ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Saturday, 10 August 2013

JUST BECAUSE I CAN. (10/08/13)

It’s been a grim couple of days. Not persistent rain but regular sharp showers.

_V0G7525 The National Trust for Scotland’s Inverewe House. It’s a pity that they don’t let dogs in. They have done an excellent job of hay meadow planting and the mixed woodland is superb. They deserve full marks for creating such a compact and mixed habitat.

As you are aware and no doubt getting a little tired of; I’ve been macroing and looking to raise my game a bit. It could do with raising more than a bit but I’m a realist. Whilst looking around the web for inspiration I found a site that had almost surreal insect images on it. I thought I’d have a play.

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_V0G7440  Just because you can it doesn’t mean you should.

_V0G7526   Whilst rooting about in the undergrowth I saw this magnificent specimen emerging through the moss. I think it is one of the Amanita. I’ll pop back tomorrow for a better look. It will hopefully emerged fully by then.

It’s forecasting thunder storms for later so I will try for some lightning.

Enjoy your weekend.

32 comments:

  1. Adrian, I am not sure what you did to your photos, but they still look good to me. Enjoy that wild Scottish weather.

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    1. Carol, thanks, if the weather gets wild I will enjoy it.
      I don't know whether you do want to know what I did.
      I'll tell you just in case but it's our little secret.

      I cropped the insect images to 16cm x 16cm at 300 pixels/inch ( that's really posh print resolution)
      Then I applied a Curves adjustment layer, hit auto, and then pushed it a bit.
      I applied a levels layer to check for blow out and shadow clipping. Just hold Alt while you move the sliders and you get a good idea.
      I then applied a Vibrance layer and pushed the mid tones to about 65%.

      Then I went to Image>Resize Image and resized to 72 pixels/inch and 1500 pixels square. This is only to allow quick loading on Web pages.

      The last job is to sharpen. I used Unsharp Mask. There are many options when it comes to sharpening. It's an art form all on it's own.
      I really went to town in Unsharp Mask.
      Amount 170% to 220%
      Radius 5 to 7 pixels
      Threshold 0 to 15 levels.
      It depended what the image would take without awful haloing.

      I normally sharpen low resolution images at the following
      Amount 80%
      Radius 1 to 1.5 pixels
      Threshold 0 levels.
      If I find noise in say the sky I duplicate the image sharpen one add a mask to the unsharpened one and just paint in the sharpening from the non noisy bits.

      It's easier just to show folk than describe it. It's ever so quick to do....Really it is. And I should really get a life...you know! Get out more.
      Have a good Sunday.

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    2. Adrian, thanks for the explanation. I was interested. What software are you using?

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    3. Carol, I used Photoshop Elements for years. But from this October Adobe are renting out their software. So I purchased a hard copy of CS6. It is very expensive but cheaper than a Porsche or Honda Fireblade and at my age it offers as much entertainment. I am away from the internet for much of the time so Cloud based software is a No No. There is a ton of free photo- editing software. Microsoft do 'Ice' and no doubt other stuff too.
      You are better asking John
      He never buys food except for his dog and the birds. He certainly won't be handing big bucks to Adobe. Go on his blog and e-mail him....he is so old I doubt he will bite or have the teeth to do so.

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    4. Thanks Adrian, I teach Photoshop and other programs in the Adobe suite. You are right it is expensive, but I have the whole suite free on my teacher laptop. I will keep your secret safe. And thanks for johns link, I will check it out tomorrow.

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    5. You little tinker! Bugger the bad use of the apostrophe. You knew all along! There I've used another.
      Seriously I would love to make it sing and dance to my tune. I know it can.
      I'll ask you if I get all muddled up. Is your e-mail on your profile. Bugger me! There's another someone that loves Adobe out there.
      How can anyone teach the whole suite? You are telling stories.

      Seriously CS6 Extended is easy but so hard. My header was created in it and I didn't forget but when I created a displacement map of the waves for the reflection I lost the plot. I am easily confused. Please Miss I did remember the neon glow grad.

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    6. You are right Adrian, there is no way anyone, especially me, can teach the whole suite. We do Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Audition, Premier, Flash, Fireworks. And even then, the functionality I teach is very prescribed. Students don't tend to be tinkerers or dabblers these days, wanting everything spoon fed to them. Adrian, I can see you would be one of my enthusiastic students.

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    7. Carol, I'm no teacher but if I learn something by accident I like to pass it on. I had to learn spherical trigonomatry. I didn't want to, couldn't spell it but it helped me sail the world for thirty years. I didn't get down as far as you. There be dragons down there.
      Adobe algorithms are the best, their writers are better....I'm just a great big Adobe groupie.
      I'm not being funny...Well I'm just going to be. If you can do it. Do it. If you can't do it. Teach it. Tell me something you've learnt. I push my readers not to take the shit from the camera but to make it what they wanted it to take.
      Help me please Adobe is a bugger.

