Just screwing around in Lightroom, actually figuring out how to use some of its best functionality, like the adjustment brush. Obviously very heavy-handed here, but I think the effect matches the guy’s expression.
Haven’t done many of these lately…
Buddhist monk reading Heidegger’s Phenomenology of the Spirit on the trainfull exif & map
(I only wish you could read the title in the photo, although it’s in Japanese, so (most of) you would have had to take my word for it anyway.)
Seems like a long time since I just grabbed my camera and went around Kyoto shooting. Did so the other day, and here are some of my favorite shots.
This girl spent about 20 minutes staring at her cell phone on San-jo Bridge while I snapped picture after picture of her from the outside tables at Starbucks. Never could tell if she noticed me.
Taken from the same chair
This guy was obviously not averse to having his picture taken
This woman was praying at a local shrine on Teramachi.
I’ve been noticing all the corrugated tin buildings in Japan lately. This one, in the middle of Kyoto, makes a great pair with the temple behind it. Now only if a white egret or even a tombi (black kite, kind of like a hawk) had graced the temple roof to offset the crow on the tin shed, the picture would have been perfect.
Old guy sketching on the bank of a river while two young guys walk by with cold beer and snacks.
The software I use for photo organization and basic editing, Aperture, recently recently underwent a major upgrade that makes playing with pictures and gadgets (and isn’t that what this is all about?) all the more fun. Aperture 2.0, which came out a little over a month ago, speeds everything up on my computer enormously. I can now zip through libraries of thousands of thumbnails with virtually no lag-time.
Aperture 2.0 also included lots of new image editing capabilities. One of these is vignetting. A vignette is a halo of black around the edges of an image, originally created by lenses that weren’t good enough to create a uniform image circle. Most modern lenses no longer vignette, but ironically we are now adding the effect to our pictures because it helps create a certain mood and draw attention to the central subject.
Here is the effect added in a completely dramatic, over-the-top way. This is almost corny, but it actually fits this image because it gives the impression that you are looking at this gorgeous bird through the same kind of ancient brass telescope Gallileo used.
Here are two more subtle uses below, using original and vignette-ed versions of two photos I’ve posted here recently. In these examples I think it adds to the impact considerably. (In fact, the day I played around with this for the first time I noticed that the photo on the front page of the New York Times website did the same thing, emphasizing a lone Hillary poster in a see of Obama posters. I should have saved it for this post.)
The final picture uses another capability new to Aperture 2.1, namely the ability to make localized changes to saturation, sharpness, brightness, etc. Before you had to export the image to something like Photoshop to do this, which meant I never did it. Here I’ve added some saturation to the girl’s face, the pink cabage behind her, her jacket, and her rollerblades. This, in addition to the soft vignette, completely improves the image compared to the old one.
Finally, here is one earlier post I used the vignette effect on. That’s it. From now I’m keeping my secrets and you’ll have to guess.
(After I snapped this picture, she looked up with this adorable “Me? You’re taking a picture of me? Why?” look on her face.)
Unfortunately, I had been shooting walkers, so when this pretty girl whizzes by on a bicycle—hence the dramatically billowing hair—my shutter speed was way too low.
Man preparing chikuwa (pressed fish paste, and it tastes about as good as it sounds) poses obligingly for a shot as he gets his stall ready in the morning.