Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Getting that Sharp Shot

I, presently, have that feeling that I really need to get back to some basics with my limited photography abilities I don't seem to be able to get that sharpness I used to get in my photos a while back, so I decided to do a bit of practice on some random things at home. Weirdly enough it was the very first photo I took that came out the best and the sharpest without any editing at all. I left that one as it was taken, just cropped it a bit. I know it can be improved with some editing but this is just an ''exercise'' so I left it to use as one of my photographs shown below. After that I used different settings and none of the photos I took could I say I was really satisfied with. My conclusion at the end of the entire thing was do not trust what you see on the camera after taking the photo cos it looks totally different on the computer screen. The other thing, which I think is far more important, is the results from editing an underexposed picture are much better than an overexposed picture.
Nearly all photos you see nowadays, especially the crystal clear amazing ones, look like that because some pretty advanced editing techniques have been used. Do I want my photos to look like that.....of course! BUT I don't think the satisfaction can be the same as taking a picture of something, someone, anything, then looking at it up on the screen and seeing the natural clarity without having to edit (or am I wrong?). This tends to be quite a controversial subject I know - the same as HDR is - since editing is so much part of modern day photography, but....................
Below are my practice shots - pretty pathetic and subject is random, whatever I had to hand at the time.

Sharpening and small adjustments

A lot of editing
A little editing
Totally unedited

Friday, February 24, 2017

Latest Project - A Key Clock

After spending around eight months with a totally blank white wall in the sitting room, and not really sure what to do with it, I finally made a decision. The problem was having so much light in the room. Putting up anything like a painting, water colour, photos etc would only have lasted weeks before being totally ruined by the bright sunlight that blazes in to our room. Love the light but don't particularly like a bare wall. 

After discovering an old canvas bag full of antique keys in the my father's desk I knew I wanted to do something with them. Various ideas went through my head, and after numerous searches for inspiration on HOUZZ and PINTEREST I finally made up my mind. We had no wall clock hanging up anywhere and it would be a useful object to have and could be decorative too. So a wall clock it had to be.

Some weeks before actually getting down to starting the project, I purchased a clock mechanism online. Unfortunately the black was out of stock so I ordered the silver one and once it arrived I bought a can of black acrylic paint and sprayed it. Next I purchased the wood I needed and got to work. All it took was cutting the wood to the correct lengths with my mitre saw, a few blobs of wood glue, some screws and an acrylic coloured semi matt varnish and the background was ready. 
The keys were in quite a rusty dirty state, so I soaked them in vinegar for a few hours. Rinsed them off properly and sprayed them with black acrylic paint. Once everything had dried (left them a couple of days so the paint could harden properly) it was just a matter of sorting the keys in the correct positions and gluing them down using Araldyte (epoxy glue). I would have liked to have started off with very small keys at 1 O'Clock ending up with the largest at 12 O'Clock but that did not work out with the keys I had, so I was a bit random with them.

Basically that's it. It is up on the wall and fits the place perfectly.

As is the norm, after I have made something, I always come up with other ideas, like it would be fun to actually paint each slat of wood a different very bright colour - maybe the next one I will make.

Below shows the project on progress


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