First turn down the volume...I've not deleted the howling gale/jet engine noise that is attached to this.... so putting the technicalities into a practicality context...still juggling with soot one handed at the moment but getting there, learning more about stability and set up whilst tying in some correct framing and frame rates....ND filters definitely needed in bright sunny conditions as running at 25fps which equates to a shutter speed of 1/50th and I don't want to shut down to F22...makes sense to someone I suppose...right off out again....
The Autumn/ Winter season of creativity is now in full swing, if you missed it the last blog post Leftfield and gallery Maison du fromage well , they are up and running, my Video/ timelapse slider finally arrived, lithium batteries giving customs a bit of a tizzy fit apparently so played with that all day yesterday and now on to something I've put off for a while...Emulsion Lifting. There are many a fine video tutorial on that Youtube and there is a whole stack of duffers so here is what I've learnt...
I don't cut anything, just peel apart and then ease off the gluey edge surrounding the image area with the back of a brush
I use 2 trays of tepid water, first to get chemicals off the back, (dried white stuff) but using a very soft brush so not to scrape the emulsion and the second, very shallow to ease onto the paper
Finally I use an Ikea egg flipper to hold the image onto the paper when lifting out of the tray
by not cutting around the frame of the Polaroid the lovely Impossible Polaroid edge remains intact. Excuse the photo as it's an iphone in grim light. Ooofff lots to do, this image above was just for experimental reasons to see how the technique works but I quite like it...we'll see where this one goes to...TFI friday everyone (Lawks it's nearly October)
Nothing to fear but fear itself...okay paraphrasing FD Roosevelt is probably leaning on the 'Too Heavy' button this early on a misty autumnal weekend but like the attitude of Millwall fans 'No one likes us we don't care' the Like or Fave or Please , please comment and share has become part of the fabric of Photo sharing on the Interweb. Okay back in the day I've got to say I was sometimes(lots of times) slightly miffed that another crowd pleaser had had been gently rolled into the recycle bin of solitary confinement...but I was younger and eager to get my way of seeing out to an audience that was wider than my cat and some close relatives..but then....
Things have changed for me, maybe age is helping as testosterone levels recede to be replaced by the need for comfier slippers and 'Something decent to watch on the Tellybox'...maybe it's because now, I really don't give a monkeys chuff about what folk think about my imageneering/photography and the only audience that really matters is , well me, me actually creating something that I can say...'Hmmm Yep....' to So I present to you dear reader , a batch from leftfield, there is no depth, angst or wrenching going on, just a production of some new images that I quite like.....(please press as many fave /like buttons you can find on this page as I'm really really quite shallow and need the reassurance that a fave strike will give me...................)
The Swallows gathered in a huge group on the telephone lines yesterday...and were gone...see you in April. It's that time of year again, damp and misty, birds migrating, the bird feeders in the garden needing to be topped up every day and me wandering about in my Wellies shooting against the sun with wide open apertures......nothing changes.
So shooting with Mr Dependable, the old D700 with a 70-200 keeping the aperture around f5.6 not only trying to capture some decaying web laden nature but if you look closely, moisture droplets fluttering about in the gentle breeze. Into lightroom and a bit of white balance...er...balancing quick waft in basic, some clarity and lens Correction applied which seemed to make no difference here's some more
Went out to Chateaux Trevarez for the exhibition of images by Julien Geradin which are placed throughout the grounds of the Chateaux He has a collection of 6500 autochromes, a technique pioneered by the Lumiere Brothers. Okay you might have to do a bit of google translate on the pages but basically...the birth of colour photography I'll post some images below ......but just a quick heads up on the image above. Because the light was so strong and I was on a walkabout with the F1.8 ,I was able to freeze the motion of water coming out of one of the Chateaux fountains...1/3200, f 1.8 at iso64
So...images taken into Lightroom where I just synchronised a mono conversion, lens correction and a square crop..opened them as a layer stack in Photoshop..top 5 layers selected and dragged into a group, opacity of the group dropped to 30% a very soft mask to bring back some of the bottom layer detail and I used Color Lookup, an adjustment panel, to add some color to the mono conversion..here are the images used in the stack. As ever...less complicated then it looks written down...
