Monday, 8 September 2014

Wk 6 - DT 1 Portrait Retouching

This week we looked at portrait retouching.  We followed a tutorial on
f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 100

Above is the photo which we used to retouch following the tutorial.  Below are the changes that were made to the photo.  Some of the tools which we used were masking.  Creating a mask ensures that the original photo does not become compromised.  Changes are made on the masks which can be reversed.  We made changes to the lighting using curves.  Another tool which i have been using a lot is the spot healing, and healing tool.  This smooths out or removes blemishes to the skin.  

Retouched photo
f/8, 1/200, ISO 100
This is a photo i took in week 7, in this photo you can see my subject has some blemishes on her face.  The tools i used to make changes to this photo is placing a black and white mask on to the photo as well as using the spot healing tool to remove blemishes.
By converting the photo to black and white and removing the blemishes my subjects skin looks flawless

Wk 7 - Gel lighting

Gel Lighting

Modern gels are thin sheets of polycarbonate or polyester placed in front of lighting.  Gels have limited life, especially in saturated colours. 

We had three tasks to complete for Gel lighting
  • 1) Create a studio portrait utilizing gels to change the colour of the lighting on the background.  The colour on the subject must be neutral

f8, 1/200, ISO 100
We placed two lights in the background, one had a purple gel and the other had blue gel.  The front light was placed on the side of the subject.  I chose to take off the soft box so that the direct light could shine on to my subjects face.  The photographer before me had taken photos with the soft box and it seemed a bit too dark for my liking.  In photoshop the only thing i did was removed some of the blemishes on her face and neck.
  • 2) Create a studio portrait using gels to change the colour of the lighting on your subject.  Keeping the background neurtral
f5.6, 1/200, ISO 100
With this photo we moved the lights in front of the subject.  Not so flattering, but shows us what can be achieved by placing gel lighting directly on the subject.  We also moved a light to the back shining on the background
  • 3) Create a studio portrait using gels to change the colour of the lighting on both the subject and background
Gel lighting example

f5.6, 1/200, ISO 100
With this shot we placed light in front and behind the subject.  The red gel was placed on the light behind and the blue gel was placed on the light at the front of the subject.  As you can see the red gel emitted a strong colour.  This could be because the light behind the subject had a higher output then the light in front of the subject.  As the colours merged, the areas where the red gel was not dominant showed up as purple.  This is present at the back of the subject and in her shadow at the front.  

As an experiment a green gel was placed over the blue gel and a yellow gel was placed on the light behind the subject.  The blue is visible in the subjects shadow and behind her.  A dark green covered the front of the subjects face and body.  The yellow cast rim lighting on the side of the subjects arm. 

Although not the best looking photo, this shot illustrates different effects gels can have on a photo.
F5.6, 1/200, ISO 100

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Wk 7 - Lighting Chiaroscuro, Rembrandt and Loop

This week our class worked on the different types of lighting which can be achieved in the studio.  The three we will be looking at is:


    • Translated as Chiaro (Clear) and Oscuro (Obscured)
    • This is a contrast between light and dark to add depth and dimensionality

Example of Chiaroscuro

f/8, 1/200, ISO 100
To achieve this photo, we positioned the light on the side of Dona's face, we adjusted the light position to get the light sitting on half of the face.  I used the photo from google to mimic this lighting technique. 

To add drama i tweaked the exposure.  The original photo was darker, so i adjusted the exposure to add more light in the light area of her face.  I also removed some of the blemishes on Dona's face which the light showed.


    • Half of the face is well lit and only a small triangle of light appears on the opposite side of the face
Adele - Rembrandt lighting

f/8, 1/200, ISO 100

To achieve this shot there was a light positioned on her side of Dona's face.  This light sat at a 45 degree angle from the subject.  It also was raised about 40-45 degrees until the triangular shape appeared on her face.  A back light was directed on the background to bring light to the back of the subject. 

