Pen and Paint......
Into it now and using a combination of wacom and mouse to ease myself into this brave new world of tablet based work. So...the quickest way to learn was to go to the Wacom site and also Lynda.com and have a bit of Kelbyone thrown in for good measure...still waiting for all the button functions to stick so I have them all written out next to the Intuos Pad..a good old fashioned crib sheet. Well without further ado I have been back and getting stuck into painting in Photoshop CC, the image below was made up of 8 different layers using the mixer brush function and various brush sizes, now I'm not going to do any training videos just yet as I'm still at the bottom of the learning curve but can see how this could develop especially in the portrait field
So one more to do tonight and then I'll see what else I can get up to with this new system that I'm working with. I've got the double monitor thing just about set up but first back to the flowers for some more intricate paintwork...and here's one hot off the digitl canvas
Old dog, new tricks...it dosn't work apparently so as ever I set my jaw square against the twin imposters and threw myself into a dollop of new learning. Problem I have now is that I seem to be replacing my knowledge base with new stuff instead of adding to it.. doh..mind you if you let me loose on Photoshop 4.1 (from the dark ages) I'm sure something would stir and I could muddle through. That said, I quite like finding something new to titivate the visual tastebuds and this week this is what I've been up to. Oh changed from single app Photoshop CC to Pshop CC and LR5 for £8.98 saving 6 quid for more software....hmm.. have a look here
So first up the Nik collection of software from Google, it's great, serious addition to LR5 and CC as a programme based filter, I've been delving but mostly I've gone through all the Nik software training and had a play, if you can't/don't like masks or masking then get it...... so new software learnt... and then there's all the analogue, color efx and if you are of that persuasion...Hdr. Click the image below to have a look
So if you are that regular reader of this stuff, thankyou btw., you'll have been up to speed with my computer graphics card death and the upgrading of the aforementioned...well I think I've come to a plateau in the upgrade front on this here old Dell and as I am a power crazed despot it's time for an upgrade. So I've gone for a data munching 1Tb 16gb of ram Dual 24" monitors monster..apparently it's called Hal and as I'm called Dave I can see no problems occuring at all.... coming this week...have filled 2 Hds with images from this old girl...who strangely is running like a rocket now all the junk has been deleted or shuffled off to a portable HD.... oh and a new Wacom Intuos Pro...hmmm nice and a couple of samsung 1TB Hds ..well..as I am getting a bit creaky I think this could the last big upgrade before befuddlement overwhelms me. meh...
Now have some new filters...shiny new Hoya Infra red R72 and ND110...springtime..I have plans.... watch this space, I think this could look mad...
Time spent watching all of Dave Blacks light painting tutorials on Kelbyone....again watch this space or go and see Dave Black's work here I have some ideas..oh yes some mad stuff in my head that will look like nothing else and probably be destined for my 'Marmite' folder.
Found out I had this option in my 500px account..so played, actually quite a good way of pre-visaulising what your images look like as framed artworks..
There's other stuff but the sun is out and Daisy one of my Tortoises has emerged, yet again, from her winters slumber so before the Rugby comes on TTFN until the next time lensmiths...
Corruptus in Extremis..
I enjoy the ability to push the boundaries in Post processing, it's a learning process, yep I could slap on the same old same old but there are so many other possibilities to explore. Now the image above started off as an ICM shot of the Lowry and as I'm a wee bit over caffeinated I went off on a Photoshop CC wander. So texture layers, inverted copies, color lookup, hue sat a bag of blend modes..were all invited to the party.One of the tricks in doing these is laying out a trail of breadcrumbs,,if you want to replicate you'll somehow have to remember what on earth you got up to so I save a full layer stack back into LR5 from PshopCC..it's there for me to go back and see what layer did what to whom and why. Now I think this is one of the best ways to learn Photoshop, get your hands in and rummage around until it hurts...but always always...if you discover something great..leave a trail of crumbs to follow, you never know when you might need to do it again.
