The Acetate Story Continues

Hi Everyone,

We are deep into winter here in the UK with short days, cold and miserable weather and precious little sunshine. Being in another hard Lockdown isn't helping either. The first UK lockdown began on the 23rd of March 2020, exactly 300 days ago…  It's hard to imagine what life was like before that date, it feels like a world away.

Lots has happened since my last blog, not nearly enough involving photography. Christmas and New Year came and went. I didn’t see any friends or family during this time which was incredibly hard but necessary. Knowing that it wasn't a choice and millions of others were doing the same did help, but not much. Moving swiftly on…

Motivation has been elusive these last few weeks. Given the news agenda I am trying to be kind and not to berate myself. The focus has to be staying positive and if that means a few hours on the sofa with a good novel or a newspaper, doing a bit of crafting or watching a Box Set (shock horror!) then so be it. This will pass and we must get through it as best we can whatever it takes.

Developing images from The Shadow Glows

I haven’t been completely idle. A multi-variant image is proving elusive, a few candidates but not yet getting much of a buzz so I have put that aside in favour of working more with Acetate and seeing where I can take that. The more I work with this medium the more I think it will be here for a while, the possibilities are truly endless…

To build up a coherent body of work I have stayed with the more subtle images from 'The Shadow Glows'. Working with 'Retrace', the subject of last months' blog was very much trial and error but it gave me a place to start. While preparing 'Retrace' I split the file into different tones so that I could print each separately to give me a layered version of the image.

Under The Rain

When working with this image I played further with each of the tonal layers once I had split the file. This opened up all sorts of possibilities.

New colours and shapes started to reveal themselves as the layers overlapped creating a different image altogether.

Embedding 13.25 carat White Gold leaf with pressed Alstromeria petals within the layers has taken this image much further than I had intended. Very pleasing indeed.

Shine

With Shine I went even further and played around extensively with the layers prior to printing. I also added some additional elements to add texture and sparkle to the final piece. Why not!

For this I added some Bougainvillea petals which I pressed while in Rajastan almost a year ago now (goodness!). Adding the petals onto different layers allowed me to add depth which I don't think  the image here conveys very well.

I am thrilled with the results and am starting to feel really excited about the possibilities moving forward. I know I am quite a long way from a pure 'photograph' here but it's fun and that's all that matters.

Creating the Layers

I have had a couple of people get in touch asking how I split the files for printing. I am sure there are plenty of ways of achieving this but this is how I go about it all. A very good friend of mine who is incredibly generous with his knowledge (you know who you are...) introduced me to the Tony Kuyper Photoshop Extension packages.

The set that I use is the TK7 Luminosity Masks and I highly recommend them. They are reasonably priced and are supported by a series of 'step by step' video's which I also highly recommend. These tools allow me to select specific tonal ranges, tweaking them such that I have exactly what I want on each layer. Without such fine controls I am sure I could achieve the same results but I am certain it would be far more arduous. This is the only Photoshop Extension that I use and I wouldn't be without it.

Finally...

Lots of activity on the Photo-Talk front recently; Barnet and Finchley Photographic Society (BFPS) last week with Stroud Camera Club hot on its heels this coming week. I do absolutely love giving these talks, my work isn't always everyones cup of tea but it always sparks some good discussions which is fantastic. If you know of any organisation who might be interested in hearing my talk then please get in touch.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. So many of you take the time to comment or to mail me directly, it makes a huge difference. If you do ever have any questions about what I do, or why, then please get in touch, I will always respond.

