Archive for the 'My Journey' Category

Progressing to the Next Level – Photoshop

In a previous post I outlined the benefits of editing your images so I thought it would be a good idea to outline the thought process behind my choice and some of the trade offs that need to be made. Admittedly it is nowhere near as important a decision as buying a camera but it is still a significant purchase than needs time and thought.

Free bundled software

I started of using the software that came with my camera, Olympus Master. However I quickly became frustrated by certain elements of the program and how it worked. Here are the main things that bugged me about it:

  • It’s slow as hell. Doing any adjustments took time and converting a RAW to JPEG took over 60s and killed the rest of the computer while doing it.
  • Lack of features, particularly for RAW development
  • Ropey looking results (although this is probably user error!)
  • Destructive work flow. Any edits made to pics are permanent so seeing the effect of what you have done is difficult.

So I decided to upgrade. I chose Photoshop Elements but why?

Photoshop Elements

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Black and White

It is amazing how something so simple as converting you shots to black and white can improve your shots. The beauty of digital is that you don’t need to decide on B&W before you shoot either. Its much easier and actually a far superior to convert later in your computer. I find it works best for photos with strong compositional elements where colour is not that strong anyway. Everything from sweeping landscapes, cityscapes to classic portraits can benefit from a lack of colour. So give it a go, I did.

London Eye Sepia

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Should You Shoot RAW?

In my post about whether to buy a DSLR or not I noted that one of the plus points was that it could shoot RAW. But what is it? What difference does it make to my photos? Should I use it? There is a lot of opinion out there on this issue so I went back to the facts to make my own mind up.

What is RAW?

RAW is a file format that your camera can use to save your photos, you have probably hear of JPEG which is probably the other format your camera can use. JPEG files have the extension .jpg but, confusingly, RAW files have different extensions set by your camera’s manufacturer. My Olympus creates .orf, Nikons .NEF and Canons .cr2. So how is a RAW file different from a JPEG? The RAW file is just that, raw data straight from the camera’s sensor where as a JPEG file has had all of the camera’s settings applied to it to process the image into a use-able format. The JPEG image has also been compressed to a smaller size by discarding some of the RAW data it no longer needs now the settings have been applied. The flow chart below is probably the easiest way to describe it.

Raw Flow Chart

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How Digital Changed the World of Photography

Recently over at the DPS forum I came across a thread where someone had asked a question about how digital had changed the world off photography. Which got me thinking!

Had digital actually changed the world of photography all on its own?


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London baby – The most photogenic city on earth

Appart from maybe Hong Kong!

Shortly after I got my new camera I had to go to London and it turned out I had the whole morning in the city by myself to go where I wanted and shoot for as long as I wanted to, excellent. This really is a great way to shoot, no time constraints, no frowns from everyone else as you take another photo of the same thing over and over. A real opportunity to take some time to consider my shots and come up with something good.

London is also a fantastic city to shoot in, so many varied oportunities and subjects to shoot. Unfortunately it ws a really overcast day but oh well. I decided on an agenda that would take me to as many locations as possible to make the most of my time, if I was able to more often I would probably try to spend more time in each location but needs must. I decided my iteneray would be to start off by getting the tube to St. Pauls Cathedral and walking down over the Milenium Bridge to the Tate Modern. St. Pauls and the Milenium Bridge provide some great cityscape vistas, the Tate modern is also a stricking buliding but my main reason for this was to visit the large exhibition they had in the main room.

St Paul's Storm

St. Pauls and Millenium Bridge

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Auto ISO – Arrrhhh

One of the first settings I changed on my camera was the Auto ISO setting. In my opinion it is one of the most anoying things the camera can fiddle with. It never seems to get the correct setting and you only ever notice after its too late. But what prompted me to make this change you ask? This…

Rivelin 1
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Motion Blur

Motion blur is one of my favourite effects when shooting digital photographs. When it all comes together it can look really spectacular. Done well it can look like a very difficult shot to achive but in reality it’s not that hard a process. In my next post I get into some detail about how to control motion blur with shutter speed but before that here are two of my favourite motion blur shots and some details about how I took them.

Bank Continue reading ‘Motion Blur’

Welcome to my blog

I am an amatuer photographer living in Sheffield, England. My blog will detail my photography journey, from fumbling beginer to, hopefully one day, competant and knowledgeable photographer

By sharing my experince hopefully I can help every one else with the same goals and maybe, just maybe impart some of the knowledge I have leaned

If you have any questions or comments about the blog then why not email me.
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