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May 19th, 2017

White Balance - Photography Tips

April 23rd, 2017

White Balance - Photography Tips

. . ★ . . :: Let's talk about White Balance . . you are welcome to add your thoughts and share your process in a comment below :: . .

I always shoot in RAW . post production in photoshop and/or lightroom to reveal the colours will help tremendously . .
Use a very subtle super light touch when processing your images making adjustments to your temperature and tint to maintain natural colours unless you are going for a more creative approach .

About colours . .

Adjust your hues using your slider on the HSL / Grayscale for a creative split-tone effect which often is effective for brightening colours . .
Adjust Luminance on specific colours to brighten or deepen colours as well as to add depth and dimension to the image . .
I almost never touch saturation . . if you do . take care to not saturate too much when you are trying to maintain a more natural appearance to your final image . .
Vibrancy is also something you would want to be very careful with as it will flatten your image . .
Black and White is a wonderful choice to "save" an image which has turned out to be overall flat . . .

Mostly focus on White Balance / Hue / Luminance and Curves . . .
Then if you like you could make adjustments in Split Toning for more creative expression . . .

White balance is so important in all circumstances . especially in low light conditions . ie. overcast "grey" skies . . Yet in all light conditions it is so important . .
Light is the key for beautiful photography and when the sun is not cooperating you must meter correctly for the lower light conditions (using a tripod helps tremendously)

You may make post production changes for your white balance to adjust your colour casts by making adjustments in temperature and tint .
Many images have a colour cast and you can solve this issue by adjusting your white balance . . especially when you have a very cool colours with winter skies or shadows . you may warm them up a bit and brighten them by adjusting your temperature and tint . .

For in-camera white balance options your DLSR has presets and Auto is much too unpredictable . . . basically an auto setting on your camera is your camera telling you what colour white is . .
You want to tell your camera what white is . . When shooting outdoors or especially indoors setting your white balance is important . .

For your camera settings try selecting your camera White Balance mode on Shade or Cloudy to warm things up a bit . .
You may choose to create your own white balance preset . . .

Then make adjustments in photoshop and/or Lightroom to your white balance by adjusting the temperature | tine | highlights | midtones and shadows . .
Use Parametric on your Tone Curve to make adjustments then also use Point . play with it until you like the results . .
Always remember never to touch your original images . . only process copies of your work to preserve the integrity of your portfolio .
That is one of the things I really love about Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom . . there is no photo degradation . .
You can make endless copies of your work with many variations for your final images . . .

In Photoshop for Curves you may choose on your drop-down tab Medium Contrast | Strong Contrast | Linear . . or Custom . .
Slide your points and adjust the curves until you like what you see . . .
Lower your contrast and adjust the blacks and/or clarity to soften an image . .

You may choose to use a vignette to create an interesting effect for focusing the eye on the light within your image . .

Create your own presets . . . they are a tremendous resource you may custom create to save yourself time in your work flow . .

Using lens filters will help as well in all light conditions . . . . .
These are only a few suggestions to help you . . . .

I shoot in RAW . often use lens filters and tripod . . try to get everything as perfect as possible in-camera when I initially take the photograph . . then post-process in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended and finish my images in Adobe Lightroom 5.5 :: . . ★ . .

. . . . ★ . .

Colour correction cards || colour calibrated reference cards are handy
. . do you create your own or purchase them?

Photoshop Elements
Applies to: Colour and camera raw
Adobe Community Help
Using the histogram and RGB values in camera raw
White balance controls for camera raw
Tonal and image adjustments in camera raw files

:: more useful links and resources :: . .

DGK Color Tools DKK 5" x 7" Set of 2 White Balance and Colour Calibration Charts with 12% and 18% Gray - Includes Frame Stand and User Guide

Introduction to White Balance

Using White Balance to Control Colour Casts

Adobe Controlling White Balance Video Tutorials

18 June 2014
Sharon Mau


. this is an interesting forum on Histogram: Luminosity and Colour

. :: more Colour Calibration Charts resources :: . .
. . :: Getting Colour Balance Right :: . .
"Although cameras with manual white balance measurement systems can provide almost cast-free colour photographs, there are times when additional colour reference tools should also be used to ensure you achieve a correct colour balance in any shooting situation. Including a colour balance reference target in shots is particularly handy if you shoot JPEGs. It's less important for raw file shooters because colour tweaking is possible when converting raw files to editable formats. However, having a target in a reference shot can make the task quicker and easier when you're editing image files."

