Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Changing Things Up a Bit

I've decided to separate my blogs into more appropriately divided journals. This journal is devoted more specifically to my glamour and nude photography and linked to my Provocative Photo website. I've also designated this blog site as an adults only site so that anyone who visits gets a warning that what they are about to see isn't appropriate for work or for young eyes (or at least not young eyes with no parental guidance).

Splitting the blogs also allows me to be more flexible with what I post by allowing project based posts as opposed to the chronologically based posts system I was following before.  As part of splitting the blogs, I did extract the pertinent glamour and nude posts to transfer to this journal to maintain the continuity of the writings. There may be some odd holes here and there in the stream of posts, but there's nothing anyone will miss from series of posts about glamour photography.

The image to the right is the lovely Ashley posing with sword and chains in my backyard. The image was taken with the Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 SF lens with the soft focus setting set to 2. As you can see, it provide a dreamy effect straight out of the camera. Some have argued that the effect could be achieved in Photoshop as well, but I don't think the dimensionality of the effect can be achieved directly with software. That's why I keep the 135mm SF lens in my lens bag even though I also have the 135 f/2L which is probably my favorite prime lens.

This shot was taken as part of my Women in Chains project. Ashley posed in several different sets of chains and in a few settings and at one point we decided to go out into the back yard for a few shots, and that was when we decided to use the sword with the chains.  I've subsequently started a different project featuring both the chains and various swords. I've shot the first set of those images (see Vanessa in the post below for one example and Ashley G. at the bottom of the page for another).

To the left, you can see this Ashley in an Ice-Flame body chain and headdress in Dark Flame. This is one of several different sets of chains I've been using in my recent photography projects. In the image above, she's in a set of chains called the Raven Ensemble.

I've got a few more images of Ashley to process later this winter, but for now I'm concentrating on completing the Sword and Sorcery images shot in November. When the warmer months arrive, I'll be shooting some outdoor scenes with many of the same models. It gives me something more to look forward to once warm weather arrives.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Processing Images

Here's on of the latest images I've processing now that my comptuers are back online and optimized for operation. I had only intended to process about 20 or so images of per model, but Vanessa's images (the first I've worked on) are turning out so well, I'm post-processing many more than that.

I'm also experimenting with the capabilities of Lightroom, especially with varying the colors of the background. The program can certainly change the hue of the background for a specific color, blue in the case of the image to the left, but it seems limited to a narrow subset of hues that can be adjusted without adversely affecting the skin or hair tones.

Still, it has its uses and I can see where I'll be able to use it to expand the utility of my different background.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thoughts at the End of the Year

I think, perhaps, my long running battle with my computers may be over, or at least in a lull. My laptop drive has been restored with only the loss of a list of images that I needed to process. The images are still there, but the list of images the model chose for me to process was lost in the recovery.

The external hard drive that failed when PGE cut the power to my neighborhood has been restored and the thousands of family photos on that drive have been copied over to a new drive, backed up, and re-cataloged. Additionally, the main images will be backed up to a small hard drive and stored in my safety deposit box. I’ve also added to UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) units to my computer network and optimized the system drive on my desktop. Now, at last, I can actually begin processing the images I’ve taken over the last few months. In fact, I did manage to complete processing the Autumn Fairy Reshoot images for the model chosen for that shoot and will deliver them to her this weekend. Now I have to start processing the Sword and Sorcery shots from mid-November.

In the meantime, I have a number of family images to process, including some Christmas portraits of my grandchildren and daughters. Those will need to be completed before I travel to Arizona next week so my daughter-in-law will have them for her scrapbooking. Of course, Wanda has a few thousand photos she wants scanned a retouched too. Maybe I should consider golf as an alternative hobby.

It’s hard to believe that 2009 is almost over and with it the end of the first decade of the 21st century (depending on how you look at it). The 2000’s were sure different from the 90’s, and not all in a good way. We’re still in the midst of two wars, the economy is, at best, staggering along. Unemployment is at an all time high, and more people are homeless this Christmas season than ever. What I can’t understand, is why we can’t as humans, despite our political and ideological differences, pull together as a country to do better and be more kind and humane toward each other.

I feel fortunate I have a wonderful wife, great children and adorable grandchildren, as well as a job, a home and the time and money to spend on a hobby. I know there are many others who are just scraping by these days and would be grateful for a 1/10th of what I have. That makes me appreciate my family and friends all the more—and I’m certainly happy I have the ability to take photos of them, and my other projects, and share them with the world.