playing with pictures || 17may2022

©2022 Michael Raven

First off, a Public Service Announcement:

Affinity Suite is running 50% off spring sale on all elements of their suite, including add on brushes and effects. The complete suite contains Designer (akin to Adobe Illustrator), Publisher (akin to Adobe InDesign) and Photo (akin to Adobe Photoshop). That means each element is running at around $27 US and the complete suite can be purchased for $81 US as a single payment, instead of a reoccurring license fee that Adobe charges for similar tools starting a $10 US/mo. Without comparing pencils sizes, I always prefer to use a one-time fee over a subscription for software, especially when what I would want would cost be closer to $20 US/mo through Adobe. If you need these kinds of tools, check out Affinity’s webpage (I get no kickbacks for this suggestion. No implied endorsements and no links).

A few pictures turned out decent while I walked in the neighborhood this weekend and went to that local wildlife area. All photos taken late afternoon on 15 May.

I took the featured image with my GoPro Hero 10 Black. As my standard disclaimer goes, I don’t know what the f**k I’m doing, but I’m trying to get the swing of taking pictures in the hope that I might develop an eye for photo composition moving forward. It has been relatively rainy this past month and to call this body of water a creek is a bit of a stretch and requires some imagination. In fact, if you look at the surface of the water, you’ll see that the rainclouds decided to ninja me and appear out of nowhere to give me a gentle shower while I was roaming the park. Rather than a creek, it is a line of water that connects two ponds in the wilderness preserve; within a month, it will be bone dry except when it rains and, within hours, it will dry up again.

I picked up the aforementioned software in my PSA because I was not exactly impressed with Pixlr, which is an online photo manipulation bit of software. It does the job, but I found it was lacking in tools and the tools it had were not satisfactory in my uneducated opinion. Photo seems to do a better job of balancing out the colors and adding a little bit of “pop”. Also, Pixlr introduces some artifacts because the 5k filesize was too big for it and my pictures were downscaled as a result.

The header does have some photo manipulation. I would be dishonest if I suggested otherwise, but not as much as you might think… I did a wee bit of cropping to better compose the photo and remove the hint of a residential house near the top of the photo. The rest was a bit of color correction, minor added vibrancy and contrast. Otherwise the picture is largely as how it looks in the camera — just slightly jauntier.

The next picture I took was of some flower pushing its way through the autumn leaves. I liked the shock of green against the muted browns and, while I wish I had brought my tripod due to the overcast skies that decided to pay me a visit to combat some of the movement while taking the picture, I think it mostly turned out well. One of the interesting limitations of the GoPro, as I understand it, is that lighting is absolutely essential for getting really good pictures. If it is darker, the shutter stays open just a little longer to compensate, and there is a hint of a blur as a result if you move even a little. I probably shake like a drunk with DTs — I’ve never had the most steady of hands and I think the picture would have been far better defined if I had my tripod. Again, only the most basic adjustments to the picture: some standard correction, added vibrancy to the already bright green, and a little playing around with the shadows.

The last picture is one of the stairs leading out of the low part of the part up into the residential area. This one I filtered to B&W and enhanced the contrast a wee bit (as well as doing some cropping and white balance and yada yada yada). It seems like I like my stairs and I like them in B&W. Additionally, the colors in the picture were not all that appealing, being more of a sickly yellow than a vibrant green (probably due to the chemicals in the yards at the top of the slope).

I had a few others, but they haven’t been processed and I haven’t decided if they are interesting enough to post.

4 thoughts on “playing with pictures || 17may2022

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