If I could live off praise I wouldn't be sitting here now typing this pile of old tosh but for some odd reason we need fresh air to live but can't survive on fresh air alone. Now it's nice when stuff sells, okay if I took more 'commercially minded' images I'd probably sell more but if you read the previous post you will now know that I take photos because I like to...shock horror old man takes quirky snaps beacuse he just wants to...red top tabloid stuff I think you'll agree. Now I also mentioned that I can live without a constant stream of praise to boost my already hyper inflated ego I even considered disabling comments so that folk came and just looked and then floated away...hang on I'm on the cusp of rambling...
So approbation, yesterday was a good day, a really good day, Getty sent me an email wanting more images and besides the flappy dither I got into wondering where the chuff I'd put all the old model releases I found uploaded and waved good bye in that 'tear in the eye first day at school' way and look forward to them furthering there fledgling career on Getty images...and then, well for me, a biggie....I got an appreciation..meh shmeh you may well say but it was from Julieanne Kost principal digital imaging eveangelist for Adobe .com. Now this was for one of my behance projects and although the images weren't optioned in the end I think they make a pretty decent set to look at. Check out Julieannes very slick and informative Lightroom and Photoshop videos on Adobe TV
Now then I ran my own image library last year and as a sales tool it was as useful as a Chocolate teapot so I binned it..older viewers will know that one of my business principles is 'Give it 12 months....' but I ended up with thousands of images just sitting about, shooting the breeze and drinking caffeine based beverages on a selection of hard drives..and then I realised that those fine folk on flickr had given us all 1Tb of space to fill...so I will... I started yesterday with some North Wales stuff and more 'quirky stuff' will be shovelled on later today..
Feel free to call by, look and if you really have to..offer some approbation, after all it's the fresh air that feeds us all.
I have the time..I have the tools...a bit of talent..so on these lovely hot days why not put it all together and have a bit of a faff around and see what I can come up with. Now I know, there are folk out there who see, in a photographic sense, Photoshop as the very spawn of the devil himself, I look on it as I would my dinky 50mm f1.8 as an essential part of my shooting kit. Okay you do have to have a level of personal constraint and not every thing I see warrants a whack around the chops with some complex software but if I go out to capture something specific I will already know what the final image will look like...and that includes some uber faffing in Adobes finest..or not.
But every now and then I'll pull out an image file from the dusty vaults and give it a bit of a smack sometimes making it cry in the process. Now I've intimated that I might be on a collision course with Portraiture, it has always been my 'elephant in the room' and now it sits on my shoulder, a photographic earworm...just nibbling away. this is the part where I get to the point....but how do I want my portraits to look??? well I thought I might jump in the archives and pull out some head shots and get the old Photoshop CC warmed up and head off for a jaunt and here are some of my experiments....now these have nothing to do with any creative lighting or location or make -up or such they are the first shots in looking at how I want the final images to appear
Early days and all the techniques are reproducable, all involve layer work and toys from the Photoshop cupboard. Now the trick is for me to see the final images in my head and when i pursue this and nail this head shooting. I'm looking forward to it and will make sure that procrastination is swept to one side.
Okay I have been trawling the web looking for a portable lighting system that is a bit more sophisticated than a bare flash or tungsten skin melter and I think I have found my ideals.
Yes I do think LED lighting is the future, especially portraiture so all I have to do is rustle up some cash and I'm away.... rustle up some cash...maybe I should have chosen a more finacially rewarding profession looks like a trip to my old mate Mr Ebay and recycle some gear...TFI Friday btw...lots of dashing about this weekend so catch you next week.
It may appear that I've had 2 weeks off...I didn't realise how much post operative care the fragrant Mrs Max would be needing after her recent hip replacement, anyway my bedside manner is up there with the best now so I need to get back into the photographic groove...
Keen eyed one(s) amongst you will have noted that the learning zone is a bit delayed...(see above)..but will get stuck in this weekend. I'm also on my own learning curve as I grapple with time lapse photography and a recalcitrant video card..juddery dingbat that it is...I think it's bite the bullet time and get a desktop replacement laptop with a more up to date spec than my old 'noughties' desktop.
