Friday, 30 March 2012

Online Inspiration

I've been reading the writings of some of my favourite blogging photographers recently. It's always nice to see what's going on with other people whose work and (more importantly) photography I'm interested in.

Often, I get inspired, sometimes I get a laugh and often, I learn something new.

One such blog is from County Cork based documentary photographer Roger Overall.

As Roger explains: documentary photography is simply telling a story through a series of images. Normally, words aren't needed as the images should speak for themselves. Roger illustrates this perfectly with the following series on his blog entitled "The power of more".

He also gives step by step commentary about his shooting style and his reasons for liking some images over the others in his "anatomy of a wedding" series. Here's a beautiful series of pictures captured by Roger at one of his weddings.

You can visit his blog here.

Roger also produces, in co-operation with *two other Irish professional photographers, a podcast which I listen to regularly. You can hear (and download it) here. It's a quite informal podcast and you get the feeling that it's a bunch of mates just having a chat about the photographic world.

Why am I mentioning all this? Well as I said at the beginning, I visit for several reasons. Chief amongst them is that I can be inspired.
During my travels in the past few years, I've often seen something interesting to photograph, but because of tight schedules or having to be somewhere in a hurry, I wasn't able to stop and investigate further. Luckily I always made a note or took a snap with my mobile phone to aid me in remembering where I was.

I was recently laid off and now want to add more exciting things to my portfolio apart from architecture and product shots etc.

My personal project therefore, is to revisit these places and photograph / investigate them further.

After reading this post from Roger I've set myself some photographic goals. Just to "keep my hand in" as it were.

I'll keep you informed.

* the other two photographers contributing to the podcast are Neil McShane and Peter Cox

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Converging verticals

I'm quite happy with my old version 6.0 of Photoshop. It does all the things I need (normally sharpening and a bit of dust removal) and probably lots of stuff that I don't. I bought it second hand (with license key) on a Swiss auction site a few years ago.

One thing that It doesn't do very well (in my humble opinion), although I'm sure you'll correct me, is to correct verticals. When I shoot buildings I really have to have all the verticals to be true. This is where PTLens comes in.

This super programme acts either as a plugin for Photoshop or as a stand alone application and will (amongst other things*), let you correct verticals, horizontals and even rotate your image. The programme identifies the camera and lens used and corrects any aberrations particular to that setup. This lens / body database is continuously updated to include the latest models.

This is what the screen looks like with an image loaded before correction.

You can see that PTLens has correctly identifies the camera / lens combination. I have "barrel / pincushion" selected to correct any lens defects. I also chose a blue grid to show me how much I needed to correct.

Screenshot two shows the screen after I entered the corrections I needed.

You can see that I have used the slider for verticals and scaled the image by 117% because correcting for tilt, gave me some black edges.

I love this programme and always recommend it. You can read more about it and see more examples by visiting Tom Niemann's website here.

In case you're interested, I would normally have stood further back to get this type of image but on that Sunday, There was a tree to my back and I only had my EF 24 f2.8 lens with me.

The picture and it's location can be seen on Google Earth by visiting here.

Thanks for reading.

* the other things include barrel distortion, chromatic aberration and fish-eye "correction".