Creative White Balance
Control the relative colour tonalities in your photos to create a better sense of mood and atmosphere

Photoshop Elements
Applies to: Colour and camera raw
Adobe Community Help
Using the histogram and RGB values in camera raw
White balance controls for camera raw
Tonal and image adjustments in camera raw files

:: more useful links and resources :: . .

DGK Color Tools DKK 5" x 7" Set of 2 White Balance and Colour Calibration Charts with 12% and 18% Gray - Includes Frame Stand and User Guide

Introduction to White Balance

Using White Balance to Control Colour Casts

Adobe Controlling White Balance Video Tutorials

. . ★ . . Colour correction cards || colour calibrated reference cards are handy

If any of these suggestions and tips help you let me know with a comment . . .


Sharon Mau

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January 6th, 2017

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SEO Public Suffix Elixir

May 21st, 2016

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Beautiful Celtic Music Playlist

November 20th, 2015

The Song of the Soul by Edwin Leibfreed

November 20th, 2015

The Song of the Soul by: Edwin Leibfreed

Oh to be naked!
My body? Yes, if need be.
My Soul, more than all else.
To be as I am. As small or as large as my Soul.
To speak truth, and scorn man's wrath.
To laugh at convention.
To rejoice at freedom.
To be hated, as well as loved, for Truth's sake.
To care no more for reputation
Than reputation cares for me.
For he who worries about reputation,
Has a reputation to worry about.
To believe in all things.
To defy nothing but wrong.
To spring at the ivory throat of wrong,
And strangle it with bleeding hands!
To slay it in public or private.
To let the blazing sandals of the feet of the Soul
Burn every evil they tread upon.
To know that every reformer's life is an avatar.
That reform is justifiable murder.
That every reformer bears a cross.
That the sword, and not the olive-branch,
Is the symbol of regeneration.
And that peace and harmony are its triumphs.
To dip into mysteries,
Artlessly, candidly.
To regard life as the Soul's sacred trust.
To know that every longing of the Soul is holy.
That life, with the Soul predominant,
Is a noble mosaic, a bewitching arabesque.
To answer my mother's call to my Soul
My sweet mother, Earth, who loves me!
To satisfy any desire I feel,
So long as I bring happiness to some other.
Not wanton waste of life, but holy use.
To live as would a child, in its cradle, unashamed.
For they who feel shame have not grown wise;
They have lost the purity of innocence!
To do whatsoever my Soul suggests,
And do it openly.
To know that Thought is greater than words.
That words are but the shining garments of Thought.
To know that Thought creates.
That it is greater than the thing it creates;
That it creates Love;
That it is higher than Love;
That it is holier than Love;
That Love is Thought's first-born.
Oh for the courage of Truth!
For the courage of honesty!
What beauteous nakedness in these!
Only man can blush.
No other creature knows of shame.
Why have we wandered so far away
From simple honesty?
Who taught us so much that is shameful?
Or, is it only our vain imaginings?
Yet, after all, God is not shocked
At anything he sees.
Or else, seeing, and feeling shame,
He would not tolerate what he sees.
To what extent shall I glory in my passions?
I glory not at all.
Nor do I reproach myself because of them.
I glory in normality;
In strength, and natural desire.
And when my soul calls on these,
They shall answer, and not shame me.
I believe in all that I am.
I believe in more than I am.
I believe in all that I should be,
Because Nature and God believe in me,
Therefore I am,
And, therefore, have I confidence!
Seeing I have been so honored,
Shall I have less respect for myself than God?
Shall I pervert and destroy?
Nay, rather I will conserve.
I will sacredly cherish.
Then shall I rejoice in my abundance.
I shall not know poverty.
What a conservator is God!
And, yet, the abundance withal!
The normal soul is ever rich.
Poverty of soul, or of mind, or of body
Is a crime.
Nature punishes every crime.
Her honesty forbids dishonesty.
How merciful is nature! How just!
Nature is very kind.
Nature and I are happy friends.
Now let me speak my mind to you.
One assertion of yourself, and you are born.
One fearless sentence, and you are strong.
One battle with your darling vice,
And you become a champion.
A knowledge of one fragment of Truth,
And you have entered heaven's kingdom.
One glance of purity at a human form,
And you are saved.
One cry to God, and the answer of the universe.
One feast of true love, and hunger no more.
He who strives for happiness is a fool.
The wise man makes happiness for another.
There is one forum to which all may go,
And be heard--the Mind.
One eager auditor--the Soul.
One kind old servitor--the Body.
There is more genius undiscovered,
Than genius to discover.
Not all of us shall have his song heard.
Some, who only rehearse the song here,
Shall sing it in triumph and honor
In Music's ultimate realms,
Before all the great singers of Time,
And before the King of Songs.
The blackest murder is the killing
Of the Soul's aspirations!
Ten thousand deaths do they inflict
Who strangle the ambition of the Soul!
Let the drawn curtains of the House of the Soul
Be parted. Others need the sight.
How sensitive is the Soul! The tenderest dove
Is an adventurer compared with it.
The Soul can hear the violets grow!
It can hear the throbbing heart of God!
Who would scotch my Soul?
Who would make me afraid of myself?
Is a man ashamed when he bathes?
Of what should he be ashamed?
Not of what he bathes,
But of what he does not bathe.
Tears are the Soul's baptism of cleansing.
Describe a smile, and you deserve immortality;
