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Improve your skills - Guided Photo Walks - Bundoran, Co. Donegal

May 10th, 2018

Improve your skills - Guided Photo Walks - Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Guided Photo Walks - Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Want great photos the tourists don't get?
Personal advice from a highly experienced photography tutor?
Contact me today and let me help you see Ireland at it's best!

Enjoy two to four hours in a beautiful location with some like minded folk (no more than 5 on any walk).
John Carver (Carver Photography) will be on hand to guide and advise on all aspects of using your camera and getting the best shots.
You use your own kit (any camera make or size is fine) - ask questions and be guided how to master the settings on your camera, take better shots and learn new techniques.
No pressure - everyone goes home having learnt something and with some fantastic photos!
All ability levels welcome from complete beginner to experienced.

Only €60 per person - scheduled dates throughout the year.

Please click here to request more information.

John Carver

Carver Photography
Instagram: @carverphoto
or - give me a call - 0872145532

Moving Mountains - my images aren't photos - call them Digital Art?

March 26th, 2018

Moving Mountains - my images aren

Moving Mountains

I post images to a couple of Facebook groups - a comment was made in one of them that got me thinking - I don't think I'm a photographer?..

A poster said: I'm fed-up looking at Photoshopped photos, only post unedited images here

There are a couple of schools of thought about this sort of thing..
- Some people believe that a photograph captures a moment in time
- Others see photography as a means to create art and those that create images this way are digital artists who's work has as much merit as that created by traditional artists who my use paint and brushes

Therefore I must call myself a photographer / digital artist - sounds a bit pretentious, but as many of my images bear only a passing resemblance to the original photos they are based on.

Consider the two photographs below:

Drumcliffe Church - which stands in front of the mountain called Benbulben

Benbulben - photographed from the churchyard at Drumcliffe

The original photos are pretty ordinary and dull.
At the very least they need some editing to sharpen brighten and straighten the walls of the church - but why stop there?
(some notes are provided at the end of this blog outlining the steps taken to make the finished image)

This finished image of the church at Drumcliffe with Benbulben looming behind it looks a lot better than the originals from which it was created - and though not an accurate representation of what can be seen from the viewpoint directly in front of the church, it does reflect what can be seen when visiting the church if you care to look around a bit.
It is stretching the truth rather than telling an outright lie..

Please feel free to leave a comment to this blog, message me on Facebook or Twitter or email me using the link below.

Please click here to email me.

John Carver

Carver Photography - my shop gallery - take a look! - Lots of images here - my main social media platform.. - I don't use Twitter properly - I just post images..
Instagram: @carverphoto - I post images here and that's it..

To create the montage above:
(This is not a tutorial - just a rough howto guide)
1. Open the unedited image of the church in Adobe Photoshop (The Gimp will do just as well - and is free!)
2. Create a duplicate layer of the church.
3. With the duplicate layer highlighted, select a colour range and use the eyedropper tool to select the sky visible between the trees - adjust the sensitivity so the sky is completely selected, but the church is not.
4. Select cut to remove the sky - then hide to original layer to see the result.
5. Import the image of Benbulben as a new layer and drag it below the church in the layers control pad.
6. If it looks OK - use the lasso tool to highlight the parts of the trees around the church that aren't required and cut them away.
7. Adjust the brightness, exposure and contrast on both working layers until it all looks good.
8. Use the perspective tool to straighten the church walls.
9. Tidy up the trees and any other bits that annoy - use the clone tools or copy and paste elements and drag them around to suit.
10. Flatten and save the image with a new name.

Image Composition #1 - Rule of Thirds

March 16th, 2018

Image Composition #1 - Rule of Thirds

Image Composition #1 - Rule of Thirds

There are many 'rules' of photographic composition. The 'Rule of Thirds' is probably the one you are most likely to have heard of.

Before reading any further - bear in mind that rules are made to be broken and there are many fine images that don't conform to the accepted rules. It is still worth gaining an appreciation of why we find some images more pleasing and less unsettling than others.

The grid:

Imagine breaking an image into thirds horizontally and vertically.

Rule of Thirds Grid

When you are taking photographs - imagine this grid superimposed over the scene in your viewfinder or on the LCD display.
(Some cameras and phones have an option in the setup menu to 'turn on gridlines')

This is useful for lining up the horizon or some architectural feature, but more than that - if some key element of the photograph lays on (or near) a gridline, or better still on the intersection of the gridlines - the resulting image will appear to be more 'balanced' and pleasing to the eye.

Elements that cross gridlines at an angle also appear more powerful.

It is worth bearing in mind that we tend to look at photos from left to right and top to bottom - the most powerful place to locate a key part of your photo is therefore the top left intersection point.

If a grid is too complex - then just try to avoid putting the subject of your photo slap bang in the middle of the frame - it will probably look better off to one side..


This photo places a seagull close to the top left 'sweet spot' and the horizon on the top third gridline.
The surf line bisects the gridline in the bottom third and flows into the right central sector.

This might not be the best image in the world, but it fits the rule of thirds so most people should see the composition as pleasing.

Beach scene with rule of thirds grid

The rule of thirds is a useful tool to help compose images - but don't be afraid to experiment.

I would love to hear from you with your feedback and comments if you have found this blog post useful..

John Carver
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Contact me ref. courses and workshops in photography and digital photo editing