Thursday, September 14, 2006

Been Busy!

Hi all.

Sorry I haven't updated this site recently, but I've been hard at work on my business and getting a new look for the teyaphoto website. Check it out at and let me know what you think :) You will still be able to buy borders and actions (Action Pack 3 coming soon!) from the link on the home/splash page to the old html site.

Lastnight I taught another photography class at a scrapbooking store and I created a few handouts that I will try to put up here for download :)

Ainsley is into everything and talking up a storm! She says so many words and can climb just about anything anywhere. I will try to post some new photo tips soon!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

More with white

I'm sorry I haven't posted in so long! I really need people to ask questions and I will answer them :) So feel free to ask about anything you would like to learn about...

This is my new happy find (on the recommendation of many photogs on ILP): Marine Vinyl. I didn't buy enough for grown up portraits, but have been utilizing it in Christmas promotional materials w/little ones.

Here is Ainsley, who is now a running tornado and shown on her rocking moose (that I'm thinking I might be able to pass off as a reindeer?).

This is all natural light, outside around 6:45pm (sunset was around 8pm).

For the second one, I created a duplicate layer and applied a gaussian blur, set the blend mode to "soft light" and the opacity to 70% and erased out the eyes.

The one thing you have to watch with the marine vinyl is that it is so reflective, I was having trouble with the feet getting overexposed. I will have to try a gobo above or a reflector to compensate and brighten up the top of the body so I can bring down my settings.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A little help from my friend (CS2)

Even the best of us (not counting myself among that crowd though) has to shoot in less than ideal conditions. Wanted to get a few snaps of Ainsley today as she toddled about drinking her juice concoction (smoothie w/water).

She's been doing this thing where she puts everything on her head as a hat or puts it behind her near her ear as a phone. She had just switched from one to the other in this shot, which was 1600 ISO and as low a SS and f-stop as I cared to go.

There still wasn't enough light! and even though I brought it down in RAW it was still pretty underexposed so I had plenty of noise and some undesirable color casts.

Enter Photoshop. Curves, selective coloring and a screen layer (erasing back the white shirt) bring the results on the left. Still not perfect, but it captures a moment w/out being too embarrassing. The shot on the right is what it looked like SOOC but for a bit of exposure tweaking (-.30 to eliminate some noise) and CWB:

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A First Birthday!

Ainsley is now one. She walks well and eats just about everything and is becoming more and more communicative. Here are two shots from her party: enjoying her cake and the abandoned cake once she discovered the yummy paper plate and frosting combo!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Finally a biped!

Ainsley is walking - if a little haphazardly. She has been taking a few steps for months, but finally is able to stand up on her own and walk all over without falling (has a little bit more difficulty outside in her hard shoes on the uneven terrain).

Here are some shots of her today eating strawberries and whipped cream - the bruise is a testament to her yet unsteady gait.

I'll put her official walking date at 11 and a half months :)

I discovered (or the optometrist discovered) that I have an astigmatism in my left eye. He doesn't think it is enough to correct, so I've decided to switch my shooting eye to my right. These are my first right-eyed shots.

The one to the right was shot at ISO 800, 1/80th at f/3.2. Natural light from a bank of windows in our kitchen about eight feet away.

Just a slight curves boost and a resize and sharpen for web (no noise removal applied to these).

Saturday, April 01, 2006

More about noise

As further illustration to my conversation about noise, I took two images shot at ISO 800 and sampled the noisiest spots from each (both are smooth wood, and although there were darker spots in each shot, these spots illustrated the noise pattern best). The first I had underexposed (an oops) and had to bring up exposure in RAW and the second I overexposed (on purpose) and brought down my exposure. You will notice the much finer grain in the second.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ainsley is almost 1!

Two posts tonight. One purely photo-related (below) and one to show off my gorgeous daughter who will be one year old very soon!

Ainsley is walking little stretches (though is still quite timid about it), is picking up new words all the time and will now give us kisses with an accompanying "mwah" sound :D

Here is a picture of her with her fabulous messy hair - I love it!

Noise reduction technique

So it's known that I get a lot of noise w/my XT above 200 ISO. I have learned how to take steps to reduce this noise. First thing I do is to shoot to the right (talking histograms) or slightly overexpose my images. Since I shoot in RAW I then process them to have an exposure around -0.25 from what was shot (sometimes as far down as -0.75). This gives me bright and relatively clean images.

I then do my editing in Photoshop and use some noise reduction filtering. I was using Neat Image, but found that it would often mess with the color cast of m
y photos. Straight on PS Reduce noise was ok sometimes, but wasn't consistent in the results. I then read that I should reduce the noise on individual color channels, so in the Channels window I reduce the blue, green and red all separately adn I think I get a decent result.

The following illustrates a shot I took at 800 ISO SOOC and then with the noise reduced as described above (note that even the SOOC has been processed in RAW to be -0.15 from what it was shot at). These shots are at 100%.


with noise reduced:

and with my final processing including curves and a bit of sharpening: