Revisiting an old friend

It’s a new year, so the slate is clean and there’s lots of new things to try. Or old things that dropped off the radar to revisit.

In my case, it’s photography and image processing. I used to enjoy working in a wet darkroom and watching images materialize on paper. That was years and many moves ago. My wet gear has long since vanished, and my attention turned to other things.

Recently, you’ll have noticed I’ve started exploring iPad Darkroom apps and technology — and have once again become interested in making and enhancing images in post production.

To help me develop (ha ha, sorry) a bank of images to work with, I’ve signed on to Lisa Bettany’s #mostly365 project:

This year, I am encouraging everyone to shoot and share one photo a day for 365 days. To help you with this challenge, tap tap tap and I have created — a new website where you share your daily photos with the world with one tweet.

And here’s my first shot. No, I’ll not be posting everything I do here daily, but if I have something new or interesting, you just may see it.

Red Book.

This was taken with a Palm Pre 2 that I’m demoing for an upcoming post (and contest — stay tuned).

The lighting was flat, so I emailed it to myself, grabbed it with my iPad, and jumped into post production mode to improve the shot thusly:

  1. Crop out extraneous background crap
  2. Boost up the brightness and contrast
  3. Tweak the saturation a bit
  4. Apply a pseudo tiltshift effect to concentrate attention on the book ribbon and pen
  5. Apply a nice tidy black frame to complement the black notebook supporting the red one

Most of the work was done in the Camera+ app for iPhone (which also works nicely on the iPad), but I did run the image through a bunch of other apps to try various effects and filters.

Do check out the project if you’re interested in upping your image count this year — from the opening paragraph of Lisa’s blog post on the project:

It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field, and in the world of photography that roughly translates to about 100 pictures a day for about 5 years. It sounds daunting, but if you keep it light, stay passionate, and shoot what you love to shoot, you’ll look back one day soon at an incredible portfolio of work that is all you.

Seems like a simple way to improve, no?