Site Statistics: SCN Makes it Back Into the Top 10 at No. 6

After almost three years of posting the first thing I still do every day when I get onto a computer is check the stats for Abalook. This morning I also had a look at the Top 10 for the week, which I have not done for a while.

Following is this week’s Top 10 table showing the view counts for the week. All entries are hyperlinked so you can use them to open the corresponding posting—should you wish to.

1 Adrianne Palicki Chosen To Play Wonder Woman 389
2 Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper 179
3 Titbit: Hunger Games “Amazing” 133
4 Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters 108
5 “Believe it or Not” Amazing Optical Illusion 80
6 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post 77
7 A Quick Update on the Updating of the Categorisation of Posts 52
8 The Last Australian Issue of FHM 49
9 Meanderings: Luminous-Landscape to MacKenna’s Gold 41
10 Might Have to Watch More Tennis: Arantxa Rus 41

 

The total number of views for the week was 1,709. This is the count of posting views which is not to be confused with the number of unique visitors. A unique visitor might view four, or five, or ten different postings on a daily visit.

Top10June1It was not the least bit surprising to see the Adrianne Palicki posting at the top in the number one spot with almost 400 views for the week. Although the popularity of this posting is starting to fall away it is still consistently getting the highest number of views. This posting has generally managed to remain in the Top 10 every week since it was first posted back in February 2011.

The Hunger Games posting at number three has maintained good traffic since I posted it but it often drops out the Top 10. It would seem that over the last week there has been some renewed interest in the Hunger Games. All of these hits seem to have come from Google searches.

Top10June2Even though the Falls Farm Shoot posting of SCN only had 77 views for the week it managed to get back into the Top 10 at number six. I realise that the popularity of this posting is not related to my awesome (cough) skills as a photographer and that it is SCN herself that viewers are linking over to see; but it is still exciting to have pictures that I took getting some views.

The posting in the number seven slot is interesting. This posting is a relatively short and pretty boring posting (to me at least). It consists of only ten sentences in five paragraphs and does not contain any pictures. The subject is my recent mini-project to enable the SquareSpace categories widget and about the tedious work of then opening every posting I have ever made and putting them into categories.

I just don’t understand how this posting made it into the Top 10. Even more confusing is the fact that this posting consistently appears in the Top 10 and is sometimes in the Top 5.

I have looked at the contents of this posting a number of times trying to work out why people are viewing it. The assumption being that there is some interesting grouping of words in the posting that Google is indexing that is then causing people to jump to the link. Maybe some accidental word alignment like “Emma Stone topless” or “Kate Beckinsale bikini pictures”. But after studying the wording a number of times I cannot work out what it could possibly be that people are hitting via a Google search that would then excited them to the point of clicking over to the posting.

If anyone can work out what it is that is embedded in this post that causes people to find it using Google and then link over to check it out then please let me know what it is. It has me baffled. Unless, maybe, there is just a huge amount of interest in categorising Web site postings?

BarryMark

DxO Used to Develop SCN Falls Farm Shoot (3) Pictures

A new comment today on the posting “SCN Falls Farm Shoot (3): Dreamy-Sexy, Sexy Dreamy” by smile_click asks if I took the pictures as RAW and if so, then what I used to process the RAW to JPGs.

The answer to the first question is “Yes”. Lately, probably over the last six months or so (maybe longer), I have been taking everything as RAW+JPG. This is a setting on the Pentax K-5 which means every picture is taken RAW but an in-camera processed ‘safety’ JPG is also saved to the memory card.

SCN1SmallThe three pictures of SCN used for the three Falls Farm postings (posting 1—shown at right, posting 2, and posting 3) were all processed from the RAW versions.

The RAWs for posting 1 and posting 2 were processed into working JPGs using the RAW processing module that comes as part of Adobe Photoshop Elements (v9).