The pleasure of a kiss,
And you deserve them all;
The value of a tear,
And you have knowledge like unto God's!
Love is the sweetest, yet the saddest thing.
The portal of the heart is emotion.
Motion and emotion are kin.
I sob over colors as some men over music.
Music is the highest expression of any art.
All art resolves itself at last into music.
All life seeks harmony.
Love is the Soul's exquisite vibrations,
Slow or rapid, sad or gay.
Love is the Soul at song.
All sense must have feeling, focus, form.
The highest form is harmony.
The fine art of Life is to make
Another Soul vibrate with a song of joy.
Technique is as elastic as Mind.
Perfection is as fixed as Divine Will.
The azure is alive with motion.
The Soul is most alive
When stirred by emotion.
The message is the thing!
Oh to sing my song that is bursting my heart!
To sing it, and let others sing it, too,
Until such time as their own songs
Shall break the chrysalis that binds them,
And, on the lightest-feathered wings,
Go unto God who sings a deathless song.
Who would not journey thus?
And with my song liberated,
Go sauntering on to willing ears,
Enter in, and be at home,
Because of kindred life.
A vesper bell shall toll for the Soul.
Oh, take me, you who love sincerity and truth!
Take me, and embrace me. Kiss me!
I am but a traveler from the sky.
Home! Home! I journey to the only home I know.
The only heaven that I care to know.
There all is love. There all receive all.
Suspicion cannot flourish there,
Nor hate breathe one single gasp of life.
Let me begin to undress my Soul before you.
It is as pure as thought.
It is as sweet as jessamine.
It is as melancholy as sorrow.
It is as merry as joy.
It is as clean as the running water
In a cress-fringed brook.
It is as warm as the human breath.
It is as open as the eye.
Yea, it is as clear, too.
It is as tender as love.
It is as yielding as the flesh.
It is as modest as the dew.
It is as chaste as falling snow.
It is as true as the stars.
It is as old as God, Himself.
It is as young as life.
It is as far removed from malice
As is death itself.
Lo, it lies white and waiting!
Waiting what? Waiting whom?
Waiting expression;
Waiting the one who can interpret it;
Waiting the one who needs it;
Waiting the eternal purpose for which it came.
Who knows its throbbing tenderness? Who cares?
Oh the pity of onlooking disinterestedness!
Oh the pain of unrequited hope!
I stand in the presence of the Eternal!
I am not afraid. He made me thus.
He admits me to His sacred places.
He scorns me not;
Oh men, men, why have ye scorned?
Lo, some day we shall be striding together
Through the infinite worlds!
And you? I shall be helping you to the heights
That have been revealed to me through fearless thought.
I will unlock for you the iron doors of Truth.
You shall see all I see,
And seeing, be no more afraid than I.
And you will love me for my very nakedness,
Just as you will love Truth.
Oh, love me now! I hunger so.
Let me be naked awhile before the holiest thing.
For nothing can harm me, but myself.
See, I am refreshed!
The shower sends its silver arrows
Into my warm flesh.
I am not afraid. I am renewed.
My Soul lives many lives.
Each life a thought, each thought a life.
I am but Thought.
See, now, how you would revile!
Revile me then. I shall hear you not.
A sexual blunder would you make of me!
Will God have need to breed thought
In dying protoplasm?
Thought is not born of flesh,
And needs not flesh to live.
It enters, only, into flesh as would light,
Or more potent still, as love.
I pass into flesh. I am light.
Oh, let me shine in the dark flesh of eagerness!
Let me enter into the bosom of ignorance
And split it with my golden radiance!
The Soul's dreams are titanic, not satanic.
Let me kiss Truth once more!
Let me taste the bliss of wedlock with Truth!
I would breed thoughts, but not in flesh;
For they would be but dead, and deadly things.
I would suffice for myself,
And then for all who need me.
I make no cross. It is already made for me.
How gladly do I climb the Hill of the Skull
To die for Truth, since Truth has lived for me!
For death is but a passing phase of Life;
A change of dress, a disrobing;
A birth into the unborn again;
A commencing where we ended;
A starting where we stopped to rest;
A crossroad of Eternity;
A giving up of something, to possess all things.
The end of the unreal, the beginning of the real;
Not cessation, but continuance;
Not exit, but entrance;
Not destruction, but life;
How wise the plan of death!
Death sanctifies everything;
Forgives everything; understands everything.
There is light in the darkest room.
There is light in the blackest night.
There is light in the tomb.
There is hope in the darkest hour.
There is hope in the blackest heart.
There is hope in the dead.
How rhapsodical is the Song of the Soul!
It cannot bide restraint or measure.
Sweeter than melody, loftier than harmony,
It is music itself!
Come, naked Soul, be never dressed again.
Go in unto God, more naked still,
And fear no evil, for He knoweth none.
Into His presence come, and talk of Life--
Your life of broken song.
What notes of joy He will supply!
He will not rob me of my Soul.
My Song, my Hope, nor destroy aught.
He will share His matchless Home with me.
And why not?
Did he not grant me here a Palace
In which to dwell, and shall I doubt
The value of a Soul to Him
Who found it worthy of a first solicitude,
And then a constant care?
Would He deny me now, when face to face?
Alone with God! How shall I further speak?
I seem to feel the hush of Time,
The end of mortal things.
A thrill, unknown before, possesses me.
How near to God I seem!
Some larger purpose holds my view.
I thought to stay here,
Resigned, contented, all alive.
Oh bliss of fuller life!
Oh the sublime gestures of the Soul!
My nakedness to me is very sweet!

