ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Archive for December 2007

Something for photographers to beware of:

Passengers will no longer be able to pack loose lithium batteries in checked luggage beginning January 1, 2008 once new federal safety rules take effect. The new regulation, designed to reduce the risk of lithium battery fires, will continue to allow lithium batteries in checked baggage if they are installed in electronic devices, or in carry-on baggage if stored in plastic bags.

Common consumer electronics such as travel cameras, cell phones, and most laptop computers are still allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. However, the rule limits individuals to bringing only two extended-life spare rechargeable lithium batteries*, such as laptop and professional audio/video/camera equipment lithium batteries in carry-on baggage.

Click here to read the rest of the article via dpReview.


Santa didn’t bring me a fish-eye lens. Boo hoo hoo! I really wanted one.

I’m going to show you how to get that fish-eye lens effect without an expensive fish-eye lens. Instead, we’ll use Photoshop.

First, you need to start with a square photo. (see photo 1)

I made the adjustments in Lightroom and then took it into Photoshop CS3. However you can simply bring your photo into Photoshop and then go to Image > Image Size and in the Image Size dialog box, check the Resample image check box to be sure that Bicubic is selected for interpolation type. Then uncheck Constrain Proportions so that you can alter just one dimension. You will want to click in the Height of the box and type in exactly the same value that is displayed for the Width and Click OK. There may be a little distortion, but this will not be noticeable after we apply the fish-eye effect.

Once you have a square image you go to Filter > Distort > Spherize. In the Spherize dialog box you should select Normal for Mode and increase the Amount slider to a maximum of 100%. Click OK to apply the filter. (see photo 2)

Next we need to select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Toolbar, choose Fixed Aspect Ratio from the Style box in the Options bar and then position the mouse pointer in the center of the image. While holding down the Alt key we click and drag a circular selection. Don’t worry about the selection fitting exactly; we’ll adjust that in the next step.

To adjust the selection to fit the distortion, go to Select > Transform Selection and click the Maintain Aspect Ration chain link in the Options bar and grab one of the corner handles on the selection bounding box. Carefully adjust the size of the selection with these handles until the circular selection matches the size of the lens distortion. Commit the transformation by clicking on the checkmark in the Options bar.

Now we need to fill the area around the outside of the lens distortion with black so invert the selection using, Select > Inverse and then go to Edit > Fill and choose Black for Contents. (see photo 3)

For the next step, we need to extent the canvas a little. First, hit D on the keyboard for default black/white colors, then hit X to swap them so that black is the background color. Then go to Image > Canvas Size. Check the Relative box and enter 2 cm in both dimension boxes. Check to be sure that the central Anchor square is selected and that the Canvas Extension Color is set to Background. That gives us a nice little border. Now we’ll add a touch of Lens Flare for added effect.

Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. In the Lens Flare dialog box, set the Brightness slider to 100% and choose the 105 mm Prime for the Lens Type. Drag the crosshair in the Preview pane across to the very edge of the circular image and voila! (see photo 4)

pre_fisheye.jpg spherize.jpg fisheye_bkgrnd.jpg fisheye.jpg


Title: Meet me at N. 8th and Bannock
Location: Boise, ID
Taken: 26 December 2007 at 5:14 p.m.
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm
EXIF: ISO 400; 1/30 at f/5.6

I had a request a couple of weeks ago to post something on this subject and I have to admit I have seriously avoided it. This is one of those topics that has so much variation that it could literally go on and on and on and on… I did just a cursory review on the web and I have to say generalities on the uploading of photos from camera to computer are really difficult to find. You really need to type in your specific camera make and model and search through forums to see what others have come up with in order to really be successful with a web search. However, that was just a very brief review online.

Finally, I have decided to try and cover some basics; staying away from specific camera models and their idiosyncrasies. That being said, let’s give it a try. Please, if anyone would like to add something, feel free.

I can’t help myself, I have to say one thing before I start. If you have a camera and you have a Mac, you would most certainly not be asking this question. You plug the camera into the Mac and voila! Apple is great. It just does the work for you.

Now that being said where do we begin–with the camera or the computer?

The computer.

  • Operating System: I understand there will be various difficulties depending on what version of Windows you may be using. Know your operating system. 98, XP, Vista. Some versions back may have difficulty with USB 2.0. I can’t help you with the specifics. The best advice is know your system and try to keep up with the latest (although I have avoided Vista and still have XP on an old laptop of mine).
  • USB ports: You must have a USB port to connect the camera to. This is how the camera will “talk” to the computer and download the photos.

The camera.

  • For this example I used an old HP camera. Keep in mind that although your camera may differ, the things I’m going to refer to should be the same for any camera.
  • SD Card: Your camera should have a slot where you can insert a card to store photos on. They vary in size and capacity. This old HD camera has a slot on the side and the card sticking out is a 256 mb SD card. 256 does not hold many photos. As a rule I wouldn’t purchase a card with less than 1 gb. However, that is my preference.


  • Cables: Before SD Cards there were (and yes there really still are) cables that literally connect the camera to the computer. These were originally the only way for the camera to talk to the computer because the only storage a camera had was internally. The cable that you may have with your camera will have two ends on it: one that connects to the camera and one end with a USB connector that connects to the computer.
ctoc_cord.jpg ctoc_camera_plug.jpg
  • SD Card Reader: Since we have SD cards in cameras now there really is no reason (at least in this quick tutorial) to connect your camera to the computer. In a more indepth lesson we might go into software updates for the camera but I’m going to bypass that for now. Let’s all agree that there is no reason to connect your camera to the computer in order to download your photos. Instead I recommend obtaining a card reader. They come in various shapes and sizes and obviously you need to be aware of the particular type and size of card that you have in order to know what kind of card reader to purchase. I have one that GE makes that reads 19 different kinds of cards. I love it. So here, you’re going to take the card out of your camera and put it into the card reader.
ctoc_card_reader.jpg ctoc_card_reader2.jpg

The card reader has a USB port at one end. You plug this end into any open USB port on your computer.


We’ll go back to the computer in the next part and work on actually moving photos to the computer.

Here’s the before:


And now the after:


And here are the settings:

Before and After:

window2.jpg window1.jpg

It’s really difficult to get good photos in snow and in cloudy weather. The snow is very bright, but the sky is very dark. One thing you can do is to make sure you use the white balance setting on your camera and make sure you select “cloudy.” Another thing you should pay attention to is the type of filter you may have protecting the lens of your camera. Being from California I typically have a UV Haze filter on all of my lenses. I also have a polarizing filter but seldom use it. To learn more about filters and their effects and uses check out the wikipedia page here.


From The Judd home to your home…


Merry Christmas

I’m in Idaho for the week of Christmas. It was snowing when I arrived. I got out with my daughter and son-in-law and took a few shots before we all got cold and went back indoors.


Title: Christmas Eve 2007
Location: Caldwell, ID
Taken: 23 December 2007 at 2:28 p.m.
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm
EXIF: ISO 100; 1/320 at f/4.5


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  • thebail: Reblogged this on Underwater Ap
  • Veronica Lynne: Did you use it? It's RODEO time! That might make a good pic for the fb page to.
  • Veronica Lynne: Certainly. I am flattered. Just give credit--ChromaticSoul Photos. Also, I would love to see how you use it. The rodei is this weekend! Veronica Lynn