#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Knitting Needle
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Fractured pieces of our lives
Dispersion and Twirls in Photoshop
With the current restrictions on going outdoors, many photographers are using this time to go through their back catalogues and learn new techniques. I am part of the fantastic SheClicks community for female photographers. Last week one member shared her experiments with the Twirl technique. I will add links to YouTube tutorials for both techniques at the end!
By the end of the week, we were all hooked! Between us all, I think we could fill a few galleries with these fun abstract pieces. You can also use the twirled images as overlays or textures. Some members used the effect to create an abstract background, revealing a part of the main image through masked layers. I loved some of the peacock twirls that others had done so I thought I’d have a go too! Here are my before and after images.
I decided this was the perfect time to finally learn a technique that I have wanted to do for years! The dispersion technique can be used to great effect to make your subject appear to be disintegrating, or exploding outwards. It’s a fun way to create a story for a portrait shoot. I went back to some images I made last year with my dear friend, singer-songwriter, Julia K. I’ll start with a simple edit where I have kept the background clean and simple. The act of singing appears to be reverent, a prayer to the gods.
Initially we wanted to visualise sound through shapes and movement. It was a great opportunity to use long exposure and light-painting to frame a story within my images. We took inspiration from the name of her studios, Firespark, and brought in some indoor sparklers and fireworks. Yes, we did set off the fire alarm a couple of times! It’s such a joy to be able to work with a fellow creative, just exploring different ideas, even if they do sound a bit bonkers.
I wanted Julia to be static in the images, with the sound emanating from her and surrounding her. We tried a number of different poses that allowed me to create in-camera double-exposures, as well as single images that I could turn into composites within Photoshop. Both techniques are creatively satisfying with similar, yet distinctive results. In-camera multiple exposures always have a more organic feel to them. Creating a composite using Photoshop gives you a much crisper end result. In these three edits of my image of Julia, you can now see why I had her looking up into the space above her. The spirit of music is reaching out to her.
I think I was attracted to the dispersion technique because it brings back that organic feel to a digitally created composite! In addition to using dispersion, I also brought in some overlays of musical notes that I warped, to give them a sense of movement as they explode out from the microphone. Including a bit of texture, with an overlay to the background, added to the organic feel I was looking for. I made three final images for Julia to choose from; full colour, monochrome and selective colour, that revealed the vibrant red against the black and white. Selective colour is very much Julia’s signature look, her brand. I knew she’d choose that one, but which look do you prefer?
I have called this piece Set The Music Free. It’s given me inspiration for creating more stories from other images in my back catalogue, as well as some future projects that I really hope to be able to do with Julia in the future! I hope this has given some of you a bit of inspiration to learn some new techniques and keep creative during this turbulent time. You can learn how to do these two techniques in the following video tutorials. Have fun with them!
ShareMondays2019 – Interstellar
I’m actually judging ShareMondays this week so my image is only being entered into the Fotospeed challenge this week. I’m still keeping the ShareMondays title up there though as this piece was created very much in the spirit of our Twitter togs challenge. It’s really all about connecting photographers, generating discussion and inspiration. It’s for the love of art!
I spent a fantastic day with my godchild, Quinn, last week, sharing our love of creativity and photographic art. They’re currently doing an art project at school based on patterns in nature. It’s something I know we’ll explore more at RHS Wisley Gardens soon, but I thought we could try a “rainy day” project and create our own, imagined, cosmic patterns. For our subject we used milk, cornflower, food colouring, inks and a couple of straws to create the swirling patterns we wanted.
Our results really spoke to the science-fiction fan in me and I decided to take a couple of the base images a step further with two 3D rendered spheres as planets. I added some light effects in overlays for stars and bands of particles spiralling out from the planets. This one’s for you Quinn! Keep creating, keep seeing the cosmically-beautiful in the small and simple things x
ShareMondays2019 – State Of Decay
It’s Sunday night, you’ve not had any camera time during the week due to illness, how do you produce an image for the following day? Decaying leaves and a scanner! These are from the sycamore tree that sits just out the front of our flats.
I thought I would try to do something creative, with processing, to help inspire my godchild, Quinn, who has an art project on patterns in nature. I had a bit of fun taking the natural patterns and then cutting them together in strips to create a new pattern. This next one is the most stylized, looking almost like a tile.
The fallen leaves are losing their colour as they rot down into a mulch on the ground. There are lots of creatures feeding on them already, particularly slugs and snails. I brushed and washed off the leaves before scanning them! I think my hubby would have had something to say to me if I’d left any slugs crawling around the bedroom.
ShareMondays2019 – Tulip Dreams
Guildford Castle always produces a magical display of tulips in the gardens of the old moat! I’ve been playing with using in-camera multiple exposures and extra blur from Nik Analog Efex and Photoshop. I love the way it’s been working with the pastels of the Spring blooms! Happy Easter and good luck to everyone entering today’s Twitter comps!
ShareMondays2019 – Atomic
This is what happens when your brain is bursting with Open University STM Access Course study material and your one day off is at your grandson’s 8th Birthday Party! I see science everywhere. In this case, balloons filled with glitter and a disco light.
Am I going slightly mad?
Anyway, I shall wish our wonderful Callum a very HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY again! He and all the other children were just as fascinated by the patterns they could make in these balloons as I was. It was a great party!
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