Quick note: This post originally appeared on Google+ but I wanted to put it here too to include the links.
Good day to you good Google Plussers and Canon Users. Hope all is well with you on this fine Friday morning. Here’s the second of my pictures from the Dynamic Duo workshop with +Glyn Dewis and +Kieron Nevison last weekend. I say ‘my’ picture because I took and processed it. However, I need to stress that it’s not wholly mine as the lighting and staging were all down to the aforementioned dynamic duo.
It’s been almost a week since the workshop and I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on how it went and my performance within it. It’s interesting that, when I and the other 14 participants first began snapping, I almost began to waste what was a golden opportunity to photograph great models with these experts right on hand. I kind of thought, ‘this is just practising. I’ll listen and learn what I can here today and then apply these new techniques when I take some real photos later.’ Durh! Thankfully this approach didn’t last long. I pulled myself together and began to treat this as the ‘real’ shoot it actually was. OK, we were all looking at the same models in the same pose with the same lighting but there was still ample opportunity to look for and find something original and different. Almost anticipating my awakening to the situation, both Glyn and Kieron began to encourage us to move around, speak to the models, analyse shots and adapt accordingly.
This is my favourite of the ones I took of Rob in this pose. Not especially original or unlike others within the group but I do like his facial expression and disinterested gaze into space. However, it does lack the vital requirement that Glyn asked us to produce. There should be a space between Rob’s right arm and lower torso so we could have a chance to use the Liquify filter in Photoshop the next day. Liquify! What a great tool that is! Very effective, if used with care and sparingly. I’ve always known it was there before but, you know, until someone tells you how effective it is … Anyway, I have used it on this image, just to flatten the side of his stomach a little (not that it needs a great deal of flattening). Of course, due to the lack of a gap, this stretched the skin of the arm so a bit of patching was required.
I should point out that my processing was done before seeing Glyn’s YouTube video of his workflow on this model. However, I did see the excellent shorter one about the Gradient filter to create black and white images and I’ve used it here. I did want a bit of colour though so I’ve lowered the opacity of that layer a little.
Have to admit I’m a great fan of Adobe InDesign. I use it a lot to layout magazines, produce text panels, fliers and leaflets. That’s what it’s for after all (although it’s evolving now to include digital publishing and ebooks etc). I also sometimes use it to finish off images, especially when there’s text involved. It just feels like I’ve got more control to position assets, change and align fonts, give images stroked frames and other effects than I would have in Photoshop. And of course, these other elements are vector based, so they remain sharp whatever the size. Having completed the layout I export as a jpeg, determining the resolution according to use. Now, whether this produces as good a photographic image as when remaining in Photoshop throughout I don’t know. Perhaps you do. Anyway, I like InDesign. And it’s got layers too. With transparency effects. Give it a try!
To finish this off I wanted some words to go alongside Rob’s elegant frame. I originally had something like ‘you don’t want to mess with him.’ Not very original. Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs was on in the background and I heard guest Zadie Smith speaking about common attitudes to women when she was growing up and how females tended to have things done to them when portrayed in TV programmes and other media. She said something like ‘… I made my mind up that, if anyone was doing the doing, it’d be me.’ A statement of strength, independence and originality I think. So I’ve kind of paraphrased that. Works for me. Hope it does for you too.