So here are a few images from the collection of Julien Geradin and his influence on the birth of Colour Photography
Still at base camp on this video learning curve, plugged in to The University of Youtube and Adobe TV and chasing up and inwardly digesting all manner of guff and gobbledygook..some will stick others destined to slide slowly down the retentive barn door of memory. Mind you it's good to keep the grey cells ticking over and here is something that popped up on the radar. I've been looking at Gimbals and stabilisers only to find that to get that icing on the cake super smooth and not lumpy and bouncy is to use After Effects or Premiere Pro and get some warp stabilisation smeared onto your clip...looks great but at the moment the budget doesn't swing far enough to accommodate either one of them...so a bit of googling and this hove in to view Microsoft Hyperlapse
Very straight forward interface but really for action cams so I put some hand held macro video files through it to see what it could do...it's free to try but they stamp their logo all over it so you have to cough up for a clean version first up the hand held unfaffed piece
So you lose some of the frame to cropping and the software is designed for hyperlapsing your footage...but it does a half decent job on smoothing hand held stuff
Some serious rain action yesterday...so time to fill the remaining grey cells up with some more photo waffle...but this time video. So a day spent on youtube, adobe tv and vimeo getting my head around frame rates shooting modes and the like, not only getting a proper understanding of the Nikon D750s video capabilities but also what can be done with Lightroom and Photoshop...well quite a lot it seems..it may also mean stuffing another 8gb of ram into the 'puters nethers but we'll see how it goes.
So if you are my frequent visitor...well done btw....you'll know I have a penchant for trying to capture motion in a still image..so ...how about capturing motion in a moving subject...yeh I know...finally cracked...I know where I want to go with this so let me fumble and bumble my way through this first date, develop a steady relationship and then see it all blow up in my face after yet another minor indiscretion...we've all been there
So the image above is a test piece , just 4 layers..lightroom to Photoshop to here, let's hope the rain stays away for a while so I can get serious with this or I may get distracted by the likes of youtube and adobe tv and who knows where that will lead to.
...not like Kylie of course but underneath the dome of The Trafford Centre parked on the outer edges of Manchester. Having a poke around in to all my hard drives with a big feather duster and brush and dustpan binning unusable files as i go...1000's destined for digital heaven.
Anyhow this is a stack of 15 images shot with a 20mm on the D750 as I gently shuffle rotated underneath the Dome of Retail Joy....
The space opened up on all the drives will hopefully give the scratch disks a bit more ooomph when used with Photoshop, bumped up the Ram to 16gb as well in preparation for this coming winters image processing winter sojourn...next up animated Gifs
Fete weekend but someone forgot to book the right kind of weather..so the outdoor Portrait Studio had it's own little gazebo although the wind meant it had to be tied down to 2 cars....Breezy.
So it was a simple set up, Yonguo 568 11 with a Yongnuo wireless trigger set up shooting through a white brolly..with the camera on manual at 200 iso and F5.6 at 1/250th using a Nikon 70-200 F4 on a Nikon D750 shooting tethered into Lightroom. HSS used to kill any of the overcast fuggy drizzly ambient light, Flash above head height just off to the left facing downwards..giving a hint of Rembrandt shadowing across the face.
The laptop was set up in front of the sitters so they had an instant view of what the wacky english bloke was up to...had a rowing boat chain and anchor to hold down the flash stand as the wind was whistling at this time....eeeeehhhmmm black sheet as a backdrop and as a novelty for me...Autofocus on...I know....autofocus....
So here is a selection of images of the good folk of Kernevez, a weekend of food, drink, breton singing and some bloke with a flashgun , a camera and a boat anchor..
