Huawei P10 With Dual Leica F2.2 – Test Photos

The Huawei P10 smart phone has dual, rear facing, f2.2 Leica lens. One of them is a 12mp rgb,  and the other is a 20mp monochrome. Although you can use them individually you can also use them in combination. When combined you have a 20mp colour file,and the camera takes the light and detail from the monochrome and adds this info into the rgb. The pro mode works as a manual camera, and the low aperture and selective focus means you can create bokeh.

Although the camera is set to shoot in JPEG, if you change the file size to 20mp, you can then adjust to shoot in raw.

These are test photos where I’m practicing how to use and understand the camera. The first three are pro mode, I used an open aperture and manually selected the focus point. The rest where testing light and sharpness.

Huawei p10 TestedfedfHuawei P10 TestHuawei p10 TestLRM_EXPORT_20171214_073637LRM_EXPORT_20171214_073129

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Festival of Angels – York

York is a busy city all year round, but in the build up to Christmas, the city hosts the festival of angels. The festival of angels hosts the St Nicholas fair, local vendors set up stalls in the streets selling mulled wine, festive food, and of course the famous Ice Trail. The ice sculptures can be found around the city, not just the city centre, so grab a brochure, go for a walk, and tick off all of the ones that you discover.

I took the opportunity to get out with my Olympus OMD EM 10 MK iii, with the 25mm F1.8 prime, I have faith in this amazing camera, but need to get used to the controls and settings. For this special but busy event in York, it gave me the opportunity to try out the tilt screen. Impressed, held the camera in the air, with the screen tipped down towards me, and I was still able to adjust the settings manually.

Welcome to York.

York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017York Christmas 2017

 

 

Needing DirectionYork Christmas 2017

Know Minster – Know YorkYork Christmas 2017

A gap in the crowdsYork Christmas 2017

Chitty Chitty Bang BangYork Christmas 2017

St Nicholas FairYork Christmas 2017

All Saints (and a few sinners)York Christmas 2017

Viking Hoards (and my favourite view in York)York Christmas 2017

25mm Prime Lens – Layers and Depth – Bird-Watching

I went out to do some bird watching today, a bit of an adventure to look for fieldfare and redwing. Alas, I dint find any, but I enjoyed watching redshank and oyster catcher, a few goldfinch, and a cheeky starling that took a ride on the back of a sheep.

Of course I had a camera with me, and as my OMD EM 10 iii is new, I feel that I need to get used to its menus, the way it handles, and using a prime 25mm (50mm equivalent).

I havent used a prime lens before, and have always relied upon telephoto. There are two things that are immediately apparent to me. The 25mm places the subject further back than I see them with my eye, not a lot, but it’s there. To make use of the prime I am going to need to slow down, move around, and take more notice of composition, distance and perspective. I have a feeling that this is going to be good for my photography. To really consider the shots that I am taking, and allowing myself to move closer, to get into the scene.

Having the prime on me was a good enough reason to explore layers, and how the use of them can add depth in a photo. It’s a step further than the foreground, midground, background exercise, and it can create either a feeling of spaciousness, or movement through a photo, depending upon how it’s used. The photos that I took today are not special,  (I will add them to my sketch book menu above), but the practice is always good.

Thought I would also create a panorama as well. I made three overlapping shots, knowing that I could run them through the Lightroom panorama option. Thanks for the tip Agrandaiz.

Exercise 2.12 – Pixel Painting

 

Steaming Happy – by Richard KeysExercise 2.12 Pixel Painting

This has been a lot of hard work, over two days, a lot of fun, a lot of frustration – and you know what? I am a happy bunny. Photoshop is definitely required for this kind of exercise, it can’t be done in Lightroom. Creating art with multiple images, converting to PNG, free transform, layer mask, warping, hiding the layer mask and then revealing with the paint brush – its something that I am not very skilled at and find frustrating. However, I have done it. I’ve read magazines, watched YouTube tutorials, and here is the final result after around 17 hours of work.

Working with layers, moving them, putting them in the right place is something that I have improved at, as has using the background eraser tool so that I can blend layers into each other, such as the train and the bridge coming out of the bottle.

