One Photo Focus: March 2016

I was asked by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing to provide an image for the March 2016 One Photo Focus challenge. The image I picked is this one of the north stairs of the Adams Memorial Theatre at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

OPF_March_before

The theatre sits on the Southern Utah University campus in Cedar City, Utah, and opened in 1977. It is one of the most accurate replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the world (at least the back and main stage areas). This last summer (2015) was the last year that plays will be staged at this theatre. The festival is building a new theater to replace this one, so this last summer was a bit nostalgic for festival goers.

For my edit, I first opened the RAW image in Photoshop’s RAW converter and used the following settings:

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.23.16 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.23.38 PM

With these settings, I got this image:

OPF_March_001

Next, I added the following two duplicate background layers, each with a layer mask:

  • Soft Light blending mode
  • Multiply blending mode

On the Multiply layer, I added a Gaussian Blur at 15.0%. All of this created this image:

OPF_March_002

Next, I used a soft brush set at 100% opacity and in the layer mask of the Multiply layer mask, erased the theatre sign. I then set the Opacity of the SoftLight layer to 55%.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.27.04 PM

Here is what I had so far:

OPF_March_003

A quick crop to tighten up the image gave me my final image:

OPF_March_004

For more from this challenge, visit One Photo Focus: March.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Soft

soft_nmp

Most photographers work hard to make sure that every shot is perfectly in focus. We love seeing every little detail pop from an image. For some shots, a softer, almost blurry feeling works better. It all depends on what ambiance you are trying to create. For this image, I didn’t do anything to the sharpness (or lack thereof) in the post-processing. I thought, given the intimate moment, that a softer feeling worked just great.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE…) THAT HAVE A SOFTER FOCUS, WHETHER ACCOMPLISHED NATURALLY OR THROUGH POST-PROCESSING.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography. Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

For this week’s challenge, I’m reusing several photos I have posted before.

The first one is from a local high school production of A Christmas Carol. This is the Ghost of Christmas Future and her Graveyard Girls. I was very pleased with how this shot turned out, as I was in a theater, and flash photography was not only prohibited, but severely frowned upon by patrons and performers alike.

Motion

Next, this is from a day at the park with the kids. I love the intensity on her face as she launches the Frisbee towards her dad.

Halie and the frisbeeThe last one is one of my favorite pictures. This was taken during the Annual Talent Show for the Kearns Special Needs Mutual (church youth association) last year. This lovely young lady loves to dance, and she shares this talent whenever possible.

Flight

For more from this challenge, visit Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Live Performance

K Harmer playing Grieg

In mid February, one of my piano students had the opportunity to play the Grieg Piano Concert in A minor with her high school orchestra on Concerto Night. She played beautifully. After nine months of hard work and dedication, she saved her best for the night of the performance. Photographing a live performance can present some tricky issues to deal with: lighting, angle, lighting, knowing which moment to capture, lighting. But it can also be a lot of fun. I’ve participated in many community theater productions, and I enjoy the pictures people sneak during an actual performance more than the staged production stills, there is so much more energy.

Motion

xanadu_02_wp

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE PHOTOS OF LIVE PERFORMANCES.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Crowd

Crowd at the Globe

While in London, we caught a performance of The Comedy of Errors at the Globe Theatre. The show was sold out, but I was still surprised at how many people were willing to stand through the whole performance in the “groundling” area (our seats were under the covered area on the first level — amazing!). In most theaters in America, the groundling area is filled with seats and called “the orchestra section” and a seat there costs as much as in the first two rows of the balcony, known as the dress circle or lodge (depending on how posh-posh the theater is). If you’re willing to stand (albeit a few feet or sometimes merely inches away from the action on stage), the price of your ticket drops dramatically. However, this production was 2-1/2 hours long. Not for my feet. I snapped this photo during the interval (aka as intermission). The audience was well behaved and enthusiastic throughout the performance.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF CROWDS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Cee’s Black & White challenge: Seating

The Odd Couple

This photo is from a production of The Odd Couple my husband and I were in the first year we were married. Not only is Paul (playing Felix) sitting in a seat, but you can see the audience seating behind him.

For more from this challenge, visit Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Seating.

This post was chosen as a featured image for this challenge. Thanks, Cee!

feature_blogger_cees

A Photo a Week: Fight! Fight! Fight!

Beatrice and Benedict from MAANSeveral years ago (more than I really want to admit), I was asked by some friends to take production stills for a local community theatre’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. I played the piano for the incidental music (this play could almost be consider a musical, Shakespeare put so many songs in it), and I had just purchased my very first DSLR camera. I love how the pictures turned out, and this week’s challenge entry is one of my favorites from the shoot. Beatrice and Benedict cannot woo sensibly nor easily, and you are never really sure at the end of the play if she will kiss him or punch his lights out, but it sure is fun to watch.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF CONFLICT OR FIGHTING, WHETHER COMIC OR SERIOUS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.