The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Processed Images

A Happy Accident

High Five.. Anyone !?!?… :)

Well ok, maybe (fortunately) not entirely an accident… but certainly unplanned… or at least not entirely planned… :)

SO… Voting from the previous “fluffy” post was almost unanimous in favour of something decidedly less fluffy / altogether more macabre… Well don’t say you weren’t given the choice… ;)

You’ll be glad to know though, that no harm befell anyone or anything during the making of this shot… that is unless you include the demon garden hose… There’s a lesson to be learned there, and that is when taking photographs in the garden, never assume the garden hose is fully conversant with rule 7.14, which is “Active garden hoses, must at all times during their duties of water dispensing, ensure they always look away from the camera”

This shot is actually a whole lot more innocent than it may first appear, and my original idea was entirely different to the slant my post-processing took… I originally intended to take a shot with just plain old water running down my hand and off my fingertips, and I was then going to spin it through 180°, turn it black and white… and hope it looked kinda unique, with the water flowing upwards… Well, it didn’t… lol…

Hence after my initial disappointment, it then took on a more disturbing twist… Trust me though, this WAS that shot with plain old boring garden hose water, which has then been entirely photoshopped to look like… well.. not like water… ;)

So there ya go… from fluffy critters, to golden sunsets, to flowers, to freaky vegetables, to abandoned and spooky buildings, to the licking cows… and now something altogether less wholesome… :)


Full On Mooning

Tonight was a stunning full moon, with a crisp clear sky to boot, and as I’ve never had any success in photographing the moon before, I decided it was time to give it another shot (as they say)… Only thing is, once you’ve got a nice crisp detailed shot of the moon… then what ?!?!…

Well naturally you have to add it to a dramatic (but slightly lacking) night shot… and if you haven’t got a suitable night shot… then create one… :)

Here’s a more natural alternative of the above creation…

And then of course the original shot, and my first successful shot of the moon…


Mini Days Out…

Strange isn’t it how great minds think alike… I had plans yesterday of taking some shots with the sole purpose of doing a fake tilt-shift…. and it would seem that Angelcel must have had exactly the same tilt shift ideas too….

Yesterday we decided to take a trip to Southend… Yeah I know it’s a real cliché English seaside resort, and doesn’t appeal to everyone, but my Dad came from there, and I’ve not been there for  such a very long time… and my Mum fancied a trip down memory lane… and plus the kids LOVE it… even though it’s the first time they’ve ever been… The worst of it is though that we can SEE Southend so clearly from my little Island… It’s probably no more than 6 or 7 miles as the crow flies… but to drive there is a whole different story due to a small river called The Thames… which extends that 6 or 7 miles to closer to 65 miles each way… lol…

Not sure how well-known this fact is either, but they have the worlds longest pleasure pier… It is reportedly 1.341 miles long…. and even has its own trains to ferry the less hardy to and from the end of the pier…

Sadly though a fire tore through and destroyed most of the original head of the pier back in 2005, but fortunately it has now been pretty much restored… To save me writing oodles and oodles of stuff on here though that no one wants to read, I’ll just throw in the ever faithful Wikepedia Link… which always comes in very handy…

It certainly is quite the pier though, and hopefully this view helps to give you a sense of how far out to sea it really is… Not sure I’d fancy being out there in more inclement weather though…


No Jacket Required

Back to the infamous Potters Manor…for more doom and gloom…

Please pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of the finest, and kick back and enjoy the open fire…

That’s one thing that amazed me with this place though was the sheer quantity of personal belongings that were left behind when the owners departed (for whatever reason they departed)… As can be seen here from the furniture / clothes / personal paintings / ornate glasses / rugs etc… Unfortunately though I’m not sure exactly how long all this will last, as it would appear from the swarm of postings I’ve seen recently that plenty more people have recently determined its whereabouts… Hopefully they’ll to be respectful of its uniqueness… and it will long remain an urbexers paradise…


Bookworm

Ummmm… What can I say… Apart from “someone” needs to be much more careful… lol…

LOVE doing these… :)


Check-Mate…

Well it has been SUCH a long time since I’ve done one of these mini-me clone shots, but my daughters recent request of me to teach her how to play chess inspired me to get a wee bit creative again… and here’s the result…

Btw…. I know she’s only 10, and has only played about 4 games in total… EVER… but she’s not beaten me yet… My longest winning streak to date… lol… ;)


Part Deux…

So here’s another one from yesterdays hospital visit…. Processed with an altogether more gritty ominous feel…. I may have a few more up my sleeve too… :)


Hospital Visit…

OK, so I have spent most of my day today in hospital…. And what a great day it was too… I have to say I’ve never spent such an enjoyable time in hospital…. Yeah ok, so maybe it wasn’t your conventional visit to casualty, although it could very easily have ended up being which you’ll appreciate from the pictures…  And the pictures that you see here of the interior were taken in almost complete darkness due to the boarded up windows…. Made for an interesting time…. lol…

The Babies Castle

And I’m sure in seeing said hospital you’ll understand exactly why a visit to casualty was a fairly high probability…. lol…. So today Night-Stalker McGowan and Me paid a visit to the slightly infamous, and ever so strangely named “Hawkhurst Babies Castle”…

Another Room

The babies castle was officially opened in 1886, and was initially for the reception of babies but became a mixed home for children under the age of 8, who owing to their physical condition, were not suited for boarding out… The “Babies Castle” officially closed in 1965… when it then became a nursing home for the elderly…

