Tag Archives: photograph

Using the Macro mode on your camera

Today’s post comes courtesy of Moonyarn. After last weeks post about putting copywrite onto photos I asked people what else they would like information on. @Moonyarn responded with a great idea –

how to get in-focus close-up with blurred background on a (decent!) point-and-shoot camera? Have been playing with macro.

So as always I shall attempt to oblige.

Macro is usually represented as a flower:

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This mode allows you to take close up pictures of objects, showing off details beautifully. It uses a large aperture to create a shallow depth of field and to blur the background. (I may be wrong but I think that this means that the lens lets a small amount of light through thus only picking up the details in the things closest to the camera.)

This brings me to my first point: if the aim is to show off details then ALL details, including the bad ones will show up.

Tip 1: Ensure that your object is as perfect as you can make it when using this mode, polish, iron …do whatever you need to do to make sure any imperfections are minimalised. (Some imperfections can be edited out at a later date but it is easier to do everything that you can in order to take the best possible picture at the start.)

Tip 2: It may be worth investing in a tripod as close up shots will show shaky hands! You do not have to spend a lot of money books may be enough. Alternatively you can make your own version of a tripod.

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This is an idea that comes in the book: The Crafter’s Guide To Taking Great Photos.

Tip 3: Again to minimise camera shake I have read that it is quite a good idea to use the timing option on your camera as this avoids shaking the camera as you push the button.

When I use Macro (and I do a fair bit) it is useful to remember which part of the piece you are focusing on as the whole picture will not be in focus.

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I hope that you can see that in this photograph the foreground is in focus but the background is not? This feature is very useful and can be used to really highlight details on your work.

Tip 4: As you are focusing on a particular area of your object and the whole picture will not be in focus it is probably best to keep the background simple so as not to draw the eye away from the detail you are trying to show.

Tip 5: I would really advise you to go back to your instruction manual for your camera model and read what it says about the macro choice for your camera. Despite I have read the manual for my camera fairly recently I know that I need to go back and read mine again. Writing this has made that very clear. When I have done this, and if I learn anything really crucial I will share it with you (obviously!) 🙂

If you have anything else that you would like me to have a look at then do please ask and I shall do my best to help (it helps me too so I am more than happy :))

 

Putting Copywrite on your Photographs

Following my last post on photography Daniella Joe asked for one on placing water marks. As you know, I am keen to please so I am having a go 🙂

The first thing to say is that ‘clever’ people can remove water marks if they want to so they do not guarantee against plagiarism. The next thing is that if you make it too big then it may distract from your photograph. Finally you want to have the option of removing it yourself should you wish.

Here you go:

1. Put open your photograph in your editing program (I used Photoshop).

2. Open the text tool from the side menu:

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3. Write your text.

4. If necessary soften the text with the blending mode:

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I chose the soft light option (I also have a very old version of Photoshop).

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Now if you look at this photograph you will see that I have written on this twice (both at the bottom). The one on the left is when I softened the text (it becomes almost invisible) and the right one is just plain text. It may be that I have quite a dark background? Have a play with your own photographs and please do let me know.

Oh and one another thing I would like from you all is, have I got a copyright symbol anywhere on my keyboard? I cannot for the life of me see it.

UPDATE: Offthe hookbykeke (who is very talented with the camera) told me that you hold the alt key down and type the numbers: 0169 to get the copyright sign. THANKS 🙂

So that is one way. There is one other way that I shall attempt to show you now:

Metadata

This is the information that is taken from the camera and stored in the digital image (so now you know!) The sort of information that is stored is:

1. camera make and model,

2. settings that were used when taking the picture (e.g. exposure),

3.date and time when the image was taken.

You can also add copyright information. With my old version of Photoshop I shall try to show you how:

Open FILE – FILE INFO – DESCRIPTION

In my version I only get as far as File info which brings up a box like this:

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This is obviously where I can add a caption (news to me!). If you open the drop down menu at the top however I get an option of copyright + URL:

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I can now add the copyright sign, the writing I wish as well as a link back to my website, shop etc. This will not appear on the photograph so may not be useful if you are hoping for people to see where the photograph comes from after re-pins on pinterest etc but will be in the digital information (and yes it can be removed too).

