Macro

Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

By Sebastien Grobelny

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Macro

Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

Supergirl at New York Comic Con 2012By Sebastien Grobelny

World Wide Photo Walk

I do apologize if you were looking for your weekly long exposure fix but it will come back next week.

Tomorrow, on Saturday 5th of October I will be part of the World Wide Photo Walk. It was created 6 years ago by Scott Kelby and it will be the first one I will attend. The idea is to meet up with fellow photographer and follow a leader in a specific area. I will go with Celine and Christine and we will take part of the Greenwood walk. We will spend most of our time in the Greenwood Cemetery that is an historic landmark.

I’m very curious to see how it all goes down but last time I went to a cemetery for pictures was on a whim in New Orleans with Celine. It is a very special atmosphere to say the least.

Statue at a New Orleans CemeteryThere is also a challenge component that is fascinating. You have the opportunity to post a picture to a pool and your group leader will submit the best submissions worldwide. Last years winner was Lars from Sweden. Lars is better known on Photoblogchallenges as Larans 😉

There are apparently still openings so don’t hesitate if you want to join. Just click this link to find a walk near you.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Macro

Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

Dark Vader and Stormtroopers

Long Exposure #5 : To edit or not edit?

As mentioned in “What is a photographer?” and again in “Fiat Lux“, a photograph is a succession of steps.
Once your camera caught the scene the next step is to deliver it to your public, but before you do that you need to answer the question that haunts a lot of photographers: Should I edit this picture or post it “as shot”?
For some people, to not edit their shot is a credo: the shot is over as soon as you push your shutter. For others the push of the shutter button is just one of the many steps towards their final picture. For me editing is a way to bridge the gap to my ideal shot.
Below is a before (left) / after (right) shot I edited recently using Adobe Lightroom 4. I played with the colors and tones a bit in order to get a picture more vivid. Don’t you think the right one looks better? (for a look at the final result just click)

Bryce Canyon Before / After EditSome photographer have more restrictions than others. If you’re a photojournalist you will not be allowed to amend details that alter the meaning of the picture. It means that cropping might be allowed, contrasts and tones amended but you won’t be allowed to remove or add anything from your picture. I suggest you have a look at this article on Gizmodo to see how pictures were edited in the past.
Recently, I went with Celine on another roadtrip and our starting point was Las Vegas. We have been there several times but never really thought of capturing the Welcome sign. Unfortunately for us we just remembered it on our way to the airport, during our final day. If I were to be a purist, I might end up with the shot below.

The Las Vegas welcome sign unedited

I didn’t like much all the cables or some of the buildings but it’s not as if I could just go an bulldoze the buildings or cut the cables down. The sky was also pretty uniform as the sun was high in the sky. With Lightroom and Photoshop I was able to get the result below, with more textures in the sky and a dreamy effect, closer to what I’d like my shot to be.

Las Vegas Welcome Sign Edited with Photoshop and LightroomEditing is for me one more tool, a way to get more control on the final result but like a super power it must be used responsibly. One of my proudest edit is a very subtle one. People liked the shot below, but very few people know that it was one of my first edit (to see the original version just click the image).

Statue of Liberty editedIf you want to see what edit can do for you I suggest you read Mike Campau guest post on Scott Kelby’s site.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Long Exposure #4 : Fiat Lux

As discussed in “What is a photographer?“, I believe there are 4 big steps in a picture:

  1. To think
  2. To see
  3. To capture
  4. To deliver

The most difficult part in my opinion is the capture. You have to make compromises between what you think and what you see in order to be able to deliver something.

On film or sensor, your picture is always created by light (or its lack). If you can’t control the light, you’re at a disadvantage and will have most likely to compromise on your ideal shot.

With your camera and lens you can directly impact your light with:
– the time of exposure
– your ISO configuration
– the aperture.
Any of these changes comes with its consequences:

  • Increasing the time of exposure will most likely increase the motion blur.
  • Increasing the ISO will probably increase the noise.
  • Playing on the aperture will impact your depth of field.

Unfortunately we can’t always control all these parameters as some are driven from our subject. For Water Droplets for instance, speed is very important.

Water droplet

Water droplet

To get this shot, I was at f/7.1 and 1/250s. It was “stuck” at 1/250s due to the fact I was using a flash in order to help me control the light.
Lighting is the most critical part of a shoot. With a good light you will be able to control your contrast and details and give more life to your picture. Note that controlling the dark side is as important.

Shadow in the New York Grand Central Crowd

Shadow in the Grand Central Crowd

I believe it’s one of the areas where I can learn the most.
I found this article from Scott Kelby about lighting a BMW650i reassuring in a sense, as it looks like even the best have to make a lot of tests and adjustments to find the right balance.

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