Won’t Be Long Till Spring

Just a thought – spring isn’t that far off in the UK – I can’t wait to see some colour again.

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All have a texture layer – more obvious in some than others.

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After the greyness – almost monochrome – experience of shooting outside lately these look very colourful!

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As always, shot for the book cover market – hope you like them.

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Shooting Doors Part Two

A few more for the Legion – what a fantastic idea!

First a nice Victorian one – they’re always so pretty. Lightly layered with a vignette.

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Next a church door – can’t remember where – with some ornate almost celtic/saxon metalwork.

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Next, a reversal of the ‘darkening levels’ technique (see previous post) where the highlights are pushed into the midtones to give a washed out effect, keeping just the essentials of the image.

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Not strictly a door – more where a door was then boarded up in a run down part of town.

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This final one is a particular favourite as it was my first sale – ‘Murder Ballad’ by Jane Hill.

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Here’s the cover – note all image rights are owned by the publisher.

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Taken on all sorts of kit so I won’t bore you with the details.

Thanks for looking – there should be some nice Christmas wreaths on doors to shoot over the next few days!

Darkening Levels

Some shots have just too much ‘clutter’, with midtone detail distracting from an otherwise clean, simple image.

This was a wet road disappearing over a bridge after a storm – tweaking the levels brought out something much more dramatic.

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To remove those pesky midtones use the ‘levels’ tool in photoshop – on the ‘input levels’ slide the left (dark) triangle right until most of the midtones have been darkened to black, then move the centre midtone (grey) triangle to get the desired effect. To do the reverse and make a very ‘high key’ image move the right (white) triangle left.

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This didn’t take too much alteration – just enough to remove distracting midtones in the darker areas.

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Finally one of a track on chalk downland taken with a telephoto lens, ‘chopped’ with levels to give an abstract.

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Give it a try as it does give some shots a real lift.

As always these shots are taken for the book cover market, and all comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

Thanks for looking – hope you like them and they give you some creative ideas for your photography.

Summer, Beach and a Lensbaby

Thought it might be an idea to post a few ‘summery’ pics, as it seems a long time since I went outside without a coat on! If you’re in the Southern hemisphere you might be reminiscing about winter – but maybe not.

All shot with the plastic optic on an Olympus 620, and, since you can see vaguely what the subject is, using one of the middle apertures (f4 or 5.6). This lens produces some lovely soft colours, the images needing relatively little post-processing.

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Can’t do an English seaside series without some deck chairs….

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Finally one of those oddities which makes using a Lensbaby so much fun. In all that blurry softness, how did it render the mooring rope sharply?

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As always these shots are taken for the book cover market, and all comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

Thanks for looking – hope you like them and they give you some creative ideas for your photography.

Tree Tuesday Number Three

My third ‘Tree Tuesday’ – and this first shot is through a Lensbaby on a Canon 60D, taken into the sunlight in a stand of pine trees.

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The second shot – and yes I said no more infra red for a while …. but it is Tree Tuesday so I might get away with it.  Efke 820 IR film in an OM1N, lightly toned in Photoshop.

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Hope you like them.

A Bit of ‘In Camera’ Processing

In the last few years, most new digital cameras have some sort of  ‘in camera’ processing special effects on board. This post looks at one of the more useful ones – ‘dramatic tone’ on an Olympus EPL3.

These shots have been given a bit of a twist by being shot on a Sweet 35 Lensbaby and the two seem to complement each other nicely.

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The processing (amongst other things) pulls out minor differences in mid tones – those clouds just looked plain white on the day. The effect can be previewed on the LCD and can produce a look which is similar to print dodging/burning,  film fogging or even strong flare.

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What’s more, minor movements of the camera produce some major variations in the way these effects are distributed on the image – it’s quite fascinating! It can also be applied to a ‘normal’ RAW image using the Olympus supplied software ‘Viewer 2’ but without any fine tuning by moving the camera obviously.

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The output from the process is in colour, but they seem to me to look better in mono – something done in DXO Filmpack choosing either one of the film profiles or the creative presets and tweaking the settings. To add a final finish a layer can be added too (see above)!

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So, with the effect toned down a little, and with conversion to a mono image it’s quite useful and not just a novelty (which many of the others are). Just don’t use it for every shot!

As always these shots are taken for the book cover market, and all comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

Thanks for looking – hope you like them and they give you some creative ideas for your photography.

Last of the Infra Reds for a While

I really must post something other than infra red next week! Until then, the final two for a while – promise!

These are both taken on a converted Fuji F810 (now retired) through an R72 filter in RAW.

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This second one was taken on an overcast day – not ideal for IR – but after a lot of post-processing attempts it worked out OK.

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Hope you like them! I might bring this camera out of retirement next year.