This week I have come to realise that I’m not getting out to any new locations to photograph. When I do manage to get out, I seem to be repeating many of the scenes and shots I have taken in the past. Or at least that’s the way it feels.
This image was taken on a recent trip to Cornwall and is a case in point. I have visited the location before but have never been happy with the image. That’s why I haven’t shared them. I’m not sure that I’m any happier with this image but I’m forcing myself to share it as I’m not likely to visit again soon to shoot it again.
And that’s the point. I seem to be caught in a loop of not being satisfied with my images and so I keep returning to shoot them again and again, never creating anything new. I’m going to work on this for the next 12 months to see if I can improve. I’m also determined to get out with a camera more often.
For this week’s Friday image, it’s a shot from my recent trip to Cornwall. I took this whilst walking the coast path. It’s probably about a mile outside Fowey.
At the time, the light was very harsh and the images I was shooting on my standard Olympus EM5 weren’t looking very appealing. As is often the case when the light is harsh in summer, it can be helpful to switch to Infrared.
The image was captured using an infrared converted Olympus EM5 with an Olympus 12-40mm lens. This makes a great pairing although there is a faint hotspot in the centre of the lens. Fortunately, this vanishes once converted to black and white. What surprised me here was the strength of the Infrared effect. The weed in the sea is practically glowing.
The conversion from RAW was performed in Lightroom and then the post production conversion was using On1 Effects.
I’m going to keep this one a short post as its getting very late and I want to pack up for the day. This is another of the tree shots from last weekend. This tree was incredibly photogenic; I don’t know why but I am grateful. It was about the only subject that seemed to work either in Infrared or conventional.
I hope you have a great weekend and if you’re out with a camera, I hope you have better luck than I did.
Yesterday I published an article on my Lenscraft website titled “How to become a Successful Photographer”. If you have 5 minutes to spare I would encourage you to head over to Lenscraft to read it. In writing the article, something occurred to me which is obvious and yet we often lose sight of. What do we consider being a successful photographer to be?
For some it may be the ability to earn a living from their photography. For some it may be winning competitions or being accepted by a Gallery.
My own definition of being a successful photographer is being able to consistently produce images that are high quality and which engage with my audience. All the other “measures” mentioned above are for me secondary outcomes. What really matters is the quality of my work and how I as the photographer feel about my work.
What I would really be interested to know is what defines success for you? If you have any thoughts, please add them as comments to this post.
First my apologies for not posting a blog article this week. My time was taken up with publishing the monthly Lenscraft newsletter as well as a new video on You Tube. I hate missing a post during the week; it kind of puts you out of your rhythm, making it harder to find the next post.
I’m sat here now looking through images and wondering what on earth I should post. That’s when I clicked on an old folder from 2015 and noticed the image above. This is nothing more than a digital infrared image of a pot plant. Despite this I find the composition and repetition (but varied sizes) quite appealing. I really must check my archives more often.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
For this Friday’s Image, I thought I would share another of the images from my recent trip to Madeira. Whilst the weather at the time might not have been perfect, the landscape is amazing. Look at the image above. This was the view from one of the coastal paths we were walking at a height of around 400m.
The weather for this shot was a combination of humid haze and rain. My standard Olympus EM5 couldn’t see the distant hills so I switched to my infrared converted EM5. This seemed to fair much better and could cut through the haze to some degree. I’m pleased that it did as the landscape was quite breath taking.
I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.
I have seen many articles and videos over the years suggesting ways to create infrared simulations using regular colour photographs. Most of these fall short, possibly because the authors don’t appreciate the true characteristics of infrared. One example I read simply suggested using the channel mixer in Photoshop and using it to turn a blue sky black.
The best tool I have seen for simulating the effects of Infrared film a standard colour image is Alien Skin Exposure. This is also one of the tools I turn to when converting my digital infrared images as it allows me to simulate the halation effect often seen with Kodak HIE film. Unfortunately, as great a tool as Exposure is, it’s costly.
So how can we create a simulation using Nik plug-ins? Well, there is an Infrared film simulation in Nik Color Efex Pro but it’s not very convincing and doesn’t produce the halation effect. Nik Silver Efex Pro did once have an optional preset you could download from the Nik website but this has been removed. In any case, the preset wasn’t very believable.
This video features my simple solution based on combining a couple of filters in Nik Color Efex with a monochrome conversion in Silver Efex Pro. It’s quick to do and is quite effective.
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