Misty Morning Sunrise over Lake Pearson

While I was editing my images from my Cass trip last week, I was mucking around with some presets and I got this as a result and really liked it.

Was it what I saw when I was there?


Does it instantly transport me back to how cold and misty and magical and still that morning was, watching the sun rise on the snow covered mountain peaks?


The creative choices available to us in digital imagery mean we can edit our images in so many different ways.  Some people argue that a realistic version of a landscape scene is the only true way to do that – and I see their point.

When a landscape is heavily edited or even composited, it could be considered false advertising.  If you are posting images like that and people *without* full disclosure that its edited well beyond natural limits, then there are consequences as a result.

I always advise that my images have been edited when I share them, and if its creatively so, beyond what could be expected in nature, I would note that.

Nature is however, a wonderful thing, and I have seen light like this – even scarlet crimson skies.

So while it isn’t what I saw when I was there, it *could* have naturally happened.

Its an interesting topic, the definition of “true” representation in a digital image.

I used to be a purist until I got better and understood the capabilities of what editing can do.

How do you feel on the subject?  Is creative editing OK so long as its disclosed?

Posted in Camera Adventures, For Beginners, LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Winter Landscapes

My camera club goes up to Cass in the mountains at Mid Winter – usually due to work commitments I miss out but this year I made the attempt.

Three weeks out there was snow all over the place but it was mostly gone from low ground when we were there.  Still plenty on the peaks and it was cold enough that the hoar frost was still around in patches too.

Minus 6 when I got up before sunrise!

Lake Pearson was covered in fog and ice crystals decorate everything, it was perfectly still, very cold and stunningly beautiful.

At the head of the lake as the sun started to burn off the mist, everything was covered in white sparkling ice crystals

Close up of snow crystals on a bank at Arthurs Pass – taken handheld with 100mm macro lens lying flat out in the snow.  I took hundreds of these 🙂

As the rising sun cleared the mountains it lit up this peak and was visible through the lake mist – a perfectly still lake make for a lovely reflection

Playing with long exposures as Bushy Stream – all the rocks are covered in ice and frost and long icicles hang of the sides of the rocks by the water as well.

A little bit of winter from DownUnder!

Posted in Camera Adventures | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Faded Antique Glory

A different angle this time and a more faded antique style edit – this is using my Elegant Fade presets – for a quite desaturated matte effect.

Then a texture to add some framing and a bit of vignette, and another texture to tone it all a bit more evenly.

I love how the map details look really interesting – especially as I have just realised the tissue is so thin its been put it down wrong way up!

This is a slightly heavier texture edit than I normally do – was aiming for an old faded stained vintage photo effect – did I get there?

Posted in For Beginners, LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Little Bit Vintage

Another prop in my collection of “things I bought, put away and then forgot to use” is this gorgeous tissue wrapping paper printed with an antique style map on it.

A small intimate arrangement with this delicious pink gerbera, gypsophila and the mystery small pink flowers – if you know what they are, pls comment!

Edited in LR and then over to PS for some textures to add a scratched and vintage effect. I’ve also desaturated the colours just a touch and put a slight sepia wash over it as well.

Love to hear your thoughts – I don’t do a lot of texture work but these style of shots seem to suit it nicely.

Posted in For Beginners, LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Antique Watering Can Floral Arrangement

While searching online a few months ago for still life and food props, I came across a site called Vivre which did wonderful antique style and french decor homewares. Rather surprisingly they are actually based in New Zealand!

Even better, they were having a sale and I bought several delicious props including this wonderful watering can planter (it has a hole in the base)  – it is quite small, and the body has great detail and texture and has a lovely matte finish.  Perfect for my needs!

So I can’t quite figure out why I haven’t used it in a shoot yet?

Last weekend when I was shooting my bunch of spring flowers, it finally got its chance in front of the camera, and doesn’t it look great!

This edit is pretty much true to life for the colour of the flowers in comparison to the faded edit on the previous post.

What are your favourite prop supply places? I love markets and second hand shops but the good stuff is trendy now and often expensive.

I try to buy quality classic pieces I can use over and over again – whats your favourite prop?

Posted in For Beginners, LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Elegant Fade of Flowers

Its the middle of winter here in New Zealand and June has been awful – its been grey and overcast for weeks – on Tuesday this week the weather service announced that Christchurch had only seen 13 hours of sunlight in 19 days!!!

Time to remind myself that spring is on its way, and I indulged in a bunch of bright cheerful flowers, which smell delicious as well.

Of course, they ended up in my studio for a photoshoot, allowing me to use some new props like my antique style watering can, for the first time.

This was one of the last shots, where the focus was on the two gerbera and the lovely bi coloured carnation (featuring one of my custom backgrounds as well).

The edit on this image is inspired by Marina de Wit  – a talented fine art photographer also in NZ. She has a lovely matte style that I decided to try and emulate in this image.

The subject wasn’t necessarily the best composition, but as far as executing the editing style, I am really happy with it – I am calling this style “Elegant Fade”.

There is a Lensbaby Velvet 56 on its way from the US for me soon and I expect to be doing lots of soft focus flower images and look forward to using this editing style and refining it in the future.

Does this soft matte effect work for you? Not a fan? Let me know 🙂

Posted in LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

More Custom Made Backgrounds

I mentioned in my previous post that I started creating my own photography backgrounds after being inspired by this course from Denise Love at 2LO.

Since then I have been plastering and painting, dabbing and wiping, making all kinds of mess and having LOADS of fun.

Best of all, at the end there are these amazing background boards I can use in my photography – completely unique and not like any thing else out there.  These have proper depth and texture, with crevices and hollows, delicious texture detail that looks really effective in an image.

In the above two shots I have used the same board but processed it for quite different looks in the final image.

With my first set of boards I set up a couple of still life shots and used them as backgrounds and you can view them all in a slideshow at the bottom of the post.

I feel really inspired to shoot with these boards, they are a different effect to what I normally use and its pushing me in different creative directions.

Do you make your own backgrounds? What techniques and elements do you use? Any recommendations of things for me to try?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Camera Adventures | 4 Comments