Looking and Lurking for Textures
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2010 by Papina
My LOL for the day (after a few nervous moments): someone from my bank called yesterday while I was
out taking photos. He was from fraud prevention. It was a legit call. I looked
at my accounts online and nothing was out of order, but I did cash a
check yesterday and was afraid it might have bounced. I was also a little concerned about identity theft because recently a welcome packet from another bank had been "compromised" in the mail (accidentally ripped open and repackaged by USPS), and the paperwork had my social security number and name in it. I've been a little jittery since then.
The bank man called again
this morning. The deal was: yesterday when I went through the drive-up to cash the check, since I just started doing textures for 3D (see my first project below!), I
noticed the cool texture on the side of the building. I had my
camera with me and was right up close to the wall. I pulled up a little past the window, stuck the camera out the car window and got
a few closeup shots of the outside wall. Then I parked and went around front
and took some shots of the wall in the shade near the front door in case the others were
blurry. That's what he was calling about! The tellers saw me and reported suspicious conduct. I guess they thought I might be casing the joint. He said he viewed the video, and
by the way I was
looking around at things to photograph, he assumed I was a photography student. But he had to check it out--and I'm glad he did. It was fine, and so far the Feds have not shown up at my door. I apologized for scaring the tellers.
OOPS! Lesson learned. Get permission first before
photographing a bank or any other building
that could make you look like you are planning something nefarious. I'll be working on that texture today. I'm going to send a link of the final product to the bank guy--maybe he can help me network.
This product (my first 3D texture, not the bank wall!) is at: http://www.the3dstudio.com/product_details.aspx?id_product=353975.
The Floating Head--How I Did It
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by Papina
I needed to take a photo of this little kids' hat to sell on ebay for a friend (or Craigslist, if I can stand the idiotic spam I'll get for listing anything there). I don't have a little pumpkin-headed villager of my own to use as a model, but I wanted to showcase this item in a way that would make it look worth buying, rather than just throwing it on the bed and snapping a photo. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
So how did I do it? Actually, it was inexpensive and fairly low-tech. I used a Canon Rebel xSi, the EF-18-55 mm kit lens. I shot it in RAW, aperture priority, f/6.3. It came out to: focal length 35.0, 1/40 sec., ISO 200, white balance auto. Lighting was natural light with white reflectors. Here's the setup:
There is bunched up newspaper in the crown to give the hat some shape.The hat was hung by a white sewing thread from a wooden pole (also used to temporarily turn off my smoke detector when I cook). The pole was laid perpendicularly over a sweater drying rack. The background is a piece of white posterboard from the drugstore, the reflector on the left is a piece of foam core I split and then hinged together again with tape so it stands up like a book. The white fabric below is my old barber school jacket. The plastic clamps came on a package of six from Menards. The camera was on a tripod. The danged hat decided it wanted to keep spinning around. I just kept snapping shots as it slowly rotated, so I got shots of it from all sides without having to do a thing. I confess I did Photoshop out the thread from the background and where it showed on the red tab.
I don't recommend this as a way to do all product photography, but for a quickie ebay photo, it works!
(Psssst! Wanna buy a hat? T3DS members get priority!)
Until they buy your stock photos, use them yourself!
Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 by Papina
It's snowing and the roads are icy here in the midwest today, and I just didn't feel like running out to the store to get a thank you card. I was fortunate to have been invited for a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at friend's house, and I just don't think an email thank you is sufficient for that kind of celebration. Call me old-fashioned. I have lots of odd-sized envelopes, but didn't have any thank you cards, so I went poking around in my files and found a photo I had taken out my front door in 2005.
I never did anything with this photo, but decided it could be used to create a wintry card (gee, do ya think?) I opened it in Corel Painter Essentials 4 (came free with my graphics tablet in 2008), cropped out the post on the right side, and let the program run Watercolor Sketch in Autopainter. I added some type (I choose purple to match what Autopainter put in), made it into a jpeg, and then imported it into a Word document, shoved down toward the bottom. When it printed, I folded it landscape and trimmed it to a bleed border. I think this is a way you could use some of your stock photos as customized gifts, as well as to show a potential client what your fabulous photos can be turned into! Here's the final product:
Of course, now I have to run out in the schmutz to mail the card. :-)
Happy New Year, Everybody!
Grand Teton Photo Challenge from Digital Photography School
Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 by Papina
The photo challenge this week by Peter Carvey was to take a mediocre photo and see if you could jazz it up to be a better shot. Take a look at the original first and some of the wonderful and creative effects people applied in post. Use this link to see what normal people submitted.
Here is the original, admittedly, less-than-stellar photo by Peter.
Okay. Then there's mine...
I didn't post it on the DPS site (couldn't figure out how since I don't have a website anyway), but I determined from some of the comments that not everyone has my sense of humor, and it wouldn't be appreciated. I do not wish to annoy people worldwide. But YOU guys should be used to my posts by now, and I hope you do enjoy a little fun with Photoshop. I realize that T3DS is also worldwide, but I hope you're not annoyed. I'm just trying to learn.
My version of the photo.
(p.s. I desaturated the image, increased contrast, used curves, cropped it...and then, well, went a little nuts)
Another Weasely Blog Post, Part 2
Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 by Papina
This is how I took the photo of the back of my head that I mentioned in Part 1. I frequently take a shot of a new hairstyle before I go out, just to make sure I am not frightening to dogs or small children.
Too lazy to dig out my cordless shutter release, and just anxious to get a quick idea, I started by aiming the camera at the bathroom mirror behind me--that is, guessing--and hoping I was in the frame. There are a lot of ways to take self-portraits, but this sure isn't a great one! Needless to say, I got a lot of shots like this. (Please excuse the awful color in these photos. I forgot I have incandescent-looking CFL's in the bathroom and neglected to set the white balance accordingly.)
An unusual way to take a self-portait, for sure, but who wants a shower curtain as a background? Well, this is a little better, but I couldn't hold the camera still that way, and had focusing problems, as you can see. I am making progress by at least getting my head in the frame. Now it was a challenge, just to see how I could do it without a remote that I have to aim at the camera. That would require some contortions or stealth-aiming.
How about a shot from the side to see how the Bumpit was doing? Hey! Where did all those chins come from?!
What I ended up doing was setting the camera on the TV, putting a swivel chair in front of it, and focusing on the top edge of the chair. I had the camera set to shoot five multiple shots, hit the shutter, sat in the chair so my head was about even with the back, and swiveled the chair slightly between shots to get five different angles.
So, there you go--another way to take a self-portrait. Do this a few times and it may explain all the snickering when you leave a room! Good luck!