I was visiting my friend Monica and were playing with her camera when we decided we needed to go out and shoot astro-photography together sometime. Well, it turns out it is set to snow for the next week and last night there were clear skies and almost no moon. We ran and picked up my equipment and we rushed out to the St. Anthony Sand Dunes (Idaho) to get away from the lights of town.
For the sake of time (since it takes a while for the camera to process these long exposures as is), I started shooting in just JPEG Fine but for this one I switched over to RAW+FINE for more editing capabilities. I wish now that I had just taken the time to shoot all of them in the higher format since there is just so much more you can do in post-production.
This picture had a lot of “interference.” For one, there was a plane I didn’t notice before I started the exposure that was traveling through the frame. If I realized it was there, I probably would have reframed it so it would be more along the rule of thirds. As is, it adds some interesting movement.
Second, there were other cars in the parking lot where we were at and one of them turned on their brake lights. This caused the foreground to be highlighted in red light. While neither of these things were expected, they both added some interesting dimension to the image.
In post for this image, I used the “Crisp-Winter” Color Lookup Table (LUTS), added 37+ of Vibrance, dropped to Saturation by 18, and adjusted the curves for the highlights slightly. Cooling the image using vibrance and LUTS helped give some color and depth the black parts of the image.
KYE & EMILY
I don’t often do anything with weddings but I am willing to make the exception for a wonderful first look of two of my dear friends. I got to watch first hand as these two wonderful people started to fall in love.
I arrived at Twin Bridges Park in Madison County with Kye. We were surprised by the number of early campers for April. It was going to make it a little tighter to get the shots that we wanted. We found a fairly open part of the campground, away from the majority of the trailers and campers.
Emily was all smiles, while Kye was trying hard not to cry in anticipation of seeing his beautiful bride. He kept asking if she was behind him yet as he struggled not to turn around.
Nothing can take the place of the pure excitement and joy these two had at their first look. He could hear her approaching behind him and could hardly wait.
One thing I do love about shooting engagements and bridals is the true emotion that you cannot imitate or recreate. Even the most candid of shots are full of their personality and love for one another. They really are a match made in heaven.
There was a pretty good breeze going so we decided to help it along to get this shot. The videographer was kind enough to move the veil up and down in front of the couple as I shot continuously. I initally was going for a shot through the veil like I did with bridal photos I did previously. This time however, it was very overcast and I was unabable to get the shot with the rim light. This picture with the veil creating a window ended up being the winner for me.
Past experience can help give us ideas for what we want, but we need to be flexiable and adaptiable to get the best shot within the circumstances of the moment. If I was so obsessed with getting that one shot, despite the lack of sunlight, I could probably have gotten one fairly similar, but how many shot would I have missed out on?
IMPROVING A PAST PROJECT
I originally started this project about Erika’s Krav Maga as part of my 24 Day Challenge to create black and white images that communicate a message. For some of the days, I did advertisements and other days social media posts. The medium of communication changed from day to day. This project was one of my favorites for photography and message, but the design was lacking in communicating that message.
I started playing around with the typography again. When I initially created for DAY 14: BE BOLD, BE STRONG, I had the script font to show that feminine can still be strong, but it just didn’t come across the right way. I decided to make them a series of different words using “I am” statements, rather than “Be” statements. The change made it more effective and powerful.
FINDING MISSED DIAMONDS
I was also able to go through my images again since I had more time. In my haste to get the project done one day, I hadn’t taken much time going through images and I found several that ended up being some of my favorites. So without any more ado, here is the final project (for now).
I AM A FIGHTER
I AM STRONG
I AM FIERCE
I AM A WARRIOR
I AM BOLD
I AM INVINCIBLE
I AM A CHAMPION
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, one of the plot elements of The Giver is that everyone sees in black and white but can start seeing color again. I am not going to say anymore than that for those of you who haven’t read or seen it.
This plot element is perfect to finish off my 24 day challenge to create a new photography and photoshop based project in black and white each day for 24 days. It has been such a great learning opportunity, as well as a challenge. As I have tried to come up with new ideas, especially towards the end, it was remarkable how many of them needed color. Now I did cheat a little by adding some elements of color, but for the most part, at least most of the photography was all in black and white.
For tonight’s project, I took pictures of my brother, who is a saint and often acts as my model. He is kind of used to this from growing up with my mom, who is also a photographer. He is a champ, and also happens to look a lot like the actor in the movie, which is handy.
ORIGINALS – NO EDITS
I used the picture of him with the white shirt for his face and for the main body of the poster. The picture of him with the navy jacket was used to add in a collar.
MASKING OUT THE BLACK AND WHITE ADJUSTMENT LAYER
One of the first steps after doing basic edits for this project, was to figure out how to do the stripe of color. Julieanne Kost had a great video that showed me how to paste shapes into the masking layer, something I have been trying to figure out on my own for a while now. It pays off to do a quick Google search.
To accomplish this, if you don’t want to watch the video, is to select the mask and then hold Alt or Option while selecting it again. This will pull up a white screen that is the mask layer. To get out, you just have to click off of the white or choose one of the other layers. While in this layer, you can add the shape you wanted.
