Sunday, 2 February 2014

Night-time outdoors photoshoot

School is taking up a lot of my time, and I don't have much time to think about photos anymore. I have many extra-curricular activities and now I'm joining drama classes too so I don't know how I'll be able to squeeze this hobby in, but I'll try my best to continue to take photos. 

This week I was inpsired to create a dark photoshoot, where the model is only illuminated by a flash. Unfortunately I only have an internal flash (I should stop complaining about that now and just get an external one) so the photos were difficult to take. In addition to that, it was cold and windy and rainy. After all, stormy weather as prognosed for this weekend. Status: Orange. So I probably picked the worst weekend to do this. Thankfully though my model was a resilient girl who wouldn't give up. It was an enjoyable evening.

Here are the best photos (strictly filtered down to this bunch by the model).

 I used a slow shutter speed, so the street lights made a "light leak" effect, but the model was frozen still because the flash fired for a much shorter time.

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Turning myself into a tiger.

After getting my new camera, I've taken a different turn in the photos that I take. It's less of a "look for a nice scene and click" type of thing, I now imagine more radical ideas and try to achieve them using my limited photoshop skills. But I am improving! And the following photo has put my photoshop skills to the test.

See it on Flickr

The photo turned out a lot scarier than I imagined, but I think it's pretty cool. I'm now doing less of the picture taking and more of the post-processing work, but isn't that what the current industry is all about? 

Using all the skills that I have (which isn't a lot), I've managed to create this look on myself. I used no makeup, just a blank photo with a plain background. My idea overwhelmed me and I was reluctant to start work on it, because there was so much to do at the very beginning, all these ideas ran through my head, "where do I start?", I asked myself. 

Most of the editing I do is trial and error, I don't watch many tutorials. With every photo that I take, I get better and better. I'll look back at this one in a years time and find 100 ways that I can improve it. 

I'm very tempted to do a photo series on this idea, that would take me a very long time. Editing this photo alone probably took about 6 hours. Hopefully one day!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Don't Discriminate with Tea

Do you like your tea with milk? Or without milk?
How many times have you been attacked by people for drinking your tea with or without milk? Because this happens to me on a weekly basis. "HOW can you drink tea without milk??!" I get asked.

Yes, I drink tea without milk. I'm not crazy! There are many others that do this, and this ongoing argument inspired me to create a photo.

See it on Flickr

This is a composite of two photographs, I made a composite mainly because I didn't have 2 similar cups.
The actual process of taking it was difficult. The post-processing was difficult too. It's my lack of equipment that makes it so challenging. I was forced to use the inbuilt flash, and drop the tea bag with a 2 second countdown on the camera, rather than using a shutter release cable. After maybe a hundred photos I got this, and I decided to go with it.

I bounced the inbuilt flash with tin foil, lots of it. A large sheet on the right, large sheet in front of the cup and a small hand-held one in front of the flash to bounce it. Unfortunately this created uneven light and white balance in photos, which was a challenge to fix in post-production.

These are the two separate photos that I used, I combined them in Photoshop.

Before & After comparison
I then came up with the basic image that you can see below (top photo). I exported it to Lightroom and edited the colours, hue, white balance and added split toning etc, resulting in the bottom photo.

I was going for a "morning" look with this photo, and I hope I achieved it. This was actually taken at about 21:00, with the only light sources being the kitchen light and the inbuilt flash.
You can see this photo on my Flickr account here.

Saturday, 11 January 2014


A few more composite photos that I took recently.

This is the third composite photo I tried taking. I'm just learning how to use Photoshop but I think it's coming along very nicely. Really happy with how this photo turned out. The only thing that annoyed me was the background. I only have a white background so I had to draw or create a brand new background that would suit the photo. I'm not very good at that yet, so I played around with everything, eventually created this. It's a bit random but I think it works. Exported to Lightroom and adjusted the colours. Turned out just as I wanted it to. See it on Flickr.

For my fourth composite photo I tried something more ambitious and I didn't realise how difficult it would be to create. After creating the composite of myself styling my hair (See it here), I wanted to do a bigger one with a girl. So I planned it out, the props we would use and the positions of hands. Done that. When it came to taking photos, getting the hair and the hands perfect in each picture was difficult. Another painful thing was getting the blow drier shot. We couldn't get the hair to actually blow nicely, so I decided to flick the hair with my hands, and take a picture of the blow drier separately. I think it looks pretty good!

Then it came to the difficult part, trying to put all the pictures together. The hair was difficult to select in photoshop, it was everywhere, so that was an annoyance. I couldn't come up with a nice background either, so I left it beige. (See it on Flickr.)

Thank you very much to my beautiful models, you did great!

Portraits, Before and After look.

All these photos can be found on Flickr here.
In this post I'd like to show some before and after shots of a few portraits that I took recently. I decided to do this because the photos that I end up with after post-production are usually so drastically different to what they were originally, mainly because I like being a perfectionist.

The first photo is a self-portrait that I took in my bedroom. Originally it was supposed to be a composite photo with many hands (like the ones here), but following the negative feedback I received, I decided to just stick with the first photo. 

Here you can see the before (left) and after editing (right). For this I used Photoshop and Lightroom. Fixed some blemishes and other small annoyances in Photoshop and adjusted the colours, contrast, hues etc. in Lightroom. This photo would actually look very nice in B&W but I decided to keep the colours because I like them so much, a common B&W photo would be slightly boring. Here's the end-product:

The second photo I want to show you guys is a quick and unplanned portrait of my friend. On the same day we took a composite make-up photo, and since at the end of that shoot she had her full make-up done, we decided to have a small photo shoot. I quickly adjusted the scene as best I could and started taking some photos. Honestly, most of them didn't work at all, but this one was good enough to publish!

I thought the original (left) actually looks pretty good on its own, but I tried going for this colour scheme, it suited the surroundings. All edited in Lightroom, adjusted perspective to make the model look taller, and edited all the colours etc. Here's the after:

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Many hands make light work

I have returned! I hope everyone had  wonderful Christmas. The new year is fast approaching and I have started taking pictures again. Santa brought be the Canon 100D which I'm very happy with. After over a year of not owning a DSLR, I managed to come up with these two images.

I also got a lens mug which you can see in the top picture. Came up with that quick idea and decided to try and achieve it. Believe it or not it wasn't easy, I didn't have a tripod, extrenal flashes or any other equipment other than my camera. Setting up the shot was very difficult. I was forced to climb kitchen surfaces to be able to pour the milk and carefully press the shutter button without moving the camera. I lit the scene using the internal flash, with a lot of kitchen foil to bounce the light. At the end of the shot the kitchen was a mess but I am extremely happy with the results. Working in Photoshop for the first time was slightly frustrating but I remebered a tutorial video I watched a few months back, so that helped me vaguely remember what to do.

The very next day I came up with this which you can see in the bottom picture, using the same principle. Took about 5 shots, blended together in Photoshop, exported to Lightroom and achieved the desired effect.
The Photoshop job is not perfect but I'm learning! Hopefully you enjoyed these photos, I am very happy with how they turned out. Have a happy new year!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Surfing Session

We were blessed with a day of Summery weather in the middle of Autumn. Instinctively, Mum and I decided to go out for a session of surfing, I took my waterproof camera with me, hoping to get some nice pictures.

The following images are highly edited because the shots straight from the camera are no good and I felt like going for a vintage look would suit.