I'm getting my head around how best to use the road system around here now, so many good routes, but which ones to use??? Nipped off to the Crozon penninsula the other day as a break from all the work down on the farm, well it was raining so we thought we'd explore, and as neither of us had been over to Crozon we though we'd toddle off there. So lots of excellent places to get some images from found and then we came across the Terenez Bridge. Supports in the shape of the greek letter Lambda and a crazy curved suspension bridge with access points all over the place. From the banks of the river I'll go back in Autumn once the leaves have dropped, as this will open out the view more. Now the light was a bit grim but that's never a reason not to take a snap so here are a few in camera multi shots from there. Gone for a 16 x 9 crop, 6 in camera exposures, light was so naff they were almost mono anyway so just helped them along in LR 5.5
It may have come to your attention, over these last 5 months that I have been pretty busy getting my head around a lot of different shooting techniques, software and new chunks of shiny hardware and really it's all in preparation for a bit of an adventure I'll be off on in about 4 weeks time as from then on I can't see myself having a spare moment for at least the following 12 months at which point I will be hurling myself into my 7th decade..let's all bow our heads for a minutes silence here...7th decade.... aye caramba, thank heavens I've still got my good looks and nothings fallen off yet....ahem...
So, as I am getting more and more 'old stuff' faffed and tickled into some kind of retail shape I thought I'd let you know where I'm up to image wise. If you are that solitary reader who has managed to part the clouds of Guff that hang about this place like a Saharan dust storm smog, you'll remember that I always say..queue funny voice 'Always squirrel away lots of files when it's sunny so during the dross months of winter you'll have somethign to give a good old spanking to and not have to watch telly' Well as I've switched systems from the Steam powered Dell that wheezed it's way through a stack of adjustment layers to Hal, the all powerful pixel muncher..I discovered that, probably like a lot of Squirrels out there, that I'd saved any number of image files in completely random folders all over the place, workflow now is of the sensible kind but as I was switching from Lightroom to Photoshop to Bridge and back stuff was being hoicked all over the show in a multi format unfathomable morrass... after many tears things seem to be making far more sense..new Catalogue in LR5, bring in images from various hard drives..Lightroom to Photoshop then saved to Lightroom and exported via presets from Lightroom to their life on the net. (for the non photographer who may have just read that last passage, it's what we in the trade call Photoshop Bollocks..) So alamy, Getty and redbubble are getting fed on a constant conveyor of tasty jpegs 500px gets some exclusives now and then..they are licencing some of my images now as well as doing prints, downloads and canvas things. Now that Getty has given up on flickr I'll probably stick the odd image on just to let folk I've not passed on, nearly my 7th decade lets not forget...so here are some motorbikes from a stack of files I've had hanging around for a while
Simple but effective retouching work in Photoshop. If you havn't used layers and blend modes then try this and there are a few sneaky little tips in here as well. IR72 and ND110 filters polished so off out to the great outdoors for some scenic landscape photography.
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...
So I made an exec decision and I'm going mono with the shots from Spain, that include some of the multi exposure stuff as well so without further ado, oh the chest infection you ask, getting there but get your cagoule on if I start hacking.....
So longish lens shooting into the sun with a 6 exposure in camera multi shot, just remember that the longer the lens the less you have to 'move' the camera during your exposure run. This one babove is 6 shots working downwards until I ended up shooting the sea, remember that the last frame you take will become the dominant part of the image...lots of ship movements around Algeciras.....
Boats again but the technique modified to achieve this result, very slight movements during the seperate exposures, this is all in camera btw, only conversion work is todo the mono. One thing you have to look out for is dirt and boulders on your sensor...6 exposure multi's means that much more spotting out later so keep your sensor cleaning regime up to the mark. The one below is Vigin Atlantic waiting on the apron which looked like it might work as a multi shot whilst I had a sandwich
...and to finish off one from the beach...it was 18 degrees...I thought it was hot!!! Locals didn't
Keen eyed viewers will have noticed the re-emergence of the 16 x 9 crop format on the landscape format shots, if you hadn't then ...er... you've just been told...