Photos for first draft

Step one involved a free transform of the train (above), the quick selection tool and eraser. I created a larger canvas so that I could rotate the train so that it pointed slightly upwards. My initial plan was to create a scene where it was leaving the tracks and beginning to fly. The flame involved – menu select > colour range, then the add to selection and mousing over the desired colours, messing around with the fuzziness so that I got the edge that I wanted, then take away from desired colours so that I could eliminate the background. Once I had got the flames I tidied up the background with the eraser, saved as a png, then copied the png into the train picture. Free transform, warp, persective, and placed them where I wanted them at the front of the train. The flowers were done via the same process.

First Draft

Exercise 2.12 Pixel Painting

This morning I got my watercolour pencils out, and drew the viaduct, and photographed it (along with the bottle). I processed them in Lightroom using the adjustment brush tool, increased the exposure and the whites to maximum, sent them over to Photoshop, quick selection tool, delete the background, and then save as png files, and copied them into the first draft. The background eraser again was useful, and I reduced the hardness of the brush, so that I could slowly brush them into the bottle.

Photos for second draft

The sky was the more complicated part because it involved using the layer mask. In the first layer I changed the curves because I wanted a little contrast in the clouds, once I had finished this I pressed Ctrl J – to copy the layer. Then dragged the mask into the rubbish bin and created a new mask for hue and saturation. I love the colours. Following this I tried to use a brightness and contrast mask, but it didn’t work out.

Second Draft

Second-Draft

The flames look out of place and their lines are too sharp, so I decide to tidy them up. I have tried to use the Photoshop render clouds filter on a previous occasion and I did not like the result. The process is – menu layer > new > layer > then press shift f5 to create a fill layer, change the contents drop down to 50% grey and set the opacity to 50%, press ok.

**Go to the menu filter  > render > clouds. Menu edit > free transform, you can now change the profile, size and shape of the rendered clouds so they are in the position that you would like them. However, if you now right-click on the render clouds you are given other options, so that you can warp, distort and change perspective.

Next its menu layer > layer mask > hide all – and this means that you can now use the white paint brush to slowly paint in the clouds where you want them. It doesn’t really create clouds, but I have seen others use it to add mist to landscape photos with very good effect.

Photos for third draft

The clouds didn’t work for me (yet again) so I opened up a photo of a steam train, cloned the sign out, erased the background, so that all I had left was steam, then converted to png, and copied it into draft two. Then instead of render clouds, I used the same process (from **above) but with the steam. Brushing it back in took a while but it was worth it. I managed to reduce the harsh lines of the flames, and have the thicker part of the steam at the front of the train. I also cloned out the white line between the train and the viaduct, and spot healed marks on the neck of the bottle.

Third Draft

Exercise 2.12 Pixel Painting

The sky is very grainy and I would prefer it to be smooth. I went to menu filter noise > reduce noise, and in the drop down I changed the strength to ten and the reduce colour noise to 56%, returned back to the menu filter > blur > blur more, and then brushed that over the sky layer. I then repeated the filter blur process. The file has been saved as a psd so that I can go back and change any part of this piece of art in the future, but have also also saved it as a JPEG. Before saving a creative piece of work that has layers as a JPEG, you need to go to –  menu layers > flatten image and then ctrl alt shift and s to save for web (save for web embeds the colour profile).

 

Steaming Happy by Richard KeysExercise 2.12 Pixel Painting

 

 

 

Review – Nick Knight OBE

Nick Knight (1958)

Dolls, SHOWstudio 2000Fig. 1. Dolls (2000)

Initial Thoughts:- Bold, colourful, model, overpainting (digital or oil?) I think the overpainting is done with paints, on top of a photo, then uploaded and enhanced. Creative, mix of beauty, softness, brash and rough. The paint is slapped on, not without care, but the clothes have been roughly painted, other than the scarf, which is quite delicate. I both like it and dislike it. I find it beautiful and ugly, and I think that’s the point. Knight raises the question about beauty with this photo. What do we think is beautiful? Why? It’s a real smack in the face question about whether I, the viewer, sees beauty as only being skin deep.

 

Isabella Blow Fashion Galore Catalogue, Somerset House, 2013Fig. 2. Isabella Blow (2013)

Initial Thoughts:- My gosh. This is so clever, soft and delicate. Digital manipulation. The pixel painting has created a curtain type effect and this makes it appear that Isabella is partially in front of and behind a curtain. The colours are gold, red, black, grey (silver) and orange and they work well together, they compliment. They way Knight has manipulated the image makes the model look incredibly skinny, more so than what she is naturally. Her body is twisted and in profile, whilst her head and neck is just slightly turned. The pixel painting has not added anything new to the photograph. Instead there is a smooth smudging of what is already there. Linear marks. Other-worldly. It evokes thoughts of hovering between life and death, and says to me that the balance between the two states can be quite beautiful and precarious. A slight breeze and she moves beyond the curtain in either direction.

