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.
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.
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
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]