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Photography Question 
VISHVAJIT JUIKAR
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/25/2004
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LoveTheNature.com
 

August Months Monthly Theme?


Hi Just wanted to have more clarification regarding current months monthly theme. It is all about photo captured with lensbaby lens?


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8/24/2007 11:20:27 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Hi!
Actually August's theme is Pictures of People Taking Pictures.
September's theme is Lensbabies

I think people are going to have different takes on this (like a cute baby holding a lens?) But I think what they're looking for is pics taken with this specialty lens:

http://www.lensbabies.com/

http://www.lensbabies.com/index.php?page=lb2/galleries

There are also Photoshop actions that imitate the same look... I did it on this photo:

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=2499044

You can find the action here:

http://www.atncentral.com/download.htm


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8/25/2007 6:07:11 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  How about an alternate for those of us who either have point and shoots or no lensbabies? That leaves a lot of people out of the category, don't ya think?


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8/25/2007 11:46:44 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I just gave you the alternative...
Do it in Photoshop!
That's sure what I'm planning!
It's really a neat action!


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8/25/2007 12:04:30 PM

 
VISHVAJIT JUIKAR
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/25/2004
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  Hi, Carolyn, Diane.. thanks for your responce..

Can anybody from BP responce to this thread and more clarification?


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8/25/2007 7:30:18 PM

 
Glenn E. Urquhart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2006
  I was a little suprised on a contest theme based on equipment??!? Agree fully with Carolyn... Many people, including, myself can not participate in the contest in September. I find the subject weak, because it is based on what equiment one is using and not the ususal idea or concept bases, which I do enjoy how everyone on BP interpets the contest's theme!!!
Well, maybe in October, if the contest theme is "Pictures taken with the Canon 5D, using the 24-105mm L IF USB Lens", I will be able to submit entries! lol!!!


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8/26/2007 2:57:40 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  True - it is the first time that I can remember that a theme is based on equipment. That is strange.
You can still participate Glenn - just in all the other categories - not the monthly theme. Unless you decide to play with the lensbaby action in PS...
Hopefully BP won't make any more themes that are equipment or computer program based anymore...


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8/26/2007 8:57:31 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
I do agree with the feeling of some of you about the theme based on equipment.

But I see the point of BP's motivation for the theme. I just checked the description on the theme announcement. It says:

"Lensbabies ... to celebrate two upcoming online photo courses dedicated to the Lensbaby. Coming soon... "

One of the objectives in education is to direct students to explorer and expand their field for further learning experiences. At the same time, for profit organizations as BP, their business must prosper to exist in the competitive world.

so, I'm not sure if PS lensbaby action/effect would be a true contest objective..., although I doubt it would be rejected in judging...


Having said that I would think that the percent of contest participants who can participate in this category would be very small.

I don't even have a telephoto lens for wildlife photography, my long time wish and dream. So, I wouldn't be getting a lensbaby anytime soon. (..sigh.)


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8/26/2007 9:56:31 AM

 
Kai Eiselein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/21/2003
  A contest based on a lens?

Fine for manufacturers, but not everyone wants, or needs, a "Lensbaby".

As a photojournalist, I don't see much use for it in my work.


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8/26/2007 10:17:07 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
Diane, I checked your photo, the one you used the lensbaby PS actions.
Great work.
It's going to be interesting to watch this category next month.


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8/26/2007 12:09:06 PM

 
Beau Hudspeth Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/22/2004
  Unfortunately I feel the theme will rule out a lot of photographers solely based on the type of images they like to shoot or the amount of money they have to spend on equipment or software.

From what I can see on prices, you have to spend from 100.00 (for the older model) to 390.00 for a Lensbaby or 40.00 for PS Elements to in some stores, over 600.00 for PSCS3.

Now, I have photoshop and an considered an expert, so I could fake the Lensbaby look, but what if an upcoming theme was Ultra-wide, meaning images from a <20mm lens. I too, at that point, would be instantly disqualified due o the fact that I do not posses a <20mm lens nor can I create that effect satisfactorily in photoshop. The same argument could be made for a theme like: Ocean. What to the folks in Colorado shoot?

I feel that themes have to be general enough to apply to the masses - not the few.

My 0.02 ...


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8/26/2007 3:38:20 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Actually most of the population lives near the coastal regions.
Won't hurt to take a month off from one of several categories.
Besides, it's a promotional thing. Buy one get one free.
If they can do that, why were you paying double in the first place?


