Monday, August 31, 2009

Light Machine.

Light Machine is a photoshop plugin, it offers several features centered around a shadow/highlight control, it also includes a sort of colour replacement tool. While it works pretty well in practice, I have to say though I'm puzzled by the companies logic, all these features are already in photoshop, and to be honest personally I prefer the photoshop shadow/highlight tool.

Motorcycle Madness, (or how to get very wet)

The weekend held an annual off road motorcycle scramble that I visit, I went to the water splash for some interesting pictures. Due to the poor weather I was lucky enough to have some nice pics, the rain added extra depth to the stream they cross, turning it in a good depth small river, I know I got pretty wet over the weekend but not as wet as these blokes I'm sure.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


We have a little competition going (on and off) between a group of photographers, this time the theme was movement. I looked at several ideas, including a very long exposure of water (in minutes) to make it look milky, and several other ideas, here's what I finally came yo with. It's a long-ish exposure (about half a second) taken while hanging onto a children's round-a-bout and trying to move at around at the same time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question day update final.

Yesterday the final part of question day took place, the formatted memory card, a friend of mine had managed to accidentally wipe the pics off her memory card.
I suspect this happens more frequently than you might think, but most people don't understand how the card actually works and they think they are gone for good.

In a way the cards a bit like a hard drive, when you delete or format a card you don't actually wipe the data off, what you are doing is removing the index that tells the computer whats there and where it is, so it cant see the data. Data recovery software (and there's lots of different ones) looks for the actual data rather than the index, it then re compiles a temporary index so it can "find" the pictures (or whatever) then it usually downloads them to a computer.

Last night I popped the memory card in my card reader, ran the software and Bob's your uncle! 465 recovered photos, the best part of 4 gb worth, there were about 4 corrupted pics, probably caused by overwriting at sometime or other, as the pics go back months, and probably several wipes.

Big women and brides dresses?

Why is it when ever I see a "big" bride she always seems to have a a ridiculously low cut dress, and to add insult to injury it always seems to be a few sizes to small. I mean did it actually fit in the bridal shop and the brides eaten an entire bakery just before the wedding, or did she really believe she's a size 6 when in fact the size should have 00 after the 6 ?
I can't think of anything much lesss flatering than rolls of fat "chicken fillets" hanging over to top of the dress.
And why the low necklines? I wonder sometimes how the dresses stay on, if it wasn't for the constant pulling up many wouldn't, and theres a scary thought.
I want to make it clear here I have nothing against big people, I'm no racing snake myself, but come on ladies please buy a dress that compliments your figure, or at very least one that fits properly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Video capture.

One of the problems with video is getting decent still images off them after, now new better software makes life easier.
Here I have used a Hi-def video clip to obtain a fairly decent still image, ok it's never going to compare with a 12 mp digital camera but it's not bad at all. The image has had no processing other than adding the name of the company who let me borrow the clip, it's as it came out of the software.
I'm impressed with both the quality of the image and indeed the video itself. Wayne

Question day update.

A second problem was solved (the lens issue) only one left now and I'm still awaiting the memory card.

Celeb news.

I have mentioned the Jordan (aka Katie Price)/Peter Andre thing before, but here's some more stuff I spotted recently.
Last week Peters new series started (going it alone) however not to be outdone (as usual) Wealthy Katie made news (on the very same day) that she was a kidnap target for the Russian mafia! However she wasn't too worried as her new boyfriend Alex Reid a cage fighter would protect her.
A few points Katie, first off if you aren't worried why are you blabbing it all to the papers?
Second point kidnappers usually don't kidnap the person with the money, that makes it a bit tricky to get the ransom, they usually kidnap somebody close.
Third point, the Russin mafia gangs have taken on the police and even army in the past, I don't think a cage fighter is going to scare them off love, they tend to come in AK47's blazing, a bare knuckle fighters going to have his work cut out punching all those 7.62 x 39mm bullets.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another talk through.

Here's another image from Tredegar house, this time there's 4 stages shown here. The first is the original image from camera, pretty flat and boring.
Second is the version after Topaz ajust with a preset I have made for it.
Third is after fixing the sign on the wall and the telephone wire, and a bit of sharpening.
The fourth stage is after silver effects pro, here I choose the "pinhole" preset.
With just a few minutes work we have gone back in time 80 or 90 years.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Questions day.

I seem to be getting a day of questions today, I don't really mind, it just shows that people think I'm clever enough to know the answers. (they must be easily fooled hee hee)

The first question I had was wheres the memory card in my Canon camera, yep a tog with a Canon digital SLR actually didn't know where the memory card was, she always downloads via a usb cable, and I wanted the card to put her pics on a laptop. Problem solved!

Next question was I have deleted all my pics off the memory card HELP! (different person) I do have recovery software which should get the images back ok, she told me on the phone she hasn't re-used the card, which is good news (if you re-use the card it writes over the images and then your knackered) as shes away I can't be certain of recovery until I try but in the past I have managed to recover images without any problems. Result pending.

