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Director : Kirk Jones.
Writer : Nia Vardalos.
Producer : Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson.
Release : March 23, 2016
Country : Canada, United States of America.
Production Company : Universal Pictures, Playtone, HBO Films, Gold Circle Films.
Language : English.
Runtime : 94 min.
Genre : Comedy.

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Movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ was released in March 23, 2016 in genre Comedy. Kirk Jones was directed this movie and starring by John Corbett. This movie tell story about The continuing adventures of the Portokalos family. A follow-up to the 2002 comedy, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

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Kentucky Derby Horses Work at Dawn at the Downs.

Derby Favoriate "I Want Revenge"

One thing is generally consistent with the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby…. Weather will come into play. And so was it today as a cold front danced its way through Louisville and destabilizing the air for the rest of the week with rain in the forecast.

The signature event today for the Kentucky Derby Festival was the “Run for the Rosé”, an event where people run trays of rosé wine around an obstacle course. The contestant with the most un-spilled wine at the end wins. The contest used to be local bartenders and servers, but its expanded to include teams from the local media, local colleges and universities, etc.

We didn’t go. It was raining and we didn’t feel like getting out in the bad weather. However, we made it to another event early in the morning just as the rain was beginning to arrive: Dawn at the Downs.

Dawn at the Downs 04

Dawn at the Downs is a free event (well you pay $5 to park!) and you can watch the horses during their morning workouts at Churchill Downs. This is a nice low pressure event and fans can get down to the rail to watch the horses up close. For many, who won’t be able to attend the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, this is their only chance to get to see these champion horses before they race for the Triple Crown.

We got a late start and missed the first group of horses to work. The sky was brooding with dark rolling and very watery clouds and they were moving toward us. The rains came, then they stopped, then they came, then they stopped, but the rains were not enough to stop the practice or stop the fans. Those that wanted to be dry could just move up under the covered area, those not minding the rain could stay by the rail.

Dawn at the Downs 01

The horses continued to work.

Eventually we go to see three Derby horses work, Papa Clem, Summer Bird and current betting favorite I Want Revenge.

The rains eventually came harder and with a pause in the action, we decided to leave as I had way too many photos to edit and process. I hope you enjoy these. Click on the photos to go to their Flickr page and then click on the “All Sizes” and “View Large” to see how well ripped these athletes are!

Dawn at the Downs 02

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Title : Furious 7
Release : 2015-04-01.
Language : English.
Runtime : 137 min.
Genre : Action.
Stars : Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster.

Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.

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Chasing the Great Balloon Race

balloonrace01The alarm went off promptly at 6:00am. Tired from another late night, Sherry and I rolled out of bed and made our way upstairs to the TV. High Winds have been a problem for ballooning all week and today’s winds were forecast to be over the safety threshold as well. Саман своими руками

Dancing around the dial of the four local TV stations in Louisville, we searched for a “Go/No Go” for the event. Good news, the race was on. However it was expected to be a short race with the winds expecting to pick up early in the race.

We headed out the door and made our way just outside the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center where the balloons were inflating on the East Lawn. We needed to get some gas and while we were pumping, the “Hare” balloon took off. The winds were projected to carry the balloons north over down town and into southern Indiana, but the winds were pushing the Hare north-east towards Shelby County along I-71.

balloonrace03-sm

A hot air balloon race isn’t about speed, its about accuracy. The race is played by launching a lead balloon, the “Hare”, first then a few minutes later all the “Chase” balloon’s head out hunting the hare. The hare balloon finds a field where it can land and puts a large X target on the ground. The hare balloon, piloted by last year’s winner, has to make sure the target location is safe for the balloons to descend and drop a bag of Kentucky Bluegrass seed at the target. Closest to the target wins. The target spot also has to provide the balloons a place to land after they make their drop attempt.watch full movie I Am Heath Ledger 2017

We headed down Preston Highway towards downtown. With the change in winds, and the hare balloon heading more east, we cut down Eastern Parkway before deciding we needed more speed, so we made our way back to the Watterson Expressway (I-264) and raced around Louisville to near where I-264 and I-71 meet. The hare balloon started heading down in a field behind a shopping center off of Brownsboro Road just past Anchorage.

