1 May 2015

Hello May

HELLO MAY YOU'RE JUST BEAUTIFUL. All the colours of late spring are now with us here in England. I'm simple in love with this time of year, the freshness of the renewed landscape and the soft pastel pinks and white of the season blossom to the darling shades of tulips. 

GOING BEYOND THE CAMERA Whilst I love my camera there is only so much I can do with it. Processing takes my photography to the next stage, whether I decide to give an image a subtle pop or apply rendered Textures. The key is in keeping it simple, keeping everything in harmony with the original image. Lightening and smoothing out tones creates harmony and lends itself perfectly to floral art.  


I aim to keep my exposure balanced whilst working to the lowest ISO I can get away.  I'll then proceed to process with my Beyond the Lens Original Actions. In the above-top example I've started with the Pre Processing Actions and ProTEC Workflow Action to brighten, lift and sharpen the image. From there I've selected two Creative Actions from the same collection, North Light and LaRosa. To finish I've proceeded to add a couple of soft textures to give the image a smoother faded look. In the top-bottom image I've again kept my exposure low to avoid overexposing highlights proceeding then to process in the same way as the first image. Instead this time Ive selected Joy. Joy is simply a magical Action, transforming grey/blue mid-tones into aqua shades, essential in creating this look.     

SAVE $40 OFF 
I'm still running a $40 saving on all Actions Collection purchased over the May Bank holiday weekend. Available to purchase from my Website or at the top of my Blog page on the Quick Shop tab. (Offer ends Tuesday 5th May, full terms and conditions apply)

BEFORE & AFTER IMAGES 
Processed with Actions form The Original Beyond the Lens Photoshop Actions Collection.

29 April 2015

MY LOVE OF SPRING


MY LOVE OF SPRING, IN ALL HER PASTEL SHADES. Spring is such an amazing time of year. Slowly the ice and snow melt away, the air warms, followed by a burst of fresh renewed colour. From pastels to bright zingy new greens. Whether I'm photographing wild, home grown or florist sourced blooms, the principles I work to are the same. I'm often asked how I achieve such soft pastel tones and effects. It's really quite simple, but you have to be mindful of one or two things first. 

1) USING THE RIGHT LIGHT
I always use cool lighting, so whether I'm working outside or photographing from my kitchen table, I'll alway work in cool even light. This means no sunshine what so ever. Beware, even in shade the sun can bounce in colour casts of warm tones.  Warm tones not only effect your white balance but can add a 'tonal weight' to the quality of the light. I work only in north sourced light, naturally cooler, purer light, bright overcast days are perfect or first morning light for outdoor work. And I always use a white non shiny reflector to bounce light into my shadows. (But don't be tempted to go crazy with reflectors!  The desire to remove all shadowing can leave images looking flat and seriously unreal!

2) SELECTING THE RIGHT LENS
For floral, table-top-set-ups I rarely drop my aperture below f2. Anything lower and the blur becomes too much and the focal point too insignificant. However when working outside and my distance-to-subject increases then I tend to drop my f-stop down as low as f1.6. I use my 50mm f1.4 lens for nearly all my floral work, except macros, and then I switch to my 100mm lens. 


3) USING MID AF POINTS
To achieve soft images, with distinctive points of focal clarity, I must use specific AF points and always try to keep these central to the image composition as possible. This ensures both optimal focusing (that has to be spot on when working at such low apertures) plus central focusing naturally draws the eye into the images frame. I know I can always slightly crop an image later if I need to.

4) USING THE RIGHT ACTIONS TO FINISH 
Great capture always comes first, but that has to be followed with great processing. I use my own Actions to process my work, both the Original and Creative Action collections enable me to add tints, enhance colours, and softly brighten; but perhaps most importantly enable me to build on the pastel tones and hues in my original images.   I believe Actions should only be used to enhance what is there naturally within an image. So I always work harder on my image capture and let my Actions add the finishing touches my camera cannot achieve.  

I hope this blog post offers a little insight into how I work. I welcome comments especially if you have any additional questions?

READER OFFER: 
This week enjoy a $40 saving on all Action Collections.  GO TO QUICK SHOP | GO TO WEBSITE
Offer Ends 5th May 2015, full terms and conditions apply.









27 April 2015

SURTEX 2015


MY WORK IS GOING TO SURTEX 2015. I'm so thrilled to be represented by SunDance Art Licensing at this years Surtex. I've been working with SunDance for just over a year now and they have been very eager to pick up, not just my photography, but also my new surface design work too!  I have really enjoyed creating this first collection, hand painted in Watercolour and then digitally scanned to create design and repeat patterns. How lovely would it be to one day see my designs made into super-sweet little girls sun dresses.   

Sadly I won't be traveling to New York with my work, but the lovely ladies at SunDance will be in booth 342, so if you're interest in my work please drop by and see them from the 17th -19th May. Visit SURTEX for more information. 










24 April 2015

Candy Floss Cherry Tree



CANDY FLOSS SKIES Like a little girl, once more! Standing beneath the canopy of a truly magnificent Cherry Blossom Tree. There isn't anything quite like it. I'm instantly enchanted by,the abundant display of soft delicate petals. Like the frilly petticoats of a thousand dancing fairies. I come here to dream, to stay for a while, to breath in the pureness of this heavenly show.

22 April 2015

SPRING SALE on FINE ART DIGITAL PAPERS



SPRING SALE OVER 50% OFF FRENCH MARKET, FRENCH INSPIRED BEACHWOOD PAPERS. Visit website for full details HERE