Rad A. Drew Photography: 2011

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Winners of the Mobile Photography Awards have been announced! Check out the final short lists and winners in all the categories at the Mobile Photography Awards site. I'm honored to be recognized in the Plants and Flowers Final Shortlist.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yesterday I posted an image of an abandoned store front on the south side of Indianapolis. It's near Mel's Drive-In where I often go for lunch! I've driven past many times, but this week, while on vacation, I took the time to stop and shoot.

The shot prompted lots of questions about how it was processed, so, I've put together this brief tutorial to show the process I followed. I hope it's useful. Send any questions my way!

The Process...

I started with a ClearCam shot. I chose the ClearCam camera app because it was an overcast day and I didn't see the need for an HDR application. ClearCam takes six quick shots and saves the one that it deems to be the best. Here's that initial ClearCam shot; the BEFORE shot.

Next I chose to enhance the image using Camera+. This app has a filter called Clarity that does a wonderful job of balancing the color and contrast of an image very quickly. You always need to make sure that you like the result, but I find that more often than not, I do. Here's a look at the Camera+ interface just after I've hit the Clarity filter button. 

Notice below how the detail in the road and the building front has been drawn out compared to the version before.

PhotoForge is the next app I used, not to be mistaken with PhotoForge 2. Nothing against PhotoForge 2, it's just that I find the original app easier to use. I just like the interface better. I use Forge to do three things:
  1. Sharpen using Unsharpen Mask...,
  2. add a Water Color filter and 
  3. add Oil Paint filter
The combination of the oil and water give the image some color and texture and does especially wonderful things to an overcast sky.

[Note: I'm not sure of the precise origins of this technique and its evolution, but I've learned variations of it from Dan Burkholder, Harry Sandler, and Tony Sweet. Here's a LINK to Harry's recent blog post on a variation of this workflow.]

So, using PhotoForge, I sharpen using UnSharpen mask. You'll find Unsharpen Mask... by clicking on the filter icon (the funnel). The settings are shown below: Amount all the way to the right, Radius to "taste," and Threshhold unchanged. You can experiment with this and try different variations (see Harry's blog post), but this is what I do. You'll want to adjust for each image. It's easy to over-sharpen if not careful.


Next, I add a dash of water color to the image, as shown below. (Water Color filter is in the Funnel icon, too.) You can see how the sky now has some color where there was none before. This is another thing that you'll do to taste; I usually move the slider about 25-40%. Sometimes I find that I like to darken the Water Color a little and then lighten the image later using Curves in FilterStorm.

After adding the Water Color, I sharpen again, this time using the Sharpen (not unsharpen mask) filter. I use just a very small amount so as not to over-sharpen.

Finally, I add the Oil Paint filter. Again, this is done to your taste. I rarely go over 40% and usually just "season" the image with a small "dash." You can see how the image has been given a rusty tone and how the filter has enhanced the detail in the sky. Remember how blank that sky was in the original shot?!

After saving the Photoforge work, the image now looks like this. Compared to the before, there is more detail and a hint of color, and the sky is much more interesting.

At this point I used FilterStorm to do some selective sharpening of the lettering in the sign, the pot holes, and anywhere else I want to draw the viewer's attention. Even subtly sharpened areas of the image will draw the eye.

Load the image into FilterStorm...

Select Sharpening from the Filters menu...

Move the slider to the desired level of sharpening. Keep in mind that we're going to use the mask feature to sharpen only selected portions of the image. When you move the slider, before we apply the mask, the entire image will appear sharper.

Next click the Masking Icon (the brush) and select its desired diameter, softness and opacity. The Diameter should be set to correspond to the size of the area you are going to brush. I usually have the Softness up all the way so that there is no sharp line between what is sharpened and what is not. Opacity I usually start low and increase it as necessary. Now, click the brush and "paint" in the areas you want to sharpen.You can see by the mask color below that I've sharpened the lettering in the sign. You can apply this sharpening to any area in the image to which you want to draw the eye. After saving this, the image will appear only slightly, but significantly, different with the sharpening in the critical areas.

The last step to my process for this image, was to add touch of Orton effect using the app Dynamic Light. The Orton Effect adds a wonderful softness to the image.

Load the image in Dynamic Light...

Click the FX button to open the filter menu (below). Choose Orton from the menu.

Use the dial to select the percentage of Orton to apply. Move the dial back and forth to see how it effects the detail and the light of the image until you find the "sweet spot."

The final image looks like this.The irony of the sign, Computer Store, and the dilapidated condition of this former establishment, seem to be truly a sign of our times. I especially love the rain-filled pot holes out front.

