Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do you vignette?

Vignetting is a technique to add some drama to any shot. We usually think of vignetting as adding a black halo all around the shot,as if slightly framing it.
But vignetting can be done in white or any other color. The most usual, black.
I do vignette many of my photos. It adds an interest sometimes, or focuses the object, or even eliminates some disturbing elements!

The easiest way to vignette is, in Photoshop, using a filter. It is in filters > distort > Lens correction;
Then the menu for lens correction opens, you click on vignette and use the slide to go to black (left) or white (right) and also the amount of vignetting:

The result is this:

Not bad; but I usually want to have more control of the black space. Then I don't go to filters. What I do is the following:

First I create a new layer, then select the paint brush tool, but change the size to an exaggerated number, really big. Then paint just with the border, not the full brush; the center of the brush must be out of the border.

Now you control the areas where you want the shadow to appear. And this way, though the layer opacity, you control the amount of vignette;
Then, there's only the last step: flatten your image, through layers > flatten layers.

And here is the result:
Hope you like it.
Anyway, experiment, try new techniques, duplicate layers, compare, play with blend options...
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

silhouettes. We kiss the day goodnight.

Driving back home after an afternoon out, we enjoyed this awesome sky, getting more and more spectacular. We could not but stop and watch the sun hide, creating a beautiful scene.
we kiss the day goodnight

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

rule of thirds (kind of): summertime.

It's been a long, busy and extremely hot summer, most of it without any possiblity of having internet connection!
Back to ordinary routine life, here I am, time for examining every photo I took during this wonderful summer holiday time.
One thing I immediately noticed is how my eye tends to frame every view to make it fulfill the *pseudo*rule of thirds, especially the beach shots, with people. I say pseudo because my thirds are not exact, I tend to exaggerate; (dunno if it's good or bad, but I do).
So I would say that these captures follow a defined pattern that my mind always searches for.
Here are some examples:

Ode to a solitary tree.
summer wind