For posting 3 I used a trial download of DxO Optics Pro v7 by Image Labs—usually just known as DxO. I had read a number of comments on DPreview in the Pentax SLR forum about DxO so I decided to download the trial version and see what I thought of it.

I have to admit I am very impressed with the RAW processing done by DxO. I am seriously thinking of buying a copy. People might ask why pay out $99 for a copy of some software when all it does is process RAW files to JPG and this can be done within Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Well DxO is not your average RAW processing software. It takes into account a lot of other little variables when processing the RAW, but the main thing about DxO is that it knows about lenses. It checks which lens you used to take the picture you are about to develop and what F-stop and lens length was used, then it applies some rules to the processing that it ‘knows’ really need to be done to get the best from the lens being used. These rules have all been worked out lens-by-lens by the people at Image Science and put into the DxO lens processing database.

You can disable DxO from applying what it knows about your lens to the RAW as it processes it, but based on my experience it does a pretty amazing job. Then on top of this you can go ahead and do your normal RAW processing adjustments (noise reduction, vibrancy, temperature, tint, shadow recovery, burnt highlight recovery, etc.,) just as you would in Lightroom or Photoshop Elements.

If I end up buying a copy of DxO I will probably do a posting about it and provide some more details.

For anyone interesting in checking out DxO the site is here. If you want to get a copy at $99 you need to buy it before the 24th December. After that it goes back to its ‘regular’ price of $169.

BarryMark

Fan Creates SCN Wallpaper

How’s that for a headline? I played around with that for at least five minutes trying to get something that sounded like a jump-out-at-you headline as you often see used in newspapers and magazines.

But it’s true. See the second comment from acesand8s on this posting where he also provides a link to the wallpaper.

Here is the wallpaper from the link provided in the comment from acesand8s.

SCNwallpaper1600-small

I have to admit it is kind of flattering and sort of exciting to have someone make up a wallpaper using your pictures and it is certainly a first for me. I am pretty sure it would be a first for SCN as well although I have not asked her about it yet.

SCNwallpaperClipMy ‘working away’ notebook computer does not have a 1920 x 1050 screen so I cannot actually use the wallpaper from acesand8s at full size and properly fitted.

On my 1600 wide notebook screen it looks like this (at left).

Anyone who knows anything about computer wallpaper design will see two issues with this. There is no unused space on the left hand side for desktop icons so they don’t get lost in the wallpaper images. Also the task bar at the bottom of the screen ‘crashes into’ the images on the wallpaper.

While this second problem probably does not happen on a 1920 x 1050 screen—because I can see from the full-sized version above that there is some space at the bottom of the wallpaper—the problem of no space for desktop icons on the left hand side will still be there.

If you want to find out a little more about wallpaper design then check my posting on this very subject from back in August 2010 here (Caution: The linked posting is marginally NSFW).

But anyway, having said that, I really like it. I do. The graduated steel-grey background is simple but effective.

Interestingly acesand8s has used one of the two pictures that I put on SmugMug—but did not use in the Abalook posting—as the ‘keystone’ image; the main and largest image in the wallpaper. I have to admit, with its darker blue-ish angel-dust edging it works well as the main image. This is more obvious when you see the wallpaper larger.

Should you want to you can get the full sized 1920 x 1200 version of acesand8s’ wallpaper featuring SCN either from the link provided by acesand8s in his comment (which gets the image from his 4shared file account—be careful to select the correct “Download” option) or by clicking on either of the images above. Clicking on either of the images above will open the full-sized 1920 x 1050 graphic  from the Abalook SmugMug folder and then you can save this by using right-click and selecting “Save Image As …”.

If you go for the SmugMug version you will need the password.

I’m still excited …

>>> Updated 16th Dec

Now that I am back at base I can load acesand8s' SCN wallpaper onto my 24" 1920 x 1200 screen and show you how it looks.