With the time lapse I hope to make it a bit more of a creative outing rather than the usual 'lots of traffic, buildings lighting up , sunrise sunset thing and star trail stuff that seems to hog the genre....hmmmm extra long exposures put together.....and the like, I first need to get something with a pumped up video card and uber amounts of ram to make things work. Good thing is it's all possible in CS6 and although I've done a lot of work learning how to put things together, in practice it's a bit more head scratchy..meh you can do them as a lightroom slideshow if you want something basic. So I reckon that once I get into the groove of these I'll be needing a collapsible chair and something to read....so 30 sec exposure 10 secs between exposures...means 1 second of video = 15 minutes shooting .....sheesh.... make that a big book...
Working through all my Welsh Coastal stuff as well and getting (most) of it in one place.
First Shots..with the 920
It really is a very easy to use piece of kit...well seeing as there is no sim card and my Nokia sim is too big I will be using this as a point and shoot and as such it does a really good job.
Autofocus is snappy although I blew it's brains a bit by shooting into the sun. Good range of ISO settings although for point and shoots sake I'll leave it on auto.The image you've captured swipes off screen, good reminder that you've taken a shot. The large bright screen is nicely saturated although I found, for my taste that a gentle tickle in CS6 popped the images a bit more. Shoots in a default 16-9 format which looks great on the screen
As I can't download the Nokia software I've had to go on a convoluted route to get the images into CS6. Dragging from the Windows image file into CS6 just won't happen, neither does clicking to open in bridge...for a start it dosn't recognise the file type and I had the same problem with Bridge in that the file type wasn't recognised. So...open in Windows Viewer and then in the drop down click open in Photoshop...click off the 'windows drive' screen and , after a pause it's there in Photoshop...okay if you have a sim card and are fully connected this will not be a problem, it's just how I've had to sort out getting images off the Nokia by treting it as a new drive. Odd that Photoshop dosn't recognise the file type.... Now there are a lot of toys available once you can access and download from the nokia app site but this will be point and shoot, got to say it really is a lovely, but big piece of kit and in Ferrari Red...hmmmmmm..I like it. Okay here are the first snaps from a walk through the Heatons shopping on saturday...
...and the light is even worse..off to IKEA to grab some frames and see what these new multi window mounts look like in their natural environment and then I'll be posting them up on ETSY and maybe a few samples here on the mounts and cards page.
The new mount cutter has taken a lot of the guesswork out of where the blade enters the board...so no over cuts then....hmmmmm
I'm jumping into my Lightroom catalogue and rooting around for all my macro and nature stuff that never really gets an airing and I think I need to get them together into a coherent set. That after all is what I seem to be doing with all the other disparate strands of image making. I fancy a bit of ICM landscape and woodland work as well so hopefully when the sun pops out there will be snow on the ground...ice on the trees and a bit of colour in the sky...yeh..Pigs and aviation exploits...
So I'll get cracking on the macro stuff and then , if I time it right off to IKEA for some frames a Dog and a Coffee.... day sorted then...
Sometimes I wonder if
..I should just sit on my hands and stop trying new stuff...not the image making as I quite enjoy that..but making new products/categories of stuff to sell...it's almost like having a proper job...I mean I woke up at 4 this morning head buzzing with a product problem that got me to 'grape squeezing' anger yesterday..and the solution in the end was pretty simple. I suppose that's the moral..nothing is insurmountable if you put your mind to it and even with my alcohol depleted grey cells I figured out a 'way around the problem' instead of crashing my head against the keyboard and growling at folk who came too close to me... yep I was 'peeved' yesterday but today...meh...full of the joys...
So I'm working through all my sites and getting them all lined up in a non OCD kind of way, there is and will be crossover of products as I get my head around everything and I may even drop some more sites as things progress I just need to be finished by the end of the week and get my marketing act together ......act it may well be as I fluff my way through these opening nights. I'll be out and about flogging stuff this year as well, getting it into peoples hands I actually miss that and here's today's little anecdote to end things off.
I've been in the cellars a lot, clearing space for stock and equipment and I came across a drawer with all the stuff from the early 80's when I did...well..basically what I'm setting up now.a picture and mounting business..well I found a stack of old price lists and catalogues and sales receipts...all still as clear as a bell so anyway I made my way down to the far end of the village on Saturday and there in all it's pristine glory was a fully mounted 50 window framed cigarette card picture...Uniforms of the British Empire glass both sides and unmarked..for £40.00..no I didn't buy it but I gave the Manageress the background to it and when I'd made it...1983...30 years ago...lawks....I sold loads to America and Germany...I think Cigarette card dealers should give me an award for single handedly raising the price of Golf, Film Star and Motor Car ciggie cards during the 80's......and here ends the anecdote for I must away and continue designing ranges of Art Cards.....
