It is a long time ago, well July, since I posted. The last post is connected to this as we were on our way to view a house up here on the Ayrshire side of Scotland, fell in love with it, and the village and 3 months later we moved in. Now we/I thought this would be a walk in unlike the farmhouse we took on over in France, sadly proved wrong but the 'To Do' list is getting a wee bit smaller.
Still re-adjusting to not doing double bisous or a manfully gripping handshaking, bit more reserved up here but met loads of folk and in the local vernacular 'Yawright Pal' seems to be the greeting of choice....
So , time to get used to using the Camera again and what better way than a walk to find the walks that go off into the hills and woodland around here, first up there is a Dark Skies area not more than a 20 minute walk heading east and from there lots of Forestry commission walks and pathways.
We are just on the edge of the Galloway Forest and not far from the spectacular views across to Ailsa Craig, Arran and the Campbelltown peninsula although we've got to know Ayr quite well as it is populated with the shopping sheds of civilisation for those of us that don't have everything delivered
So here are some snaps , my way of removing the crusty, rusty aspect of my photography and a good counterpoint to the wedding photography that seemed to dominate this summer.
Walberswick, never been on the Suffolk coast before...but I have now...Whistle Stop tour of all points UK including North of the Border...so much driving 2,500 Kms on what you poor folk in the UK have to put up with on a daily basis...so many jams...so many potholes. Anyhow jobs done and photos taken of weddings and upcoming weddings and bits and bobs like this little exercise.
Now nothing ground breaking here just some very straight mono shots, Lightroom Auto...Black and White Auto...so minimum fafology click click bang bang sorted.. So here is an hour spent at Walberswick on a hot summers day in the U of K. .
I know, I've left you on your lonesomes, partly because of the amount of video and timelapse clips I'm doing but also because the implosion of shutter blades inside my D750...that'll teach me to expect too much on the timelapsing front from a non mirrorless camera... I've also been splashing paint all over various sizes of paper and extracted from the barn my Ultimat Keencut mount cutter and have been tagging and bagging images until torpor and boredom collided and forced me up to the terrace for a beer swifty and a feet up session....so there have been things happening but barely exciting enough to set this damp old blog on fire...but I've been out giving the D750 a shakedown and here are the results.
It's not all about wibbly wobbly multi layered faffology of imagery, although I've just started with Wet Cyanotypes, but more of that later. There's also the Video end of stuff that I do and most of it is online , eagerly awaiting purchasers to line up with *great sacks of cash* and hoick them off to some new form of Digital existence that I could never imagine. * (Great Sacks of Cash in a Sylvanian People scale.)*
Well surprisingly some of my video work has broken free from the online shackles of digital torpor by winking a lot and in some cases raising it's skirts in the direction of Japanese film makers and International Arms dealers...a heady mix only usually seen in a Netflix pot boiler, now if I can get the tech to work on here the clips will be loaded up below....
So the one above has gone off to seek fame at Japanese Cinema..in what I have no idea...
With the 2 above heading off to British Aerospace Weapons division,
Whiskey barrels and Distilleries have been going down a storm in Japan and China for quite a few months.... so if you want to see a small snatch of my Video clip work follow the link https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/videos/david-johnson?autocorrect=none&family=creative&framerate=25&phrase=david%20johnson&sort=best which should take you all manner of stuff online.
Well back from the land of Brexit in one piece with a hard drive chock full of stuff. Took all the gear with me but surprisingly I ended up just using the old faithful D700....a nifty fifty and a B+W ND 110 which was off and on the lens constantly ....and that's it...bit of guesswork on focussing when the auto failed to cope with the lighting conditions and ND filter . I captured a combination of landscape and buildings using ICM and multi imaging, the in camera multiples set to 5
Now as I've been working with this technique I've noticed how my processing has altered and I'm now rejecting some image combinations in favour of a more 'softer' final image. Just a note all these images are created from only 2 image files...it may change , everything is flexible but I'm now really getting a very good understanding of how to look for then process the image files. Will pass it on once I've let it all run it's course. Anyway some images from the most recent trip.
Now you're probably wondering why Monoprints would be on a photographic blog but stick with me. Over winter I've been exploring different ways of making images, some success but outweighed by a bin full of failures. a good way of learning, best not to dwell on them rather learn from those that work.