Well there we have it folks, the results are in, phone lines are now closed and the golden envelope is about to be opened and.....I can hear a drum roll...I havn't won..tumbleweed time but what's this, after the Lord Mayors show comes the first batch of losers and blow me , I'm in there, my natural habitat, top 10 finish and maybe, just maybe a bag of swag to rifle through, but I'm not holding my breath until I get an email from RC telling me to 'hit the yes button' I f that happens then I'll spread out some of the bountious wealth amongst the folk who came on the walk...maybe a Christmas do if we are lucky..again please don't hold your breath..stuff may come or it may just dwindle.... so here is the page to see what won..are those verticals correct????
and, if you havn't cast your peepers on it, this is my entry...
A 7 shot wide angle panorama in the Turkish Bath at the Victoria Baths in Manchester with Laura Norrey dropped into the doorway. So there we have it, Great Venue, lots of lovely Photo folk and some almost winners in there as well..not bad as we were up against 25,000 other snappers on the day.... oh and maybe some prizes to have a play with...
So well done to Matt , still think it's better than half of the top ten ones but he does get a name check and honorable mention from Scott Kelby and RC Concepion If you click here and scroll forward to 8 min 15 you'll see his great shot from the day. Still think it should have ben up there as a top tenner...ah well. So the leaders comp opened yesterday and I sent in this one, full of wackiness... probably 'too much' to be a winner but you never know, if you don't buy a ticket you'll never win the raffle... it's got a few more views overnight so someone is watching..
Well the weather looks like it will be whipping up the channel into a frothing maelstrom...bugger, getting the overnight from Plymouth to Roscoff and it's 8 hours in the dark... still will plop off on the other side for a coffee and croissant before stopping off in Morlaix at the market,, I love Brittany to pieces but have never had a decent camera to give it a going over, we'll skate over the Fuji S3 as I changed lenses on the beach and sanded up the sensor good and proper...doh!!!! So unless there is some wifi freebie going on over there then I'll be just concentrating on snapping for 10 days...hmmm autumn in France...leafless Poplar avenues..hmmm empty Chateaux... probably pleut tojouring as well but will be fully wet weather geared up... now then back to youtube and the next part of conversational French for Dummies...
..well for a short while and then it's off to France for a long week, get through Christmas and then off into the hills of Spain.. there is a purpose to all this which hopefully will become clear to me and then you by March next year, it's all very exciting, well for me anyway but first trip out of the way so time to check in and report about some snaps I was taking. Light was great whilst I was there, stayed in Gibraltar but wandered across the border into Spain and the edible delights that La Linea had to offer..got stopped at the border, I know, my dodgy looks gave me away but all they found were lumps of well abused camera gear..er did Almeihda gardens, walked the Med steps which really did almost kill me but had great views from the top of Morroco and the vast tonnage of boats waiting for some business...er Wide angle panoramas, some more famous animal pictures, and lots of odd bits of 'The Rock'..could I live there..no, so claustrophobic and even worse when the Med cruise liners dumped their contents into town. So lots of lens swapping so I'm making a guess that I've got dollops of dust on the later images but that's what your PP software really is there for.
So for me a few day's of smacking these images into shape with the bonus of some images being accepted for book cover publication whilst I was off on my jolly, now to find where I filed the original layered fles... well gives me something to do. here is a selection of things that hopefully will be appearing in a Waterstones near you soon (truth be told all my book cover stuff is for overseas publication so I've yet to walk in to a Waterstones and go all misty eyed at the sight of my images being mashed together with some text)... so here are a few new ones to look at.
Well where did that week go..ah ..processing and uploading...the office chair needs a rest I think .....and I have some ideas for something completely different..... I've got 600mm of Nikkor to put through it's paces...yes 600mm...it looks as battered as I do but the glass, besides a few dust flecks is clear and shiny... I will be out and about with it... also some barking Portrait/studio/person stuff that I have lodged away in my head needs to be brought to life especially as my tortoises are looking at hibernating...(yes tortoises).... besides that I have a lot of macro stuff to do and if I can make this work..telephoto panoramas.......I'll run out of ideas one day...ideas are good, putting them into practice is always the tricky part....
