Behind Closed Doors

It has been way too long, really. Blogging has taken a little bit of a backseat these days. There is just too much going on and I am having a hard time keeping up. Summer has been busy, between weddings and the day job, life has gotten a lot more complicated.

wedding_dress_behind_door

The Fall semester just started as well, so it is going to even be crazier now, but hopefully I can find a way to juggle all these things. I just stopped by to see how y’all are doing. I miss the interaction and the friendship. But for now, I must go, this girl is traveling next week. My clothes won’t pack themselves, sadly. I wish you all a beautiful week ahead.

 

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Photography: Portraits and Textures, an Amazing Combination

Whew! It has been crazy busy around here. So much to do, so little time. I cannot remember the last time I’ve been this busy. I am dying to go away for some needed R&R, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a couple more of the images from a recent shoot. I have been playing around with textures again, and rediscovering the joy of using them to enhance my images.

girl_black_and_white_glamourIf you haven’t tried textures yet, you might be missing out ;) They are wonderful! Textures provide a whole new feel to images. I just love them! The textures I used on these images were from Kim Klassen’s collection. Check her out here, she offers classes and frequently sends out texture freebies if you subscribe to her newsletter.

glamour_girl

I do apologize for slow/lack of responses these days. I am trying to catch up with my work slowly, so hopefully I can get back to enjoying everyone’s posts very soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all having an amazing summer!

 

Portraits: Less Glitz, More Glamour

I am going to be a bit busy again for maybe a couple of weeks. I have hundreds of photographs to go through before July rolls around, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the personal project that I am currently working on. I am looking into updating my current portrait portfolio so I have been trying to execute some of the ideas that are floating in my head.

Portrait

I really enjoy shooting portraits, it is something that I want to continue focusing on. I have struggled for a while, but I’d like to think I am starting to really get the hang of it. These images were shot yesterday. I am learning to balance my lighting (window + flash). I love working with natural light, but sometimes it is just not available.

I have incorporated 2 sets of textures on the first image, and a single texture on the second image. I wanted to experiment and to create something different.  I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, but I kinda like how they look like canvas.

Portrait_of_a_lady

Initial adjustments were done in Lightroom 5. The skin retouching was done in Photoshop. I gotta tell you, this frequency separation technique is just pure magic! If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest that you give it a go. Now.

 

 

Photography: I Will Never Stop Learning

One of the few things that I enjoy doing aside from actually shooting is re-processing images I took awhile back. It is not only therapeutic but it somehow allows me to see how much I have grown over the years.

Betty

A few of the lessons I’ve learned on and offline:

      • When you can, shoot in raw, you want to give yourself enough data to work with.
      • Learn to read the Histogram, extremely helpful for proper exposure.
      • Learn the colour wheel, invaluable when doing colour correction in post.
      • In Photoshop, use Curves to make the adjustments to exposure and contrast, better control this way.
      • In Photoshop, moderation is the key.

Betty_web

We all want to improve, but I believe that we deserve to recognize what we have accomplished over the years, however big or small that is. Looking back and identifying what I have learned so far gives me a boost and reinforces the fact that all those times spent reading photo blogs and practicing my skills have not been wasted.

Virtual Blog Tour

I have recently been approached by a blogger friend to participate in the Virtual Blog Tour which occurs every Monday. It is one way of connecting bloggers all around the world. By answering a similar set of questions, we are given the opportunity to get a glimpse of the life and work of other bloggers. It is a fun way of getting to know each other. The Virtual tour made a stop at Melinda’s blog last week, you can read her post here.

Today is my turn to answer those same set of questions, so please read on…

1. What am I working on?

The truth is I have so many things going on right now. I am in the process of putting together a concept for a personal project that I want to do this Summer. It is a little ambitious so it is taking a little bit of time to gather the things I will need to execute it. You’ll just have to stay tuned. I will most likely blog about it when everything is set and I’m ready to shoot.

I also am currently taking a Commercial photography program at a local college although I am currently on Summer break. This is actually a good thing because I also have 3 weddings to worry about this month. I am working as a second shooter for a local wedding photographer.

Aside from all these, I am also in the process of putting together a business plan so I can finally start devoting more time into cultivating my photography career. The idea is to eventually leave my day job to concentrate mainly on photography (I am doing this on a part-time basis right now.)

Zoe in a prayer

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know that my work is that different from many photographers/photo bloggers out there right now. I know the genre that I want to focus on, and I am working hard to fine tune my craft and establish my very own niche. I know that I am drawn to a certain way of processing my images, I like the look and feel of film, so most of my images are being processed to mimic film.

pink roses

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I have always loved photography. I love creating art, and photography allows me to preserve the beauty of things (and people) that I see. It also serves as therapy to me. My work is very stressful and photography is my very own happy place.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

Because I work full-time during the day, I usually shoot during weekends. Most of my post processing work is done at night though. Unless it is hockey season, I usually am behind my Mac processing and re-processing files. I could spend all night experimenting on different processing techniques. I feel that I am at my best when I am left alone. I have my own space at home, so I can simply close the door, turn the lights off and spend hours and hours playing with Photoshop.

Next Monday, the tour will stop at Sally’s over at Lens and Pens by Sally. Sally is one of the many bloggers that I have discovered when I was just new to blogging. She is an educator, a photographer and an amazing writer. Her blog is a concoction of visual and intellectual feast that will motivate you to keep coming back.

No Harm In Perfecting Your Craft

Practice makes perfect they say, so every down time that I have is a chance to practice photoshop. I still have a long way to go, but this business of getting better at skin retouching is something that I want drilled in my subconscious. Portraiture is the genre that I plan on focusing on and I realize that not only do I need to be great behind the lens, but I also need to be much better behind the computer.

BettyI have been working hard on mastering the frequency separation technique to retouch skin blemishes. I want this to become second nature that I can do it with my eyes closed (ok, not really, but you get the point ;P)

For those of you who are curious, the image below is what I started with. It was a little bit underexposed so that was fixed using curves in photoshop as well.

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