The stories behind the images

The stories behind the images
chairs, rome

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Retro" film software filters

I was asked for more information about the filter software I mentioned in one of our earlier blogs. The software is called Exposure 2 and is published by Alien Skin Software.

This software contains film filters. So, if your favourite film was Fuji Reala, you can add a Fuji Reala look to your digital images. Or, for the b&w shooters, perhaps you miss the look of your Kodak TRI-X 400 pushed 2 stops for strong grain and contrast. Exposure 2 has almost any colour or black and white film you can think of.

This software is a plug-in for Photoshop, so you simply install the software in the Photoshop Plug-Ins folder. Then when you have your image open in Photoshop, you access the filters through the Filter drop-down menu. Simple as that.

For the image above I used a filter for the now-extinct Agfa Scala b&w film. It's fine grain and full tonal range really suited this image.

Exposure 2 software is available for a free (30-day, from memory??) trial download for both Windows and Mac:

Happy shooting from Lisa and Dianne at Capture Italy.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Capture Italy is an exhibitor at PSQ2010.
This 3-day photography convention is run by the Photographic Society of Queensland and is a wonderful chance to hone your skills through workshops, presentations, masterclasses and photoshoots.
One, two and three day passes are available.

Dates: 12-14 June 2010
Venue: Riverglenn Convention Centre, Indooroopilly
More information and registrations:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

buon appetito, part II

The story behind the image:

Rome's Campo dei Fiori (which translates to field of flowers) is a noisy and vibrant flower and vegetable market dating back to the 1800’s. For the photographer, it's the perfect spot for capturing the beautiful fresh produce Italy is renowned for.

Insider's tip: for the best pizza by the weight, go to Forno Campo dei Fiori - it's right on the square, and it's delicious.

When shooting in a market, understanding depth of field can be very useful.

Depth of field is in simple terms how much of a scene is in focus. Shooting in aperture priority mode makes it easy to control depth of field. The smaller the number, eg f2.8, the wider the aperture and the less depth of field there is in the shot. Which means that the main subject can be sharp, and the background (in our case the busy market) can be blurred. This is also a fairly standard setting for portraits where we normally want our subject in focus but the surroundings blurred so as to not be distracting.

This image below has a reasonably shallow depth of field. The garlic is in focus, and the produce behind is blurred.

If you are using a compact point-and-shoot camera it can be hard to control aperture/depth of field. Most automatic cameras try to get everything in sharp focus. To get around this you have some options - first, try to get as much distance between your subject and the background; second, try settings on your camera such as portrait or macro; third, zoom in on your subject.

Don't forget to shoot some scenes of the market itself to give some context to your produce shots. Also, try getting a shot with prices (make sure you always get shots with the local currency in the local language for authenticity).


Photoshop post-production:
Levels layer to increase contrast.

Equipment and settings used:
Camera - Canon EOS 5D
Settings - f2.8, 1/200s, ISO 200, auto white balance, neutral picture style, shot in RAW
Lens - Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM LENS
Focal length: 70mm

Happy shooting from Lisa and Dianne at Capture Italy.