Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baby Alex…

Sometimes photos are just so easy to take. Last week I had the chance to photograph the baby grandson of a good friend. Alex is eight months old and very photogenic. It was hard to choose a favorite among all the photos I took of him, but I think this close-up is the winner. More about the steps I took to "develop" the photo in the expanded post.

I began by importing photos into a program called Adobe Lightroom. In Lightroom I make adjustments to the white balance, exposure, color saturation and color luminance.

The photo on the left is the original image, the photo on the right has been corrected in Lightroom.

The photo was then opened in Adobe Photoshop and the exposure and color were "tweeked" using the Hue/Saturation, and Curves tools.

A layer mask was used to sharpen the hands and pacifier, while keeping the skin soft looking. The eyes were also sharpened to make them stand out.

Finally, I used the spot healing tool to eliminate a few tiny blemishes on the bridge of the nose and to soften the pronounced viens in the same area.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Link to an excellent post…

Today I wanted to share an essay that I read yesterday, titled Believing is Seeing: Being Taken by Pictures.

Everyday I try to find time to read several (OK, more than several) blogs on photography and Photoshop. One of these blogs is Scott Kelby's Adobe Photoshop Insider (this link is to Scott's blog and will open on the current post, not the post I want to share with you). Scott is the a president of the National Association for Photoshop Professionals and his blog is often very informative. Yesterday he instituted a new feature of hosting "guest bloggers" every Wednesday, and yesterday's post was well worth reading. It was written by photographer Vincent Versace (photographer, author and teacher — visit his web site for more about who he is) who writes about how he answers the question "How do I take better pictures?"

This being my photo blog, I am including one photo, which will be familiar to anyone who lives on Long Island — or has traveled by air over the island. I'll write about how I achieved the appearance of the photo in my next post.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Two photos taken at a KOA campground in Manchester, Tennessee. The squirrels were abundant in the park, up and down all the trees and running all over the place. The duck was with of a group of ducks, but it was the only one with the unusual topnot.

If you want to learn more about photography in general, there are numerous excellent sources on the web. The Endless Years (endlessyears.com) is one site you might want to take a look at. The site is devoted to photography, video, and scrapbooking — with a target audience of baby boomers. Some of the posts are simplistic, but most of posts offer good ideas, tips, and techniques, and the blog is updated daily.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home on Long Island and the blog evolves…

Home again on Long Island! If only it wasn't so difficult to get here. This photo shows the traffic on the George Washington Bridge on Mother's Day Sunday at about 7 P.M. Not fun for anyone, but brutal in a motor home.

If you are visiting views through my lens… for the first time, welcome. Beginning with this post something new is being added to the blog. I will continue posting photos and brief text about the photos, but I am adding a "jump" to another page, where I will include digital photography links, tips and how to's. Please send me comments if you have any thoughts to share—I'd love to hear from you. If you want to be notified of blog updates, you will be able to subscribe to the blog with an RSS feed sometime next week. Or, send me an email and I will add you to the email update list.

This photo of the George Washington bridge was taken with a Nikon D70 DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) and a Nikkor 70–300 VR zoom lens. The lens was set to 70mm and the camera was set to f/6.3 at 1/50 of second.

The VR lens (for vibration reduction) has an active mode for taking photos when the camera, as well as the subject, is moving. I took this photo while stuck in traffic, so movement was not much of a problem, but I do use the lens all the time to take photos from the RV and boats (well, maybe only a few times on boats). Vibration reductions, or image stabiliztion (same thing) really makes a difference when you are taking photos from a moving object, with a physically long lens, or in reduced light. The stabilization technology, whether is in the lens or built into a point & shoot camera, compensates for hand and body movement and reduces the chance of getting blurry photos. A must on your next camera or lens!

Friday, May 9, 2008

One more Disney topiary...

One more post of the Disney topiary photos, then a short hiatus while we drive home from the Life on Wheels Conference in Kentucky. By Wednesday I hope to be back to posting several times a week.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are located at the water's edge in the World Showcase. As soon as I spied them they begged to become a panorama photo. The panorama is made up of five overlapping photos stitched together using Photoshop CS 3 — which does an amazing job of matching the pieces.

By the nature of a panorama, and the size requirements of my blog, the photo is small, but please click to see a larger version.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

EPCOT in Green…

It has been a while since I posted photos. Life gets in the way — and so does being somewhere without an internet connection! How life, and "needs" have changed in the last decade.

Anyway, we spend last week at Ft. Wilderness Campground at Disney World. EPCOT is having a Garden & Flower Festival, and I had a great time shooting all over the park. One of the major features of the festival are topiary statues of Disney character. Pluto met us as we enter the park, and we encountered the other characters in the world showcase.