Categories
Links

Travel Photography, what to do

I love to travel, to see new sights, meet new people, and have new experiences! If you bring your camera here’s some lengthy advice from a fellow traveller including bits on saving money, taking photos of people and safety issues.

Categories
Cork People Photos Urban

The English Market

The English Market in Cork is a popular market and meeting area for people.

Categories
Blarney People

Early Morning Bus

Early morning, catch the bus to work or school. You know exactly how she feels.

Except it’s the weekend! Woo! No going to school or work!

Categories
Abstract People Urban

Self Portrait

Pictured in the elevator of the new Ballincollig shopping center.

Categories
Birds Blarney Canon 20D Canon 75-300 Cork Ireland Photos Urban

Bird on Ground

What kind of bird is this? Around a dozen congregate around our bird feeders, dive to the ground and bath in the bowl of water below, and even fight over how gets to have a bath or a feed sometimes!

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 300mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/25s
Categories
Gimp Gimp Tutorials Photography Tutorials Words

Simple steps to photo touch-up

In this post I’m going to show you how to go post-process this image:
By the end, we’ll have an image that looks like this:

This tutorial was created using the GIMP, but it’s equally applicable to your favourite editing software as long as it has the same tools. Photoshop, and other editing software should work equally well.
The steps described here are worth practising, and will apply equally well to any portrait!

First of all, I came across this photo on Flickr through my contacts page. Here’s the original photo, and Ayhtnic kindly let me use her image.

After you load the image, the first thing to do is use Auto Levels from the Layer->Colors menu. This tool alone does wonders for most photos, especially if they’ve been captured as Jpeg straight from the camera.

The image is a little noisy so let’s clean it up a bit. Use Selective Gaussian Blur from the Filters->Blur menu. Use small values as we just want to smudge the noise away without losing too much detail. A radius of 3, and delta of 10 worked fairly well here.
Let’s brighten it a bit and add contrast. Use the Curves tool from Layers->Colors for this. The classic “S” shape always adds life to a photo.
Open the Layers dialog and duplicate the background layer.
Select the new layer (called “background copy” here) and use the Curves tool again to brighten this layer a lot.
With the same layer selected (the top one, the “background copy”), we’ll apply some blur. Open up the Gaussian Blur tool, it’s in Filters->Blur. Apply a blur of 5 pixels to the top layer. Don’t worry, we’re not finished!
We’re going to change the “mode” of the top layer now. With the top layer selected, click on the drop down box that says “Normal” and scroll down to “Soft Light”. You can also try other modes, they’ll make for interesting photos!
Notice how the image suddenly changed?
Even with the nice glowing effect, the image looks indistinct. Let’s sharpen the bottom layer. Select that layer in the Layers dialog and load the “Unsharp Mask” filter. This is in Filters->Enhance->Unsharp Mask.
Don’t apply too much sharpening. Make it subtle. The settings in the screenshot work well.

All that’s left is to save the image, save it with a quality setting of 92%. Don’t bother with higher as it’s practically impossible to see any difference in quality.


The finished photo
Categories
Candid Canon 20D Cork Emmet Place Ireland People Photos Sigma 18-200 Skateboarding Street Urban Vehicles

Arrggghhhh!

Young boy admiring the graffitti on a van.
The van was used to transport ramps and tools for the skateboarders in Emmett Square, Cork.

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s
Categories
Candid Canon 20D Cork Ireland People Photos Sigma 18-200 Sky St Patrick's Street Street Urban Us

Chatting and Shopping

Two girls pictured on Patricks Street, October 1st 2005.
This is one of the US photos I forgot to post!
Minor US trivia: It was mislabeled in the US book as Sharing.

Categories
Candid Canon 20D Cork Ireland People Photos Sigma 18-200 St Patrick's Street Street Urban Us

Crowded Cork

Patricks Street, Cork. October 1st 2005
This is one of the US photos I forgot to post!

Categories
Links

Hiking: What to take with you

Here’s a good article describing what you should take with you while hiking and how to take it too. The idea of charging batteries from a solar panel sitting on your backpack is cute!

Categories
Links

The New York City Skyline

Here’s a very impressive New York Panorama via Daily Web Thing. Nice!

Categories
Gimp

Noise Reduction the Open Source way

What are your options when you don’t run Windows or Mac and/or don’t want to use proprietary software?
Niklas Saers covers some of the options in this blog post. Thanks to him, I learned about ISO Noise Reduction, a GIMP plugin, which I’ll give a try tomorrow.
I usually use DCAM Noise, or selective blur to remove offending pixels but that can leave awful looking smooth areas next to unsightly pixels.