quick post tonight…

Today at lunch I joined Pete Talke, Steve Wampler, and Alex Suarez for a photo shoot in downtown Austin with a model named Tiffany.  We took turns shooting pics and holding lights and reflectors.  Tiffany was very easy to work with and we all got some great shots.

We started out in front of some cool doors on Colorado Street and in the course of an hour only moved a total of fifty feet.  Next door to these doors is the entrance of a new bar called TenOak (the grand opening is tonight) — an entrance with another set of cool doors.  We had been  shooting for a while in front of the doors when one of the bar owners popped out and invited us to shoot inside if we’d send him some of the pics.  Very cool…had the whole place to ourselves and he graciously encouraged us to shoot anywhere inside.

Rather than show pics of Tiffany just now, I thought I’d post a few environmental shots from our little shoot.  Sometimes we all get so busy shooting that we forget to step back and grab some shots of the whole scene.  I snapped a few shots of the group when we were out on the sidewalk and just before I had to take off I grabbed some bracketed shots in the bar with HDRs in mind.  I didn’t have time to be very thoughtful about my compositions so bear with me.  The image at the top shows a view of the bar with Tiffany posing on the bar itself (far side).  Pete’s flash is on the bar at the right edge of the frame.  He got some very cool shots with Tiffany’s reflection in the frame along with her (watch his blog — maybe he’ll post a couple).

The shot below is another view of the place and if you look carefully you’ll see Tiffany posing beneath the “E” in the “ELIXIR” sign.

Simple processing on both images: Photomatix, quick masking from original exposures, tweaks in Lightroom.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5581207968/

ELIXIR