As you can see the Windows task bar does fit along the gap at the bottom without crashing into the images and when I move my clocks (one for South Africa time, one for local time, and one for USA West Coast time) up to the top right hand part of the screen the only thing that does not really work out are my desktop icons down the left hand side. But I do like the wallpaper. The graduated steel-grey background blends in really well with the dark grey Aero theme I use for Windows 7.

BarryMark

SCN 3rd and 10th this Week: Absolute 1st for One Day

I am a bit late posting it but for the week up to Friday following are the Top 10 postings that were linked to. Notice that seriously cute niece (SCN) has two entries in the Top 10 at 3rd and 10th.

1 Adrianne Palicki Chosen to Play Wonder Woman
2 Tennis Poster Photographer Dies
3 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post
4 Windows 7—Hot'n'Sexy Celebrity Women Theme
5 Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters
6 Titbit: Opera's Neat 'Spacebar' Trick
7 Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper
8 Video Streaming Chewing up The Internet: Porn is Number 1
9 The Puzzle of the Soccer Girls Wallpaper
10 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (3): Dreamy-Sexy, Sexy-Dreamy

 

On a weekly basis Adrianne Palicki is hanging in there at Number 1 but a very interesting thing happened on Wednesday. The “SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2)” posting hit absolute 1st. By this I mean that it got more hits than “Journal”. Following is the proof!

SCN-No1-Daily

Never before have I seen a posting get more hits than “Journal”. Even though I don’t show it on the Top 10 lists “Journal” is always sitting at absolute 1st and I start the Top 10 from the second entry and call that Number 1—because “Journal” is the site itself and doesn’t really count.

This means that direct links into the SCN posting at Abalook exceeded the number of visits to my site via the general URL of www.abalook.com.

It only happened the once. You can be sure I checked each day after this happened to see if it happened again—but it didn’t.

BarryMark

SCN Falls Farm Shoot (3): Dreamy-Sexy, Sexy-Dreamy

I have finally got around to post processing my third posting from the Falls Farm shoot with seriously cute niece from about two months ago. I can only do this when I am back at base because I don’t have my photo editing tools on my notebook computer.

The picture I am using here is actually not one of the pictures I originally tagged to process and post when I first went through the pictures from the shoot. But, sitting there bored silly in my motel unit away at site last week, flicking through the pictures from the shoot, I took a second look at this shot and decided it had something that I liked.

IMGP1080_v4-Small-SfrPWhen you first look at SCN in this photograph there is this dreamy sort of far-away ‘getting some sun’ relaxed look going on. But then as your eyes move off her face and you start to gather in the rest of the picture you come across the high heel shoes.

Suddenly the message coming from the picture switches from dreamy over to sexy. Then as you go back to her face it flicks back to soft and dreamy again.

So it works out to be a more interesting picture than I thought at first when I originally scrolled through the set.

This picture has a few totally blown highlights—areas so bright that I could not bring back the detail in them even using the RAW version of the picture. These can be seen on SCN’s shoulder, partially along both arms, and part of her right foot.

But even with these blown areas I think this picture still sort of works out okay.

The bench seat SCN is sitting on looks very thin and fragile—at least it did to me at the time. When SCN suggested she sit on it and we try a few shots I was not sure it was a good idea because it looked to me like it might splinter and break. So I checked it out by pushing down on the planking to test its strength and surprisingly, for such old thin wood, it didn’t budge.

You can see that with SCN sitting on it there is no discernable bend in the planking. That wood is like steel flat bar it is so strong. In fact steel flat bar would probably bend more than the wood is.

IMGP1080_v4-Small-Soft-PAnyone who has followed this blog for a while will know I love playing around with photo editing software, and this time is no exception.

In the version at right I have played around with every wedding photographer’s favourite filter in Photoshop; the guassian blur.

I have tried not to go too overboard and I have not added the white halo effect around the subject that wedding photographers sometimes add.

For me this softness adds to the dreamy feel of the picture. When you look at this edit and then go back to the first shot, suddenly the first edit looks very harsh and solid.

