We shot a small gig for Artists & Illustrators magazine from London. Our subject was none other than the extremely talented Colin Davidson. It was a simple shoot; just capture the man in his space with his tools of the trade.
If you get the chance check out his work, do it. He is speaking in Dublin, January 16th, 2013 at the RHA lecture series, here.
Some of you might follow me on Facebook and might have seen some recent images I posted of a few of our horses, Molly and Apache.
I’ve been asked by a few followers to show my workflow on achieving the look and feel of them, so I’m going to dissect one of them.
Here we have the untouched image.
Just sort of a foggy, dreary overcast sort of feeling; flat light and low contrast.
Then with a few global corrections and b&w conversion in Lightroom.
The boost in contrast along with the black and white conversion and some heavy vignetting, really begin to draw your eye in towards Molly. Her muscles and facial features start to stand out dramatically.
Now when I take it into Photoshop,
I can selectively darken and lighten area using adjustment layers and layer masks. I boost the contrast some more while still keeping the highlights from totally losing it. I’m not too worried about the shadows blocking up because this was a very low contrast predominantly light image to begin with. At this point I’m quite happy with the image and it stands on its own fine.
Although if I wanted to play with it some more I could.
If I wanted to give this the feeling of an old Polaroid T55 negative that I might have taken on location then solarized it during processing, it might look something like this.
Now in Photoshop I crop it down roughly to a 4×5 negative size. I then layer it with another image from a set of images I use specifically for this purpose. Then by using different layer blending modes I choose the desired effect. At this point I add a layer mask and continue to paint in or out with a Wacom, different sections of the layered image to further the effect.
I hope you enjoy the images and keeping shooting.
Please feel free to comment.
The client has decided to take the campaign in a different direction. I will be using the images in some form for a self promotion but I won’t be posting them up until the dust settles.
In the mean time, here’s a pretty picture to look at while you’re waiting.
A couple of quick shots of some flowers before we get pummeled with projects this week. I wanted to have something that I could maybe print up for Olivia’s mother to hang in her house. Not sure if they work for her but maybe for us if she doesn’t like them.
The quality out of this lens and film combination is very sweet and smooth.
I had a little break in shooting so what should I do besides feed the horses?
I had E.E. Kelly come into the studio, looking to do something different and I think I delivered. I was looking to create a more sinister, end of the world feel; maybe something like Sandra Bullock if she starred in Mad Max as Max.
We shoot a couple of frames in the studio, showing the starkness of the shaven head and the strength of her body with just one light and some negative fill. Then we went outside into the “zone”. Olivier had been burning some rubbish, like he usually does, and it made for a very moody surrounding. Dust, smoke and fire with all the rubble made the two frames we shot feel like we were in another time for a moment. That is until the locals started pouring in when they heard there was a girl being photographed. Both images were shot on Harman Direct Positive, wide open at f4.7 and process in standard b&w chemicals.
I have been asked recently to submit to about a dozen different photo competitions and exhibitions. The only thing is that since my last show two years ago, I haven’t really worked on any personal projects for myself.
Recently I’ve taken up going backwards in time. I’m ditching the digital and capturing images like we used to in the olden days, on silver based emulsions. Below are a couple of test images I created using the calotype method. It involves exposing photographic paper instead of film to create a paper negative. From that you can scan the image into Photoshop and play with it from there.
These images though are a little different. They are actually the positive prints right from the camera. The silver media is a positive print paper; very smooth and very very contrasty. By using a couple of different techniques I’m able to better control the contrast and lower it to a more natural feeling of a true black and white image. More experimenting to come and hopefully I’ll have something I feel is worthy of a new exhibition.