Posts in Category "Photography"

June 22, 2017

Photography, the Best Kind of Project Creep

Project creep gets me every time.

1) I broke a pot that had a succulent in it.

2) I went to the nursery to replace the pot.

3) I ended up buying 12 more succulents (I mean seriously, how do you decide on just one, when they’re all so unique!)

4) I decided that they were so beautiful that I had to photograph them before I planted them.

5) So I did.

See what I did there? I took a 30 minute project and turned it into an all day event. But it was worth it. Ha!

I used my Canon 5Ds with a 45mm tilt-shift lens with a closeup filter on it. Because I wanted a very shallow depth of filed, I shot tethered, directly into Lightroom CC in order to quickly check focus. It was fun to use my tripod/lights etc. and shoot in the studio – well, ok, in the enclosed porch, I don’t have a studio — we do what we can with what we have, right?

I pulled one of the images into Photoshop and added a texture.

If you want to know how to add a texture like this, here is a free video (Adding a texture to a photo) from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Photography on Lynda.com.

I hope to do more with the individual photos at some point, but with all of my other project creep, well, I don’t know when that might happen. : )

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June 15, 2017

Make a lot of Photographs, and Make them Often

I often hear people complain that photographers with digital cameras tend to overshoot their subjects. While that might be true if you’re taking fifty image of the same subject without changing anything, I’ve always been one to make a lot of photographs, and make them often.

If you’ve seen my instagram feed, then you know that I enjoy posting triptychs – and for good reason. Posting more than one image forces me to explore my subject (rather than simply capturing the first “grab-shot” and walking away), while the constraint of posting three related images, limits the possibilities yet somehow, simultaneously increases my creativity.

Some days I choose a specific subject like the corner of the convention center or the sunflowers in the images below and change my perspective to create three unique images of that subject.

Other times, I choose a theme, concept, or word and then make images based on that idea.  In the images below I chose “texture” and “architecture”. My goals is to make the images work well together so I look for visual similarities such as quality and direction of light, color, and tone.

I also look for graphic shapes or lines. In the first set of examples below, the “parking” theme as well as my angle of view helps tie the images together whereas the strong lines and reflections in the buildings help tie the second set together.

I often use techniques such as long exposures/slow shutter speeds with the camera on a tripod or panning the camera while in a moving car to explore what is invisible to the naked eye.

I find photographing through an object (the window of a plane or a car for example), is another interesting way to create a relationship between images that might otherwise be of differing subject matter.

And, knowing what’s possible when processing images in Lightroom and Photoshop can also help unify a series of images. Processing the photographs of the wires below as high-key, black and white images enabled me to match the sky across the images while refining white balance helped strengthen the color palette across the aerial images.

So while it’s true that it might take more time to edit the larger number of photographs that I make, the freedom to explore the subject and increase my skills (at such little cost), is just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I can almost guaranty that without making a lot of images (and making them often), I would never have seen – nor made – the last image of the Golden Gate Bridge below.

Have a great weekend!

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June 8, 2017

Joshua Tree – An Afternoon in Solitude

I have finally embraced the fact that I’m an introvert. Not only do I like spending time alone, I need to spend time alone. If you surround me with people day after day, eventually, I will run out of “nice”.

I enjoy nature. And silence. Put the two together and that’s when I do my best creative work. So, when I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon driving through a national park by myself, I packed my camera gear, jumped in the car, and off I went.

I used Adobe Spark Page to assemble my favorite images from the afternoon and limited my editing to the “more traditional” photographic editing/toning workflow in Lightroom. (I find that setting limitations (as well as deadlines) enables me to actually publish the work in a timely manner!)

“I believe loneliness is a door you have to go through—a passage leading you to solitude. Solitude is what I’m after. The kind of tranquility that allows you access to your own imagination. Solitude helps you differentiate, define the borders of the self. Solitude helps you figure out where everybody else stops and you begin. Solitude is quite different from being alone. Solitude is the state of being alone without losing your mind.” ­­—Jeanne Marie Laskas

 

Below are some images from the project. The original, raw captures are on the left and the toned images are on the right. I used the Basic panel to set white balance, black and white points, increase shadows, decrease highlights, and increase Clarity. I used the Targeted Adjustment tool (in the HSL panel) to desaturate and darken the luminance of the sky.

In the next set of images, I used the Adjustment Brush to selectively dodge and burn the tips of the cacti and the pink flowers, and the Radial Filter to lighten the edges in the image of the cacti and darken the edges of the flower image.

