TEXTURE – 24

This week I’ve been thinking about Texture as an important element in my images. Of course, everything has ‘texture’ to some degree, but capturing that in an image is not straightforward. The answer, in the main, is in the lighting – and certainly side-lighting is a great way to bring out the texture in many subjects.

Using texture as a form of contrast in the image is always powerful, as in the feather and chain shot. I’ll leave it to you to decide if these work for you. That , after all, is the acid test!

Feather and ChainTexture by John Allen-1

Old Paint.Texture by John Allen-2

Rendered BrickworkTexture by John Allen-3

Chasms in the SandTexture by John Allen-4

 

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From Austria – 23

Just back from Zell am See in Austria – a little late with the post, but I’m trying to catch up. We’ve only been away for a week and there seems so many things to do!!

Anyway – up near the Großglockner mountain ( Austria’s highest ) in the Hohe Tauern National Park, the snow was still stacked pretty deep!

DEEP SNOW by John Allen

The Krimml Waterfall – absolutely stunning – too high to walk to the top – but you can get quite wet just by stopping to watch the water. Apologies for the water droplets on the lens. Perhaps i should have taken an underwater camera mount!!!

KRIMML by John Allen

And a perfect reflection in a small tarn, as we would call it – or is it a reservoir? – just above Zell am See where we were based for the week. Some twenty seconds later the breeze came up and the reflection was gone!!

REFLECTION by John Allen

So, just three of my 700 plus images – and some bits of video. A fantastic week – and I travelled very light – my Olympus EM-1 MkII and a single lens – my 12 -100mm f/4 Pro lens. I did take a wide angle (8mm) and a macro lens but they never left the hotel room

Thro’ A Crystal Ball – 21

I’ve been photographing black and white geometric patterns through a crystal ball. In fact, two crystal balls in the second image – a small ball balanced precariously on top of the larger one.

The challenge proved to be getting the shot without reflections for the lights. I ended up using a long exposure and painting in the lights with different torches and video lights.

The Live Bulb exposure facility on the Olympus OM-D EM1 was very useful here as you can see the image build as well as being able to monitor the histogram develops

Crystal Balls by John Allen-2

Crystal Balls by John Allen-3

Crystal Balls by John Allen

All taken on the Olympus EM-1 with a 12 – 100mm f4 Pro lens, imported into Lightroom Classic CC  and then tweaked  and cleaned up in Photoshop CC. The background pattern was also created in Photoshop and then printed out as an A3 image.

SMOKE & MIRRORS – 19

This week I’ve been making smoke! Joss stick smoke, in fact.

All of these images started off as a shot of smoke lit with a single flash unit, against a black ( very black ) background. Each was then post-processed ( ie manipulated ) in Photoshop CC,  which is where all of the colour and the reflections were added in.

Like inkblot images, you can see things in most of these shots! Well, I can!

01-SMOKING by John AllenAngels?

02-SMOKING by John AllenKissing Ducks?

04-SMOKING by John Allen

05-SMOKING by John Allen

A burning joss stick – multi-layered, the exposure for the joss stick layer was flash plus 2 seconds to catch the red of the burn.

A Week In Kent – 18

Just back from a week away in Kent. We stayed south of Canterbury, on a farm in a small village called Stelling Minnis. Came back with too many images – can’t show you them all but here are a favourite four that might just interest you!

Maybe next week I’ll show you some more. On the other hand …..

The cloisters at Canterbury Cathedral. A superb building, but unfortunately covered in scaffold for a much need clean. 01-KENT by John Allen

The White Cliffs of Dover. We were lucky enough to see a ( two seater ) Spitfire ( maybe from Biggin Hill? ) that did a run past the cliffs then came back and barrel-rolled overhead the docks. Sadly, wrong lens on the camera – I was travelling light that day!02-KENT by John Allen

Coloured chairs outside the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery at Margate. Is this ‘Still Life’? Or just a picture of four chairs?03-KENT by John Allen

The evening sky the night before we left. Not quite my last shot of the week, but it certainly made me feel good.04-KENT by John Allen

More next week? Maybe. 🙂

Southend Sunday – 16

Last Sunday we took a ride out to Southend-On-Sea. It was a busy, bustling place – everyone encouraged, no doubt, to be outside in the lovely weather!

Passing the fairground near the shore-end of the pier we noticed this agitated crow – apparently concerned by the rumbling of the inverted people passing by on the yellow track.

03-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

We then discovered why he was agitated – the crows had chosen to build their nest inside the metalwork of the roller-coaster. Not a great shot, but you can just see the crow standing on its nest INSIDE the framework! We guessed this was the first day that the ride had been opened this year – and we wondered how long it would be before the nest was abandoned?

04-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

But at the other end of the pier things were a little more peaceful – but we were a couple of hours early for the anticipated ‘Folk Music & Beer’ event. ( Not its official title – and we didn’t stop for it.)

But we did spot the young Turnstone on the end of the pier. He (?) seemed a little distraught and kept calling but seemed to be completely alone. Lost or abandoned, I wasn’t sure – but I managed to get quite close to him and get these two shots. My favourite is the second one. Just a bit more movement!

02-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen01-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

Dinosaur – 15

This week I’ve been playing with Chroma Key effects. ( If that is the wrong expression, I apologise!! ) To most of us we know this as green-screening, but my attempt this week was actually using a blue background because, in an earlier shot, I had something green that I wanted to retain in the final image – but I later dropped that idea, but stayed with the blue backdrop.

So this is how the dinosaur ended up in Epping Forest. First of all I photographed the animal against a blue background. The objective here is to get the background as evenly illuminated as possible. Not that I succeeded here, but I was able to rectify this later in Photoshop CC.

01-DINASOUR by John Allen

Then, using the ‘Select > Colour Range’ in Photoshop I selected all of the blue and using Select > Select and Mask ( again in Photoshop ) tidied up the selection and created a new layer with a mask of the inverted selection. ( Colour Range selects the background and, of course, that’s not the bit we want in our final image. ) This was the result.

03-DINASOUR by John Allen

Because this is a JPEG copy of that result, all of the pixels I masked out have now been replaced by white. If you save the image as a tiff or psd file those transparent areas ( where there are ’empty’ pixels ) will be preserved.

Next I hunted through my Lightroom library for a suitable new background. This one happens to be Epping Forest, just down the road from me. I copied the images into my working image of the dinosaur and dragged the ‘forest’ layer so that it was positioned underneath the beast.

A few tiny adjustments and ….

02-DINASOUR by John Allen

Success, I would say!!