The Daily Focal Point

November 4, 2008


Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:01 am

I give you the winner of week three and your photo of the week!

The Road

November 3, 2008


Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:01 am

November 2, 2008

Photoshop Tutorial

Filed under: Photoshop Layers, Photoshop Tutorials, Week Three — cabenelson @ 11:59 pm

I’ve wanted to walk through a Photoshop tutorial since I started this website 3 weeks ago. I finally found a good picture to run a tutorial on and frankly some time to detail it all out. I love Photoshop and it’s one of those tools where you can get into some pretty advanced stuff. For me, I keep it straight forward and simple.

For this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through how to combine a color photograph with a black and white photograph. Have you ever seen a black and white picture with color splashes and wonder how do they do that? Well here it is… *WARNING* I’m going to say this right now. I’m not a Photoshop Guru… There might be easier/faster ways of doing some of this stuff in Photoshop. But this is the way I do it and it gets the job done… ALRIGHT! LET’S DO THIS!

Step Number One: One of the harder things to do in this combination is identifying a photo that would be good in this process. You’ll need to find one that looks good in black and white as it is but has a colorful subject you want to emphasize. Excuse the Ginormous sizes to these but I want you to be able to see exactly what functions I’m using in Photoshop.

Open your photo in Photoshop (duh..)
Step 1 copy

Adjust your photo however you want (brightness/contrast, variations, levels etc.) Point is to get your photo as best looking as you can before you really start tweaking with it with multiple layers.
Step 2

Each time I focus on multiple layers and I try to explain it I start drooling and my eyes glaze over. But this is super simple. Just click on Layer>New>Layer via Copy. All this did is duplicate your photo and lay the new copy right on top of your old copy.
Step 3

For the next step, click on Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. All Hue and Saturation allows you to do is adjust either the TYPE of color (from red to blue) or the amount of color. This is where we’re going to make the new duplicate layer black and white.
step 4

Adjust the Saturation down to -100% What this will do is take your new duplicate layer and remove 100% of the color making it Black and White. (REMEMBER! You still have the original color photo underneath!) Step 5

Once this is done you’ll be looking at a black and white version of your photo. Since you still have the color version underneath your freshly new black and white version, all you need to do from here is erase the new layer, exposing the color layer underneath! To do this click on the ERASER tool- Step 6

Make sure your brush is solid and not feathered. The name of the game from here is a steady hand and a sharp eye. The last thing you want to do here is erase a part of the black and white version of your photo, exposing color in a spot where you don’t want it. Do as much as you can in a general way. Step 7

And then zoom in nice and tight to those pesky edges, adjust your brush size and make sure you have that steady hand! If you mess up, no big deal, just hit undo all you’re back at where you started.
Step 8

Zoom out and make sure you’ve got clean lines. Continue to erase any other parts of the photo you want to “pop” out with color.
Then… BOO YA!
Finished Product

You got yerself one dang artistic photograph.

November 1, 2008

The Road

Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 8:50 pm

The Road

Ouray Colorado is one of my favorite places. I started visiting when my family made a pit stop there when we moved from Texas to Utah. I’ve been back 8 times since then and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to take my wife there to show her how beautiful the area actually is. Having grown up in Utah and being in/around the Rocky Mountains for the majority of my life, I had become accustomed to the mountains, but Ouray is spectacular. Kim and I finally made our way back there for our “Baby Moon” before the madness hits. This photo brings me back there and I’ll have plenty more to follow of Ouray. If you’re looking for a place to visit and get a way, this is it. Trust me… you’ll be hooked.This photo also reminds me of my favorite book.

Look into both, you won’t be disappointed.

October 31, 2008


Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 3:12 pm

For today’s photos I thought I would post things that scare the crap out of Kim and I. Kim has an irrational fear of spiders and I have a underlying fear of horses… yes horses.


