Categories
Canon Equipment Photography Words

The Canon 30D is finally here

This is a bit of a let down to be honest. The new 30D looks nothing like the leaked photo I found a while back. There are a couple of new features, most notably the bigger LCD screen, spot metering and a much bigger buffer but I don’t see any point in upgrading from my 20D. I was looking forward to seeing the ADAMS MODE button but alas, it’s probably not going to see the light of day for some time yet.
The really good news is that it’s the same price as the 20D which should force the price of existing 20D bodies down. Look for discounts at your favourite online retailer. If you see it at a bargain price, buy it! (via and every other photography news site)

On a related note, I weighed my Canon 20D and Sigma 18-200 lens. It’s a monster 1.25kg (or almost 3lbs)! No wonder I hurt my back last year. Carrying that amount of weight around one’s neck is a sure fire way of getting to know your physiotherapist better!

Welcome members of Dropzone.com! I hope you’ll look around and enjoy the photos!

Categories
Photography Words

GE wants your picture in Times Square

This evening an interesting Flickr mail dropped into my inbox:

Dear Flickr Member:

We saw this photo of yours and really love it!

static.flickr.com/25/45090613_9a30eeb7c3_m.jpg

We selected your photo based on its quality and subject matter, which we believe is ideal for our project, “Picture a Healthy World.”

On February 14, 2006, GE Healthcare will launch a worldwide initiative to encourage people to share photos and stories of how they stay healthy.

Go to www.ge.com/health and add your photo by February 10, 2006 so your image can be displayed in Times Square in celebration of World Health Day.

Thanks for your help!

The GE Healthcare Team

P.S. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to your questions individually at this time. If you miss the deadline for early submission, you can still participate in Picture a Healthy World on February 14th.

I uploaded the photograph they linked to, although I had to agree to some draconian terms and conditions granting them and their vendors the right to do anything with the image.. (yes, I do read the terms and conditions when my photographs are involved)

You hereby grant GE and any of its third party vendors engaged to provide services to GE in connection with the Program, the unqualified, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual and royalty free right, license, authorization and permission, to publicly display …[snip]… take advantage of and exploit any and all of the rights set forth herein in connection with the marketing, advertising and promotion of the Program and any products, goods, features, functions, capabilities and/or services associated with us.

It’s only 700 pixels at it’s widest so they’re limited in what they can do anyway. If anyone sees the flying skateboarder in Times Square, drop me a mail, I’d love to hear about it!
Later… There’s more on Flickrnation – apparently the account was deactivated shortly afterwards because it was regarded as spamming.

Categories
Photography Printing Words

Memories of the year 2005 in print

One of the criticisms of digital photography which I hear again and again is the fact that the photos are stuck on my PC where others can’t see them. The obvious solution is to have a select few printed.

So, where do you go to print your memories?
I’ve tried online printing services in the past and considered foto.com with their 9c prints. That sounds good except when you add postage fees, it isn’t that much cheaper than local priting services.

Bricks and mortor chemists and photo shops are reasonably priced, although the market leader, Spectra, have been increasing their prices, they recently slashed the cost of 6×4 prints to 17c a print.
Sam Mc Cauley Chemists have an offer until the end of January of 100 prints for 13.99 Euro using Fujifilm paper, and a local chemist here in Blarney, Walshs Pharmacy, will print 100 photos for 15 Euro using Kodak paper. Both offers only apply to 6×4 prints. I tried both and I’m impresed by the quality.
Photos submitted were from the Sony 717 (a wedding in 2004), Panasonic FZ5 and Canon 20D. Where I had shot in RAW+jpeg on the Canon, I used the “small low quality” files generated from shooting in RAW+S mode. Can I tell the difference? No! Even images with a lot of noise came out looking really well and I’m very happy.
I have 200 photos out of some 26,000 shots to show friends and relations and the memories that go along with them. The next thing to do is attempt to build nice looking frames for larger prints!

The best thing about printing? I found my favourite photo of 2005. It’s one of Jacinta in Cobh at sunset. She has a radiant smile, the light is great, and she’s so beautiful!

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
Black and White Photography Tutorials Words

Black & White Recipes

Here’s a long list of channel mixer settings to emulate various black & white films. I used the high contrast setting for the photo below but the different types of film create interesting effects.

It’s worth checking them out, but don’t get hung up on them – one setting will suit one particular type of shot while another will suit others.

Categories
Links Photography Words

Fade-in Photos

Photojenic has a nice fade in effect I’ve seen elsewhere. Would that be very annoying if all the images on this page faded in? I think it possibly would but wouldn’t it be cool? 😉