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31 March 2017
28 February 2017
FROM RETRO BLUE TO VINTAGE Using a selection of Actions, and finally a Waxwork Texture, I created this super soft splendid Victorian tapestry look to what was originally a bright and retro image.
For those of you familiar with my work you already know how much I like to take an image beyond the camera. To give a photograph a completely new outlook by altering shade, light and tonality I can indulge the artist within. Creating painterly effects that soften palette and hue. Beautiful tones start to emerge and an avent-guard shift occurs. Inspired by the beautiful and timeless colours and tones in Monet's Lily pond painting.
Bottom Right: BTL Actions Summer / Portobello / Someday
Top: As above with the addition of Texture Waxwork Fusion and Lightfill Action Dreamer with hand editing to bright through aqua tones at the images sides.
27 February 2017
SOFTLY DOES IT A LIBERATION FROM FOCUS When I first started photographing florals I was constantly striving for the perfect tack sharp focal point, or sweet spot. I actually believed that a soft image wasn't a good image, or worse, wasn't the product of a professional.
However there has been a significant shift in photography over the past couple of years with the introduction of the iphone camera. The perfect point and shoot tool, with little or no control over focus, the tack sharp, flat images are super crisp. I enjoy using my iphone for snapping flat lays as the crisper focus is ideal. However I still greatly admire, and crave, the distorted blurs that my beloved 50mm 1.4f Nikon lens achieves.
The thinest sliver of a petal may be all that's in focus as the rest of the composition falls away to sheer softness with painted qualities. The atmospheric distortions are poetic and transforms an image beyond its humble reality into a dreamy like poem. Photographing florals with such a significantly narrow depth-of-field is still reserved for those of us with a good camera and more importantly the right lens.
There is another reason I like to shoot this way, that being the element of surprise. The human eye cannot see the distortions made as the light passes though a fully open lens. I can only anticipate the effects. Yet with the added advantage of being able to immediately view an image, or shoot in Liveview, I can see the effects as they unfold. Giving me the added advantage of being about to make adjustments to the composition to either increase or decease the effects I seek. Often floral displays are therefore styled differently too. When I'm styling a flat lay every element of the composition must be perfectly placed and considered. Even damaged leaves, marks and imperfections are all highly visible, but not when shooting with a wide aperture. In this case I can place the best blooms at the front, bulk out the back of the composition with foliage and even faded blooms past their best. The distorted blur is forgiving for all the little imperfections like insect munch marks and even rain damage. This can be a big advantage when foraging in my own garden and hedgerows for sprigs and blossom branches.
Shooting this way becomes more about form and colour as distorted compositional elements take on a new contribution to the overall image. Like the smudge marks in a Monet oil painting even the softest blurs become beautiful hazes, no longer must an image be technically focused, yet instead become free to take on the whimsical liberation of Spring itself.
26 February 2017
A BEAUTIFULLY SOFT START TO SPRING AND 2017 All my favourite colours in one season. I adore this time of year as the greys make way for the bright and romantic hues of Spring. Candy floss trees and confetti covered lawns of acid green. The light changes and outdoors beckons. Its a living palette of pastel delights, from tulips to blossom.
22 November 2016
MAKE IT WORTH WHILE - For the love of beautifully processed photography. It's not always easy to find the right light, or even the right backdrop. Knowing how to process images to bring in more light, whilst enhancing colour and detail, is one of the first steps to feeling more confident in the skills needed to take work beyond what the camera can achieve.
Overcast winter days can be difficult when the only natural light is heavy and atmospheric. Just as brilliant sunny days can be overly contrasting. Adapting to various natural lighting conditions is one of the first struggles for many photographers. Professional processing skills can provide the answer and give that added confidence in knowing things can be 'fixed' later.
I created Beyond the Lens Actions from the every-day steps I was taking in my own Photoshop processing. Launched in 2012 Beyond the Lens Original Actions are still as popular as ever being used by both professional and creative photographers around the world. The collection is designed to give the user as many 'tools' as possible to create individual outcomes. From bright to pastel, from sticking to soft and hazy... all in one beautifully tailored collection. I'm now offering 50% off all purchases from my Beyond the Lens Actions and Texture Collections for Black Friday through to the new year. See website for full details. CLICK HERE