Found out yesterday after the minimal amount of research , that you can create your own buy it now with drop down menus over at Paypal
Okay a wee bit clunky but a quick way of getting a selling option onto your web pages by just copying a bit of html code in... I'll be giving that a go later today. You may have noticed that some of the pages have a password lock on them...that's because I'm working on them and will get them all polished up in time for January.
if you are my eagle eyed viewer you may have also noticed that there are a lot more galleries appearing on here...Architecture Tags and Graffiti are just 2 and I'll be adding more as the day rolls on, although I'll be having a wee bit of fun with my latest Grandson...mwaaarh..xxxx during the day. So this old web site should be stuffed to the gunnels by the time 2013 turns up, providing of course today isn't the day we all end up under a Mayan apocalypse...this video may help you get through the day..I'll see you on the other side.
Not had one of these for a while but as I live on the web (for the moment, things change in 2013) but time for a heads up on who is watching, where they are from and WTF it means if anything....
So I have all this data that piles up in graphs and charts from all my sites and I'll tell you about this place first, well most of the traffic actually comes from online searching, there's me thinking that sticking links to back on here would drive a bit of traffic, hey, wrong again!!! Second in the table is Youtube, yes youtube where I seem to get new followers all the time and some wander across to see what that old fella has been wittering on about and linger for a while. Next up is Google in all it's national incarnations from .de to .ve the data is there and if I could speaka da lingo I'd thank them all individually....bumping along is twitter and propping up the pile is flickr....does anyone still think flickr is a viable and vibrant place for images???? It seems to be yawning it's way to oblivion, for gods sakes Getty do the decent thing and make a land grab now, ah flickr how bright shiny and vibrant you were back in the day...... so about 180 hardy souls bob in here on a daily basis which is okay and I'm hoping to eclipse that next year once the 'local' advertising hit's the streets....
Youtube how I love all that statistical data, charts, graphs demographics you've got the lot and it's time to big up the newest country to pop in for a nosy so as you might expect America is my biggest visitor with 68% blokeys and the dear ladies in at 32% with the majority coming from the 45 to 65 years old age demographic.....yes I'm getting bored with this as well. So who is the smallest country with the least visitors I hear you say through a stifled yawn, well that would be the Azores with one male in his 30's.....so exciting
Last is my Library site where I hardly get a peep from any UK visitors but loads from Japan, Russia, the Americas and Europe...totally different group than those that drop in here....so what does it mean...for me stop looking at the data and get those snaps processed, between 500 to 700 'unique' visitors call through in any 24 hour period across my sites and if I could I'd shake you all by the hand and say 'Thanks for calling by...' which is what I'm now saying to you dear viewer.......
Well that was a particularly painless week of selling off lots of gear. Cash in the bank and new stuff on it's way...
So heading off in a slightly different direction, as I said last time I think the Image Library business is suffering from it's own success, in fact the whole digital image online look at me sharing showing off thing has got to a point where either an Armageddon moment or some other amalgamatory (?) conjoining expiration moment will descend upon us. Still wondering why Getty don't just scoop up flickr instead of all this 'Artist's Pick' tosh and make it work as a cheapo licensing operation, now as I've said before 'pinching' images off the net is so bloody easy these days and even tickling out the watermarks is now just a swish and a click, we've got the Digital Orphans bill rumbling along, good idea if you have a read of this stop43
So not only is there too many images on the net and people pinching them but if you fail to tag, watermark add metadata and generally chase down any referrers coming on you sites who are dodgy (yandex and baiduspider based searches) and of course disable any download options, make images 'small' and low jpeg quality and add on the appropriate licensing options then quite frankly it's just like leaving your front door open with a big Neon sign flashing 'Help Yourselves, the doors open' look after your images, make sure everyone knows they are yours and keep the front door shut and switch off that bloody Neon sign.....