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Can you see the little c in the top? There you go. I hope that this answers your question Daniella Joe? I am sure that there are other ways to do this – if you know then please share with us too 🙂 If you have time do head over to Daniella Joe’s blog – she has set herself the amazing challenge of yarn bombing a room in her house. She is starting with a sofa. I kid you not – definitely worth a look!

Making Your Photographs GREAT with Editing

Following yesterday’s annoying events I am more determined than ever to complete this post without any hitches. I do sometimes wonder if I will ever learn from my mistakes: save, Save, SAVE!! What more can I say? SAVE

Update- I have now written this post 7 times and lost it every time! The support forum are being brilliant as usual and trying to help me. The advantage to this is that I am fast becoming quite an expert (in an amateur, novice way). I still have loads to learn however but my posts are getting more to the point each time!

2 days later and I am still struggling! I will not give up however (I am so stubborn!)

Following on from two previous posts where I looked at how to take better photographs (here and here ) the next logical step is looking at how you can enhance them using a program such as Photoshop or paint. Every book that I have read has made it very clear that the most important part of photographs is taking a good picture in the first place. Once you have done this you can ‘touch’ it up a bit using an editing program. I use Photoshop – purely because we have a copy of it. It is very complicated and can do almost anything that you could wish for but I am sure that others are very similar.

Histograms
Today I thought that we would have a look at histograms.
This is an example of a histogram.

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You will be able to see these on some cameras as well as in editing programs.
To find them in Photoshop: IMAGE – ADJUSTMENTS – LEVELS

What is it?

A histogram is a diagram showing the tonal range of the image. The shape of the histogram shows the number of pixels in any tonal value. With the above example the histogram is showing that there is a lot of information concentrated in the shadows or black area. Conversely there is a lack of information in the midpoint to highlight areas (the white end). In other words the picture is slightly under exposed. The optimum histogram would have the majority of the information in the middle area such as:

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The main bulk of information in this one is in the mid-range. Using this information it therefore follows that a histogram with the most information towards the right is overexposed.

So what about the numbers?
INPUT LEVELS:
0 = the optimum level for black (this side is the shadowy end)
1.00 = the mid-tone grey tone. You can adjust this without effecting the highlight and shadow regions.
255 = the white’s highest point (the highlight end).

These levels can be artificially stretched and adjusted on an incorrectly exposed image so that it forcibly conforms to the correct levels. In other words you can make a slightly dodgy photograph look better than it really is! 🙂

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This is my original photo and the histogram.

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I have moved the left (shadow) and right (Highlight) sliders to bring them level with the start and finish points on the histogram. Notice how the corresponding numbers have changed.

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I have now moved the mid-tone slider to change the brightness. (Moving this does not change the highlight and shadow levels)

So there you have it. Your photographs are yours to display in the way that you wish. The only thing you have to look out for is if you are using them to sell items. In this situation then they have to be the closest to real item as you can.

I hope that you understand this and that it is of some use. Thank you for your patience with the technical issues that I have had with this post. I am hoping that the publishing of this post marks the end of this unfortunate series of events. 🙂

Creating a gallery

As you will be aware, I have just finished the knitting and crochet blog week. I have really enjoyed this. There has been some great interactions with people I have not come across before as well as finding some brilliant new blogs. It is so nice to broaden your horizons every now and again. I find it far to easy to remain in your own little world.

Creating a slide show

As well as this I also learnt a fair bit and it is this that I would like to share with you today. To start with – especially for Kate’s Twirl (do go and have a look at her amazing blog) I will share with you how to do a slide show. Something that I did for the first time in this post.

To start with you go to the ‘add media‘ button as if you were going to add a photograph to your post.  This takes you to this page:

In the top left you can just about see a menu. You now need to click on ‘create gallery‘.

