A Photo a Week Challenge: Under the Lights

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Ever find yourself in a tricky lighting situation? We recently went to an outdoor symphony concert. The symphony performed in a temporary amphitheater at Deer Valley near Park City, Utah. It’s an amazingly beautiful venue for a concert (mountains, first-class resorts, mountains, fresh air, mountains…). As the concert drew to a close and the sun had long set behind the mountain peaks, it was tricky to find the best settings on the camera to capture the stage without a flash (not allowed during the concert), without it being too dark and without a lot of shaking motion (we had left the tripod in the car). For this image, I used my 50mm lens; exposure: 1/320 sec; f/2.0; ISO: 500. The concert definitely ended with a bang (the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky and Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa), and I was able to grab this great shot.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF TRICKY LIGHTING SITUATIONS.

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″ tag.
  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: Silhouette

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We’ve explored some different types of lighting. This week, we are looking at silhouettes. This type of shot can be tricky, but also very rewarding. Backlighting is important. Taking care of what is behind your subject or subjects is vitally important. This couple really wanted a silhouette, and we found this amazing covered walkway that opened up to beautiful tulip gardens. You also want to play around with just how shadowed the subjects are. The slight lighting in this setting worked very well for what they wanted.

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

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″ tag.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

One Photo Focus: February

Last month, I found a great method for adding deeper colors to my photos, and I was really excited to try it out on this month’s One Photo Focus.

Here is the original photo, by Stacey at lens addiction:

original_feb_opf

When I opened the RAW file in Photoshop, I used the following settings in the RAW converter:

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Adobe_2

Adobe_3

These settings got me to here:

feb_opf_1

For the final touches, I used an action that I created that I call Adding Deeper Color II. It includes adding two duplicate layers of the background, one with a setting of SoftLight and the other Multiply, with the Multiply layer on top of the SoftLight layer. For both layers, I added mask layers. I also added a Gaussian Blur at 15.0% to the Multiply layer. Then I used a soft brush set to Opacity 100% and black (to remove) and brushed over the boat and buildings on the Multiply layer. This is what I got:

feb_opf_2

Thanks to Stacy for hosting this fun challenge. For more from this challenge, visit One Photo Focus: February.

After-Before logo

Click the image above for rules on joining the fun!

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Lights

I may be cheating a little with this one, but I really like how the subject is backlit.

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At least in the next one, the lights are visible in the photo.

B&W bride

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

A Photo a Week Challenge: Backlit

Backlit leaf

Lighting can make or break any photo you take. Sometimes you want your subject to be fully lit from the front. Sometimes backlighting creates a better effect. Sometimes a mixture creates the best photo. You can get backlighting from nature or using artificial light sources.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT ARE HAVE BACKLIGHTING OF SOME KIND.

Have fun experimenting with natural and artificial backlighting.  Then blog them and post a link to your masterpieces here.

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″ tag.

3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.