For this last group of images (top images are original captures, bottom images are edited), working in Reference View (in the Develop module) made it much easier to compare images while adjusting HSL to unify the sky across the images. I really appreciate that I can create a collection in Lightroom CC, sync it to the cloud, and then access those files to quickly assemble my Spark Page.  Click here for a video that demonstrates how to create your own Adobe Spark Page.

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May 26, 2017

Salton Sea – Unifying Photographs in Lightroom CC

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take a day trip around the Salton Sea area in California. Knowing that I would only have a single afternoon to photograph, my goal was to return with 8-10 images that would work together to convey not only what I saw, but what I felt as I drove through the area.

I limited myself to one lens – a 45mm tilt-shift. By using using the tilt control on the lens I was able to throw large portions of the image out of focus as well as create the illusion of making elements in the scene appear miniature. I was hoping that this “miniature” effect would make the images appear more mysterious and surreal, while the limited focus would help guide the viewers eye through the scene that might otherwise be thought of as a “image of nothing”. Because even in nothing, there is always something – even if it’s the lack of something that tells the story.

Limiting my equipment would help save time (no lugging of equipment), ease the decission making process (finite options), and ultimately allow my mind to focus more on the image (content and composition) and less on the technical. As I drove down the east coast of the Salton Sea and then back north and south again to see the west side, the clouds came and went, changing the quality and direction of light, making the original raw captures seem a bit disjointed. While using the tilt-shift lens, limiting the depth of field, and photographing similar subject matter, were three great techniques for creating a cohesive body of work, there were a number of refinements that I could make in post to further unify the images.

In Lightroom, I used the Temperature and Tint sliders in the Basic panel to equalize white balance across the series of images. I used the Tone sliders to set black and white points (extending the dynamic range for the images that were taken when cloudy), refine exposure and contrast, and shift shadow and highlight values. Increasing the Clarity slider added add a bit more “snap” to the images by amplifying edge contrast in the midtones. I also relied heavily on the HSL sliders to make a continuum of changes in different color ranges (desaturating the blue sky and lightening the green foliage. I switched to the selective adjustment tools to remove color or change tone in specific areas. Finally, I added a post crop vignette to round the corners (making the images look a bit more retro).

Below are three examples of these global and selective changes. The images on the left are the raw captures, the images on the right are post-processing in Lightroom.

 

I have published the finished images as diptychs here, to my Behance page.

Next time I visit (because I definitely want to return), I’d like to venture into Bombay Beach. There was police activity when I drove past and to be honest, I got a little spooked and left. : (

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April 17, 2017

Photography from Japan – Created in Adobe Spark

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in the CP+ event in Yokohama, Japan. Fortunately, I was able to extend my stay and visit a number of incredible locations in Kyoto and Tokyo.

This weekend, I created a Spark Page of my travels in preparation for my presentation at Photoshop World. I really appreciate how easy it is to make my collection in Lightroom, sync it with my mobile devices, and then layout my story using a beautifully designed template on my mobile device or desktop computer.

Click on the image below to view the images and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Depending on your internet speed, it might take a few minutes to load because I included a large number of images…

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December 16, 2016

Celebrating 2000+ Blog Posts with Photographs from Antarctica

I realized this week that I have posted over 2000 blog posts about Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom mobile, and more! In celebration, I thought I would do something a little different by publishing a Spark Page of my recent trip to Antarctica. While being at the right place at the right time is critical when making a photograph, Lightroom and Photoshop are the other half of the equation that enable me to craft my photographs into the stories that I want to tell, in the way that I want to tell them.
I want to sincerely thank all of the remarkable people on the many teams at Adobe that have contributed to these products – your innovations make the impossible, possible.
Click on the image below to view (it might take a few moments to load as I have included a significant number of images…).

Adobe Spark Page
Note: once in Spark, you can click on any of the images in the grid to see them larger.

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October 4, 2016

Images from Antarctica

2016_09_29_antarctgridI’m back, and I have to admit that I enjoyed my time off immensely – primarily due to the fact that I was able to spend the majority of time working in Photoshop! I know that might seem a bit odd to many of you, but even through I work in Adobe products on a daily basis, I seldom carve out large chunks of time to work on my own photography. Having time to tone, retouch, and publish photographs for my gallery as well as create a body of work from my visit to Antarctica, was certainly a gift. In the next few weeks I hope to share my thought process, techniques, and shortcuts used to tone and enhance the images from Antarctica that I’ve been posting to my Behance and Adobe Portfolio site.