It is rather odd in a way. We pay out small fortunes for cameras with automatic focussing capabilities that can focus perfectly in milliseconds on a button from 10 meters away. We buy lenses that cost even more than the camera because the superior optics in the lens can focus in pencil sharp without producing chromatic aberrations. Then we take this perfectly focussed sharp picture and apply blur to it using Photoshop! Hmmmmm.

Sadly, having gone this far with the soft dreamy look versus the the sexy shoes look I could not resist the next obvious step.Yep. You guessed it. The white glow framing. I know some of the more serious photographers reading this just decided to move away and check out some other links …

For those that stayed with me I know its overused and I seriously do try to avoid these kind of scrap-book edits, but somehow, for this dreamy-sexy picture is just needed to be done—so here it a version with the white-glow edges (sometimes called angel-dust edging or powder edging).

IMGP1080_v4-Small-SoftFrPAll photo editing, including the processing of the RAW file, was done using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. I haven’t decided whether to buy the v10 upgrade yet or not, although I probably will.

As usual, each picture links directly to a larger 900 pixel high slightly less compressed version in SmugMug. You will need the password to get into the folder. The password is located elsewhere in this posting.

Also in SmugMug there are two other experimental edits. One where I played around with a textured canvas finish but I just could not get it to work out how I wanted (here). The other where I played around with blue (sampled from the shoes) as the angel-dust edging and then went totally overboard and added a bevelled framing edge (here).

>brightblueheels<

The picture on SmugMug with the blue angel-dust edging is sort of interesting because the base picture has not had the wedding picture guassian blur effect applied. So you have a crisp non-blurred picture of the model but then with this cold blue glow around the edge. I almost posted it here but then I thought three pictures was sufficient.

As always any comments are welcome—with the exception of SPAM comments obviously.

BarryMark

SCN 2nd Most Popular Posting This Week

When I posted the Top 10 for last week seriously cute niece (SCN) posted the following comment.

SCN_Comment

Well I think SCN must have called up all her friends because this week she has made it to the number two slot.

1 Adrianne Palicki Chosen to Play Wonder Woman
2 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post
3 Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters
4 Windows 7—Hot'n'Sexy Celebrity Women Theme
5 May Need to Enable Registrations for Comments
6 The Puzzle of the Soccer Girls Wallpaper
7 Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper
8 Tennis Poster Photographer Dies
9 Interesting Notes About the Milky Way
10 Posting Summary for August 2009

 

Following is the proof for anyone who thinks I might be fudging the numbers.

WeekSummary

“Journal” is always at the top because this is what registers for anyone who just goes to abalook.com. After “Journal” comes those pages that have been linked to directly and, as you can see, the posting of SCN is number two.

Now I could claim that what people are really linking over for is to see my awesome photography skills. Or my amazing use of HDR and tone mapping used for the picture of SCN. However I seriously doubt that is the case.

If there is a site linking over to the SCN posting, which I figure is most likely the case, then I would seriously like to know what site it is. All someone has to do, who has linked over from such a site, is leave a comment. Or, if you are too shy to post an anonymous comment then you can e-mail me. My e-mail address can be found on the “About Me” page of this site.

BarryMark

Average Uniques Down to 95 (SCN Climbs No. 5)

My average count of unique visitors per day is down a bit this week. From being 109 per day last week I am down to 95 uniques per day for this week.

Uniques

On the upside my picture posting of serious cute niece (SCN) at Falls Farm has made it up to 5th position. This posting was 7th in the first week of November, then went up to 6th in the second week, and is now in the Top 5 (at 5th). I can only assume somebody somewhere is linking over to this posting but sadly, if this is the case, I am unable to tell what site it is. Feel free to post a comment and ‘fess up if you are linking over. Never know, you might get some link-backs from readers of this site if you do.

I did do a linked posting to DPreview about the HDR effects I used in this posting of SCN but I doubt that people from DPreview are still linking over. They tend to move on pretty quickly.

