Creating a Digital Media Presentation

Hi everyone, I’m back with another post! This weeks lecture was about preparing us for making an online digital presentation. Our presentation does not need to be done orally, so I will be designing mine in Prezi, an online presentation … Continue reading

Retouch Pro Challenge

Hi everyone! This weeks photography challenge was to take a photo from the website Retouch Pro and do one of the restoration challenges. I chose restore challenge 60 and soon realised it would be extremely challenging. It is my first time properly using Photoshop for retouching. The picture I chose had lots of detail that needed restoring in the face and also a lot of damage on it. I think for my first time retouching a photograph I have done well.

This is the original image:

restore challenge 60As you can see there is a lot of scratches on the image and also a blue hue over the mans jacket. After starting this challenge, I realised that you would need to have knowledge of facial structure when editing this image to get the shape of the mans face right. However, I still wanted to give it a go and see how I would get on.

 

 

 

restore part 2So this is what I have been able to do in Photoshop. There are still some scratches in the image but I had spent a lot of time to even get it to this and think I have done a good job for a beginner. To be able to get it to this stage, I first started off by cropping out some of the original image to make the area smaller to work with. I then applied the Dust and Scratches filter to it, to eliminate some of the major scratches across the center of the image. I used the spot healing brush tool for getting rid of a lot of the white dots around the image. I also used the healing brush tool on the faces as you are able to take a sample of some pixels from another area and then place them on the area I wanted to heal. This meant I could take areas of the man’s face that were the right colour and place them on his chin were the white scratch was. I used the smudge tool to smooth out the colour on the mans jacket and then I added two layers so I was able to adjust the levels of colour in certain parts of the image. I was able to use the magic wand tool to select the mans jacket on one of the layers and adjust that area on its own. As a beginner, I feel this was a touch challenge but I did enjoy it. If any of you have any feedback on how I could make some final improves to it please leave a comment below ūüôā .

Digital Image Editing

Hi everyone! This weeks learning was focused on digital image editing. This was something I was looking forward to as I hadn’t used Photoshop properly before even though I have it installed on my laptop. The main topics for the week were opening, rotating, cropping and saving of images, retouching and colour correcting images, resizing and optimising images for the web and batch processing images.

All about photo editing.

photoshoptThere are many different programs that allow you to edit and manipulate an image. One of my favourite programs for editing and also one of the most well known is Adobe Photoshop. It is an editing program published and developed by Adobe. You suck at Photoshop is a YouTube channel which is very useful for learning how to use Photoshop as it can be quite confusing at first.¬†Here¬†is the link it can be found at. Photoshop is program you pay for, so if you can’t afford to use it, below are some free alternatives.

gimpGimp is the next program I would recommend for editing digital images. It is an open source program and free for everyone to use. You can use this program for things like photo touch-ups and image authoring. This is the link to the Gimp website where you can download the software for free.

pixlrPixlr is another free program used for editing. It is an online program and can be found at the http://pixlr.com/ website. It is very simple and easy to use as it has a nice interface. It allows you to edit your images through the browser.

picasaPicasa is the last program I will mention and is again a free editing software. I will explain in detail how to use this program as it is a nice and simple one to use. To edit an image you simply double click it to enter edit mode. In this mode, there will be tools to allow you to crop, retouch, colour correct and change effects in the picture. You can exit edit mode anytime by simply switching back to folder view. Picasa allows you to apply an effect to one image and then to every other image in that folder too. This is known as Batch processing effects.

It’s all very confusing! What are the most important parts of editing?

Here are some things that I feel are good to know as they are used in any editing software.

  • The histogram shows the distribution of light and dark across an image.
  • There are sharing controls to allow you to share your image to where you choose.
  • The Crop tool allows you to adjust the size of your image.
  • The Straightening tool allows you to straighten up your image for correct alignment.
  • Colour correction allows you to adjust the highlights, mid-tones and shadows of an image.
  • You can apply different effects and filters to your images with the effects tool.

