Sunday, 31 July 2011

Day 236

Yet another old subject revisited. I took a Hipstamatic shot of this scene months ago. I took this one with the 50 mm lens, and got a lovely, crisp, clean, noise-free shot. So, naturally, I decided to gunk it all up with a grain effect.

Pookie accompanied me on my photo break, as usual. Here she is taking a dust bath on the mound of earth left over when our water tanks were buried. She's the only cat I've ever owned who has enjoyed rolling around in things and getting dirty. Yet more evidence to support my theory that she was a dog in a previous life. ;-)

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Day 235

We woke up this morning to find out that two of the three cows which our neighbours are grazing on our land had given birth in the night. Both calves are female and seem strong and healthy. The third cow is expecting her calf in another week or two.

The neighbours don't have any immediate plans to move the cattle into another paddock, so we'll get to watch lots of cute calf action for a while. Watch this space for more baby animal shots!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Day 234

I enjoyed playing around with textures so much yesterday that I had another go today, this time using the Canon and the 50 mm lens.

I took a photo of my hand against a black background and a photo of the embroidered pattern on one of the lounge cushions, and combined the two in Photoshop. I then inverted the image so that it became a colour negative. Finally, I played around with the sliders in Lightroom until I liked the result.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 233

I recently watched one of Deke McLelland's 'Deke's Techniques' video tutorials in which he shows you how to overlay a textured pattern onto a face, and I fancied giving it a go.

Having no other faces available, I had to use my own. With the iPhone I took a self portrait and a photo of the pattern on my yoga eye bag. I then combined the two images in Photoshop, following Deke's directions.

I'm really pleased with the way the experiment has turned out. I'll have to try it again some time with some better resolution images.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Day 232

Today's shot is of my incense holder, which features the Hindu elephant-headed god, Ganesha.

A shot of this subject was my very first photo in this project. Follow this link to take a look: Day 1's photo

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Day 231

Today has turned into Portrait Tuesday.

I took this shot of Iain with the Canon and the 50 mm lens.

I took this selfie using the iPhone's front-facing camera.

I took this shot of Pookie with the iPhone's better camera. She looks like she's being engulfed by her own fluff!

And here's Pookie's newest toy, Marcie the Mouse, taken with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Day 230

I took some photos today but none of them were good enough to share, so today's image is an old shot, which I've reworked. Having played around with the Tiny Planets app on the iPad, I wanted to learn how to create planet-style shots manually. One of my Flickr contacts told me about this tutorial on how to create your own planet-style images in Photoshop:

Following the instructions in the tutorial, I made this:

I got stuck on one bit of the instructions because the part of the menu I needed to access was greyed out, but after a lot of hair-pulling, I found that changing the image mode to 8 bits per channel fixed this problem.

I shall definitely be making some more of these!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Days 227 - 229

We had a lovely weekend away in Wellington, but the weather was abysmal. It was cold and windy and it didn't stop raining the entire time we were there! This meant photo ops were strictly limited to indoors, which was a real shame. Never mind, hopefully we'll have some dry weather next time we go!

Day 227

Friday's images are iPhone shots taken at the national museum, Te Papa, which is just across the road from the hotel we stayed at. The first shot shows part of a  waharoa (a traditional Māori gateway)This waharoa is on permanent display in the main foyer of the museum and was created for the Colonial Museum, Te Papa’s forerunner, in 1906.

The next shot shows a Britten bike, which is a well-known make of motorcycle in New Zealand. Britten bikes were hand-built by Kiwi John Britten, and in 1991, two of his bikes came 2nd and 3rd in the Battle of the Twins in Daytona, USA. New Zealand has a small population and is geographically one of the most isolated nations in the world, and so New Zealanders are always incredibly proud whenever one of their own performs well on the world stage.

Day 228

Another iPhone shot, taken in a shopping arcade.

Day 229

Taken from the hotel window with the Canon and the telephoto lens, a young couple leaving the Sunday morning farmers' market:

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Day 226

It's been such a cold, grey and miserable day today, that I didn't fancy going outside for a photo shoot. Instead, I stayed indoors and had one last go at shooting the roses, this time using the 50 mm lens. Although you can't get a close-up with it, it's okay for taking a shot of the whole bunch of flowers, so I went for some depth of focus shots, making the most of the lens's ability to open up to f/1.8.

Today is my birthday, and to celebrate we're going away for the weekend tomorrow, so I won't be making any posts for a few days, but I'll still be taking photos.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Day 225

Today I decided to have another go at photographing the roses I bought yesterday, before they wilt. After doing the whole 'studio-style' set up with the Canon yesterday, I decided to try something less formal today, so I played around with the iPhone and took some Hipstamatic shots. Here's my favourite.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Day 224

I bought half a dozen roses from the supermarket today and set up a 'studio' indoors with my reflector and tripod. I would have liked to have used my new 50 mm lens, as it produces beautifully sharp images, but it can't focus from close enough in, so I had to use the kit lens, which is nothing like as good, and has some noticeable blurry spots, no matter how well you clean it.

I think I marginally prefer the black and white version of this shot, as it's a bit more unusual.

These next photos are from yesterday evening. Our neighbour's horses enjoying the sunshine: Harry (the big one) and Nemo (the miniature pony)

Harry pokes his tongue out:

Monday, 18 July 2011

Day 223

The light was so good when I got up this morning that I went straight outside for a photo shoot.

I was thrilled to get a nice, clear bird silhouette, but it was on a shot in which the light wasn't at its best, and the bird was in the wrong position in the frame. So in Photoshop I combined it with the best shot I got of the tree and the skyline.