Happy shooting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Year in Pictures

Here is a Slideshow of pictures I've taken this past year. The are set to the music of Chris Thile's Not All Who Wander Are Lost. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This image epitomizes why I LOVE shooting with the iPhone. I shot this while rushing in to buy soup at Panera Bread for a sick friend. I hustled by this on my way to the door and I stopped and did a double take! I stepped back a few steps and whipped out the ol' iPhone and snapped this shot. I processed it while waiting for my soup! Before I was back on the road with my delivery I had posted this image for friends to see! The entire creative burst took less than 10 minutes. Before the iPhone it was rare for me to catch a shot like this in the course of daily routine. Who carries his Big Boy camera everywhere?!

This was shot using Bracketmode and then processed using True HDR. To finish it off, I used Camera+'s Clarity filter. Voila!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Harry Sandler Workshop a real "Brain Filler!"

Those of you who were at Harry Sandler's workshop this weekend know what I'm talking about when I say I'm on brain overload! There was great info shared on processing and, on day 2, printing. Wonderful work by Harry and guest instructor, Teri Lou Dantzler.

Know that Harry's exhibit at the Renaissance Fine Art and Design Gallery (http://renaissancefineart.blogspot.com/) at the corner of Main and Rangeline in Carmel is on until October 2.

You'll see Harry's stunning photography -- both iPhone and Big Boy Camera -- elegantly presented. And if you're from the rock and roll generation like I am, you'll see the icons of our generation captured in remarkable poses, often with ironic expressions, and in familiar venues. A truly remarkable stroll down memory lane.
I shot the image above -- a black 1936 Cord A10 -- during day 1 of the workshop when the class went out into the street for Carmel's annual Artomobilia Car Show. It was absolutely a stunning show.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Morning Glory

Photographing the morning glories in my back yard is an annual ritual. Recently I was treated to a light rain just before sunrise and so these little beauties were freckled with fresh rain drops. This first is pretty much a straight shot, made with the macro lens on the Olloclip attachment.

All I did to this was sharpen in using PhotoForge Usharpen Mask. After posting, I experimented with this black and white version, using Simply b&w and cropped a little tighter. I like the result.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1940 Caddy, Carmel Artomobilia 2011, and Harry Sandler Workshop September 10, 2011

Earlier this week, getting coffee on my way to work, I came across a 1940 Cadillac parked outside Starbucks. Naturally, I stopped to take some photos!

When I got my coffee, the barista pointed out a distinguished looking gentleman sitting nearby and confided that he belonged to the silver Caddy outside. I introduced myself to Kent Thomas, an Indianapolis car buff, and left my card. We later exchanged emails and he told me about this event, Carmel Artomobilia 2011, an annual antique car show in Carmel, Indiana, on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

Sounds like a fantastic photo op to me! I'll be at iPhone-Antics 2 Day Workshop with Harry Sandler on that day, which is being held at the Renaissance Gallery in Carmel, less that a block from where the car show is being held! I think I may need to slip out at lunch!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Only ONE WEEK until the iPhoneography Basics Workshop!

Hello, everyone!
Only one week until the iPhoneography Basics Workshop. I hope you're all as excited as I am!

We have only 4 spaces available, so if you or friends haven't signed up yet, now is the time!

This message is for all of you who have already enrolled.

To prepare for the workshop I'd like to recommend that you download the following applications from the App Store in advance:
  • At least one HDR camera (TrueHDR, ProHDR or iCamera HDR; I prefer TrueHDR)
  • Bracketmode
  • Autostitch
  • PhotoForge (I prefer this to PhotoForge2 )
  • FilterStorm
  • Iris
  • Pic Grunger
  • Touch Retouch
  • PhotoSize
  • PhotoStudio

  • Be familiar with your iPhone and its basic functionality.
  • Have a willingness to purchase apps.
  • Know how to download apps from the App store.
  • Have your current App Store account set up correctly (You know you're going to want to download new apps!)

What Should You Bring?
Bring your iPhone (and iPad if you have one.)
Be sure your iPhone is charged. Access to power for recharging may be limited.
Bring a notebook or other means of taking notes.

Saturday, August 27
9am to 4:30pm
Note: You are invited to arrive at 8:30 for a tour of Bass Photo
Bass Photo Studio
308 South New Jersey Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3795

Special Thanks
Thanks to Gerry and Kathy Abel for their generosity in hosting the workshop in the beautiful Bass Photo studio!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Walnut Creek, McCloud Nature Park, Hendricks County, Indiana

I shot this last winter while hiking in McCloud Nature Park but didn't process it until yesterday. At the time I took this image, I had not yet learned about AutoPainter. I love the clarity that the Benson filter adds when blended with the original image. To me, this is one of the best painterly effects I've achieved.

