Oct 9, 2009

Still Life

My wife and I share a growing interest in photography. Over the past eight years of our marriage, we've owned several cameras. Each time one "dies" usually after considerable use, we modestly upgrade as our budget allows. Our current camera, a Canon S5 IS has served us well as we continue learning the basics of photography.

Recently some friends asked my wife if she would be willing to shoot some pictures of their musical instruments. They want to make enlargements to do some interesting photo-decor in one of the rooms in their house--the practice room. My wife volunteered, "Well Dan can do it--he's more of the still-life guy. He has more patience with the tripod." This gave us both a chuckle, as neither of us has ever actually vocalized this distinction. It's true that she takes most of the people pictures, and I take most of the "thing" pictures. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post a couple of our favorites. I'll post the originals and the "photoshopped" edited versions. You may think this is "cheating," but the truth is that most (if not all) professionals do some simple things in some sort of photo editing software to make their pictures "pop." We currently use iPhoto, but plan to upgrade to Photoshop Elements in the near future.








Kelly said...

Very nice. What are you doing when you edit the photos?

(I dropped Photoshop a long time ago and replaced it with an open source program called The Gimp. You might check it out. (you can run it on the Mac, too))

Mjbeeswax said...

those are sweet. once I'm a little more familiar with basics I'm learning now, maybe we can talk some shop and you can give me a few pointers...

The Blossers said...

Matt, what are you doing up at 4:50am:-) How's the wee one? Diedra

Rhonda said...

nice! you BOTH have photography talent :)

Stephanie Robertson said...

Wow, Dan! These are great. Those are some lucky people that you so generously gave up your time and talent to produce such AMAZING images. I'm with Kelly, Gimp is totally free and has the same feel as photoshop.

i really think you guys have what it takes to move to the next level of photography!!! I hope to see you guys do that in the near future.

The Blossers said...

Thanks guys, I'll have to check out this Gimp program! I'm not sure what all we do in iPhoto. Diedra does most of the work. It has some push-botton editing features for boosting color, changing to B&W, etc. Diedra adjusts the sliders that control exposure, contrast, sharpness, etc. We probably need to get a book and find out the basic principles behind photo editing, but for now, we just tweak away until we think it looks "cool."

MjBeeswax, you should be asking Rhonda for the pointers. For starters (and you've probably already done this--we're similar in this regard), I'd sit down with your camera manual and read it cover to cover. Take practice shots in the different modes, seeing if you can reproduce whatever the manual is describing.

Thanks, everyone for the encouraging words. And thanks, Steph, for the consult. Diedra's really having fun (I am too, btw)!

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

I recommend Lightroom. It's a photo-editing software from Adobe that is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than Photoshop. If you're not going to do a lot of manipulation (i.e. cut and paste), then Lightroom is the way to go. It's what I use for all of my photos now: www.allisonlaura.com

BTW...I used Gimp for a while, but for me, it had too big of a learning curve. There are a lot of great Lightroom tutorials on youtube that have helped me.

Have fun on your new adventure!

The Blossers said...

Alison, thanks for the tip. Your pictures look great! You have any advice for us as we shop for DSLRs?

Rhonda, feel free to weigh in on that question too.