Archive for May, 2010

Wall Art

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

A couple of shots / prints that I have done recently.
These have been printed in canvas with Galary wrap (edges covered) and go nicely in the new Nusery room.

Hope you like :-

p.s. The originals are very large files 2366×1189 and 3051×1074 so will print BIG, nearly medium format.

Richard B.

Portrait – Post Process

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Hi All,

Promised in shutterbug to go through some of the Post Process (PP) work on recent portrait.
This is a fairly “standard” set of portrait touch up work with the exclusion of skin smoothing which I haven’t done here.
Please keep in mind that there are lots of ways to do this, this is just the way I do it.

Original Image

EXIF etc..
Canon 350D, Sigma 50mm
1/1000 sec, f1.4 (Av mode), ISO 100
Flash off camera on 2ft bracket mounted on camera right, zoomed to 105mm. High Speed Sync (Camera normal 1/200 sec). 1/2 Cut CTO (Orange) gel.

First step I duplicate the layer and switch it off, there by preserving the layer.

Then I duplicate the layer again and use a partial soft light blend, this helps gently boost the saturation and contrast. I think this step is the single easiest and most effective step (in a subtle way).

Now next step is to move into the face and most particularly the eyes which are the key to any portrait.


We have already done the duplication of lay with soft light blend now lets sharpen the eyes.
Use a soft lasso to copy the eyes to a new layer then use the unsharp mask to sharpen to a point you like (be careful not to much.) You can also adjust the effect by controlling the overall opacity of this new layer.

Now lets touch up the whites of the eye.
New layer, with soft white brush, in soft light blending mode gently paint the whites in, adjust the opacity to get desired effect.

Now lets help the color of the eyes, create a saturation layer and mask, only highlight the iris and boost the saturation.

Now lets do the same trick for the whites of the eyes to the teeth.

Now lets just help the background blur a touch.
Select with soft lasso, copy to a new layer and then big Gaussian blur.

Then adjust the levels / curve if needed. (Not in this image.)
Add a watermark and job done.
This is what the Layers look like.

An this is the final image.

However you will notice that the effects are very very subtle, and may not be easily noticeable in these Low Res files. I believe that this level of subtlety should be your aim for effective PP.

Any comments, questions, critique always welcome etc

= = = = EDIT = = = =
I have been asked about the camera bracket used, here it is.

It allows the flash to be about 2 foot off to camera left, not a massive amount but when close abotu 45 degrees, much better option than just on top of camera and still works with a changing dynamic subject.
This is triggered by cable and not my STE-2 (Infrared) controler as cable is 100% relaible. Also you can see the Orange Gel on the flash.

Richard B.
Check out latest underwater exploits :-


More playing with Panorama’s

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010


I’m loving these panoramas at the moment. Same source images but a more post processing and then some fighting with html to post and this is what you get.
Hope you like.

Just ordered a proper spherical panorama head so stand by for more !

Richard B.

Panorama’s – How it’s done

Thursday, May 13th, 2010


Hope you like my Panorama’s in my last post, I promised more info on how I did it so here we go.
I’ll go through this one the really wide shot, however all follow more or less a process.

Just ONE word PTGUI okay I’ll explain more.

- Firstly the Panorama.
These are a mix of a multiple shots stitched together to give the wide field of view. This shot is 11 shots, 2 at 10mm and 9 at 20mm and covers over 270 degrees. The mix of focal lengths is done to cover the extreme ends where there are no suitable reference points to use stitching.
I have outlined each one here so you can see the stitching lines.

- Exposure.
We are shooting at sunset and directly into the sun and then completely away into the shadows. This presents multiple problems and a camera can not cope with such a wide range of light levels.

This would be a “normal” exposure into the sun.

0 EV = Average but a bit wishy washy

The answer is to shoot HDR and bracket the exposures.
This means that for each of the 11 shots in the panorama there are 3 shots so 33 in total.
This is what the other brackets look like at the light and dark end.

-2 EV = Dark and lost the deck but nice details in the cloud

+2 EV = Bright and got the deck but loose the sky

These therefore cover all the exposure range and the computer then merges and compressed the range of light levels from all three shots to produce a single image with correct exposure.


To shoot these HDR brackets you have to use manual camera setting, scan the horizon to pick your 0 EV and then adjust settings to ensure that it will work (there was a lot of movement so had to have fast shutter speed).

Then once all shot feed them into the computer and start the slow work. Post process time 3.5 hours, about 1 hour setting and tuning the panorama, 1 1/2 hours for the computer to do the processing and then another 1 hour in photoshop to finally tidy up.

Here it is, and this one is the full res copy so if you’ve got the time and bandwidth click and have a look.

In case your interested, the ship is the Habari and she is a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) 330m long, 60m wide and over 320,000 tonnes DWT, amongst the largest ships in the world.

Richard B.

Check out latest underwater exploits :-


Habari, Sunset Strips

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Hi All,

Or maybe I should say “anybody” as not sure there is anybody out there, however, I digress. On to some photos.

Some recent shots from a work trip I took and had to sail from Galle (Sri Lanka) to Fujairah (UAE) onboard one of the companies ships.

These are all stitched panoramas, and the sunset ones are HDR as well. I’ll post more technical details separately, however, hope you like.
(As always double click to download a bigger version, although not full res as they are BIG files.)

And one of outside, quality and stitching not good as taken from a moving / rocking boat.

And one of the aft end of the main engine, again not great as just shot with my little pocket camera but you get the idea.


Richard B.

Check out latest underwater exploits :-