The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Meg, with attitude

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As I've mentioned before, half the fun of photography for me is taking the photos and the other half is playing with them on the computer.

I recently bought a new laptop to help me with the photography business. The one I had been using was not only 4 years old, but had been bought back in the days when I intended to become a writer. Consequently, I made my choice based on things like battery time, rather than graphics cards, and so manipulating images was becoming a slow and cumbersome process

This new one is much better - I don't have to wait 30 seconds between each action in Photoshop, and finally I feel I have a tool to help me achieve what I want with much greater ease.

Wanting to have something fresh to play with, last week I decided to take some photos of Meg, so I plonked her in front of one of Maggie's large blank canvases and got her to move her head about and pull different expressions.

This was one I ended up with, which I felt had potential. I liked the sense of "attitude" in Meg's expression



The first thing I needed to do was rotate it a bit so Meg didn't look like she was leaning forward, and then I needed to crop it to give it a better balance.



The photos were taken in the front room in natural daylight, but it was dull and wet outside, so the next thing I needed to do was enrich the colours, which took a few different combined techniques. Eventually I was pleased to reach a point where I felt the denim and the eyes complimented each other, as did the pink collar and her cheeks.

I knew the colours were slightly overdone, but that was OK, as I planned on pulling them back later




From the start I envisioned a textured background, so used a close up image of part of one of Maggie's artworks. If you revisit my post, Half the Fun, you'll see I used the same image on that one too. This time, however, I tweaked the tones so there was a subtle pink and blue shift to match the jacket and the face.



Finally I added a sepia overlay, which pulled the colours back from being over saturated and gave it an extra layer of depth.



I also did a black & white version (with a very slight sepia tint) which has quite a different feel to it, but I like it too.



You can click on any of the images for larger versions
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23 comments

the broken down barman said...

sounds very complicated!! i just cant follow instructions. Been one of my many downfalls!! good job though.

Ann-Marie said...

You know I already like it.. still a tiny marginal win for the colour version. I've never worked with background textures before, but would love to know how to do it. It just gives that extra depth to a shot that I haven't mastered yet.

Nice work Kim. :D

hope said...

Impressive! Lovely model as well.

I usually love sepia but the color on this one just makes Meg look so lovely.

PI said...

I like the bottom two best and adore the sepia one. I'm eager to know what Miss Attitude thought about them?
That little man is at it again . Word verification 'immoves'.

Eryl Shields said...

This where snapping becomes art: exploring the possibilities, adding, taking out, smoothing, roughing up a little, mixing up and making something new. Such fun!

C in DC said...

I didn't understand the "attitude" part, maybe because I haven't met Meg, until I saw the b&w image. Excellent! You definitely have a gift in seeing the possibilities.

Kim Ayres said...

BD Barman - It's about playing until you find things that work, then trying to remember how you did it last time :)

Anne Marie - it's not that complicated - do you want a wee tutorial for The Corner?

Hope - B&W usually does it for me with portraits, but I was pleased with the colour effect in this one

Pat - I'm glad you like the bottom 2 best, as the others were just steps on the way to them. Miss Attitude prefers the colour one - she loves the pink collar n that jacket :)

Eryl - so glad you could come over yesterday - it was great fun taking photos of you and playing with them

C in DC - thank you :)

Jimmy Bastard said...

Kim, as always your photies are outstanding in every detail. However, this time you really have excelled...

Meg not only brings your artwork to life, but also reminde me that photography is all about capturing real life.
Life = memories = emotions.

My favourite? The last one my friend. Pure genius.

LegalMist said...

What fun, all these different looks from the same photo! Really blurs the line between "real" and "fake" doesn't it?

Did Meg have fun with the photo shoot? She seems to be quite a good subject. :)

Mary Witzl said...

How interesting it is to see this process. And I have to agree with PI: I like the bottom two best, but I FAR prefer the very last one. For some reason, it really makes the background stand out for me. Beautiful work.

Charlie said...

An amazing process throughout, but I like the B&W best.

And yes, Meg has attitude.

Ria said...

Great work! I really like the photo with the sepia overlay.

Ann-Marie said...

Quote - Anne Marie - it's not that complicated - do you want a wee tutorial for The Corner?

Oh yes, absolutely :D please ;)

ps. no idea why it's decided to call me Ann-Marie instead of Annie today LOL

debra said...

These are great photos, Kim.The quiet contemplative nature of the photos remind me of the girl with the pearl earring.

Jupiter's Girl said...

What a beautiful picture. You are so clever with that camera and photoshop or whatever the software is. Genius of you to dicker with the pose. What patience. Meg is a pretty girl - the attitude becomes her.

starrlife said...

I am alot like you , I love to play with my photos- have wayyy too many og them! I love that sepia overlay. I don't have any real program,just use Picasa but I do have a lot of fun! Thanks for the inspiration and Meg looks beautiful!

Sarah said...

the final products are sublime Kim, well done.

Kim Ayres said...

Jimmy - I appreciate your kind words :)

LegalMist - Meg always has fun with photo shoots :) As for the line between real and fake, the biggest lie in photography is "the camera never lies." A far more accurate saying would be "the camera never tells the truth." From the moment we line up the lens, we choose what to include and what to leave out, thereby manipulating the story. There is no objectivity in photography :)

Mary - its amazing how much difference there is between a colour and b/w photo - it's far ore than just the absence or presence of colour - we view the image in a completely different way

Charlie - thanks :)

Ria - thank you :)

Annie - I'm never entirely sure which one to call you - it seems to vary whether you're on TPC or Facebook, or blogger. I'l have a think about that tutorial then, but if you've heard nothing from me by the ned of next week, do give me a nudge :)

Debra - interesting! One idea I've been toying with for a while is to see if I can create some photos in the style of paintings by the old masters. A project for the not too distant future, perhaps :)

JG - it's not so much genius as practice - I spend a lot of time mucking about with photoshop

Starrlife - once you start manipulating photos, it becomes kind of addictive, doesn't it :)

Sarah - thank you :)

mapstew said...

You have indeed got talent, a good eye and a great model!

Jessie said...

that is a really great picture and a lot of talent and time went into creating it! She's a beautiful gal.

Kim Ayres said...

Mapstew - thank you :)

Jessie - aye, she is, but then I'm more than a little biased :)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Just imagine, in the old days you'd have had to think all that out while you were still behind the camera. I love portrait photography, and your model is perfect. A faint air of Kate Moss, or is it Jodie Kidd? Thanks for the tutorial!

advnet said...

Very impressive the bottom two best and adore the sepia one.Thanks for sharing..

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