Thank you again, take care and stay very safe

L   xxx

The Acetate Edition

By Linda Bembridge | December 6, 2020

Hi Everyone, well winter is certainly in full swing here in the UK… very chilly, dull and grey all of a sudden despite many of my spring bulbs growing away happily in my garden. Mother Nature will need to sort out the timing issue… Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting to grips with a […]

The Shadow Glows

By Linda Bembridge | November 15, 2020

Hi Everyone, It feels like ages since I published my last ramblings but it’s only been a few weeks. My last couple of blogs were created from a very small corner of my spare bedroom, happily those days are behind me and I now have a lovely new space to play in. It’s only been […]

Embellishments and The Scratch

By Linda Bembridge | October 14, 2020

Hi Everyone, I haven’t written a blog for a while… I said in my last note that I was working from a very small corner of my spare bedroom, well this blog comes from there too. My new working space is starting to take shape but it’s taking quite a bit longer than I thought […]

10 Comments

  • Lovely images Linda. Am joining Stroud CC so I can see your presentation. Thanks for the info, always look forward to discovering about different techniques.

    Reply
    • Hi Jane,
      Lovely to hear from you again… It’s great to hear you are joining Stroud CC… I am really looking forward to presenting this coming Thursday and I really hope you aren’t disappointed…
      Take care and ‘catch up’ Thursday…

      L xx

      Reply
  • Just wonderful! I love what you are doing and have started dipping my toes into the abstract water. I love the way I can follow paths to goodness knows where – a kind of ‘windmills of my mind’. And yes it has been tough. I fell apart in the first months of last year but eventually found myself again, and found a way of going forward with hope, interest and excitement. My world has shrunk in some ways, but in other ways it remains rich. Keep going!

    Reply
    • Hi Candy,
      Thank you so much for getting in touch. I am really pleased you enjoy my scribblings and following what I’m up to. It all feels a bit random but it’s fun all the same. Following your whims while delving into the abstract is a great method for enjoying yourself, something of which I whole-heartedly approve…
      I am pleased you have found a way to cope in these difficult times – I am getting there I think but it’s definitely taken it’s toll, I just can’t wait to see my family and friends in the flesh again, it’s becoming a bit of an obsession… it will pass though and the pace of the vaccination programme is helping enormously.
      Take care and please keep in touch and let me know what you are up to…

      L xx

      Reply
  • Another fascinating read Linda – thanks for sharing so much of your process. Another plug for TK7 luminosity masks – definitely worth investing the time to learn how they work and the online resources to do so are invaluable. These images really glow – look forward to seeing them progress. And keep smiling, keep sane….I think there really is light at the end of the tunnel now x

    Reply
    • Hi Valda,
      Yes, the TK7 panel was a complete game changer and simplifies the process enormously. I really don’t think the images of these new works do them justice but it’s the best I can do…
      And yes, every day we get a bit closer… just a question of hanging on…

      L xxx

      Reply
  • Wow Linda ! Adding the pressed flowers brings a totally new dimension . Your dedication to the pursuit of new techniques is admirable and inspirational

    Reply
    • Hi Howard,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment… I will be the first to admit that there is loads of trial and error associated with this plus quite a few full bins of rubbish stuffed with things that don’t come together for me… it all part of the journey though and I am having great fun trying to see what works (or sort of works…) and what doesn’t.
      Take care and so very much looking forward to catching up properly at some point…

      L xxx

      Reply
  • Fascinating to hear how things are progressing Linda and to see how your images are developing. As always some lovely work. You too are generous in sharing your knowledge and passing on your photographic discoveries!
    I’m keen, following your recommendation, to explore luminosity masks but thinking about and actually doing are two different things! Really beginning to miss being able to see others and share some learning in a workshop environment now.

    Soon be spring.
    Zara x

    Reply
    • Hi Zara,
      Lovely to hear from you and thank you for your lovely comment. I am pleased you like the recent work… I will be honest, it is getting hard to motivate myself to carry on exploring at the moment, it feels quite a struggle just to get through each day without putting pressure on myself to be creative. I know it will only be a short-term thing but it’s definitely very real at the moment. On the plus side, the house is very clean!
      Looking forward to catching up at some point this year hopefully…
      Stay safe and take care
      Linda

      Reply

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