I’m unsure when this closed… but the upper floors were in an appalling state of repair with very few floorboards remaining and most of the windows boarded up, making it very risky and extremely interesting to move around safely…. and I use the phrase “safely” in its loosest sense…


Guitar Hero…

Well ok… Maybe not… lol… Truth is I DO own a guitar… but I have to confess to not being able to play a tune on it… Zip… Not a thing… Naught… Nada… ;)

Actually I don’t even know any chords… lol… It was bought many years ago on a whim when I knew I’d be good at it… Ummmmm…. Actually I wanted a saxophone, but it I was sure I’d need far to many fingers to play it… so opted for the natural alternative… and chose to buy a bass guitar as it only had 4 strings… Ummmm…. But I couldn’t find one so bought a lead guitar instead…. lol…. ;)

So anyways…. That’s the story behind my meagre “guitar hero” beginnings… Double ummmmm…. Actually I’ve NEVER played guitar hero either as I’m pretty sure I’d be cr*p at that too… I think I’ll stick to my triangle… Well I would had I not lost my dinger stick…

Ooooh… I have another confession actually… I CAN play a note.. I can play a C major… but only cos I googled it tonight so that it would “look” like I knew how to play a guitar.. lol..

SO.. My question now is “Does anyone know a song in C major??”… and when I say in C major, I mean JUST C major… ALL the way through… ONLY C major… As I’m determined to be able to play something and I’m pretty sure I can handle that… Suggestions welcome… :)


Rail Way 2

So this is what it has come to… It’s a choice at the moment (because of work and the winter weather) of re-working some old shots, or taking photo’s of the kiddies toys… and tonight the kiddies happened to be busy with their cardboard boxes and paper bags (they are so spoiled), so re-working old shots was the only option…

Fortunately I still do have a couple of old favourites that I can use a smidge of the extra familiarity I now have of photoshop since processing the original… I was going for a slightly more natural feel here than with my original processing…

In addition to spending an awful lot more time on the processing, which involved countless colour filters / blends / layer masks / overlays / blending of the original RAW / secret sluggy sauce / chewed finger nails / eye of toad / lesser spotted mermaids tail…. etc… I also adjusted the crop too, which hopefully balances it a bit better too… So the original image probably took me about 15-20 mins to process just over a year ago, and the rework probably took me a good hour or so more… starting completely from scratch again… I guess to appreciate the difference though you’d need to see the original images… Hopefully the extra work was worth the effort….

The SOOC untouched shot

The original processed shot


Believe it or not…

As well as a passion for photography, I also have to admit to having a passion for photo editing too. Mainly however I do try to keep the editing reasonably true to the original image as seen, and just bring out some extra hidden details.

There are always occasions though when I like to get a bit more creative, as is the case here…

The original shot was mine, but unfortunately I can’t take credit for the night sky… as much as I’d love to… You will find a brief explanation on how I achieved this final result HERE


Night Access

Now I’m not normally known for night photography, but the other night I had the opportunity to get out and about during the hours of darkness and try out a new area of photographical expertise… and it was kinda fun I have to admit… but kinda cold too… lol…

Here’s one of the results and I’ve tried to give it a bit more of a menacing mood than just a standard black and white conversion… Hopefully it worked out ok….


The Camera Never Lies

So I thought I’d use this opportunity to show some of what is professionally known in the trade as “cheating”… lol.. Well ok, maybe not cheating so much.. or at least as far as I’m concerned it’s not cheating, although I’m sure the purists would wholly disagree…  To me it is however making the most of what technology offers us to better represent the scene as we “actually” see it…

You may notice that quite a large percentage of my landscape work has had some “tweaking” done to it, and most of this is using a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range)… And before the purists amongst you climb up on to your lofty steeds and start screaming for the celluloid police to come drag me to some dark corner kicking and screaming… HDR has actually been around looooong before digital photography…

HDR is actually in modern day terms a digital blending images captured at differing exposures, but dates back to as early as the 1850′s… “The idea of using several exposures to fix a too-extreme range of luminance was pioneered as early as the 1850s by Gustave Le Gray to render seascapes showing both the sky and the sea. Such rendering was impossible at the time using standard techniques, the luminosity range being too extreme. Le Gray used one negative for the sky, and another one with a longer exposure for the sea, and combined the two in a single picture in positive.” (wikipedia)

So there you go…. There’s one in the eye for the film purists who seem to have a deep seated loathing of anything HDR…. Now ok, I guess I can understand some disdain for the process as it has been much overused and some of the extremes of processing you see are quite frankly…. ummmm…. well…. It’s no wonder it has gained a bad reputation… But when used properly it’s intended effect is to more accurately represent what the human eye can perceive, which is a much higher dynamic contrast ratio than any static range achievable by any modern display technology… due to the constant adjustment of the iris and the chemical changes within the eye itself…

So below you will see the original SOOC (straight out of the camera) image…

And now the standard tonemapped (HDR) image… without any additional processing…

And I think you’ll agree that the tonemapped image isn’t particularly impressive and still requires some work… And this is where more technology comes in very handy in the form of Photoshop, and what I normally do is then blend the original raw image with the tonemapped image to obtain a much more presentable and hopefully much more realistic “as seen” scene…

Hopefully… if even one purist HDR hater reads this and thinks “Hmmmmm…. maybe he has a point there”…. then my work is done…. lol… ;)

Oh by the way…. Yeah I know the picture itself is crap, but I didn’t want to detract from the processing explanation with an image that would take the focus of the post, so I chose something deliberately mediocre so’s to show the processing itself… :)


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