foto finish

happy weekend!  is anyone else as happy as i am that it's the weekend?  weekends around here are family time since it gets a little crazy during the week with my school schedule and my husband's work schedule.  but when the weekend rolls around, our little family usually gets a good amount of time together.  this saturday is an early dinner with good friends. We're going at 4:30, or senior hour, which is our most favorite time of the day to go out to restaurants--how sad!  as my friend put it, senior hour = baby hour (their little girl is 5 months older than Mr. Bagubian) and she's so right.  sunday is Easter and i think we just get to take it easy that day with a little egg hunt for the Goob, and a good meal with my in-laws.  the only downside is that i do have some serious school work to accomplish.

{low horizon sunburst clouds}
i thought it would be a nice end to each week here in blog world if i posted some photos.  we recently had a landscape assignment in my photography class and were allowed to use some creative effects to adjust our pictures.  we also had to shoot some panoramas and HDR photos.  i'm a little proud of my results, though by no means do i consider myself a pro.

this probably turned out to be my favorite photo in the set.  it's a vertical panorama of a power line tower.  i like it because of the vintage look it ended up with after i fussed about with it in Photoshop.  that old-time, antiqued look is all the rage right now, thanks in part to Instagram, but i like this one because i achieved it myself by playing around with the color balance and saturation levels.  i also like that it's vertical and not horizontal like most panoramas.

everything about this next photo is abstract and it's got a completely different feel to it than the panorama.  it's actually a blend of 2 photos that i took around 6:30 on a rainy morning.  because it was still a bit dark out, i had a long shutter opening and i just moved the camera back and forth while i was waiting for the camera to capture the images.  the result in each photo was that the street lights left trails and those are the white lines you see.  i merged the two photos and then i think (i can't remember the exact technique) i used a photo filter in PS  to get the very unnatural raspberry color.

this is one of my HDR pictures.  HDR stands for high dynamic range and to get it you must take at least 3 different photos of the same thing within seconds of each other.  you want 1 normal exposure and then 1 exposure below that and 1 exposure above it.  this is called bracketing.  it's very important that nothing be moving in the photo and you want to keep all of your camera settings--save for the exposures--exactly the same.  you also don't want to accidentally jiggle the camera so using a tripod and remote is highly recommended.  some cameras will do the work for you and shoot each picture in rapid sequence.  my camera--i used a Nikon D40--doesn't have that feature so i had to do it manually but that wasn't a big deal.  i merged the 3 photos in PS to capture the surreal effect of the extreme exposure range and then played around with some presets in LightRoom to get this look.  again, very unnatural, (and some people loathe HDR photos for that very reason) but i love that aqua skyline! 

once more with the pink in this photo although i really wasn't trying to make all my pictures pink.  or maybe i was, since i was trying to achieve an antiqued-pastel kind of look for a lot of them.  this was taken at dusk after we had had some rain showers and there was that fog over the mountains that i was trying to capture.  i did have the intention in most of the pictures to leave a lot of negative space and not fill up the entire frame with "stuff".  again here i played with the color balance in PS and added a warming photo filter.  

are these amazing photographs?  no, probably not, but for as clumsy as i feel with my camera and in Photoshop most of the time, i'm pretty happy with the results.  i will post more next week-end but if you seriously can't wait that long and you'd like to see the entire set, you can visit them here

{disclaimer:  you should know that altogether i shot about 500 photos for this project and ended up with about 20 i liked!   these didn't just happen.}