At first I was playing with the idea of a triangle instead of the stripe used in the actual posters. After adding it however, it looked a little bit like KISS the hair band, which wasn’t quite the vide I was going for. I decided to change back to the stipe used in the original posters.
ADDING THE COLLAR
This is the image after I added the stipe of color. I did like the look of the white shirt in this image, but I liked the lighting on his face. Also it was a small miracle to get his eyes open for any picture.
I removed the shirt, but then it just looked awkward. It really need a collar to make it normal looking. I debated just making one, but that was going to take forever, and I had taken some other pictures tonight where he was wearing my coat to have a dark collar.
The left side was by far the worst, so I added that side using the other picture. I just used the masking tool to erase the rest after I had placed the collar where it needed to go. To place the image, I just lower the opacity to see both layers.
Using the same picture, just pulled over and with other parts masked out, I added the other collar. The final result made a big difference. The white shirt just wasn’t right, but this helped me save the majority of the image that I liked best. Definitely one of the benefits of studio lighting.
I expanded the image out using the crop and clone stamp tools. I then added the typography using Century Gothic. I started with Futura, but it only had medium (no regular or bold). I wanted to increase the size of the ‘V” without having the weight be significant more than the rest of the word. By using Century Gothic, I was able to put the rest of the word in bold while the “V” was regular.
With the red typography, the picture just seemed a little orange even when I dropped the saturation quite a bit. I changed the color hue as well, but it still wasn’t looking the way I wanted it to.
I changed the type to black and it felt more balanced with the rest of the image. It also make the colored stripe look better in my opinion. I asked a friend what they thought, and they felt the same way. I also decided to capitalize all of the word “THE” after I had already posted this.
I am really happy with how this turned out. It defiantly was a good note to end out on.
And what would it be without one of the mockups that I have learned to used during this challenge.
ORIGINAL IMAGE – UNEDITED
INITIAL EDITS AND CONVERT TO BLACK AND WHITE
SIDE BY SIDE
I repeated the word falling and changed the lower levels of text to overlay and lowered their opacity.
BOOK MOCK UP
I changed the background to navy blue and added a texture to it as well from another image that I had taken.
I can’t believe it is day 21 of 24 Days in Black and White. It has been quite a journey and I have grown so much. I am definitely feeling the importance of a good day zero to brainstorm out lots of ideas before beginning the challenge.
That being said, I was finally able to do one of original ideas, and create a textbook cover for welding. Today is really a homage to my brother who is a welding engineer major. He has fun teaching me AutoCAD and I teach him Illustrator.
I used pictures I took of him welding to create a cover for a welding textbook. Most of his books look like they were designed in the 80s and haven’t been improved upon since.
For the spine, I use a the key element of the front cover (the sparks) to wrap the concept around. I changed the fonts to all Helvetica Neue (Bold and Regular) since the Birch Std wasn’t giving it the look I wanted.
For the text box I just used filler. I try to listen to what my brother tells me but I do not have the credentials to write that by any means. One day I want to learn, but tonight there wasn’t quite enough time.
The Mockup form I used was created by Graphic Burger.
Apparently when I start to run out of ideas, I start going down memory lane for inspiration. That and go to awesome seminars like Power2Become. Yep, totally did that tonight. It was awesome.
But I digress. “Among the Hidden” is the first in the Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Shadow Children series. These books were gold for me as a kid. They taught me a lot about examining the world and standing up for what was right even if it was hard. It also taught me a lot about looking out and helping others.
I would literally jump out of my seat if these books were made into movies. I am really sorry to any other fans who came to this site thinking that they were finally going to do it. To my knowledge, that is not the case, yet, one day I hope.
Anyways, today for my 24 day project, I created a movie poster for the first book, “Among the Hidden.”
So this is not the original image. To prepare the image I took out all the logos on his clothing and lightened up his eyes.
I took the face and overlaid it on these picture I took in the woods. His eye lands right above a sun burst coming through the clouds so that it is the lightest point.
Billboard mockup of the poster.
Poster as it would be seen more in the movie theater itself.
This one is a tribute to my cross country running days. I love my Saucony Shay XC2 cross country spikes. I remember always feeling so legit when I would wear them. I even wore then to prom (with the spikes out of course) and they were the best dancing shoes ever.
Today I made an epic Instagram post from a picture I took of my shoes. To get them to float, I tied them up with toothpaste and had my friend hold them up in front of a black poster board I sticky-tacked to the wall.
ORIGINAL IMAGE: NO EDITS
The original image wasn’t big enough for what I had in mind, so I had to use the clone stamp tool to continue the wood grain.
The names of the fruits and vegetables are written in the color that they generally lay in. So for example, celery, lettuce, and cucumbers are in green while radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, and watermelon are in red.
MOCKUPS OF THE ADVERTISEMENT
The lamp posts are always fun for me because they are so different. The basic poster doesn’t fit on them, so I have to imagine it in two parts.