Texture Layers Part Four

Time for a few more layered shots, this time a little less subtle than some of the previous ones.

First up, a fountain in a park – the dark layer added a sense of drama to an otherwise cold winter scene.00177107

Similarly here – this was shot on a truly dreadful day – cold, wet and frozen.


Next one from the same day and the layer adds to the wet misty atmosphere.


Finally one from the heath nearby – the layer adds an ‘aged’ look to an otherwise so-so image. Might be better in black and white…


All shots for the book cover market – thanks for looking and hope you like them!

Shooting Doors Part Eight

Time for few for the Legion.

First one on the modified Fuji F810 – an overgrown garden gate in a Dorset village.


Next a church door – can’t remember where – just open wide enough to allow a bit of light in.


Finally one on Ektar 100. The faded look seemed to suit the subject.


All shots for the book cover market – thanks for looking and hope you like them!

Spooky Monuments Part 2

(Four Images). This is the second of a short series about very odd, some might say macabre, monuments which attract the ‘odd eye’ of a book cover photographer. The first part is here.

Poking around some old places usually yields some good results – the best shots are hardly taken in the most obvious locations or from the easiest viewpoints.

First one – taken with a Canon 60D and an ordinary kit zoom, toned in Photoshop. That eye is oddly mesmerising!


Next a subject made for Rollei Blackbird film and a 17mm lens on an OM1N  – spooky, what more can I say?


Next one of those gruesome 18th century monuments involving flying skulls – vignetted and converted to mono after shooting on a Canon G9.


This final one seems to have been squeezed in by 1/2 cm – the laurel wreath is particularly odd. Extensively layered, taken on a 60D.


All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them and thanks for looking.

Texture Layers Part Three

The last (for the time being) of the layer posts and this time it’s about even more subtle layering.

This was taken as a simple abstract but a light blue/brown helped it along nicely. Not too obvious, but then that’s the theme of the post…


Next a Lensbaby shot which was taken on a stormy day by the coast. The post-processing added an extra boost to an otherwise so-so image.


Finally one with a vignette, and the same image as number one layered to add something to an otherwise grey featureless sky. 00182158

Layering is a useful technique to add a bit of extra mystery and atmosphere to a shot which is graphically promising but lacks a certain ‘something’ – especially shots taken under flat skies. Give it a try using the hundreds of free layer/texture images on the web, or even better, shoot or create your own.

All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them and thanks for looking.

Texture Layers Part Two

Following on from part one of this layers series, this on is dedicated to a more subtle (but not too subtle!) use of texture layers in post processing.

This first layer is almost like one of those odd Hoya filters from the 1980’s with a strong colour bias to one side. Combined  with a Lensbaby Sweet 35 at max aperture it makes a nice combination!


Next a shot of the same tower as the first post – but the rain and condensation in the inside of a car window added to the fogged effect. This was one of only a few shots from a wet and cold day which was worth the effort.


And finally a narrow alley with a ‘daguerreotype’ layer added – that bricked up window makes the shot. Converging lines again….00178893

All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them and thanks for looking.’

Infrared Easter

(Three images). Not that Easter is traditionally infrared…. Hopefully we’ll be getting more green foliage soon – though it’s late coming this year in the UK – which means its infrared season again at last. Here’s a few from the Fuji F810 converted to IR.

This one is gently layered and vignetted for the classic IR look. The faded trees in the distance contrast nicely with the dark sharp railings in the foreground.


Next is a lane nearby and a narrow lane curving away – the tree on the left is huge. This turned out better than anticipated as it wasn’t that bright.


Last an open gate and some leaves – the colour channel and desaturation controls creating the final effect leaving just a bit of colour.


All shots taken for the book cover market, hope you like them!

Abandoned/Found Things

(3 Images). Wandering around the countryside, you often come across bits and pieces which have been lost, then found by some passer-by and draped over a branch or fence – or just left there. There’s something very touching about them as they just sit there till they rot away, and as a photographic subject a bit of a favourite.

So – first one – a small Wellington boot which must have sat on the heath for years but somehow always looks untarnished (this bit of heath used to be a tip). The contrast between the natural autumn colours and the bright red was lovely.00151253

Next – the clouds cooperated here, and a small mitten wrapped around a metal fence.


Finally a toy placed over a branch – before the leaves had grown.


All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them. Have a good break over Easter!

Shooting Militaria Part Three

Post three about an epic weekend shoot of a car boot full of military objects. The opportunity to shoot so many graphic subjects took two days and was a real test as they all had to be back within 48 hours.

First, a communist era Red Star cap badge between two converging shadows.


Next a Royal Air Force cap badge – strange how the stitching in the wings looks more ‘feather like’ in close up.


