Day 30 Assignment – Eliminate Digital Noise

For this assignment I selected the three photos of a martial arts demonstration by the Darwin Chung Wah Society I used for Day 22 Assignment – Capture the Decisive Moment. Jim remarked that they were a little noisy due to the wide aperture and high ISO necessary for the high shutter speed needed to stop the action.
I used the Noise Reduction slider in Lightroom and tweaked the results a bit to try to maintain as much detail as possible. The second photo of each pair is the noise-reduced version.

Day 29 – Work in Black and White

My assignment on removing colour cast didn’t get much of a reaction, so I’m just going to go ahead and post the next one.

I’m hoping the lack of activity indicates that everyone is busy getting on with life as much as possible under the circumstances and keeping well. Having this course to concentrate on has definitely helped keep me sane despite the restrictions. I am grateful for it.

For this assignment we were to select our favourite photo from this course and convert it to black and white. I chose two, Elizabeth River Bridge and Finn Road, both of which I used in the leading lines assignment.

When I Googled Nik Silver Efex Pro it said Google had made it available free of charge for a couple of years but they don’t anymore so I wasn’t able to use it. I experimented with Photoshop Express and Lightroom. I found the tools in Lightroom easier to use.

Below are the edited originals of each followed by the Photoshop and Lightroom versions.

Elizabeth River Bridge f5.6 1/1251s ISO 100 4.10 mm

Finn Road f5.6 1/1061s IO 80 21.66 mm

April 2017 events

Our month in photos

April was a busy month for us, starting with a family reunion weekend at Litchfield National Park to celebrate Brian’s 70th birthday.

Before we left we went to Nightcliff Dragons Under 9’s first Rugby League game of the season.

Joshua's first game with Nightcliff Dragons 1.4 (2)

The next JT?

Joshua's first game with Nightcliff Dragons 1.4 (4)

Go Cuz!

Buley Rockhole

Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (70)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (59)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (58)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (53)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (52)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (47)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (75)Brian's 70th - Buley Rockhole 2.4 (73)Buley Rockhole 2.4 (2)

Litchfield Tourist Park Homestead

The Homestead, Litchfield TP 1.4 (9)Brian's 70th - homestead garden 2.4 (2)Brian's 70th 2.4 (4)Brian's 70th 2.4 (5)

Brian's 70th Birthday dinner 2.2 (1)

Brian's 70th Birthday dinner 2.4 (88)Brian's 70th Birthday dinner 2.4 (93)

 Florence Falls

Brian's 70th - Florence Falls 2.4 (79)

Wangi Falls

Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (44)Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (49)Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (56)Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (57)Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (58)

Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (60)

Resting fruit bats/flying foxes

Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (62)Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (68)

Brian's 70th Wangi Falls 2.4 (73)

Resting family

Four-family get-together

Continuing the reunion theme, we got together for our traditional family and friends’ dinner at the Nightcliff foreshore. Foreshore get-together 3.4 (1)Foreshore get-together 3.4 (3)Foreshore get-together 3.4 (5)

Wedding Anniversary

Our 34th wedding anniversary on 9 April saw us having lunch at Chow on the Darwin Waterfront. Delicious South-East Asian food and my first taste of green pawpaw salad – yum!

34th Wedding Anniversary lunch, Chow (8)34th Wedding Anniversary lunch, Chow (5)34th Wedding Anniversary lunch, Chow (2)34th Wedding Anniversary lunch, Chow (3)

Easter Weekend

Pine Creek Digger’s Rest was our base for the Easter weekend.

Diggers Rest

Good Friday

Pine Creek Lookout, Watergardens  and Railway

The lookout (3)Watergardens (4)

Pine Creek Railway (1)

Pine Creek Railway (2)

Pine Creek Railway (11)

Hooded Parrot Pine Creek Railway (7)

Hooded parrot

Easter Saturday

Moline Rockhole, Kakadu Ranger Station, Bukbukluk Lookout, wildflowers, Miners Park

Moline Rockhole (5)

Moline Rockhole (4)Moline Rockhole (1)Kakadu Ranger StationBukbukluk Lookout (11)Bukbukluk Lookout (8)Bukbukluk Lookout (5)Bukbukluk Lookout (4)Bukbukluk Lookout (1)

Miners Park (1)Miners Park (7)Miners Park (11)Miners Park (4)Miners Park (2)

Easter Sunday

Umbrewarra Gorge, Copperfield Dam, kite, boot tree, sunset

Umbrawara Gorge (2)

Umbrawara Gorge (1)Copperfield Dam (1)Miners Park (8)Boot tree (3)Sunset (4)Sunset (1)Sunset (2)Sunset (3)

Easter Monday

Home via Burrell Creek. Robin Falls, Adelaide River War Cemetery, Manton Dam wall

Burrell Creek (3)Burrell Creek (5)Robin Falls (1)Robin Falls (2)Adelaide River War Cemetery (1)Adelaide River War Cemetery (3)

Adelaide River War Cemetery (6)

Rainbow bee-eater

Manton Dam Wall (3)Manton Dam Wall (5)

In the garden

Cavendish, Dwarf Ducass, 10 capsicum 7.4.17

Cavendish and Dwarf Ducasse bananas

Cavendish, Ladyfinger, 2 basil 7.4.17 (2)

Cavendish and Lady Finger bananas

10 tomato 7.4.17

Tomato seedlings

2 basil 7.4.17

Basil from Penni

Cathy's orchid 9.4 (2)

Kathy’s orchid – primrose scented

6 sprays fully opened 7.4 (1)

Six sprays on one orchid

Sunset

Our magnificent sunsets always enhance family dinner on the foreshore.

