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All that is old is actually …not!!

10 May

Photoshop, lets face it photoshop is a form of entertainment in itself.

In this day and age of reality TV about singers, obesity, renovation and cooking, its nice to actually see some real creativity.

Yes, I can here the opponents screaming derision, ” how do you know the photo is real”, short answer …..you don’t.

I for one was one the biggest nay sayers when it came to photography and photoshop, however now I am seeing it in a different light.

Now I see it as merely another tool to get the job done, and no I am not talking about complete image rebuild, just a tweak here and there in the main.

Some images require a goodly amount of conversion to make them fit the brief, this can also be because of weather or poor camera technique.

I confess that i am no photoshop guru, but boy’o’boy it is great fun.

 

 

 

 

Colour shines through………….(with a little help!)

29 Jan

I took the kids for a drive to the north end of the Gold Coast today, just to get them out the house if nothing else. Low and behold the rain held off and we managed a walk and the kids had a play.

It was still overcast and grey but I couldn’t help but take a few shots…you know how it is, a camera is no good in the cupboard and with digital you can always delete at no cost.

When I put the images on the Mac at home there was something missing…colour!

Now I don’t have one of the HDR programs that are available not because I don’t like HDR, it just that I would hardly ever use it and therefore I can use the money to buy my son yet another pair of larger shoe’s.

I fiddled for a while in Camera Raw and these are the results, remember they are just a bit of fun!

Warm days by the sea………

10 Jan

It’s pretty warm on the coast at the moment, so I thought this image which I took last year was kind of appropriate.

Photoshop……so much for so little

10 Jan

In the old days developing film was done in labs or bedrooms converted to labs (different to the labs found in houses today..lol) with all sorts of chemicals, dishes and containers. There was a sort of magical alchemy about the whole process and as the film developed you would see the result of all this effort, probably shot days earlier and with no chance of repeating the image. It was exciting, frustrating, joyous and disappointing all at the same time. When people came to the house they had that look on their faces that said “wow, he knows those secrets..clever”.

Well, it’s all gone now, except for a few studios with shipping containers full of cheap stock, enthusiasts, and a some arty studios that keep the magic alive. For the rest of use digital has meant instant review and if necessary reshoot and processing at the workstation without the need for a sink, tongs or rubber gloves ( there are some that miss the rubber gloves ?? ).

Photoshop has enabled even children to process digital images to a high standard and the presets embedded in all versions provide quick and easy ways to lift an image. Even professionals use some of the presets or purchase actions that are applied in less time that it takes to make a coffee.

Sometimes I miss the old ways, but then I remember the cost, the clean up so on and so on, and realise that as much as it seemed so very cool in those days, the digital darkroom is so much for so little.

The following image was converted from a full colour shot to this ” in vogue ” sepia tone with five key strokes which took about 30 seconds.

Fairies in the forest……..

23 Oct

I had the pleasure of working with Shay, a young model with great attitude and ability, on a fairies in the forest themed shot. I always think to myself that a lot of these style of shoots are at best cliché, and more often than not just plain bad, so it was with a far bit of trepidation that I undertook this project. But as I worked through the logistics’ of the concept, it occurred to me that I was stepping out of the comfort zone yet again. No air-conditioned, light controlled studio environment, oh no gentle reader, this was location at its worst time. Almost midday on a very typical sunny Gold Coast day, what clouds there were took one look at the Nikon D700 and floated away south over the border leaving me with full sun and incredibly hard reflections. We set up under the most substantial corpse of trees we could find, and proceeded to erect and test the four speedlights, triggers, gels, diffusers and got down to establishing our settings, etc.

