Friday, February 8, 2013


For various periods in the past 25 years of so I've dabbled in photography, but I really got going in '99 when I went to Oregon State. With a new Canon SLR and old Zeiss TLR I did quite a bit bit of B&W work in both 35 mm and 120 formats. One good thing about OSU was the Craft Center, which had a full darkroom where I was able to develop both film and prints. I also did shot color, but sent it out for processing. Eventually I purchased my own darkroom equipment.

When I moved to Delaware in Jan. '05 I set up my darkroom again, but also got my first digital camera a Kodak Z. I moved in 2007 and intended to set up a new darkroom in the basement of our rental house, even purchasing blackout plastic to cover one-half. But time constraints started to get in the way and it started to get harder to get the chemicals. In '08 the price was finally right for me to move to a digital SLR. I began shooting a lot more, but did little with them. I already had experience using Photoshop and Illustrator, but mainly did any adjustments using the Kodak and Canon Eos software.  But this past Christmas  I received Adobe Lightroom, which I finally began to really explore this past week, so much so that I've neglected doing much on this here blog or over at WTF Pennsylvania (though I've kept up the twitter updates).

There are a number of features that I've found very useful. In addition to being able to adjust levels and contrasts, there are cropping selections that automatically set the right aspect ratios for the size of prints I plan to make. There are also a number of preset modifications that I ignored at first, but have found to incredibly useful in making creative adjustments.

One emulates a direct positive or transparency. The preset doesn't always improve an image, but for certain shots the results are amazing:
Bison at National Bison Refuge, MT -as shot.
Same image as a direct positive.

Sara Beth as bride, as shot (not by me BTW).
Same with bleach bypass emulation.

Grand Teton, as shot.
Grand Teton with selenium toning

Old Faithful, as shot
Old Faithful, direct positive
Wrigley Building, Chicago, as shot.
Same image, converted to grayscale, contrast increased and cropped.
 Looks like I'm back into photography.

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