A few days ago, I was trying to find some inspiration for a a photo shoot. It has become more of a challenge this year due to COVID-19 to accomplish much away from your home. This is a problem most of the readers of this blog are also experiencing, so as amateur photographers we need to constantly be looking for inspiration! Nothing was coming to mind, so I went into the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee in my French Press brewer. As I was looking around the kitchen it seemed like a snack with my coffee would be a welcome treat. As soon as I opened the refrigerator’s door I saw a carton of eggs and thought about making an omelet. That is when the inspiration smacked me in the face! Why not try photographing an egg.
I finished my coffee with no snack because I wanted to get started on this egg idea. Now how was I going to set this up? I decided to use one egg and concentrate on the egg and its shadow. Below are three of the photos from this photo shoot. I had a lot of fun that afternoon creating different compositions. Hopefully, you may use this as inspiration to develop your own photo shoot around your home.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has been a disaster for many people and my heart goes out to them! It has been a minor obstacle to enjoying my retirement activities and nothing more to this point. For that I am grateful! In the last couple of months I have rarely touched my camera because my motivation to continue photographing around my yard and neighborhood has been lower than an earthworm.
So what to do with all this time and nothing to photograph? I decided to go through my photo archive and re-process some photos. Prior to the pandemic, I was in Washington D.C. near Howard University. This area is undergoing a major amount of gentrification. The photo below, if taken a few years ago, would look like an old, broken down series of rowhomes. Today, with the influx of young urban professionals and their money it has been reborn!
The other day, I drove to my granddaughter’s high school theatre performance. Usually, when I go to this type of event, I take my camera. This day was no exception. Since I would be taking a few photographs after the performance, I did not bring anything other than the camera and its holster. As it happened, that evening a thunderstorm was forecasted to occur during the play. After parking my car, I looked at the sky and could see some threatening clouds beginning to appear. I got creative and placed my camera on the holster as a support base, set the aperture at f18 and the ISO at 100. This gave me a somewhat long exposure, but not nearly a slow enough one. I took a few photos and proceeded to go to the play.
The next day, I imported the photos into Adobe Lightroom and viewed them. Unfortunately, none were very good, which was not a surprise. I decided to have a little fun with post-processing attempting to process one of the photos with only 10 adjustments or less. The software I used was Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and DxO’s Silver Efex Pro 2. My goal was not to make all the versions look the same but to see what type of variety I would get with only a few adjustments. Here are the resulting photos processed with 10 or less adjustments to the original RAW file.
The first photo is the original file with only the camera calibration adjusted.
The next photo is a color version done in Adobe Lightroom and with 10 adjustments.
I then decided to convert the photo to Black & White versions with Lightroom, Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro 2. The photo below is the Lightroom conversion in less than 10 adjustments.
The adjusted color version was exported to Photoshop and in 10 adjustments I obtained the photo shown below.
The last version is the adjusted color version edited in Silver Efex Pro 2 with less than 10 adjustments.
None of these versions would win any awards but it was an interesting exercise in post-processing. Please come back and visit www.cestlavie4me.com to see where my photographic journey takes me next time.
Several weeks ago, my wife and I took a short drive to Annapolis, Maryland. She had learned of a “Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival being held that day. Kunta Kinte was the main character in Alex Haley’s Best-Selling novel “Roots”. I thought it might also be a good opportunity to try some street photography and it was!
Recently, I had read The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography by Michael Freeman and attempted to use some of the techniques discussed in the book in processing these photos. Here are a few of my favorite photographs from our walk around the streets of Annapolis and the Kunta Kinte Festival. I used both Adobe Lightroom and DxO Silver Efex Pro 2 to process the photos. I enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with street photography and am looking forward to more of the same soon.