This weeks photography task is to choose a photo from Retouch Pro’s touch-up challenges and edit the image. I will make a post on how I improved an image that was damaged from the options on this website, so keep following to see how I get on! Thanks for reading!

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My Podcast!

Well here it is! My finished podcast project for this module. I used an external microphone to record it and I edited the sound file with Adobe Audition.  I decided to do a festival review of Tomorrowland, as I found it an easy topic to talk about. I hope you all enjoy it!

podcast imageFirst Episode of my Podcast

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Photography Task: Portrait or Landscape?

Hi Guys! For this weeks photography task we had to take a picture shifting between portrait and landscape to show how it can improve the framing of a picture. I went out into my back garden in the house to demonstrate this. After taking a few shots, I was able to pick up on a few different things. Here are the images I took.

LandscapeHere is the landscape image I took. The landscape image is wider and has a view of the whole scene. For taking pictures like this, you hold the camera horizontally. Taking pictures in this format is usually better for taking pictures of scenery, as you don’t cut off parts of the view. You need to think about the composition and see if the scene will look better in landscape or portrait. I feel this one looked a lot better in landscape.

Portrait

The second image here is the same scene except this time in portrait mode. The camera is held vertically for capturing an image like this. For a photograph of a landscape, I think it looks better in landscape orientation as this image looks cut off and does not capture the full scene. Taking a picture of a person can look better in portrait mode as it gets rid of distracting material in the background. Portrait orientation frames a picture which is good for head shots or close ups.

Podcast 2: Publishing and hosting your own Podcast

Hi everyone! I’m back again with another post this time on publishing and hosting your own podcast. Here I will talk to you about outputting your finished podcast, uploading to webhost and creating a podfeed for subscriptions. To get started … Continue reading

Week Four: Shutter Speed Task

Hi everyone! This weeks photography task was the shutter speed task. We had to demonstrate how it has an effect on moving objects. The object had to be captured with different shutter speeds at the same time of day and in the same setting. For this task I chose to take a picture of a fan. I thought it would be a good choice as a fan moves quite fast so I could get a good idea of how the shutter speed works. I have never really adjusted the shutter speed setting on my camera as I wasn’t really sure what it was for, but after completing this task I understand what it does and will use it for pictures I take in the future.

The shutter speed works by changing the length of time that light is let into the lens. A faster shutter speed freezes moving objects while a slower shutter speed creates motion blur of a moving object.

In the first image, I used the highest shutter speed setting on my camera which is 1/125. In this picture it looks like the fan is turned off, which was not the case. It was set to the second highest setting!

In the second image, I set it to 1/8, which created a little motion blur in the picture.

In the final image, I used one of the slower shutter speeds, 2″. In this picture you can tell that the fan is moving as there is a blur on the blades. When using a slower shutter speed, I noticed when you press the capture button, the images takes a lot longer to capture as the camera is lengthening the amount of time the light is let into the lens.

That completes this weeks task and stay tuned for my next post on Publishing and hosting your own podcast!

 

Podcast: Audio Recording and Editing

MicrophoneHey Guys! This weeks lecture was about audio files and formats, recording devices and microphones and learning how to use Audacity. Our next project will be to create our own podcast so this was an introduction on how to get started.

Compression types?

To begin, there are loads of different formats for storing audio files on your computer. You’ll probably have seen some such as MP3 or MP4 when you were adding music to your portable devices. These common file types allow you to record, play and distribute audio. The audio file format is used for storing audio data on your computer and it can come in an uncompressed format or a compressed format, where the file size has been reduced to increase storage. Lossy compression is a type of compression used for compressing audio files. The most common type is the MP3 file.¬†I have a bit of prior knowledge about Lossy compression from studying computer science so I was familiar with the process. ¬†Lossy compresses the data by discarding some of it. This minimizes the data that is to be held by the computer. The term for this is¬†perceptual coding,¬†where they reduce the accuracy of certain parts of the sound that are considered to be beyond the auditory resolution ability of people.