Judgement day beckons on the Worldwide Photowalk images..some good ones on there already and I'm looking forward to the rest appearing soon..yes that would be very, very soon guys...the 14th is looming, you can't win a prize unless you buy a ticket!!
Right I have some book cover images to smack into shape, oh some of my images that are appearing on Audio books appear to have that bit liceneced already so even though I've found them in geographical areas that they shouldn't appear in...well they have...hmmmmm , can't say I'm convinced totally but Mr Amazon in all your .com, .co.uk, .it.de.fr variations...I am watching you..oh yes...
Some stuff off to the publishers for a Yay or nay.
..one of the image libraries that sells my images to keep an eye out on sites such as amazon and it's various iterations .de .it .fr and so on to see if publishers are using images licenced for one territory in an area where they havn't coughed up for the fee... so as I was meandering around the web last night and for want of something better to do I started searching..and well I found one of my images in places that, have yet to be officially authorised...or have I? Could be that my agents have ...er...not been quick in informing me that they have been actively selling or it could be something in the licence I'm not aware of...either way missive sent off to my agent for a bit of 'clarification' could be nothing but fingers crossed it's fee paying, trips to Spain, France and Gibralatar coming up over the next couple of months and I've run out of children to sell... Here's a link to one of my book cover images... amazon
Busy working through lots of 'hard drive sleepers'...those images that have been filed (okay I'm using filed in it's loosest sense) so 2009 and 2010 being given a work over by Adobe's finest and slowly but surely uploaded. I'm really keeping the PP to a very basic minimum, clean, straighten and lens corrections is about the sum total as I nudge things past the QC bots that live on image library sites...for me it's the greatest restraint I've shown in image post processing ever.....ever... lordy they could almost be film..... until the next time....
Well after that brief brush with Siberian winds last week we seem to have stumbled into a spell of Indian summeryness. So I took the new to me but battered Nikon 300mm out for a stroll along the Pennine way yesterday and then around Bilberry and Digsley reservoirs before traipsing up to Meltham...it was hot sunny, I'd gone layered up as it was grim here in Manchester but halway thorugh the walk summer returned and that lens...it weighs a lot more than a nifty fifty...anyway good walk, grappled with the 300mm and in the next few hours , will see what the depth of field and sharpness look like. Didn't try out the 2x convertor but maybe of Thursday.
if you look on my new images page you'll see the latest ones from Newcastle/Gateshead. I've given them an a apocalyptic mono tickle..so have a look. Did a montage for flickr with a dinky Sage colour as I just montaged the Sage on the gateshead side of the river...yep I know, no need to explain.... if you missed it here it is.
I only use primes, well 2 mainly a 20mm f2.8 and the 50mm f1.8 and for the last 9 months or so that's all I've used mainly because that's the way I wanted to see things but things are about to change. First to arrive is a Nikon 105Micro f2.8..I had one last year and I hardly used it but now there's a lot of stuff i want to do in the macro genre...and last night I bought a Nikon 300mm and a TC 200 2x convertor because there are a lot of areas I want to explore at extreme distances that will give frame filling compression so expect my 'slightly different way of looking at things' to start rolling out next week, suppose I need a bigger bag now.
Sold all my old 120 roll film on ebay last night and I think it all went for a very fair price, stick them in the post today to those lucky bidders.
Touch wood I seem to have overcome Alamy's aversion to my kind of images and it's algorhytmic QC section...well basically I will be shovelling all the bog standard straight as a die stock images onto there from now on that is of course until the QC chickens have a good pecking at my files and give me the reject slip... they must miss out on tens of thousands of 'creative imagery' files...ah well their business so I'll keep anything overt away from them, How about a Manchester Montage to end today's drivel...
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.