Last question was a good friend has got a Fee warning on a Nikon camera, this means a lens problem of some sort, sometimes it's the lens not at the smallest aperture, other times it's a dodgy contact or, heavens forbid a faulty lens. Result pending.

Tredegar House.

I went to Tredegar House yesterday, here are a few of my pics from the day out.


FocalBlade is a sharpening plugin for Photoshop, made by Photowiz (the same people who made ColourWasher) it uses a similar-ish interface, and is simple enough to use, it seems to do a pretty good job of sharpening, although I haven't actually done a comparison test against Photoshops own sharpening or my personal favorite PK sharpener.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Masked Ball.

I was invited to photograph a masked ball recently, here are a few pics from the evening.

The biggest problem I had was space, there wasn't any, when I started to set up I was told I couldn't use the room I had planned to use, I ended up in a corridor by the ladies loo.... now why does that seem familiar?? Oh yes last week.

Not bad for shots in a small corridor I think. Wayne

Color Washer.

Color Washer is a plugin for Photoshop and other image editing programs, not as you might suspect something to do with my laundry.
It's a colour correction plugin, aimed at simplifying colour correction, in practice it's fairly easy to use, theres 5 auto choices and manual override, basically you pick a neutral area (white or grey) and the program does the rest.
In use it did a fair job on auto for this slightly out photo, I also tried on a difficult image and it coped reasonably, but needed some manual adjustment, it costs $50 (about £32) for the money it's not too bad a buy if you have a lot of colour problem that need fixing.

Talk through a fixed image.

Here's an image I edited for a colleague of mine, the original shot lit by a video light has several issues that need to be addressed from an editing point of view.
The first step was fixing the exposure, here I used the levels tool in photoshop to get it pretty close, I used an adjustment layer because I knew I'd have to come back to levels and "tweek" it later.
The colour was the next step, because a video light was used the image has quite a warm colour, with the exposure sorted it was easier to see the colour cast properly, I used the colour balance tool in photoshop adjusting the shadows, mid tones and highlights separately.
The next problem was that the adjustments had left the skin tones far too orange and saturated, so now I switched to the hue/saturation palette in photoshop, and selectively corrected the colour, the saturation and lightness of just the skin.
Next step was reducing the noise levels, because the image was under exposed slightly there was a fair bit of noise present, for this I used Noiseware pro, as it's much better than the noise removal in photoshop.
Next I decided to soften the background a bit, I selected just the bride, then used a blur filter to soften the background slightly, by using this on a duplicate layer I could use layer masks to put some sharpness back where I wanted it.
The final step was a quick tweek of the levels, as the other adjustments had affected them slightly, then flatten the layers and job done.
Nobody said it would be easy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Toning images.

Theres a lot of talk about toning pics, the easy way is to use photoshops hue/saturation palette, simply click the colourise box, and ajust the sliders to suit.
here I have used a blue tone to give an evening effect to the waves image, and a very slight red-ish tone to the arch pic, this reminds me of the old warmtone Agfa fiber based papers, much loved by the old film photographers. Wayne

Thursday, August 20, 2009


On Wednesday 21 December 1988 a bomb went off on board Pan Am 103, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members, a further 11 on the ground were also killed . A Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi , was convicted of the bombing in January 2001.
Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds today.
There have been questions since the bombing many claiming Megrahi wasn't responsible, among others Iran were suspected of involvement as a revenge attack for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by a US navy ship a few months before. Another claimed the CIA might have been involved and that the aircraft had been used for smuggling drugs as part of a covert operation (there were 2 inteligence officers on board) another report suggested the Israeli intelligence service might have been involved.
Whatever the truth we should remember the tragic events of the day.


We went clothes shopping today for the boys, among other things socks were big on the agenda. Why were socks so important? because somewhere in our house, and I'm dammed if I can find it, is a sock black hole. Yes they pass through the singularity somehow and into a dimension inhabited purely by a sock race.... they must do because it's pretty well neigh impossible to find a pair of socks in our house no matter how many I buy! Where else could they go?
Heres another thing about socks.... why do the always come in packs of three or six? Theres seven days in the week, or there were before we went metric and I don't think it's changed, wouldn't seven pairs make more sense, one for each day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A few pics for today.

These were taken a little while back, I posted some of the others at the time, as I have had a busy day with no time for shooting I thought I'd put up a few of these. Enjoy. Wayne

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The suns bad for you.

It seems we parents are not looking after our children properly. Only a third of people poled (only 2000 in total) buy their children eye protection from the sun, and (gasp!) nearly half of these put (another gasp!) price before quality.
This survey was carried out by the college of Optometrists (so no vested interested then lol) So ditch those cheapy boots sunglasses and nip out for a pair of Oakley Blades for the kids. Yes they will set you back a couple of hundred quid each, and yes they do offer the same protection as the boots ones, and yes there's no flipping sun here anyway, but the college of Optometrists will love you for it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The ladies toilet.

