Saturday, March 24, 2012

Photo Editing with Smart Photo Editor and More

I've been having too much fun lately. I have this photo editing software called Smart Photo Editor (link provided at the end of this article) and it is by far the easiest and quickest way to edit your digital images.

I have written articles about this before and I have several images on my Facebook page that have gone through Smart Photo Editor processing. Today I want to take an image and run it through some quick edits. I'll get started right away with an image I took in 2011, let's take a look at it ...


Here is what I like about the image. It is an image of a blooming flower and it has rain drops on it. Other than that, the color isn't that great and the background of the image isn't that good either. So I would like to improve the image and potentially crop it.

So the first thing I did was to open the image in Smart Photo Editor and did some manual adjustments using the Brightness Contrast etc. features. Here is the outcome ...


I like the results already. The edits are typical of what you might find with Photoshop or other photo editing software.

Now Smart Photo Editor has a lot of filters and effects, many of them I use over and over again and are stored in the "Favorite Effects" list. Today I decided to take a look at other filters that I have not used as frequently. I came across the "Hue saturation and contrast filter" and here is the outcome of using that filter ...


Now the filters have sliders in them that allow you to tweak the filter to your liking but I liked the results of the default filter and saved the image as is.

So then I wondered what the image would look like if I applied a couple of my favorite filters. So let's take a look ...


Again, I am really pleased with the results. In this image I used the default settings of the "Hue saturation and contrast filter" and the "Hyper-real filter" and I think I like it.

Now when it comes to editing images there is a lot of personal preference. In other words, what I may really like others may say that's too much, or that's not enough, or you should do this. I am all well and good with that. But the beauty of art to the eye is in the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, if I was working with a client I would want to know what pleases them and work to satisfy their needs.

Now so far I have shown you some really simple things to do with Smart Photo Editor, but you may be wondering how long did it take to do all this. Well first let me say that I take time during my editing to take notes of the edits I do to images so I have reference for the future. The edits themselves are quick. I spent 25 minutes this morning selecting the filters for editing the image and taking notes on the edits made to the image. Without note taking and filter selection time the editing was done in moments.

Than I decided to use it on Instagram (from my iPad) and here are the results of that ...


Next I used my Poladroid application to make a Polaroid version of the image and here is the result ...


I like the "Poladroid" application because it provides that old fashioned polaroid effect and I can use photoshop to add text in the white space on the bottom like we used to do back in the day with a pen.

So from one simple image that was not all that good in the beginning I was able to make some pretty good images that I can enjoy for a long time.

The programs and links used for this article were ...
Smart Photo Editor http://www.smartphotoeditor.com/
Instagram http://instagr.am/
Poladroid http://www.poladroid.net/
PhotoScape (for batch resizing) http://www.photoscape.org


Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!


BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

See my work for sale at http://tms-photos.artistwebsites.com/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Engagement Photos of my Niece

Just this past Sunday, March 11, 2012, I was out taking pictures of my niece and had a blast. This is the first time in a long time that I had such great subjects for this type of project. Those of you who know me and have been reading my blog, you know that I use Pentax equipment since I have been using it for several years. For this project I used the stock 18-55mm lens on my K-7 DSLR.

The weather was great here in the Chicago area! The photos below was taken at Cantigny in Wheaton, IL. This is one of my favorite places for photography. So let's take a look at one of the photos I took.


This is an example of the original image. I say example because I re-sized for this blog post. It may be worth noting that I shoot in the RAW format and on my Pentax camera it creates both a RAW .DNG file and .JPG file of the image.

Part of the processing I do includes modifying the RAW file when opening it up in Photoshop Elements. That would include modifying the exposure and making some subtle color corrections.

With this particular project I decided to use a newer software that I had purchased called Portrait Professional. I must say, I am very pleased with the results. Here is the edited file ...


You may not notice but take a closer look at the two images and notice how the facial features are smoothed and the bit of a pop I got from the Portrait Professional software. Let's look at a side by side ...


Now keep in mind there are limitations to the clarity because of file size capabilities of blogging but I think you can notice the difference in the two photos.

I strongly recommend Portrait Professional software for its ease of use and capabilities. I pretty much started using it without any problems at all. It seemed like logical point and click software that I was able to use.

Here are a couple additional before and after images that went through the same editing process.



It may be worth noting that these images have not been cropped at at this time, that is something I plan to do with the couple once they have selected their favorite photos. I had a blast taking these photos and editing them. Can't wait to do it again!

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!


BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

See my work for sale at http://tms-photos.artistwebsites.com/

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project Wide Open Where Old Tech meets New Tech

This project was inspired by Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto.com who recently had a project called "Wide Open." The purpose was for photographers to take pictures of their subjects with the f/stop wide open. So thanks to Jared Polin for the inspiration and thanks to Cantigny Parks and gardens for hosting a tour of their greenhouse.

In this, my project, I added a twist of old technology meets new technology. In other words, I used my old manual 50mm lens from my Pentax K1000 on my Pentax K7 DSLR body. My 50mm lens has a close focus at 17.7 in and at wide open the f/stop is set at f/2.

While on the tour at the greenhouse I physically  moved the camera until the subject was in focus in order to take the pictures below ...


Now the image above is cropped and I liked the outcome. The image could have been a bit more in focus if I closed down a stop or two on the lens, but that was not the purpose of this project.


This image (above) was not cropped and is not a spectacular photo but it is an example of the specific focus capabilities of a wide open lens at close focus.


I like what is going on in the in the image above in regards to all of the background colors. Again, due to the limitations of this specific project, the fern tips are not all in focus. This could have been corrected by closing down on the f/stop but it is worth noting that the background effects would change also.


In the image above there is a lot of color and background color melding going on. This is my favorite image from this project.

Spring is in the air even though it is only March here in the Chicagoland area. Take some time to get out and capture the beauty that is around and share it with your family and friends. Also take some time to explore your aperture. With all of the flower beauty and plant life you may capture a spectacular image.

For all of us in the U.S. the clocks spring ahead this weekend. Not sure that I am ready for that but I guess I'll have to deal with it.


Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!


BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

"LIKE" my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

See my work for sale at http://tms-photos.artistwebsites.com/

Friday, March 2, 2012

Facebook Page Marathon

Today I want to do something different because I am different and I love photography. I will be the first to admit I am not the best photographer but I will also admit that I have plenty of friends and family that have loved my pictures over the years. That is the most important part, being able to share my photography and you getting to enjoy it.

This is not all about me, it's about all of us who enjoy what we do and being able to share that with others. With that in mind, I would love to connect with as many photographers as possible with the various forms of social media, and this means you too.

In my blog I write about a variety of photography topics. I don't write as often as I would like but that is due to a disability and I am working on getting better. In simple words, I have good days and bad days but I still keep trying.

So today I decided to have a "Facebook Page Marathon" and it needs you to participate. Here's my thought. Below, I will have a link to my Facebook Page, all I ask is that you "Like" my page. In return, I ask that you provide me with a link to your facebook page, if you have one. You can do that via Twitter or in a comment at the end of this posting. That's pretty simple isn't it? I hope so.

In return, you will see the work that I have done and ideas about photography that may help you or your friends take better pictures. I am still learning more and more about photography and I hope to continue doing so by all of us sharing with each other.

I look forward to meeting more of you during this adventure.


Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!


BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers. You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/TMSphotographyChicago

See my work for sale at http://tms-photos.artistwebsites.com/