Monday Window – 1

Looking at and looking in

Jealousy – that’s the reason for this post. All the “likes” are going over to 2C2V. So I decided to chime in and do some Monday Window fun here. But, but, up in the header it says “chats and tips about photography”. This is a chat — not enough?  OK, I’ll think of some tip. Let me look through my archives and notes.

Ah ha, here it is. Some photos I took for a photography course. Take a look at this photo:

LJK_8715-XW1-1024

You can see the windows reflect the sky beautifully. When light is reflected on a smooth surface like glass or water, especially at shallow angles like here, the reflected light is strongly polarized. No, I won’t go into the physics. With strong reflections our photographs loot at the window, and not in the window. That can make for wonderful images, but what if you want to look in?

This is where the polarizing filter comes in. You rotate the filter so the polarized light is either strongly passed through or strongly suppressed. In fact the photo above was made with a polarizing filter on the lens. It was set to maximize the reflection. No turn it ninety degrees and here is the result:

LJK_8714-XW1-1024

Now much of the reflected light is stopped an we can look into the windows. You can see that it makes quite a difference, but it is not perfect.

What if you don’t have a polarizing filter? I did use the word “angle”. Yes, the angle at which you look at the reflecting surface makes quite a difference. Another thing that might be under your control is what is reflected. Bright sky will show up strongly. Seeing the reflection of a dark building might be so low that it is hardly noticeable.  So changing your position might make all the difference. Of course it all depends on what you are after, looking in or looking at.

Here are a couple of photos showing the difference your position can make.

Photowalk - Duluth, GA 5Oct2013

Photowalk – Duluth, GA 5Oct2013

Photowalk - Duluth, GA 5Oct2013

Photowalk – Duluth, GA 5Oct2013

Well, that’s my little tip for you. Hope you also enjoyed the pictures.


 

Also see my Monday Window series

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Shadows in flash pictures

Bring out what’s hiding in the shadows

Pictures taken indoors with on-camera-flash usually have dingy, dark backgrounds. There is little that can be done about the behavior of light. An object at twice the distance from the flash will get only a quarter as much light. That means it will be darker in the picture.

There is no need to live with that problem. Post-processing, just a little bit of adjustments, can substantially enhance such photos. That is what the Shadows slider in Photo Gallery can correct substantially. With some judicious use of the Hightlights slider, and maybe a bit of adjustments with the others, a flash photo can be made to look quite good.

Here are a couple of screen shots to illustrate what can be done with a flash picture.

Shadows-01

This is the oroginal photograph, just the way it came from the camera. It looks like what you expect from a flash picture, the objects close to the camera, the table and chairs here, are properly exposed, things farther away look progressively darker.

Next the picture with some enhancements.

shadows-06

The Shadows slider was moved all the way to the right to make darker areas of the photo lighter. Sometimes such a drastic adjustment may turn out to be way too much, but for this picture it worked well. The Highlights slider is moved a little to the left to make the lightes areas a bit darker. The Contrast slider was also moved to the right jut a little bit to increase contrast.  Note how much lighter the far wall is, it looks almost normal they way you would see it.

Other photo editors have similar tools. Sometimes they have different names. In Picasa the Fill Light slider brings the details out of the shadows. The Shadows slider makes intermediate toned areas darker. Careful use and a little trial and error will help you get the best pictures out of your flash photos.

shadows-05

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

color vs. black-and-white

MyBlog - solaner

compareOn Thursday morning I was out for taking some photos. As I wrote in my post on May 1st, that day is a public holiday here.

That cottage is near my town, about 10 km away from my home. I passed that cottage quite often on my way to one of the motorways. Every time I passed it, I made a notice in my mind, to come back on a day with beautiful weather and take some photos.

On Thursday we have had fantastic weather and I didn’t have to work. On my way to another location I stopped and took some photos. I’m very happy about the cows on the meadow to be an additional interesting feature for this photo. I’d have composed it different without the cows.

As you can see, there are many clouds in the sky. So, the light conditions were changing quickly. When I arrived…

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ICE-2 Auto complete

This 'n That

Image Composite Editor – Auto complete

The Microsoft Image Composite Editor has been one of my favorite tools for years. Just a short while back I was lamenting its apparent demise, when, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new version was released. ICE version 2 brings many new features and the tool leaps back into the lead. In this article I will give you a look at one of the new features, “Auto complete”. Other photo editors have had this technology for some time, but I have not seen it working with such ease and quite effectively too.

Here are a couple of photos that I took years ago at Ft. Pulaski, Georgia. The photos were not taken with the idea of stitching them together, but they overlap a good bit – a requirement for ICE.

LJK-903-074-P1

LJK-903-075-P1

You can see that the angle of view also changed between the…

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