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Russell Dickerson

Digital Imaging

Table of Contents
Portraits Flora & Fauna Flexible Edits Best of Bannack Fine Art Color Study Blend & Type Panoramic Priority Modes Camera Raw About the Photographer 3 5 7 9 11 13 14 15 17 18 20

Portraits

Portraits

Flora Fauna

I found this assignment difficult just because it is hard to find nature awake outside when it is snowing and below freezing. I used Aperture Priority for most of these, except for the photo of my little dog. For that photo, I had to explore through a lot of different angles. It wasnt too hard because she was falling asleep on this comfy blanket that I placed on our bed. Its nice when animals can cooperate with the photo. It was darker originally, so I changed the levels in photoshop and added vibrance and contrast to it with faint burnt edges. For the cactus plant photo, I had to change around the orientation of the cacti in the photo, but not by much. I wanted to get a nice contrast between the cactus in the foreground and the cacti in the background. I then went through various adjustment layers (hue/saturation, vibrance, color balance, levels) to try and get the right amount of color in this shot and added faint burnt edges to finish it off. For the other dog photo, I wanted to really bring out the Huskys eyes rather than have them drowned out by the surrounding snow. I changed levels to lighten it up (because it was originally too dark) and then proceeded to bring up the saturation and vibrance in order to bring out more color. I then added a black & white adjustment layer and altered the red channel and used the mask to bring back color in his eyes, ears, nose, and tag. The final touch were some faint burnt edges. It was fun to shoot these, but not easy to find in the winter!

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Flexible Edits
This really helped me to see the value in adjustment layers and smart filters. It was a great learning experience that helped me to understand the hard work that goes into creating messages with photography. For the first shot of the white flower (calla lily), I wanted to try and bring out the flower in the foregound because it had some fun curves and textures to itself. The lighting inside the green room was difficult, so I had to mess around with white balance a lot. It came out a little warmer than I would have liked, so I adjusted the levels and the color balance. Once I was able to get more of the white on the flower, I did a black & white adjustment layer and brought color back to only the flower and little bit of the stem. I noticed that the flowers in the background (because they were already lightly blurred) made kind of a smoke effect in black and white. In order to accent that more, I gave the flower more vibrance and used a smart filter with a gaussian blur and blurred everything in the background. The final touch was burnt edges. For the second flower photo, again, lighting was difficult and I had to mess with the white balance a lot. I really wanted to bring out the red from the rest of the plants and foliage in the greenhouse, so I used adjustment layers in levels, vibrance, color balance, selective color, and hue/saturation. After bring out the red more, I wanted the flower in the foreground to pop even more, so I converted for a smart filter and used a gaussian blur and blurred everything in the background. I used a lower opacity on the brush for the mask, so the red flower gave off more of a soft glow. Adjustment layers and smart filters are wonderful when used properly, especially when working with tricky lighting.

Best of

Bannack

Fine

When I first took this image, it was a warmer wintery day in the middle of February. Our sidewalk area was covered in snow that was melting due to the slightly warmer temperature outside. I was outside taking portraits of my wife and friend for the portraits assignment and my son wanted to come out as well. The first thing he did when getting outside was stomping his feet in the puddle because he was fascinated by the splash and the ripples in the puddle. All he did the whole time we were outside was play in the puddle. This was originally used as a side portrait for the portraits assignment, but I grew to love this photo because to me it shows the wonder and excitement of childhood with something as simple as a puddle. Plus, this image represents my sons mind at work . When I first took the image, it was a little darker than what I was expecting, but I liked the composition so I went with it. I took it into Camera Raw and boosted the exposure and the contrast in order to give more of those shadows in the snow and contrast between water, snow, and subject. The image itself needed some more clarity in the details, so I increased the clarity for a little more detail and the vibrance to bring out more of the color on the subject. I then used an adjustment brush on him to decrease the temperature (because it was a little too much), and sharpen him up more. For the final edits, I did a smart sharpen on my son to sharpen him up even more for the large format print. The preliminary print came out too dark on the subject, so I increased the exposure of his coat. It was also very dark as far as colors in the print, so I applied a warming filter to try and warm the tone of the image more. Lastly, the color of his coat and hat needed to come out more so I boosted the vibrance. Then, once it was sized for 2030 print (and after 3 preliminary 810 test prints) we had our finished project to add to a 2030 frame.

Art

Color Study
One of the hardest parts of this assignmentwas just deciding which dominant color I was going to choose. Once I chose red, it felt like I could find it most anywhere! One of the hardest parts of my photo shoot is that it became overcast quickly and I lost my good afternoon lighting. I realized that I would get the best that I could with what I had and that I could edit the levels on Photoshop in the post-production process. The other trial that I had was trying to shoot with the snow on the ground. I tried to increase exposure, but the snow made every photo too bright. I generally shot at a low exposure and changed the levels in photoshop. It really challenged me and I enjoyed that!

Blend Type

Both of these assignments were more challenging than expected. In the blending project, I spent most of my time trying to set the levels correctly so that the texture image and the main image would blend together well. I tried to add another texture of a brick wall on top of those two, but it made the image look overexposed no matter how I adjusted it, so I left it out. With the type project, it takes a real talent to try and get the proper focus on the words that you want to come out. For me, I had so many words that seemed repetitive that it took me awhile to try and smooth it out so it wasnt so overpowering. I just wanted to be sure that the essence of the flower could be felt.

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Panora

mic

Priority

Modes

I really enjoyed taking all of these photos to test the Priority Modes on the camera. I can see how they would be effective when trying to adjust the camera settings in a quick manner in order to capture moments that could quickly pass. It really takes an understanding of your camera to be able to get every shot how you want it. The photo that I had the hardest time with was the deep focus shot. I found it difficult to get the focus just right. After a few attempts and lots of walking around, the shots came out. A true skilled art for open eyes and a steady hand.

Camera

Raw

For the need of doing quick and effective edits, Camera Raw has proven itself to be one of the best discoveries that was introduced to me. Photos that would have taken me anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes with adjustment layers in photoshop can take me a mere few minutes in Camera Raw to achieve the same effect. One of the great advantages is how smoothly it transitions with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge in order to speed up workflow and save on storage space for other projects.

Russell Dickerson
radickerson.wordpress.com radickerson87@gmail.com
Russell is a student from BYU-Idaho studying for his degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a module in Visual Communications.