Finally a real challenge – how do you take a photo of a (deactivated!) WW2 hand grenade? This was my best effort but I wasn’t really happy with the result. A layer might have helped.


All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them.


Dorset hasn’t got any cities as far as I know – just some towns here and there and lot of villages. There’s a bit of ‘urban’ here and there but it’s difficult to find. So from this rural backwater here’s a ‘security’ special (don’t get too excited!).

First up an abstract of some barbed wire. Simple really – but that’s always the rule.


Second, and third the same location but different post processing using layers. The first one is a bit more extreme.


Same subject,different angle!00284785

Finally a bit of a fascination – security cameras. Shown against a very traditional brick and stone background enhances the effect.


All shots taken for the book market, hope you like them.

Some Summer Abstracts

It’s nearly the end of the week, and since spring in the UK is very late the year (snow warnings in March!) I’m posting something brighter in the hope it will urge the rain to finally stop and the sun to come out.

First one – one of those odd compositions which sells quite well. What I was thinking at the time I’ve no idea!


Next, out of focus tulips and a great blast of colour.


Finally a street light shadow on a bridge – just simple shapes and colour really.00083063

All shots taken for the book cover market – thanks for looking and hope you like them!

A Few More Bits and Pieces

Another non-themed post made up of shots that don’t fit into any particular category – and what a mish mash we’ve got here!

First – autumn and some wet paving slabs. Given a colour characteristic in DXO filmpack (Superia I think) but other than that…(3 images)


Changing tack completely, a wrecked TV in one of the abandoned house locations. Why someone smashed it then stuffed some aluminium food packaging in there like a microwave is anyone’s guess.00180315

Finally a fairy ornament from a hobby shop resting on some leaves – part of a macro shoot which didn’t really work out as I’d planned but produced something which wasn’t too bad. 00225283

I told you this was a mish mash!

All shots taken for the book cover market – in a remarkably random way – thanks for looking and hope you like them!

Foggy Days Part Four

Though this winter has been bad, there’s a lot of water about which, with a bit of cold air now and again means fog! It’s by far the best weather for photography, and it never lasts too long which adds a bit of extra pressure to get those atmospheric shots (four images).

All these were taken in a short 15 minute period on a Canon 60D and a 15 – 85mm lens. I liked the feeling of foggy silence and isolation in this one.


Post processing consisted of texture layering to enhance the fog and below some lightening of the foreground to add some detail to the forest floor.


This shot’s red channel was tweaked to give some more punch to the leaves on the forest floor as they were a bit pale.


Finally a simple layer to darken the darker midtones which brings the image closer to the scene as viewed.


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

Thanks for looking!

A Few More by the Sea

Time for a few seaside shots as it’s slowly getting warmer and though it’s not exactly beach weather, it’s getting there.

First shot taken ages ago with the ISO cranked way up on a Sony P200 – oddly the grain and banding effect add to this (maybe).


Next – same camera, and a highly processed image of some ripples in the sand. This wasn’t much until the ‘levels’ tool in Photoshop brought out some contrast.


I’m really not sure what these were for – a series of roped posts sectioning off a bit of empty winter beach. Still, it made a good subject so I’m not complaining. Looks like the Lensbaby on the 60D.


Finally one taken on APX100 film – those highlights in the seawater have a very analogue look to them!


All book cover shots again – hope you like them!

Shooting Militaria Part 2

This is a second post about shooting militaria, the result of an epic weekend of shooting as I worked my way through boxes of deactivated bullets, cap badges and weapons.

These are all regimental insignia – designed to be graphic and eye-catching so an excellent subject!


The gauntlet of the Royal Armoured Corps.

It’s not until you look closely that you notice small touches – I hadn’t noticed the grass when taking this shot.


King’s Own Hussars – the contrast between the brass regimental name and the silver horse and grass is very good.

Some of the designs are very abstract.


And others are more self explanatory!


Machine Gun Corps – a World War One

Thanks for looking , hope you like them. As always these shots are taken for the book cover market.

Tree Tuesday Part Thirteen

Been in a bit of a mood for abstracts at the moment, so here’s a few for Tree Tuesday in a similar vein, hope you like them.

First one taken on the ever reliable Zuiko 50mm f1.4 – a thorn bush on the 60D. With these sort of shots the background, even though out of focus, is just as important as the main subject – a difficult thing to remember for me at least. Layered in Photoshop.


Next – a Lensbaby shot taken with a quarry in the background and just an image of vague shapes really.


Finally, a ‘frame’ shot of, well not very much really – these are for book covers after all. Imagine it with the title and author and you get the idea – at least a I hope a cover designer will!


Thanks for looking – hope you like them and they give you some creative ideas for your photography. Have a good Tree Tuesday!