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Picture some more summer

Since I haven’t been doing anything these last few sweltering days that is worth talking about, maybe you’d like to see some more of my Picture Summer shots?  The first three were here.  These are all in response to daily prompts.  So far, I don’t feel like I’ve taken any earth-shatteringly fabulous pictures, but for the most part I am happy with them.

Picture Summer Day 4 - Tradition

day 4 (the traditional berry crisp)

Picture Summer Day 5 - Cool Drink

day 5 (a refreshing drink)

260/365 + Picture Summer Day 6 - Wide Open

day 6 (the wide open space of my back yard)

Picture Summer Day 7 - Subtle Summer Color

day 7 (the subtle color of my ring tan line)

Picture Summer Day 8 - Treasure Huntingday 8 (collected beach treasures).

I’ve been playing around with different methods of processing my photos, perusing some of the Pioneer Woman Photography archives, downloading some Paint Shop Pro plugins, taking advantage of textures, etc.  I have yet to hit upon a signature look, but I do really like that last photo.  For those keeping track at home, here’s the SOOC version:

Picture Summer Day 8 - SOOC

I took this photo in Manual, i.e. I adjusted the exposure, aperture, and ISO by hand.  Usually I shoot in Program mode, which is essentially Automatic, except that it has the added ability to control white balance, and a few other key settings that I like to fiddle with.   My goal is to spend more time in Manual.  I have such a hard time remembering what all of the settings do, but I think the only way to rectify that is to just keep doing it.  Eventually it has to become second nature, right?

So here are the steps I took to improve the photo in Paint Shop Pro X2:

  1. Crop to the required 4×6 dimension
  2. Use the color balance tool to add some warmth
  3. Use the curves tool to adjust contrast
  4. Add a new layer with the “multiply” blending mode
  5. Fill the new layer with the “beach” texture from Kim Klassen

Picture Summer Day 8 - SOOC Picture Summer Day 8 - Treasure Hunting

I like it.  It’s better than the original, without looking overly unnatural.  That’s pretty much what I’m going for most of the time.

Now, I have one question for those of you who like to take your cameras with you everywhere: If you have something bigger than a pocket-size point-and-shoot, do you take it with you in its own camera case?  Or do you have some kind of solution integrated into your purse?  I don’t like carrying an extra case around with me, but at the same time I don’t feel comfortable just dumping it in my big beach tote, either.  Especially since I lost the lens cap.

I’m altering a heavy canvas tote I have, and am attempting to make a nice pocket for the camera to fit in, but I’m not entirely confident that will be the best solution.  Any of you care to share what works for you?  Thanks!

11 thoughts on “Picture some more summer

  1. After I got my DSLR in the winter, I lugged it in my backpack occasionally but lately it has it’s own little case. I just picked up a small padded one at walmart and stripped the logo and embellished a bit. The case is big enough to hold the charger, my small wallet and my cell phone along with the camera.

    And that pretty much ends up as my purse a lot of the time! They have some really cute ones available on Etsy which look like purses, too.

    1. I like the idea of embellishing a store-bought case. I was looking around Etsy – some fabulous-looking stuff, but there are price tags to match, and I just can’t swing that. I had actually been thinking that if I continue to keep it in my regular tote, that maybe I could just make a simple quilted sleeve to velcro around it. A store-bought case would be a lot safer, though…

  2. First thing, girl, get a lens cap and a cap keeper, you can make one using 2 cell lanyards and some beads. That is expensive to replace and small scratches happen VERY easily.

    As for picture taking, I watched a documentary about Eddie Adams (he took the iconic image in Viet Nam of the street execution) and he said: Whatever the manual tells you to do, do the opposite and if you think you should shoot it, shoot it. I love reading about photographers.

    BTW, you do have a style emerging, it is in your preferred lighting. You have a softness. You seem to prefer warm, soft light, despite the subject. Very evident in your drink photo.

    Just my two cents. Keep shooting, great stuff.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! Also, my lens cap turned up in one of my sons’ tote bags yesterday, so yay!

  3. Doug is the photographer in our house so naturally he carries the camera in a big black leather camera bag. But if I were to carry one, it would be a small pink or metallic orange camera in a funky little hand painted bag that attached to my purse… with polymer clay bead dangles of course! But that’s just me. 🙂

    1. Heh. I can very much see that. And it sure beats a boring black bag 🙂

  4. Yes, definitely get another lens cap! You can easily harm a lens and that would be costly. I use these: http://www.amazon.com/Adorama-CapKeeper-Lens-Leash-Pack/dp/B000ANCZ0U to keep my lens caps close.

    Also, I have one of these for my camera and accessories: http://www.jototes.com/ but often I just carry it slung across my body or if I’m going into the woods in a backpack.

    I like to try out lots of editing styles. I find that you have to edit, if you want your photo to be featured, to the preference of whomever you are trying to attract attention. PW likes bold colors while Tracey Clark likes subtle, muted shades. I’m in the middle but more of a preference for color.

    It’s good that you are trying different things and yes, the more photos you take the better you will get to know your camera!

    1. My lens cap turned up yesterday, thankfully. I’ll have to rig up some kind of tether, I think. And those Jo Totes are great! I have a hard time plunking down that kind of cash for a bag, but it’s very tempting… I heart the Olive Vine Tote.

  5. In addition to the lens cap you should have a skylight filter. It is a clear filter that screws on to your lens, costs about $10.00, protects the lens from scratches and never has to be removed, thus never ends up in any unusual places. You can buy a cheap tether at a camera store (less than $5)

    1. I just got a four-piece set that includes a UV filter, an ND4 filter, a circular polarizing filter, and a tethered lens cap. I’ve got the UV filter on there most of the time now, along with the lens cap. I need a sunny say near some water so I can try out the other filters!

  6. […] the relationship between the three. (That, in itself, is pretty remarkable when you consider that a few short years ago, I had no idea how any of that stuff worked! Now it feels like second nature. I guess all it really […]

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