Monday, September 19, 2016

Playing with Lightroom Presets

While processing photos for last Thursday's Photo Challenge post I decided to try out various presets on a silhouette photo I had taken. For this experiment the only processing was to apply the various filters. The only other changes made were to reduce the size of the image and add my logo. Here are the results.

Original Image
 This first set were processed using filters that come standard in Lightroom 4. 
The preset name is under each photo.
Blue filter

B/W Contrast Low
Cross Process 2
B/W Look 5
Split Tone 2

Now for a few processed using Lightroom presets from the free presets offered by

I am really having a difficult time deciding which I like best. Of the standard presets it is between the B/W Contrast Low and the Split Tone 2, although I do like the Cross Process 2 as well. As for the Hacking photography presets that is much easier, my favorite there is the HP_Orange_Light_Correction. Although I do not like the halo affect that appears on all of the HP presets, I am sure if I had tweaked a few things I could have corrected that but I wanted to show how the image would look with only applying the preset. 
What do you think?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

South Dakota Sunday: Waterfowl Stroll

Geese and ducks are a very common sight in South Dakota, so it is no surprise that one often comes across these beautiful creatures out for a leisurely stroll. This group is enjoying a quiet afternoon at The Redlin Art Center in Watertown South Dakota.


I posted more photos of this location and about The Redlin Art Center on Artistic Composition for my Sunday In My City blog post. To check it out just click here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Challenge: Texture and Silhouette

This week I am covering the fourth challenge which I accidentally skipped, and the seventh challenge of the 30 photo challenges. To make these challenges even more difficult it was pouring rain when I had the time to pull out my camera and work on the challenges. I grabbed my camera and headed to take my youngest daughter to work hoping I would think of somewhere that would have interesting subjects for the challenges. With the gloomy skies and all the ran I thought I was going to have to just head back home and set up my lights and find a subject there. Then I saw that the parking lot lights were on and shining really bright. After a few minutes of looking around the car for something interesting to shoot, this is what I came up with.

4th Challenge: Texture

I parked with the light about 50 feet in front of my car and hung my necklace from the sun visor. I took this shot and then remembered that I had the white balance set for tungsten lighting so I changed it, but decided I really like the blue cast of this photo much better than the other photo. I did boost things like clarity and tweaked tones a bit to enhance the texture aspect. Side note: The red spot in this photo is a passing cars tail light reflected in the raindrops on the windshield.

7th Challenge: Silhouette

Same necklace, just a different section. Once again I shot with white balance set for tungsten. The only post processing I did with this photo was a slight crop to remove a thin line of the visor which could be seen at the top of the photo and to boost clarity by a little.

I do believe that the poor weather actually did me a favor, because it made me get more creative with both the subject matter and how to meet the challenge under less than ideal circumstances. Side note: The moon like white spot in this photo is actually the light reflecting in a raindrop.

In addition to these photos of my necklace I also took some silhouette shots of the two action figures that my friend has sitting on the dash of her car, which I was driving. I often shoot texture shots but seldom shoot for a silhouette, so this was a lot of fun in that aspect too. How about you, do you look for and take texture or silhouette shots? 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Controlling Exposure with Shutter Speed

 All three photos were taken at ISO 400 with an aperture of F8. Normally I would use F11 or higher for a scenic shot, but I a bit of a hurry and forgot to change it.  
exposure time 1/50 sec

exposure time 1/100 sec
exposure time 1/320 sec
The first and second shots are over exposed as it was darker, but not as dark as the last shot which is slightly under exposed.  I wanted both the detail in the fields and the dark cloud formation with the bright orange sunset to show in the photo. I will eventually edit the photo so that it is closer to what I saw on that day. 

I often take multiple shots at different shutter speeds, do you?