I like animals and I love dogs. I WANT to like horses but for some reason I still can’t get over it. I think it goes back to when my brother shot me with a toothpaste cap with his paint ball gun. (I usually blame everything on that)

When Kim spots a spider in the house she’ll do one of two things. She’ll either freeze up, go dead silent, and have huge saucer eyes while she tracks it on the wall. Or she’ll close her eyes and scream. The absolute worst happened about 5 months ago right before Kim and I went to bed. We walked into the bedroom and she started screaming. I looked up and saw a fat spider hanging on the wall just above her side of the bed. I knew that I had ONE CHANCE to get this spider, if not it would land on her side of the bed and I knew it would be the end of the world for Kim. To make it worse I had taken out my eyes contacts and couldn’t see a thing. I grabbed our little Dirt Duster Cone vacuum (yeah, I know bad choice) and took a deep breath. I flipped it on and made the quickest Jedi move possible. The air blowing out the side of the vacuum blew the spider off the wall even before I had the nozzle close enough and it landed on Kim’s pillow with a little “thud”. There was about .02 seconds of silence before Kim’s brain decided to process the horrible event. Then all hell broke loose… She spent the next 15 minutes ripping off the sheets and pillow cases. Her common phrase that I hear more than anything else is, “Cabe, WE NEED TO SPRAY” Meaning I need to spray for spiders outside…
So this one’s for you Kim. Happy Halloween honey!


October 30, 2008

Halloween Eve

Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:11 pm


To me, this photo just screams Halloween. I took this last year when Kim and I stayed up for the moon’s super rare lunar eclipse. It really was spectacular and I’m grateful I stayed up to view it. The funny part was  that it really wasn’t an eclipse, it turned the moon dark orangeish/red and it lasted for 30 mins. I’m telling you, I thought the world was gonna end… no joke. It really was something that I had never seen before and truly was “once in a lifetime”.

The trick in capturing this crazy event was to bring out the true colors of the moon without over exposing the picture or making the moon OR the surrounding stars blurry. It had to be a perfect combination of what I consider to be the four most important photography components. F-Stop, Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO Speed. For this photo I had to let in enough light to define the stars and the face of the moon as well as capture the color. This came into play with setting the aperture (the amount of light the camera brings in) at a 5 max and the shutter speed for 3.5 seconds. Having the shutter speed open for that long allows the photo details to be burned in. I tested it at 5 seconds and so on but the moon and stars would show up too blurry. It took about 7 shots to dial it down before I knew I couldn’t get it any more colorful without ruining it. If you have a camera that has manual settings and you’re shooting in automatic, IT’S TIME TO CHANGE. I had a good friend LUCKY RED HEN(she’s really amazing) poke fun at me last year when she found out I wasn’t getting outside of my comfort zone and steering away from the automatic mode on my Nikon D80. After that, I was determined to shoot only in manual (no matter how daunting) until I figured it out. It took some tweaking and lots of photos (Kim can vouch for that) until I started feeling comfortable with it. It really is worth it… I’ll post more later on how I weaned myself off the lazy man’s way of photography and started “shootin’ for reals”. Again, I don’t claim to know everything about photography, and when it comes to talking about specs I’m not a details guy. I’ll talk about how “it feels” or the “mood”, sissy stuff like that. You’ll notice that in reading this PLOG more. I like dealing with the ideas of things or how good it feels etc. I really do love my hobby.

October 29, 2008

Light Steps

Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:40 pm


In sticking with a “Halloween Theme” for the next few days I decided to go with this one. I took this one while I was roaming around a massive Catholic Church in Houston. I was at the end of this long hallway looking all the way down to the other side. I was shooting in Black and White 35mm and I just noticed the hallway lights looked like steps as your eyes scanned down the hall. I changed the Aperture on my old Nikon to only pick up the light sensitive areas. I adjusted the settings on the camera to absorb very little surrounding light, underexposing the photograph making it pitch black and to only bring out the bright areas of the picture. To be honest, it was a total shot in the dark! That’s the thing with 35mm; you never really know if you were successful or not with a shot until you actually develop the film. After I developed the negatives I was actually surprised with the outcome. If you take enough photos, you’re bound to have a good one.

October 28, 2008


Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:45 pm

Black and White Angel

I figured since we’re only a few days away from Halloween I would post some “freakier” pictures.

Similar photos but two completely different moods…


October 27, 2008

D to the P

Filed under: Week Three — cabenelson @ 10:42 pm

Dr Pepper

I Heart Dr. Pepper.
Honestly, if you can find a bottled DP ORDER IT! Even if it’s like $5 for a tiny little 8oz glass. It is so choice…

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