Apps and Process
  1. I used BracketMode to capture 30 images (15 pairs of light and dark).
  2. Then I used Autostitch to combine the images and manage the HDR.
  3. Next, I use PhotoForge 1's unsharpen mask, Water Color, and Oil Paint (each at about 30%).
  4. Then I used AutoPainter to apply the Benson filter to the original.
  5. And then, Iris to blend the AutoPaint version with original.
  6. I used FilterStorm curves to brighten the image.
  7. And Impression for the signature.

Monday, August 1, 2011

See my Exhibit at the IDADA First Friday Art Tour this Friday, August 5!

Don't forget that the IDADA First Friday Art Tour is THIS FRIDAY and I'll be there! I hope you'll stop by.

I'm now exhibiting at the:

Art Bank Gallery
811 Mass Ave. 
Indianapolis, IN 46202

To quote the IDADA site:

IDADA presents the First Friday Art Tour, featuring over 25 downtown venues. Now in its 5th year, the tour offers a wide variety of artistic experiences. Galleries, open studios, alternative spaces and much more. First Friday has become one of the city's premiere downtown cultural events.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two Images accepted in the Juried Phone-o-graphic Arts Exhibit

Check out the slide show for the juried Phone-o-graphics Arts exhibit in Essex Junction, Vermont. Two of my images were accepted and I was able to attend the Artists Closing Reception and meet juror and master photographer (and iPhoneographer!), Dan Burkholder.

Later that trip I visited Dan's home, saw his fantastic studio and met his delightful wife, Jill Skupin Burkholder, who is a talented artist/photographer in her own right. What fun to meet these great folks and see this beautiful country!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

iPhoneography Basics Workshop

with iPhoneographer Rad A. Drew

Fountain Square Street Scene processed on iPhone4 with BracketMode, AutoStitch, PhotoForge, PhotoShop Express, and Pic Grunger

Join iPhoneographer Rad A. Drew for a day of instruction and practice in using your iPhone to shoot and process images like you've never done before!


The Possibilities
We'll explore iPhone images to show some of what is possible with the iPhone.  You'll see images that will make you question in disbelief, "Are you SURE that was done with an iPhone?!"

The Camera Applications
We'll examine camera applications that allow you to take a variety of different types of images and improve the quality of your photographs. For example, you'll learn to take High Dynamic Range (HDR) images which capture the range of light and dark that we see with our eyes, leading to greatly improved images from an exposure standpoint.

Applying Filters
Use applications to enhance your images to achieve your unique vision. We'll explore applications that will allow you to "grunge" and age your images, apply painterly effects, and add vignette's and borders.

Blending and Stitching Images
The real excitement comes from combining one or more images to create extraordinary effects. You'll learn which apps are best for blending and how to stitch multiple images into fantastic panoramas that incorporate HDR. You'll learn three different methods for creating stunning multiple-shot HDR images.

Basic Tips and Tricks
The workshop will be filled with tips and tricks that include the following:
  1. What apps and equipment do I need?
  2. How do I organize my applications?
  3. How do I maximize my iPhone's performance?
  4. How can I extend my iPhone's shooting time?
  5. How do I ensure the best possible resolution for my images?
  6. How do I transfer images from the iPhone to my computer or iPad?
    Continued Learning
    Because of the rapid evolution of this exciting technology, keeping up can be a challenge. You'll get answers to the following questions:
    • Where can I see other iPhoneographer's work?
    • Who are some good teachers for advanced learning?
    • What sites are best for keeping up with the new apps?
    • Who are some of the leading iPhoneographers today?
      • Be familiar with your iPhone and its basic functionality.
      • Have a willingness to purchase apps.
      • Know how to download apps from the App store.
      • Have your current App Store account set up correctly (You know you're going to want to download new apps!)
        What Should You Bring?
        Bring your iPhone (and iPad if you have one.)
        Be sure your phone is charged. Access to power for recharding may be limited.
        Bring a notebook or other means of taking notes.

        Special Thanks
        Thanks to Gerry and Kathy Abel for their generosity in hosting the workshop in the beautiful Bass Photo studio!


        While shooting the exterior of the beautiful Holy Rosary Catholic Church, I noticed that the door to the sanctuary was open and went in. I met the choir director who invited me to shoot in the sanctuary and then told me that the choir would be practicing in about 10 minutes. For the next hour, I photographed this beautiful sanctuary while having a private heavenly concert. Beautiful!

        Wednesday, July 27, 2011

        European Weeping Beech

        I shot this European Weeping Beech tree in one of my favorite haunts: Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

        Temperatures rose after a snowfall and the resulting fog helped create this haunting image.

        This shot was taken using the Hipstamatic app. Little post processing was required, but I did use Touch/Retouch to remove a road marker from the foreground.