Feb One Photo Focus

One Photo Focus where a group of people edit the same image and this month is MY PHOTO taken in Melbourne 2010 when I was there for Worldcon Science Fiction Convention.  This lovely ship was moored outside, how could I resist taking a photo?

I am a bit late to the party, ironically, its my second week back at work after time off recovering from surgery and I have been more tired than I expected to and COMPLETELY FORGOT about the challenge!

Anyway I got stuck into Lightroom and it totally needed to be converted to monochrome.  Tweaked the usual settings in LR, applied an ND Grad over the sky and bought the exposure way down.  Move to the BW palette, tweaked those settings and then I applied a few different  BW Presets til I found some that I liked.  This was all done in LR, no other software was used.
Here is a sepia version as well.

My focus on processing this image was to add some drama and texture to the sky, as it was quite blah other wise.  Also to highlight all the complex lines and shapes made by the masts and the lines (ropes) hanging off them.

You can see all the other images for the challenge HERE

For those who participated, I look forward to seeing your unique creative vision of my photo, its quite exciting!

For those reading, please visit the link and see the wonderful images

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Another Selfie

The second selfie from my experiment.  I have been surprised by the positive response these have gotten so I am considering getting a bigger piece of fabric and a remote and doing a proper series.

This is called Say You’ll Save Me

Click to Embiggen Image.

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My First Selfie

Inspired by a fellow Awake student who does interesting portraits with himself as the model, I decided to try and shoot myself.  Without a remote its a LOT harder to do than expected.

Also my hair is not long enough for the effect I was after either.  So in frustration I draped a piece of muslin over my head and carried on.  This was the best image.

Its called  This Is The Ghost Of Me.

Do you shoot yourself by yourself?  How do you manage it?

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More Macro Fun

Here in NZ we call these Hundreds and Thousands and we sprinkle them on icecream and freshly buttered bread and call it Fairy Bread.

I was going through my cupboards looking for some photographic inspiration and the bright colours caught my eye.  So much detail can be seen close up, how they are not perfectly round and the colour is patchy and crystalline.

Of course one edit wasn’t enough,  I needed to play a bit with my favourite still life LR presets:



Its definately a journey down the creative path with these presets, I really like how the can totally change the feel of an image.

Which one do you like best – the normal one or one of the artistic ones?  Why?

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BW Blended Composition

Click to Embiggen – you see loads more detail

Session 3 of my Creative Black&White course takes us into the land of compositing, blending images or parts of images to make a new image.

This kind of compositing I find really challenging and have spent the last few days looking at images and trying to come up with variations that would result in a final cohesive image and…….. not got anywhere.

So tonite I sat down at my computer, determined to scan my LR catalog for some useful images and I came across a series of high speed wave images I took a few years ago, working at very high shutter speed to freeze the waves, and catch all the texture and splashes.  Was actually quite a fun exercise but I never did anything with the images.

Then I remembered I had some inside shots of a derelict building and wondered what might happen.

Processing Steps:

1.  I edited each image in LR and converted to a BW there, and tweaked further.

2.  Bought both images into PS, placed the waves over the building image.

3.  I experimented with blend modes but normal gave the best effect so I added a mask and painted out the top bit of the waves.

4.  Adjusted the wave image down a bit and carefully masked away at the top of the image til it appeared to be coming out of the building parts and elements

5.  Did the Move and took it into Nik Silver Efex where I like the Wet Rocks Preset

6.  Some tiny extra crops on the sides and DONE!

Lesson learned, sit down and play with actual images rather than doing it all inside your head – it makes all the difference.

I really love how the water seems to come out of parts of the building and the colour of the water reflects that, purely serendipity but once I saw the opportunity, lots of careful masking helped make it work.

Did I pull it off, at first glance does it fool you?  Love to hear your comments and thoughts!

As requested the original images and also a further edit to my image above  – for the challenge it was supposed to be made up of three images – can you find my third one?

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Still Life with Macro Lens

Click to Embiggen.

One of the new directions I am going in with my photography is Still Life – in fact I have signed up for two classes with Kim Klassen and I am really looking forward to learning new tips.  So far I have found out an excellent cost effective way of making a replacement tabletop/background for around $100 that is double sided – surprisingly all the components I needed were available, in fact we have a saw mill in the city that makes the boards so I was able to get them custom cut.

My spare bedroom which is currently empty (not for long sadly) gets good morning light so I decided to put my first lessons into practice.  A key thing with still life is to plan your layout and think about where the light was coming from.  Really good advice and I changed the angle I was shooting at to take better advantage of the window light.

Summer fruits and berries are at their peak right now so I picked the best plumpest raspberries, due to hail the cherries were a bit battered and bruised, and freshly picked red currants out of my garden!


All images processed in with some of Kim’s still life presets to finish off.  All shot with my Canon 7D mk ii and 100mm F2.8 IS L lens on a tripod.  Side light from a window and a reflector on the other side.

Can you recommend any still life tips or tricks you use?  Any good websites or books?  I am particularly interested in the styling concepts and tools.

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Steampunk Vintage Processing Style

A while ago I attended a Steampunk outing to a Vintage Railway and ran across a very elegantly dressed couple who kindly agreed to pose for me and sign model releases.  I promised them a copy of the image/s once I had processed them.

Sadly I was not happy with the versions I created at the time, they were bland and lacked something.  The Creative B&W course I signed up for has come to the rescue, with Session 2 showing us ways to edit images with extra elements to add interest and depth.

Both of these images were originally edited in LR and then each bought into Topaz Texture FX for added texture, grain, blur, dust, scratches, toning and framing where necessary.

Until I did this course I didn’t quite grasp the depth of capability that Texture FX has, I got it for the textures (if you hover over the presets it instantly shows you a preview which is very helpful), but now I understand what the other panels can offer as well.

I was aiming for a vintage photo feel, both in styling, and giving the impression that the photo itself is a bit old and lived in.

Did I achieve it?

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