Saturday, 21 July 2012


This weekend I have finished the DDP course. It has taken me longer than anticipated dues to personal reasons and the fact that I wanted to get the most out of it.

I didn't think that I would pick up that much out of this course, but it has pleasantly surprised me as did TAOP; it has been a real learning curve. I will post comments received and that will be the end of this blog.

Next People and Places.....

Exercise: Sharpening for Print

This exercise surprised me.

In it we are to take an image without any form of sharpening and then create three more version of the same image with varying levels of sharpening. From the RAW converter I selected the following image taken from the Olympic Torch bearer that passed my house with 0 sharpening and opened the image in Photoshop.

I then applied a 20%, 100% and 250% amount of sharpening with 1% radius and printed each one out. On the screen I would say that the best image was 100%, this is what I normally sharpen to. When printed the 0% and 20% images were clearly in need of additional sharpening whilst there was very little difference between 100 and 250%, especially when compared to the screen. It would therefore suggest that for print more than 100% is required as it is very clear. Looking at the skin tones those these do appear to be over sharpened and harsh but nowhere near as much as the screen image which look frightful.

Conclusion: open at the moment, certainly for screen 100% seems to be perfect, for print I think it may now benefit from a little more....

Monday, 16 July 2012

Exercise: Web Site Portfolio

The web site is now live after many hours of struggling with html and some javascript...... I am not entirely happy with the splash page and may change this as and when I get more topics to present. For now I have uploaded some of the Art of Photography images just to demonstrate some varying images to see how things work.

I think I have met all of my objectives. It was written in basic html using a jquery plug-in called ad-gallery that was slightly modified. This gave me a slideshow, gallery thumbs and a nice navigation engine to display the images, image descriptions and it also pre-loads images so I probably could go for bigger image sizes but at this point I have left them at a medium screen resolution that I think is fine.

Web site address:

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Web Site Design

As part of section 5 we are tasked with building a web site to display our portfolio, so I have been reviewing various photographers' web sites to get ideas of what looks good and what doesn't. The following is what I am planning:

  • Clean classic design, minimal no fuss. The site should concentrate on the images.
  • White (or near white) background. Use of grey text [#807e7e and #999999] seems best
  • Slide show would be nice
  • Menus for different projects
  • Contact information
  • Film strip
  • Optional description of the project / image
  • Would be nice if when re-size the browser the web site was not affected or moved with the resizing. A lot of sites seen to fail on this point.
  • I don't like pages that have the viewed imaged fading in and the background lost, this is too messy for my liking and too animated. Examples of this are Thickbox and lightbox.
  • What size are my images going to be, the viewing area should accommodate for both portrait and landscape, if pre loading of images can be done then size can be bigger, perhaps around 350k for JPEGS or 400 x 600 px as this is the same ratio as my camera so no cropping.
  • Flash is a little above me and I am told will be retired soon with html 5 taking off. So it is just Javascript for now.
I have found some javascript / jquery called ad-gallery which is free to use so I am hoping to use this. Although this part of the project is optional I really feel that it will be worth the effort as I am sure this site will evolve over the coming years as I progress my courses.

Here is my first attempt at a logo, drawn in Photoshop.....the fonts I have chosen are Corbel and Verdana, I actually compressed my name a little and obviously expanded out the character spacing for the word ' photography'. However as these fonts may not be installed in my viewers computers I think I will have to use a more standard font such as arial for the site's text so that every viewer receives the same experience.

Assignment 4: Feedback

Overall I was very pleased with the feedback I have received for this assignment. I did struggle more than usual over this and although the original idea was reasonable I found it hard to put into practice. However help from my tutor in replacing the lenses with mirrored lenses proved to be the winner and saved the project.

The rider placed in the lenses was blurred using motion blur as I found him too sharp to be real, comments received back suggested that I over did this and that the reflection should have been sharper. I did try this out before submission and thought that it was too unreal, and made too much of a focus on the reflection in the lenses. I do however agree that the image in the lenses needs attention but at my level I am at a loss as to what it really needs. 

The image was a composite of three images, the main rider, the rider in the lenses and a pair of reflective glasses. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

More on Enhancement

Whilst researching photographers' web sites as preparation work for the next chapter I came across my namesake at This web site is really very good, well thought out and presented, though perhaps too busy for my liking; I am looking for something more timeless or simple. In any case I have found some code that I think will do for my web site and I hope to be able to keep this new web site throughout my OCA courses and build upon it as my portfolio.

I did find one image on this particular site that was crying out for adjustment and is a much better example of my image used for enhancement. So I thought I would document the process here in my learning log for future reference. First here is the original:

The first thing that struck me was that the eyes are quite dark, this is added to by a blue / cyan cast over the image. Perhaps this was taken in shade and needs the correct white balance. As I only have a JPEG I adjusted the colour balance to  shift the blue / yellow to yellow and the cyan / red to red, leaving the magenta / green slider alone. This seems to warm up the image and bring out the blonde hair. I then made a feathered selection around the eyes and boosted the levels, then dodged the pupils further to bring them out.

Finally, I sharpened the image for the screen but on a separate layer so that only the eyes and hair were sharpened leaving the skin as is. I hope Nathan does not mind me using his image as a learning aid, its a great shot and the model has such lovely eyes its a shame not to make the most of them.