Archive for the Tip Thursday Category

Tip Thursday: Lens case

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , on September 8, 2011 by bayouphoto

I read a lot of photography tips and web blogs to try and glean as much information as possible. I was reading one travel blog and one of his tips struck me. Always protect your lens. It went beyond the basics and said protect at all times. Never lay it on the ground, rocks on on your vehicle. Always return it to your camera bag. This will protect it from mishaps and accidents. Well, that got me to thinking and sometimes that is a dangerous thing, LOL.

I use a Lowe Pro Micro Trekker backpack camera bag for my everyday use. It is well padded and keeps my stuff organized, however when on a hiking adventure or shooting an event I like the fast access of my Humvee photography vest. However, it does not provide any protection from minor bumps or spills.

What I needed was easy on and off padded lens cases. Being the frugal person I am and with plenty of time in the yard swing I came up with a suitable solution. Enter the ubiquitous beer huggie, the neoprene stretchy kind. I happened to have one handy and I thought it would work great for standard, wide angle and short telephotos.

Click to see larger

as you can see it is the right height and size and will stretch to accommodate a variety of lenses. It fit my wide angle and my 100 macro.

Click to see larger

It even comes up over the lens hood. It has a bottom to also protect the rear lens cap and quiet it down. You could cut the bottom out of one and slide two on for a short tele like my 55-250 IS lens. The possibilities are endless. Just a little imagination and some quality yard swing time.


Tech Thursday: Topaz Labs Infocus

Posted in Software/Hardware, Tip Thursday on July 7, 2011 by bayouphoto

Review of an exciting new editing software plug in by Topaz Labs.

Today will mark a change in the Bayou Photography web blog. I will be switching to a theme based format to streamline the posts. I will continue my rants, thoughts and Ideas but most of them will e over on my Face book page.

The columns will be:

Blue Monday: where the dominate color is blue

Tutorial Tuesday: where we will review software, do how to’s for both   photography and editing.

Wacky Wednesday: where we will have fun with photos

Thirsty Thursday: the main theme will be water

Foto Friday: where I will feature a photo taken that day for my photo a week

Saturated Saturday: the main theme will be bright saturated colors

Somber Sunday: photos with a somber or dramatic look.

My personal outlooks, thoughts and adventures will be over on my facebook page

Tip Thursday: why your photos don’t look like mine

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by bayouphoto

I get asked all the time why other people s photos don’t look like mine. Now I am not being conceited or thinking I am the best but folks do ask me that. Even if we take the same scene at the same time mine seem to come out different.

I have been re-editing some of my older photos while playing with new software. This got me to thinking about this. As I am want to do when a thought enters my mind, i have to chew on it and sort it out. I do some of my best thinking and get some good revelations while in my yard swing.

Back when all of us older photographers started it was film or nothing. The choice was B&W, color print or color slide. With color film it came down to this.

If both of us had the same technical and artistic skills it was choice of processing. If one of us used a better or different lab the photos could come out different.

This equates to shooting JPEG’s with your camera. Each camera is a mini computer that applies the processing it deems necessary. Each one will vary from company, model and individual. This is assuming no post processing and using them straight from the camera. Just like what each lab would do in processing they assume what the photographer intended and process accordingly.

Now, B&W, assuming it was developed in your own darkroom, could be altered according to the developer/printers description. Depending on the skill, experience, equipment, chemicals and process we could have widely different photos.

Even if you used one of Ansel Adam’s negatives, that he developed, his darkroom skills were what really made his photos. The same is true for a digital photographer shooting RAW format.

In RAW the camera does not do any processing and you are presented with a digital “Negative” containing all the data the sensor recorded. Then it comes down to skill, experience, equipment (software and hardware) time and the thought process of what the end result should be.

As you can see there is now way you photos can look like mine unless I take them and process them for you in which case they become “My” photos. Each person must decide for themselves what they want the outcome, of their photographs, to be and do whatever it takes to ensure that vision.

Here are two examples of what post processing can do. set aside the fact that if makeup had been better it would have looked better straight from the camera. I worked with what I had.


It illustrates the difference in what the camera records and what my vision was for the photo. If your photos are not living up to what you want, maybe you need to learn how to achieve your vision. if there is enough interest I might run some workshops this winter.

Tip Thursday: Thank a vet

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , on November 11, 2010 by bayouphoto

If you are reading this…thank a vet

If you enjoy your freedom…thank a vet

If you voice your opinion…thank a vet

If you voted…thank a vet

If you are an American…thank a vet

If you protest…thank a vet

Do something good today, help a vet

Click the photo to see it larger

Remember a vet is not just a name on a wall. They are someones son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, mother or father

All gave some, some gave all

Tip Thursday: Things I learned

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by bayouphoto

Things I learned on my photo trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Here are some tips and tidbits I learned while camping for 8 days.