So from Linocutting to Acrylic painting to Monoprinting and besides some good images produced with Lino cutting, rank failure with normal Acrylic work and then onto Monoprinting. Well the University of Youtube provided me with some great material to learn from Dan Tirels who through his videos showed what is possible using old shopping bags, pizza boxes and an immense amount of talent. I could muster 2 out of 3 and in my own way worked on my own style of mono printing which does involve old shopping bags , torn paper a Gelli plate and a bin full of failures.
Throughout all this artwork I've been listening to a constant stream of music not least Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers
Now in doing this abstract layered imagery it got me to think about what could be possible with photographic images if treated in an abnormal fashion which led me on to all the recent 2019 images I've been posting on this website. So if you are out there and creativity is giving you a wide berth get those synapses pinging by trying something different and maybe that will lead you on to seeing and producing things in a different way
Never mind the trees, seaside and fluffy image content I've worked on, what about applying this technique to some architecture and why not some Mancunian stuff, rendered unrecognisable to anyone but my closest confidants although if you guessed Mancunian way student flats mashed together with that curved acrylic on Deansgate Station footbridge then...very well done.
I've started using Black and White files with color layers in various states of opacity and blend mode and masks...yes, it's snowing/ raining then snowing so no chance of getting out and about, now it's raining again.
First real shoot I want to do is Huelgoat Woods which is just down the road from me so lots of bare trees gushing streams, waterfalls and fallen leaves and then I'll be zipping around the UK collecting image files from all over, best to get across now before all the ferries are commandeered for essential lettuce/tomato/cheese/drugs and wine that post you know what, will never be available ever ever again
Anyone remember the Millenium bug that was going to wipe out the world....hmmmmm
So some Manchester based imagery...
Next up lots of Tree based stuff.
It's that grey area where photography has a schism with image making. Above is an image created from 2 photographs and I'm not too sure if the result can be classed as a photograph, kick me hard if I mention 'Fine Art Photography' it's out there and it's a moniker applied to all manner of photographic image creation but for me it makes me raise my shoulders and give a little shake, but I suppose in this all inclusive social media mobile society we inhabit then calling, yourself and what you create absolutely anything, fits in with our hashtag based influx of information and media #dontcallmeafineartphotographer
Now what I really wanted to show was the 2 images that were welded together in Photoshop CC, lets just pause here and say 'OMG Photoshop CC 2019...well it's the Dogs....' I've been rummaging around in Photoshop for nigh on 25 years now and this latest iteration is simply awesome...right back to the subject matter.
2 images forced together in an uneasy alliance to create something that wasn't there before, all the images created so far have had a lot of in-camera work beforehand and a minimal amount of time in the Photoshop microwave, then...bing...finished so here are the 2 images that made up the one above with the result next to them
So there you have it...create ICM and multi image files in your camera, spend an absolute age learning everything about layers in Photoshop, dive in have a go shed tears of despair at the stupidity and complexity of what you are trying to achieve...find a breakthrough then go for it...and maybe your photographs will morph into images...but what ever you do #dontcallmeafineartphotographer...
It appears to be another year...2019 and I know I left you alone for most of last year, probably the biggest reason was getting started in Linocuts, monoprinting and acrylic abstract work. One of the reasons I do photography the way I do it is because I have convinced myself over the years that my drawing and painting skills are quite honestly ...non-existent...but it appears there is more to creating art than pencils and brushes... I may start another web site to host the images I've done but it's very much baby steps time...anyhow on to what I'm doing this year
Seasoned viewers , I've put your comprehension of what is photography to the test on many a blog post or set of gallery images and now I think it's time for me to mash all the techniques I have in my quiver into one big block and pulverise my image files into something...well something that goes beyond quirky, past eye brow cocking and well into orbit around planet Good Grief Matron!! The image above is the frankenstein birth of one ICM, one in camera multi exposure and a wide aperture shot of a poppy filed..tickled with vigour in Adobes 2019 incarnation of Photoshop...and this is the way it will be this year. I could be shouting into the wind with this but I will be hitting this technique with my largest rubber mallet until I get what I want, or the mallet breaks
So bonne chance mes amies, You may want to sit further away from your screen , you may not want to turn up at all, but it will be different, in a good or bad way but not in any shape or form will it be normal. 2019, I've started so lets see how this finishes.