At this moment in time I should be outside with the rest of the Villagers doing a bit of French Chuckle brothering 'A moi ...a vous'...with the Marquees for this weekends Village Fete, so some of us will be up at 6 in the morning getting them up and striking a lot of damp matches getting the barbeque flaming in time to get this little pig the send off it deserves...meh....it really is raining, this is Monts d'Arree rain, it takes no prisoners and laughs at the challenge of a parapluie ...and the forecast is even worse for Saturday..still I've copied and printed village maps, old photos blown them all up to A3+ and with the help of the current wife have white painted boards and attached aforementioned printed items to them, even set up the Photo Booth with added tethered shooting into Lightroom so folk get to see what their rictus gurning appears to other folk, before relaxing and /or laughing at themselves as I catch some quick unguarded moments...then scuttle off to print them...so all set up , what to do????
I know , I'll have a trawl through some long forgotten Hard Drives and have a concerted faff so...here are some never before seen snaps from the coast at Blackpool...exported as layers from Lightroom Into Photoshop ..a wiffle of Photoshop flim flam and done...no, I'm not here to waffle along in Photoshop bollocks today, just working out which one of the Chuckle brothers is me and which one is my 'voisin, Serge.
Like an ageing Rockstar or a Boy band devoid of boyishness but blessed with a huge back catalogue of hits, it's often good to get a reminder of your finest moments, even better if these materialise as hard sales...okay downloads these days but there are those of us who remember sending off a package of Kodachrome slides to image libraries, checking the post for statements/ rejections/ a package of kodachromes, well thumbed but in the 'Not needed on this Voyage' category.
So I have my greatest hits, Images that sell and then sell again...now I'm not talking micro stock...I have one image that has it's own life on microstock, fluttering about being downloaded but when the downloads cost about 0.05 cents it's really not worth mentioning (I know...I just have...)
So the image above and the one below have been licensed throughout the western World , different areas and for different lengths of time, mainly for book covers,,,now I've been told that I need to do more images in this style...suprisingly I have agreed, but whether they will appear on this website....well they will have to topple the 2 greatest hits images from their singular lofty perch...that will depend on me, the boyish ageing rockstar of photography being around long enough to wistfully remember what constitutes one of my greatest hits
So many flowers in the garden at the moment, the one above is a surviving member of the Lupin horde that got walloped by the swirling storm/rain that hit western europe in early June, of course since then we've had exotically high temperature and extended daytime sunlight hours....followed inevitably by this return to 12c and swirling rain...summer..it was great while it lasted.
Lots of new flowers coming into bloom... Inula, Hollyhocks..many varied strains of Hortensias, Helianthus, Echinacea, Rudbeckia...the list goes on...all will receive the treatment..and of course all the 'Fleurs Sauvage' as well so a great TFI friday to one and all..
It's an unbirthday day out in search of Butterflies.... not as many as last year and I think the cold snap at the end of April has a lot to do with it, Orange Tips , Brimstones and Painted Ladies before then but since...nada. So at the Abbeye de Daoulas to see if there are any there...nope...so trying a 2X convertor on the 70-200 and shooting around 1/1000th I busied my self shooting gobets of water from a fountain...and this is a few of them...not sure if the autofocus is working correctly so may have a fiddle about to adjust it...seems a nadgers do dah off...any how read into these what you want. (I know...autofocus but at 400mm my bins need a leg up)
Well I'd never call myself a 'wildlife photographer', there are too many good ones out there but we've created quite a few different 'natural' environments here which gives me the opportunity to graze my knees and get down with the Bug Life.
Butterflies thin on the ground and I've given up chasing after the European and Asian Hornets that like a wee dram of Aphid secretion to boost their day.
Good news is that he butterflies are back now we have this scorching spell of weather, Swallowtails and all manner of ones I can't seem to identify from the books...here's hoping i get a 'Citron de Provence flapping through like last year...only this time I'll have a camera locked and loaded.
