I just wanted to wish you a quick “happy Halloween!” and share a quick photo of my little butterfly. Have fun trick or treating!
Do you like chocolate? I do. I love chocolate. A lot. No, really – like an inordinate amount. Today I am going to teach you how to make your own chocolate… in Photoshop!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not really big on the black and whites. It isn’t really my style. That being said, I find black and whites much easier to edit than color photos (especially when you’re using an action). I often convert my personal snapshots into black and white because, well, it’s easier and I don’t want to spend hours editing snapshots. A common plight with photographers is finding a good conversion (that’s the term for turning a color photo into a black and white) that doesn’t look too gray. This one isn’t the Gucci of conversions, but it’s at least a GAP conversion. So let’s get to my quick and dirty chocolate conversion! (Hint: if you can’t see enough detail, click on the screen capture and it will open up a little bit bigger.)
The first thing you do is create a new hue/saturation layer.
Go ahead and desaturate the image 100%.
Now we are going to duplicate our background layer: select “background” and right-click.
Change the layer mode to “soft light.” Make sure this layer is under the hue/saturation layer.
Now we are going to create a solid color layer…
…and fill with a nice, rich brown.
Now set your color layer to “color” mode…
…and reduce the opacity to 50%.
I added a slight vignette to this one. Here’s the finished product!
As a bonus, I’ve created an action for you. You can download it here.
The other day I was exploring and scouting out new locations. It was rainy and yucky, so I couldn’t get the exact test shots I wanted (instead I just used my handy dandy iphone camera in the off chance hat I forgot where I wanted to shoot) and couldn’t see exactly how the light was going to play, although I had an idea, so we just waited for a sunny day to show up. Yesterday was that day! It was pretty soggy still so I just used my 4 year old instead of my baby. I am in love. I love Fall photos to begin with (who am I kidding? I love Fall!) and I love light and bokeh (bokeh is what happens when you shoot with a wide aperture, resulting in the beautiful background blur) so it didn’t even matter to me that Juliet was refusing to cooperate. For the record, this is where I am holding the last mini sessions this year. Check them out… I think you’ll love them too!
Check out those yellow leaves!
This makes me swoon. The colors, the light, the everything…
Holy Bokeh, Batman! This one is by far my favorite. Bokeh makes my heart sing!
I can’t wait for mini sessions now!
Next month I will be doing the very last mini sessions ever in 2010. I’ve never offered such a great deal on digital files before. The entire mini session fee is what I normally charge for one digital file and that does not include the minimum purchase. I’m not requiring any minimum print orders for the mini sessions and I’ll also include low resolution “web ready” files of your two high resolution files. Sessions will start at 9am and be scheduled every 30 minutes after that. I have a limited number of slots available, so don’t wait to schedule!
For a while now I have been wanting to incorporate a stronger element of whimsy into my style and my photographs. It’s something I have always been drawn to, but was unsure how to bring it to fruition. It’s hard to explain, but I think at a certain point as an artist you get to where you have a vision for your work and the feelings that you want to evoke and who you want to become artistically. Childhood whimsy is something that has always been a part of my vision. I’m going to try to explain it, but I’m not sure I can… hopefully in the months to come, my photographs will bring a clearer view. I want to capture that childhood innocence that makes the world magical – that feeling that encompasses you before you get big enough to realize that there is some really horrible, no good, very bad stuff in this world. That sense of wonder and “the world is my oyster.” We all have this idea of the perfect, ideal, simple, classic American childhood in our minds. For me, this involves a hazy, dream like quality with simple touches of beauty (a flower in the hair, pristine nature, real expressions) and a hint of vintage. I want to combine this with things I love about photography and that I’ve come to expect in my work (I love sunflares and backlit subjects, for example) while still capturing the connection in families and evoking emotion. That’s my vision. It’s a tall order, I’ll admit, but I think I can do it. This is challenging for me on many levels, but I’ve decided I need to start shooting for myself, doing things that inspire me, and indulge. I’m evolving as an artist – I sort of feel like I am coming out of a cocoon, of late – and I have discovered a sense of clarity and purpose in my photography that comes from emerging out of this rut that I’ve been in of late. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
Having said all that, I’m going to start doing concept shoots for me. If you haven’t already, follow me on twitter or like me on facebook because I will be putting out “casting calls” for specific stuff and if you fit the bill, then you’ll receive a free session and low resolution copies of the photos (plus, it’ll be super fun). Right now, I am looking for someone with access to laying chickens that live in a decent looking yard, a family with at least one child (no younger than 3 years old, and preferably a little girl) with a mother willing to be in photos.
Here’s a taste of the whimsy I was talking about.