It takes twice as long to set up and take down camp as you think.

Just because the map says it is only 12 miles to somewhere doesn’t mean it will take the same time to drive as flat land.

It gets darker faster and daylight slower in the mountains than at home.

Just because it has been dark for 3 hours does not mean it is time for bed.

32 degrees is a lot colder at 3000 feet than at sea level.

Air beds get very cold to sleep on without something between you and it.

A queen size leaky airbed is worse than a waterbed for two people to try and sleep on.

No matter how late always pitch your tent.

Always put on the rain fly.

Never, ever forget a bag of garbage in bear country. It will be the one time one visits your camp.

80% of the tourists are idiots.

Just because a skinny, in shape, 25 year old hiker says the trail is easy to moderate do not believe him.

Every waterfall requires a steep hike either uphill or down.

If the hike is downhill remember you have to come back up.

Just because it is October do not assume there will be no kids around.

The national park is VERY crowded during October.

Avoid Cades cove and Clingmans dome after 10 AM

If you are having a great day someone will screw it up

If you want to stay at Cades Cove or Catalocchie campground, in October, make reservations well ahead of time.

Cherokee, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are tourist traps.

Don’t drive into Cataloochie from the north along Hwy 32 unless you are in a small 4×4 and expect to take 3 hours to get there.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial forest requires an up mountain switchback trail to see anything worthwhile.It is not for fat old people with heart problems.

The Cherohala skyway and Blue ridge Parkway are very crowded on the weekends.

Hwy 276 and 215 along with Forest road 475 and 475B will offer you a more relaxed less crowded drive for fall colors.

Out of shape fat old people can not make all three waterfalls, in one day, at the Dupont state forest.

Biltmore house is just as expensive as it is grand.

I would recommend Chilowee campground in the Cherokee national forest, Davidson river camp just north of Brevard, NC,  Smokemont in the GSMNP, Deep Creek camp in Bryson City and Horse cove in the Joyce Kilmer forest.

Every creek up there is a photography treasure.

Know your physical limitations, We took a rest day after 4 days.

Take plenty of memory cards and a backup device

Cell phone coverage is very spotty

McDonalds is an excellent place for internet

NC wastes a lot of money on stupid, useless road signs. Dangerous curve after you have been through 30 in one mile, one lane bridge on a narrow dirt road, no passing where you can’t see around a mountain curve.

and finally 8 days is not nearly enough

Tip Thursday:Keep your eye “Level”

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , on August 19, 2010 by bayouphoto

A quick tip today. It’s one of those subtle things that just gives your photos that extra edge.

Just like when you’re traveling, keep your eyes on the horizon! A crooked horizon is never immediately noticeable, but it’s subconsciously off-putting. This is especially true when there is a body of water in the picture. In the real world, water is never at a slant!

It’s best to get the horizon as close to level as possible while you are shooting the picture. Some cameras let you turn-on a grid that goes over the display or viewfinder. Check your camera’s manual to see if it has this feature.

If you’ve goofed on getting the horizon level, you can easily rescue it with your photo editing software. Generally, the crop tool will allow you to rotate the image till it’s spot on.

This can technique can tidy-up photos of buildings as well. Look for clues in the vertical lines of walls and signs.

Remember, like all of these techniques, they’re not rules carved in stone! Action shots can look a lot more alive with a good steep angle.

Tip Thursday: Orton effect

Posted in Tip Thursday with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2010 by bayouphoto

Last week I posted a photo and said I would provide a tutorial for the Orton effect. True to my word here it is.

It is very simple as  post processing goes but you must have a photo editing software that supports layers. ie. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Paint shop Pro.

Open the photo in your editor (I find photos with lots of white don’t work well). I am using Photoshop CS3

Click the photo to see it larger

Duplicate the layer twice( Windows Ctrl+J)

Click the photo to see it larger

On the top layer(Layer 1 Copy) change the blend mode to Screen

Click the photo to see it larger

Right click on layer 1 copy and choose merge down (Ctrl+E)

Click the photo to see it larger

Duplicate the layer once again

Click the photo to see it larger

Then go to Filters>Bur>Gaussian blur

Click the photo to see it larger

For an 8 MP camera I use between 15 and 20 radius

Click the photo to see it larger

Click OK and change the Blend mode to Multiply

Click the photo to see it larger

Merge down once again

Click the photo to see it larger

If your photo is too dark you can lower the opacity of the Layer 1 copy but don’t go below 60% or you lose the effect. Try lowering the fill opacity or using levels to brighten it up some

Click the photo to see it larger

Once you are happy right click and choose merge visible or use shift+Ctrl+E to merge all layers.

Here is the before

Click the photo to see it larger

and the After

Click the photo to see it larger

I hope you enjoyed it and find this useful and helpful