Tag Archives: tutorial

Simple green screen shots

Bernice photographed Cissy holding her camera, then went online and found this image of Lady Gaga. After dropping out the background, Bernice dragged the image of “paparazzi-in-training” Cissy on its own layer onto the image of Lady Gaga.

The best way to understand “layers” in photoshop is to photograph someone against a plain background, make a selection around that person, then drag them with the move tool onto a new document or a picture.

The backdrop should be lit as even as possible.

The color of the backdrop can be any color but blue and green are often used simply because most folks don’t have blue or green hair, making them stand out and easier to select.
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More spinning to create illusion of speed


Doesn't this look like Diego Corona was really moving when he took this picture? And doesn't it appear like Kodi, his model was hanging on for dear life? Well, the camera does deceive. Diego's exposure was 1/8 sec @ f25

Our 2nd attempt to see who would toss their cookies first, worked out better because the photo gods smiled on us.

For our purposes we didn’t want so much light.

With the sun out, even at our lowest ISO setting, the lowest shutter speed we could shoot at was 1/30 sec @ f22.

(I know, I know I could have used a neutral density filter to give me the shutter speed I need. But I didn’t have enough to go around for my students)

The shutter speed itself isn’t the problem.

We were finding that to get a good blur, we had to really, really spin our subject fast. Needless to say, not everyone is cut out to be an astronaut.

On our 2nd attempt, I felt we needed to minimize the vertical movement of the camera.


Giving Rob a hand by stabilizing his tripod-mounted camera as we spin his lovely wife Thelma.

So some of us used a superclamp and others used a tripod for vertical stability.
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Off-camera flash-a 1st attempt part 2

Since posting part 1, I got some more background from Mike Hayes about his attempt to photograph the fire dancer.

It was a live performance so the location, a tennis court, was nothing Mike had any say in. I’m guessing it was chosen for  safety and easier crowd control.

Mike and his assistant were the only ones allowed inside the tennis court, so he didn’t have carte blanche to do anything he wanted.

Mike tells me he is trying to get another crack  at  photographing the fire dancer.

Let’s assume Mike has charmed the fire dancer into agreeing to do a  little one-on-one show just for him.

Apologies Mike, if my phrasing there gets you into trouble with your wife. 😉

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A Wedding & Cruise on the Sacramento River 2

Cutting the rug– I dragged the shutter shooting at ISO 400 1/6 sec @ f2.8 and set my flash to 1/32 power.

As twilight approached, we went one deck below for our scrumptious dinner.

My choice of fish delectably decorated with a bright red pepper  looked mouth-watering.

Had our waitress not warn us that the pepper was a jalapeño, all the drinks in the “Open bar” wouldn’t have been enough to quell its hotness.

By the time I finished, the late evening light was just too good to ignore.

It was also time to raise the ISO from 100 to 400 to get a shutter speed that I knew I could comfortably handhold.

Using my 580EX off-camera in manual mode, even at 1/128th power, in such close quarters required me to feather its output some more.

The built-in white diffuser card was actually kicking in too much light.

I ended up using my fingers over the flash head.

Continue reading A Wedding & Cruise on the Sacramento River 2