Saturday, July 28, 2007

Making a Desktop Wallpaper #2

The next step after getting your picture and selecting the verse is to figure out what the key points of the verse are, and try to draw the attention of your readers to that point.

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalms 27:8

Obviously in this case, “seeking the Lord” is the primary key. Let's try to highlight that point. One of the next steps is to make your text stand out from the page in a way that is not annoyingly obvious, but yet is not hidden. That is where shadows, highlighting, and transparency come into play.

First, let's make a new layer, and make a square selection. Fill that with white, and drop the transparency to about 35% or whatever looks the best for the picture. If you stop right there, it looks fairly good, but it needs a little more pizzaz. That's where Gaussian Blur, and the Smudge tool come in. On this particular photo, I used the the smudge tool to get the ragged edges. Just take the tool, and "smudge" the entire edge of the square, as though it were a square of wet paint. You can play with the settings a little bit to get the desired effect.

That's all for today....

P.S. For those of you who are wondering, this particular tutorial is written for Photoshop... I didn't have enough time to work it out in GIMP... Sorry! Maybe next time!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Making a Desktop Wallpaper Step #1

ISO 100 ~ f/5.6 ~ 1/125 ~ 135mm

First off, we start by framing our picture a little differently than usual.  I usually try to move my subject off to the side, and make the background well blurred.  This technique is also used in magazines and books, when you have a full, two page photo, and the starting article is on the picture.  Trying to get the subject to stand out, while filling the whole page is a nice effect, when used correctly.
The next step is to find a verse or poem that fits not only the subject of the photo, but the mood as well.  That is where your job lies...  I'd like you to find verses or poems that you feel would be fitting for this picture.

...'Till next time...

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Superbells Cherry Red

ISO 100 ~ f/6.3 ~ 1/160 ~ 135mm

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sunset blooper...

ISO 1600 ~ f/36 ~ 1/4000 ~ 135mm

      Hmm, you may say.  Those numbers look really wild --  what was he thinking???  Yeah, that's what I asked myself after I downloaded the photos: What was I thinking?  Two lessons, learned from mistakes.  #1) always put your camera settings back to normal after getting "creative." And, #2) always check your camera's settings before shooting.  What did I do?  Well, I had left the camera on Aperture Priority, at 1600 ISO, and f/36.  A great combo for a really grainy picture and a "star" pattern around the sun...  I like the star pattern, I just wish I could get rid of the grain. :-)  Oh, and about the crooked horizon, there's another lesson...  If it does not interfere with other subjects in the photo, try to match the horizon line; even if it is slanted in real life.  It just looks better.

Ah, lessons are so fun, aren't they?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The GIMP...

...It can be done...

This was done completely in the GIMP.  I wanted to do a really quick test to see what could be achieved in the GIMP, before I started recommending it. :-)  I have to admit, it's not a pretty interface, and it takes a LOT more time, but it has some fairly advanced features that are in it's commercial sibling.  Oh, and did I already mention that it's about $499 less? :-)
I'll have to spend a little more time figuring it out before I write any tutorials, but if you are looking for simple effects, it should work well.  I found it's weakness in the lack of pre-configured options such as intuitive drop-shadows, outer glow, and embossing effects.  Those are one-click features in the blending-options pane of Photoshop. (since version 5)
You can, however, use transparency and gaussian blur, which are two major tools in my arsenal of graphic design.  I think it's a solid program for the price. :-)  (other than the fact that it just crashed on me...  Another reminder to save your work often!!!)

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Locust Blooms....

ISO 100 ~ f/10 ~ 1/250 ~ 70mm

Did you know?  Locust blossoms are my absolute favorite flower scent.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Round Bales

ISO 100 ~ f/9 ~ 1/250 ~ 80mm

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Yellow Flower (Psalm 8)

ISO 100 ~ f/9 ~ 1/250 ~ 85mm

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