We were following one of the official Kentucky Derby Festival vehicles until a red light at a left turn caught us. We found the shopping center as the chase balloons were starting to make their drop attempts. We found a road that looked like it would lead us behind the shopping center, but instead it took us further out towards some open farms. Dozens of vehicles were following along, each trying to figure out just where to go.

Frustration set in as we tried one way, then it appeared to be the wrong way, so we turned around to go back only to see more of the team’s chase vehicles going where we just came from. They didn’t have a clue either. Finally we decided to follow a group of three chase teams and the caravan of traffic with them. We came to a field where seven or eight balloons had landed and was probably near the drop point, but by that time, the balloons were down and the pilots and crew were already packing up waiting on the trucks to show up.

It was a lot of fun until the final 20 minutes of changing directions in the middle of some wooded wilderness.

Part of today’s expedition was to photograph horses so we headed back to that farm and photographed the horses for a few minutes.

Derby Week Day 2 — Family Time

Today was filled with frustration, though we did have some successes.focuz.ru

Today was to be “The Great Balloon Race”. The alarm went off at 6:00am. We actually got to “sleep in” since we were not going to the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center to watch the takeoff, but instead going to wait along the projected path to chase the balloons to their destination. Mother Nature scrubbed the race due to high winds. A second attempt later in the day would also be scrubbed as the winds did not abate.

Instead of going back to sleep like sane people would, in particular after having stayed up late the night before following the Balloon Glow, we enjoyed breakfast with my wife’s family. Sherry instead decided that we needed to go shopping to try and find our “Derby Shirts”.

So we headed out to the Mall at St. Matthews to find a “Taste of Kentucky” store. Along the way we passed a “Yard Sale” though a big sign said it was a “Honey Moon Fundraiser”. While I can’t disclose what we got, since they are gifts, we scored big on two gifts, one at the yard sale and another at the mall. We also found a “Sheldon Shirt Folder”, the same shirt folder that Sheldon uses on “Big Bang Theory” a CBS sit-com.

We felt the day was off to a good start.

We returned home to the sounds of kids as two of her nephews and a niece had arrived to visit. Today ended up being family day more than Derby event day. She also got to spend some time with another niece as well.

I did some nature photography around the yard and spent some time getting pics of the kids. All and all, it was a fairly light day. But the frustrations continued as we found out the afternoon race had been scrubbed.

Earlier while at the “Taste of Kentucky” store, I saw a photo of the Louisville skyline. The last time we were here a few years ago, I tried to get a good shot, but the weather wasn’t cooperating, but today was a beautiful day.

After dinner, Sherry and I headed out to try and find the Derby shirts we wanted. We stopped at Mejier’s and the Liquor Barn, two of the event sponsors and had no luck finding the shirts we wanted.

We trucked down town to a small Clarksville Indiana park on the riverfront and worked on the skyline until I had something I liked. We stopped by Walmart in a last ditch effort for the day to find the shirts — FAIL.

All and all, it was a good day to spend time with the family and we landed two really good gifts. So through the frustrations, it was a successful day.

Tomorrow, we go hunting horses and spend time with my family.

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Director : Martin Provost.
Writer : Martin Provost.
Release : March 22, 2017
Country : Belgium, France.
Production Company : France 3 Cinéma, Curiosa Films.
Language : Français.
Runtime : 117 min.
Genre : Comedy, Drama.

Movie ‘The Midwife’ was released in March 22, 2017 in genre Comedy. Martin Provost was directed this movie and starring by Catherine Frot. This movie tell story about Claire is a midwife and has devoted her life to others. At a moment when she is preoccupied by the imminent closure of the maternity clinic where she works, her life is further turned upside down when Béatrice, her father’s former mistress, turns up on the scene. Béatrice is a capricious and selfish woman, Claire’s exact opposite.

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Director : Dean Israelite.
Producer : Brian Casentini, Roberto Orci, Haim Saban, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen.
Release : March 23, 2017
Country : United States of America, Canada.
Production Company : Lionsgate, Saban Brands.
Language : English.
Runtime : 124
Genre : Action, Adventure, Science Fiction.

‘Power Rangers’ is a movie genre Action, was released in March 23, 2017. Dean Israelite was directed this movie and starring by Dacre Montgomery. This movie tell story about Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

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Stars : Tom Sizemore, Sarah Habel, Dominic Monaghan, Phil Austin, Tony Doupe, Jennifer Spriggs.