Return me if thou wilt, O God,
To earth, or commend me to
Some other sphere if destiny speak so.
I feel the thrill of an eternal plan.
Lo, nothing is lost, not even Time that ceased!
It was the marker, Truth required for this day.
How sweet to be with Truth!
And, yet, still sweeter is it to be Truth, itself! - poetry by Edwin Leibfreed

Rumi Poetry

November 20th, 2015

Ghazal 119

I dont need
a companion who is
nasty sad and sour
the one who is
like a grave
dark depressing and bitter
a sweetheart is a mirror
a friend a delicious cake
it isnt worth spending
an hour with anyone else
a companion who is
in love only with the self
has five distinct characters
stone hearted
unsure of every step
lazy and disinterested
keeping a poisonous face
the more this companion waits around
the more bitter everything will get
just like a vinegar
getting more sour with time
enough is said about
sour and bitter faces
a heart filled with desire for
sweetness and tender souls
must not waste itself with unsavory matters

- Rumi. Translated by Nader Khalili. Rumi, Fountain of Fire Cal-Earth, September 1994

Tags Keywords Algorithm

November 15th, 2015

. 'ae . . on our AW site we cannot see the keywords . there is no field for tags at all . .
. on FAA we can . .

It seems Sean has moved/migrated our keywords from beneath our images to the bottom of the page not too long ago and now again they have been moved and designated to the lower right side beneath our stats . . plus he has limited the display to 10 tags on our FAA gallery . I do like many of the changes and improvements on the site . . . but I have some questions . . . .

On the subject of our tags on FAA we see 10 tags and may choose to click on "See All" but it isn't really see all . .
For most of my images have between 450 - 500 keywords embedded within the meta data . .
Yet beneath each of my images there is a variable number of tags displayed when clicking on "See All" . . .

To optimize our meta description and meta keyword tags for Google search results many of us choose them carefully and embed them within our meta data before publishing . . and they are included in autofill when we upload them . . so whether or not they are actually working or have been "boosted" or are effectively rendered useless is a mystery . . .
It is true . yes . . that someone chooses whose keywords are active . . or not?
Ultimately Sean chooses which images rise to the top . . . .

