Thursday, 21 June 2012

Start to Finish

Beyond Layers Day 8 was another still-life challenge, to illustrate how surroundings affect the feel of our photos. The first part of the challenge was to create a mini-studio at home, if possible, and then set something up there.

Actually, this is something I experimented with in March. In the afternoon, the best light in our house comes from the western windows - the living room has lovely, antique yellow wallpapers, too, and the trickiest part is to manouvre a suitable piece of furniture next to a blank part of the wall. (That can be a challenge, though. ) But as I already already used the living room for the carnation photo, I decided to try another option.

To start with, I set up our dog-grooming table in the room where Better Half usually grooms our dogs. It's light-weight and easy to move. So far so good, but the surface is black rubber intended to prevent a dog slipping, and is definitely not photogenic. So I go about to find something to cover the table, and find Mum's old tablecloths. Perfect! The next step is to find something to hide the bookcase and dog crates in the room and to reflect the light. No screens in the house, but I carry a foldable laundry drying rack into the room, prop it against a chair and drape it first with cream-coloured curtains. They are too light and transparent, though, so I need to use some sheets under them. Voila! There I have my mini-studio, with no need to purchase anything.

The second part of the challenge was the composition. Here I did a lot of experimenting, and for this challenge I picked two photos of the series that I liked, with some dried roses and my grandfather's old cigarette box.

The third part of the challenge was to try out the photoshop techniques Kim instructed us in: gradient  mapping, hue/saturation adjustment layers, layer masks, including gradient masks, and selective editing. I have experience in using the other techniques, but the selective editing of hue & saturation was totally new to me!

So I played with these two pictures, and here are the results.

Grandfather's Cigarette Box

The resources I used for processing:
- action Sunshine by The Pioneer Woman
- textures Awaken & Happy Heart by Kim Klassen
- gradient Vintage by Kim Klassen
- a blue gradient from the wonderful Super Dooper gradient pack by Digital Phenom

Old Rose

Processing resources:
- action Lovely & Ethereal by The Pioneer Woman
texture  Paper Love by Kim Klassen
- a red gradient from the Super Dooper gradient pack by Digital Phenom

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