Friday, February 13, 2009

Peter 031 - Arthur

I can't for the life of me remember his name. I knew my head wasn't working at the time, so I wrote it in the sand and took a photograph of it to remind me later. "Len". Hmmm... why I had written Len's name for the second time in ten minutes I shall never know, but I did and he isn't Len!

That's why I went to bed with several good books and didn't emerge for a week!

"Arthur" was from Balmain, and "up at Sawtell" for four days on an annual fishing trip with his boys. They hadn't caught a thing in four days, but had seen a flock of "millions" of mutton birds swimming at sea that morning so he wasn't at all disappointed in the day.

One of his other favourite pastimes while away, is swimming against the tide. Literally.


Julie said...

Lovely capture of the water movement, Peter: both caused by his hand and also just generally by his body. Nice reflection, too.

Your shots seem to be more crisp and clean than anything that I can manage. I am assuming that is down to something I am not doing and nowt to do with the quality of the camera.

How far away from "Arthur" were you when you took this shot?

bitingmidge said...

I was no more than four or perhaps five metres away, standing knee deep in the water just on the edge of a steep drop off.

I am please to say that the new found sharpness in my shots have come about as a result of this project! I've learned a little more about the sharpening process and now seem to be able to get a bit of crispness around the edges, it's not something I can explain as I am still bumbling around with post processing, but I seem to be doing something right.

I'm trying hard to get shutter speeds right too, and I think I am getting that reasonably consistently now.

Of course taking photographs when the light is just about perfect helps all of that no end!

I think we'd better wait to see what the next half dozen shots produce before we get too cocky.

Julie said...

Good lord, with my pathetic balance I would not go into the water with my camera.

I am going to have to break through into Av this weekend: Ann gave me a good headsup during the week that stung me in the tail. I just want my shots to be sharper. They are not too bad when I go to macro but that is what I want for my "ordinary" and for my macro to be clearer still!

When you say that you "sharpen" in pp what do you mean actually? Is there a drop-down "Sharpen" tool? I have one of those but it actually stuffs the image up. The only way I can find to clear up an image is to adjust the contrast/brightness and this only works to some extent.

I find that going out, taking shots, fiddling, cropping, putting them up here to be critiqued has helped tremendously.

BTW ... I have had a few knockbacks this week ... mainly from folk doing their job who seem a bit wary of what I will use the image for and what their bosses might say, eg policeman on traffic duty at the South Sydney game; eg, City of Sydney parks guy who was cutting up a tree that fell in my street. Also had two women decline, but that was my fault: I emphasised that option rather than the fact that they would make my day if they agreed. I will change my patter a bit I think.

Ann said...

Wonderful shot. Must try and take some next week. Still not in the mood but if I leave it much longer I'll be too nervous again.

How much are you doing in post? I sharpen b&w but don't with colour as I don't like the results. I only have Picassa (which I ususally use), the one that comes with HP and the one that came with the Canon which I can't remember the name of right now. NOne of them seem to have a decent tool to remove or clone bits of background. Any suggestions or do I have to give in and buy Photoshop Elements.

bitingmidge said...

Sharpening is a rather arbitrary process that the camera undertakes once its captured the data from the lens.

In most (don't know about Picasa) applications, there is at least one sharpening tool, in Photoshop the best known is the Unsharp Mask which was derived from an old darkroom process which enabled a higher contrast at the edges of the subject to give an impression of more "sharpetivity".

Most applications have an "Auto Sharpen" feature, which is a pretty good place to start until you get a feel for what you are trying to achieve.

Note also that in "Portrait" mode, many cameras actually provide a softer image than in other modes. I don't think sharpening is the be all and end all for every photo, but I do admit I'm going through one of those phases!

bitingmidge said...

Ann, I try not to do too much.

I still think that getting the "negative" right is most of the battle.

For this shot I sharpened a little, tweaked the saturation up ever so slightly and adjusted the crop slightly.

Photoshop elements is all you will ever need, but there are other alternatives which may not be quite so user friendly and certainly won't have the resources for learning. Try GIMP for instance which is free and see if it works for you.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Pete, I have been thinking all night about this shot. It's really quite special because the setting is so different from the other portraits. I just would not have thought to do it ... but then again you live and breathe water.