When clicking on "See All" some images show 40 tags . some 43 . some 50 . one displayed 52 . some show 47 . . . so it isn't actually displaying ALL the tags . . only a portion of them . . and it isn't consistent .

I've been extensively researching this subject and thought I would share the results with you .. .

This quote is interesting to note . .
Quote from Official Google Webmaster Central Blog:

"Q: Does Google ever use the "keywords" meta tag in its web search ranking?
A: In a word, no. Google does sell a Google Search Appliance, and that product has the ability to match meta tags, which could include the keywords meta tag. But that's an enterprise search appliance that is completely separate from our main web search. Our web search (the well-known search at that hundreds of millions of people use each day) disregards keyword metatags completely. They simply don't have any effect in our search ranking at present.

Q: Why doesn't Google use the keywords meta tag?
A: About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called "off-page" factors such as the links pointing to a web page. In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.

Q: Does this mean that Google ignores all meta tags?
A: No, Google does support several other meta tags. This meta tags page documents more info on several meta tags that we do use. For example, we do sometimes use the "description" meta tag as the text for our search results snippets, as this screenshot shows:

Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don't use the description meta tag in our ranking.

Q: Does this mean that Google will always ignore the keywords meta tag?
A: It's possible that Google could use this information in the future, but it's unlikely. Google has ignored the keywords meta tag for years and currently we see no need to change that policy.

Posted by Matt Cutts, Search Quality Team
end quote

Here is another interesting discussion on the topic . .

quote: "What about ranking better with the tag. I mentioned already that many experienced SEOs dont find it useful. Believe me, if just putting a single word into that tag was going to rank your page better, everyone would be doing it. Instead, search for anything on Yahoo or Ask. Youll see plenty of pages ranking well for words without those words appearing in the meta keywords tag. And if you do see the words in the tag, its more due to coincidence the words also appear in the body copy, in the title tag and often in links pointing at the page. The words in the meta keywords tag arent the primary reason the page is ranking well. Promise.

Back to our Basset Hound example. Sure, you can add the correct spelling to your meta keywords tag. Go ahead, if you want. Just understand that it is not likely to make you rank any better than if you didnt include it at all. Moreover, beginners are especially likely to spend far too long worrying about getting the right words in the meta keywords tag rather than just writing good body copy."

"Other Uses - I mentioned that misspellings were a key use for the tag. You could also use it for synonyms. For example, if you have a page all about shoes and you never say footwear, you could put that word in your tag. However, its far better if you just find a way to make use of the word in the body copy itself. That text is retrieved by all the major search engines, not just some.

Aside from synonyms, perhaps you have a page thats all Flash or all images. Use the meta keywords tag to describe the page. Just remember that youre still not likely to rank better than other pages that have textual information. Search engines are textual creatures. Give them what they want."
end quote . .

Sep 5, 2007 at 7:42pm ET by Danny Sullivan
begin quote:
The W3C has guidelines (and here) in HTML 4.0 about meta data and search engines, while the XHTML specs dont get into it at all. Ignore the specs.
"Define the document language
In the global context of the Web it is important to know which human language a page was written in. This is discussed in the section on language information.
Specify language variants of this document"

Provide keywords and descriptions
"Some indexing engines look for META elements that define a comma-separated list of keywords/phrases, or that give a short description. Search engines may present these keywords as the result of a search. The value of the name attribute sought by a search engine is not defined by this specification."

"A common use for META is to specify keywords that a search engine may use to improve the quality of search results. When several META elements provide language-dependent information about a document, search engines may filter on the lang attribute to display search results using the language preferences of the user."

Click on the link and read this page . it is informative . . . .

Yes it was quite some time ago . . but it is still relevant yes?

So . please enlighten and educate us Sean and give us the real scoop on the subject of tags . . . .
Are our tags really useful?
Are our Titles and Descriptions more important than our tags for our ranking in the search engine results?

More interesting information:


Google Pigeon Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal
Jul 24, 2014 at 8:07pm ET by Barry Schwartz

Pigeon: Search Engine Lands Name For The New Google Local Search Update -

Googles Pigeon Update Solves Yelp Problem, Boosts Local Directories -

Google Search Designer Explains Why Some Features & Tools Get Axed -

Google Pigeon Local Search Algorithm Launches

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