Tag Archives: #kevinsinclairphotoartist

Keeping the Creative Juices Flowing

In these times of working from home, and with the recent relaxation of the rules regarding COVID19, there has been a real temptation to go out more on the weekends. However, we have exercised restraint as both Marie and I don’t want to have the virus as we are older and therefore more suspect to being hit harder.

So how have we been maintaining our interest in photography? We have had limited trips into the city on the last couple of weekends to do some street photography. I have also been practicing compositing using Photoshop to create altered reality images. This has been a lot of fun.

Here is a sampling of the images:

This one is really quite simple. The cranes and the circus rider sculpture with a texture overlay. The texture was some spider web in the corner of one of the windows at home.

Again, this is a simple image. The background and the woman walking through. The woman was taken from a street photography image. A texture was applied again created from spider web taken at home and manipulated in Photoshop.

The great part about having many images in my library that I haven’t used is it gives me a great selection to choose from for composites. The background scene was taken in Melbourne and the flying fish was taken up near Redcliffe. The texture was created by manipulating an image of water in Photoshop.

This image features a lot of manipulation. However, it is still only a composite of three images. This works for me as the window says “Smith & Daughters” and in the foreground are two young women who may well be sisters. The texture is an image of purple light onto a wall and manipulated in Photoshop.

Another three image composite. The texture was an image of the back deck at home manipulated in Photoshop.

This is a simpler composite being only two images combined. The background building has been posterized in Photoshop and the curves adjusted to get the effect. The bicycle wheels and pavement were placed on top using the hard light blending mode to achieve this effect.

How have you been keeping your creative juices flowing?

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Staying Home to Stay Healthy

A lot of things have changed since my last post. The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in the need to stay home to stay healthy. Fortunately I am able to do my work from home and have adjusted well in that regard. However, the same hasn’t been true for my photography.

Also, out of the blue, Marie’s hard drive containing her photos died. I spent time on restoring a backup to her new hard drive. However, some images were lost due to some issues with the backups. So it has been time to revisit our backup strategy to try to avoid a similar recurrence.

The photos I have made lately were when we drove past Forest Lake a few weeks ago and stopped to see the surface covered in a green plant. The City Council is trying to restore the health of the lake and this is a part of the process. Here are some images:

An overview of the lake
A close up of the lake surface
Looking towards a shore line and a water hen
Creating an abstract image out of a close up of the lake surface

I haven’t entered images into the last two monthly competitions conducted by the Brisbane Camera Group. In resigning from all my roles at the club, and the impacts of social distancing, I have lacked motivation to participate in the competitions.

One of my aims over the coming weeks is to further my photography education through online courses. I am hoping this will stimulate my creativity. In the last week, I watched a couple of Brook Shaden clips on YouTube. She illustrated how she created an image of herself coming out of a wall and the post processing involved. While it wasn’t an in depth presentation, it was enough to make me start thinking of the possibilities.

Lindsay Adler also has some interesting material on YouTube. I watched one clip where she explained how to look at a studio image and to work out how many lights were used to create the shot. While I don’t do much studio work, this was still very insightful on how lights are used to create various looks in images.

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time, stay safe – stay healthy.

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A Quick Update

It has continued to be busy with Marie’s dad in rehabilitation. Little time has been available for photography, especially new work. This month at Brisbane Camera Group the competition topic was “Framed”. I submitted three images into the set subject for judging.

Artist at Work

The image above was awarded an Acceptance. The judge thought the woman was a distraction and that the image had been over worked as there was some halo effects in places.

Through a Window

This image was awarded a Merit. It was praised for the placement of the people within the frame. It was also acknowledged that in camera multiple exposures can be quite difficult to create and this one was a success.

And The Cock Crowed

This image was also awarded a Merit. The judged commented that it was sharp right through the image and was a great example of “framed”.

Overall, a satisfactory night’s performance and these results keep me on track for promotion to A Grade. With one more month to go, I can’t afford to slack off.

That’s all for now. Until next time, keep on creating!

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The Best Laid Plans………….

Phew! What a month it has been. As can happen, the best laid plans come to zero. Our lives were turned around on Sunday 4 August when the Police phoned and told Marie her father had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. They said he was in hospital and that he was okay. We immediately stopped what we were doing at the time and went straight to the hospital.

As the evening unfolded and we spoke to the medical staff in the emergency department, we were not certain how the future would unfold. Would he pass away, or would he make a full recovery, or would it be somewhere in between? Being 92 years of age, his chances were not rated highly. The Neuro Surgeon told us he had a bleed on the brain and some fractured vertebrae in his spine.

Given these circumstances, we cancelled our planned 5-week overseas holiday so we could be here to assist in his recovery and adaption to life without a motor vehicle. Now, he is in rehabilitation and progressing well. Accordingly, photography has been less prominent in our lives as we have spent a lot of time visiting him and attending to some of his affairs.

