A flock to show the passage of time

While I fiddle a lot with little digital cameras, I haven’t quite worked out how to do multiple exposures. So again I turn to Photoshop. This is a composite of three photos in an attempt to show the passing of time as  the morning’s flight of starlings flows from the left and ends in the little tree on the right. The earliest birds are in the lightest gray “screen,” the last ones are in black.

birds flying into tree branches.

Phun with Photoshop philters

I’m not big on using Photoshop to “rescue” a bad photo, but sometimes it’s just fun to see what the program can do. Our office has been trying out the cloud version for a couple of months now. It’s a bit of a step up from CS3 on my desktop and Elements 5 on my barely-hanging-on-PC laptop. A couple of photos whose elements I thought translated nicely into the flat “cutout” filter — making them almost like prints, or even stained glass.

 

Feeling a little black and whitish

Of course, these are not truly black and white, having been shot in living RGB on digital point n’ shoot. When framing a shot for eventual conversion to black and white, or specifically infrared-ish, there is still the challenge of evaluating the color and contrast in the viewfinder and filtering it through your brain, hoping the resulting image will match your ambitions.

The first lesson I had in this area was in the pre-digital days. As wire editor for a newspaper chain, I’d watch as The Associated Press LaserPhoto machine spit out, on a special paper, color photos as color separations. There were four images for each photo and though they were black and white, each represented the yellow, black, cyan and magenta components of a full-color image.  When aligned correctly and run through a four-color press, magically, a full color image would appear.

When shooting through an RGB device, your imagination has to substitute for those CMYK separations — taking it a step further and using only three mental filters, red, green and blue.  Of course, if your image doesn’t meet your ambitions, there’s probably a fix in Photoshop.

Cypress growing in a backwater.
Cypress growing in a lake near the Arkansas Forestry Commission nursery east of Little Rock.
5-24 Cloud rays BW
Clouds spread out like rays from the north.

This was originally shot for this weekend’s In the Background photo challenge, aiming for a little bird in a tree in the background. Once downloaded, the clouds just leapt from the frame.

Photomerge FAIL

Automation can be a boon and sometimes the Photomerge feature of Photoshop is a quicker way to stitch contiguous images. However, at its worst, it can be amusing, or refreshingly abstract. Your call. [compare with the panoramic image in the previous post below.]

ROBOT GONE WRONG -- Amusing result of Photoshop trying to stitch a series of images.

In the bleak early winter

Somehow, the Ouachita Mountains seem to make the rainiest and foggiest days beautiful. Shooting through the rain-streaked glass gave the image a 19th century feel.

windswept Ouachita landscape
Gothic horror setting as a winter rainstorm sweeps through the Ouachita Mountains.
sepia style image of a foggy day in the Ouachita Mountains
Oaks and pines stand together in a winter rain. (Samsung Fascinate photo)
rain streaked window
The rain streaked window offers a wonderful distortion. There was still enough ambient light to show the subtle browns of oak leaves clinging to the tree.