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Photo Effects – Who Knew?

March 17, 2008

I’ve blogged before about Wiley author Erin Manning and how I learned more about how to get the most out of my point and shoot camera through talking to her and reading her book.  So this is going to be another one of those name dropping posts…beware.  But you might get some useful photography tips out of it, so don’t run away so fast.  Net net, you have camera with automatic settings.  But through some knowledge and very little fiddling, you can select custom settings that will give you way cooler photos. 

When I was with Erin last year, she was showing me some great pictures she had taken on her camera.  This was in the context of a discussion about adjusting the white balance, which she pointed to as the cause of my neighbor looking yellow in pictures taken in and not adjusted for fluorescent lighting.

She had taken a picture off the balcony of her cruise ship, and the water and sky were a beautiful but not true shade of blue.  This was because she didn’t adjust the white balance for outside.  It was incredibly gorgeous, and I wanted to remember that effect for when I had the opportunity to take a picture of a beautiful seaside.

Flash forward to last month in Florida.  I’m playing around with my Canon Powershot, and I notice a setting called VIVID.  After taking some pictures of the Intracoastal Waterway outside my father-in-law’s condo, I take some more using VIVID selected to vivid blue. 

Before, no vivid:

intracoastal-no-enhance.jpg

After, with vivid:

intracoastal-enchanced.jpg

Same day, an hour or two apart, but notice the difference.  Sure, the first one was more true to life, but if you are going for artistry with your photography, bring out the blues!

I noticed a couple of sections of Erin’s book that talk about these kind of photo effects and using the color wheel to select the right colors to enhance.  I may go back to these.  I fear the color wheel, but again, a little bit of knowledge is going to give me better pictures.  The next IT vacation is for spring break next month, so I have to be ready!

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