This piece of barn wood came from the former Balzac Garden Centre. Yes, it's true. I can't let it go that some mega mall has overrun the Balzac corner!
Anyhow, back to the task at hand. How is this done? This image has three layers. The barn wood, the canola field with the grain bins, and a sky shot with some clouds. I wanted the result to look like it was painted on the barn wood and weathered. It's the sort of idea you might see at a country fair. Distressed farm chic.
Here also are screen grabs of my Layers and my Blending Options for the top layer, which is the canola field. I used Multiply as my Blending Mode. I fiddled with the Blend If sliders for all the layers until I got the desired result. The Blend If sliders allow for a certain amount of transparency between layers as well as a way for things to "disappear" into the wood work. This is hard to explain without a video demo (and lots of other people have made them), but it's fun to experiment with. That's the best way to figure it out really. So go ahead, grab a couple of images and blend up something interesting. And . . . see you at the next Balzac Country Fair!
P.S. If this page layout looks all wonky when you view this post, re-size your browser window a bit smaller so all the images line up on the left hand side. Multiple photos tend to mess up the Blogger layouts.
30 March 2009
16 March 2009
Today I played around with different shutter speeds to photograph Shawn in his wheelchair. I wanted to show the motion using the blurring effect of a slow shutter speed instead of freezing the motion. In this case freezing the motion looked like a posed still shot.
If you want to try this, just keep in mind when blurring or panning your shots, that it works best when the blur is in focus. Typically on a sunny day when you are blurring at 1/60 second or so, you get great depth of field (f-16 or better), which helps to ensure that the blur is in focus.
I've always been a big fan of panning and blurring motion. I started using the pop-n-drag effect when shooting mountain bike races deep in the woods where there was little light. Pop-n-drag is when you have a slow shutter speed of about 1/30 second and you pop in a bit of fill flash (about -1 stop) on your moving subject. Depending on the situation, you may need to experiment with your exposure. I just love the look of shots that show some motion. When the background has lots going on, it's a good way to eliminate distracting details.
08 March 2009
Last night I went to a party with a bunch of girlfriends and acquaintances. The general theme was Valentine's Day and we celebrated our women friendships. We also exchanged gifts. This year I just couldn't bring myself to to buy the usual "gifty stuff" that women typically get for one another. Instead I bought some high-end watercolour paper card stock and envelopes and printed up some of my new "on white" images on the cards, complete with my website and contact info. I bought proper celo greeting card wrappers and I put a little note in with each card that said, "This card was made for you for this special celebration of our friendships. Send it to someone you care about to brighten their day." I wanted to give each friend a sample of my work, but also create something beautiful and personal for them that was practical and that they could spread around. I admit I had a little ulterior motive of self-promo with my cards, but I never expected such a great response.
When I showed my girlfriends the selection of cards, the frenzy was like the 75%-Off sale at Holt Renfrew. I never realized how popular cards were to women! Some even wanted to frame their cards! My presentation generated quite a buzz in the room and it opened the discussion up to my other photography. I had photographed three of the women's families already, and some of the new people were interested in getting family portraits as well. As it turned out, I had a few promo brochures stashed in my car, so I passed them out to interested friends too.
I'm generally quite an introvert, especially at parties. I have never really tried to promote myself to my friends and acquaintances much. I'm not the best sales person and I don't want my friends to think that I'm trolling for business every time I go to a party. But this idea seemed to work well as it was genuine and came across that way to the women in the group. A $50 investment in supplies, and a couple of hours of time, made a lot of people smile. That goes a long way in a friendship and a business.