SmuginProForAperture 1.5.2 Released

After a few last minute issues my Aperture to SmugMug export plugins have been updated. This should have been a plain old 1.5 release but issues with the server API resulted in a quick update to back out some changes, unfortunately I missed a bug in my haste to get something out. Apologies to anyone who had issues, everything should be working now. If not please take the time to let me know.

You can get details of the Aperture plugins on my nzwidgets website. The main changes are:

  • Updated to use Oauth authentication.
  • Added a new option to automatically resize very large images.
  • Bug fixes.

iPhoto users have not been forgotten, version 1.1.2 of SmuginForiPhoto has also been released.

  • Updated to use Oauth authentication.
  • Reduced size of window for use on MacBook Air.
  • Bug fixes.

 

 

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Before and After

 

As part of my 365 project I have ended up taking quite a lot of images of flowers. This is because they are easy to get hold of, they don’t run away and it doesn’t matter what the weather is! In continuing my project into a second year I found myself back taking images of a flower, in this case a lilly.

I took a number of images and thought that it would be interesting to show some of the different looks you can get, there are so many ways to take the any subject and give it a very different feel. For this example I am using a single flower where it should be easy to show some examples. I often end up taking my 365 images late in the day and use flash to provide lighting but that still leaves a very large range of possible looks. The few variations that follow are just the tip of the iceberg.

The images here aren’t necessarily the best images of a lilly, or even my best images, they are intended to illustrate some possible options for how you can photograph a flower and how you can change the look and feel using the aperture, view point and post processing.

White Background

For white backgrounds two flashes were used, one to light the background and the other to light the flower. You can play with the power, the distance form the subject and background to vary the effect.

1) Soft, shallow depth of field (at least reasonably shallow in this case). The after image was processed with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to soften it further and give it a little glow. A wider aperture could have been used or by moving in closer an even narrower depth of field could have been achieved. You definitely want to be using a tripod here!

Lilly_2012-01-12_21-03-10__DSC8047_©RichardLaing(2011)

Before

Lilly_2012-01-12_21-03-10__DSC8047_©RichardLaing(2011)

After

2) Detailed, larger depth of field using a smaller aperture, again this was processed with Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Lilly_2012-01-12_21-06-41__DSC8060_©RichardLaing(2011)

Before

Lilly

After

3) Monochrome, sometimes monochrome can simplify an image in this case just to lines and shapes, this was done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Lilly_2012-01-12_21-05-14__DSC8051_©RichardLaing(2011)

Before

Lilly_2012-01-12_21-05-14__DSC8051_©RichardLaing(2011)

After

4) Shadow, I noticed the shadow of the lilly while I was setting up, that can make an interesting image too. The after image was processed in Aperture to enhance the contrast, desaturate it and add a vignette.

Lilly_2012-01-12_20-57-55__DSC8046_©RichardLaing(2011) - Version 2

Before

Lilly_2012-01-12_20-57-55__DSC8046_©RichardLaing(2011)

After

Black Background

In this case high speed sync was used with a single flash along with a small aperture to give a dark background. The images was post processed, but only slightly, with Nik Color Efex Pro to enhance the detail, soften and add a little glow.

Various_2012-01-14_20-12-14__DSC8154_©RichardLaing(2011)

Before

Various_2012-01-14_20-12-14__DSC8154_©RichardLaing(2011)

After

I love my Nik Software plugins, if you haven’t tried them yet go and grab a free trial! They provide so many starting points for different looks and can help bring out creative ideas.

There are infinite variations in lighting and post processing over and above the few shown here and most can be applied to any subject, not just flowers. Try things and play, once you start trying things it gets easier to come up with new ideas, sometimes you get lucky and if you don’t you never need to show anyone.

 

365 Complete

A little late again with this post but I finally have my computer up and running again and can post more easily.

Over the last year I have been doing a 365 project and on the 31st December I completed it, quite pleased that I managed to do it and actually took each image on the correct day. Not all the images are particularly good or inspiring but some I have been quite pleased with. The whole experience was very useful, making  me get out with my camera and I’m pretty sure my photography has benefited.

I was looking forward to having a break from taking a picture every day but since I appear to be in the habit for the moment I am continuing and a 366 project looks to be under way. Whether I will finish it remains to be seen! In the meantime here are my first and last images from last years 365 project.

Pines_2011-01-01_10-20-49_DSC_4793_©RichardLaing(2010)

2011-12-31__DSC7384_RichardLaing