Namibia – Abstract Landscapes

8 12 2011

 

One of the highlights of my trip to Namibia was visiting the Deadvlei near Sesriem.  From the time I first saw photos from this amazing place I said to myself “this is somewhere that I just have to photograph”.   The textures of the dry lake bed…. the abstract shapes of the petrified trees….. the beautiful red/orange sand dunes surrounding the lake are all like something out of a Dali painting.

A light painted image taken at night.

I ended up doing three shoots at this location.  A sunset shoot, followed by a sunrise shoot, and then a sunset/night shoot.  Similar to Kolmanskop, this location was a photographers dream… lots of different ways you could approach the shoot.  Different compositions, lighting and post processing all combined to make this a pretty special and surreal landscape.

I deliberately went pretty hard with the post processing.  The reason for this was that there are plenty of lovely “natural prints”,  however because this is such a surreal landscape, I wanted to add a bit of surreal processing to the post production to create an image that was a bit different to everybody elses.  The top image looks incredible when printed large on fine art paper (and on super glossy).

 

I’ll follow up with a tutorial on my post processing for some of these images in a few weeks once I have finished my image processing.

 





Light Painting An Entire Freaking City!!!

28 10 2010

Check this out…. This is light painting on a grand scale… What a project.  50 photographers went to great details to light paint an entire city.  While the translation from Spanish is not perfect, it’s still worth having a read of what these guys got up to.  Absolutely amazing.

You can read the whole story here.

Brent





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