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8/27/2007 1:24:20 AM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/17/2005
  Great Response Glenn!!! One would think that BP is a community of photographers that should have the opportunity to participate in the monthly theme without having to modify their images to look as if they used a Lensbabie!! September's theme is geared for those who own the Lensbabie!!! Very unfair! B-


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8/27/2007 12:28:28 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand the uproar. There have been a number of Monthly Themes in which I haven't been able to participate. I might not have had an image that I felt matched the theme, and then didn't have time (or location) to get one I thought was worthy of submission.

The contests are free. There are 10 a month to enter. That means that there are 120 different opportunities a year. There are nine other contests that can be entered this month. I guess I just don't see how this really has that big an impact in the grand scheme.

Oh, and, no, I don't have a lensbaby.


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8/27/2007 2:02:07 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  I agree with David on this one.


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8/27/2007 4:41:07 PM

 
Colleen Farrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2004
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  OK, so it's not a big deal. There are plenty of other contest categories to enter.

But I think it's kind of lame, to be blunt.

And from a marketing perspective, I wonder how this is going to encourage folks to take the BP lensbaby course, anyway?



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8/28/2007 8:45:00 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  It's going to make people know about it, like you, and after all the pictures come out that people think are so great, it's going to make them want to do pictures just like them.
But alas, they'll be intimidated by daunting mysterious of the nuances of how it works, therefore seeking refuge and comfort in the class.
If the plan weren't so ingenious, it'd be diabolical.


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8/28/2007 9:01:52 AM

 
Colleen Farrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2004
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  Of course, BP could just put an announcement of the course in their newsletters, and/or on their home page, or put a lensbaby featured gallery in Snapshot ... and BPers could just look at the course listings to discover what courses are available, and they could just look at all the usual lensbaby photos uploaded to get inspiration ...

Whatever--it's a small matter. But it's fun to debate, isn't it? ;)


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8/28/2007 10:40:08 AM

 
Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member
Kerry's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
  Hey, everybody, guess what? We decided to open up the September theme! The new and "expanded" theme: Beautiful Blur.

FYI: Here's the updated theme page.
Kerry


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8/29/2007 3:58:59 PM

 
JD Lucido
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/20/2005
 
 
  beachBaby
beachBaby
this shot was hard to frame, there were a ton of other people on the beach, and I had to sit for awhile for the frame to be clear of all but this cute little girl watching the waves. I don't know what was on her mind, but she seemed focused-- I like the photoshop effect with sharpness not exactly on her, but just above whatever she was looking at. It seems to make the picture feel more dreamy, and leads you to look at what she was looking at... the ocean can be so mesmerizing, even on a crowded beach day.
© JD Lucido
Kodak EasyShare DX...
 
 
Hi All. I was a little surprised by the monthly theme too, and as I only have a 'point and click' kodak that doesn't fit a lensbaby, it inspired me to dig a little deeper into Photoshop territory. I'm not an expert in photoshop, so I don't know if this is the best way to do it.. its not EXACTLY the same, but is in the ballpark. (to see what I mean, view the first three pictures in my gallery, they are my first attempts at this type of manipulation). Anyways, my point is, use this as an opportunity to broaden horizons and try something new-- even if the shot doesn't work, the theme can inspire your 'mind's eye' to look for new perspectives!

What I did in photoshop:
load the picture
1. add a duplicate layer
2. increase the canvas size
3. distort polar to rectangular coordinates
4. add a motion blur
5. distort back to rectangular to polar coordinates
6. select the area you want clear again
7. crop as needed

have fun!


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8/29/2007 10:20:38 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  YAY! Thanks Kerry for understanding and changing it so everyone can participate!


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8/30/2007 3:19:23 AM

 
Colleen Farrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2004
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  Wow, THANKS very much for opening up the September theme, BP!!!


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8/30/2007 8:35:48 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Maybe you missed the ingenious part that keeps it from being diabolical.
The contest category has all the photos in one place, instead of looking through all the uploads.
By the way, I think you can do the effect with just a gaussian/motion blur(zoom or lateral) combination. And either feather an ellipse marquee, or do it to a whole layer mask and radial gradient the sharp spot.
You might even want to mix in the smudge tool to keep it from looking so uniform.


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8/30/2007 10:36:09 AM

 
Kimber Wallwork-Heineman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
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  Hey everyone,
The theme is Beautiful Blur and there are an unimaginable number of ways to accomplish a beautiful blur. It is in celebration of the lensbabie but no where does it say the lens is required to enter. There are lots of beautiful blur photos that use intentional movement of the camera, lens or subject.


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9/4/2007 7:42:21 AM

 
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