You Best Protect Your Neck

A ways back, I posted a picture of the Fire Fighter Memorial sculpture in Occidental Park.  I just found another one I liked too, so here you go.

Seattle Fire Fighter Memorial Sculpture

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One thing this shares with the earlier one from the same series is they both have that creamy smooth bokeh going on, thanks to the 50mm lens.  It might be the cheapest lens I have but it’s also the only one that lets you blur the background just so.  I’m not sure this one has the punch that the other does, but I like the highlights around the SFD helmet and how when things are sharp, they’re sharp.

One Last Collage

One last TtV Collage for everyone.  This fence is also from the same set as before.

arboretum-fence-ttv-collage

To be honest, I don’t think the subject itself is that great – I guess I can assure everyone I don’t have a fence fetish.  The part I do like about this is the layering of the images.  I’ve been messing around trying to figure out if it’s best to layer the pictures from one side to another, top to bottom, or what.  As far as I can tell, it all depends on the picture.  I think the symmetry of the layers works here, but then again I took it so of course I think it works.  I’ve gotta say though – this stuff is pretty easy and fun.  If you’re so inclined, it isn’t hard – try it!

Composite Tree

Here is another TtV collage from the same set as this guy.  I’m still thinking about the layout that I like best.  Something linear with a slight curve like the last post looked really good to me, but there is something about the vertical and slightly haphazard orientation here that I like as well.  Just like everything else, an interesting subject doesn’t hurt.

Arboretum-tree-ttv-collage

An improvement?  I’m not sure.  If you like this one I have another one of the fence in the background.  Maybe I’ll post that next.

A Path With A Twist

I think maybe, just maybe, I’m getting the hang of these Through the Viewfinder collages.

TtV Path Collage from UW Arboretum

Last time I tried this I think it was sort of interesting but didn’t work for me.  It seems that having one element moving through all of the pictures really helps.  You’d think alignment would be easy, but the perspective quickly warps looking through these old cameras and everything gets fuzzy at the edge of each picture so even lining things up is hard.  Also, just like with panoramas, having the same aperture throughout is pretty key.  So what do you think?  This is a nice quiet path, down in the arboretum.

Everyone Needs A Contraption

Since I’ve been posting more of those Through the Viewfinder pictures (or at least thinking about them) again, I thought I’d finally get around to showing you the magic behind the pictures – the Contraption. I don’t exactly know why everyone calls them that, but there are a lot of these people, and “contraption” is what they all call it.  Anyway, here it is.

Full view of TtV Contraption

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Housekeeping… Fixing? Maintenance, ok?

Hey All,

I was just looking back through the Through the Viewfinder stuff I did and noticed that 5 or so of the old posts were missing their pictures.  Luckily it seems like I had a backup (can you believe that?) and actually managed to restore them.  The problem is that I can’t easily tell if there are any other issues.  If you do happen across posts missing pictures or in any other way screwed up, let me know, will you?

Vignette – A Bug And A Feature

A friend of mine emailed me recently. He was curious what was going on with this picture and how he might recreate the effect himself. Probably old news to photography buffs out there, but hey – it’s always fun to talk shop, right?

University of Washington Statue with Vignette

Anyway, the dark-around-the-edges effect is called a vignette. Usually this is a defect – toy cameras like the Holgas that all the hipsters know so well are famous for light leaks and vignetting. Camera and lens reviews sometimes talk about it, but only as a reflection of poor quality.  You can also see this image sometimes when you use a filter on the front of a lens, especially a thick filter or a wide-angle lens.

Vignette isn’t always a bad thing.  When done on purpose, the effect can work well as long as you don’t over do it. There is a setting in most image editing programs to do just that, but interestingly enough, the original purpose most often seemed to be to remove unwanted vignetting, not to add it in, so to create a vignette, you’re going to want to run the vignette setting in the negative direction.  Personally, I think it works best on a classically-styled image where the subject is in the middle of the frame and the area directly surrounding the subject is largely empty – portraits, especially wedding photos, come to mind.  Free frame, courtesy of vignette.

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Through The Viewfinder, Via Collage

I stumbled upon a cool group on Flickr the other day – it’s all about Through The Viewfinder stuff, but with multiple shots pasted together into a collage.  They’ve got some great stuff over there and eventually I got around to trying my hand.  This was just the first effort.  Trust me – I’ll get better at this, almost certainly because I can’t get worse.

Collage of a House, Through The Viewfinder

Kinda fun, yeah?  Well I learned a few things too.  You need a strong subject moving through the frame – coastline, fence, something linear to help align the pictures.  It doesn’t help that the camera I shoot my TtV stuff with is pretty darn soft around the edges of the frame.  Also, I really need to throw it into a bit more of a manual mode, so I can get exposures to match up a bit better.  I like the oddness of it, but room to improve.  Maybe I’ll drag it out again tomorrow.  What do you think?