I then switched to Lightroom for all the usual processing, including warming up the colour of the sky, as it looked too yellow in the original shot.

I was umming and ahhing about whether or not to erase the bush on the right, but in the end I decided to keep it, as I felt it added balance to the composition.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Day 222

Playing with shadows.

This is the original shot:

But does it look better flipped this way round? I can't make up my mind!

Also, at long last, I've learned how to use the AEB (auto exposure bracketing) feature on my camera, so I took this shot at three different exposures, and created my very first 'proper' HDR shot. I was a bit timid with the processing, so it's not got much of an HDR feel to it. No doubt I'll get better with practice!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Day 221

The rain has stopped at long last, so Iain and I went on a photo walk round the local botanical gardens this afternoon.

Iain had the Canon, and I used the iPhone. Although Iain's not done much photography in the last twenty-five years, he used to be a keen photographer when he was a teenager, back in the days of black and white film. I'm gently trying to get him to catch 'the bug' again, because I think it would be a cool activity to do together. My long-term plan is to buy a higher-spec Canon, but keep the entry-level one. That way we can both use a dSLR all the time, and alternate days that we use the top-end one.

As you can probably tell, I edited these iPhone shots in Lightroom.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Day 220

We've had plenty more wet and wild weather over the last 24 hours, and we've had a couple of mini slips on our driveway, but nothing we can't get past in the car. So I was glad to be able to make it into town for the monthly book club meeting last night.

Book club (colour processing done in Lightroom).

Today I took this Hipstamatic shot of Iain's jeans drying on the airer (I really wish we had a tumble dryer right now!)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Day 219

Today Pookie pays homage to the lolcats over at I Can Haz Cheezburger.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Day 218

I'm getting pretty tired of sky shots, to be honest, but the light has been so bad over the last few days that the sky's the only place where the light's doing anything interesting. I took a few other, non-sky shots today, but they came out grey and dismal.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Day 217

With the weather being so vile today, I've found it really hard to summon up the enthusiasm for taking photos. Luckily, the sun burst through the clouds for a couple of minutes just before sunset, so I took a few snaps with the iPhone. From indoors, naturally! ;-)

As far as processing is concerned, I put this through a filter in Camera+ (I forget which one) and then imported it into Lightroom, where I cropped it to line up the horizon with the one third line, and cranked up the noise reduction to give it a smoother and more 'liquid' feel.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Day 216

The weather forecast is promising us around 70 mm (2 and 3/4 inches) of rain over the next five days. We're really pleased that our tanks will be filling up, but we're a bit concerned about the state of our track. Last time we had heavy rain, it got covered in mudslides!

I took these shots this morning, just before the rain started. I've processed the two shots slightly differently, silhouetting the landscape in one and bringing out the details in the other - I'm not sure which look I prefer.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Day 215

We've had more wild weather today, after a very wild night, with gales, torrential rain and thunderstorms. We don't get many thunderstorms here, but whenever we do, it's always during the winter, which seems very odd, as in the UK they're a summer phenomenon.

One advantage of all this wet weather is that we've now got some water in our tanks, and, after priming the pump, in our taps. We still need to be incredibly stingy with water, otherwise we'll run out again before the track gets repaired and the water bloke can come and top us up. But it's great to be able to have a shower again, even if we do have to limit our showers to no more than three minutes!

In celebration, I thought I'd try a 'frozen water' shot using my new 50 mm lens. I fancied having another go at a shower head shot (which failed last time I tried it due to the slowness of my f/5.6 kit lens). However, in the interests of saving water, I thought I'd better shoot a dripping tap instead!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Day 214

It's blowing a gale today, so I've chickened out of going outside for today's shoot. I spent twenty minutes pointing the iPhone at everything indoors, and eventually turned it on myself.

I used the Hipstamatic app, which doesn't make use of the front-facing camera (and only shoots in very low res). This means that attempting a self portrait in Hipstamatic is hit and miss, and you never get anything that's very good quality; however this was the best shot I got today, so I'm sharing it.

You can tell that I cut my own fringe, can't you? :P
I really must stop doing that!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Day 213

We had a visitor on our deck this morning. At first I assumed that it was a different snail to the one I shot the other week, but now I come to think about it, maybe it's the same one! Eh up, Brian! :-)

This afternoon I went for an hour's walk and took the Canon. There's plenty to shoot around here, even on the side of the road.

I reckon you could fill a coffee table book with quirky NZ mailboxes. Here's one belonging to one of our neighbours:

Agapanthus seed heads:

I shall have to take another photo of these when they're in flower (which is in mid summer, around January.)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Day 212

We had a short break in the rain today, so I took the opportunity to go for a walk, and take some snaps with the iPhone.

This first shot of our neighbours' woolshed uses the HDR feature in the iPhone's inbuilt camera app. The result wasn't very HDR-y, so I faked it up in Photoshop, using a high pass filter. The shots of the stones were processed in Lightroom.

It's raining again now, which is great -- it's filling up our water tanks! :-)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Day 211

Today it's been tipping down all day, so it's not been an ideal day to take photos. I took the camera outside for two minutes to get some raindrop shots (with my lovely new lens, of course!), and then I hunted around the house for something interesting to shoot. It's pretty pathetic that the most interesting thing I could find was the packing materials that came in a parcel I received yesterday.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day! :-)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Day 210

Today there's just one subject (a pallet left over from the last time we had some building supplies delivered), one camera (the iPhone), and one processing style (high contrast black and white). Oh, and a cat. Of course. ;-)