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    8. Yes I am aware of that saying. It played on my mind before I went into teaching. I count myself lucky to have had another career before teaching. But teaching is much harder than anything I did previously. Yes, never head past the equator!! Big dragons. With regard to Adobe, I teach much more Flash than Photoshop because we do animation and game development. Not sure what I could teach you? I will have to think about it. I was actually working on another little animation this weekend about the Wombat Trail here in Oz, using a cool programming tool called Scratch from www.scratch.mit.edu ~ great for teaching programming concepts and problem solving to kids. Anyway, I have raved on a bit.

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    9. Carol, rave on...that's what blogging is for. I've been playing with animation in CS6 extended. I'm getting there but very slowly.
      I've been past the equator lots of times. I always regret not visiting Australia and New Zealand.

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  2. ... and I think you should.
    That fly is a bit special.

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    1. Keith the fly is a bit crap to start with...I spent yesterday ont'internet trying to glean a tip or two. I came across several sites showing mainly jumping spiders. I'm sure they capture them. Freeze or kill them then shoot against a printed background. Then they give the sharpening a good push. They do look impressive. Better than the Dung Fly of mine. I did chill a Bumble Bee once, went bell ringing, forgot it and it was dead when I got it out. I'll not use that technique just for a picture.

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  3. It has rained here everyday for a week I think. The landscape picture I love. I want to say I love the sky the most but the grass and everything else is great too.

    I read through what you did to the pictures in explanation for Carol but really didn't understand. Maybe someday I'll get time to look at that software. At any rate the insects look really good.

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    1. David, sunlight behind you and storm clouds in front always lift an image. I could have boosted it selectively...That's why I'm Adrian's Images. The camera always tells fibs I just give the camera a shove. my prerogative. I make the effort to go out and snap..I should be able to enjoy the editing.

      Photoshop CS6 is a bloody fortune. I love it. I like your country, It is host to Adobe, it has idiosyncrasies. A different language, Libertarians, Republicans and normal folk.
      My son is out there and having a whale of a time.

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    2. Not only do I agree you have that right, I applaud it. That is the reason when I first looked at your pictures, I thought, "here is an artist."

      Yep the U.S. is kinda like that song..."you can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant, 'cepting Alice." I guess Alice is the stuff you can't afford.

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  4. I'd say those were awesome insect shots! I like the color and detail you see in these shots. You can't pick this up with the naked eye. Keep at it.

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    1. Red, I'm striving for detail and more magnification...Shssssh! be quiet. I prefer insects to birds.

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  5. Hi Adrian... I have no idea about your photo fixes, as you described with Carol!! All I know is they are amazing!! The last one is my favorite it needs to be in a frame on my wall!! ; ) Just love it!!
    Grace
    If you are happy with what your doing you have a life!!

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  6. Grace, if you want it you can have it. The last is just LED ring lit.
    Crawling about in the nether regions usually produces results. They are impressive..Says the dumb cluck. I'll try for a triptych for you and it's for free. What size would you like the picture. Measure up and let me know. don't forget I want image size....not mount and frame size.

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  7. Liking the dragonfly and spider images Adrian. I like the look of the NT property, shame about no dogs though:(

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    1. Douglas it's only the gardens they don't allow dogs in. It cost £10.00p to see the flowers.

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  8. Hi Adrian The insects images are awesome. Now I have read th discussion you had with Carol, had not an idea what you were talking about! Out of my league but I love seeing your photos. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Margaret, it is a bit nerdy. I love Photoshop...it's always a challenge trying to work out how people have achieved things.

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  9. I never get tired of seeing macro shots. The spider looks almost 3D.

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    1. John, I love getting them off the camera. It's amazing how complex insects are.
      The extension tubes came yesterday so I'll be out in a while when things have warmed up.

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  10. You surely can Adrian, and you did. This is a great set of Macro's, especially the fly...with all those legs! Maybe I could do with an extra pair of 'outriggers' it might stop me from staggering about so often!

    And now that you've let your work flow secrets out of the bag we can all have a go at creating stunning images such as these!...[;o)

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  11. Trevor, there is plenty of room for refinement. I wasn't sure it was a good idea. It seems to have gone down reasonably well.
    I'm going to try creating luminosity masks that may allow me to sharpen even more without haloing the dark edges.

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  12. I like those long-legged spiders you've been getting. Those Mosses are considered "pioneering species", they seem to withstand it all.

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    1. Maria, depending which book you read they aren't spiders. They only have a single body part not two bits like the spider. They are Harvestmen, There are several of them but most are nocturnal. Plenty of mosses here.

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    2. Good to know; thanks for clarifying that.

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  13. Like you I am intrigued by insects even if I don't particularly like some of them. Macro photography is wonderful and yours is pretty top end so I shall be interested to see what the extension tubes produce.

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    1. Graham, most are fine. Wasps can be a nuisance, as can midges and mosquitoes. I've a long way to go but have the gear and will keep trying.

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