You then proceed as normal but this time keep adding as many photographs as you wish to include. When you have added all the photographs that you want click on the tab at the bottom left saying ‘create a new gallery‘ You will then be at a screen where you can edit your gallery – change the order of the photos etc.

Before you click on insert gallery you need to click on the drop down menu for type. In this menu you need to select slideshow. Then insert gallery and it should be done 🙂

I do hope that this is clear.

The other thing that I struggled with this week was putting a word document into WordPress. The way to do this is to hit print scrn on your computer. You can then paste it in or import it to a photo editing program to crop to include the bit you want. you then copy and paste. Clever 🙂

As always happy blogging

🙂

Beginning Blogging – Gravatars and Headers

Having chosen an appropriate name for your blog and selected a theme, the next step is to think about a Gravatar. A Gravatar is your visual ‘identity’ on the web. It usually runs across the whole of the social media scene – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blog etc.  (Although it doesn’t have to.) This, if you like is your ‘brand’ and allows you to be recognised on the different platforms. The image that you choose can be a photograph of you, a cartoon character, a logo or a symbol. It doesn’t really matter. Often it is something that is related to your identity but not always. As with many things it can be changed. Many people start off with a picture and then move to a photograph of themselves as they become more comfortable on the web.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry. It is also the image that comes up beside any comments I leave on other blogs, Facebook pages etc.

This is also on my blog header (as I am sure you have noticed). You do not have to use the same picture, indeed I have been toying with the idea of changing my header to photographs of some of my makes. It is up to you.

When I first started this I did not know a lot about photography. I knew that I wanted to take the best photograph that I could as it was a representation of me (first impressions and all that). I also had read a bit about light boxes so set up my own makeshift version using a white sheet draped over a chair in front of my patio doors.

I was not kidding!

I was not kidding!

As to what I would photograph – I decided to go with items related to my identity. As you can see this involved grabbing my smelly trainers, a ball of yarn and some hooks and needles.

Once you have taken your photograph you need to upload them onto your computer.

Gravatar

DASHBOARD – USERS – MY PROFILE

This is the page where you put up a lot of information about yourself BUT be warned it is public information so think about what how much information you wish to include. A lot of my page is blank as I didn’t want my real identity to be known. Therefore the only boxes I have filled in as my user name, the name I wish to be known as publicly (knitnrun4sanity) and the bit titled ‘about me’.

I have filled this bit in (you can see what I wrote in the about tab at the top of this page). I did this because when visiting new blogs I like to read a bit about the blog and the people behind them (in other words I am nosy). Not everybody has anything in their ‘About’ tab. It is up to your own preferences.

As you go down I have filled in my public e-mail (the one connected to the blog with the same name). I have also linked in my Facebook page (simply copy and paste the URL) and click on add link.

But now to the Gravatar bit. On the top right of the page there is a square box. Mine shows my picture and has the words ‘change Gravatar’ underneath it (Yours may say something different but will give the same options if you click on it). If I click on the bottom link I can click on one of four options. The one I used is:  Upload a picture from your computer. If you click on browse you can find your photo and upload it. The other options are to use a webcam to take a picture of yourself or put a link to a picture found on the web. This is also the place where you would change the picture should you ever want to.

Before you leave the page please do remember to go back towards the top and click on the update profile box so you save all your hard work.

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DASHBOARD – APPEARANCE – HEADER

On this page you can browse through your files on the computer and upload a picture to use as your header. It will come up with a preview of what it will actually look like. It can be changed so do not worry about it being permanent if you do not like it. This time the save changes box is at the bottom of the page.

On this page you will also see a box about whether you want the text to be shown. Adding this text will be the subject of next weeks post.

I do hope this is all clear. If it is not then please do ask – I am really happy to help and I shall not think you are being thick. I remember just how much time and effort (blood, sweat and tears) this took me which is why I am doing this in the first place. In the future I may also write down how to set up twitter accounts etc if it would be useful.

I am just really grateful that I have managed to get this far on my post without losing it all 🙂 Hope you all have a good week.