10Oct

Self Portrait via Photoshop’s artist tools

I’m rarely pleased with shots of myself these days…who is when you’re 40?!  And although I’m gettin’ back into better shape (that always helps with portraits), I still look at images from my 20s and think that same ol’ thing, “hey, I was thin and wasn’t bad looking back then!”.  


But every so often when I get a nice shot, I like to take it into Photoshop CS3 and trick it out a bit for fun, using Adobe’s artist filter tools like “Cut Out”, “Palette Knife” and “Dry Brush”.  I know what you’re thinkin’, “hey Sean, you should be using the Blur tool with the radius on 100 dude!”

(By the way, Adobe Photoshop CS4 is on the way and I’m sure it’s only going to get better- CS3 advancements with exposure, ACR, and HDR were amazing, so I’m eager to see what they’ve added and improved!).

But when you go into the filters, there’s a variety of options in each giving you tons of different outcomes depending on the shot itself, the lighting, the contrast, the detail and the color.  It’s a blast to mess around with, and the results can be cool lookin’. 
Here’s one to check out – a recent shot of me in Vegas, digitally altered in Photoshop using the Cut Out artistic filter to give me a “Reservoir Dog” feel….I’m Mr. Brown.


23Sep

Google Earth is the best, true that, double true!

Last week, while on my way to a Seattle Mariner game at Safeco Field, I was walking through downtown Seattle with a friend who pointed out the tallest building in Washington.  “It use to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi”, he stated.  Moving close to the front facade, I pointed my wide-angle lens up toward the sky and captured this image- we were trying to make the first pitch of the ball game, so I didn’t spend much time trying to find out more about the location, however I knew I could license the image to a publication or two at a later time, or turn it over to my stock agency to do the same.


Off we went and I didn’t think much about the image until it showed up on my computer in Adobe Bridge (Photoshop’s media manager for imagery and RAW digital files).  Opening the graphic shot, I came to like it more and realized I hadn’t gathered enough information for a solid caption.  Off to Google Earth an jammin’ free Mac/PC application that let’s you go anywhere on Earth- one of those scary I-hope-the-terrorists-don’t-get-into-this programs allowing you to fly over mountains, view any landscape at any angle and elevation, and navigate through cities past three-dimensional buildings.  It’s addicting for sure. 

So I typed in Seattle and in a few seconds found my original location of this photo- through links and information on the building I was able to gather all the facts and figures I needed.  

The Columbia Center, the building on the right (along Fourth & Fifth Avenues and Cherry & Columbia Streets) is the tallest skyscraper in the downtown Seattle skyline at 937 feet.  It is also the 19th tallest in the US- constructed in 1982 and completed in 1985. The building on the left is the Seattle Municipal Tower

, 62 stories high, completed in 1990 (designed by Bassetti Architects).

I hadn’t played around enough with the 3D city views in Google Earth and was so amazed by it, I decided to see if I could recreate the view I captured in this virtual globe platform. Sure enough, after a little finageling, I was able to get it pretty close- I’d say close enough.

Wow.  Our world in real-time, available for so many educational functions including a travel photographer gathering caption info for his commercial business.

16Feb

Back in Podcast-land with info & updates




Finally jumping back into another PhotoGuru Podcast after being loaded down the past few months finishing a 65,000 word, 225-page book on Exposure.  It is due out later this year, entitled “The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure“, and published by Amphoto, a division of Watson-Guptill (now Random House)


It’s gonna be a great book, I’m very proud of it, and if you want to get a grip on photographic exposure, pick up a copy- I’ll also be glad to sign any copies if I run into you at a workshop, event, lecture, or book signing.

The book is up on Amazon.com for pre-orders @:
http://www.amazon.com/seanarbabi

or at Target:
http://www.target.com/BetterPhoto-Guide-Exposure/dp/0817435549

My blog/podcast is a shortie but a goodie as far as Podcasts go, with updates on my travels, shoots, workshops, and more.  I’ve also included two images tying into my podcast.  The first is a screenshot of Adobe Bridge, part of Photoshop CS3 and a place to view image files before opening them.

The second image is an older sunset image from Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, near Yaki Point at the South Kaibab trailhead.  The original image was well-exposed, but the film could not handle the wide range from sunset highlights to shadow detail in the canyon, so I re-worked it in Photoshop CS3 to pull out more detail and a wider dynamic range of light.

Listen away folks- peace, love, and cashflow homies….