Rapid Creek 13.4 (2)

Day 28 Assignment — Remove Colour Cast

For this assignment we were to check our landmark photos from Days 21 and 22 for colour casts and remove them using the tools in Lightroom or ACR.
As I have been unable to complete those assignments due to Covid 19 restrictions, I practised on some recent photos taken at Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve near Darwin.
I experimented with Auto and eye-dropper tools in Lightroom with some interesting results. Overall, Auto on its own was too extreme and needed tweaking and the eye-dropper results depended on the neutral area selected.
Here I am showing the original, one of my attempts and the end result for four photos.

Billabong 1

Billabong 2

Two Jabiru, one Egret

Single Jabiru

Day 27 Assignment – Enhance your Colour

For this assignment we were to enhance the colour of the sunset photo we took for our assignment on Day 3.

This photo was so dark that increasing the vibrance did little to improve it:

So, I made adjustments in Lightroom to contrast, highlights, shadows, whites and blacks, then increased the vibrance:

I took it into Photoshop and cropped it to get rid of the footpath, then used the spot heal and clone stamp tools to remove the signpost.

Day 26 Assignment – Fix Dynamic Range 2

Jim Hamel commented that he wasn’t sure that my clinging tree example had anything to do with dynamic range but that it did improve the photo, so I submitted another and asked if it was a better example.

Original 1/1000 f7.1 ISO200

Day 26 Assignment – Fix Dynamic Range

I call this the Clinging Tree because it has been clinging to the edge of the cliff by its roots for years and has even survived cyclones. This photo was taken with the sun setting to the left.

I watched Jim’s entire video but only used Lightroom to restore this photo. I made adjustments to the highlights, shadows, blacks and exposure and reduced the luminance of light blue, dark blue and yellow, while slightly increasing the orange.

1/80 f/8 ISO 3200 54mm

Day 25 Assignment – Add Contrast

For this assignment we were to add texture and punch to one of our pictures by adding contrast.

I wasn’t happy with my first attempt where I started in Photoshop then made adjustments in Lightroom, so I started again from scratch using Lightroom first then only used Photoshop to clean up the jetty and remove the lamp posts.

Nightcliff Jetty – Original 1/1000 f3.5 ISO 80 24mm

First attempt – lamp posts left in

I didn’t like the white patch in the sky when I removed the lamp posts, but I didn’t like the result when I tried to fix it either so I started again:

End results with and without lamp posts.

Day 24 Assignment – Use the Power of Local Adjustment

For this assignment we were to make changes to discrete portions of a photo using tools in Lightroom and Photoshop.

I spent a lot of time trying to change the colour of the sky but was unhappy with the results and ended up cropping out most of the sky and using the clone stamp tool to extend the tree line instead.
I removed a lamp post, a few magpie geese in the background and leaf litter in the grass and on the dirt using the healing brush. I played around with the contrast, saturation, highlights sharpness and whites and lightened the horse’s tail to match the mane and make it look cleaner.
My undo/redo functions got a good workout with this. Whenever I looked at the finished product I found something else I wanted to change!

This is the original f3.5 1/2000 410 mm ISO 1600

Befor crop

End result

Re-posting after Jim suggested applying a light vignette instead of cropping.

Re-posting with vignette feathered out so it’s barely noticeable.

Day 15 Assignment – A Walk in the Park

For this assignment  we were to go to a local park and

  • identify subjects to photograph – Ask ‘What is this a picture of?’
  • decide on the context it goes in by asking ‘Does this support the subject?’.  If it does it’s in; if it doesn’t it’s out.

  • I found this assignment anything but a ‘walk in the park’. For a start it was difficult to decide on a subject. The choices were: children’s play equipment; a lot of greenery; and water features.
    Then, although I had spent most of the day revising what we had covered until now, I froze and felt almost as hopeless as I was on the first night shooting the sunset.
    I stuck at it however, and came up with these offerings.

    1/50 f4.5 ISO 80 Lens 80 mm

    Identify the Subject – I had noticed the fountain in the distance as we entered the park and climbed to the top of a hill to get an overall view.

    Decide on the context it goes in – I asked whether the surrounding park supported the fountain.

    I zoomed in to reduce the amount of park around the subject.

    1/20 f4.5 ISO 80 Lens 80 mm

    I narrowed it further by shooting a portrait view.

    1/20 f8.0 ISO 80 Lens 85 mm

    I also tried shooting the fountain off centre.

    1/20 f6.3 ISO 80 Lens 85 mm

    In the end I choose the third photo as it highlights the fountain and has the least amount of distraction.

    Other subjects included a bird on a nest metal art installation:

    Both 1/6 f8 ISO 80 Lens 100 mm and 143 mm

    I prefer the second shot as I think the pond detracts from the picture.

    Corkscrew Palms

    Both 1/6 f5.6 ISO 200 Lens 31 mm

    It was the pattern of the trunks that attracted my attention, therefore I prefer the idea of the second photo, though because it’s a bit blurry, I would have to return and step back a little to re-take the shot.

    I also took the opportunity to practise photographing flowing water while I was there. Again, the images appear darker here than on my camera’s display but I hope to be able to lighten them in post processing.

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 85 mm

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 24 mm

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 112 mm

    1/40 f8.0 ISO 200 Lens 80 mm

    1/40 f8.0 ISO 200 Lens 64 mm