Monday, August 13, 2012

Make Over Monday - Water Angel

Hello everyone. Welcome to our first ever "Make Over Monday". This regular feature will take a behind the scenes look into what goes into an image AFTER it has been taken - that is, the editing. 

I thought I would start out with an image that is very dear to my heart - this is my awesome Assistant/Second Photographer Toni. She let me experiment with her maternity shoot - to say I was excited would be the understatement of the year. I had this very clear vision in my mind of the final image - basically - a floating, gorgeous, pregnant, beautiful Water Angel. Yay!!!!

I was also very, very nervous. So many things could go wrong.
So - imagine me - climbing up a little rickety step ladder besides this very deep, very WET pool, in intense humidity from the pool heating, with my very fragile, very non-waterproof camera - and well... you get the idea that I was kinda nervous!

So - I took the photo. Well - I took 56 of them, to be exact. Why so many? Well - it is because there are so many variables that I had to get JUST RIGHT in this image. The angle of the hands, the expression on the face, the "float" of the sheet (yes - that IS a purple sheet she is wearing). So - I took a lot of photos to make sure that I got "the one". 

But this was only the beginning. I needed to convert the RAW file to a format useable in Photoshop. Then, straightened, dodged and burned, enhanced makeup, smoothed skin, cloned, liquified, colour popped, and then finally added wings. As you can see - the TAKING of the photo is just the first step. There is so much more to it than just clicking away. 

Now - I don't go to this degree of editing for EVERY photo - in fact - most of the time I just enhance the tiniest amount. But - this photo is more of a piece of art than "just a photo". 

I want to say a HUGE thankyou to Toni for allowing me to show you the "Before and After". You are such an amazing and gorgeous friend! Thankyou! (And a BIG thankyou to Toni's sister, Eliza, for helping with the lighting on the day).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What To Do Wednesday {NSW Photographer, Pink Bug Photography}

Welcome to the first post of our new regular weekly articles, one of which will be: What To Do Wednesday. This regular post will give hints and tips on how to improve your own photos - no matter what camera you use.

Over the next few weeks I will be discussing "Composition".

It may sound clich├ęd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene.

Of course, I break these guidelines... a lot. To me, taking a photo is more about "feeling" what is right and what isn't. Some people seem to have a natural instinct for composition - for the rest of us - we need a little help. And this is where composition guidelines can help.

These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer's eye through the image.

Once you are familiar with these composition tips, you'll be surprised at just how universal most of them are. You'll spot them everywhere, and you'll find it easy to see why some photos "work" while others feel like simple snapshots.

This week - we will look at The Rule of Thirds

The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine dividing an image into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows:

With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four intersection points of the image that you should consider placing elements that you wish to provide a focal point for.

The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines, that your photo becomes more dynamic. Also - when viewing an image, the eyes usually tend to go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. 

In this example above, notice how the focus is on the eyes, drawing the viewer in.

In this image focus is on the couple kissing - but another important element, the line that the lavender makes, runs directly along the  bottom third line. 
Likewise, the horizon, just like the lavender, when placed on either the top or bottom third "line", help to make an image become more dynamic. 

So, there you go! Have fun, go experiment. Would love for you to share the images you create at: