Revisiting a Shoot

It’s amazing how differently you can see something after leaving it alone for a while and then revisiting it later……Rachel Wolchin

I’m one of those photographers that very rarely deletes any photographs from shoots that I do.  Okay, it’s got more to do with the fact that I’m a hoarder, even of photos, than having a great reason for it.  Never the less, it often proves to be a great choice.  I have a bit of a goldfish brain sometimes and often move onto a new project without fully exploring an existing one.  But I never completely close the door on them.  A photoshoot can keep giving me pleasure for years when I revisit it.  It’s not a bad thing.

A while ago, you saw some photos from a shoot I did at Mount Wilson with the lovely Kirsty.  I knew I wanted to revisit the shoot as there was one that I really loved and wanted to work on but there are quite a few that I took another look at yesterday.

I loved this particular shoot and even though my fingers hurt from pinning the leaves onto the dress, it was all worth it.  Autumn is one of my favourite seasons and although we’ve officially hit Spring here in Australia, I never think that Autumn leaves go out of season.  So, here are another two of the images from the glorious Mount Wilson.

Another Gate

Another Gate

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Since You Went Away

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Colour Me In

He found the colours to paint her when the world had left her grey….Atticus

It’s not hard to pick that I’m a colour person.  I can admire black and white images but I never feel quite right doing them.  I love colour.  It makes my soul sing.  It brightens a dull day.  I wear a lot of black but in my art I do a lot of colour.  Black, white and grey are an amazing backdrop for colours and that’s what I usually use them for.

I’ve often spoken about the romanticism of old photos.  The ones I especially love are the ones that were hand coloured.  Someone would painstakingly paint every detail in a soft wash of colour to recreate as naturally as possible the reality of the image.  There is an old wedding photo of my mum and dad’s  which was hand coloured and it is simply beautiful.  So I’ve been trying to teach myself hand colouring using Photoshop.

I’ve watched a few tutorials on Youtube but so far haven’t really had a go at it until today.  I got a photo that I’d done of the beautiful Libby in an Audrey Hepburn inspired shoot.  I did it in black and white as I wanted to recapture the old Hollywood glamour.  I loved it but it wasn’t really me.  So I decided to try my very first digitally hand coloured image.  The dress she was wearing was originally a beautiful burgundy satin  but I decided to change it to green.  Her eyes aren’t green but I wanted them to match the dress.  Getting a good skin colour is probably the hardest of all as it’s so hard to recreate.  But I just had a bit of fun with it really and I’m really pleased with the result.

I’m sure as I practise on a few more I’ll do a better job but for the first time, I don’t think it’s too shabby.  Time to get a few of the old family photos out I think to  really help hone this particular skill.

hand coloured vs bw

 

When the Artist becomes the Art

Youth is a gift of nature… Age a work of art….Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

A few months back, my wonderful friend Pennie had a big birthday.   It’s not up to me to tell you what the number was as it’s a woman’s prerogative to be ageless.  But I have to tell you, for this lady, age is completely irrelevant anyway.  She is a bundle of energy and radiates incredible grace.

Pennie is an artist who creates amazing work.  Her passion inspires me to continue trying to be the best creative I can be.  Both Pennie and her husband Brian are soon to expand their gallery space but until they do, you can view their work by clicking here.  Trust me, it’s worth having a look.

One of the most important things I concentrate on when making images of people is to make sure there is a connection with the image and that it represents who they truly are.  So with this talented lady,  I wanted to make the artist into the art so asked her if she’d pose for me.  She said yes and we had a lovely morning getting the shots I needed to create the images I was thinking of.  My plan was to take a photo of her and make it into a painterly style image to represent her artisan soul.  I got the shot I wanted and then as luck would have it, the plant on the side of the brick wall was covered in the most amazing, vibrant red autumn leaves, meaning I got more than I bargained for.

We also got a few laughs when we went for a burger for lunch afterwards and realised halfway through that we’d left the tiara in her hair.  Ah well.  Every queen deserves to wear a crown don’t they?   And make no mistake, this lady is a queen who I am privileged to call my friend.

Queen of Lurline

Queen of Lurline

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A gift of Nature

A Colourful Life

Mere colour can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways……Oscar Wilde

I love colours.  I love vibrant colours.  I love pastel colours.  I love neon colours.  I love dark,  moody colours.  I just love all colours.   While you won’t find a lot of blue or grey in my house as they aren’t my favourites, I can’t deny the beauty of a  spring sky or the soft strands of a grandma’s hair.

Pink is my signature colour while emerald green is my favourite.  When my kids were very young, they all chose a colour from a very early time and they stuck with it.  Aimee’s was blue, Lachlan’s was red and Stuart’s was yellow.  They really never veered away from those colours.