Of course the make up and hair stylist knew I would need a little extra time to get the test shots and waited just long enough to bring the model to the set, we proceeded to place her into the pre-tested location and bingo…..second shot of the day and there were smiles all round. The moral, know your gear, be able to produce results regardless of the conditions and be ready to work. When todays client said when will the images be ready, a look of amazement crossed her face when I replied tomorrow. Here’s the key, test shots to establish settings, compose in the camera and only take enough images to satisfy the brief. Once loaded into the digital darkroom of your choice, your time to complete the project will be reduced greatly. A previous AIPP POTY winner said anything more than a minute or two in post production per image is too long…Bravo!!

Now the following image did take a little longer than a minute or two to process, however this was really only due to the need to remove the ladder that the model was standing on, Lighting, exposure and composition hardly altered from the RAW file.

Star Wars, a modern classic……

1 Oct

If you haven’t seen or a least heard about the Star Wars epics then you would be in the minority. There are many of our ancient classics and some of the more modern tomes that have not affected the way we speak as much as this easily consumed good versus evil tale.  “May the force be with you” is even heard in boardrooms as a way of wishing executives  good luck in their next battle with clients. Going over to the “dark side” is related to any change of team, and I recently heard this phrase being used to describe a paramedics’ defection to the fire brigade.

As I was typing this post there were three separate adverts on the TV for various forms of Star Wars toys for a new generation to consume. Now you may say that Batman, The Hulk and Superman have similar effects on society, but really when did you include sayings such as “precisely Robin !” or “Aarrhhh” ( the hulk) in conversation and as for costuming wearing undies (red ones at that) on the outside of your trousers is at best going to attract looks, at worst have you  completely  shunned by the majority of the population. Conversely when you see people dressed up for the many Star Wars conventions, most of us secretly smile and think its kinda’ cool. The only other modern show that I believe has had a similar effect is Star Trek and truly the current generation don’t get it….aahhh, beam me up Scotty!!

Anyway as my 11-year-old spent a large amount of his school holidays creating his Lego spin on space craft from that galaxy far, far away in time long ago, we thought we should put the Nikon to good use a record the result for further generations to enjoy. Using the low light capability of D5000s’ sensor, we used his Globe as a back drop placed on a black sheet and lit it with two hand-held LED torches. With some stars added in PP, the galaxy came alive in the bedroom….May the force be with you!!

Real or……..

29 Sep

 

When you look at an image today you sometimes are aware almost immediately that it has been altered. Really, that is okay as you would have had to been asleep for the last twenty years since digital made its first baby steps to not realise that the digital darkroom is very powerful. Darkroom techniques are not new, it is just that anyone with a digital camera and a computer can distort the real image that was captured. The name Photoshop is now used by non photographic people to describe all sorts of electronic trickery, and free less powerful clones of this amazing tool are available at the press of a button. What does that all mean to us in the photographic community? Well for me it means I have another tool in my arsenal, however getting the image right in camera will always be the goal. Having said all that, these manipulating tools are great fun and can be used to produce images that can never be captured in reality. The following image is obviously the real deal, with trees, stand and dust spots on the lens filter from a near by excavation side helped by near gale force winds.

Playing with Photoshop

31 Aug

Today was not a day for taking photos. The weather was great, I had time but life jumped up and said “time to attend to the mundane stuff, Andrew”, bills, shopping and washing even ironing got priority over image making. Never mind, these jobs are all part of the family lifestyle and I try to tackle them with the mindset that once they are completed I will have free reign to produce images. I know, I too can detect optimism laced with a hint of desperation. I did manage to skulk away to the iMac for a few moments and read a great piece on edgy image conversion in Adobe camera raw (see link attached:  http://www.lightroomkillertips.com/2007/video-surreal-edgy-effect/ ). I quickly found an image that I thought may benefit from some digital manipulation and had a go. Now this sort of result is certainly not to everyone’s taste, it’s really not my thing either, however it elicited a wow from my daughter and two almost decipherable grunts from my not quite teenage son and therefore I have concluded that this form of our art does indeed have an audience. Truthfully for me a classic one light, crisp monochrome is the stuff dreams are made of…….once again, each to their own.