Tag Archives: Beyond Beyond

Looking Down

I took this photograph about six weeks ago, but it wasn’t until this evening that I returned to this set of shots.   The challenge this week in Kim Klassen’s Beyond Beyond course was to shoot from above.  Ahhhh!   This is  a favorite angle of mine.   Just for kicks and grins, I reviewed all of my posts since Jan 1.   In 34 posts, I used images shot from above 17 times.   Yes; I think it is a favorite!

So, instead of taking another photo, I thought I would post this one.  I think items on a beach made perfect sense to shoot this way, although I’ve taken some shots of shells that I really like from other angles too.   I’m curious what you think:  Do you think a particular subject suits itself well to shooting from above? What is your favorite “go-to” angle to shoot? Does it vary with your subject?

Two Shells and a Sea Fan

Two Shells and a Sea Fan

Cool bonus feature of this photo:   As I was shooting, the Florida Fighting Conch began to move.   It’s Alive!   The gastropod moved out of its shell enough to get a bit of leverage to roll over, away from the sea fan and out of the frame. I think he was tired of the hot sun — and maybe he wasn’t ready for closeups! If you look to the left of the shell, you can see lines in the sand that he had made.  The critter isn’t easy to detect from his shell, but it’s the lighter brown area just to the left of the bright orange.   If you find these creatures on the beach, especially at low tide, do NOT throw them back into the surf.   They’re snails and they work their way out of the sand daily.   They aren’t in any danger.  Look at them, don’t throw them in the water, and always leave live sea animals on the beach where you found them!


(*Detail Which Might Be Boring To Some)

Taken with Canon REBEL xSI, Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4 IS lens, @ ISO 100, f/11, 1/200

My processing recipe in case you’re interested:

Minor color adjustment & sharpening in ACR,

In Elements:

1.  Isolated shells and made copy.
2. added kk_chase, Blending mode screen, Opacity 42%.  This added some beige to counterbalance the grey sand (which is white IRL), added a Gaussian blur, erased texture over the shells.
3.   Added kk_1402magic, Color Burn, 58%, removed over shells.
4.  Moved the layer containing only the shells to the top, then merged all layers.
5.  Made a copy of the layer, added a Gaussian blur 15 pixels, Soft Light, 20% opacity & merged with background layer.
6.  Made a copy of the layer, Multiply, 25%.   Used Marquee tool to select a large portion of the image.   Used Refined Edge feathered to 200.   Removed this area from the layer, and merged down, creating a slightly darker “frame” around the image.
7. Added kk_1612 create a border, with a slight blur to make the tones a little bit more subtle.
8.   Added a solid color screen using a color I selected from the sand.   Using rectangular marquee tool, removed all of the screen except for the outer border.   Didn’t like the color, so adjusted it to a brown tone.
9.   Added signature and ready to post (….and wondering what steps I’ve already forgotten!)

Beyond Beyond, Assignment #1

I decided at the last minute (the day before the class started) to take Kim Klassen’s Beyond Beyond class.  I thought that it might be a way to expose myself to a different style of photography.  I hope to pick up lots of useful information on Photoshop and Lightroom as well as be exposed to lots of creative inspiration through the class assignments and what the other participants do.

If you are a member of the class — are we calling it B2? something else? —  welcome to my blog!  Be sure to introduce yourself in the comments.   I’d love any constructive criticism on my work.

The first assignment was to make an arrangement, such as a still life, though it didn’t need to be.   Then, photograph that still life from several different angles without moving the item(s) being photographed.   Kim suggested 10 shots, but being the overachiever that I am, I went far beyond that.   🙂

Shooting items from several different angles and with different depths of field is quite compatible with what I usually do.   I noticed last year, during my 365 project, that as the year progressed and my photo skills developed, I shot fewer shots.  I think this was good because I was more easily identifying the best setups for a shot before I clicked.  My big problem with the multiple shots approach is that I am horrible at deleting the “rejects”.   I must be better about housekeeping with my catalog!

Since this was my last week at the beach, I had many subjects that I wanted to photograph:  shells I had collected along the shoreline; birds in the surf illuminated by the sun and breaking waves; another amazing sunset — and yet, another and another;  the orchids and beautiful blooming hibiscus near the pool.  I used this multiple shots assignment on each of them.  And, although I still need to delete more shots, I was much better at hitting that Delete Without Remorse button.

The last part of the assignment was to select of few favorites and to make a collage.  This is the first time that I used PSE to make a collage.   While I like the photographs that I chose, I am find my collage to be a bit boring.  But, for a first attempt, it isn’t without merit.

I made these photographs of the orchids using both my 60 macro as well as my Lensbaby Double Glass with Macro extensions.  I’m still getting used to shooting with the Lensbaby, so it was a good thing that I took way more than 10 shots!  There were at least that many that were deleted because they were unusable.   I made a few adjustments in ACR, then added one of Kim’s textures (Minus43) at 20% Hard Light or 20% Hard Mix to four photographs.   I also used Minus43 as the background for the collage.   I really like the soft muted colors of Minus43 and I was amused that Kim titled it for the temperature the day she created it.  Amused that I was applying it to photographs taken when it was far, far, different than -43.


One of the things that I think I did well with the collage is that I was able to limit the number of shots I used.   There were many that I liked, but I prefer groupings that are simple and uncomplicated.  I don’t think that it adds to a grouping if you have too many shots that are similar.  I had edited four photographs to use in the collage, but jettisoned one of them at the end.   As I posted this, I realized that my margins are not equal — something I would change if I had the time right now, but for now, it’s time to load the car and start the long trek back to the cold, snowy north, where it isn’t 75 degrees, but — thankfully — it is not 43 below!