Icelandic Whale Humping & Killer Time Lapse

26 05 2010

I don’t know if you guys have seen this, but in case you haven’t I strongly suggest you follow the link below to Vimeo and watch this video in HD.  It is without a doubt the best time lapse photography I have ever seen.  The video below is from a guy called Sean Stiegemeir . The music is by an Icelandic artist called Jonsi. I’ve actually listed to some stuff from the band he performs in and I love it.  Now Icelandic music can be a bit…. lets say “strange” (think Bjork).  However I love this the music that is used on this clip and I have bought Jonsi’s album.  Many of you will hate it.  My work colleague calles it “whale humping music” and is ready to throttle me,  however I find it really inspirational and great to play when I’m deep in Photoshop doing some post processing.

So I’d love to hear what you think of the killer timelapse stuff (shot with a motorised dolly that costs less than $1K) and also the “whale humping” music of Jonsi.

Video by Sean Stiegemeir

Music By Jonsi





Kirsty Tutorial Part 2 – Post Processing

22 05 2010

This is part 2 of my tutorial on how I produced the image of Kirsty by the bunker.   If you haven’t read part 1, you might want to scroll down or go to the previous article to understand how the capture occured.

This posting is all about the photoshop work.  Now before you jump into the screencast, I refer to a guy in the video called Calvin Hollywood.  I have found Calvin’s techniques very different and very cool.  In particular I refer to an effect called “Freaky Details”.  The link to Calvin’s posting on Freaky Details is here. I have also bought Calvin’s DVD called “Calvinize” and I totally rate it.  But you want to be into more stylised photoshop before buying it…. It wouldn’t be as suitable for those of you that are only interested in photo realistic landscapes.

Anyway I hope you find this tutorial useful and pick up a few techniques.  I’m not sure I have explained everything super clearly, so just post a question in the comments if there is something you didn’t understand and I’ll clarify.

Enjoy

Brent





Tutorial: Kirsty At Middle Head Fort – Part 1… The Capture

16 05 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a tutorial, so I thought I’d do a tutorial on this image that I made last night.  This article will be in two parts;

  • Part 1 will talk about how I made the capture
  • Part 2 will take you through the post processing of the image.

So last night I was running a workshop for Northside Creative Camera Club on Light Painting.  I decided to ramp it up a bit and include some off-camera flash techniques as well.   We invited a lovely model called Kirsty to come and model for us.  Here’s how we did this shot.

Set up an SB900 flash unit in a soft box just out of frame on camera left.  The flash was close to Kirsty which meant the light levels dropped off quickly in the scene and allowed us to control the lighting on the bunker separately.  I was using Nikon’s CLS to control the flash power.  Camera was set on ISO200, f5.6, 30sec exposure.

As we triggered the shutter the strobe fired, and then we started light painting the bunker from camera right, and then from camera left using my olive oil can with a fluoro in it.  We also went behind the bunker and popped a second flash with a pink gel on it into the bunker about 5 times to create the pink glow.

The stars were captured separately from a high ISO shot (iso 1600, f5.6, 30sec) and then blended in using a contrast mask.

Thats pretty much it.  Even though it was a long exposure, Kirsty was sitting in darkness, so the flash pop gave her sharpness.

My next post will show the post processing step-by-step.

I hope you like it.  I am using a more stylised processing approach for these portrait sessions because I feel they lend themselves more to it rather than straight landscapes.

More later

Brent





Karijini – The Great Unknown

7 05 2010

You know what has surprised me the most about my Karijini experience?  Since I have come back, I’ve been boring the living hell out of every living thing I have come into contact with…. “I just got back from one of the most beautiful places in the world… want to see some pictures….”

I would have spoken to at least 30 people over here in Sydney and Melbourne, and so far not a single person has heard of Karijini.  Now I know that it is probably pretty common over in Sand Groper land, but it amazes me how somewhere this beautiful can be so undiscovered and unknown amongst Aussies (much less overseas photographers).

Perhaps we should just keep it that way…. our little secret.

BP





Karijini – Portrait of the “Grand Master”

6 05 2010

Haven’t had a lot of time to process my Karijini images, but I thought I’d take a break from the landscapes to do a stylistic portrait of Mr. Eastway.

We were out doing a sunset shoot of trees.  While the trees were pretty cool I just couldn’t get excited about shooting them, so I pulled out my strobe and thought I’d do some experimenting of some stylistic portrait shots.  I cranked the flash up to full power and “nuked” Peter as I was shooting him straight into the setting sun.  Thats not a sunburn he’s got, thats radiation from the photons I was hitting him with from my flash gun.

I’ve deliberately not processed this photo normally, I am aiming for an over-the-top very stylised portrait rather than a “real portrait”.

What do you think?  Too over the top or cool?

Look forward to your thoughts

Brent





Photoshop CS5 First Impressions

4 05 2010

I just upgraded to CS5 yesterday, thought I’d give you my first impressions.

Coexistence

For those of you worried about compatibility etc.  the first thing to understand is that the installation of CS5 doesn’t replace earlier versions of Photoshop (or at least not my version of CS4).  So you can continue to run both versions in parrallel until such time that you are fully migrated to CS5.

Speed

Because CS5 runs in 64bit mode it is fast… really fast.  There is one filter that I use for an effect called the Surface Blur.  In CS4 this filter would take forever to run, however in CS5 it runs in just a few seconds which is way cool.  I haven’t tested out other aspects of the speed, but it certainly does run faster.

Plug-in compatibility

I did get a bit of a shock when I copied my major plug-ins (Nik Sharpener, Nik Silver Effex Pro and Noise Ninja) to the plug-ins folder and then re-started Photoshop only to discover that they didn’t appear in the drop-down list for filters.    I read the FAQ on Nik’s site and they clearly state that their plug-ins are NOT yet 64bit compatible but that they were working on it.

My plan tonight is to run CS5 in 32bit mode (just tick the box on the Cmd+I screen on the mac).   That should give me access to all my Plug-ins.

However I did get a chance to play with the new content aware fill and it is freaking awesome!!!!

More later as I start getting used to it.

Brent





Karijini – Junction Pool

2 05 2010

On the last day of the workshop, Mark Stothard, Bruce and myself joined Dan from West Coast Active to do a canyoning trip through the Karijini gorges.  Dan could get us into places that most people don’t see.  At the point where all three gorges meet, you get to junction pool.  There is this incredible tree growing out of the water, and we were lucky enough to get the rays of light hitting it before the sun started setting behind the cliff top.  I loved the backlighting and contrast between the colours.

Processing Details:

  • This was a single image (no HDR or exposure blending)… Who needs a Phase One anyway!!!
  • I started off doing Bruce Margolis’s “Man from Mars” move on the image.  I think I’ll be using this technique a lot for my Karijini images.  It use LAB adjustments to essentially pull colours apart without saturating them.  I liked the blues and reds in the cliff, and this technique allowed me to empahasise them without cranking up saturation.
  • Then I did some dodge/burn on the cliff,
  • Darkened the tree and water a bit by using a luminosity mask in multiply mode
  • A bit of darkening of the edge using curves.

Plenty more Karijini stuff to come