 

TR-NIKN-000179Fig. 3. Louis Vitton (1996)

Initial Thoughts:- Heroin chic, Photoshop colour replacement brush, elongated figure, her clothes hang off of her, her pastel turquoise skin has been over-painted, and is not a result of lighting. I strongly dislike this photo. It reminds me of illness, of anorexia, of substance misuse. It appears to me that Knight is making a political statement against the so-called beauty of the heroin chic era/model/look. This photo was made in the heart of that era. Pretty beautiful or pretty ugly is the question that I feel that I am being asked. It also feel like this photo is deliberately made as a parody, a piss take, a reaction against the trend.

Knight does not believe that photography is or has ever been a medium of truth. Photography is always a creation between the participants i.e. the photographer and the photographed.  Although on first viewing of his site, all of the models appear to be thin, and beautiful, he has photographed people of all ages, and sizes, ethnicity and disability and he believes that all people are equal. He tries to push and challenge himself with his photography, and this includes the challenge as to what is beauty really? As for digital manipulation, he sees this as being a step forward. Photographers have always enhanced and manipulated their photos, but the digital ages makes this more easily possible. He says “Photographers aren’t machines that have no feelings and no opinions, they’re storytellers; they manipulate the reality in front of them to tell you something interesting about it – and that holds true of everyone from Diane Arbus to Helmut Newton.”(Frankel, S; 2009).

Knight is a very popular fashion photographer, and this is because he is both complimentary and conceptual, and he has an extensive CV. He founded SHOWstudion.com in 2000, and this is an online, interactive fashion studio, with many creative collaborators. He has also directed music videos for Bjork and lady Gaga (famousphotgraphers.net; 2017).

Illustrations

Figure 1; Knight, N; 2000; Dolls; AT: http://nickknight.com/ (accessed on 30/11/2007)

Figure 2; Knight, N; 2013; Isabella Blow; AT: http://nickknight.com/ (accessed on 30/11/2017)

Figure  3; Knight, N; 1996; Louis Vitton; AT: http://nickknight.com/ (accessed on 30/11/2017)

References

famousphotographers.net; 2017; Nick Knight; Online AT: http://www.famousphotographers.net/nick-knight (accessed on 30/11/2017)

Frankel, S; 2009; The Fabulous World of Nick Knight; Online AT: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/the-fabulous-world-of-nick-knight-1809790.html (accessed on 30/11/2017)

Robertson, E; 2017; Nick Knight “I commit with my heart and soul”; Online AT: http://the-talks.com/interview/nick-knight/ (accessed on 30/11/2017)

Wikimedia Foundation Inc; 2017; Heroin Chic; Online AT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin_chic (accessed on 30/11/2017)

Exercise 2.11 – Split Contrast – Part 2

The brief for the exercise is at the bottom of this post.

Having tried my prefered Lightroom technique for part one, I have now followed the instructions for the Photoshop process, which is outlined in the brief below. Photoshop and layers are something that I find quite technical and complex, so I don’t make as much use of it as I could do. I tend to use it to tidy up photos that I have developed in Lightroom, such as using the clone, heal, brightness and contrast tweaks.

This development process felt very awkward, and why on earth does the brief ask us to create a black and white layer? Yes this is good if you intend to keep your photo black and white, but when keeping an image colour then the black and white layer hides the damage that you are doing to your colours. My first attempt was with the black and white layer, the second is without, next comes the “without” alongside the photo that I developed in Lightroom, and my final image is where I have cloned and combined image.

Exercise 2.11 Split Contrast I tried to follow the instructions as to the layer mask and using the black and white brushes, but I wasnt successful. I didn’t mask out the buildings on the layer that I darkened, and I overused the dodge and burn tools in the sky. Once finished I removed the black and white layer. So not nice Richard. Please try harder!

Exercise 2.11 Split Contrast For this attempt I did not use the black and white layer, and developed the photo in colour. Instead of using curves adjustment layers to darken and lighten, I used levels. I find the curves a whole lot easier in Lightroom, and Levels in Photoshop. Am I weird or what? I was much better with the layer mask along with the hide and reveal brushes. Not perfect but I do find the sky quite appealing, if a touch blue.