In the near future, when communications go offline at a remote nuclear power plant isolated in the desert, a young safety inspector, Abby Dixon, is forced to fly out to bring them back online. Once inside the facility, mysterious clues and strange behaviors cause Abby to have doubts about the sanity, and perhaps identities, of the two employees onsite.

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I Heart Faces Fix-it-Friday

The wonderful folks at I Heart Faces has a weekly feature called Fix-it-Friday. Its a great opportunity to work on your post-processing skills and show off what you can do making a photo better.

The Original Photo

The Original Photo

This week’s photo is pretty good as is. The “Rule of Thirds” was followed. It’s making use of an interesting frame. Its well exposed given that its shot in shadows with a bright sunny background. Its sharp and most importantly, the subject has an interesting expression.

But it can be made better.

The first thing at issue in this case is the “Rule of Thirds”. There are some cases where it does not fit and this is one of those. No one rule fits every photo. In this case, I’ve got two reasons why I’m going to break that rule for this photo. First, the subject’s expression gets lost in the wider shot. This isn’t a photo of the landscape, its a photo of the child.

Secondly, we have a great “frame” to use. When you have a frame you generally want to balance your subject in the frame. In this case, all the extra rock becomes negative space, so:

Step 1: Crop

Now there are a lot of differing philosophies on cropping. Some photographers will crop to the optimum shape regardless of the shape of the photo. Maybe it should be square or a tall-skinny panoramic crop. Regardless the balance of things in the photo is the deciding factor.

Cropped to 5x7 shape

Cropped to 5×7 shape

The other way of cropping is to consider your output. Now for uploading a photo to a web site or a sharing site like Flickr you don’t need to think about this and the “Crop for optimal” works. But what if your going to print this photo? Well you have to think about the final display. Is this going into a 4×6 metal frame on your desk? Is it going to be matted and hung on a wall? Both require different crops and both can cause you to leave space that is less than optimal.

If your cropping for print, what size to you crop to? 4×6 is longer, skinnier photo than an 8×10 is. The 4×6 is 1.5 times longer than it is wide, the 8×10 is only 1.25 times longer. Then you have 5×7 which is in between.

For safety, cropping to 4×6 will always allow you to crop shorter, but to do so, means you have to have some negative space to crop out. So in some aspects, thinking about an 8×10 crop, but leaving enough space for a 4×6 will let you crop to any size, but you have to be willing to leave extra space at the top and bottom.

There is no right answer here, but its something to think about. I went for a 5×7 for this photo since it also was fairly optimal.

Its shaping up, but the contrast is a little flat and could use a little pop.

Step 2. Color Balance, Equalize, Add Contrast.

Color Corrected and Contrast added

Color Corrected and Contrast added

I also wanted to check the white balance and do a little touch up there. Using a simple white balance color adjustment and equalization, our image now has a little bit of pop.

This technique allowed me to remove just a touch of red cast in the original photo. Secondly, the histogram for the photo showed that there wasn’t any blacks in the photo. Its slightly over exposed (probably less than 1/3 stop). As part of the color correction step, the last step adjusts the black point which gives us richer shadows. Now the zipper is closer to black than grey and the other dark areas are richer.

That one step improved the photo considerably. But it still needs a little more contrast, so using the “Curves” Tool (CTRL-M or Apple-M) I applied a slight “S” curve to the combined RGB channel.

You could quit here and be very happy with the photo, but the frame is still pretty bright and following the advice of my first photography instructor, I chose to:

An S curve makes the shadows a bit darker and the lighter tones a bit lighter.

An S curve makes the shadows a bit darker and the lighter tones a bit lighter.

Step 3. Burn in the edges giving the photo a slight vignette.

Using a large brush soft brush (about the size of a quarter when the photo is at a “Fit to Screen” magnification) and the Burn tool set to “Mid-tones” and 12-14%, I gently went over the four corners, the edges working in towards the subject. Its easy to over do it, so I like a low percentage value so I can gradually add darker tones. If you mess up, use your undo to back up as needed.

Step 4. Selective Desaturation (optional)

This photo is about the kids expression. I could do various effects like Black and White, Urban Acid, Glow effects and so on. But I think anything would take away from the expression. About the only thing I would do is maybe continue to separate him from the background.

