Default photography gear

Is there such a thing as a basic or default photography kit? Today, we have access to amazing technology and gear to help us in our photography and the vast range of choice can be a challenge.

The market tries to tell us that we need specialist equipment for everything and that even as an amateur you must spend big money to get a shoot that is good. I thought I should share with you a setup you can use for next to everything you photograph today and most that you will photograph in the future.

The default kit is built of thee pieces. Continue reading Default photography gear

How to maximize the value of your visit to the zoo as a photographer

The zoo is a great place both to explore animals and locations but also where you can practice your photography skills. To maximize your visit there however you can plan out ahead on what you should do there and what to bring. Read on to find out more!
Continue reading How to maximize the value of your visit to the zoo as a photographer

Lomo tutorial using GIMP

Lomo photography has gained grounds and is today a much used effect also on regular photos. The effect is all about mimic the photos which the old cameras from LOMO generated. Since it also is a very simple effect to mimic with the use of an image manipulation application I will show you how to do this using GIMP. GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop which can be a bit hard to learn since the interface is very unique. But once learned, you can do very much with it.

The features which distinguish a lomo photo is the colors which are a bit unbalanced with a blue tint and also quite heavy vignetting.

We will use the following photo:

http://www.flickr.com/xenovoyance/

And this is what the image will look like when we have applied the lomo effect.

Let’s begin! Boot up GIMP and follow the work flow below.

  1. Open image
  2. From the menu in GIMP choose Color > Curves and create an ‘S’ shape for the curve to modify the colored tint.

    Alternative: To get even a more complete lomo effect, use an ‘S’ curve for all colors except blue. But as a start, go for the ‘S’ curve on all colors!

    Alternative: Before going for the curves you can also increase contrast and brightness a tiny bit to bring even more colors to the photo. You can find both contrast and hue in the top menu,  Colors > Brightness-Contrast.

  3. Time to give the image a strong vignette. This is done by adding a radial gradient to the image. First select the entire photo by selecting Select > All (CTRL + A)
  4. Shrink the selection a bit, Select > Shrink
  5. Feather the selection to get a soft selection and not get sharp corners, Select > Feather
  6. No invert your selection to select the outer part of the selection instead of the inner part, Select > Invert
  7. Create a new layer
  8. Choose the Gradient tool, set shape to ‘Radial’, colors white to black. Starting from the center of the image, create a gradient down to the bottom of the image and you should end up with something like this
  9. Now with the new layer selected choose Overlay as layer style for the layer to make it darken the edges instead of overflowing them.
  10. End by flatten all layers of the image and you are done!

Lomo photo effect using GIMP, quick and easy!

Selective black and white using Photoshop Elements

In this brief tutorial we will create a selective black and white photo using Photoshop Elements. For those of you who do not own Photoshop Elements I also made a tutorial for Picasa a litle while ago which can be reached here. I use Photoshop Elements 8 in this tutorial but the same technique do work in older versions as well. If you do not have Photoshop Elements or CS you can do the same thing in the free application Picasa, and I have the same tutorial for that application here.

This is what we will create in this tutorial:
Our final result

And this is the original photo:
Original

Step 1
Open up your photo in Elements Edit
Start

After this step I will multi task and show two ways of creating the effect. Choose either a) or b) and follow that path.

Step 2
Create a new adjustment-layer by left-clicking on your background-layer and drag and drop this upon the icon for adjustment layer. Choose gradient map and select a map from black to white.
Adjustment layer

Step 3
Next to your adjustment-layer there is an layer-mask (the white square), select this by clicking on it. Then using a brush and black color, paint on top of the parts in the photo you would like to be in color.
Layer mask

There is actually a number of ways of doing the same in Elements and I will therefore show you yet another way of doing the same effect.

Step 2, Optional way
Duplicate your layer by single-clicking the layer ‘Background’ in your layers window and then pressing CTRL + J (or Command + J if you are on Mac). This will create a new layer with the same content as the layer you had selected, in other words you now have two identical layers on top of each other.
Duplicated layer

Step 3, Optional way
With you duplicated layer selected, use the erasor to erase the parts in the black and white layer where you want color. The layer underneath in color will now instead show.
Erasor

There, we’re all set and have learnt two ways of doing this effect in Photoshop Elements!