CAGD 112 - Digital Photography

Hyper-Realism

Final Image
I had the most fun with this assignment. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the assignment, which was to shrink down a person and set them in nature, so they're kind of like a fairy sized person. My inspiration mainly came from my love of the fairies and because I had recently watched the movie Thumbelina. I made several concepts that featured a shrunk down humans who were hanging out in a natural setting, but when Jennifer helped me settle on the following to try to remake with my own images. 
Initial Concept

My image kind of tells a bit of a story, a solitary tiny person rests and drinks out of his mug while resting against his furry companion. The shallow depth of field really helps focus on the subjects of my scene,the tiny man and the squirrel, because they are the sharpest and most detailed part of my image while parts of the foreground (leaves) and the background (the river and some blades of grass) are blurred. The hill that the tree sits on slopes down, so the front leg of my roommate and the position of the squirrel also mimics that sloping as well.  

Initially I was planning on using only photos I took. However getting a decent photo of a stationary squirrel in kind of sleeping position proved to be a big challenge. I ended up finding and using a stock photo of a squirrel. The other two photos I used I took myself, one of an area on campus near the river. The other of my roommate, Mark, when he happened to be outside taking a smoke break. 



So the biggest problem I encountered aside from being unable to take a decent picture of campus squirrels was the lighting difference in all the photos I used. The squirrel stock photo had light shining directly on the furry body, the nature photo was in the afternoon on an overcast day, and finally the photo of my roommate was taken very late afternoon when the sun was too low to shine any direct light on my roommate.  Since the photo of the tree trunk was my base image that I would place the other two I decided to match the other photos to that lighting. 
I was able to do this with the curves adjustment layer and photo filter


By adjusting the individual red, blue, and green layers, I was able to get coloring on mark and  the squirrel that was fairly close to the natural base photo. Then it was a matter of making the squirrel and Mark blend in. I used a lot of clipping masks on those two layers and adding shadows where they should naturally occur. When I was finally finished I felt like they all seemed a little out of place still so the final thing I did to bring the whole image together was to simply fill the image with a single color (a bright purple) and change the blending of it to soft light. This really pulled the image together in a way that also made it look kind of mystical. I am very happy with the result. 

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Panorama




For this assignment we were supposed to take a Panorama and them stitch them together manually.My final image was taken on one of the bridges that crosses the river on campus. There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to the technique of taking the photos, I of coursed adjusted the shutter speed and aperture a lot in order to try and take photos that weren’t too dark.

I ended up taking a lot of pictures of buildings and trees, the fall leaves colors are really vibrant and nice. Along with the the sunlight that was shining that afternoon through quite a few clouds. I usually do my assignments by forcing my roommate to tag along and and pose for me. However this time I focused purely on the scenery.

I had a lot of issues when I brought the photos into Photoshop. Using the automate - photo merge to make them into a panorama, didn’t always work. Sometimes I would have photos that would sit on top of each other when they were supposed to be side to side. Fortunately I had a ton of photos to sift through, so I finally found five different attempts that merged correctly.



The real work was after, I would use the layer masks to blend the images together while keeping the images looking natural. I worked on two other images before deciding on the one on the bridge. The bridge panorama really worked because I had the lines of the railing to align the photos to when I was taking it.  After blending the layers together, I used the curves to keep the coloring a little similar. Then I merged those layers and I used curves (again) vibrance, and hue and saturation to pop the colors out more. I’m pretty satisfied with the result.

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Motion

Still Motion Final Image. Shutter Speed 1/500

For this assignment we were supposed to use what we learned through the modules about shutter speed and ISO to create photos that represent motion. Fifteen of the photos had to be with a slow shutter and another fifteen had a faster shutter. My final image for the assignment is a picture of my cat mid-action when he is playing with one of this favorite toys. You can see he's sliding in to grab the toy, his feet aren't even touching the ground, and he was going so fast that he tumbled away in the next few photos. It makes me laugh every time I look through the images. 

For these photos, some planning took place, I also had props. In some of my other photos I used a large long ribbon to show motion while my friend rode his skateboard, and I also tried to take pictures of glow sticks moving around. In the end the photos that I ended up using were some blur motion photos of my friends band, they have a lot of headbanging so you can really see the motion there.
photo with blur motion. Shutter speed: 1/15

I ended up choosing the photos of Azeroth, my cat, because I felt like I could post-process them in a way, where the colors wouldn't be too bright, and the hopefully not as noisy as some of the other photos I took ended up being. I really had to bump up my ISO to get more light in the photos and that where most of the noise comes from especially in the final image. However I was able to use the history brush to make that noise fade away a little bit better. The original image was cropped and adjusted with vibrancy, curves twice ( one with a mask) and brightness and contrast. I played with the idea of making the photo black and white but the black and white fur got lost in a black and white image. 
original final image photo

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Portrait

Final Image
For this assignment our goal was take portrait photography of a person, and show their character through a photo. I took photos of three people, but my final image features my roommate Mark. He ended up being the subject in most of my thirty exposures that I turned in, but with the help of Jennifer decided on this one, its the clearest photo that shows his face in nice light. I told him to bring his skateboard when we were taking pictures cause its one of his favorite things to do. Whenever he's feeling stressed, he usually ends up taking the board out to skate on it until he clears it head. He's usually a happy person, so I was glad I got him to smile, hes usually tries to be more stoic in photos.

