Archive for the ‘Photoshop Resources’ Category

Lily Flower, Ahwahnee, California 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mm f/2.8__1/30 sec at f / 22__ISO 200

Practice, practice…

I’ve been very frustrated lately because I haven’t been able to get out of the office and up to Yosemite for waterfalls, reflections in the meadow, corn lilies in the high country.  Fortunately, my water lilies are in bloom and I check them out every day.  We had an amazing rain storm Tuesday night and the next morning, and so I took a lunch break on my patio.  My water lilies had been washed clean and were gleaming with water drops.  I used my trusty 90mm Tilt Shift lens, making two frames to merge into this square composition using Photo Merge in Photoshop CS5.  The storm was starting to clear, with the sun on the edge of a cloud which gives this image a fresh and sparkling mood.

So when I finally get up to Yosemite Valley next week, I’ll have had recent practice.  Practice seeing every day, get your camera out whenever and wherever you get inspired, and be ready for the next opportunity.  Oh yes, and it might just happen in your back yard!

Enjoy,  Bill

William Neill’s Yosemite Volume One

Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2011

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__15.0 sec at f / 16__ISO 100

Last week, I was in Yosemite Valley delivering a print to The Ansel Adams Gallery. On my way home that afternoon, I stopped to check out Horsetail Falls.  Although I didn’t photograph, the falls was very full and gorgeous in shiny, Black and White lighting.  In fact, early March is my favorite time for Horsetail.  I am a bit sick of seeing orange waterfall images. Leaving Horsetail behind since clouds had muted the glowing water, I drove westward out of the Valley.  As I passed Bridal Veil, I spotted this intriguing pattern of snow and alluvial rocks along the river bank.  I pulled over, and spent the next hour or so watching the light change and trying to work out a good composition. One of the last things I tried was some pano frames.  Here is the results of two horizontal frames stitched together in Photoshop CS5.  The long narrow image shape worked well to emphasize the the layered look of moving water, rounded boulders and snow patterns.  Although it is probably hard to really see the full effect of this small rendition on the blog, I am pleased with it.  It is a continuation of my 34 years  seeking out images that show the subtle side of Yosemite.

Enjoy!  Bill

William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One


Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mm f/2.8__1/10 sec at f / 16__ISO 100

I have been watching my crop of sunflowers carefully now for several weeks, observing the flowers closely.  They say timing is everything, and yesterday morning I “harvested” this flower bringing it into my “studio” which in this case was the floor in my dining where there is great window light.   I am growing several species and wanted to catch this one while the strong spiral pattern was still visible.  All flowers are not created equal, so picking the right one is a highly selective process.

University of Cincinatti

This flower was placed in a cup full of water, and placed on top a piece of black velvet.  The lighting here is direct sunlight from one window.  The camera was aimed straight down at the flower.  I made two exposures using my Tilt Shift lens, first photographing one half and then shifting the lens to photograph the other half.  The two photos were merged using Photomerge in Photoshop CS5.

This approach gives me a square frame, which suits this round flower perfectly to me, and gives me a higher res file in case I need to do murals for my art consultant clients.   See photo one of my photos installed at the University of Cincinatti above.

Canon 90mm TS lens

If you haven’t used a TS lens before, I am attaching an iPhone snap I made showing the lateral, off axis shift that the lens can make.

I am also including another recent sunflower photo, made by the same technique.



Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mm f/2.8__1/3 sec at f / 19__ISO 100

The Beginning of a Portfolio / Morning Light

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

iPhone 3GS___1/6400 sec at f / 2.8__ISO 64

Last Monday, my kids went back to school. My 13 year old daughter started 8th grade, and I have the morning run, taking her to her new school which is 20 minutes away from my house. I will be making the drive nearly every weekday until next June. Seeing the I will be driving through beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, and I am always looking for great light and new photographs, I might as well work on a new theme. I plan on calling the portfolio Morning Light.

For nearly five years, I drove into Yosemite Valley from El Portal to go to work at The Ansel Adams Gallery. And back down the canyon again at the end of the day. What a blessing. I remember that I had no problem getting up early to make that drive, so that I would have time to photograph if so inspired. Well, I won’t have that option on this “morning run,” since we have to leave the house by 7:30, but on my return home, I will have time to photograph.

The photograph here was made with my iPhone – three frames stitched together in Photoshop – on my drive home. This view looks east towards the Ansel Adams Wilderness and the Sierra crest. On this first day of school, I had left my 1DS Mark III behind, unfortunately. I won’t make that mistake again. However, with the extra quality from three iPhone files stitched in PS, and the wonderful Noise Reduction in Lightroom 3, the file would make a very good small print. From now on, my camera bag will be packed when I go to bed, and ready for my morning shuttle service, and my search for morning light.

Let’s see what I can come up with over the next ten months. I’ll keep you posted!

William Neill’s New E-Book: YOSEMITE: VOLUME ONE

Please check out my web site for information on online and private workshops, posters, books and ebooks, and list of galleries that represent my fine art prints.

Calla Lily Heaven

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__TS-E90mm f/2.8__f / 32__ISO 100

Earlier this week, I received three calla lilies to photograph.  For three days, I left them in a corner of my dining room where I have found magic light in the past (see blog post from October 2009).  I hung my every-ready black velvet on a chair behind the blossoms.  On the second day, the early morning sun glanced across this one flow.  Aiming downward, I needed f/32 and a little lens tilt to hold sharpness in the vase and flower.

Due to the wide contrast, I bracketed seven exposures that were one stop apart.  This image was made with six of those frames using Photomatix by my assistant John.  The exposure blend enabled us to show fine separation of tones in the white, nice shading in the green stems but left the background black.

I made about 700 exposures in various light, including some blurs and many 7-frame brackets, so I still have much editing to do.

Until I can polish up some more selects, I hope you enjoy this one.  Let me know your thoughts!

Cheers,  Bill

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