Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Burrows: 08.15.10: Kiteboarding!

Wind out of the WNW on Sunday was unusually high and steady for August in Madison on Lake Mendota, and the Kiteboarders were out in numbers. I didn't have a lot of time to take pics, but was able to capture a few just off-shore.

Max is always my best model!

My dog Maximus has always been my go-to guy when needing a subject to photograph. We were on a weekend getaway to visit family and friends at a river cottage near Joliet, and I was able to capture Max running on a sandbar. Using my Canon 7D and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens, I froze the motion and water splashing. Max still doesn't like to swim, but he is getting more comfortable in the water, and shallow water, he's a rock star!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Animoto Craziness!

Summer is a busy time, and very difficult to put together slide-shows. I've given Animoto another try, and have been extremely impressed with the multi-media slide shows that they come up with. Basically, I take my images, videos, and time-lapse sequences and upload them to Animoto.com and they spit out a slide show that has music and everything! I've gotten very favorable reviews from the wedding videos I put together using Animoto, and the fact that it saves a ton of time makes it very easy to recommend. Here is my latest video day tubing in Washington, captured exclusively on a GoPro HD Hero Camera.

Tubing down the Icicle River in Leavenworth, Washington  © Copyright m2 Photography - Michael J. Mikkelson 2009. All Rights Reserved. Images and Videos can not be used without permission.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Photoshop Saves!

Sometimes as a photographer, you're dealt with challenging lighting situations. Here is an example where I didn't have an assistant to use a reflector, and not enough time to go get a fill flash and umbrella. The sun is overhead, but behind the Bride and Groom. This is where Photoshop can save a mediocre to bad image, and make it a keeper.

Basically, I created multiple layers for this image for the different sections. Sky, Mountains, Couple, and Forest, and Grass. Using layer masks, I was able to tweak each of these sections individually to make the hue/saturation and levels look the way I wanted. The key to this image is also ensuring that you do not overexpose the shot, thus losing image detail. You'll notice in the original, the Bride and Groom are dark and you can't see their faces. In the processed image, they pop off the screen. Looking at this, I see that I have some sun flares/spots to deal with, but I think that it's a vibrant image that would have been overlooked. Using Adobe Lightroom as the final step allows me to create a vignette, reduce the orange-ness of the skin, and add back a bit of clarity!