New Tools

When we fix images, as we do daily in the store (www.michaelwillemsphoto.com) sometimes it is easy – and sometimes we need a lot more effort. Like in this before/after example:

White balance isn’t enough – not even close. For these colours I needed to use Lightroom’s white balance, extensive HSL, and especially the new excellent “Color Grading” tool. If you haven’t needed it yet – you will. And then a coloured local adjustment brush to add some skin colour, quite often – this is an art as much as it is a craft and a science.

But then there’s also Photoshop to remove the small imperfections, and an AI-based de-noise tool to lower noise. (“AI” stands for “Artificial Intelligence” – it’s not the name “AL”…)

In the end, it is always worth it. Memories preserved. Because when the photos fade, the memory itself fades.

Kai Tak

A few photos I took at Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong, around 1985. These were slides, and they are well preserved. Still, of course after scanning I had to so some touchups and restoration.

The famous checker board:

Pretty steep tun at very low altitude. An adventure, landing at Kai Tak.

And the large aircraft were amazing. I was at the Hong Kong aviation club, at the foot of Rwy 13. I was learning to fly Cessnas at the time. And afterward we’d drink in the bar and see htis:

Anyone who has been there will recognize this – and feel the humidity, small the smells, and feel like they’re there again. That is the power of photography.

Click to see larger. Ektachrome; touched up with Lightroom and de-noised with Avast De-noise AI.

Deep Dreaming

Google DeepDream is the neural network technology Google developed to see what a deep neural network is seeing when it is looking in a given image. Now, the algorithm has become a new form of psychedelic and abstract art.

Often, the “dreams” are pretty disturbing. Like this pretty well known “Dog Spaghetti” image:

Scary, but then… that is the stuff dreams are made of, right?

And here’s one of mine – two images together, tulips and a frog, and how the AI, after crunching away at them for a while, makes sense of them:

Awesome, no?

You can read more about DeepDream here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeepDream.

Wall Art

As you may know, one of the things I sell in the store is Wall Art. Photos in many sizes that look great on walls, in other words. You can see some examples by clicking on https://michaelwillemsphoto.com/wall-art/. Here’s one:

And I recommend you give serious consideration to doing this as well – hand prints on your wall. Your own prints, or my prints, or anyone else’s prints: as long as you have decorative visual art that is on walls, not just on Facebook walls.

Here’s another example:

If you need help, ask. And you may, because sorting out print quality, paper types, sizes, frames. and so on can be a bit of a struggle. But we’re here to help.

One tip: as the two photos here show: don’t forget Black and White!

COVID Self-Portrait, Day 82: It’s Over. Now, The New Normal.

It has been an interesting journey. In many way, of course, it is not over, but the main disaster, the physical distancing and social isolation, and the closure of the shop, is now over. I am back in operation, ready to serve the citizens of Orléans and Ottawa as before. With, of course, some changes to ensure everyone’s safety. It certainly was a long 82 days.