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Beauty revisited……

3 Jan

Whilst scrolling thru my past images looking for some backgrounds, I stumbled across some images that I took about six months ago. The model and make up artist got some great shots for the portfolio and these following images didn’t make the cut, but with fresh eyes I noticed something different about these.

Somehow they were more intense, had more emotion, more thought by the model and with a little processing they took on a whole new flavour.

I am shooting two new models this week and look forward to new faces, differing style, and personalities but from now on I will make a habit of revisiting untouched images, you never know a winning image maybe waiting to be discovered.

Stepping outside the box……………..

14 Nov

Those of you that have read this blog before know that I shoot people..mostly. Models, kids, everyday Joes’, this is the genre for me. I have even started taking an interest in weddings #@!%#@ !!!!!..yep, now that a more editorial style is becoming popular and moving away from the 5 or 6 standard poses, its starting to be a bit creative. People like Sue Bryce, Paul Mac and JM Tran are really pushing into new and fun territory. Even Nathan and the guys from Dreamspace productions are getting involved.

So from what you have just read you are now expecting to see an image from a wedding, a cake, shoes or a cutesy wedding ring with heart shadow..wrong, what this post is about is stepping out of the comfort zone, trying something new. From my last post you will see that I have also played with seascapes (arrgh, harder than I thought). Well today folks I will present a faux HDR of a construction project, faux because I haven’t invested in the program as yet. I have shown this image and others like it to a few commercial would be clients recently and almost to a man they have expressed interest in having at least some of this style in their commercial advertising material. I haven’t signed anybody up for it yet, but I strongly believe in perseverance , bug them enough and they will give in just to shut me up. If nothing else it made me look at a pile of steel in a different way. I wonder what an ebony model in a silver catsuit would look like in this, umm……………

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.

Things are not always what they seem….

1 Sep

I was in my sons’ room this afternoon helping him clean up and the afternoon sun was streaming through the window, which happens a lot here on Queenslands’ sunny Gold Coast. As we moved clothes and other random ( his word, not mine) stuff around we both noticed that dust particles were being captured by the stream of sunlight. My son grabbed his iPod and tried to capture the scene but he got reflections from the walls and furniture, and the there was too much light coming through the window which was causing the image to blow out. We quickly rigged two black panels, one to camera right and one reducing the area of light at the bottom of the window and grabbed the Nikon D5000. Bingo, first frame at about 85mm,f5.6 iso 200 and all we had was particles reflecting light and a pure black background. The boy took a couple and I took a couple and then downloaded to the iMac, fiddled for a minute in iPhoto printed to the Epson 1410, framed in an Ikea frame and onto the wall in his room as an artwork. I positive that no one will guess what the image is of…… Great fun, quick project and a bit of bonding. Photography just has so much going for it. Thanks to Sylights free iPad app for the lighting diagrams…easy to use and makes explaining image capture so much simpler.   

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.