With this photo i converted it to black and white to emphasis the Rembrandt lighting.  I also adjusted the exposure to bring more light into the lighter parts of Dona's face.  I also adjusted the contrast to balance the dark and light areas.  I used the spot healing tool to remove the blemishes which showed up under this lighting technique.


    • Light is set a bit above eye level and around 45 degrees to the camera

Loop lighting example

f/8, 1/200, ISO 100
 To achieve this shot, we used a front and back light.  The front light sat slightly to the left of the subject.  The subject was directed to move her head in various positions until loop lighting was achieved.  I also moved around the subjects face to capture the loop lighting from different angles.


With this photo i converted it to black and white.  I adjusted the exposure and contrast to bring more light to Dona's face.  I also removed the blemishes on her face to stay consistent with the other photos as this lighting showed up the blemishes more.

Landscape practice

I've been struggling to capture a good landscape photo.  My problem is that i really don't know what to focus on. 

Many landscape photos have minimal human activity while others are influenced by human existence.  As with most art forms perception is broad and may include urban settings, industrial areas and nature photography.

  • Have a wide depth of field
  • Golden hour is a great time of day to shoot
  • Have the horizon on the top or bottom 1/3
Below are some examples of the landscape photos i have taken:

f/13, 1/250, ISO 100
I used the tree and the grass to frame the photo, i also used a high f/stop.  This photo was taken in the middle of the afternoon, the sky was beautiful.  I adjusted the exposure and contrast to add more emphasis on the sky and produce a rich blue.

f/8. 1/3200, ISO 100
This photo was a bit of a fail out of the three tips, i only executed one correctly - shooting in golden hour.  What i was trying to capture was the sunlight sitting on the ship and also the light on the water.  I was thinking that the light on the water would be a leading line toward the ship.  I was also thinking of fore, mid and background at this point.  The water in the fore ground with the light on it, the ship in the mid ground and the hills and sky as the background.  I was also thinking of the contrasting colours in the sky which was also mirrored in the water - the warmth from the sunlight grey brown against the blue of the sky and water.

Assessment 1 - Hand in

Week 8 - its hard to believe that 8 weeks have actually gone by.  It's been quite a learning experience and we have been hitting it pretty hard in terms of work load.  Being sick all of last week didn't help as it has become a race to the finish line, with blogs to be amended, files to be reordered and also the exercises and self directed photos which clearly needed to be completed or redone.

For all those considering doing this course - i hope you do! its a lot of hard work but well worth the effort.  At this stage of the programme our assessment 1 is due.  This is an interpretation of what we believe will showcase our learning journey thus far.  I didn't really think that my body of work was that good, but we got to start somewhere right! "clique" but true...

The piece i chose is my photo of the flame from a outdoor heater which i took one night as i was walking past restaurants toward Silo Park in town.

I chose this piece because i like the fluidity of movement of the flame.  I adjusted my shutter speed and aperture in this photo to compensate for the lack of light as this was taken at night.  The lines in this photo contrast each other, the rigid consistent straight horizontal lines sitting on top of the curvy inconsistent lines of the flame.  There is also a contrast of dark and light, which is also captured reflected on the cage, reflective of the chiaroscuro light. 

The changes to the original photo firstly i converted the image to black and white.  The reason for this was because i believe it shows more impact to the flame.  The colour image to me seemed a bit one dimensional and not as dramatic as that of the black and white image.  I cropped the image to bring more focus onto the flame however leaving enough room to allow for the cage to act as a frame to the image.  I also adjusted the levels so that the blurred parts of the flame could be seen more clearly.  This required tweaking the highlights and dark areas of the image.

The photographic elements which i mentioned above are:
  1. leading lines
  2. aperture (wide DOF)
  3. shutter speed
  4. framing
  5. Composition
  6. Texture
  7. Light
In order to prepare this image for printing i placed the image on a white canvas.  I debated whether or not to use a black canvas, but decided that the impact of the photo would benefit from a white canvas.  I then added a stroke for trimming purposes.
f/10, 1/250, ISO 400