Postcards From France: Grasse, Part 1

Postcards from an artist (3)

My Postcard From Grasse – Part 1

This Postcard from France comes to you from Grasse. After chilly but beautiful Strasbourg up in northern France, a 5-day road trip dropped me much further south into Grasse, which is in the French Riviera, or Cotes d’Azur. It was close to Chateauneuf de Grasse, which is where I’d be leading my “Finding Your Artistic Voice” photography retreat a few days later.  Continue reading “Postcards From France: Grasse, Part 1”

Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.

Oh boy! It’s Day 8 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, we’re going to wrap ourselves around…

Shapes and Patterns

A world without shapes or patterns is pretty much a blob. Ditto bones. 😉

Shapes and patterns are definitely important elements to watch for – and potentially build compositions around. But when it comes to your artist’s voice, you have to take it deeper. What shapes and patterns do you just go nuts over? Any and all? Organic ones? Geometric ones? Shapes and patterns in nature? Architecture? All of the above?

After you work that out – then the even bigger question to ask is why? How do those particular patterns make you feel? What kind of story/statement does that shape make? These answers are important to know, because they’ll tell you how to compose your shot, whether to wait for warm light, pink light or low light. Is the statement stronger in black and white? To know the answer,  you have to know what the statement IS in the first place. And that is all about you and your point of view…  your voice.

My favorite shape or pattern is ________.

Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.”

The Veil Between Worlds

I knew this image would turn out impressionistically when I shot it. Mostly because when I saw it, it reminded me of a photographer whose work I just love: Philippe Sainte-Laudy.

I’ll admit I thought I might do some motion blur. But the quality of light that came out as I pleased my muse was what soared to the forefront instead. My muse needed pleasing, because we’ve been taking care of business – ALOT – lately! That’s important and all good… but she was definitely feeling neglected. So I let her play. We’re much happier with each other now. 😀

Sunburnt

The forest itself absolutely magical in the late afternoon light. But I wanted it to feel a little surreal – like the same forest, but as if it stood just on the other side of the veil in a different reality selection, on another world. One that’s similar to ours, just altered in certain mystically beauteous ways. I’m betting you’ve been by those thin-veiled moments. They stop you in your tracks, you gawk and whisper “That’s just unbelievable!”. Yep… you’ve just seen a reflection of that world.

This was that.
I just made the veil a little thinner is all.

The Color of a Mood

I Love Color!

It’s no secret that I love color! I know a lot of people feel the same way I do.
As I was processing today’s photo, I was thinking about how color is such an intricate part of our lives that we even use them to describe feelings. What’s more, everyone knows exactly what you’re talking about even if they’re color blind!

Color As Emotion

The speaking of a color is so powerful, in fact, that you only need  few words to be crystal clear:

I was in a blue mood… (sadness, melancholy)
Alt: I feel blue… (sad, off, melancholy)
He was so mad he saw red… (extreme anger)
Everything’s golden… (everything’s terrific)
She was green with envy… (extreme envy, jealousness)
She looked at everything through rose-colored glasses. (she only saw the good in things.)

So when you process a photo and use color grading, cross-processing or color in some way to set the mood you want viewers to feel when they look at your photo – you’re tapping into a powerful, primal mechanism!

Set Your Viewers’ – Or Just Your Own Mood with Color

You can also use color to satisfy your own mood, or the vision you have for a piece.
I did a fairly extreme “processing two ways” combo the other day, which I thought was an interesting way to show you what I mean. Truly, the possibilities are endless!

Here’s where I ended up on the first round of processing:

AKindOfHush
Continue reading “The Color of a Mood”

Using a Gradient Fill Layer To Alter Color, Tone or Mood

The Courtyard at Castello di Amorosa

You can use them boldly or subtly, but the using a Gradient Fill Layer in Photoshop (I use CC) is a great tool for finishing touches on a photo. I’ll give you an example of subtle use from a photo I processed recently.

We visited Castello di Amorosa last fall for a photo shoot. A bunch of great images and 3 episodes of The Chat (owner Dario Sattui, photographer Annette Biggers, model Jennifer Freeman) came from that fabulous 2 day visit. I’m still smiling!

As our final evening was winding down, after a lovely glass of wine and noshes (The Castle is a fabulous winery), we wandering back toward our cars. The evening light was gorgeous… and the lights of the castle were on. Of COURSE, we had to shoot just a little bit more! This was a fun one of the courtyard… which I took with everyone tapping their toes, eager to drive down the valley for dinner. I could’ve stayed all night!


Continue reading “Using a Gradient Fill Layer To Alter Color, Tone or Mood”

Processing "Posted: No Trespassing"

Deciding What, Why & How

I like “old building, new growth” juxtapositions. I especially love it when the old building says “Posted, No Trespassing”. It’s just so quaint and presumptuous. Oh, I know it’s a modern sign meant for modern, rude humans… but as a captured moment, the combination makes me giggle.

In this photo, I also loved the side light. It was the blend of “old building, new growth” and “cool side light” that made me want to play with this photo.
Since I often get asked to show my original photo(s) along with the finished one… here’s how this one came together.

First, here’s the finished version:

Posted8
Continue reading “Processing "Posted: No Trespassing"”