Digital Photography: Bugout Complete

Digital Photography Fire OneHey, wanna see some cool video?  Click this link.

It’s Channel 13’s KRQE news video of the fire.  I’ve grabbed a hotel in Santa Fe for a couple nights to see what’s going to come of the fire.

The best pictures I got I shot on Sunday night, but today I’m exhausted.  I’ve just thrown three of the pix in.  It was a pretty impressive wildfire.

Digital Photography Los Alamos Los Conchas Fire Two

The mandatory evacuation just started today at about 2:00pm Mountain.  There really wasn’t much in the way of photo opportunity this afternoon, if you’ve ever been inside a lit cigarette when the smoker inhaled, that was about the extent of the visibility and the comfort of the thick, sooty air.

On the plus side…  It looks like a couple days off work…  And, it’s the first time I’ve ever been run out of town by folks who weren’t carrying tar, feathers or a rail…

Digital Photography Los Alamos Los Conchas Fire Three

Sonia, I now know what it means to have to be that selective in the books you want to take with you.

Have a great day, y’all.  Enjoy.



Digital Photography, Beyond The Basics: Focus-Stacking

Today it’s time to step up and take the picture editing process, and your photography to the next level.

All picture editing software worth its salt uses a method of picture editing called layers.  Layers are very simple to understand.  Just like a cake with different flavors, rather than mixing the batter so you get one big sugary mess to cook up and let rise, the layers are “baked” one at a time and then assembled with frosting in between.

If you are working with a layer, and you want to see some parts, but not others, then you apply a “mask” to hide some parts of that layer for more intrigue and mystery, sometimes adding spice to your picture.

Today is a real quick explanation of a technique that I learned recently to help overcome the limitations of the lens on the front of your camera.

When you take a landscape or scenic picture and you want to incorporate a part of the foreground closest to the lens, with the vast expanse of the beautiful scenery behind it, you can take two pictures on the same settings.  One focused on the part of the picture in the front.

Digital Photography Chama Before and After

Now, take a second image with the rest of the image adjusted for a large depth-of-field, (remember?  a large aperture number, small aperture opening.)  So the rest of the background is in sharp focus.  When you lay one of these images on top of the other in Photoshop, Elements, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, or other layer-based editing software, you can hide or “mask” the background of one image combining it with the sharper parts of the other layer and save it as one picture.  The results are open for you to explore.

Digital Photography Rio Chama Stack

The argument has been around for ages, what makes a real photograph.  Isn’t Photoshop cheating?  There are as many opinions on one side as the other.  My take on the whole image editing debate is image editing can be a great tool, provided you don’t try and pass off a”Photoshopped” original as “untouched”.

Sound like a lot?  It can be, but with nice and easy guided steps, you’ll be learning how to edit and enhance your own images in no time.  Half the fun is in getting there.