Tag Archives: workflow

Splash of Spring

Photo composite, "splash of spring"

Splash of Spring

For the past 4 years, I have been capturing macro images of flowers, water, oil, and ice. Using my Nikon 105mm macro lens I capture liquid images with splashes, solids and mixtures of splashes and solids. But since March, I began a project on combining these images. Curiosity was the impetus of this new image title “Splash of Spring.”

This composite (combination of more than one image) began with a thought of “what if I combined a liquid drop with a flower?”  The daffodils in our yard had recently blossomed, so I cut one and photographed it from multiple angles. Then I started thinking about how to combine them. My original idea was to have the milk drop explode out of the top of the daffodil. I searched through my milk drop images and found one that had potential. And the image to the right was the disappointing result.

First unsuccessful composite of "splash of spring"

First composite

I went back to the drawing board by moving the drop until I found the perfect placement. I rotated and resized the drop until it was on top of the bottom petals of the daffodil. I had an exciting new plan.

This needed to be a clean composite, so I used masking techniques to remove the bottom petals of the daffodil. Then, I “cutout” the drop and drug the layer to the flower image placing my “drop” petals at the correct angle. I copied the original daffodil flower base and elongated it to fill in the base that was hidden by the original pedals. The last step was to add a hue/saturation colorized layer to the drop and match the yellow tones. Once all the layers were in position I added a few final touches: adding shadows to the newly formed daffodil flower base and I added an additional random drop. Overall, I had 30 minutes of photographing the flower and about two hours of Photoshop-ing to create my finished product.

In the next few months, I plan to complete a few more composites like “Splash of Spring” with flowers and drops and hope to have a full portfolio to show.

Beginning images for composite "splash of spring"

Beginning images for composite


Posted in Before/After, Compositing Also tagged , , , |

iPad Instead of a Laptop?

Iflashdrive photo

Iflashdrive, iPad and iPhone

by Amy Horn
When the craze of iPads began, I remember thinking, “What is the big deal?” To me, an iPad appeared to be an oversized iPod a great toy, but certainly not a work tool. Now that developers have had time to create some outstanding apps and external devices, I have discovered that an iPad is an integral part of my photography workflow.

Teaching photography is my day job, but in my free time I travel and shoot all that inspires me. My desktop computer is setup perfectly for my workflow so I have not invested in a laptop. But, I still needed something to take on my trips to download, sort, email and post images. Since I shoot raw images, I thought my only option was a laptop. Then I attended Terry White’s sessions at NAPP’s Photoshop World 2011 and realized an iPad wasn’t a toy, but was actually my perfect solution. I went to the Apple store in Las Vegas that night.

Since purchasing the iPad, I use it on location to back up my photos. I download my images using a compact flash card reader (not made by Apple) to transfer raw images to my iPad. I still retain the original images on the memory cards until I return home, but knowing I have a backup without having to lug around a laptop is a definite plus. Many iPad apps now offer support for raw images like Photogene and Snapseed. I use these apps to make quick adjustments to my raw photos and then export them to the iPad as jpg’s. The original file is not touched but instead a new version is created when I export. The images are now ready to show a client, email or upload as needed.

If I need an image from the iPad while on the road and I don’t have wifi or email available to me, no problem. PhotoFast makes a product called an i-FlashDrive. This dongle has a dock connector (iPad 1 &2) on one side and an usb plug on the other side. They come in sizes of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB and with the free app from PhotoFast I transfer files (jpg’s, pdfs, etc) to this portable memory stick. Then flip it over to insert the usb end into a computer. This dongle is supported by Macs or PC’s and iPhones or iPads that use a 30-pin dock. This is very handy when I attend photo workshops or travel in remote areas without wifi and want to get images off my iPad.

When I return home to my desktop computer, I transfer my images from the iPad using a cable directly into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. My raw files are untouched and ready for me to evaluate using my larger screen and professional editing software. I have found there are many other apps that help my photography with model releases, custom portfolios, designing lighting setups, reading pdf photography books and even sending custom postcards; not to mention that I can check email, browse the web and watch movies. I find the convenience of having it all in one device to be priceless and much easier to carry.

Posted in Technology Also tagged , |