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 Mostly365.com — 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 Mostly365.com 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?

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