Thursday, May 15

touchy feely on the chair

Have you seen photos which you think has more feel to it than it should? A certain rough-ness that isn't usual at all in 2D images? One possible reason for this would be texture. A bit of post prod - I use Photoshop - and viola! You have one truly enhanced image.

I'm posting this step-by-step for me, too. I learned it mostly on my own, with a bit of learning picked up here and there, and with the encouragement of a contact in Flickr, Pedro.

I started out with this picture of a chair.

Which I opened with Microsoft Office Picture Manager. I find that the easier to use when all I need to do is some cropping or rotating. That's exactly what I did, and came up with

I saved this and opened it using Photoshop CS2. Decided to create a Depth of Field to bring that chair out of the bamboo-work.

Afterwhich, I toggled a bit with the "create a new fill or adjustment layer" option. Played with hue and saturation, contrast and curves. Came up with something I thought would be nice to play textures with.

I'm adding this note so I can remember how to do this. If you know a better way, please leave a comment so I learn the easier/better way, too.

How to Add Texture to Photos:

1. Open image in PS.

2. Search for texture in folder.
3. Drag texture into PS window.
4. Click on the texture.
5. Click Layer > Duplicate Layer > image title.
6. Click image. Drag Fill and Opacity until you're satisfied with outcome.

My first texture:

* Add another texture, if you want to.

I added this:

I used two on as you sit, both of which I made on my own. I'm starting my own compilation of textures you may use. IF YOU DO, I'd like to be credited for the texture in your image and a link to the collection so others can share it, too.

After using the texture, I played some more with hue, saturation, contrasts, curves and photo filter. (All of which you will find in the "create a new fill or adjustment layer" option at the bottom right of your PS screen.)

I also toyed with lighting. It can be found from the top tool bar: Filter > Render > Lighting. For this one I used 2pm light with ambience a bit heavy on the positive end of the scale.

After this, I put on a frame for the image plus my watermark. I came up with this:

When I posted it on my Flickr page, I searched for quotes from thinkexist and came up with one Dian Ross gem. Added that to my posting and viola! as you sit was born.

Comments, suggestions and tutorials are most welcome as comments. I'd love to know more about how to optimize the use of Photoshop and so your contribution towards my learning is most appreciated.

Whew! Never thought I'd post something like this after a few weeks of using Photoshop. It seemed all too technical for me when I started this journey. Which ofcourse is my way of saying... even if you're a beginner with some reluctance in using complicated software like PS, it is possible to overcome that reluctance bit by bit and learn a new language in the process. =)

Monday, May 12


If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
Author Unknown.

(And so I change. Just as much as you do. Mayhaps it's through my own imagination and necessities, my own explorations.)

These photos chronicle some of my growth as an image-maker. It seemed quite apt that they're of butterflies - natural or man-made.

butterfly in hand and kept were both taken with my mother's camera - exactly the same model as mine. They are my first forays into the world of photography and image-making.

That was when I knew nothing and shooted with auto-settings. And then I went home, loaded them into my laptop (an IBM - my first), and played with them using Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It was my only photo editing software then. And all I could do was toggle with color and brightness and contrasts. Oh, and crop, ofcourse.

Mom gifted me with my own camera before she left on that visit. And I took more shots, but mostly of the children I work with. Mostly because I needed them for the class' website. Very straightforward work. I left my imagination for a lil while. Left it hanging in my laptop together with the images I took.

(Sometimes through serendipity. And through other people's looking glasses.)

And then I got introduced to Flickr. And learned. Learned so many things. Learned new words like DoF, aperture, exposure and others which tasted so very tangy on my tongue.

Researched on it and found a site which explained the words to me in such a simple way that a totally lost beginner like me could understand. Took my cam, valiantly played with settings and came out with images which I felt more telling of what I really wanted. coming soon is an image I took after I first read the site.

needless to say, that was the last time I took a photo on auto settings.

(Sometimes through my own stumbles and mistakes.)

And ofcourse I had to try the macro shot. My cam had that function, never knew what it was for and now that I knew... I just had to try it. seashells on the seashore was my very first shot in the dark - I'm typing that with all pun intended.

(Though in my stumbles, I do sometimes fall into the right hole.)

And then I learned how to keep the flash into the space I wanted it in. Found out when I took a breather from reading and reading about photography, sat back, grabbed my cam, and decided to play with the keychain hooked into its bag. I set it down on a free spot on the table... one surrounded by books, books, and books. The books created 'walls' within which the light stayed confined. And I went AHA!. And the camera gave me tied to my finger.

My macro flash arrived soon after. And my play with light felt like it leveled up. Good thing I was also learning how to use Photoshop at around this time. So I had more toys to play with and made bound freedom.

(But learn I do, and change I go through. And hopefully, one day, this caterpillar will see its end and live under the shadow of the butterfly it becomes.)

Sunday, May 11

Up the Mountain

Ubud is one beautiful spot up the mountains of Bali. I absolutely love going up and visiting. We went yesterday, my brother and I, him for his cooking class and myself... well, because I'm the designated driver.

I had breakfast at Bumbu Bali - Ubud, which is where he was going for his day class. I had cardamom cake and some coffee milkshake. Lovely stuff to breakfast on while lazing on a Saturday morn.

And while he was learning, I went traipsing around with my camera and visited temples...

and people watched by Pasar Seni Ubud (Ubud Art Market).

We're going up again this coming Saturday for a jewelry class. *smile* I've enjoyed those before and I'm looking forward to doing more stuff this next visit.

*peering through brokennes, coming through, and hidden religion were all processed using textures from ground*floor. learned how to do them because one very nice photographer took time to teach me - and online, too! thanks Pedro. it was so very nice of you. =)

Monday, May 5


my long awaited for macro flash (Sony HVL-RLS) arrived with my brother. i found it a bit tricky to use but i persevered and got me a few shots.

first image i made with it is momentary treasure. i think it very apt for the flash and the image i captured.

just as i was sorta getting the hang of it, i chanced upon this tiny teddy. it's actual size is about an inch and a quarter from eartip to sole of hindpaws. had a young friend pose it for me and a tiny star was born.

and then i grabbed a few of my dog's toys and practiced some more.

i used my Microsoft Office Picture Manager for the color treatment and Photoshop CS2 for lighting, frames and watermarks.

playing with toys is always such fun.

Sunday, May 4


pasar badung is a well known traditional marketplace in bali. it also happens to be 10 minutes away from where i live. it's a fantastic place full of interesting things to look into and buy.

it's also a good place to people watch.

and to catch the unsuspecting subject. they often have such interesting eyes.

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