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Old 2008-06-18, 15:31   Link #41
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Wow, very neat - I like it quite a bit! Did you slice the leaf out as its own layer and then adjust the colors and contrast of the rest of the image?
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Old 2008-06-18, 15:37   Link #42
escimo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Wow, very neat - I like it quite a bit! Did you slice the leaf out as its own layer and then adjust the colors and contrast of the rest of the image?
Cut it out with polygonal lasso, feathered the selection 2px and saved it as a channel. Playing around with levels can be a bit of a pain if you feather the selection. Result is usually some pixels going mystically missing. Desaturated everything but the leaf and adjusted the levels of both the background and the leaf. Added also a bit more cyan to the leaf with variations tool. Then made a elliptical selection using borders of the picture as a guideline, feathered it 80px and inverted it added a bit (actually a bit too much) gaussian blur and dropped the levels a bit more.

I think that's about it.

Edit: Almost forgot. Used reduce noise tool to soften the draw on the background.
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Old 2008-06-18, 16:31   Link #43
Aoie_Emesai
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I always kept forgetting to come reply here. Though I'm not too fond of creatures and animals, I do love buildings and architecture and nature. Overall, good images.

*looking thru all of them now
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Old 2008-08-31, 14:12   Link #44
Ledgem
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Summer Insect Photography: Dragonflies

It's been quite a while since I updated this thread. Part of the reason is that I finally gave in to a friend's requests and opened a Flickr account. Flickr is sort of like DeviantArt, only it caters toward photographers more than artists in general. Putting pictures there is a lot easier for me to do than to put them here. However, even though it's filled with photographers, people are loathe to provide criticism.

Quite a bit has changed since my last update. Briefly:
Spoiler for Equipment updates:


Most notably, I have returned to academia as a graduate student. I believe I'll still find the time to take pictures, but my activity at AnimeSuki in general will likely drop off for some time. There are loads of picture sets I've taken and would love to share here, as I think that they put all of my previous pictures to shame, but I'm having difficulty finding the time and the motivation to update this thread regularly.

--------------------------------------

During the summer a lot of interesting insects come out. Two of the most widely photographed tend to be butterflies and dragonflies, as they are both colorful and relatively friendly (easy to work with) insects. I chose to focus on dragonflies. None of these pictures are what I would consider to be true macro photography, but perhaps you'll notice something about dragonflies that you didn't before. All of these dragonflies are from the New York area, and I believe there are a few color combinations that I didn't get. Enjoy:


Black Dragon

This was one of the very first pictures that I took with the E-520. I wanted to ensure that it was able to capture images in as sharp detail as the E-410 was capable of. Examine the detail on the wings and I believe you'll agree that the image is as sharp as ever.

This was taken using a tripod and the Zuiko Digital 70-300mm lens mounted on the Olympus EX-25 extension tube (allows for boosted magnification but is harder to use than using the lens alone). The image has been cropped a bit so that the dragonfly's details are more apparent.



Blue Dragon

Taken with the 70-300mm + EX-25, Olympus E-520, no tripod. Uncropped, because I love the background on this one.



Blue Dragon - Intimacy

This is the same blue dragonfly as above, just much closer to me and on the ground. Same equipment combo as before, uncropped.



The Golden Emperor

This must be my favorite dragonfly color combination out of all of the dragonflies in my area. It may not be obvious from the picture alone, but the gold on the dragonfly's body reflected the sunlight in a somewhat dull manner. The wings also displaced light somewhat.

Same equipment combo as before, uncropped.



The Golden Emperor - Reign

This is the same dragonfly as above, just at a new location. The gold on the body appears duller than before, but the way that the wings interacted with light is apparent here. I did not crop the image to give the dragonfly greater focus because the background blur ("bokeh") really appealed to me.

Same equipment combo as before.


Green Dragon

Same equipment combo as before. Uncropped, because I loved the background.



Green Dragon - Intimacy

Up until recently this was my #1 most popular picture on Flickr. I don't like the background much, but I suppose that the positioning is the redeeming factor for this picture.

Fun fact: in going over some Flickr discussions about photographing dragonflies, I found someone making the claim that you could get a dragonfly to perch on your finger. All you had to do was to be relatively near to one, and then to slowly bring your finger to its legs (people who have experience with pet birds: this is the same method as getting a bird to step up onto your finger). I wouldn't have believed it, except for the fact that the guy had a picture of a dragonfly on his finger.

After taking many pictures of this green dragonfly and seeing that it wasn't going anywhere, I decided to try it out. I slowly offered my finger. The dragonfly jumped up when I brushed against its leg, and then it quickly perched on my finger. It was a very exciting moment. Unfortunately my camera and lens combination was pretty heavy to be using with one hand, and it also required a fair distance to be able to focus properly (my arms aren't that long). So I have no pictures as proof, but wanted to share that bit of knowledge. If a dragonfly ever lands next to you, try it out. It's a nice way of bonding with nature!



Blue Tail

This coloration isn't so spectacular or even rare: I believe it's relatively common in the UK. This either is or resembles a species of dragonfly called the broad-bodied chaser. What I like about this picture is how the wing muscles are very clearly visible. It almost seems mechanical.

Taken with the E-520 and the 70-300mm lens (without the EX-25). Image has been cropped relatively heavily so that the details of the dragonfly stand out.



Orange Dragon

One of the more interesting color combos - note that the wings are also tinted with the orange coloration.

Taken with the E-520 and the 70-300mm lens (without the EX-25). Image has been cropped very slightly.

------------------------------

As always, comments and criticism are appreciated, but not required Look forward to (but don't anticipate too heavily) the next batch.
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Old 2008-08-31, 14:58   Link #45
escimo
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Nice timing.
Just posted a photo update myself.

