Thursday, 30 October 2008

Before and After

I attended an open day at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth on Tuesday. I am going to apply there for next year and hopefully I'll get in.
Im concentrating on my personal statement and I'm getting on with my portfolio. For my course I would be doing a module on photo editing so I'm putting together some before and after images, which I have used photoshop to edit.
Going through my images of before and after, I have looked at my images with more criticism and I am cutting down on my very best images.
Here are some of the images I have edited.

I used the actions I have on photoshop to edit this image.

I used 'boost' to boost the colours and the contrast. I also sharpened the image and then gave it a letterbox crop.

This is another picture of the same dog. I boosted the colours and cropped the image to get rid of the top part of the image. I also had to clone the top left to make it all grass because otherwise the background would be eye catching.
I also sharpened the image and made the right hand side lighter to even out the image more.
When I had edited the images, I realised the grass in the foreground is more in focus than the dog is. I am not as keen on this image as I was before because of this.
This is the end of today's post.
Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

More Darkroom Techniques :D

This Image was taken with a pinhole camera. The method is so easy to use. Look up pinhole cameras on wikipedia :D to make a pinhole camera you make a box light tight and then make a tiny hole on one side. You also have to have a flap to open so the paper can be taken in and out. then you just let light in through the hole and it creates an image on your paper. when you put it through the machine that develops it, it comes out like this.
This is the result of printing through a paper negative. A paper negative is where you peel the thin layer print off of the paper and then print through it like a contact sheet. I realy love the effect it has had on the image, it looks almost like its been rained on.

This is the solarized image that I used for the paper neg.

This image was taken with a fish eye lens.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Darkroom Technique

I handed in my street photography assignment yesterday. Now I'm focusing on a project where I'm using stereotypes as my main focus. I'm also writing up a sketchbook which has all the darkroom experiments that we have done in it. Not alot of people know much about the darkroom and what can be made by experimenting with different techniques so I thought I'd post the experiments here. :] I'm going to go get my scanner so I can scan the piccies in.

In this image I printed through the plastic which I had drawn half a picture on. My friend drew the other half of the person and we printed them side by side.

I printed this image by placing the plastic onto some photography paper and then I put the glass on top and printed through it. This is the result, above.

Using the filters in the darkroom I experimented with the contrast. This is what using the filters does to an image:

Before and After

The below image was made by putting my fingertips into some developer and then pressing them onto photography paper, I then put the image into a tray of fix for five minutes and then into the wash for another 10 minutes.

Here are some more images from this experiment:

This next experiment is called sunlight printing. To do this, you put some flowers onto some photography paper and then place some glass over the top, you then leave it there for about ten minutes and then you put it into the fix for ten minutes.

These are just a few of the experiments I have done, I will post the rest tomorrow.
I'm watching CSI now then I'm gonna go bed.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, 20 October 2008


One of my preferred subjects to photograph is of the winged kind. I have always found birds fun to photograph and I thought that I'd post a few of my favourite bird images that I have taken.
I haven't taken many photos lately because I have been busy doing sketchbook work.
Most people find my first bird annoying, but I managed to capture a more... inquisitive look for this bird.

I love how its turned it's head to look at the camera and try and figure out what it is.

The only thing I don't like about this image is that the background is lighter than the foreground and theres not much definition of the seagul against the blue sky.

Here are some cute little duckies!

They are so sweet! This was taken on a really sunny day. I spent the whole day exploring this town near Alton and I found a beautiful park and managed to get some awesome pictures :D
Heres a picture of a jackdaw (I think) :P. It's not very good quality because I was quite far away but I like it anyways.

I love how gothic this image feels with the spiky chain and the shape of the birds wings.

This next one makes me want to shout 'tally ho!'
The image isn't that clear to see, it's two ducks coming into land and I managed to photograph them from a distance and continually capture them until they landed firm on their feet just yards from me. One of them landed wonky and fell over which was funny, it was ok though.

Another jackdaw (I think) Im sure Ruta will let me know if I'm wrong :P

This picture looks better bigger because the details are clearer than when it's small.

I made this picture black and white because I think it really emphasizes the eye.

