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Weekend Update, 02

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This explains it all.

(Record for shortest post ever)

Tutorials, Take 1

February 12, 2010 9 comments

Today we created our first two videos using SnapzProX. We made this movie about the gear we borrowed and our plans for the weekend. We also made our first tutorial, Working With Dropbox, which can be accessed from the “This is How We Do It “ page. This is our first attempt at making a tutorial, so it isn’t very good. Hopefully we will get better as time goes on. Just before calling it a day, we made this video about the apps we use on a daily basis.

We also went to Michael’s and looked at potential frames for the pictures we plan to print tomorrow.

That really is all we did, so enjoy the videos!!!!

Categories: Printing, tutorials Tags: ,

Four Days in the Mud

January 12, 2010 2 comments

(Christopher talking) Before we go into the details of what these photos are and why they are here, let me make myself clear: I hate them. Kyle loves them. (Now it is Kyle speaking, and that last statement is not entirely true.)

The first day.

The shoot. We spent about two hours taking pictures around the community of Monarch Ridge. Of the two hundred plus pictures we took, about five are worth keeping and exploring in Photoshop. The first image is one of our favorites, in its unedited form. In the next few days, we will take these images into Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and attempt to improve them. Using Photoshop to edit an image is not cheating, merely post-production.

The second day.

Another day gone. It’s amazing how time flies.

Time spent in front of the computer goes by quick, most of the time too quick, especially when exploring the wonders of Photoshop. This photo looks fairly good at first glance, but when taken into Photoshop’s Camera Raw, the original is something almost worth laughing at. This is what usually happens.

Nature in it’s purest form is breathless, but that doesn’t mean one can’t take advantage of the tools at their disposal in order to make it look even better. After just a few moments in Camera Raw, an image can go from good to great. And it literally takes just minutes, even if you are not a pro. Like we mentioned before, editing in Photoshop isn’t cheating, just post-production. It’s ridiculous to ignore such a valuable tool.

The third day.

I gave the image a try in Photoshop, and produced a product that was better in some aspects and worse in others. The center (the water, the interesting part) of Kyle’s Photoshop edit was better than mine, but everything else about mine was better than his.

The fourth day.

This is the third day we have been working on this one image. Today, I took Kyle’s version and my version and combined them while using the Curves adjustment layer to pull some more detail out of the leaves. I won’t get into the details about the other adjustments we made. Overall, we both like this third version the best. It is the second image above. Yeah for masking!!!

So far, we have taken it into Photoshop on three separate occasions, each time building upon the last. However, I would like to get something straight: this is a horrible image. By the standards of photography, this image is just aweful. It is shot from the top, which is the direction we see water from all the time, so there is nothing new and cool about the angle. There is no recognizable foreground, middle ground, or background, although the rock may quality as the foreground and everything else as the background if you really push it. We didn’t even use either of the two tri-pods we had brought along. It isn’t even close to tack sharp (the term used by pro photographers to describe an image that is perfectly focused and stable, and therefore perfectly sharp). The only thing good about this image is the fact that the water just looks cool. A shear coincidence.

So, you ask, why are we paying so much attention to it? The answer is that I don’t know. Perhaps it is the challenge of taking a bad picture and turning it into something presentable. Perhaps it is our stupidity. Perhaps not. The likeliest answer is that we have nothing much better (and by better I mean more interesting) to play with. We are just starting out as photographers and therefore are still learning and have not produced many pictures that are turly as good as we would like. On the other hand, we are getting better, a lot better, but we are still only amateurs.

We have taken other pictures that are technically better photos than this, but they just lack the cool factor. This image has the cool factor but lacks the technical aspect. I hope that we can find a way to balance these two sides and produce some really cool and technically superb images.

Sources of Inspiration Update 01

January 10, 2010 6 comments

As this blog grows, we will compile a page filled with the resources that we have found especially useful. Whenever we add to this page, we will post as update.

Mac Lab Blog





Scott Kelby


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