A lot of photography these days has returned to black and white which is stunning but I still prefer to shoot and edit in colour.  While I can admire the contemporary decor of today with it’s beige and grey palettes, I couldn’t live with it.  I need colour around me.  It feeds my soul.

So with that in mind, I asked a good friend of mine if I could paint her for a photo shoot.  Trish is always up for a challenge (how lucky am I to have friends who allow me to do this sort of stuff?) so I set to work with a paintbrush and her naked torso.  Now, to be fair, I’m not a painter but I was happy with it.  And here is the result.  My very colourful friend with her very colourful aura, soul and skin.

A Colourful Life

 

 

Stardust Baby

A baby is a bit of stardust, sent down from heaven to make this earth a magical place….Livonne                                                                                                                        

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when this writer was but a young woman, her friend Joanne gave birth to a precious baby girl.  That little squidgy bit of magic was named Cherie and I fell instantly in love with her.

Move forward (too) many years and that gorgeous girl still exudes magic everywhere she goes.  Luckily, she’s still a part of my life and I had the privilege of taking some photos of her while she was pregnant with a new generation of beauty.

Since she has always exuded magic and stardust, I thought her maternity photo had to show at least some of what she gives to the world.

PS.. She has since given birth to a beautiful little baby boy xxx

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Every Leaf

Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower……Albert Camus

Autumn in the Blue Mountains of Australia is one of the most beautiful times of the year.  The trees are ablaze with the most magnificent colours and the streets are carpeted with the falling leaves.  It looks, smells and sounds wonderful.  As you walk through the leaves you can hear them crunching underfoot.  It truly is a feast for the senses.

I love Autumn.  So of course, this time of year brings out the need to do lots of photoshoots.  In a previous post,  I had my beautiful model in a bath full of Autumn Leaves.  Loving those colours so much, I ventured a little further afield to Mount Wilson.

Mount Wilson is a delightful surprise.  The drive out there is a bit scrubbier than most of our local landscape and suddenly it starts to turn into a bit of a rainforest type of environment.  Just when you think that’s what you should be expecting, a quaint little English style village emerges out of nowhere, a little like Brigadoon.  It is always beautiful but in Autumn, it looks like a painting you would find on the lid of a chocolate box.  Don’t expect to be able to buy a lot out there.  There’s a little cafe but I think that’s about it.  Who cares?  You go there to soak in the beauty.

I had an idea which needed lots of autumn leaves, so I ordered some silk ones in from China.  Very cheap but very effective. I thought 400 would be heaps but when I started pinning them to the dress I chose there were nowhere near as many as I thought there’d be but I didn’t want to cover the dress, so it was enough.  I packed my lovely model Kirsty in the car and off we went.

Unfortunately I didn’t check the calendar to see what would be happening out there and it was open garden day on a public holiday, so it was packed and trying to get a clear spot to do a photo was almost impossible.  We didn’t let it stop us, we found a few spots that were almost clear and we did our stuff.

I was working on another image last night and had extended the canvas from 9 photos, recoloured, made adjustments and was just ready to add textures when Photoshop crashed.  Silly me hadn’t saved it as a PSD before I started, so I lost the lot..  Ahh well.  Lesson learned. Back to the drawing board.

These are a few of the (saved) images  we created.

Graceful – Weekly Photo Challenge

It is only our belief that we are trapped that keeps us bound where we are….Livonne

As some of you will know I’ve spent the weeks over Christmas and the New Year moving into a new home.  After shifting comes the mammoth task of setting a new home up.  I gave myself all of January off so I could concentrate on getting it just as I wanted it and then come February, I was to hit the ground running with works for exhibition as well as a few new series I have planned. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Take a month off I said.  It’ll be good I said.. Wrong!

Yesterday,  I couldn’t take the lack of creativity another minute.  Yes, I should have been unpacking and setting up things how I want them.  Yes, I should have been doing some gardening.  Yes, I should have been working on other stuff but my brain was screaming at me to create something… anything.

Luckily I have some lovely friends who are happy to pose for me whenever I want to shoot something in particular.  I got in touch with Janet and she happily agreed to be my model.  I had planned to shoot outside, however the beautiful mountains mists came in which, while beautiful and inspiring,  played havoc with my plans.  So instead, I set up an area inside, cut heaps of ivy off my fence and set about quickly planning something different.

I was inspired by the restless, trapped feeling I had when I had this self imposed break from creating.  Even though it was me that set the rules, I felt bound by them.  I could have stuck to my plan of not shooting over January but sometimes we have to listen to that creative voice that says “just do it”.  So I cast off those shackles and lost myself in what I love doing.  Yes my lounge room was a mess but it was so worth it.

I still have some more images to be edited but these three are the first of them.  Oh it felt so good to be creating again.