We also learnt about the many different file types that you can use to store your audio files. The first was the MP3 file or MPEG-1/MPEG-2 Audioaudiosss Layer III, which is the most common audio format for consumer audio storage. It is a patented digital audio encoding format that uses the Lossy compression method. I know from using my iPod that most of the music files stored on my computer would be MP3 format. The next file type we learnt about was the WAV file. This audio storage type was created by Microsoft and IBM. It is the main format for audio storage on windows, and is typically uncompressed. AIFF storage is probably the least known format of all audio storage types. It was co-developed by Apple, and is an uncompressed file type mainly for consumer use on portable devices etc.

It’s hard to imagine that before everything was digital it was analogue, and needed to be converted to digital format. This was usually done by re-recording the sound you created with digital equipment. Analogue devices stored the recording on magnetic tape whereas digital devices store the audio data as a file.

Where should I record my podcast?

Getting the recording right takes a lot of practice. Ambient noise is the background noise of your recording environment. Sometimes this can be a good thing if it adds to the atmosphere of your recording. Other times it change the focus of the listener, which is what we don’t want! If there is too much noise it can be a sign of poor quality of recording.

When I am going to be recording my podcast, one thing I never would have thought of as a factor is a good recording location. Sound bounces off flat surfaces. You want a clear recording and so you should choose a room with softer surfaces as there will be less sound bounce. The room should have limited flat surfaces otherwise there will be more sound bounce. Soft furnishings can help to dampen out echo in the recording. Have you ever been in a room with no furniture in it and tried having a conversation? There is always an echo as there is nothing to stop the sound bouncing off the walls.

audacityNow onto choosing the method for recording my podcast. There are many different types of recording devices. I suppose the original recording device would be the Dictaphone. They are relatively cheap, but are an analogue device and so the sound would need to be digitized. Again, you would have the same problem with the Mini Disc recorder, although they do have better recording quality compared to the Dictaphone. I will probably use a microphone that I can plug into my computer for clearer sound. I have an omni-directional microphone which allows you to record sound from all directions. Audacity is the software I will be using to record my podcast. It is free, open-source software, that allows you to record and edit audio.  Here is the download link in case any of you want to download it http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post where I will be publishing my podcast!

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Aperture task for the week.

This weeks task was the digital photography assignment. We had to demonstrate the depth of field by changing the aperture settings on the camera. Of course you are not able to just change the aperture to get a good picture. The ISO and the shutter speed must also be changed to get a clear image. With the weather being bad this week it was hard to find a time to go out and get some decent pictures of the images I wanted to shoot, however, this evening was not too bad. I headed over to the beacon south quarter where there is some amazing graffiti artwork to be found.

Here is a gallery of the pictures I took. I think the artwork is quite interesting and I was hoping to capture it well. I tried out loads of different aperture settings, ISO settings, and shutter speeds to try and get a feel for my camera. I used an ISO setting of 1600 for all of my images as this is the optimum setting for dark outdoor scenes on my camera.

In the first image in the gallery, I used an aperture setting of f4 and a shutter speed of 1/15. I found this captured the whole scene well.

In the fourth image, I wanted to create some motion blur on the people walking past so I used an aperture setting of f22 and a shutter speed of 0.5. The shutter speed is what created the blur in scene, as it controlled how long the light was let into the lens for.

In the fifth image, I wanted to highlight the monkey art in the front and blur out the background so I used an aperture setting of f22 and a shutter speed of 1/60.

In the last four images, I wanted to show how changing the aperture could slowly reveal the full scene. I started with an aperture of f22. I then moved onto f16. For the last one I used f4. You can see the skeleton being revealed in the background of the picture as I changed these settings.

After completing this task, I fully understand how the aperture settings on a camera work. By changing this setting, I was controlling the amount of light that was let into the camera lens. This allowed me to capture a whole scene and highlight a particular area of a scene. The higher the f stop number, the less light is let into the lens and the lower the f stop number, the more light is let into the lens. I hope you like the photos I captured! Stay tuned for more posts!