The First World War Infantrymen of La Feuillee commemorated in these life size drawings placed on the walls of the village on Armistice day as a representation of those men sent away to fight.
So a move away from 10 x 10 but again using the old Nikon D700 but in conjunction with a flash/strobe unit. Now there are a few technical difficulties to overcome in using this combination of Intentional Camera Movement and a flash gun....with one you are trying to add motion and movement with the other you are trying to freeze things. One of the first things is to turn the flash and camera into full manual modes, with the camera it's the lowest ISO setting with the aperture set as tight as possible and just varying the exposure using shutter speed, the flash set to the same focal length as being used on the camera, starting off at 1/64th power...so for example this image above is set to 100 Iso at F22 for 1 second with the flash on 1/64th power. Now the best way to do this is to actually give it a try, I shot these outdoors in grim grey autumnal rain so there was no need to add any ND filters to the set up, if you have banging sunshine you'll have to experiment or maybe just wait until the light fades in the evening....
So here's a little gallery of ICM and Flash images shot outdoors in the grisling grey fug of raininess have a go, you may surprise yourself.
If you are sticking with me on this...well done.........newbies this is all about taking 10 in camera multi shots with my 10 year old D700..today it's very windy, also very autumnal and not raining and so I've strapped on the 105mm Micro Nikkor and am about and about at one with autumnal nature.
So the thinking is and was to adopt a stationary position with the camera set for 10 multi shots, aperture priority ISO at 200 and shooting at about F 11. Processing is about +50 clarity in Lightroom with a crop ,if needed and a bit of a pull back on the shadows to counteract what happens when clarity is introduced...that's it...almost straight out of the can, 90% in camera with the minimal amount of faffey on the computer...spend time making images with your camera, not with a computer...so have a look , Don't confuse these with ICM images, I have had a go at combining the two and it does need a bit more thinking applied to it but something for a later date..anyway until the next time. (That's ICM and in camera multi shots, I do it so you don't have to)
Continuation of my 10 x 10 images, 10 in camera multiple shots on my 10 year old D700. Out at the Abbaye du Relec and on the coast close to St Pol de Leon on a bright warm autumnal day, doing this in conjunction with landscape work shot on the D750 but more of that later.
The images are generated inside the camera with a tweak into mono and a scritch of clarity plus of course a nod back to my days shooting with a Bronica so chopped into Square format, getting to the stage where I can get a Gallery together.
More news , cracking on with the 10 x 8 DPP pinhole imaging still going through the hit or miss phase of exposure setting, also waiting for a flat grey day to see if the contrast in the image can be controlled that way...if not back to relearning how to 'pre-flash' the paper, other news and my trusty dear old friend the Canon Pixma 9500 pro mk11 has decided to fold it's arms , stamp it's feet and flash any number of amber warning lights at me, I've had a trawl of this interweb and taking out the cartridge carriage and giving it a scrub behind the ears may solve things....something else to do...
Had an experiment using an ND110 and trying to get long exposure ICM work to fit in with the 10 x 10....no....but I tried..
The weather seems set to fair for the next few weeks so out and about doing ND110 long exposure Landscape and Seascape stuff with a few video clips thrown in.
The vagaries and peculiarities of life eh....I used to upload all manner of images to Getty that had a tenuous grip on being actual photographs, taken with a camera of course but with added jiggling, flummery and a dash of artistic licence. Invariably the computer said no...the strap line most often used was 'Quality Issues' it's supposed to look like that..anyway I ceased and desisted and plumped for mildly stretched normality and video clips of obscure things, and both parties settled into a state of mutual affection and now this happens.
If you are a 500px member you'll have had an email outlining the proposals to sell your images through Getty off of your 500px portal as long as you agreed...well as most of the images on my 500px site were the ones previously deemed bin fodder by Gettys algorithmic shed of QC, what had I to lose...seems they like them now so looking forward to even lower % returns once 500px have a chomp on my 20% and please be grateful commision from Getty...be safe out there children, todays bin fodder may be tomorrows fortune
Photographers, as a whole we can resist anything except temptation itself and as a collective at some if not all the time we get the Gear Acquisition Syndrome that's right GAS...the need to acquire large volumes of photographic kit creating the paradox of having too much to use at once and thereby creating a fine collection of shelf queens to wink at us slyly whenever we set off on our next photographic mission of utmost importance,,dust gatherers, on trend, the mystifying 'why did I buy that' oddity, the piece that 'doesn't feel right when I'm using it' and the vanity object...