So far, I’ve applied my Curves and Layers using “Adjustment Layers”. Instead of changing the base image, we can apply these tools to their own layers. They do not increase the size of the file by much and you can come back later and change them if your taste changes. Adjustment Layers can also make use of masks.

A little vignetting with the Burn Tool

A little vignetting with the Burn Tool

If we think of layers as pieces of paper stacked on top of each other, the top sheet will hide the lower sheets. The only way to see the lower layers is to cut holes in the top layer. Thats what layer masks do, they allow you to make holes to let the lower levels show through.

I applied a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top of the background layer and set the saturation to -100 (Black and White). Then clicking on the white block in the middle of the layer palette for the Hue/Saturation layer, I used a large soft “Paint” brush with black as the color and painted the subject in. Of course I made mistakes, coloring outside the lines, so to speak. But by switching to a smaller brush and painting in white, I went back and painted over the mistakes. I continued using smaller and smaller brushes, switching between black and white until the child was in color, the rest of the photo was in black and white.

I did not want to leave the photo B&W with bright colors, I only wanted to fade the background colors a bit. I needed to get back to the Hue/Saturation/Lightness tool for that layer and bring some color back. By double clicking on the block on the left side of the layer palette for that layer, you are brought back to that adjustment tool at its current settings. I played with a few varying saturations and decided that -50% was the best.

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Step 5. Blurring the background.

Now time to play a bit further. The background is a bit too much in focus, so I want to blur it a little. Of course, I don’t want the rocks, the ground or the subject defocused. I also have the ground texture that needs to fade a bit instead of just a hard blurred line.

For this, I selected the background layer and then I used the “Quick Mask” tool. This tool lets you apply masks to a regular layer and when your done creating the mask, you are left with a “Selection” that you can then work with just that area.

With Black as the background color and white as the foreground, click on the Quick Mask button and hit the Backspace key. This causes whole mask to fill with black, the background color. Which in effect selects the entire photo. Your photo will turn red and it will look like you’re looking through a red filter. What is in red is selected.

Now with a medium-to-large soft brush and white as the color paint out the parts you do not want selected. In this case, the subject the foreground “ground” and the framing rocks I wanted to keep, so I used the white brush. The regular photo colors come back in these keep areas (we are actually deselecting this from what we will eventually blur!!!).

Like working with any mask, you start with large brushes and then work with progressively smaller brushes, flipping back and forth between black and white to get just the right area selected.

Now with masks, in particular with large soft brushes, you will have some areas that are only partially painted so with a really big soft brush painting in white I clicked over the ground area to the subject’s right giving a gradient from black to white (red to clear in the mask).

To get out of quick mask mode and get your selection, you click the Quick Mask button again and you will see your marching ants marquee roughly selecting the area. Its “roughly” showing you the area because the marching ants can’t show the gradients between black and white.

Here comes the fun. You could at this point apply a blur filter, but that would actually affect the background layer and if you want to refine things more, you need yet another layer. So using the selection, I used CTRL-C (Apple-C) to copy what is in the selection, then CTRL-V (Apple-V) to paste it back in, creating a new layer. This new layer will just have the background area to be blurred.

You can blur this however you want. I used a Lens Blur, Octagon Shape, 5 Radius. It wasn’t enough so I re-applied the filter (Ctrl-F or Apple-F) several times until I had the right amount of blur. In doing so I found there was some area where my subject was still being blurred, so I used the eraser tool on the blur layer to apply a little touch up.

Step 6. Save and Publish.

The final result

The final result

Rob’s Rapid Photoshop Color Correction Technique

Of course I can’t take credit for this. I learned it from another photographer and I know others who use it as well.ir-leasing.ru

The best way to color correct is of course to use a calibrated monitor, color management, but for many, color management is overly complex. Since we don’t all have calibrated monitors and all our viewers won’t have managed systems anyway, we need to know how to color correct “By the Numbers”.

Color correction “By the Numbers” is a common practice used by image technicians who prepare images for four-color print systems that you see for newspapers and magazines. The inks and papers may vary from run-to-run or from day-to-day. They use a technique of using levels and curves to make sure the image calls for the right amount of inks by sampling areas of the image and working the color channels until they get certain numbers, for example they adjust until skin tones are a certain mix of Cyan, Yellow and Magenta.