1 Adrianne Palicki Chosen to Play Wonder Woman
2 Windows 7—Hot'n'Sexy Celebrity Women Theme
3 Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper
4 Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters
5 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post
6 Trillian from H2G2: Zooey Deschanel
7 Interesting Notes About the Milky Way
8 Tennis Poster Photographer Dies
9 The Puzzle of the Soccer Girls Wallpaper
10 Any Ideas for Stuff to Post?

 

One observation from the above Top 10 is that only two of the postings in it are not ‘babe’ related pictures. These are number 7 (“Interesting Notes About the Milky Way”) and number 10 (“Any Ideas for Stuff to Post?”).

Number 10 is an interesting entry. It was in the number 2 slot last week. I doubt anyone is linking over to this posting so it is very curious that it is in the Top 10.

BarryMark

Averaging 100 Uniques (SCN Still in Top 10)

PerDayOver the last 30 days I have averaged 100 uniques per day. While this is actually seriously pathetic when compared to the number of people surfing around the Web all the time it is an unexpected and very welcome increase in visitors for my little site.

For about the last 12 months or so my average per day uniques have hung stubbornly around the 65 to 70 mark. But just over the last few weeks I have had some days where the number of unique visitors hit 144—which happened on two days in the last 30.

As I say, compared to the estimated 200+ million people active on the Web at any given time, and the almost two billion that have accessed the Web over the last 100 days, my average of 100 uniques per day is pathetic. Seriously; it is. A bubble plot showing popular Web sites printed on 4A0 paper—which is four square meters in size and measures 2.378m x 1.682m—would not even show my site as a very sharp pencil dot.

But at least my average uniques are going up. Even if they are increasing extremely slowly.

For anyone interested here are the Top 10 most popular viewed postings from the last week.

1 Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters
2 Any Ideas for Stuff to Post?
3 Adrianne Palicki Chosen to Play Wonder Woman
4 Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper
5 Interesting Notes About the Milky Way
6 SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post
7 The Puzzle of the Soccer Girls Wallpaper
8 Trippy Building Lights: Perth City Council Building
9 Windows 7—Hot'n'Sexy Celebrity Women Theme
10 Rape Statistics Eye Opener

 

Notice that none of the Top 10 direct link pages are current postings from the last few days and in fact some of them are quite old.

It is good to see my posting from the 24th of October of seriously cute niece (SCN) at Falls Farm has actually gone up a slot from 7th spot to 6th spot—compared to my last Top 10 check (here).

I really don’t understand why “Any Ideas for Stuff to Post?” is number 2. That is simply bizarre. I had to go and check that posting to see if I could work out what wording or text is in that posting that was causing it to get the views. But I have no idea. Very odd. Can’t work that out at all. But obviously something that people are searching for is causing Google or Bing to put that posting up in the results.

Number2With others, such as the posting “Amazing Transformation: Designed Desktop Wallpaper” (shown at right)—which is at number 4—it is rather obvious why they are popular.

Oh well I guess I just keep posting until I don’t feel like doing it any more and, with a bit of luck, the number of unique visitors per day will keep going up.

BarryMarkP.S: Although my daily uniques are going up the number of comments seems to be going down (hint, hint).

7 Days of Around 100 Uniques (SCN Popular)

TrafficDetails2On the 24th October I did my 500th posting which featured four edits of a  picture of seriously cute niece (SCN) at Falls Farm. Then from the 25th up until today I have had the best continuous run of unique visitors ever to my site.

For five of these days the number of uniques is over 100 with one day hitting 116, and the other two days are over 90. And there is still five hours of today (31st) to go yet.

That works out to a daily average over those seven days of 103 (102.71). This is pretty exciting for me and is a significant increase from my typical daily average of around 65.

Over the seven days there were a total of 1,335 page views. That works out to each unique visitor over the seven days viewing about two postings (1.857 to be exact).