But for today (while I catch up on email and all-things Adobe), here are links to the four galleries that I’ve posted thus far:

Blue Ice

Quiet Moments

Antarctic Reflections

Isostacy

Enjoy!

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July 15, 2016

Adobe Spark Page – The Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island

I had the opportunity to visit the Great Ocean Road as well as Kangaroo Island earlier this year and used Adobe Spark Page to put together a small portfolio of images from the adventure. Click on the photo below to view the Spark Page.

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And here is a video that demonstrates how to create your own Adobe Spark Page.
Enjoy!

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December 30, 2015

Quiet Moments – My Year in Review

I’ve created a slideshow as a simple way to look back at my year through the images that I’ve posted using Lightroom mobile to my Instagram account. I find this yearly exercise yields interesting insights about where I am in my life and allows me to reflect upon the places that I’ve gone and the experiences that I’ve had. I would strongly encourage you to create a collection of your own images for the year to see the path that you followed in 2015.

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July 22, 2015

Photographs from New Zealand

I had the wonderful opportunity earlier this year, to take a week and explore the North Island of New Zealand. I put together a short photo story about the journey using Adobe Slate. (Click/tap the image to see the photographs.)
New Zealand
Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

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June 5, 2015

Pairing to Create Diptychs and Triptychs (Part 2)

Learn how to use Lightroom’s Develop module to use color, tone, placement of content, and stylistic effects to give a series of images a unified look and feel. You’ll learn how to use leading lines to tie images together as well as repeating shape, detail and balance to form a cohesive story.

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June 4, 2015

Creating Diptychs and Triptychs (Part 1)

In this episode of The Complete Picture we’re going to discuss how to select multiple images to work together as diptychs and triptychs. You will learn how similar attributes such as color and shape, mood and lighting, line and form will help to unify two (or more) photographs, perhaps even creating new meaning through the relationship of the imagery.

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October 1, 2014

San Francisco Bay – Aerials over the Salt Flats

A few weeks ago I had a unique opportunity to fly over the San Francisco Bay area in a small plane with my friend Bryn. James, the pilot, was fantastic and the weather was, thankfully, very cooperative. I’d never been in a plane with the doors off, but with the safety harness secure, and a few reassuring words, off we went! Here are a few of the resulting images from the 90 minutes in the air. I certainly never knew that the bay could be so colorful. These images are a part of my ever evolving book project: Window Seat, The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking. Click here for more information about the EPUB on the iBook store. To view more images from the shoot, check out the San Francisco Bay portfolios on my Behance ProSite.

2014_09SanFranciscoBaylr

 

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June 30, 2014

Window Seat  – The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking by Julieanne Kost is Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce that my book Window Seat  – The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking is now available as an eBook via the iTunes store!  First published as a soft-back book, this redesigned and revised eBook was published as a Fixed Layout EPUB directly from the newest release of InDesign CC (2014). It has been enhanced with new photographs as well as updated image processing techniques in Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop.

Part manifesto, part artist’s portfolio and part technical manual, Window Seat, The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking is guaranteed to awaken, delight, and inspire the creative spirit that lives in all of us. 

Photographer, creativity guru and Adobe digital imaging evangelist, Julieanne Kost travels by plane 200+ days a year. For the past decade, she’s been shooting photographs from those airplane windows, recording the extraordinary world that lies beyond the everyday drudgery of business travel on a commercial jet. 

She urges us to consider – and embrace – that which is outside of our daily experience. To see all that we do in our lives as creative acts. To continually strive to stay awake and aware, challenging ourselves to go beyond the status quo.

Click here for more information, download a sample, and purchase the book.

2014_06_29WSgrid

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June 13, 2014

Photo Romania Festival

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who worked so hard to make my experience at Photo Romania so memorable. I know that making a festival run smoothly is no small task and you all accomplished it with agility and grace. With every little detail taken care of, I was able to thoroughly  enjoy the event, meet a whole new group of friends and bring back wonderful memories and photographs  of not only Cluj-Napoca but also Bucharest, Brasov, and Sighisoara.

For now, here are a few of the images that I have posted via Instagram, I’m sure that I’ll be using the rest of my images in future tips, tricks, and tutorials!

Romania01_lrI really hope to see you at the festival again next year!

 

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