I hold my hand up, at this gathering of Photographers anonymous I too have suffered from GAS...and most recently I find irresistible temptation is flowing like warm honey across my computer screen.. The new Nikon Mirrorless Z series and it's promise of 0.95 Noct aperture lenses... the Mavic pro 2 from DJi...with a Hasselblad lens and huge megapix still shots and a 1" sensor...Edelkrone sliders and doohickeys all powered by a phone app...I think I'm on the verge of blacking out... no harm in looking, serious harm to your paypal account if you are buying..
So what to do if you are on the verge of suffering from GAS...well the advice from Doctor Max is simple...go on, treat yourself, we are here but once and I quite like the look of my photographic oddities gathering dust on shelves, (never mind those back in their original boxes) and at some point you will have an 'A HA' moment and that shelf Queen will emerge blinking not winking into the light infused moment of your next photographic mission of utmost importance.
Carrying on with the 10 in camera images in a 10 year old Nikon...on the beach at Carantec and close to Meneham on the Northern Brittany coast, Weather for shooting this kind of image has been exceptional with lots of bright light whilst not being oppressively hot. One above is 10 in camera shots from left to right with a tweak in lightroom...now then it was so bright I had to stop right down and in doing so uncovered a sea of boulders on my sensor, time for a deep clean methinks.
Thanks for all the visits from around the world, China in top spot for the last 3 weeks, many thanks.
last quarter sales were passable with book cover sales throughout Europe and Video clips going to Japan , America and France, mind you I have discovered that the best way to make money out of Photography is not only to sell all your gear on that Ebay but be a Photographic agent and harvest the commission...until the next time.
Jobs done early today so a bit of a continuation of shooting 10 multi images in camera on a 10 year old Nikon D700. Bright and sunny so I strapped the 105mmf2.8 micro Nikkor on and had a try at a few shooting techniques, twirling, walking towards or away from just to get a better idea of what works in camera as opposed to stacking up layers in Photoshop.. So shooting aperture priority and varying the ISO I shot these....with the aperture shut right down the one thing that stood out was a few blodges of muck on the sensor so I'll have a waft and try and clear them. Straight into light room for a mainly 16:9 crop and a touch of clarity with some shadow lightening...yep that's it no eye ball aching computer sessions...mind you if I use these for anything commercial I'll have to titivate the sensor dust but for a blog post....meh.....
10 years on since the Nikon D700 was introduced, technically a museum piece but even after dropping mine several times , having it launched off various car seats, having to replace all the rubber grips and countless eyepieces...well it's still going, so why not a project based on 10 and the ability of my Nikon D700 to shoot 10 multiple images in camera....now for those who have been here before you probably know that I will push at a cameras creative boundaries and see what happens, sometimes it's a sack of files for the recycle bin and then at others...well. So there will be a Gallery for these but as this is my first day I thought I'd share a few from the Summer market at Guerlesquin and on the coast at the Roches d'Argent across the bay from Locquirec on the North Breton coast.
So most of the work in camera with a reframe and tweak in Lightroom, but the minimum I can get away with, I'll throw a minimal amount of Photoshop at them when it gets to the publishing stage but this lot are hot out of the camera, enjoy, leave a comment or shake head in despair, until the next time.
I'll go into camera settings later and also publish some close up detail from these files...eye popping.
I wanted to convey the speed and action of the bikes (and entourage ) flashing past so I turned the ISO down to it's lowest went to shutter priority and set at 1/30th shooting RAW with the Nifty Fifty no filters just trying to pan as the action flew past, opened from Lightroom into Photoshop as a layer stack and a bit of opacity faffling with the top layers with a copy layer desaturated in multiply mode...
and masked in where I need it...phew...Photoshop waffle...sometimes it hurts....here are some more
Now then I usually do this with a bog standard studio style one flash/brolley tethered to a laptop plonk people down and blat away system, but hey let's go all 'on trend' this year with a loose free and easy instagrammy style. So aperture priority using the on camera flash set down to 100 iso and of course the irreplaceable nifty fifty...aperture from F4 to 5.6 shoot into the sun at most opportunities.... just a mere waft in lightroom and good to go.
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...