So what are people looking at. Well in order the Top 5 were:

  1. The Puzzle of the Soccer Girls Wallpaper (here) viewed 188 times.
  2. SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Posting (here) viewed 157 times.
  3. Motifake.com: De-motivational Posters (here) viewed 38 times.
  4. 1,400 Year Old Angel Oak Tree (here) viewed 25 times.
  5. Link-overs: Puzzle of the Soccer Girls (here) viewed 22 times.

611 of the views were of “Journal” which means they were simply of the ‘front page’ which is whatever the most current posting was at the time they dialled up my site.

A lot of the views of the SCN posting probably came over from DPReview where I did a referring posting. But even so it is great to see people linking over to check out my pictures of SCN.

As for the Soccer Girls Wallpaper it is kind of amazing to see this getting so many hits when it was first posted way back in May (15th May). The only way this could be happening is if people are putting link-overs on their sites and Facebook pages. Also interesting about this is that the views are of the original posting and not the posting where the mystery was solved and the model was revealed as being Keeley Hazell (here). A check of the Abablook SmugMug site shows that the Soccer Girls wallpaper has been downloaded 41 times.

It would be awesome if my daily average were to stay up around 100. You can be sure I will let you know if it does. Maybe I need to post another picture of SCN RSN (real soon now).

BarryMark

SCN Falls Farm Shoot (2): 500th Post

This, according to the SquareSpace statistics (and I can’t be bothered going back and counting them one-by-one myself to check) is my 500th posting.

Doing a Top 10 of all my posts based on the number of views was suggested by seriously cute niece (SCN) and I thought that was a great idea. But, as anyone who is a regular reader will know, SquareSpace don’t provide statistics back any further than a month. I tried emailing SquareSpace support to see if they could pull this data out for me as a special request, but it seems they can’t do that either (see their reply in the posting here).

So there has been a bit of a stall in my postings as I tried to decide what to post as my ‘landmark’ 500th posting—being pretty sure at this stage that there will not be a 1,000th posting. This is unless I can get my daily uniques up to a less embarrassing count a little better than the the 70 average uniques I currently get.

I finally decided to go with a picture of SCN from our recent Falls Farm shoot. SCN has provided encouragement to me a number of times when my enthusiasm for carrying on with this site has waned. On top of that she has never turned me down for a photo shoot session. She has given up valuable ‘young persons’ weekend time either on Saturdays or Sundays to go to some rustic run down location as I try and get that ‘perfect’ hot babe and the rustic run-down old house/truck/tractor/bridge sort of picture.

For some reason most times we have gone out it has either been overcast, windy, or wet; or all three. She has sat on wet steps, a splintering old veranda, dirty concrete, and she once climbed up onto the back of a truck wearing heels (seriously, for the pictures in this posting here).

She has walked up and down rusty old metal steps where she had to walk on her toes in 4” heels because putting the heels down would have resulted in reasonably expensive shoes getting stuck in the steps or damaged as the heel got caught in the grating. Then at the top of these steps she had to stand looking as natural as possible again without putting weight on the heels in case they jammed in between the grating. Finally she ended up sitting on this flaking rusted set of steps so I could get the ‘legs and heels dangling over the side’ type shot.

In one shoot she had to change outfits in an old small tin shed that just happened to be available. It was on a 10 degree lean and was full of crap such as boxes and some old chairs and stuff. She only had about a square metre of space to move in. I had a really quick look for any red back spiders in there and I am pretty sure there weren’t any.

So—bottom line—I have decided to post up one of my pictures of SCN for my 500th posting. Besides which I love editing and playing with photographs in Photoshop Elements. I have to admit I have become one of those people where stuffing about with the pictures after they have been taken is darn near as much fun as actually taking them.

And also I have my new 24” DELL U2410 factory calibrated screen now and this 500th posting was also an excuse to do some of my first picture editing using it.