Do I have a preference between the first photo (Photoshop) and the second (Lightroom)? I prefer the sky from Photoshop and the foreground from Lightroom.

Here is the final photo in which I have cloned the sky from Photoshop into the foreground of Lightroom.

Final

 

Brief: Split contrast is another darkroom technique that’s much easier to achieve in the digital domain. Use it to add drama to your pictures or to correct problems in exposure, for example an over-exposed sky over a correctly exposed landscape. You’ll need a good image editing program like Photoshop to do advanced work like this because it involves using layers. Choose a photo to work on that has a bright sky like the image below. Make the photo black and white, as this emphasises the tonal differences in the image. If you use a Black & White Adjustment Layer, you can delete it later to return the image to colour. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer and increase the contrast, making the dark tones darker and the highlights brighter – as you learned in Part One. Rename this Layer ‘High Contrast’. Select the Layer Mask and use the Brush tool to paint black paint (black subtracts your change in contrast from the image). You can also lower the opacity of the brush to paint shades of grey that will let some of the contrast through the mask. Add another Curves Adjustment Layer and make the image darker. Also change the Blending Mode of the layer to Multiply. Select the Layer Mask and paint black paint everywhere you want to not be affected by this darkening layer. In the image opposite, it’s almost all the image but the sky and the figure. Note here that the area on the horizon has not been affected by the increases of contrast or darkening. In other words, the picture retains its contrast in some parts but it’s increased in others. You could use this to make one part of the image high contrast and the other low contrast. This could help with a photograph that includes, for example, both an interior scene lit by diffused artificial light as well as an exterior lit by strong sunlight. The Dodging & Burning Layer (this is a non-destructive way to dodge and burn): Create a new layer, then choose Edit> Fill> and choose 50% Grey. Change the layer blending mode to Overlay. Change the brush opacity to 20% or less. Now use both black and white paint on this layer to dodge and burn, brighten and darken the image. If you want, delete the Black & White adjustment layer to return the photo to colour. You can only master techniques like these through practice; use some of your old photographs as practice material.

Exercise 2.11 – Split Contrast

Brief: Split contrast is another darkroom technique that’s much easier to achieve in the digital domain. Use it to add drama to your pictures or to correct problems in exposure, for example an over-exposed sky over a correctly exposed landscape. You’ll need a good image editing program like Photoshop to do advanced work like this because it involves using layers. Choose a photo to work on that has a bright sky like the image below. Make the photo black and white, as this emphasises the tonal differences in the image. If you use a Black & White Adjustment Layer, you can delete it later to return the image to colour. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer and increase the contrast, making the dark tones darker and the highlights brighter – as you learned in Part One. Rename this Layer ‘High Contrast’. Select the Layer Mask and use the Brush tool to paint black paint (black subtracts your change in contrast from the image). You can also lower the opacity of the brush to paint shades of grey that will let some of the contrast through the mask. Add another Curves Adjustment Layer and make the image darker. Also change the Blending Mode of the layer to Multiply. Select the Layer Mask and paint black paint everywhere you want to not be affected by this darkening layer. In the image opposite, it’s almost all the image but the sky and the figure. Note here that the area on the horizon has not been affected by the increases of contrast or darkening. In other words, the picture retains its contrast in some parts but it’s increased in others. You could use this to make one part of the image high contrast and the other low contrast. This could help with a photograph that includes, for example, both an interior scene lit by diffused artificial light as well as an exterior lit by strong sunlight. The Dodging & Burning Layer (this is a non-destructive way to dodge and burn): Create a new layer, then choose Edit> Fill> and choose 50% Grey. Change the layer blending mode to Overlay. Change the brush opacity to 20% or less. Now use both black and white paint on this layer to dodge and burn, brighten and darken the image. If you want, delete the Black & White adjustment layer to return the photo to colour. You can only master techniques like these through practice; use some of your old photographs as practice material.

 

OK – To be honest I find this whole process easy and more intuitive by using Lightroom. It’s quite straight forward – grad filter, adjustment brush and global adjustments. A simple process. Simple I say. However, I would like to learn the Photoshop technique so I will practice that on a photo later.

Here are my light room results. The first photo is the original and the second is the developed.