One more duck image.

Having to capture this moment quickly, the original image was very dark. I had to lighten this image and also replace the original ducks eye with a lighter eye from another duck image. I've cropped it like this because I think it makes the image feel more dramatic and action packed.

Check out these bad boys:
These are the budgies I used to have, they were called Reggie and Stumpy. Awesome.

Swan picture!

This is an unusual picture of a swan, photographers usually photograph them with their heads above water and their necks in a nice curve shape. I thought I would be different an photograph this one like this!

I had to edit the edge of the walkway out of the right hand side of this picture and replace it with water and still keep the right pattern in the water.

The white of the swan is burnt out which isn't great for the picture. But, I'm happy with it just as it is.

I have shown a whole range of bird pictures from my collection. Hopefully, when I next go to a zoo I'll get some funky penguin shots.
Penguins are cool.
I'm going to get on with my assignment now, just an evaluation to write and I should be done!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Toner and Food Colouring

Today at college we did a workshop which included sepia toning, blue toning, scanning a print into the computer and using photoshop to colour it, and using food colouring to selectively add colour to a black and white print. I scanned the images into the computer and saved them to my Pen Drive. However, due to technical problems I cant post the photoshopped image or the food colouring coloured image. I havent scanned the food colouring image in because it was still wet when I wanted to scan it.

The image I used was taken by my grandad about 45 years ago, and is a picture of my dad as a child.

Here is the blue toned image:

To blue tone this image I soaked the original print and then put it into a tray of blue toner. When the image was as blue as I liked, I removed it from the blue toner tray and put it into the sink to wash in the water. After ten minutes I used a drying machine with rollers to dry the image and above is the final result.

Here is the sepia toned image:

To sepia tone this image I put the original print into the soak tray, and then I put it into the bleach tray and took it out when the image was just starting to disappear. Then I put it into the sepia toner until the image reappeared as a sepia image. Finally, I put it into the sink to wash.


Another picture of a child that I have taken, is one of a girl called Grace who I have been photographing frequently since she was born. She is the child of my friends mum and was very tiny when I first started photographing her. This is one of my star images:

I have recently developed a keen interest of black and white photography, probably because I have started to work in the darkroom more and I have learnt more about the processes involved in printing an image. However, this picture was taken digitally and I used the levels tool in Photoshop to get the effect I wanted.

I have come to Plymouth for the weekend to spend time with my boyfriend who has moved here to go to university. As we were walking through the shopping centre we walked past an inclosed studio where photographers were photographing babies for the baby of the year competition. I can't wait until I set up my own business and can do things like this :). Also, when I was in town I picked up some white jeans that only cost me £1! bargain!

This is the end of today's post.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Man In Uniform

I printed the image today of the man in uniform, it wasn't my grandad in the picture. But it was a soldier. Here is the picture:

I havent done much photography work today, I need to finish writing up my sketchbooks for my projects, so I wont be posting a long post today. I just wanted to show this picture :D
Today my class experimented in the studio with lights and umbrellas, we got some good shots and I got to play with the medium format camera, which was good because I want to start using medium format more in my work.
I'm going to go and do some coursework now while I'm inspired to do so.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Mysterious Film, Exposed?

Phew, I just tried to post this and it was taking ages and I thought it might mess up so I quickly copied all the txt and then the page came up saying server down but thankfully it had copied my text. I've just got to re upload my images..

Today, I processed the mystery film that I found in a canister. At first, I didn't think it would fit on the spiral but I was lucky and it did. I processed it as a 400 ISO film and luckily it came out ok. Bear in mind, this film is around 50 years old and was taken by my grandad while he was in the army.

The images show many of the old fire engines that were used in the war, also, some motorbikes and a Land Rover. There is another image of a person standing in uniform which I will print tomorrow at college.
Here are the images that I printed today, one of the negatives has different exposures because the camera that was used had to be wound on by hand and the spacing had to be estimated by the photographer. I will print the man in uniform tomorrow and post it here tomorrow night.

This is a picture of the fire engines that were used in the war! My Grandad was in the fire brigade which explains why there are engines here. There are also some motorcycles that were used in the war! This film was a fabulous find! it was over 50 years old and still processed fine! yay.

