It has been awhile since I edited some of the pictures I have taken. As they say if you don’t use it you lose it.
Photo editing skills are as important as your photography skills. Not all photos you take will be perfect. There will be photos that might be good or even great but a few details needs to be change to make it the “photo”.
I have always mentioned that I have been a fan of paint.net for most of my photo editing(because it’s free) but I do have an old version of Photoshop Lightroom 3 that helps me quick photo post-processing. I am not yet taking photos professionally(yup still more of a hobby) but at this early stage self-improvement once one starts to bring photography to the next level.
Below are some edited photos from my recent 2014 Manila Auto Salon photo shoots.
The holidays gave me a chance to go back to my province for a two week vacation. I have this plan of shooting the early sunrise in the “pokok” (fishpond) , grains of rice in the rice fields, and the elusive “dulakak” ( the big migratory bird that flies in fishponds and rice fields). Those were really good plans but it all failed. Traffic was bad on the day my sister and I went to the province. With that I got tired and lost the energy to do some shots when we arrived. Other days were hectic days with the Christmas day in our house with my siblings and their kids.
And so I ended up just staying at home. Thus my photo shoots were limited to the things in the house and early mornings.
There was a day when I dreamt of becoming a commercial photographer, taking big projects for big fashion brands and big product brands.
Such was a big dream for me. Without proper gear or proper training I might not be able to achieve that goal. But these days even photographers who have no diploma or certificate for any photography training are making big in the commercial photography scene. Photography is not limited to those who got train by professionals often times it is developed by constantly trying out what work already and refining it further. That is why magazines are one of the best sources of photography ideas you and I can try out.
Unlike YouTube, magazine photos are highly taken cared of and enhanced photos to meet a certain action and that is to make the reader buy. Such image must be powerful enough to convey a message. That is why commercial photographers are at times highly paid for their work. Since their work are in the glossy we can train ourselves by studying magazines (try Free Magazines On Zinio) with quality photos of products. Studying how it is exposed, at what angle or how was the image shot will challenge you and at times stretch you further and thus develop your skill in this area of photography.
Complete darkness is not that bad when there is a small flicker of light. For the past few days Metro Manila and the rest of Southern part of Luzon in the Philippines are on rotational brownouts due to the damaged power grid brought about by typhoon Glenda(international name Rammasun).
While the power is out I took pictures of this small flicker of light here in our place in Makati.
Lately I have been doing timelapse. It is a way of making movie using series of photos capturing each movement in the scene.
So how does one make a timelapse.
To make a timelapse you need the following:
A camera to capture the movements(a DSLR camera would be great in order to have a digital format you can use with a program or software)
A tripod for a stable setup. Also, tripod will lock your position, remember that the purpose of a timelapse is to capture the movement of the scene not that of the camera. Your camera should be just in one and the same location
A moving scene. It could be a scene where only one subject is moving or several objects are moving.
Software that will allow you to combine the series of pictures into a single movie. I used Lightroom 3 and downloaded a preset that allows to make the photos come into a 30fps to 24 fps. FPS stands for FRAMES PER SECOND which means in a second you actually saw that number of photos. So for 24 fps there were 24 photos put together in one second.
Additional software to integrate other film elements like sound or music and credits. I use the free Windows Live Movie Maker.
A cable release to trigger shots without adding movement. Also, though optional an intervelometer will be helpful to let your camera capture a series of photos ata time interval by itself.
Taking the shots:
Make sure you have the spot where the scene will capture most movements
Setup your tripod in a way that camera shakes will be avoided.
Set your camera to manual focus to avoid refocusing during shots.
Adjust your camera accordingly to get a clear shot or whatever artistic style you want to add to your timelapse.
Attached your cable release or your intervelometer. Make sure it is attached in a way that will not add a shake to your camera every shot.
If you are just using a cable release decide at what intervals will you take a shot. I usually take every 5 seconds. If you are using an intervelometer you can set it and just let it shot photos on itself.
Take your pictures. The number of photos will depend on what movement you want to capture.
Making the timelapse:
Transfer your photos to your photo editing software
Make necessary changes to your photos. Remember though that whatever changes on one photo it should also made to other photos. Lightroom has the sync function to effect a change in one photo for the rest
Make sure that the photos are lined up in the right order. In Lightroom I combine the photos using Slideshow adding a preset that will convert it into a film in a 24-30 fps.
After making the video, combined other elements like music and credits using another software.
After adding other elements save the movie file in a format compatible with video players or to acceptable formats by online sites like Youtube and Vimeo.
Below is another sunset video I made, but this time it has some cloud movements. Also, if you noticed there is a slight glitch right before the sun really sets. I sneeze or something so as a reminder always make sure that you will not be interrupted when taking the series of photos.