Always wanted to call in to this place and as the ferry back to europe was a late evening crossing turned right off the M6 and went for a look.
Must be chaotic in summer/visitor time ...all the museums are spread out through the valley connected by narrow roads with stonking great tour buses navigating their way through it all....still did it ....
So this is 10 shots using the 20mm Nikkor at f4.5 iso 400 on the D750 shooting RAW, basic corrections in LR then opened as a layer stack in Photoshop top 9 selected and the opacity dropped to 30%...no blend modes again...mono in Photoshop and then saved back as a PSD into LR with a bit of painted in Clarity and a tweak of contrast and highlight recovery.... here's a couple more
A couple of days in Dinan with the town itself in full thrall of the international tourism brigade. Mr Juncker may have passed comment that English is dying out in Europe but in this small corner all the gift shops and restaurants use it as their lingua franca, maybe it will change in a couple of years.....
Anyhow the Iconic Citroen Traction, this fine example is on it's way from the Channel Islands to the Hills of Holland rally tootling as you do, around Maastricht. So having the opportunity to do a photo essay of one in the dribbly mizzle...I did...as ever at the moment quite wide open Nikon 50mm f1.8 and the D750 with a bit of crunch added in Lightroom with a hoick on the clarity slider.
The Trafford Centre, mausoleum to shopping, it's many avenues of retail despair. Not forgetting the many waistcoated and blazered 'security' staff ready to herd you off the property if caught snapping. Fact of the day...The Trafford Centre used up all the available Gold leaf from the UK in it's construction to give it's columns, statues and domes the 'blingtastic' feel. So the image above is a layer stack of these below...Lightroom >edit>open as layers in photoshop >align>opacity....set the opacity of all the layers to 30% or there abouts.....no blend modes and just a bit of sharpening using high pass filter on a desaturated duplicate layer...time to stop as I'm drifting off into Photoshop bollocks...
First blog post of many over the next week, been out and about across the UK and here in France. These shots are from the Sandbach festival at the end of April...a bit of transport and bit of funfair but mostly with a 50mm F1.8.
So I've been Spinning around like Kylie at the Trafford Centre, reanimating the spirit of Maigret with a 2CV , abstracting motion at Ironbridge and dissecting Dinan in a non touristy way, just putting some miles onto this new shutter in the D750... demain mes amis.
I did mention that I was having a waft with some gels over the LED, so still in practice mode...Moonlight a bit too strong to get the stars popping but if you want to give it a try these are the camera settings.
Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 20mm, shooting Raw with iso 200, f 4.5 for 20 seconds...so you can see the moon was quite bright...camera on timer sitting on a tripod so I could get into the polytunnel...3 shots one for the ambient, one for the interior and one for the non gelled light outside...layer stack in Photoshop and just masked in/out the relevant bits...'where does it go from here...is it down to the lake I fear' (yep more obscure '80's pop, there's a clue in the blog title).....so to Huelgoat and the Trout lake...
...not sure what was more wooden, Nicholas Cage or his prosthetic hand..enough of these '80s film references. Now last week I was out with some LED torches wafting away under les etoiles looking for some kind of exposure balance. So first starry night this week coincides with a bit of Moonlight, half a full moon, it could be more, it could be a little less...anyhow no clouds. So I'd done some work with Gels up at the Polytunnel and thought I'd see what shooting with Moonlight would look like. So usual camera set up. D750, Nikon 20mm set at 800 iso, f4.5 for 30 seconds, ...now I know that 30 secs is too long to hold the stars sharp...20 would probably do it and to reduce the iso I could wiffle about with the aperture or shutter speed but this was just to check out what half power moonlight could do. Looks like there is a bit of compression going on in the sky so I have loaded a higher resolution image...enough of this Lunacy...capice!
What's all this then????
An unyeilding torrent of Photo babbel full of unconfirmed facts and manufactured photo drivel.. take from it what you like, it won't change the world but may leave you feeling nauseous...