Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Senior Portrait Project: Take Me Away.

I have been staring at a computer for too long today. Website research (?!), attempts at writing, editing photos. I can feel the restlessness creep into my being. A need to get up and do something. Irritation at everything is crawling just under my skin.  Yet here I am, trying to write a blog post that has been sitting in my draft box for days...

So here we go. Lord of The Rings music, beverage in hand, wonderful sunlight streaming through the window on this springish day. I can do this.

 I decided to do something a little different for my senior portrait project that I have started. Rather than creating ambiguous characters to be a part of a story or convey a point, I would create how I actually see myself at this age. And so this photo was created to begin that journey. A simple portrait, crafted from how I feel when I get lost in a book, when I forget that I'm reading printed ink on paper, and just let my heart fly away between the pages.

I also see in this photo (and maybe I am the only strange person who sees it) a beginning of adventures, and that is exactly how I feel as this stage in my life is ending and a new one approaches. I know where I am now and I know the One who sees my path clearly, always encouraging me to go on, always knowing exactly what's ahead of me.

And that's all I really need.

 More to come of this fanciful world I live in. Now excuse me as I go detox from technology.

If you could live between the pages of any book, which one would you choose?

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

From Sketch to Photo

I decided, very much on a whim, that I would do a little behind the scenes post with this photo, all the way from conceptual "sketch" (a horrible rendition of that word) to final image. I have always enjoyed looking at these "revealing of secrets" posts with any form of production whether it be films, paintings, musicals, or heavily edited photos... almost to the extent of liking them more than the final productions. I suppose this could be because I have such a connection to the experiences of things, the journey involved with any great conquering.

So, the beginning. I start the creation of my photos with my beloved idea book and a pencil, scribbling down the things from my inner world, sometimes feeling as if I'm bleeding myself onto the paper. These crazy ideas are usually accompanied by a terrible attempt at a sketch (of which I'm not sure you can clearly see in the photo above.... which I'm totally okay with) and a little description that is more of a reference point for me as I set out to create each photo than it is any sort of help to a model. Often times the photo is slightly or completely different from the sketch anyways. The sketch on the right is the start of the idea for the final image.
 Also pictured is all the other things that are obvious essentials in the creations process, as in my glorious cup of peppermint tea that is currently fogging up my new glasses as I write this (my gosh I had no idea the struggle was so real) and a candle burning at all times, this specific one smells of pine... However I burned it so relentlessly when I devoured the Lord of the Rings books last year, that now every time I smell it I am reminded of places I have never been and I honestly think it will become a family heirloom... it will not surprise me if I chase my kids around screaming CHILDREN, YOU MUST COME AND SMELL THE PRANCING PONY AND GONDOR!
  It is...precious to me, and I will not burn it anymore because I can not allow the smell of middle earth to leave me.

Okay, back to the photo.

Every image I create needs a base photo and this was the image I built from to get to the final creation, adding two other images to make a square frame at the end. Not sure why I have started deeming it the base photo, but really once you add tons of layers on top of one image in Photoshop, it does become the base of the photo. The start of the editing journey.

Derp faced dress fluffer at work. Also, my friend here was a trooper, dealing with my attempts at communication, laughing with me as I maneuvered the self timer (a strange acrobatic experience), struggled through the nature, and at one point agreeing to have her head rapped in a scarf while "levitating." We'll see if that photo ever gets to the blog here, but it is still in the works at the moment. I was quite excited and nervous to work with someone besides myself or my sister as a character in a fine art portrait. But if I could trust anyone to go along with my ideas, to allow me to be clueless if it would actually work or not, to join me on an adventure in my world, it would definitely be her.

Believe it or not, this was the photo I used for the flowing hair. Lots and lots of shifting and stretching happened in post processing. And yes she is in a different dress... I was horribly indecisive. Also, if you need a hair flipper who can sometimes nail the timing with the camera timer, call me.

And so, the final image. The end of the creation journey.  I think the thing that most excites me about this image is that actually worked. I tried something new, had no idea if it would work, and in the end, my imagination was made into something tangible, and that is the greatest goal I can ever achieve with the photos I create.
There are so many things I see in this image, but for now, I will let you read what you will in it's story, for I am already lost in it's many pages.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths
Proverbs 3:5-6