Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Making things old

I've recently discovered a program called Adobe Lightroom and have been experimenting with photos with it. It's not like Photoshop, it's quite different than that. I've had a lot of fun with it in just the few days I've had playing with it. Here are a few examples of photos I've altered using the program. Each set shows the before and after.

First is a photo taken on a canoe trip with the scouts. It was our second trip down the Kentucky River this summer. This particular day we paddled about 5-6 miles from Ft. Boonesborough to Clays Ferry. We stopped part way for lunch and this was taken there. You can get a glimpse of how scenic the river is. My goal with this photo was to make it look old, with just a touch of quirkiness. I wanted the focus on the canoe without sacrificing the textures of the water and grass, or the background. I love how the program can take an okay photo and make it much better!

The cherry tomatoes here volunteer every year somewhere in my yard and I let them grow because everyone says they are so good. I don't eat them raw (I know, I'm wierd). I get so many of them, but this year I learned to preserve them as tomato juice. There was no goal for this picture except to make the tomatoes look funky while still being able to recognize what they are. The hint of yellow that was still on them provided enough contrast to get things grooving.

This shot of my youngest son was taken near Lake Michigan in Chicago. We were up there in March to see one of his big brothers graduate from Navy Basic Training. The day after the graduation we all went into Chicago to Millinium Park, watched the St. Patty's Day Parade (see the beads around his neck from the parade?), grabbed lunch at Portillo's (yum!) and decided to take a more scenic drive back to base via Lakeshore Drive (did I remember the name of the road correctly?) Near the north end of the beach was a dogpark, and that's where we'd gotten out, for a chilly quick view of the lake. It was so beautiful, but the cold wind was too sharp and we ran back to the warmth of our vehicle very quickly. Travis ducked into this structure on the way back to the van, and I got a speedy shot of him hamming it up. I was really trying to keep this mostly grey tones while keeping the red color his his cap. I tried to keep the color out of the beads, but decided I liked the coloring showing a bit.

This is a portrait of Travis in August. We were on an outing with the scouts. Every year the troop goes to Cumberland Gap near Middlesboro Kentucky where the adventurous boys go on a historic 21 mile hike on Cumberland Mountain. The not so adventurous stay at 'base camp' and find other adventures. This year we decided to check out a museum about Abraham Lincoln. Flash Photography was not allowed in the museum because it can quickly aid the decay of the items on display. But there in the middle of the little museum was a small canvas tent, civil war style, with a few items to touch and costumes to put on. It was easy to see it was for kids to 'touch history'. A sign was posted nearby advising visitors that flash photography was indeed allowed only inside the tent. My son seized the oppertunity and this is my favorite result. My intent with this photo was to try to make it appear to be from the civil war era.
I love how this turned out! He does too.

And, finally, my last example for this post. I was out in the yard the other day after a rain shower looking for raindrops for macro photography. I spotted a bird's nest under the holly tree. I'm not a bird watcher except in the most common way. My guess is this is a cardinals nest because the cardinals love the holly tree. With this photo I let myself go wild with the colors, since it was so plain to start with. The kids were looking over my shoulder now and then as I played with the settings on this, and one comment came up that it was starting to look like Easter grass! Hmm....not a bad idea! It's fun to get funky!

I'm sure I'll be doing many more photos with this program. I have other programs to play with as well, each with their own advantages. I can even begin to imagine what can be done using multiple programs. Stay tuned to see if I create monsters or masterpieces!

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