How Shooting You Became Resplendent

My trigger happy attempt at learning photography

One of My Guys

Posted by mgnswn on January 19, 2010

Last month, I shot this photo of my Godson, Alejandro. I have to say – I love it! Maybe because I love him soooo much! ♥ I may be biased, but I think his cute little face it is gorgeous!

This photo required very little processing in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8. It honestly took me only 10 minutes! I just cleaned up a few stray hairs, some finger prints on the window glass, and applied a soft-focus filter. I was going for the grainy/ magical look  🙂 I shot this photo with my telephoto lens (the AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8D. What a great buy! For a moderate price, I think the quality is excellent!) at f/5.6 for 1/500 secs.

Enjoy! And congrats to my sister for producing such beautiful children!!



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NYC Financial District

Posted by mgnswn on January 18, 2010

I spent this weekend roaming around NYC, with my camera in hand, of course. 🙂 Despite that it was Saturday, I was still surprised to see the financial district completely vacant! Not a car, cab, or crowd in site! Great news for my photo processing because I didn’t have to edit out any pesky people! 🙂

I took this first shot of the NY Stock Exchange with my D90 and zoom lens at 21mm with a f-stop of 6.3 at 1/160 sec. I treated the photo in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 with another awesome filter from virtual photographer called “oldage”. I also removed a light pole and added a Gaussian blur to give the photo that timeless effect.

This second photo was taken no more than 1 block away from the NYC Stock Exchange. My lens was zoomed in at 105mm and I shot the photo at f/5.6 for 1/400 sec. For the processing, I have to admit that I’m not 100% satisfied. I was going for an old, roaring 20’s feel, so I decided to deepen the blacks and minimize the focus from the background. I also spent some time playing with the Wall St. sign and finally settled on a dramatic blur and bleeding of the edges. I’m not sure if I’m really sold on the sign, but I just went with it. Interested to hear anyones thoughts or expert advice!


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Cairo Train Station

Posted by mgnswn on January 10, 2010

Another crazy long time period between posts. Shame on me!

Judging from the title of this post, I’m sure you have figured out by now that I shot this photo in a Cairo train station (I was taking an overnight train to Aswan). I shot the photo with my Nikon D90 at 70mm with f/5.3 for 1/125 seconds.  To treat this photo I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.  This photo took  a bit of work because I had to remove a man who was walking next to the train. Recreating the train was rather difficult because of the angle/lines of the train, but I think it turned out okay. I enhanced the color and used a free virtual photographer filter called “photocopy”. I wanted the photo to have rough, edge to it. Plus I had to make the train look as dirty as possible so I could get some sympathy points for having to sleep in that thing! Lastly, I added a Gaussian Blur set to “overlay”.  The blur helped give the photo an eery look. Hope you like it!


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Posted by mgnswn on August 15, 2009

Wow! It has been ages since my last post! Whoops! Work got a little crazy for a while 😦

Anyhow, I took these photos during my trip to Egypt. I was walking through a local bazaar in Cairo and was fascinated by the display of spices. I edited the photos in Paint Shop Pro x2 to make the colors more rich. The first photo (my fav of the two) was taken with my zoom lens at 85mm at F/5.6 for 1/80 sec.  I especially love the lone blue spice in the background!




















The second picture was taken with my Nikon D90 (zoom lens) at 62mm at F/5.6 for 1/60 sec. 020

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Ghetto Lighting

Posted by mgnswn on May 15, 2009

I took this self-portrait for the weekly assignment from the Digital Photography School website. The assignment was ‘ghetto lighting’, which means that you have to use homemade artificial lighting (i.e. not use professional equipment, strobes, or sunlight).

For this shot, I used a halogen desk lamp, which I positioned on its side aimed at my bed. Luckily I have a charcoal grey bed spread!  😉

I took this with my zoom lens at 35mm with a f/4.5 aperture for 1/2 second. I used my tripod and timer to capture this self-portrait. I cropped the photo and cranked up the contrast in PSP. I also removed a power outlet in the background and applied a “gaussian blur” to soften the image a bit.
















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Man on a Mission

Posted by mgnswn on May 14, 2009

Today is a black and white portrait day 😀

I took these in Egypt with my zoom lens. The first one I call ‘Man on a Mission’. I took it at f/11 for 1/200 sec with my focal length at 66mm. The second shot was taken at f/5 for 1/2500 seconds at 50 mm. I cranked up the contrast and cropped in PSP. Enjoy!!

Man on a mission




B&W Portrait






















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De Nile is Just Not a River in Egypt

Posted by mgnswn on May 13, 2009

I took this photo a couple weeks ago when I was touring Egypt via a felluca on the Nile!! I was so lucky to sail during the late afternoon because the sunlight was perfect for capturing a reflection and shadow on the water! This photo was taken with my zoom lens at 18mm with f/22 for 1/60. I had my ISO set to 400.

I enhanced the color in PSP to make the water and sky pop. To get this effect I first adjusted the brightness and contrast and applied a ‘soft light’ filter. Next I duplicated the image and applied a free plug-in from Flaming Pear called Vitriol. This is the first time I have used this plug-in and I absolutely love it! I had to separate the effect on the sky versus the water to get the color I wanted. I used ‘overlay’ for the water and ‘multiply’ for the sky. Lastly, I treated the sail and sky with a ‘gaussian blur’ to create a soft, moody effect. At first I was thinking that it is a tad bit blue, but it is growing on me. Thoughts?

If anyone wants the specific details for how I processed this photo, let me know and I will post a tutorial 🙂

Felluca on the Nile
























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Trinity College Library

Posted by mgnswn on May 9, 2009

After viewing the Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin,  I walked through the library attic. The library was built in 1592 and is home to great medieval Irish manuscripts. Pictures were not allowed in the library, but I decided to quickly sneak a shot. Too bad there was a security guard in the library. I would have loved to spend a healthy hour in there taking photos! 😉 

The attic had a beautiful tall ceiling and was filled with aisles and aisles of books. Each row was equipped with its’ own wooden ladder. It was absolutely stunning! Loved it! Thank goodness I was able to get one decent shot. I took this with my 85mm lens at f/2.8 for 1/125 second. I also slightly enhanced the brightness and contrast in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo (PSP) X2. I love the lighting in this picture. I do wish I had a smaller aperture so all of the books were in complete focus, but I still think it turned out pretty cool. Doesn’t looking at this remind you of that glorious old book smell? Yum! 🙂

Trinity College Library


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If Sheep Can Do It…

Posted by mgnswn on May 6, 2009

While working in London, I took a tour of the English country side and stumbled across these sheep grazing. I snapped this with my 85 mm portrait lens at f/2 for 1/4000. I definitely under exposed this picture, so I touched it up in Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and I think it turned out okay. I really like the depth of field. I’m thinking the color of the grass is a little flat, but it kind of works for the mood I was going for. Still learning the photo editing software, by the way 🙂

Grazing Sheep


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