Stoic 

When taking this picture I backed away enough so I could get the whole skateboard in the photo. I like the way he held it because it showcases most of the doodles that are on the board. The focal point in my scene is marks face and neck, the arms are mirrored because they take the same position and roughly the fingers come out on the same part of the board on both sides. I think it gives the image great symmetry. 

One of the issues I had taking photos of mark was that he liked to move and talk a lot, and I think that it helped that I made the shutter speed faster because it captured a lot more movement and expressions. However a lot of my photos came out blurry because of his moving and my own shaky hands.  Honestly to solve my shaking hands I put the camera on a box  to keep it from shaking as much. I shot pictures of mark in the morning and in the afternoon on a cloudy day. So a lot of the images came out well because the light was more diffuse.

Original Image

Finally some of the procedures I utilized was  the clone tool and spot healing brush to remove the dark circles under his eyes and some of the lint and wrinkles on his shirt. I also whitened the whites of his eyes and made his eye color more vibrant. I separately masked his form and the background to adjust the curves separately to make a picture that contrasted more, and I  put a slight color balance adjustment on the photo which I think made the colors brightened and pop more.


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Things

final image


For this assignment our goal was to use our aperture mode on the camera and take pictures that includes depth of field. I took a lot of fun pictures when I took a walk with my roommate. Towards the end of our walk this cat whom I've passed many times when walking home walked up to us I took about five photos with the cat  as he walked towards us but the final image had him fill the photo frame the most. The picture also includes the detail of my roommate's skateboard and this branch he had taken from a bush and his hand which is further back reaching to pet the cat. I really enjoy how close the cat is to touching the skateboard and branch and the leading line of the cat's nose almost aligns with the leaves.



original picture

To get this photo I made use of vibrancy and curve adjustment layers on original image. I also used layer masks. Isolated the ground and adjusted that part using curves. I think it really helped bring the cat, skateboard, and arms really into the focus. I also used a layer mask on the cat's eye and fur to bring out the bright colors there. I really loved his eyes so I was able to get a good picture with at least one of them. 



filters used



The focal point of the scene is the cat, and we are led there by the skateboard and by my roommates arm. The cat is beautiful so it was why I chose it to be the focal point. I do feel like I achieved drawing the viewer’s eye to the cat by the placement of the other items and adding the vibrant filters. when taking some of the pictures and trying to get good use of depth of field I found I would have to adjust the way I stood and even step back a couple of times. I took pictures during the afternoon for the most part and the shadows during that time are kind of harsh sometimes, especially recently with the weather. I changed the white balance on my camera to adjust images and I think that helped with diffusing the harshness of the shadows. 

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On The Edge 

final image

So the goal of our On the Edge Assignment was to create a photo that had subject close to or on the edge of the photo, while the other parts of the photo where to lead to the subject and create a kind of weight. This is my final photo. The focal point of my image is my roommate. He stands to the right and tosses a ball in the air. The lines of the tennis court and the net leads you to where he stands. He was wearing black so he stood out against the lighter colors of the fence and floor.
To get this final photo I used the black and white adjustment filter, the levels adjustment filter, then a solid gray layer that I set to overlay and used dodge and burn on. When those tools I brought my tablet with me to use them with more precision, and it made the shadows and highlights of my roommate pop more
So the final image I ended up choosing was taken a few days before class. It wasn’t terribly hot so I asked my roommate to go on a walk with me. I actually wasn’t planning to take this photo, what really happened was I spotted a tennis ball on an empty court and I thought I would cut it open and make a cozy little space for our pet mouse. It was when he was walking towards the ball that I thought it might make a nice picture and I adjusted my cameras settings to take it. I actually didn’t realize I had gotten a snap of him tossing it into the air until I looked on my computer.
 
I almost picked the photo to the left as my final image. I think it could have worked but would have required a bit more work I didn't think I'd have the time to do.

I found this assignment challenging because I had to be conscientious of the subjects that I was shooting and where they were placed on the image and also because I had to imagine ahead of time how the image might translate in black and white. I had several shots taken in a heavily forested creek area which I thought looked pretty good on my camera's LCD screen. However after when looking at them in smaller thumbnail versions, I realized I couldn't really focus on what I was looking at until I saw them larger. I spent time a few days ago changing everything to black and white in Photoshop and found that those pictures that were taken near the creek all were really hard to look at and find a subject because there is so much foliage around.

 
The photos not in the folders were some of the other ones that almost made it into my final 30 images
Out of the 114 photos I took, some of them repeats, I picked out 40 that I thought I might choose for the final 30 exposures. Then after test-translating those to black and white I ended up with eighteen photos. This caused me to go back and look at other photos I didn't initially choose, to see how they might translate to black and white.

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