Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CreativeSpaces :: Automating the Copy Frame

Placing my sketch book on the floor & copy stand on tableEarlier in the year I modified a small enlarger stand to become a desktop copy frame. I love it and use it often. However one tiny draw back compared with a conventional desktop scanner is you have to wait, take the card to the computer and load it before you see the scan in detail. Not a big hassle but can mean you need to go back and re-photograph some works if something was not quite right.

eos utility remote control panelI had an A3 sketchbook full of quick life studies and figured it was time to automate things. With the Copy stand on a desk and the sketch book on the floor, it was easy enough to get a good photo. Also I had previously run the canon tethered through lightroom but not everything on the camera can be adjusted so I when back found the original CD that came with the camera and reloaded the EOS Utility program Live View Windowwhich among other feature (such as uploading photos from the camera) allows you to set ALL the controls on the camera. It also can work in a live view mode to check lighting and exposure. Perfect for what I wanted.

So I can put the live view & remote control on the big screen in the studio and took the mouse down to the floor and control everything from there as I turned the pages in the sketchbook, click, turn the page, click … I powered through the 45 pages of sketches in less than 5 minutes (actually faster than I could have scanned smaller pages on my desktop scanner)

an example scan

Monday, May 23, 2016

PhotoFriday :: Civilization

_MG_7368 The Windsor

The once very civilized Windsor Hotel over shadowed by progress

For PhotoFriday‘s topic Civilization

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Daily Photo becomes a diagram

My daily photo today tries to explain my idea of photoflow being more important to the creative and originals, who need to know ways to do the craft. Not a step by step procedure within a rigid workflow (which tends to have all the output looking the same) but alas makes difficult to learn software at least a little attractive. I still like to idea explained to me by Misho Baranovic, a great local mobile photographer, the workflow is in fact simple just SHOT, EDIT & SHARE [the edit bit being optional]

#142 photoflow

I have written quiet a bit about workspaces, photoflow and workflow, and my views are getting stronger. It is important to understand the steps, what tools are available and how to use them. There may well be an apprenticeship period where you learn by copying and following strict recipes. However there will be a time when you need to open your creative wings and fly over new territory, if you have mastered your media you will have a wonderful journey.

Of course there are other organizational aspects, like culling, flagging, keywording, backups that are also important to the long term management of any photo collection, but they need not get in the way of creativity, or taking a daily photo.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Aftershot Pro 3 is available & Z Series Plugins are back

Aftershot Pro 3, is already here and prompting itself as providing the world's fastest RAW processing. Aftershot pro 2 in the 64 bit version on my HP Spectre with the SSD drive is certainly already lightening fast. So I’m not sure about the need timageo upgrade right now but camera calibration interest me (as it is the one thing my lightroom is still more useful for). I will probably be cautious and try out the free trial first.


I really loved a couple of the Z Series Community developed plugins, but they where mainly 32 bit versions and didn’t work in the 64 bit version of Aftershot Pro 2. whilst I didn’t complain I missed them especially zPerspector. Well the good news they are back in 64 bit version ready for Aftershot Pro 3 (which I understand is only available in a 64 bit version). However is you have a 64 bit version of Aftershoot Pro greater than or version 2.2 you can install them now. zPerspector is a set of  perspective correction tools. It isn’t automatic like Lightrooms upright, but is actually more powerful because it gives the users many up and down and in and out adjustments, rotations and scaling. In this case just a couple of slight adjustments get the horizontal and vertical lines looking more natural

#142 IMGP7330_The Hanging fern

Thursday, May 19, 2016

PhotoProject :: Experimenting more Artist Tools into Photography

_IGP5359 Gingko leaves again


A very well known technique artists to help make compositions more interesting using  a simple techniques of lost and found lines (or edges). These leaves room for interpretation of the the image or more particularly the form of the subject.


This very simple black and white image on a japaneese stamp that show gingko leaves, but none of the leaf edges actually join to the stems but the image can be clearly interpreted as three independent leaves. Our subconscious vision processing has happily seeks where hidden lines or non obvious edges are likely to be and presents us with an easily understood image. The artistic hook here is the brain has become more interested in the image.



An experiment with lost and found lines in a photo

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Time for a coffee & creative ideas

Its later in the afternoon and not a daily photo taken yet. So I was finishing a coffee and contemplating what to do. I had an idea to try a series of my self looking at the camera and painting as if it was a self portrait, perhaps to make into a time series collage. So I set up my canon on my tripod and set it to take a series of images. I finished my coffee and then played with the brush.

A blurry series that should have been rejected

However it was one of those session where nothing worked as planned. Just as the cameras started firing the sun came out, brilliantly, casting unfortunate shadows. Collage of dreamscope images of me finishing coffeeThe camera was still manually focused, and everything turned out  blurry. There where many other problems especially that I had other more urgent duties to attend to, so I didn’t get a chance to repeat the photos. All I had was 12 terrible exposures, normally they would be deleted BUT I often tell people to keep a few rejects to experiment on. These were terrible and thus perfect for an experiment. My first thoughts was to try some simple dreamscope transforms and build the collage, but the three initial images of me finishing my coffee told the best story. Yet the simple transforms didn’t exactly look creative enough.

I decided to build three layers, The painting ground I made by leaving the image blurry by increased luminance and saturation. Next I made a simple stipple pattern and used it back in dreamscope as my custom filter, and created some line work. Then I recreated the the final patterned overall with the watercolour cartoon filter. I finally I experimented with OnOne Layers and different blend modes to give a composite image, that was once a rejected photograph.

#139 Coffee Drinker & Yellow Vase