Antiquing Techniques for Photoshop

Old Shiloh School Photomatix copy

Lately I’ve been very impressed with the work of Flickr photographer K. Deslandes. She has been capturing some unique images of our state, particularly old farm houses and images of the disappearing South. She has been applying some interesting post-processing techniques in Photoshop/LightRoom that I wanted to replicate. Here’s one photo of hers that had caught my eye…

There are several elements contributing to the antique feel here. First, the photo uses square framing instead of rectangular. There is also the desaturated sepia tonal palette. The sepia doesn’t look overdone, as I’ve seen in some processed photos, but looks like a natural fading from the original black and white.

While these two elements contribute to the antique look, there are two others that really make this shot stand out. Deslandes has used a selective blur to mimic lens abberations in an older camera. On top of that she has added other image defects, such as spotting and scratching. What’s nice about this shot is that the image defects are in sharp focus, even in the areas that have selective blur, such as can be seen in the top corners of the photo. This makes the defects look like they occurred over time, after years of abuse to the photo.

I’ve worked with antiquing before, following a tutorial on the Digital Photography School blog. The tutorial suggests using a Gaussian blur, but it also suggests introducing some noise into the background. That tends to detract from the blur effect a bit, so I hadn’t really focused on the blurring technique. Deslandes photo reminded me how effective a good selective blur can be. Continue reading “Antiquing Techniques for Photoshop”

Exploring L. A. (Lower Anderson)

Old School ReDynamix HDR

I hadn’t been out on a photo ramble in a long time. So, Saturday morning I grabbed my cameras and headed out. I only had a vague target in mind (as usual). I knew I wanted rural scenery so I could capture some old farm houses. I wanted to try some new post-processing techniques. My route took me down across Southern Greenville County and finally into Lower Anderson.

This time of year the lighting is always oblique. You don’t have to wait until the “golden hours” just after sunrise or right before sunset to get some interesting shots. The day was clear and bright, and it looked like the lighting would produce some interesting shots.

My first stop was in Connestee at McBee Chapel (Map). I had photographed it many times before, but I thought I would see what other angles I could bring to it. I don’t think they are still having regular services here, but I would love to attend one when they have a special service.

Continue reading “Exploring L. A. (Lower Anderson)”

Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009

Taylor Family 2009

Normally our clan gathers at Christmas, but this year many were going to be gone. So, we decided to get the gang together for Thanksgiving. And what a crowd it was – 2 parents, 7 children, 9 in-laws, 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, and 1 boyfriend, plus several dogs. 38 in the family, and 41 present for the day.

Beth’s husband, Eddie, has been battling cancer this year, so we all wore Team Eddie T-shirts to show that we are behind him and support him. It was quite a surprise for them. Even the dogs had on Team Eddie bandannas.

Eddie with Katie's Dog

Of course, there were cameras everywhere, and we had to pose for the obligatory group shots. This was the first for little Olivia, and was actually the first time Chip and Anna have ventured out with her. We’ll hope she wasn’t unduly traumatized. Continue reading “Taylor Family Thanksgiving 2009”

New Arrivals

We had two significant arrivals this weekend from Florida. Laura’s mother arrived for her annual visit. She will be staying with us through Christmas, as she usually does. The other visitor will be with us on a more permanent basis. We have adopted Percy, a cat that showed up at Amy’s house over the summer … Continue reading New Arrivals

Fall TV

Watching television used to be so simple. You got three, maybe four channels from which to choose. Then there were the shows themselves. Each episode could stand alone. There were none of the these long story arcs where you would be lost if you missed an episode or so.

I completely understand the logic behind long story arcs. You get your audience hooked, then they want to see what happens next. The idea of a cliff hanger is not new, by any means. However, these can have negative effects, too. If a view misses too many shows, they may give up on it. If they come to a show late in the game, they may not want to get started with it, fearing that they don’t have enough back story.

I’ve certainly had that happen to me. Lost, 24, and several others looked interesting, but I never got started with them. I started watching Heroes, but missed an entire season, and haven’t watched it since because I don’t know what’s going on, or how the last story arc got resolved. This fall season I’m giving several new dramas a try, and I’m already running into problems keeping up. Continue reading “Fall TV”

Owls and the Moon

Sunday night the moon was spectacular – almost, but not quite full, with enough of a terminator line to highlight features on the lunar surface. I grabbed my camera and Celestron C90 telescope and headed out to the front yard to snap a few shots. I started with a 2X multiplier, but the camera shake … Continue reading Owls and the Moon


St. George Ceiling

In case your Cyrillic is rusty, the title of this post is from Psalm 104, “Praise the Lord, O My Soul”, and is one of the pieces that make up part of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. This weekend we performed the piece with the Greenville Chorale on Sunday afternoon at First Baptist Church.

This was a real challenge. The music itself wasn’t so hard, but there was so much of it. We did in an hour what we normally stretch out over two, when you add in soloists and orchestra. Throw in a layer of very difficult language, and you have a nearly impossible task.

I had done parts of the Vespers before, so I was somewhat familiar with the music. The sixth movement is the “Hail Mary” section, and I had done it several times with both the Latin Ave Maria text and the Russian. Even so, I found myself stumbling over music and text, even in the final performance. Continue reading “??????????-????-???”