I am pleased I had devoted some time to choosing images for the monthly competitions so I could submit entries for while we were away. This meant I just had to send the images to the printer for them to be ready. For the August competition I submitted my entries into the Open section. The results I obtained were very pleasing. Here are my entries and the results:

Cloud over Marseille – (Merit)

Three Doors – (Merit)

Burlesque Babe – (Honour)

As I mentioned last post, the opportunity to learn about Photoshop from Andy Cross through Maud Street Photo Gallery over six Sundays was too good to pass up. I completed the last three modules since last post and now need to get my notes up to date and indexed so I can find the techniques I need during my workflow. As with most things, if I don’t use what I have learned, it will be forgotten and attending the course will have been a waste.

The September competition topic is “Framed”. The definition we have been provided with is:

Framed refers to using elements of a scene to create a frame within your frame. For example, you might shoot through a doorway, pulled back curtains, branches, fences, tunnels, or arches to highlight your subject.

I have worked on some images that fit this definition. They will likely be the ones I submit to the set subject category rather than the open category in September.

Until next time, keep on creating!

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Learning Opportunities

Where did the time go? Seems like the last few weeks are one big blur! There haven’t been many opportunities to get the camera out and make some images. From having a week and a half off work due to the flu and spending the last three Sundays attending Photoshop lessons, very little time has been left over.

The deadline for submitting images for the monthly competition seemed to approach without warning and caught me unprepared. Therefore, I quickly scrambled three images I entered in the annual competition last year and submitted them in the monthly open section. I was disappointed all three images were only awarded acceptances.

I think this is a valuable lesson though. Just because an image performed well in the annual competition, there is no guarantee it will perform well in the open section of the monthly competitions.

Leanne in the Ring – this image placed second in the People section of the annual competition last year. The judge indicated there were some lighting issues with the image especially around the hand gesture. This area is a key focus point of the image that we want the viewer to look at and the hand is not lit well enough to draw the eye.

Preparing for Winter – this image placed first in the Social Documentary/Photo Journalism section of the annual competition. As an image in the Open section, it didn’t hit the mark well enough. The guy throwing the piece of wood is too dark and needs to be lightened so he is more a point of focus in the image. Some of the lighter areas could be darkened to draw the eye through the image.

Weaver at Work – this image placed third in the Social Documentary/Photo Journalism section of the annual competition. The judge indicated this may have worked better as a black and white image due to the varying strong colours in the background which distract the viewer.

Photoshop is a tool I have used but struggled with in the past. My prior education has been via Google searches to find out how to do what I wanted to achieve. The opportunity to learn from Andy Cross through Maud Street Photo Gallery over six Sundays was too good to pass up. To date, I have completed three modules with three modules to go.

Marie and I are going on a long-awaited break soon so I am working hard to prepare my competition images for while we are away. Also, I am aiming to prepare images for just after we get back. This will reduce the pressure and make it easier to start reviewing the images we have returned with.

Until next time, keep on creating!

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30 Years

This month just seems to have been busy! I ran out of time to prepare images that met the Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition topic of “Transportation”. As I could use images from the annual competitions that hadn’t previously been used in monthly competitions, I decided to enter three in the Open section.

Two of my entries received acceptances and one received a merit. I was hopeful of a better result but I think effort to make new work in the set subject rather than pulling out old images for the open section will push me harder and build my skills better. The images I entered are below.

Romenade du Paillon (Acceptance)

Scanno Exit Reflections (Acceptance)

The Strongest Man (Merit)

At the Brisbane Camera Group Presenters Night, we were given a taste of photo books in all their shapes and sizes. My eyes were opened to the creative efforts some people make with there books. The following week we had a “workshop” session and I discovered websites and software available to create photo books and the various services that will print them.

While I had no plans to get involved in photo books when I attended these sessions, I came away motivated to give it a try. One of the options I was impressed with was the books available through chatbooks.com. This seemed like a great way to dip my toe into the water for very little cost. So, I picked 30 images from the week Marie and I spent in Caloundra in February to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I have titled the book “30 Years – February 2019”. I am now eagerly waiting for it to be printed and delivered.

Marie has been working on her skills in taking in camera multiple exposure images. On our last photo walk, I have also been giving this form of photography a go to see what I can do with it. Doing it on a photo walk means one’s creativity is stretched to the max as you have to make the best of what is presented to you. This makes it challenging and difficult to get to come away with many “winners”. We also did a photo walk through the valley on a Saturday night which was an interesting experience.

Here are some of my recent images:

Looking to next month’s competition, the topic is “Impressionist”. The definition is “A style when the photographer tries to convey the feeling of a scene, a general impression, or suggestion of a scene. Lacking in detail these impressionist images emphasize colour over line and are often soft, dreamy, and have a painterly feel.” I am working on some images and plan to have three prints to submit for this topic. I am confident I won’t need to resort to finding images for the open section to compete in May.

Until next time, keep on pressing that shutter button!

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