Well we can do a similar process for our images. Since most of you are probably outputting photos for web use, or printing at mini-labs, if we are to avoid color management, we need to work in the sRGB color space. Most camera’s will default to sRGB and for those that can use other color spaces, like Adobe RGB, set it to sRGB then set Photoshop (or your image editing tool) to use sRGB and you will have the best bet of having your colors consistent through your whole workflow.

Now most pro’s will not use sRGB since it has a limited color range, but these same pro’s are working with color management. If you want maximum performance, sRGB won’t be for you. Think of hese different color management workflows as the difference between music on a CD and music on vinyl. Most people think CD sound is clearer, though there is a loss of information. For some, vinyl provides a more rich sound, despite the static and noise. sRGB is like the CD, Adobe RGB and Color Management is the vinyl.

This technique works well under most circumstances. Where it becomes problematic is when either you’ve overexposed the photo where there are blowouts or where there isn’t anything “white” in the photo. The technique can be used for these, but you have to be careful. But for this tutorial we are going to keep it simple and assume we have whites to work with.

In our example photo above, we have a photo with a yellow cast to it. There are several candidates for white. The boards should be white. The ice of course should be white and there are several white targets in the two different uniforms. The camera was set to Auto White Balance and under arena lights, things can get off from frame to frame.

To do a quick color correct, use the “Levels” tool. You can bring this up by pressing CTRL-L on a PC or Apple-L on a Mac. Its also under the menu as “Image->Adjustments->Levels”. If you want to do an adjustment level you can as well.

This tool has several things we need to pay attention to. First, at the top of the dialog is a drop-down selector that defaults to RGB. This means that any changes you make will affect all three color channels, Red, Green and Blue the same. This is good if you just want to correct exposure but it won’t remove any color cast.download full film iBoy

This tool can also work on each channel individually. You can select the Red channel, make adjustments, select the Green channel, make adjustments, then work on the Blue channel. This is what we are going to do.

The next important part of this dialog is the Histogram. It represents the range of tones in the image. The far left edge of the block represents 0, or the darkest possible values, the right side represents 255 or the brightest values.

An well exposed photo of an average scene will have a nice “bell” shaped curve, with the top of the curve at the center and the curves tapering off to the bottom at the left and right edges. If you see the bulk of the curve on the left side of center, its probably underexposed (which may be what you intended or a natural dark background). Generally if its to the right its over exposed.

Below the histogram curve are three small triangle / drop shaped icons. One is black on the left, one is gray in the middle and one is white on the right. These droppers can be grabbed by your mouse and moved to adjust the tones.

The quick color correct method involves going to the Red channel and sliding the white point dropper left until it meets the point where the histogram bottoms out on the left side. If the histogram touches the left side or spikes back up, leave this channel alone and visit the green channel using the select at the top. You can also use the short cuts of CTRL-1 (red), CTRL-2 (green), CTRL-3 (blue) and CTRL-~ (RGB combined) to quickly move between the channels.

Repeat the process on the green channel, moving the white point left. Then take care of the blue channel. If the photo has a color shift, then you should notice the shape of the histograms will be different for each channel. When its done, the three channel histograms should be similar.

If your photo has specular highlights (like reflections on chrome) there will be a spike at the left/white edge. Since these points are blown out (and are supposed to be), its okay to move the white point past them to the real point where the tones bottom out since they will still be blown out.

After you visit each color channel adjusting the white points, then go back to the combined RGB channel (CTRL-~ or Apple-~) and bring the black point in until it touches the bottom out point on the left side. This will add contrast to the photo (if that’s desired).

Since you’re not looking at the actual colors on the screen, but the values of the histogram, you get reasonably accurate colors even on an un-calibrated monitor. If there are no whites, this won’t work.

If you have Photoshop CS3 or later, an additional tool you can use with levels is to hold down the ALT key while sliding the droppers. The photo will turn black and as soon as you seen any spots of color (it will be red color while on the red channel, green on the green channel etc.) then adjust it to the point where you’re on the border of color spots and no color spots. This will be a little more accurate than just using the histogram.

Click “Okay” when done and voila!