Here is another image from the film:

The men in the background are all in uniform and theres some text on the side of the landrover, I can only make out the word 'services' on it though.

I think I know where I got my photography genes from too! :D

The Studio.

Today I had a photoshoot with a girl who I know from North Devon, we had a great afternoon taking pictures and photographing different stereotypes. I photographed her as a secretary, a chav, a party animal and an Emo/Scene person. I have only edited a couple of pictures but I'll post one from each stereotype here.


I quite like this picture, it has grown on me in the last hour. Lol. Looking at it now, I realise I need to tidy her hair up abit. I hope you like it! I used the High key option with Color Efex Pro.


This shows my friend as a chav smoking a cigarette with her hand on her hip. We shot many pics of her with an annoyed facial expression to help bring out the chav in her. I really like her pose.

Emo/Scene Person.

I like her pose in this one too, her legs look good and I like the composition. I boosted the colours to make her stand out more.

Party Girl.

I think her pose is great for this stereotype. I boosted the colours in this one to make it more vibrant.

I had a great time today in the studio, I didn't have a lead to join my camera to the lights so I had to use my flash to set the lights off which left a shadow in some of the pictures. In the end I decided to just use continuous light and had the model stand close to the lights and far from the backdrop to stop any shadows.

Awesome Day!

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Mysterious Film..

Today, after I had developed my film in the darkroom at college, I went to see my Grandad Rodney for the afternoon and found him ironing his pants and watching Bargain Hunt on the TV. He offered me a cup of tea and I politely said no as I wasn't thirsty, so he asked again 'would you like a cup of tea? a hot drink will do you good' so I replied again, politely, 'no thanks Grandad, I'm fine.' So then he offers again and I gave up refusing and said 'Ok.' He wont let you go hungry or thirsty even when your not hungry or thirsty. Bless him :)

When I got home, I decided to sort out my clothes and other items in my room that I don't want so that I can sell them at a carboot sale I'm planning on doing with my Dad on the 29th of October. He doesn't have alot of money at the moment and he has helped me out before so I'm going to give him some of the money that I make.

So there I was, sorting through my things when I came across an old film canister with the words 'open in darkroom' written across the top. So I opened it in full light, nah just kidding :P I'm a photography student why would I?

This canister belonged to my now deceased Grandad Varney and there is definately a film in the canister. Tomorrow I am going to take the film into college with me and I am going to process it and see if I can find anything interesting on it. If I'm lucky the film wont have been exposed to light and I'll get some pictures from the mystery film that my Grandad shot many, many, many years ago :) I'm excited to find out if there's something on it now :D

Here is a picture of my much missed Grandad Varney:

He was a very fun man to be around and I think I have inherited my sense of humour from both of my Grandads :]
Below is a picture of my Grandad Rodney who also likes to pose for the camera:

This photograph was taken on the Great Western Canal on Canal Hill where my Grandad lives, he used to take us, (my cousins and I) here when we were little to feed the ducks.

At college we have been experimenting with darkroom techniques, the other day, we did an experiment where we put a gloved hand into developer and then put our hands onto a piece of photography paper, and then, without letting the chemicals run, we put the paper into some fix and we got a picture of our hand prints.

I really love the effect doing this gives, so much that I scanned the image into my computer and used it on my model mayhem profile

Here is what the hand picture looks like:

Please give feedback on what you think of my images, I would love to know your opinions :D

I love how the lines of my hand show up so well. Experimenting with the darkroom is great fun!
I'm going to end this post here and have an early night.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Today I experimented with the actions I downloaded yesterday.

I decided to work on an image of my Grandad. First, I boosted the colour and contrast, and then I sharpened the image and then turned it black and white.

Here are the before and after images:



I think the contrast is good and I like the burnt edges of the image too :)
Tomorrow I am planning to print out some of my portfolio to help me build up my body of work, I'm hoping the images will look good printed out.
This is the end of todays post. Thanks for reading. :]

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Lights, Camera, Action.

