GOING BEYOND CAPTURE with the NEW 31 Creative Actions. Taking photographs that invoke a sense of romantic style, and poetry has always been an principle factor in how I set out to capture an image. I always consider subject, composition, light and technical attributes such as my lens selection, aperture choice and exposure. But that only ever gets me so far. Creative processing isn't new for me, I started working with multiple exposures and darkroom techniques over 20 years ago. Digital manipulation and enhancements are so much easier today, although I do miss the unpredictability of processing and developing my own film and prints.
Creative processing goes beyond what my camera alone can achieve. I can take my work a little further by contributing more of my own choices and preferences. I trained as a Fine Art painter and so I instinctively return to colour, light saturation, tonality and composition. The Photoshop Actions I design allow me to make automated adjustments that work with these principle elements. It's like taking my paint brush to my photography and offers be the creative flexibility to take a capture further.
On my website you'll find all the before and after examples that demonstrate the transition, but for me this comparison isn't as important as the finished results, the below image, shot of my daughter is a beautiful example. I knew when taking this images it was going to be special. The lighting was soft and completely defused. I shot this in my outside summer house and used a soft linen scrim to mask out the window behind her. I was really happy with the image as it stood SOOC (first on left). The application of my new Creative Actions have enabled me to bring a softer hand painted and drawn quality that is impossible in camera. Working with Actions, or hand processing, isn't about creating natural results, its about enhancing the story! Now fit for the cover of a romantic novel I can feel this image as much as I can see it. This edit is a result of my personal preferences and creative decisions. However you use Actions will depend on your own, which is what makes them perfectly suited to everyone.
For more details on the Actions used visit the NEW Creative Actions product page on my website HERE. Final conversion created with the Group All Layers & 35mm Film Actions (included)
FLORALS GO BEYOND THE LIGHT and into a new level of richness. Creating darker versions of both portraits and florals in becoming more 'on trend' and certainly with the change of year, as summer fades into the riches of Autumn this darker more opulent look is inviting. It's a hard look to get right as exposure still needs to be correct to maintain detail and sharpness. For still life it's easier to manipulate lighting when shooting your subject. The new Creative Actions have been designed with four specific Actions to help create this look. Both the below floral arrangements have been processed to demonstrate how effective these new Actions are at reducing ambient light whilst maintaining clarity and illumination where needed. Again specific Actions and strengths are detailed on the website.
Creative flexibility and freedom is important and whilst Actions are there to offer automated results, having creative freedom within them is key to ensuring you stay in control. But there is the balance, I have designed all my Actions within both the original Beyond the Lens Collection and the new Creative Add-On Actions to be as easy as possible to use. Actions are meant to help and speed up your processing workflow not hinder it, quick simple steps you can use in combination with hand editing or as standalone tools. For me the experience of using Actions is just the same as paint bushes for an artist, don't always stick to the same one, and mix it up with different materials... define your own style and take your creativity beyond the capture.
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