Hidden in plain sight in your top toolbar in CC or CS6 is Window...now then one of the sub menus is Adobe Exchange if you click on it you'll get wafted over to here http://adobe.ly/1cX7NGU . Now most of it in there is self explanatary. Try out some of the free stuff, once you've downloaded any of the free stuff then it'll probably ask you to restart your system. Then you'll have access to them...now once you click on a texture or edge border Photoshop takes over automatically and applies the effect to the image that is open. Try Yale..gives you Holga and Lomo effects plus borders and film types..here's one I did with a simple click
Just part of an anti pasta i was having up in Newcastle..extended the white from the plate and then used Yale from Adobe Exchange to add the border, black and white layer at about 40% to hold back some colour ,....flatten and there you have it.
Can I just ask that if you use any of the techniques I go through ,could you add a link back to the page where you found the technique on...just so everyone can have a go and you spread the word..this is all free remeber, no adverts no agents will call, lets just spread the knowledge base out there together.
Okay, time for more. experimental photography, or faffing as it is known. This involves taking your lens off of the front of your camera and holding it in a kind of 'Christ...I hope I don't drop it' manner in front of the gaping hole . Early days...early days and as the heavens have opened I wont be toddling into Manchester to do any of this. I'm using an 80mm Nikkor off my Bronica S2a as the lens, if I drop it, well, it will just crack the pavement..I'm sure after a bit of tugging and pulling I'll be getting some waccy results but here are a few from the back garden before 'rain stopped play'
So.....it looks like you've had a play in LR/Pshops blur filter thingys but actually it's only a question of holding the lens and moving it about by small degrees to get this, well almost titl shift look to your image files, All have just had an 'Auto' button waft in LR5 and that's it....I think there are some legs in this and , on behalf of all of you,I will faff away with it until the wheels fall off..
So something a bit more in depth on the do's and dont's tomorrow, camera settings and stuff...
Right , I'll be off to shovel some manure rather than type it in a short while..better and cheaper than going to the Gym. Some of my images are going to be used for the reprint of Richard Laymons crime thriller novels in Germany...( yep...me neither...) http://www.amazon.com/wiki/Richard_Laymon/ref=ntt_at_bio_wiki . Just nice to know every now and then where your images end up, that is the ones that are bought legit not the ones half inched off site..there is a little reverse search engine you can use to track images you may think are off on a jaunt without your knowledge http://www.tineye.com/ ....that is if the little monkeys havn't stripped out the metadat from your file... ah well
Anyway oh yes, nice to get some work out there published albeit under a blanket of type, that's where I seem to be at the moment, on Ordnance survey maps and Paperback covers...I'd lke to say it's a living...no I really would but....
If you havn't made it across to my Behance site then here are the latest images of Manchester, I like this style ...well for the moment so expect more or completely ignore, we still live in a free world apparently... oh TFI Friday folks, big hello to you hundreds...yes I'm not making it up..hundreds of newbies who have dropped in this week for a look.
No these arn't shot with the Nokia Lumia 925 but these are
Persistant chesty cough so off for an x-ray...thought I'd take the Nokia 925 and do a bit of editing 'in camera' to while away the time. Well...super efficient NHS had me in and out in 10 minutes so only had the briefest of times to use the editing tools in the Nokia but here are some of the examples.
So...using the radialand tilt shift blur options ..which are so nice and easy to use...touch the are then squeeze or pinch the sharp are and let ht ephotne do the rest..quick and saves as a separate file. First 2 had some o the overlay presets in the Creative Studio...first one is amber the second Ivory. All very fast and you can always zip back to the original file and try something else.
It's summer so that means summer shows and to be more specific summr car shows, always good for photo opps especially when the sun gets in on the act and gets to work on all that chrome.
Chucking it down today so chance to get stuff on ebay and gumtree, i'll post some links later.
Okay a quick post from todays faffing. Plastic mixing bowl, a bit of material...Nokia 925 and you get this sort of thing.....
So it looks like layer work in Photoshop but just a bit of left field thinking with an old mixing bowl and a piece of gauze borowed from my much better halfs stockpile.
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...