I mentioned yesterday that I'd tell you why I ended up in the ladies loo at the Mariot hotel on Saturday... and I will... later.
These are a few pics from the wedding, just a few of my favorites, both the B+G were lovely people and Louise (the bride) was a really good sport, even up for the beach on what was a very windy wet day, here she is flashing her "spurs" garter in this grab shot.
Back to the loo story (I know you have been waiting) well it goes like this... Flower girl falls over while playing, but unluckily for her the wire hoop in her dress broke and speared her leg, badly tearing her inner thigh, lot of blood, I offered my services as a medic, and was asked to go into the loo to patch her up, I spend a good few minutes sorting her out. She needed plaster stitches and a large dressing to stop the blood.
I come out of the cubical to find two attractive women fixing their make up in the mirrors, they look at me and do the double take, I say "what are you doing in the gents?" they look horrified for a few seconds then it dawns on them that they are in the ladies not the gents, "what are you doing in the ladies/" is the reply, I hold up large medical bag, "first aider!" all is well, "have you got anything for getting lipstick off?" I'm asked, "I haven't got any on" says I, "I can fix that" is the reply... and she did!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Birthday post.

Well it's my birthday today, 56 years old.... and I don't feel a day over 80!LOL shattered from a long day yesterday.
I'm absolutly stuffed from lunch, an all you can eat for nothing Indian buffett with family, now I'm off for the second part , friends are taking me out to dinner and a few drinks.
No pics today, haven't really got time to process any.

Taster.. tomorrow I'll tell you about why I was in the ladies loo in the mariot hotel yesterday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A few black and white for the weekend.

Here are a few black and white shots for the weekend... well theres a bit of colour thrown in for good measure, the so called "spot colour" it seems you either love them or hate them, me well I don't mind a few, but it can be overdone.
Have a nice weekend. Wayne

Tone mask.

The makers of TLR sharpening have produced a tone mask action/script for photoshop. Essentially what this combination of script/action does is make selections from various tonal ranges such as quarter tone, highlights, etc etc, while there are ways to do it already in Photoshop this tool does make it much easier. Here the highlights have been selected for further processing say cloning the selected area.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recent marina wander.

I took a wander around Swansea marina on the weekend, I spotted an old sailing barge type ship, lots of interesting features for HDR I said to myself, so here are a few of the shots. Wayne

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The new breed of wedding photographers... don't make me laugh.

There was talk on one of the forums recently of the "new breed" of wedding photographers, blowing away the old "fuddy duddy's" with their innovative styles etc.
Yeah right! I have come across some of these so called new breed recently, two managed to forget to take their cameras to the weddings they were shooting and had to borrow gear there, another of these idiots forgot his flash, and only after shooting half the wedding without it he remembered it was in the back of his car!
If these are examples of the "new breed" you can keep it quite frankly, I'll take the "old breed" any day!
I'm old enough to have been brought up on the old film cameras, not even an exposure meter, I can still "guess" the exposure near as damm it, I tried it today as a matter of fact, looked out the window guessed 125/f11 took the shot... and a nicely exposed digital image. I wonder how many of the new breed could do that.... even if they could remember their cameras!.
Here are a couple of fun shots from a recent wedding, the bridesmaid in the bath was a lovely young lady, and game for a laugh, the flower girl shot wasn't posed, just a grab shot as she played hide and seek, the couple were the best man and chief bridesmaid. Wayne

Friday, August 7, 2009


I had to go to Lougher today, so I stopped off and grabbed a few pics at the same time, these all shot on Nikon, and the "tweeks" in photoshop. Wayne

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunny day for a change.

Managed to get out and take a few shots today, all converted to HDR. Here I went for the "heavy" HDR (high dynamic range) look, rather than the lighter effect I often choose, I just fancied something punchy!
Not a happy bunny today, my printers run out of ink just as I need to send off some important documents, I tried the other laser printer but that keeps jamming the paper, so I have just refiled the ink cartridge. Last time I tried I managed to paint myself the boys and most of the kitchen blue when it burst all over us, talk about Smerfs, even the air was blue (that was me mind lol) this time so far it's gone ok, although I haven't put the ink cartridge back in yet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Topaz Detail.

Topaz labs are due to launch a new product soon, called Detail, basically a local contrast enhancer, it will give a halo free HDR type effect (it's claimed)
I have been trying the Beta version, and while it seems to work fine it is slow loading (but I was using a large hi-res image) and I find if pushed I do get mild halos, that said I haven't had long to play with it and I'm still learning it's abilities. In use it's very simple just 6 sliders and a number of presets (and you can save your own when you get settings you like). It seem to me to have a lot of possibilites, and it looks like theres room for a lot of different effects with practice. Here a very boring image of logs has been given an almost illustrated look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More wedding pics.

Here are a few more from a recent wedding, personally I like "spot coloured" images (the ones partially colour partially black and white) Although a lot of photographers hate them. Wayne