Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Lens - Canon MPE-65


My MP-E 65 just arrived at my front door. This is a super macro lens. Magnification 1x-5x. Does not focus in the distance. The photo is from my first go in the backyard. Very nice to use. Much easier to handle than my Bugzooka. I'm very stoked with this one.

Here is a partial crop to demonstrate the sharpness of the lens.



Taken with my "Bugzooka" setup.

Sigma 150 on Tamron 1.4x TC and 67mm of extension.
Handheld. Wimberley bracket with 430EX triggered with STE2. Inflatable diffuser.

Here's the rig...


Portrait retouching

A few useful retouching tips for portraits. I learnt these techniques while processing the images from Dave and Pip's wedding. Click the link to see some examples of how the techniques below can be applied.

Quite a few of the tips are from Jay Davis at FM... Thanks.
Smoothing skin on portraits.
"Go to menu item:Select/ Color Range/ Sampled Colors. set the "add to sample" option and with a low fuzziness setting (around 25) begin selecting the model's skin area. Play around with sampling and different fuzziness settings until you have the skin almost all selected and none of the dark areas around the skin. Choose OK and now you will have a pretty throrough selection of the skin tones.

Copy this to its own layer (ctrl-C; ctrl-V) - (or just ctrl-J)

Apply Gaussian Blur to this layer only. You have to choose the amount to use. Adjust it up until skin detail just disappears and then a bit more. At this point the picture will look hideous.

Monochromatic noise can be added by selecting your skin layer, go up to filters and choose noise, there is a check box for monochromatic, set a low number (should look a little like faint pores) and then apply/ok. If it is too much then you can go under Edit (if I remember right) and choose Fade to fade the last filtered effect.

Now ... add a layer mask while pressing the Alt key ... this will add a Black layer mask and everything will then return to "normal"

Here's the part when you retouch the skin: Using a soft-edged paintbrush and white paint selected, choose an opacity of 20% or less and a brush size that's workable, start painting white on the layer mask just in the areas of the skin gradually reducing it's opacity until the skin is the way you like it."

Skin Glow Technique...
1. New layer
2. Set blend mode to screen.
3. Gaussian Blur - about 15px.
4. Reduce opacity to abou 22%
5. Paint mask as needed.

Applying a vignette.
1. Make a selection with the lasso tool - an elipse around the main subject.
2. Invert selection.
3. Feather selection ctrl+alt+D - quite large feather. Up to 250px for large images.
4. New hue/saturation adjustment layer. Selection should load as a mask.
5. Reduce lightness to taste.

Sepia overlay
A nice effect. Works quite well to warm up skin tones.
1. New hue/saturation adjustment layer.
2. Set Hue 25, Saturation 25. Make sure colorize box is ticked.
3. Reduce layer opacity to about 30-40% or whatever suits the image.
More Post Processing blogposts from the archives.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Non destructive healing - Photoshop tip

1. New layer
2. Select healing brush - make sure that the "use all layers" box is checked.
3. heal
4. Another new layer
5. Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E - merges visible into new layer.

Thanks Jay Davis from FM.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Great Wedding - Dave and Pip

A few of my favourite photos from the day...

061104_070 glow2 s 061104_086-Edits 061104_140s
061104_274s 061104_318s 061104_435-Edits
061104_458s 061104_462 walk fields



I did a quick write up on the Flickr Stobist forum for anyone that is interested. Covers some of the practical aspects photographing the day and some lighting notes.

More pics here. Hope you like them.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blogged on Strobist !

Everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame at some time or other... well mine just came when some wedding photos I did for my friends Dave and Pip were linked onto the front page of the Strobist site.

Click the image below to see the entry. Must say, I was pretty stoked. The photos turned out great on the day - thanks mainly to some great lighting tips I picked up on the strobist site since it has been up and running.

More wedding photos and photography notes to follow soon....


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Quick Photoshop eyedropper tip

To select a colour from a part of the screen outside the Photoshop window:

'Select the Eyedropper tool, click in the image, hold the mouse down, and drag anywhere on the desktop. You can use this option to select a color displayed in another application, such as a color in a web page displayed in a browser.'

Taken from PS CS2 Help.


Contemplation, originally uploaded by Kev.yong.

A view from the Narrows bridge in Perth. Was mucking around with a fake photoshop tilt effect.