And I'm back! Finally I hear you say! Ok I was meant to write this last week but I got tied up with the bank holiday and drinking. I was actually going to crack on and write this yesterday (Monday, I'm writing this Tuesday night FYI) but I've not been feeling all that creative recently. Its almost definitely the alcohol! Anyway back to the reason you're here. Pic of the week. Ok so this is technically a picture from last week but we'll over look that! By now you should know the deal with this series. Its all about how and why I edited a specific picture from the previous weekish! If that sounds good to you then get comfy! If not then I'll see you next time! Shall we begin?
So this weeks 'Pic of the Week' comes from when I shot A-Fest the Sunday before last. I won't start going into A-Fest again, there's a whole blog post for you to read on that! That's this weeks homework for you! One thing I didn't mention in that blog that I will quickly touch on now. I was in the paper! Page 36 of the Advertiser in case you haven't seen it. Yeah that's right, I'm published! Whoop whoop!
Anyway, from all the pictures I took at A-Fest, this was the most requested by several people to be selected for this week. Actually this might be the most requested photo I've ever taken to talk about! Why I hear you ask? Well this is Nick and his special balloon!
Before we go any further I will say now I am fully expecting him to kill me for this blog so if I go missing in the next few days under mysterious circumstances you know what's happened!
So Nick is one of the lecturers at Andover collage, also the sound tech in the Rockhouse and all round legend in the Andover music scene. Yes I'm sucking up here! Anyway moments before this was taken he was addressing his students on the importance of doing something and Tony (owner of the Rockhouse) snuck up behind him and tied one of the Abel Foundation charity balloons to his trousers. I just happened to get this shot as Nick was looking up and noticing it was a balloon. This was one of those images I knew straight away would be a keeper. It reminds me of something out of the Disney movie 'UP'!!!
Shit Balls! Bugger! Ok I had just written this whole section out with all my settings and why I shot that way and I hit the wrong button and I deleted it all and the stupid mac wont undo because its being a dick! My memory is terrible so even though I literally wrote this 5 minutes ago I already cant remember what I wrote!! Erm it was something along the lines of this!
This is the original picture straight out of the camera and at a quick glance I'm pretty happy with how it came out. The light conditions kept changing that day with the sun going in and out behind clouds. As this was a quick 'reacting to the moment' shot I was pretty happy that it wasn't massively over exposed (I think I've mentioned this before. Big white patches on your images).
Shutter Speed 1/320th sec
As always this was shot on my 5d and I was using my 24-70mm lens at 24mm. This is my usual go to camera set up.
I do believe I was shooting flash as well at the time but I cant actually remember. I'm pretty sure I was. You might think its a bit odd to shoot flash when its really bright out but it can actually be very useful. The sun an cause really harsh shadows on peoples faces and popping a little flash into their face can cancel this out. You can try this yourself on your phone. Take a picture of some-ones face during bright sun light and then do it again with the flash on and compare the two. It might help if you know the person though because you might have to get kind of close to them for it to work properly on a phone!
So why these settings. During bright sun light I try and keep the ISO as low as possible to reduce as much noise/grain from the image as possible. I was shooting at F4.5 because previous to this picture I was doing more group/wide shots and I wanted the wider depth of field. If this was a shot I was actually planning on getting I would of shot it at a much lower F Stop. Basically I would of wanted less of the background in focus. I think I explained how Aperture works in #2 so go back and check that one out. 3 bits of homework now! I'm just a little demanding aren't I!!
Ok and I picked this shutter speed because it balanced out the other two settings. I've mentioned in the past camera settings being a triangle and balancing against each other. Now some photographers may read this and go 'but you were shooting at 1/320th and said you were using flash, you cant do that!' Well I was using the high speed sync function on my flash. Ok that made no sense to most of you I know! Basically as a standard a canon camera wont let you shoot faster than 1/200th of a second while using a flash unless you override this. This is because if you shoot faster than that you will start to get black lines on the image.
