Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just clowning around

This week's competition on Digital Photography School is 'costumes'. Being one who loves to dress up I thought I'd give it a go. I have a bag full of weird and wonderful outfits but a few weeks ago someone was telling me about the Clowns International and how their annual church service in Dalston, London (in full dress) is a great photographic opportunity. Made me think doing something clown-like could be interesting.

I surfed the web for info on clowns and there are many things to be said about them, but there is one thing that must come first. The clown face is not a mask it exaggerates features rather than hides them. The other thing I found out was that the clown's job is to cheer people, no matter how they are feeling. I also found lots of discussions of broken clowns, their clown lives takes them away from their gloom. I'm not sure if this is true but I thought it would be an interesting concept to work with. The idea is that the costume is brass and bold but the person wearing the costume can in fact be quiet and vulnerable, makeup fades into nakedness. Two become one, and this is actually how many of us cope with the difficulties that life can throw our way.

This was a scary thing for me to do but I'm probably fretting about putting it up too much, afterall, people I know plaster photos of themselves on holiday in their swimsuits all over facebook and blogger, and I'm not nervous about what the people I don't know think about me. Saying that though, I grudgingly haven't put up the 'best' one as I'm a bit too nervous about it and the one I have entered for the weekly competition is on my flickr page - it has more costume! It was nearly the one below though!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unseen Oxford

It's not all dreaming spires. Yesterday I went on a photography walk with the Oxford Photographic Society. The walk took us through Jericho, by the canal down to Botley, and then to Christ Church. Whilst the splender of the Oxford colleges is always impressive I think I've become a bit immune to their photographic opportunities and I prefer the grittiness of the bits the tourists don't always see. I've blogged about Jericho before, it's not the first time I've attempted to capture it. I think the idea of 'unseen oxford' could be a good project to keep working on, one I started a while ago but haven't really pursued. More photos from the walk can be seen on my Flickr page.

See my That Sweet City Set for more Oxford Photographs

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Composite Photography

I've really been wanting to have a go at a 'levitation' image for a while, mostly influenced by Love Loren and Chrissy White (two amazing teen flickerites), and anitmethod.

Click on image to see bigger of view an alternate Large On Black.

Even though it is so fairy tale like there is a lot of me in this image, sometimes I think it is easier to express yourself through the surreal. I've been reading a lot about arabian fables lately, one in particular, 'The Indian Bird', influenced this, it kind of stuck in my head - the way a good fable is meant to. But other things are in there, but well, take from it what you will!

How did i do that......?
I used four images in total for this - three photographs (the bird, me and the cat, and the street scene), and one texture from Nichol Van. The street scene 'Alley' was found using flickr creative commons and was taken by damien_m_in_japan. The bird is an oldie of mine and the one of me and the cat was taken this morning.

I used photoshop's extract tool to dismember me and the pigeon from the photographs, and then really it was a case of tweaking and refining. I used Michelle Black's 'Even out and contrast' and 'Honey Glaze' as a starting point to bring all the colours together and I twiddled a lot with the layers, curves, selective colour, and also burned and dodged overly contrasty areas. Finally I added the texture (a bit like grey blotting paper) on multiply and that was that. This version is very desaturated, there's a more colourful version on my flickr site with the story to go along with it.

I'm sure that I'll come under quite a bit of criticism for's not 'proper' photography, but sometimes there is more there than what you see through the viewfinder.

Oh, and hope you like the new look blog!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Feeling a bit discomgoogolated?

Feeling stressed or anxious at an inability to access the Internet? You're suffering from "discomgoogolation".

A survey commissioned by information service 118118, the YouGov poll questioned 2,100 Britons. The findings - apparently 44% of Britons suffer from a condition termed 'discomgoogolation' - rising brain activity and blood pressure, i.e. higher stress levels when unable to connect to the Internet. The survey also found that 47% percent of those polled believed the Internet was more important in people's lives than religion, with one in five people paying the Internet more attention than their partner.

I can relate!