Today I was introduced to a website ran by a lady who calls herself Pioneer Woman who lives in the country in America somewhere. She is a wonderful photographer and she is very friendly. Her website has many tutorials on how to use Photoshop and she has even given a link to download some free actions into Photoshop. These actions were very useful and I have been experimenting with them today. There is so much that goes into the actions and they are so simple to use! Her website is make sure you check her out if you are into photography because she is a wonderful photographer.

Here is a before and after of an image I edited using one of the actions and also a tutorial given by this wonderful lady.

Before editing:

Image taken by Ken Pegg I have permission to use this image for anything, I am the model.

After using the actions 'Ethereal' and 'Boost' Boost, enhances the colour and Ethereal makes the picture seem dreamy. I then used the gaussian blur filter to make me blurry and used a layer mask to delete the effect from my hair, skin and clothing. This made the background blurry putting more emphasis on me as the model.


My skin tone and the colours are all enhanced and I think the overall picture is stronger.

I am going to do alot more experimentation with these new actions and will probably post more images later on in the blog.

There is much more colour in my skin and my eyes which makes me stand out more.

I have also learnt about HDR images which are basically a series of images which are put together all of the same subject, at different exposures and the effects are really cool! I will have to save up and buy Photomatic before I can learn how to do this technique.

Here is an image that has been edited using HDR. The website says 'feel free to use pictures, but with credits and links' so the credit goes to the person who owns the image and the website link is

this is one of the images they has taken using this technique:

It's amazing what you can find on the internet.

I think this picture is very beautiful even though the colours arent balanced. This is not a conventional image but I love the effect!

Well that's it for today's post, I'm quite tired so I'll probably go to bed soon.
Thanks for reading :]


Yesterday I went to visit my Mum in Ilfracombe. She has just got a new kitten and he is so adorable! I spent ages taking pictures of him with my 35mm and digital camera. He is a very fast kitten and most of the images were blurry, but I just kept taking pictures until my camera battery ran out. Then I just borrowed Mum's camera! I got some gorgeous images of him and I will post some here. :]

This first image, I have edited with photoshop and I used the infrared tool found in Color Efex.
I am very happy with this image.

I used noise reduction to soften his fur and the surroundings and then sharpened his eyes and nose.

This picture is my background on my laptop and when ever I see it it makes me go 'aaaaawwwwwwwww'.
So cute.

Another picture of Tiggs that I took is more of a headshot, I played around with it in Photoshop and changed the colours. I don't usually go for this kind of effect but something about it caught my eye so here it is:

The effect I used was called Thermal Camera, I like the mix of colour in the image and think the detail in the picture is still very well preserved.

Any comments would be appreciated :)

After visiting my Mum, I came to the farm where I used to live with my boyfriend and his family. My boyfriend has come down for the weekend so I thought I'd come along and say hello to his Mum and Dad who are very nice people. I have been reading his Mum's Blog on here named Ruta's Ramblings. When I walked through the door late last night after visiting my Mum, I was greeted by four familiar faces; Ellie, Smudge, Patch and Squeaky. These are the names of the cats that live here and it was so good to see them again. I gave them all lots of attention and cuddles before going up to say hello to my boyfriend.

I have posted a picture of Squeaky in an earlier post of this blog and I will now post pictures of the other cats. I havent really taken very many images of the cats so the quality of the photographs are not to my usually 'standard' but I want to show you the kitties!

This is a picture of the cat I didn't mention above because he wasn't there to greet me. This cat often stays away from home, adventuring in the fields and living off of rabbits, voles, mice possible stray cows.. you name it he'll come home with an animal shaped buldge.
This pretty cat is called Birthday and is the independant, Hunter cat.

I like the composition of this image.

This next cat is called Squeaky:

This is the most photogenic kitty out of all the farm cats.

Her colours are gorgeous and she has such a sweet nature. I love her big green eyes and I could spend all day photographing her.

This next cat is called Ellie and she is possibly my favourite cat:

She is the catty cat, she hisses at the others when she wants the food and sneaks her paw in front of the other cats and steals the food.

she's the most cuddly cat to me and you can put her on ur shoulder and shel purr happily.
Ellie is the sister of patch who is next up.

