Photography and Photoshop

Posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 10:43 pm.

Lately I’ve been thinking about changing careers, and how much my job sucks blah blah blah – the usual story. One good thing that has come from this 8 hours a day torment is the urge to start using photoshop again.

A few years ago I had used photoshop extensively to edit photos I took with my brand new shiny DSLR, but after a while this burned me out, and I never wanted to touch photoshop again. It wasn’t until just recently that I’ve had an urge to mess around with photoshop, and created the image above.

What’s that you say? You want to create an image just as cool and awesome and super as that one. Well just follow these handy notes I made in my photoshop file.

Draw lines and dots. Radial blur, find edges, radial blur, invert. new layer, create center X, follow same as above. add background layer. color balance. twirl.

Yea, it confuses me too… Since then I’ve been rather unsuccessful creating any more interesting images. Mostly I’m only able to create gems such as this:

And yes, if you follow the directions above you will also be able to create this amazing image. That thug font is called ‘Street Soul’ by the way.

I still have barely touched my DLSR since getting burnt out though, which is truly a shame since I used to enjoy it a decent amount.

I did decide to take a lot of pictures when I journeyed to India last December. I only took my small point and shoot though because it is a pain to even carry around my DSLR anywhere. I also determined that the camera doesn’t make the picture – the framing, subject, etc. do. It took me a long time to figure that out (yea, I read about it in books, but I always need to stubbornly try things for myself), and by that time I was already done with photography.

Anyway, below is a nice picture from India taken in the town of Thylur – the location where my last name comes from. There was this old dude there who apparently even remembered the Thylurs back when my ancestors lived there and were the king’s liaisons in that town.

I suppose there are a few things I could edit in photoshop to make this picture a little bit more artsy, but lately I have found that I am much more pleased with simplicity.

16 comments to “Photography and Photoshop”

  1. Comment by Patrick:

    Academia FTW.

  2. Comment by Kevin:

    That’s fucking cool that there’s a city named for your ancestors.

  3. Comment by Andrew:

    Nice photo. The key I’ve learned in photography is close-ups and framing the subject off-center. Usually if you have the settings right on the camera you won’t need to do much photoshoppin’.

  4. Comment by Patrick:

    I think Amy has been to Thylur.

  5. Comment by Jon:

    What kinda DSLR do you have?
    I got a Canon XTi not too long ago, and have been trying to get into photography more as a hobby than anything else. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to take it anywhere interesting. I think I’ve gotten the technical details down, now I just need to get the skills. I’d love to take a class or something.

    This site offers a lot of good information on technique and has a ton of lens reviews: I find it very helpful in general.
    I also find this blog, the Strobist, to be very good for lighting technique and whatnot. Useful if you plan on taking posed shots of people, and just interesting and informative if you’re not.

    I’ve personally never been a big fan of overprocessed photos with contrast through the roof, and all those crazy effects. Unless it’s done tastefully, it seems more myspace than good photography.

  6. Comment by Kevin:

    I bet they all play counter-strike there.

  7. Comment by Patrick:

    I like the whole “Weniger ist mehr” approach to photography, and it reminds me of a nice saying in German (the language in which architect Mies van der Rohe first said “Weniger is mehr” or “Less is more”).

    The saying is “Weil einfach einfach einfach ist.” It means “beacuse simplicity is simply simple” (“einfach” means “simple” in German in every form: noun, adjective, or adverb).

  8. Comment by Michael:

    Jon – I have a Canon 20D with the 18-55mm lens it came with, and I also bought a 50mm lens for portraits (this was for a project I was going to do when I went to my term abroad in Prague). I got this camera about 3 years ago, and maybe it was a little overkill, but I am pretty happy with it (at least when I was using it actively). How is the XTi? That’s a version of the Rebel?

    Pat – I agree completely with those sayings.

  9. Comment by Jon:

    Yeah, the XTi is the previous generation Rebel. They just came out with the new XSi. It’s a good camera, though the build quality is a little lacking. I would love to have the magnesium bodied X0D series, but those are all out of my budget for the time being. I really like the speed, low light performance, and dynamic range on these things, but they do get really expensive, technical, and bulky to carry. I’d pay big money for a compact with that kind of speed and high ISO quality.

    So far, all I’ve got is a gallery of pics from the NY International Auto show. Nothing fancy/artsy, just cars.

  10. Comment by Michael:

    Those are some pretty sick cars though. I went to a motorcycle show not too long ago and took similar pictures.

  11. Comment by Kevin:

    Jon: Magnesium body? I know it’s pretty common for a lot of things, but what is it alloyed with? If I recall, Magnesium is highly reactive and explodes with contact to water.

    Michael: Will ever be revived? Do you post your photos anywhere?

  12. Comment by Michael:

    It’s not likely that Inkblur will be revived since I’m pretty sure I lost the domain name by now, plus when I have a site I’m paying for it forces me to think I need to use it, and that requires me taking pictures, which I don’t want to devote a lot of time to at this point in my life. Whew run on sentence.

    Unfortunately I don’t post my photos anywhere at the moment either. I posted a few more India photos on facebook, but those were at the request of someone else. Someday I will get something going again.

  13. Comment by Jon:

    No clue what it’s alloyed with, my guess would be mostly aluminum. I should have specified magnesium alloy.

    I think you’re confusing Mg with Na (sodium), which explodes in water. I remember my HS chem teacher actually demonstrated this to us (Ms. Glazebrook if you knew her), which sent pieces of beaker flying around the room like shrapnel. Afterwards she said, “I didn’t expect that.”
    Anyhow, Mg doesn’t explode in water at room temp. It is highly flammable and can’t be put out with water though, which Glazebrook also demonstrated to us. Burns a very bright white color (which can damage the eyes). HS chem was awesome, and I’m surprised no one in that class died.

  14. Comment by Jon:

    Looking back at some of the stuff in my gallery, I really need to do some processing in PS to correct colors and exposure.

  15. Comment by Kevin:

    Silly me, getting my alkali metals mixed up with my alkaline earth metals. Yeah, you’re right, Sodium is the one that does weird stuff in water…now I remember what you stated about Magnesium, and the ribbons of it that we had in class.

    I loved using those sparker things to light the bunsen burner. If you were really skilled you could make smoke rings with them.

  16. Comment by Jon:

    I remember everyone being disappointed that we wouldn’t be using matches anymore, but then everyone played with the sparkers so much that the flints wore out.

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