Ottawa Photography Show – 2008

Back for another year is Henry’s Photographic, Video and Digital Imaging Show on November 14th to 16th.  I think the title covers pretty much everything you could want out of the show.   Entrance again is $15 for a whole weekend, I usually try to go two days to get into as many seminars as possible.

At the show there is the trade floor area. Every major vendor of equipment will be well represented.  It is a great opportunity to drool over the latest offerings and ask some technical questions of the reps. On my list this year of things to check out: Nikon’s new full frame D700;  the new compact HD video cameras – I really liked the Panasonic from last years show that records to SD cards; neutral density filters – I saw a few photos from a friend with one of these, the results were amazing.  As always you can expect some good deals at the show.  It will be interesting to see if the state of the economy brings out some extra specials!

Last year saw the introduction of the on site lab, along with the seminars from past years.  The lab was a great chance to sit in front of a computer and follow along with a presentation.  I for one always learn best from actually doing something myself.  The seminars are also a great chance to pick up some free tips.  Last year the What You See Is What You Get Colour Management was very interesting.  I also picked up a good tip in one seminar about quickly inverting your selection area in Photoshop.  This year I think the Scanning & Restoration lab will be worth checking out and Choosing The Right Filter for Your DSLR which is sure to help me in my neutral density filter quest.

Photoshop “Miniature” Tutorial

This is a pretty cool technique for take images of real environments and making them appear to be a miniature of the real thing. This is done using Photoshop CS.

First picking a good photo will make the technique turn out better, here is a list of things I have found that work.

  • Images taken looking down onto the scene.
  • No horizon or a sky that is very uniform.
  • Not having much in the foreground.
  • Lighting that casts shadows to make it look like one source.

Miniature Example Start

  1. Load your photo into Photoshop.
  2. Press “Q” to go into “Quick Mask” mode. This will allow you to quickly mask off an area of your photo to remain sharp.
  3. Press “D” which sets the colour palette to default (black foreground and white background).
  4. Select the Gradient tool from the main tool bar (may be hidden under the paint bucket).
  5. Set the Gradient tool to Reflected Gradient.
  6. Next, choose which area you want to be in focus (in this case it was the top of the pyramid). Click and drag the gradient tool from the point to the top of the image and let go. This is the part that requires a little trial and error to get right: try different points in the image, drag the tool different distances and even a different angles. In the example I did it slight off vertical.
  7. You should now have an area of the photo that is red. This will be the area that will left untouched.
  8. Press “Q” to leave quick mask mode. You should now have two areas to the photo selected (marching ants), below the point you selected and above.
  9. Go up to the “Filters” menu, scroll down to the “Blur” category – then select “Lens Blur”.
  10. In window that pops up you need to play with the following settings until you get a look you are happy with. Iris:Radius – controls the amount of blur, try something around 30. Specular Highlights:Brightness – controls how bright the blurred white points will be, try something around 20. Specular Highlights: Threshold – A what point a bright blurred area gets made white, try around 245. Again this is the part that take several attempts to get just right. When you are done click OK.
  11. Now deselect the two areas, should see the “marching ants disappear. (Under menu Select or pick the Marque tool and click on your photo)
  12. Bring up the “Hue / Saturation” Adjuster (Under Image->Adjustment or Ctrl-U or Apple-U). Increase the Saturation so it makes the colors in the image more vivid and bright, try something around 20. The idea it to give it a plastic look so play with it.

Miniature Example Final

That is it. You can check out some examples in the miniature gallery.

Ottawa photography show – 2007

If you are even a bit interested in photography then it is worth the $15 (for the full weekend) to check out the Herny’s Photographic and Digital Imaging Show. The show has the normal trade show area, where you can spend your time drooling of the latest HD camcorders or those massive telephoto lenses. All the major companies will have booths where you can pester them with questions and try things out. There are show specials worth checking out if you are in the market for more equipment. The show also offers you a great opportunity to pick up some photographic or photo processing tips. This years show has 5 session areas with topics covering the basics of photo composition to professional sessions on photo organization. Each session is about an hour and is a condensed version of some of the Henry’s School of Imaging workshops. Worth going to check out for a few hours on the weekend.

Photography Show Banner