Monthly Archives: June 2011

Monkeying Around

Posted by Caz on Wednesday, 29th June 2011
Jailhouse Ken poses in front of the camera

Jailhouse Ken poses in front of the camera

The Kens have the remote control!

The Kens have the remote control!

Kens line up for their turn

Kens line up for their turn

Today I had an idea for making an Andy Warhol-style image of my King Kens. The first job was to photograph nine of them in the same way, each in front of an appropriately-coloured background. This was more difficult than it sounds – you try wrangling nine monkeys, each with their own very strong opinions… it can get messy!

The Initial Montage

Having taken all nine pictures, I was able to montage them together to give the initial layout:

The Un-Warholed version

The Un-Warholed version

The Final Effect

Applying the “Cutout” filter in Photoshop, with levels slider set to 8, Edge Simplicity to 1 and Edge Fidelity set to 3, I finally got the effect I was after:

The Warholizer At Work

The Warholizer At Work

Voilà!

Getting Stranger

Posted by Caz on Monday, 27th June 2011

As regular readers will know, I’m not very keen on taking portraits. Mainly because whenever I’ve tried in a studio, I’ve not been very comfortable, and that has shown in the pictures – my models don’t usually look at their ease and I’m not happy with the results.

However, I do quite enjoy a bit of people watching and candid photography. Then a while back, I stumbled across the 100 Strangers group on Flickr and thought:

that looks like a challenge, but I’ll never bring myself to do it!Me, in a defeatist frame of mind

Fast forward a few months. I finally decided to bite the bullet and have a go. So I’ve made a whole new section of the website for my 100 Strangers Project. Posts there will be rather erratic, I suspect, and it may well take me beyond the end of 2011 to reach my target, hence not putting it as part of my general Project 365.

Yes, I’m finding the talking to people hard, but I’m actually quite enjoying it once I’ve broken the ice. And I am pretty pleased with the results so far! See what you think:

My first 8 strangers!

My first 8 strangers!

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Posted by Caz on Saturday, 25th June 2011

I thought I would have a go at taking a different sort of bubble picture this week, having done the airbourne variety recently. This time, it was the floating sort, and I chose a nice Merlot for the liquid. It had the advantage that, if the shots didn’t work out, at least it would be nice to drink!

Bubbles in Liquid setup

Bubbles in Liquid setup

I filled a wine glass to the brim with Merlot, lit from the left side with a YN560 speedlight set to 1/8 power, shooting through a Stofen diffuser. The background was lit with another YN560 this time set to 1/32, shooting through a piece of opaque plastic and  coloured gel (blue, yellow, green etc). I did have to alter the power to about 1/8 in some cases to allow for the density of the gel.

The camera was again set to ISO 100, 1/250 at f/14, which gave a black frame with no flash. I was using the 60mm EF-S f/2.8 USM macro lens and all shots were hand held. I found this was the easiest way of quickly framing the shots as the bubbles moved about on the surface (bear in mind that the “real” exposure time is much less than 1/250 shutter speed – it actually equates to the much shorter flash duration – so hand holding the shots wasn’t going to cause any camera shake).

The hardest thing was focus – in the end, I set the lens to manual at the shortest focussing distance, and then moved myself to get the bubbles sharp. It worked pretty well. I was shooting almost horizontally across the top of the liquid (to get some good reflections of the coloured background) and focussing on the the rear edge of the glass where I blew the bubbles with a tiny pipette:

Bubbles blown with a glass pipette

Bubbles blown with a glass pipette

Mum, Dad and 3 Kids

Mum, Dad and 3 Kids

Orange Lineup

Orange Lineup

Little Lenses

Little Lenses

Ruby Red And Green

Ruby Red And Green

In The Queue

In The Queue

There was a little bit of post-production required, mainly levels tweaks and some spotting where tiny bubbles made the compositions look a bit messy, plus a bit of unsharp mask.

My favourite from the shoot was this one, which I’m going to use for a competition called “inner landscape”:

Encapsulation

Encapsulation

I’ve learned that perhaps the Merlot wasn’t the ideal liquid for this kind of thing, as it was pretty dense and it was difficult to light. Perhaps I’ll use a lighter red or rosé in future!

Happy 5th Birthday!

Posted by Caz on Wednesday, 22nd June 2011
Gaudí′s Soldiers III

Gaudí′s Soldiers III

Wow, it’s a little bit hard to believe but my original Caz Photo Blog is 5 years old today.

It’s gone through several incarnations since then, having started off as a quick here-and-there post about photography in my general geek blog. Then I realised I was making more and more posts on pure photography, and my audiences were quite different. So I split off the photo blog at blogger.com

Eventually, it all got brought over when I put my own version of WordPress onto cazphoto.co.uk – and slowly the whole site has morphed into what you see today.

My first photographic post was a very quick write up of the holiday I’d just had in Barcelona, with another shot from the incredible La Pedrera building by Antonio Gaudí.