Week 10 NCFE Photography
This week, we began our class by looking at everyone’s blogs, as usual… Lots of great images there. I think I can really see other peoples progress 🙂
We touched briefly on filters and the different types that there are. In the days of film photography, we used colour filters, but most of these effects are now added during post editing. More on that later…
There are only really a couple of types of filters used now.
UV filter – Only protects your lens. An Ultraviolet filter does not allow ultraviolet light in to ypur lens, and also helps protect your lens from dust/ scratches and may even afford some protection if you drop the lens (although don’t quote me on that…)
ND Filters + Neutral Density filters. Will not change colours. They are always grey and are used for prolonging the exposure. Use them on bright days, or to slow down the effect of moving waters.
ND Graduated Filters – for landscape/seascape photography, i.e. a nicely defined horizon.
Polarizing Filters – Uses: to minimise reflections and to reduce reflections on non metallic surfaces. Used for shooting through windows (with a camera, of course), to taking pictures of water, where reflections may be distracting. When shooting in fine weather conditions, to reduce glare and make the sky darker, although this will largely depend on the position from the sun. Colours will appear bolder, and more saturated.
Then our class started to work with Image Manipulation. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am a bit phobic about computers (phones, yep … but computers 😦 ) So I have been somewhat dreading this part of the course. The software we are using at college is Adobe Bridge, a ‘free’ editing suite.
RAW vs Jpeg (image from Google)
We are working from RAW files. A raw file records only what is seen by the camera sensor, and is therefore a pure image. There is huge advantage to working with RAW files, in that you can edit completely from scratch. Although a Jpeg has a smaller file size, The disadvantage of a Jpeg is that they can save ‘noise’ or distortion. They are not so easily edited as they are already compressed images.
Selecting some of our own images, we used Adobe Bridge to edit and manipulate the images. Now, although I’ve already said I am a little, ahem….
reticent? scared of? …No, hopeless with computers, I found it relatively straightforward, and very quickly felt comfortable with changing colours, contrast, highlights and shadows and making vignettes (softly darkened edges to the image.) Thrilled with the results, I saved them to my file at college, and then hurried home, to work on some more images only to find that I cannot edit with Adobe Bridge at home, since you also need to purchase Photoshop!
So, after much stressing and maybe a little cursing and probably a sense of humour failure… I have installed a software called Raw Therapee (it’s free and fairly straightforward to navigate – even for me! ..although having had prior experience with Adobe Bridge may have helped.)
Personally, I didn’t find it quite as exciting as Adobe Bridge in that I felt that some of the controls I was used to using at college, with Adobe Bridge are not the same, and it doesn’t appear to have quite the range of effects, but I’ll talk to my tutor about that tomorrow.
Here you can see some of the images I’ve worked on, this evening…. All from the ‘comfort’ of my tripod carrier’s office chair!
Dark and broody
You may remember, our end of course assignment is to take a series of 5 images with the subject Natural/Man-made
I have thought and thought, and brainstormed: The sea and sea defenses (I’m really rather far from the sea right now…) Long roads and landscape (..same problem) Cobwebs on frozen fences (..maybe) Sheep – sweater (Hah! I’m a knitter…so, promising 😉 ) and even taken ‘sketchbook snapshots’ on my mobile phone whilst out walking.. but I think I’m not completely decided yet….
To be continued…