The Woman In Yellow


While walking along the banks of the famous Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, you cannot miss the Temple Of The Jade Mountain which resides on an islet in the lake. The bridge that connects the main land to this islet is the Welcoming Morning Sunlight Bridge (Cầu Thê Húc) bridge. The bridge, a wooden brightly coloured red one, forms a very picturesque backdrop from any photography enthusiast. Continue reading

#Take52 Week 5: Against

Last week I finally succumbed to my inner voice and subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service. The service gives you access (for a monthly fee either paid upfront for the year or deducted on a monthly basis) to Adobe’s Lightroom, Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop applications. Although I had already purchased the single license for Lightroom, the subscription service became paramount after I received my birthday gift last week, a brand new MacBook Air! Now I can use Adobe’s applications between my desktop (Mac Mini) as well as my mobile devices (iPad and MacBook).

The reason I mentioned this is because my image for this week’s assignment is my virgin attempt at using Photoshop. Yes! Finally I am on board the much despised Photoshop bandwagon and I have to say, I am simply blown away! The types and levels of image manipulation possible within Photoshop are simply mind boggling! I’m sure i’ll need another lifetime to learn every one of them, but I certainly will be learning as much as I can to make the most of my photos moving forward.

Coming back to the image I shot (and edited!).My first thought was to take a shot of a rising fist which seems to be the universal symbol of striking “against” the establishment. You can do a quick image search on Google for the word Against and you’ll see numerous variations of “The Fist”. However I wasn’t too sure whether I would be able to get the lighting right and so I abandoned that perspective.

My next thought was to use props and convey the theme through action figures. I chose the scale model Batman action figure (another birthday present!) to depict Heroes against crime and shot this image with an overexposed background.


Of course the image felt a tad dull with just the action figure in focus. So I decided to spice it up a bit using my newly acquired Photoshop software. Thanks to this great video by Terry White I got a basic primer on the commonly used tools within Photoshop. I decided to use layers to add a background to my original image. Instead of scouring through my image database (I am still in the process of tagging and organising the 20k plus images) I chose an appropriate stock image from the site freeimages.

I won’t go into the specifics of what I did within Photoshop because quite frankly I was simply following instructions from Terry’s video. In a nutshell though, using layers and blending I ended up with the image that would become my submission for this week’s assignment – “Hero Against Crime”
Week 5: Against

Technical Specifications (My Image):

  • Camera: Fujifilm X-E2
  • Lens: XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
  • Aperture: f/6.4
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter Speed: 1/180
  • Focal Length: 27.7mm

It’s not the best example of Photoshop usage since it’s my maiden attempt. But I’m certain I will leverage Photoshop to achieve some pretty unique compositions that were nearly impossible for me to attempt before.

Until next week.