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3. The Leica Rangefinder

Bertram Solcher Rocky Nook ePub

Uses and Limitations

I know you really want to get out and start taking photos, but there is still one technical aspect of the Leica M we need to look at. The rangefinder is the single most important element of the Leica-based composition process, so it is essential to take a close look at how it works.

Opinions on the Leica rangefinder are divided: Some see it as a clunky anachronism while others see it as the ultimate photographic tool. Whatever you think, the rangefinder is a masterpiece of mechanical engineering. So how does a rangefinder work? Unlike with a single lens reflex (SLR) camera with which the photographer views the subject directly through the lens by way of a mirror and a pentaprism, a Leica photographer views a scene through the viewfinder window built into the upper-left corner of the camera body.

In high-quality SLRs, the viewfinder covers up to 100 percent of the frame. In contrast, the rectangle displayed in the Leica viewfinder gives only a general indication of the framing that will appear in the final image. In an SLR, the effect of swapping lenses is immediately and completely visible in the viewfinder, whereas in a Leica, it is only the size of the Bright-line frame that changes while the overall viewfinder image remains the same.

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Medium 9781933952499

Introduction to Working with Layers

Klaus Goelker Rocky Nook ePub

Imagine you want to compose an image from several images that youve stored on your computer. Well, you can do just that! The process is similar to the production of animated cartoons. You begin with a background image. Then you place one or more transparent foils (which are layers comprising image elements on top of transparent backgrounds) on the bottom, or opaque, background layer. A stack, a collage of single images, is created, one on top of the other. Certain file formats let you save those images with foils and layers, to a single file. The layers remain as single images in this one file, so they can be edited and altered afterward. During the editing process, you can move these layers to the front or the back of the image to determine which layer should overlay the other. In GIMP, file formats for saving images with layers are XCF and PSD.

Figure3-6.The layers of a collaged image: (1) aircraft, (2) shadow (of the aircraft), (3) hangar, (4) window pane (layer with glass effect showing through, almost transparent), and (5) background with landscape

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Chapter 7 Processing Your Images Using Photo Book Software

Petra Vogt Rocky Nook ePub

> Scaling and Cropping Your Photos

> Image Processing

> Decorative Effects

> Isolating Image Details Using Transparency Effects

Many photo book software programs offer simple, built-in image processing tools that save you the time and trouble involved in switching to a separate program while creating your layout. However, if you need to perform complex changes to your images—such as adjusting brightness, contrast, or noise artifacts—I recommend image processing programs such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Picasa, or GIMP. These programs offer a much broader range of processing options than proprietary photo book software.

TIPS & TRICKS Process your images before you place them in your layout. If you need to process an image that is already part of a layout, it is advisable to rename it and re-insert it; otherwise, the program might not display the new version.

You can usually change the size of an image by altering the size of the box that surrounds it (see section 6.1, “Photo Book Software Basics”). Most programs also support direct cropping, which is a great help if you need to adjust the framing of an image after you have placed it on a page.

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Medium 9781933952468

5. Exposure and Metering

Glenn Rand Rocky Nook ePub

Tim Meyer

Exposure refers to the capture of light on the cameras sensor or film. Factors affecting exposure include the cameras aperture and shutter speed as well as the speed of the sensor or film. When any one of these three factors remains constant, then the other two variables establish the exposure.

Though many portrait photographers believe they do not need to consider shutter speed because they use electronic flash, there are several situations where the shutter speed is crucial, such as when needing to include an unlighted background.

All photography is based on a 2:1 factor. Doubling the ISO increases the film or sensors sensitivity by a factor of 2. Both f-stops and shutter speeds are based on this doubling/halving function.

If the ISO is held constant (the method used for film), then f/4 at 1/125, f/5.6 at 1/60, f/8 at 1/30, and f/11 at 1/15 will all be equivalent exposures. (With digital sensors, the ISO is flexible.)

If the shutter speed is held constant, then f/11 at 400 ISO, f/8 at 200 ISO, and f/5.6 at 100 ISO will all be equivalent exposures.

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“Hand-Colored” Collages from Black-and-White Photos

Klaus Goelker Rocky Nook ePub

The techniques described in the previous section taught you how to colorize segmented objects on separate layers in addition to colorizing entire images. To colorize distinct objects on separate layers, the basic steps normally involve the following: scanning a black-and-white image, duplicating the background layer (several times), selecting the area to be colorized on each layer, deleting the other image content, and applying the desired color to the remaining image content on the active layer. In the end, the layers must be stacked in the right order to properly render the finished image. This process allows you to apply several colors to images, similarly to what you did with the portrait.xcf image in the previous exercise.

The steps necessary to complete the following exercise are quite repetitive. Furthermore, since they have been described in detail in the previous sections, I will just briefly outline the work involved.

Open your extractinghair.xcf image. The rest of the work will be done using copies of the hair-extracted layer with the segmented hair. Save the image with a new name, such as portrait-colored.xcf, in your exercise folder.

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