Patch is the laziest cat and as a result we often call him fatty or fattykins :P he is very cuddly and cute and can often be found in a box somewhere or sleeping on Pete's chair (linas' dad)
Patch and Smudge are often fighting but get along ok at other times.
Sometimes when we throw the biscuits outside we hold patch until we have thrown them and when we let go he sprints to them!

Patches favourite food is cucumber!

One time when I was playing with Patch and Ellie with a piece of string Patch went to jump on the string but underestimated how close it was and pounced on Ellie sending her flying, it was quite funny to watch as both of them were suprised and ran off in different directions.
This next cat is called Smudge and is also known as the saucepan cat because he likes to sleep in the saucepan by the raeburn.

Smudge is the wisest and most cunning of all the cats, he once learnt how to open the fridge and we had to put a door stop in front of it. He also learnt how to open the cupboards so he could get at the food.
Although he is the smartest and can get food easier than the others, smudge is the skinniest cat and is often fed extra food.
This is the end of todays very long blog, I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Bash!

I went to the college party last night and got some pretty cool pictures. There was lots of mad, drunken things happening and I managed to capture a few of them.

Here's one of the funniest pictures of Jonny, the most drunk person there.

He was very.. expressive!
The low levels of light resulted in me using quite a slow shutter speed and I used the flash fitted to my camera to help light the subjects.
I'm thinking of using these images in my street photography assignment, although I may have to get the permission of the people I photographed.

Another image I took was of a very unexpected kiss between two drunk guys, one of whom had his girlfriend standing with him.

The dance floor was great fun and I got many pictures of people partying and doing the Macarena!

Here is a picture of people dancing on the dance floor!

Good Times.

There was one image that I'm very happy with in photography terms, this is because the picture is well exposed and it isn't blurry because of lack of light. Tell me what you think?

I think it could do with some cropping though to give a more definate focal point.
I'm off to watch eight out of ten cats now on TV.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Photography and College

I've just got back from my only lesson at college for today. I have a proposal to write for the end of the week with a basis of studio photography. I'm thinking of creating a themed/conceptual photoshoot, but I want to think of an idea that has not been recreated hundreds of times by other photographers.

I was going to base the project on a retouching idea where I take the images in the studio and then use photoshop to edit them, but I need to stick to the idea being more studio involved rather than computer orientated.

I have one idea that is simple and would not cost anything for me to carry out. This idea involves using emotions and lighting to emphasize the emotion. I'm thinking of showing the basics, so happy, sad and angry and then really going deeper into the emotions.

For example, angry would have somebody ripping up pictures and clothes that belong to another person who has done this person wrong. Also, smashing up something precious that belongs to this person.

I would show some one being happy and then I would show ecstatic happiness, so a person winning the lottery or jumping for joy.

For sad, I would have someone crying and then I'd have the extreme of the same person looking extremely depressed and possibly get some fake blood involved and a straight razor.

Hmm... I think I know what I will write for my proposal now. :]

Here's the guy I'm researching for this project. He's called Mark Velasquez.

I love the ideas behind his images and they are very well presented. I'm a huge fan. Show him some love. :]

To make this post a little more interesting I'll throw a picture or two, or three..

This was my first picture that I took experimenting with shutter speeds a few years ago with my first decent digital camera :] I love the colours and composition.

Please post comments about my blog and feel free to critique my images :D

Here is another image i took whilst experimeting with shutter speeds. For college I have a work book with lots of different photography terms and experiments and these images are used for that too.

I'm not sure about this image, i chose this one because it has the most lights in it and I think the car frames the image well.
I took this whilst on my way to BurgerKing with my friend Suzi King. For once I was being driven so I had the chance to play with my camera in the car. Any thoughts on this image?

Speaking of Suzi, she is organizing a Bash (party) at college for tonight and everyones invited. I'm going to photograph the event and see what piccies I can come up with. I'll probably post some of the images tomorrow, either after college, or at lunch time. :]
I'm being pestered now to give my boyfriend attention, so I'll end this post here and get back to it later. :]
Thanks for reading xx