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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A LEICA AND THE "VEILED LADY”




The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) has a sculpture that has fascinated me ever since I saw it for the first time many years ago.  It is a marble statue of a veiled lady.  The fascination lies in the fact that the artist was able to use a solid matter, marble, and create a statue that shows the transparency of a veil in total detail.

 

I have photographed it on several occasions and recently thought if it would be possible to replace the face of the woman in the statue with that of another individual, especially one that makes eye contact with the viewer.  This is not an attempt to improve the original, that would be preposterous, but strictly an exercise in the application of Photoshop skills.

Photoshop offers so many possibilities, I am reasonably sure that there are more than one way to accomplish this.  I am certainly not saying that my way is the only way, but this is what I did.

The first task was to find an image in my files for a face to replace the original.  For this is selected a picture from a model shoot that I did in the past.

 

Next there was the necessity of rotating the image to the same angle and to match the size of the model’s face to that of the original.  This is a trial and error approach because of the different sizes of the face.  I found it easiest to use the “lasso tool” to mark off the rough area to be superimposed onto the original.  After arriving at the correct amount of rotation and the correct size, I removed the layer of the superimposed face from the original and then carefully outlined the area of the model’s face that I wanted to transfer onto the original.

 

 

The next step was to change the colored image of the face to black and white and then using color correction to match the color of the superimposed model’s face to that of the sculpture. Working with the two layers makes this a relatively simple task.

 

 

The next step was to merge the superimposed layer with that of the original.  After that I used the “spot healing brush” in the “content aware” mode to blend the harsh outline of the model’s face with the rest of the image.

 

The final step was to use the original image side by side with the new one and then use the “clone stamp tool” with only 10 percent opacity to carefully paint the detail of the veil onto the new image.

 

 



You be the judge of how successful this has been.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you need a more in-depth explanation of the Photoshop procedure.


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Leica Akademie Chicago

with Craig Semetko - August 2015






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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LEICA SCREEN PROTECTORS



Besides screen protector foils for the new Leica Q, there will also be similar ones for the Leica M cameras and the Leica T.  The price is $25 for the Leica Q and one can assume that the same price will be for the Leica M and Leica T cameras as well.


Screen Protector on Leica Q

Leica Camera proudly introduces Display Protection Foil Sets for the Leica M and the Leica T. The display protection foil set for the Leica Q was announced previously. Each set comes with two protection foils, an optical cleaning cloth and a screen cleaning pad. As the name suggests, these display protection foils offer protection from scratches and dirt that may damage the rear screen. In bright light, the display foil makes it easier to see the contrast and details in images by reducing glare.

KEY BENEFITS & FEATURES
-Provides effective protection against scratches and dirt
-Reduces glare significantly
-Set consists of two protection foils, an optical cleaning cloth and a screen cleaning pad
-Made in Germany


The display protection foil set for the Leica Q is currently available while the display protection foil sets for the Leica M and Leica T will be available from mid-July.


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Leica Akademie Chicago

with Craig Semetko - August 2015






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Monday, July 27, 2015

ONE OF THE GREATEST LEICA PHOTOGRAPHERS EVER – ERNST HAAS



Ernst Haas (1921–1986) is considered one of the best, most celebrated and influential photographers of the 20th century and considered one of the pioneers of color photography. Haas was born in Vienna in 1921.  He did not become a photographer until after the war. His early work showed Austrian prisoners of war returning home. This brought him to the attention of LIFE magazine. Initially he declined a job offer as staff photographer in order to keep his independence. But an invitation from Robert Capa changed his mind.  Soon after,  Haas joined Magnum in 1949.  There he developed a close associations with Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Werner Bishof.

In 1951 Haas moved to the United States where he began experimenting with Kodachrome color film.  He soon he became the premier color photographer of the 1950s. In 1953 LIFE magazine published his groundbreaking 24-page color photo essay on New York City. This was the first time such a large color photo feature was published by LIFE. In 1962 a retrospective of his work was the first color photography exhibition held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Throughout his career, Haas traveled extensively, photographing for LIFE, Vogue, and Look, to name a few of the many influential publications that featured his work  He created four books during his lifetime: The Creation (1971), In America (1975), In Germany (1976), and Himalayan Pilgrimage (1978).

Ernst Haas continued to work until 1986, the year of his death. He has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions and publications such as Ernst Haas, Color Photography (1989), Ernst Haas in Black and White (1992), and Color Correction (2011). The Ernst Haas Studio, located in New York, continues to manage Haas's legacy, aiding researchers and overseeing all projects related to his work.

  
  
 Ernst Haas with Leicaflex                              Ernst Haas with Leica R4

It would be wrong to claim that Ernst Haas used only Leica equipment, but Leicas have definitely been an integral part of his professional life, and many of his famous photographs have been taken with Leica cameras.

When Ernst Haas began photographing in color, he soon created an entirely new approach to color photography by purposely using rather slow shutter speeds to blur the image.  However, as he explained, this was not left to chance.  He used the colors of the scene, and by deliberately blurring the image, he was actually able to create additional colors through the blurred overlap of the various subjects in the scene..  This approach was made especially famous by his photographs of bullfights in Spain.




Obviously, Haas applied his blurring technique to other subjects as well

Photograph from his book "The Creation"

The above photograph was later used by Kodak for the Kodak Colorama at Grand Central Station in New York City in 1977.  The original picture was taken with a Leicaflex SL and a 50mm Summicron-R lens on Kodachrome 25.  The finished Colorama consisted of 20 vertical panels of 3 feet width and 18 feet height for a total size of 18 x 60 feet This was the first time a 35mm picture had been used for this project.  It presents a 508 times enlargement to achieve the width of the image.  It was a definite testament of the quality of the film and that of the Leica camera and lens.


From the book "In America"

Ernst Hass quite often tried to take photographs of ordinary subjects and to present them as an apparently abstract photograph, although, as he explained, that is a contradiction of terms.  A photograph cannot possibly be abstract because a camera can only record actual subject matter.

"The Cross"

"Snow Lovers"

Holy Underwear © Ernst Haas
"Holy Underwear"

"Red Bird"

Ernst Haas had an uncanny ability to find ordinary subjects and by seeing beyond the obvious, was able to create extraordinary photographs.

The first time I met Ernst Haas was at a meeting of the Leica Historical Society of America.  He had been invited as the main speaker for the event.  One thing that struck me immediately was that here was a person who gained international fame with his wonderful color photography and his masterful use of colors, yet he was clothed all in black, black pants, black shirt, black jacket, black tie.  I saw him talking in German to Walter Heun, the former director of the Leica School.   That in itself was quite an interesting conversation.  I knew Walter Heun and, upon noticing me, he introduced me to Ernst Haas.  I was fortunate to meet him again on a couple of other occasions.

There have been many excellent and important photographers, past and present.  Ernst Haas was without question one of the greatest of them all.


To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.


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For more information on KOMARU and for orders go to: www.taos-photographic.com


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com

Leica Akademie Chicago

with Craig Semetko - August 2015






Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

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Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

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Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography