Using Stack Mode for Smart Objects in Photoshop – by Milos Brkic
Presented on February 4, 2021.
Have you ever wanted to remove people or cars from a busy site, yet there was always someone inside your framed composition? The technique I discuss here will allow you to do that by taking multiple shots and using Smart Objects and their Stack Mode in Photoshop. There are other uses for this technique as well, such as:
- Removing moving objects from a scene
- Creating long exposure effect in daylight photos (e.g., from movie clip frames or time lapse series)
- Noise reduction in astrophotography (and other low light situations)
- Other artistic effects
Click on Using Smart Objects And StackMode to see how to do it.
Here are just two examples from the presentation:
Snowflakes 101 – A Beginner’s Guides to Capturing Snowflakes
This Tech Talk was presented on January 21, 2021 by Kersti Meema. The following is a summary of what was presented and is intended to get you started on photographing snowflakes.
What you need:
- Camera with macro lens (or lens with macro capability)
- Remote trigger
- Glass plate (the glass from an old picture frame works well – cover edges in duct tape)
- Falling snow! Temperatures of -8 oC to -5oC work well.
- Extension tubes (optional)
- Sharpening software – I used Topaz Sharpening AI (optional)
How to: Click on: Snowflakes 101 to see the PowerPoint Presentation with all the images.
LET IT SNOW!
Another high profile annual event on the Toronto art scene is the SNAP auction organized by ACT, Canada’s leading AIDS service agency. The next Gala event will be held on March 25, 2021 at the Arcadian Court and I am beyond excited to have one of my images, Game of Tones, selected for the Silent Auction. All the funds are supporting the AIDS Committee of Toronto, more details at www.SNAP-Toronto.com.
When the night is over, a new journey starts along the spectrum of human experience. A search for meaning, through contrasting realities and tones that bring the balance and harmony we are seeking. Every shade is beautiful. A rewarding venture.
I was delighted to learn that an article with photographs that I submitted to the magazine Nature Photographer was accepted and published in the Summer/Early Autumn issue. The article entitled “Going on a Moose Safari” describes my adventures photographing moose in Algonquin Park in June of 2018 and includes four of my images from that weekend.
There are a few reasons for wanting to have your work in a gallery space. Exhibitions are a great way of getting your work seen and evaluate how it is received by the public. In addition, the exposure offered by an event in a formal setting can be monetized through sales.
This year at “Spectra”, part of the annual CONTACT photography festival, I presented a series of four resin cast images mounted on wood panels. The show, which ran between November 11 – 22 at Gallery 1313 on Queen Street West, featured the work of 14 artists who are members of the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography.
In a time when things are deliberately overexposed, I find myself continuously returning to those aspects that are often hidden, my images making visible what is overlooked. Throughout this series, I invite the viewer to move into a space of gentle energy. As almost everything reflects light, I use photographic processes to reveal an ethereal but lively essence of momentary dispersions of light on various surfaces. They are all different and the living shapes created by the reflections produce a unique experience that requires one to look more closely and deeply.
As some of you are aware, I’ve had the opportunity to spend my summers in PEI. Its such a beautiful scenic island and very idyllic for taking photo’s.
Last summer I had considered hiring a helicopter to take me around to take some pictures from a different perspective or perhaps coastline that’s inaccessible. That’s when a friend introduced me to the world of drones or UAV’s. It’s kind of like having your own helicopter – at your own convenience and can really open up your photography to a whole new perspective.
I had always assumed that drones were very expensive and were probably difficult to learn and fly. I was shocked to find I was wrong on both accounts, and so I purchased the DJI Phantom 3 and entered the world of drones.
Most users purchase drones for the video capabilities, which are outstanding. My particular drone shoots video in various frame rates and quality up to 4K. Although I bought mine with more still imagery in mind, however its hard not to get immersed into the video aspect of it.
For still images, the built in camera shoots a respectable 12mp in different ratio’s and allows you to control your shutter speed, ISO and white balance. The aperture is fixed at 2.8
The Phantom 3 and most newer drones, are incredibly stable and extremely intuitive. They fly via GPS which holds their position stable, even in considerable winds. Mine has a range of 2 km (with no obstruction) and has a limit of 400ft vertically. The flight time per battery is approximately 20min. When in flight, it always knows how much battery life is required to get back and will automatically return when that point arrives (although I haven’t risked trying that yet).
Drones have come under a great deal of controversy lately and rightly so, as a few have flown them recklessly and against TC and FAA regulations, which has resulted in a crack down with stiffer regulations and stiffer penalties. Drones in the near future will most likely need to be registered and a license to fly them will be required (similar to a boating license). It should be noted that they are certainly not practical for any urban area, especially Toronto, due to restrictions. They are preprogramming specific co-ordinates such as airports into the software disabling the ability to fly the machines within a certain distance.
I would be happy to answer anyone’s questions or if anyone is interested give a demo. A brief video I did for Tourism PEI can be seen on my website – alexbrucephotography.com
The following are a few examples of still images taken with the Phantom 3.
Starting February 4, there will be short 10-15 minute talks by other members on a variety of subjects at the start of each meeting (except competition nights). This is in response to feedback from members requesting that the club deliver more practical information on the various technical aspects of digital photography.
The session, led by Selby Shanly, on February 4 covered the following topics and you can download the PDF here: The RAW Truth
- RAW vs JPEG – what are the differences? Why shoot RAW?
- Exposing for RAW – how using RAW can alter how you take photographs
- Non-destructive editing of RAW files – what does it mean? What are the benefits? How does it differ from normal image editing?
- Processing RAW files – a quick overview of software available. Web links for more information.
Currently planned future talks include HDR processing and Using layers to create composite images on a PC or an iPad.
In 2013, Barbara Merritt and I flew to New Brunswick to attend a 7-day workshop given by Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant. Needless to say it was a wonderful experience. Last summer, we decided to do a one day Master Class with Freeman, renting the cottage behind his house at his 500-acre property in Shamperʼs Bluff, New Brunswick. During the day he worked us hard and in the evenings the three of us enjoyed one another’s company, sipping wine while shooting the sunset from his deck. It was just amazing to learning from his skill, gather his wisdom, laugh and share stories. The experience will remain with us always.
Last month we received a call from Sandy McMurrich, who has been Freemanʼs agent and friend for the past 16 years. Freeman was flying in for a couple of weeks, and would be staying at his home in Oakville to exhibit and sell some of his work. Sandy invited us to join Freeman and a few other friends for an intimate dinner at his home. We had the pleasure of viewing the exhibit privately, and yes, we are both now owners of an original Freeman Patterson! Sandy will be visiting each of us as he insists on coming to each home to choose the best location to hang each piece. Heʼs very protective of Freemanʼs work!
For both Barb and me this has been an experience of growth, shared passion of photography, laughter and friendship. We encourage anyone who is considering a workshop, retreat or class to jump in with two feet as these events have really shaped our photography in ways we could not have imagined.
Photos by June Galbraith and Barbara Merritt
Over the last few months, fellow BPC members Mark Kremblewski, Joanne Quinn and myself have been volunteering as photographers with Evergreen, specifically at events held at the Brickworks.
I have been going down to the Brickworks for years, mainly for the Farmers Market and the occasional hike, but I had no idea how many terrific events they hold all year long. Since June, I participated in the Blueberry Festival, a few cooking classes, and a Jazz night.
On Nov 2nd, the three of us decided to tag team together (made it easier to get the model release forms signed, plus it was a lot more fun with the three of us!!) at the Day of the Dead / Dia de Muertos event, and it was great!
Here is a sampling of our images, enjoy!