Stuff for Sale
I have some well cared for Nikon Gear for sale. A rather nice Nikon 105VR Micro f2.8 lens, boxed, nikon caps, pouch and manual for £450. A Nikon 80-200 f2,8, Nikon caps, metal hood, leather case and Cullman shoulder carrying bag over here on ebay for £295. And also , if you cut mounts or want to cut mounts a Logan 650 40" mount cutter as new, boxed with a box of Logan blades to get you started again it's on ebay. Quite welcome to come on down and have a try first, unless of course they have been snapped up.
Just clearing the decks as new gear is on the way for next years projects and I've already cleared off my SB800 kit so really need to lighten the load and get these items out to someone who may find a good use for them....
Had a minor panic yesterday as I lost loads of images...well if you put them on a portable HDD and then store them away and then forget that you put them on there to keep them safe.....don't get old, it's bloody annoying at times..anyway found and as I have a different PP process I'll be giving those a mighty slap and tickle today. I look at stuff I 'over' processed from 3 years ago and shake my head, lot of strong images hidden in a smear of outre Photoshop , that was then and this is now as '80's pop Diva's ABC once sang to us...I've also taken a bit of a fancy to square format images again...I can hear my old Bronica weeping gently in my 'Man' cupboard upstairs.
Today must have been the darkest bleakest yackiest start to a day for a long time, even the chickens couldn't be arsed to get pecking this morning, who can blame them, mind you I have a request for some 'Wet Umbrella' shots so should be good for a trip into Manchester later.
No it's not sticking weeds on a pile and watching it rot, although there could be a bit of rhubarb involved...compositing, bringing together photographic elements to make something new. Now I've done some in the past which look like they have been given a once over with the 'iffy' duster so I thought I'd get my head down and see what I could drag out of my library of image files and nail together in a new convincing fashion. One good thing already is that it is increasing my skill base again, always good news, and the other is that it is giving some of my lesser known images a chance to have a run out into the sunlight...albeit in a mashed up uber faffed way....
So first comes the idea and then a, sometimes, annoying trawl through the thousands of image files I have to pluck out those that I can nail together and create something that looks new. I know there are a load of 'photographers' out there that go to the cheapo image libraries , buy a few files and cobble them together...well I'll be using all my own stuff thankyou..gives the whole thing a bit of provenance don't cha know... I may even go out and shoot things to add into these composited montages...regular follower(s) will know that this is the time of year to get into that big pile of image files you've stored away for the bleak winter months..so I will park my carcass and cobble in Photoshop until my eyes rebel or until Masterchef comes on the telly, so the front page of the site now becomes the Compositing page land of my make believe although feel free to give me some verbals if a man in a bowler hat holding an umbrella turns up in one of them at some point.......
Sky from Cromarty...field from the Black Isle and Lighthouse from New Brighton run through the Photoshop Blender attachment
The 39 Steps...
'...biggest job I had to do Sir, did I do well...' Okay the Robert Donat version is not one for the purists but it's a film I'd gladly sit through over and over again. Tenuous connection but I think I've just taken on the biggest job and I hope I do well. Across various hard drives I reckon that I have 20,000 usable images..ones that are not personal faves but recognisable, viewable, not too hard to digestable!!!... and the trick I am about to perform is get them out to a wider market, I've already started. Templates and rough designs are already made, databases are being developed (yep very slowly though) business plans are being run up the flagpole and markets are being targeted. In fact all I'm doing is what I did 30 years ago but this time with the aid of all things digital, lets hope it involves less legwork this time but it will be taking up most of my time, clocks about to change, light becoming less; time to look through the last 6 months stuff and get tickling and faffing. Now I've relied on the internet to do the selling for me...more people are doing it and as I've mentioned before the pre crash 'Golden' days of spending really havn't returned even though 'The Recession ' is coming to an end...hmmm take a look at history first...few more years to go I think ...so less time to do other things. So time to stop spending time on non core sites, move away from social sites,unless they give me access to customers and more time on here and my library site
Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, pedal to the metal...it's time to put my Worzel Gummidge selling head on...I hope it looks good on me
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...