Archive for photography

Gloria

One of my favorite portraits, which has never gotten properly featured, not being genre or fashion.

 

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Because I like to share…

My lab is currently running a 2 for 1 sale on prints of 16×16 and above, and I believe in passing these things on. So if you ever wanted two of my large works — or perhaps one for you and one for a friend? Get me an order before January 25th.

(Perhaps this one, which is at its stunning best when printed 24×36?)

(or this one, which is awesome at 16×16 or 20×20?)

Both pieces (and others) can currently be viewed at Balderdash Art and Books on Greenwood Ave all month.

Send me e-mail at sales AT jepphoto.com, and I will make you a custom invoice.

(Does not apply to MetalPrints)

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Photo Friday: Vivid

Gladiola:

Pink Gladiola

Geometric Pink Gladiola

(Okay, probably some of this February’s work with tulips is the most vivid, really, but I’ve already *posted* those, possibly even to past Photo Fridays.)

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Incoming Pretties!

I am so excited — in conjunction with Sovereign Sea Designs, I had a dozen pendants made from my some of my photographs. They need to be properly individually photographed and strung before I list them on artfire, but here is a quickie pic (well, scan. It was faster than grabbing the camera) of what’s to come.

A baker's dozen of adorable photo pendants

One of the poppies is already spoken for; if you want to call dibs on one, speak quickly. They’ll be  $15 + shipping/tax as appropriate.

UPDATE: They have all been added to the shop (except the anemone bracelet, which still needs it’s bracelet constructed) and you can check them out here: Jeliza’s Photo Jewelry. Free Shipping (in the US and Canada) until Dec. 20th!

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In the still of the night

While I won’t go so far to say that I *like* being up at this hour of the morning (eldest daughter had a nightmare at 4 am,  and after settling her I haven’t been able to go back to sleep) there is a quiet and a stillness to sleeping house and sleeping night that I very much appreciate.

I did the dishes (slowly, so as not to clank), and then sat down with a folder of untouched, pre-2003 film scans to see what else there was to see. These pieces went well with my current, quiet, mood.

October 29, 2002. film.

October 29, 2002. film.

Coneflowers. film.

Though I wonder if I would process them differently, if it were 5 in the evening and brightly sunny.

October 29, 2002. film.

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Because I have always thought this way

I was looking through scans of my old film work, and found a number of photographs that fit in perfectly with the new direction of floral abstraction I took this year; it was probably the same lens, too. (Thank you, Pentax, for lens backward-compatibility!)

Prints will be available for these two, with a goodly dose more to come:

Macro Pink Fringed Tulip, 2003

California Poppy petals, 2003

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snip snip snip

This is, by objective measures, a terrible picture of me (and my new haircut, which is a return to an old haircut) and yet… somehow I am utterly charmed by it. Maybe because it feels like right now I never stop moving, and so this is more emotionally accurate than any carefully composed and lit headshot I could produce right now.

blurry cameraphone pic of new haircut in blue room

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Blue Skies and Critters

While I’m not claiming anything really, I would like to note that it was cloudy and grey when I started this collection, and now it is absolutely beautiful out:

Vintage Fashion

Fall has hit with a vengeance, and I was reminded last night on my way home from my (post-kid-bedtime) swimming class of my Mother’s tales of people’s hair freezing after swimming when she was at the University of Idaho. (Yes, I know it is not that cold here. But I’m a wimp.)

Photographically, I’ve been spending most of my time doing product shots lately, but I did get to take the new camera body along on a recent zoo visit, which was entertaining:

Kookaburra from Woodland Park Zoo

Previously unidentified bird now ID'ed as a Kookaburra, thank you Loree and Samantha!

Pacing Jaguar at the Woodland Park Zoo

The jaguar was doing quick circuits around the exhibit when we arrived, and at one point ran right next to the glass. I may have squeeed audibly.

The Lady...

The Lady....


... and the tiger

... and the tiger

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Photo Friday: Macro Shot

Dandelion close-up, in color

The hardest thing about this topic was finding something I haven’t already shown, since I’ve had so few chances to do any photography “for fun” the last few months.  I don’t know that I’ll make any huge prints of this, but I think it’s rather sweet.

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How to improve the legibilty of an image using Lens Blur (photoshop tutorial)

I’m currently constructing an album for my friends Tree & Marcus’s handfasting, and one of the shots of mine they selected for inclusion was this shot of Marcus putting the ring on Tree’s finger. It’s a lovely moment, their expressions look nice, but, well, it’s awfully busy with all the people in the background — a danger of the “ceremony in the round” approach. Since I can’t go back in time and switch from f/9 to f/2.8, or tell the cute redhead to wear a more subdued shirt (I totally picked that out for him — talk about hoist on my own petard!) it’s time to do some photoshop to make the image all about the moment.

I don’t want to change the reality of the image; it was a lovely circle ceremony, and the people watching are important to the overall story, so just replacing them with trees and grass is not an appropriate strategy. So the biggest change I’m going to make is to make those people less obvious by, essentially, “faking” the wide-open aperture that would have been better in the first place.

Our starting point, straight from camera other than cropping:

Step 1: Unaltered Image

Step 1: We want to make this a realistic lens blur, rather than an impressionistic effect, so we want everything within the same distance range to stay in focus. Make a selection of the lovely couple, and also the flowers on the table, since they are much closer to the couple than anything else. I used the Quick Select Tool for this; in earlier versions of photoshop, I would have just brushed in the mask using QuickMask mode. It doesn’t need to be perfect, especially if the edges are a little soft. Err on the side of blurring edges of the main subject, since we can mask out extra blur out later if need be.
Step 2: Save the selection as a channel named “bride and groom”. Deselect All.

Step 3: Duplicate the background layer, and name the new layer “lens blur.” Then go to Filters -> Lens Blur. Tell Lens Blur to use the “bride and groom” channel as it’s Depth Map, and click “invert” so it works on everything *but* the bride and groom. Then, fiddle with the sliders, particularly radius, until it looks right; the edges may be wonky (i.e. the groom’s glasses are now missing), but don’t worry, we’ll fix this in the next step.

Step 3: Lens Blur Added

Step 4: Cleanup: Add a layer mask to our “lens blur” layer, and with a soft round brush and black as your foreground color, carefully brush the edges of our main figures so that they have crisp edges and the falloff to the blurred area looks natural. I also roughed in their bodies with a big brush out of habit, which proved useful later.

Step 4: After Mask Cleanup

That’s a definite improvement, especially at print size, but not quite as much as I would like, so let’s take it a step farther:
Step 5: Ctrl-click on the mask of our “lens blur” layer to pick up the selection, then make a Hue-Saturation Adjustment layer, and slightly reduce the saturation and the lightness of our background players. (I used -11 Saturation and -12 Lightness, but it’s strictly an adjust to taste thing.)

Final, after lens blur and saturation changes

And there we are. Is it an earth-shaking retouch? No. Does it make the picture — and the story being told by the album the picture will be in — easier to read? Definitely. Completely worth the two minutes.

(Note: I am using CS4, but I believe all the techniques in this, and certainly the general theory, will work in any version of photoshop/photoshop elements with lens blur; if you have a much earlier version you could probably make Gaussian Blur work as long as you are careful.)

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