A DSLR camera (like mine) means a digital single lens reflex. Light comes through the lens, bounces upwards off a mirror, through a prism and out through the eye piece. That's how you take a picture of exactly what you see through the eye piece. When you press the shutter, the mirror flips up and two planes move down across the sensor exposing it to light. These are not flying planes by the way. The only way I can really think of explaining this is if you get two magazines or books or cereal packets, two of anything and put them up against a wall with both items touching. Slide the item closest to the floor down and then bring the top one down to meet it. If you image that the wall is the sensor then you've just exposed the wall to light. Now 1/200th of a second is the fastest speed a cannon camera can go where the sensor is completely exposed before that top blade comes down. If you use a faster shutter speed than this then part of the sensor will be covered as the top blade chases the bottom blade.
With me so far? Ok with flash this causes a problem. Different flash settings are actually durations of light so a flash on full power is a lot longer duration than say half power. What this means is that when the flash goes off and those planes move down the sensor, the flash duration is finished before all of that sensor can be exposed to the light. This results in a dark bar along the bottom of your image. You can get away with this more in the day light than you can in the dark because there is more available light hitting the sensor. The main thing to take away from this is the faster your shutter speed, the less amount of time that light has to hit the sensor. Picking your shutter speed is balancing the amount of available light and the amount of light you want in your image. Really bright day you will want a faster shutter speed, really dark, then you want a slower shutter speed as you want the right amount of light to hit the camera. Also lower shutter speed results in motion blur and light streaking but I'll get into all that later.
Did any of that make sense to anyone? No, right go and watch the video I told you to watch in the first place! My brain is fried from writing all of that and trying to understand it myself so I would suggest now is a good time to take a break! What should I have for dinner this week?
And I'm back. Ok its actually about 3 hours later if I'm honest. I popped over to Suzie's to have a curry and watch Bobs Burgers. I think that's what its called, I've never seen it before. It was hilarious. You may have caught on by now that it takes me a while to write these blogs and I usually have to take a break half way through. As you can probably tell, writing isn't really my strong point but I'm doing this for you. Yes you specifically!! Anyway, shall we carry on, not much left.
Editing. So above I have put in my settings. As with the first 'Pic of the Week' this is another image I decided to go black and white. I was kind of in two minds when I actually sat down to edit this picture because it probably would work in colour as well. I think the previous 4 or 5 pictures before this I had edited in colour and just fancied a change. That might be wrong, go look in the A-Fest album and see! But I generally prefer black and white to colour these days, I'm not sure why though, Partly because I find it easier to edit in black and white and partly I think you can get more emotion from a black and white image. Yes that's a very artsy thing to say!
I usually like to blow out the highlights a bit in black and white pics but with this one I didn't want to loose the balloon in the background so I toned it down a little. Looking at it now I probably could of gone darker and I'm actually interested to see what it would look like edited in colour. I wont do it though. Once I've edited and published a picture I very rarely go back and change an image. The way its edited reflects how I felt at the time and also I would be forever changing pictures! You've got to know when to leave it alone otherwise you'll never be finished!
Am I happy with the image? Yeah its alright. This is one of those images where the content of the image is more important than the processing, which makes no sense because they should compliment each other, I think they do. Hang on let me start that again. Ignore this paragraph.
Am I happy with the image? Yeah I am. I would of like to off separated Nick and the balloon from the background more but I when I took the image it was a split second in time that I was trying to freeze and I think I've achieved that. Plus I like to imagine that he's looking up at the balloon thinking 'Fuck sake, Adam better not be taking a picture of this!'
So here's the final before and after of the image. Its pretty clear to see the difference between the two. Ok that's a stupid thing to say. Its very obvious seeing as ones colour and ones black and white. I've really lost the plot tonight! Trying to explain shutter speed has fried my brain!
If you made it to the end of the last 'Pic of the Week' you may remember me mentioning my work phone that wasn't working. Well here's an update. Its working! The moron on the phone told me he'd switched the contract from a data line to a normal phone line when he actually hadn't. Anyway that's completely irrelevant to photography. Told you I'm loosing it! I'm going to do my usual at this point and send this over to Suzie to proof read and Ben to tell me if anything technical I mentioned earlier is actually correct or not!
Last time I told you to tell the local paper about me and that obviously worked as I was in it so lets try for something even bigger this time! So don't forget to like, share, comment, leave a sticky note, write a letter, buy me a winning lottery ticket, hire me for your event/wedding, print out this blog and attach it to a weather balloon so it ends up in space, stick it in a bottle and throw it in the sea...or just tell your friends!
And remember if I disappear under mysterious circumstances, blame Nick!!