Lately, I’ve been struggling with my photography. I’ve felt like I was doing the same thing over and over (creating pretty landscapes,) and not really getting anywhere.
When I moved to this small town in Maine, my girlfriend introduced me to a photographer friend of hers. This woman is relatively new to photography, and mainly is interested in surreal portraiture. That means she is always coming up with concepts and thinking about compositing and textures.
There was a time where I used to do composites and let my creativity run wild. Meeting this woman has helped reignite that part of me that wants to play and experiment with my photography and editing.
I created a couple of pieces yesterday. One, which I don’t love, but my girlfriend does, and this one, which I like more.
This shot is made up of a fall photo from New Hampshire from a few years back, and the bride is from a wedding I shot about 5 years ago. 5 years??? Is that really possible?
This was a simpler edit than you’d think. I made my adjustments in LR and then imported the 2 images into PS. I got the bride where I wanted, did some dodging and burning on her, and created a subtle shadow beneath her. Then, I used Topaz Impression 2 to create the painterly image. I decided I wasn’t completely satisfied with the lighting in the image, so I then used Mextures on my iPhone to totally change the atmosphere and mood. I think it came out pretty good 🙂
The other day, while I was waiting for some Japanese takeout, I took a photo of one of the lights and decided to do a fun edit in iColorama.
While I was taking the photo, my girlfriend’s 6 year old son was asking how the ceiling in the photo turned out all black, which lead to a little conversation on how a camera works. He actually figured out that its like our eyes. I was pretty impressed. Maybe I’ll teach him how to take photos on one of my old iPhones.
Circular+ is free today. Its pretty fun to play with and helps to create unique images. Here are some that I’ve made using Circular+
Before this weekend, I had two apps that I used to create reflections on the iPhone, Water My Photo and WaterBooth. Neither one did a great job, which is why I kept both. I couldn’t decide which one was worth saving.
This weekend, I found another app called Reflection. The price was right (free) so I downloaded it and started playing with it. The app offers something that the others didn’t, the ability to choose what shade of blue the water is. This little feature allows you to choose a shade that looks most natural for whatever photo you’re working on. There are also filter packs that you can buy. One of them is free, and if you use the app long enough, an easter egg will pop up and tell you that you can get another pack of filters for free if you rate the app.
The reflections look remarkably natural. In my opinion, they’re clearly better than WaterBooth and WaterMyPhoto. Plus, you don’t have to fidget with wave size or frequency. It’s all taken care of.
Last night, I sat out by my friend’s pool and watched the clouds as the sun went down. There were moments when it looked like the sky was painted. I find clouds to be a great source of creative inspiration. You can see just about anything in them. Sometimes, I’ll write down ideas that the shapes of the clouds give me. Somehow, I never I hardly ever remember to make time to create these things in photoshop, but I think even just writing them down helps with your creativity. When else would I come up with an idea to mashup a unicorn and a sphinx?
Don’t forget to look up and find some creative inspiration the next time there are clouds in the sky.
Shot with camera+. No edit because I liked the softness of the original.
Alright. Its been a while since I’ve done something more creative on the iPhone. After coming across Gravitarium2 yesterday, I thought it had some potential for more creative uses with other apps.
Here is a photo I took this morning. Nothing special, but I had an idea in mind.
Here are some images I made with Gravitarium2 yesterday. We’ll be using them with the light bulb to make something cooler.
I used ImageBlender to combine the images, but there are others out there that will allow you to do the same thing.
How are we suppose to blend these with the bulb if theres a black background? Won’t it look obviously fake? Not if you use certain blending modes. You can try Screen, Color Dodge, Color, and Plus Lighter. Some other blending modes that might look interesting, but won’t completely remove the black are Overlay and Soft Light. I’d also suggest playing with opacity in any blending mode just to see what looks best to you.
Now for some of the results:
I believe this was a soft light blending mode that I roughly masked in. Notice you can still see the black.
I think the last one was set to overlay or something because its darker. If I wanted it to pop more I’d take it into Snapseed and make some more adjustments, but I’m a little lazy right now.