I do have to admit, that I'm not a huge fan of insects. Quite the opposite in fact but your photos are quite beautiful. In fact this is pretty much the only way I'm willing to admire them.

Lighting is very good in all of the photos, in few the DoF could have been a bit deeper, but overall it was well used. Nice batch.
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Old 2011-06-13, 01:42   Link #46
Ledgem
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Thread Revival: Portraiture

This ought to be interesting - it's been three years since I updated this thread. During that time I continued to practice and learn about photography, and I feel that I have improved quite a bit. I now engage in photography discussions and critiques over on Flickr. I still like the AnimeSuki community, though, and appreciate its vibrant group of artists. As such, I'd like to share my work here, as well.

To start with, I'll begin with some of my portraiture taken back in November 2009. Enjoy!

Olympus E-520 with Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 (for more specific EXIF information, see the Flickr pages):


Unable to Focus on Anything Else (but her) by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr

My favorite from this series:


The Eternal Moment by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Autumn Standard by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


What Does She Think About? by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr
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Old 2011-06-13, 01:49   Link #47
Daniel E.
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I see you have changed your old rule about not taking photos of people.

Image is pretty clear too.

When I see photos my friends take, they tend to be a little too dark, kinda like how home-made videos sometimes look.
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Old 2011-06-13, 02:42   Link #48
GundamFan0083
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Wow.
Very nice Ledgem.

You have a very professional style IMHO.
I like your eye for color, perspective, and proportion.
Especially in these pics:



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us


The Touch (Black Meets Color) by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr

Those images in my opinion are National Geographic quality, and I mean that without kissing your bum.
Now, you just need to organize a crew to strong-arm Nat-Geo to hire you.
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Old 2011-06-14, 10:38   Link #49
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
I see you have changed your old rule about not taking photos of people.

Image is pretty clear too.

When I see photos my friends take, they tend to be a little too dark, kinda like how home-made videos sometimes look.
Thanks! Yes, I've come a way since I started - I even do a bit of street photography here and there (although I'm not very good).

There are a number of possible reasons why your friend's photos come out dark. Most of them relate to the camera settings. Maybe they're doing it intentionally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Wow.
Very nice Ledgem.

You have a very professional style IMHO.
I like your eye for color, perspective, and proportion.
Thank you very much, I appreciate your comments!
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Old 2011-06-14, 11:33   Link #50
GundamFan0083
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You are most welcome.
Keep up the good work, you certainly have the talent for it.
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Old 2011-06-16, 05:11   Link #51
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
There are a number of possible reasons why your friend's photos come out dark. Most of them relate to the camera settings. Maybe they're doing it intentionally?
Who knows? My friends can be strange in more than one way.

Most photos were likely taken on the spot, so I don't think they ever bother much with the camera settings.
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Old 2011-06-19, 21:17   Link #52
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I must confess that I'm finding myself captivated by the awesome combo you and your missus have going here. Here's a continuing up and rising pro photographer working together with a subject who has amazing facial expression and naturally shines through a camera lens.

Is it a intuitive connection between you two to make an awesome picture, or your direction as a photographer, to which like a talented model, she complies and poses for you?
Feel free to forward the comments to her by the way, it's not all your work with the human subject photos after all
My two favs are what I've posted above.

Many thanks, it's always nice to escape to worlds unreachable through your lens~~
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Old 2013-02-09, 15:53   Link #53
Ledgem
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Breaking hiatus: the best until now

Been a long time since I put updates in this thread. It's been over a year since I last picked up my camera; it looks like I won't have time for photography in the coming years. I'm returning to 3D rendering. A photo outing requires a certain amount of time, but 3D rendering can be completed in little bits and pieces over many days. It's likely that anything posted after this will be 3D renders, or possibly a mix of 3D and photography.

A lot of the photography in this thread is old, and I've improved a lot since then. Here are some of my favorite shots taken since the last update. Enjoy:


Mother Nature / Human Nature by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Final Surge of Summer by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


This Cruel and Beautiful World by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Under a Pale Orange Sky by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Living Space by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


The Desire for Something More by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Urban Confinement by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr


Our Water Planet by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr
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Old 2013-02-11, 15:30   Link #54
escimo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Been a long time since I put updates in this thread. It's been over a year since I last picked up my camera; it looks like I won't have time for photography in the coming years. I'm returning to 3D rendering. A photo outing requires a certain amount of time, but 3D rendering can be completed in little bits and pieces over many days. It's likely that anything posted after this will be 3D renders, or possibly a mix of 3D and photography.


Don't give up on photography. You've gotten so damn good at it.

If there's something I've learned in the past 10 months during my 365 project is that time really isn't a real factor in the equation. Looking back I took my best photographs when I had very little time for photography. Now, thanks to my life situation, I would have all the time in the world for photography and what it has gotten me? A steep and steady decline in the quality of my photography.

Some of my best recent work was taken on my way to or from work and added about 10 seconds total to my commute. Essentially: stop - compose - capture - moving on...

Just having your camera and a single practical lens with you gives you the opportunity to capture what ever interesting you happen to come across. Planning is quite overrated what it comes to photography for one's own pleasure. (Highly underrated by many what it comes to commissioned work though...)

I really like these three.

"Under a Pale Orange Sky"
The shirt creates a wonderful color contrast. Colors overall are very nice and the truncated perspective impression and depth of field thanks to relatively long lens and fast aperture work really nicely.

"The Desire for Something More"
This suffers a bit from relatively high ISO. There's a bit of banding and excessive noise. It could use a bit more drastic post processing.

"Our Water Planet"
Good composition, good color, good pose... Good!
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