So following are four edits of one of the shots of SCN at Falls Farm that I like. Unlike most of my pictures of SCN it has been taken from a high viewpoint. Typically I prefer to shoot from much lower angles. But I like this shot because of the way the her hair is falling and the relatively natural pose. She could almost be just hanging around waiting for someone to turn up or perhaps she is watching someone out of shot to her right (but there was nobody there but us).

On the day it was mostly overcast which produces very flat soft lighting. As part of the base processing I have pulled the contrast up using the Soft Light method in order to counter for the soft lighting. The original picture has also been cropped to remove a little from the bottom and the right hand side of the frame. Then I have added a little bit of highlighting to her hair and have brought the overall brightness levels up by 10 percent—which has helped add a little more gloss and shine to the red heels.

This produced the starting point picture shown below.

FallsFarm1099-650x

In the next edit I have run the starting point shot above through Photomatix tone mapping with medium highlight enhancement. I love how it has bronzed her hair and made her jeans look much more exciting. The real colour of her jeans is very close to the colour shown in the picture above (dark navy). The tone mapping over-highlighted the heels and I did do a version where I layered out the heels and de-saturated them a bit, but after looking at the picture a few times even the over-saturated red heels seem to fit with the picture so I left them as they were and didn’t de-saturate them.

For those that remember it, or ever used it, the effect in this picture reminds me of the Cibachrome print process. I must dig out my Cibachromes one day and have a look at them. That is assuming the wife and I can ever find them again in all the boxes of ‘crap’ that we have stored in the junk room. Cibachrome prints were expensive but that almost metallic sheen finish that they had was awesome.

FallsFarm1099-Paintify650

Seeing this tone mapping from Photomatix made me think of doing the colour separation layering trick where you layer off one colour and de-saturate all the other colours in the picture. This effect used to be very popular once. Just about every second arty picture you saw at a photographic club or exhibition used this effect.

So I have layered out the red shoes, the red nails, and the (slightly) red lips, and then de-saturated everything else by 85 percent.

FallsFarm1099-RedLayer-650x

Finally, as black and white pictures seem to making a come-back (I have noticed that quite a few are posted to 500 pixels), here is a black and white version.

FallsFarm1099-BW-650x

In Photoshop Elements there are about 50 ways (probably even more) to make a black and white version of a colour picture including styles like newspaper, vivid, portrait, landscape, poster, sepia, etc. For this one I have used newspaper and then I have adjusted the contrast and brightness further to make it a little more grainy and ‘old’ looking.

I guess one of the issues with digital photography—that we didn’t really have with film photography—is that there is so much that can be done with the picture in the post processing phase on the computer. On a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is novice and 10 is wizard) I would only rank myself about a 4 when it comes to post processing of digital pictures. I have not graduated to the ‘full’ Photoshop yet and I don’t use any of the wiz-bang plugs-ins like Azure and Nik.

So where do you stop? When are you satisfied that the picture you have processed is the one you want ? Over two days I probably spent the better part of eight hours messing around in Photoshop Elements, and briefly in Photomatix, to produce these edits of this picture of SCN. In one of Trey Ratcliff’s videocasts over at his site StuckInCustoms (here) he points out that he sometimes puts days into post processing a single image, and some edits may evolve over weeks of trying different processing attempts.

As usual each of the images above has been stored in Abalook’s SmugMug folio. The versions in there are 1200 pixels wide and are compressed at level 10 (which means they have about 10 to 15 percent compression) compared to the images posted here which are 650 pixels wide so they fit my posting width and they are compressed at level 9 (resulting in about 20 to 25 percent compression). What does this mean? It means if you would like to see a less compressed, slightly crisper, and larger version of any of the above pictures then click on it and see the version in SmugMug—but you will need the Abablook folio password provided in a previous posting.

So that’s it … I am over the 500th posting hurdle. Huge thanks to SCN for being my supermodel and then for letting me post pictures of her; because nobody ever likes pictures of themselves. Not even Miranda Kerr or Jennifer Hawkins—but they somehow manage to cope with it due to the $10,000 per hour (or whatever).

BarryMark