Thursday, 10 December 2009
Back to experimenting with blur this week, as well as playing with some of the functionality Photoshop CS3 offers, after upgrading from CS2 - specifically the new black and white conversion method.
The theme of this jaunt into Colchester was supposed to be 'urban', but old habits die hard and when there's an old church to photograph, I become a moth to it's flame.
There are various themes or ideas running through this set - obviously movement, the hustle and bustle of the street, and the anonymity of crowds - but also a tilt into fantasy with 'neon' and the images of St. Botolph's. The final image of the cross, in particular, was intended to take on a cartoonish feel.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Some simple experimentations with Hollywood glamour from a bygone era. The lighting for these images primarily consisted of monoblocs with snoots, grids and barndoors attached. The last image was part of an experiment that still needs some work. I used an old slide projector to cast the shadow of the cat figurine on the grey seamless background; this wasn't ideal as the light from the projector wasn't very powerful. I tried the same with flash but it didn't produce such defined shapes, even with a snoot - probably the light bounced around to much off the shiny gobo. This meant relying on a slower shutter speed than I normally use for portrait sittings - again, not ideal since I prefer to avoid the tripod for such shoots. The lighting on the model had to be carefully arranged so as not to fall on the background or cast a sadow of the model on the background.
The model is the delightful Clara Sinclair. The background was going to be the shadow of some dried roses that I had kept intact for well over a year, but I tripped over them, and now they're potpourri. Ho hum.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
As autumn shivers towards winter, a brief jaunt to Wivenhoe Woods resulting in these shots of fungi. I'm not usually one for sentimentality, but these euagaric clusters looked quite snug and cosy nestled together around trees and stumps, so those were the elements I chose to concentrate on.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
This is an opportunist set and a (welcome?) break from impressionism - although there is still a theme of 'obscuring detail' running through the images.
Returning from a business breakfast, I noticed the dew-laden webs in the lavender running down the side of my garden, so grabbed the camera and snapped on a macro lens.
Little was done to these in post, apart from desaturation and contrast adjustments.
The question is, where's the spider? It's hiding there somewhere....
N.B. Some of these are best viewed at full size - just click on the image.
Here are some views of Wivenhoe that you won't see very often...
Playing with in-camera (and post-production) impressionist techniques once again, this time with a more avowedly fantastical goal.
This set could be subtitled 'pan and scan' as lateral movements and zooming were used rather than the vertical movements of the graveyard set.
Post involved some custom curves and some contrast shifts using 'apply image'. There was also some selective colouring and tinting using various layers.
Friday, 16 October 2009
My visit to this location was primarily a scouting trip. I was planning a shoot with a model in the near future, and wanted to double check that the features that first drew me to the spot some years ago were still there, and not washed away by the remorseless waves.
As the sun descended I stopped just snapping images for my shoot plan, grabbed the tripod and worked on some long-ish exposures. As with the graves, my thoughts were turning to impressionism, and depicting different aspects of the beach as changed from moment to moment with the encroaching tide. That said, my personal work rarely sets out to simply record a moment in time, rather each image becomes a representation of the fantasies a given scene conjures in my mind's eye.
In post, each of these images was desaturated and then toned with curves. I also spent time increasing and decreasing the contrast in different parts of the images, using curves, overlay layers and layer masking.
My second shoot with the wonderful Fracture took us to a beautiful location surprisingly close to central London. With these shots my focus in post-production was on saturation - boosting in LAB colour, and mixing partial with full desaturation. Discussions about LAB colour and the various desaturation techniques available in Photoshop can be found on my two main websites.
Over the years I've played with a number of different techniques designed to create a pictoral, impressionist effect. They include long exposures of moving subjects, vaseline smeared over a skylight filter, and various digital methods, including a digital stocking soft-focus filter. These images utilized vertical movements of the camera, as well as use of my home-grown digi stocking filter and some custom curves.