For several years I’ve been part of a really excellent and creative photographic group called Foto-Buzz. As well as weekly articles and videos on creative and technical aspects of photography they run a monthly challenge, the kind of thing to get you out of your comfort zone. Typically I have tried to force a fox into most of the challenges, but every now and then I embrace the moment and try for something different. As part of re-invigorating this blog I thought I’d pick a few images from the past year just to show that I have been active (if not particularly visible).
The above photo was taken for a challenge called ‘Spooky’. To be honest, I don’t think this image is spooky at all, but I liked it. It’s a small wooden statuette of a Dogon/Tellem figure. I went in close with a macro lens and backlit with a small video light using a 100mm macro lens. It’s processed entirely in Lightroom. I pushed all the contrasts to extremes, and cranked up the white balance to ‘very hot’. I then painted in and over sections to adjust how strong the effects come through. This is made much easier now that Lightroom has very decent masking tools.
The challenge here was ‘good enough to eat’. I took it literally and found some stock cube packs with sell-by dates and photographed them. Most of the initial processing was done in Lightroom, but the geometric shapes are created in Photoshop using layers and masks which are inverted. It’s a very simple but effective graphic technique.
The challenge here was ‘Eye Spy’, and frankly there was no way this was going to be anything but a fox. It’s one of my favourite recent images and was deliberately set off-centre, capturing only part of the second eye. Once again it’s processed entirely in Lightroom by converting into black and white and then fading areas almost to nothing, enhancing texture in other areas and finishing by painting in darks and lights as needed.
I’m currently struggling to come up with an idea for the latest challenge ‘Texture’, and only have about three days left to get something in.