Optical illusions

Obviously I have neglected my blog as I haven’t posted for almost 6 months! Alas, this post will be a short one as I am tired tonight, yet too excited not to share my latest images.
Recently portrait optical illusions have been circulating Facebook, the one I have seen being from moillusions.com and with today being a full-of-cold-doing-nothing-in-bed kinda day, I thought I’d give it a go. Now bare with me, remember this is my first try. However I am quite pleased with it.
It is my daughter from straight on and from profile, manipulated to give the illusion effect.
Please let me know your thoughts 🙂

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Oh, To Levitate!

Levitation.
Now, we have all seen these images online, Levitation Photography. Some are creepy, some are urban and cool, quite street. But the ones which I am interested in, the ones which draw me in and have me online for hours on end, are the beautiful wispy ones. I can’t get enough! If you are unsure of to which I’m referring just google Lissy Elle. What an inspiration this lady is for me! Just beautiful work. Dreamy and story like, with her pastel colours and woodland adventure themes they strongly remind me of the Alice in Wonderland tales.

There’s an interview with Lissy Elle on her website, she says she often gets asked how to ‘make’ a levitation image, to which she replies, (something along the lines of..) “where is the magic in telling?” To which I fully agree. Where is the magic once the secrets have been told?? Gone.
Lets let people discover and unravel the ‘how to’s’ themselves and then they too can be part of the secret. Telling the secret is no way near as much fun as keeping the secret.

When I make Levitation images, I for sure have Lissy Elle in mind. And Tim Walker, of course.

So here are a few images from my ‘Dreams’ series. They are of myself and my daughter (yes, again) as she is usually the only other person around when I get these flash ideas that I need to practise with on the spot!

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Change is Good

We are moving into a brand new building at work after the summer. Times are changing and change is good! Took a few pictures (obviously! How could I not??) throughout the moving process and here they are. Very exciting!

OLD BUILDING

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NEW BUILDING UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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NEW BUILD MOVING IN

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Unpacking 🙂

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Eyes Speak Volumes

I have been experimenting with eye photography again. Eyes seem to be a reoccurring subject in my work. They are too interesting (to me!) to not keep going back to them. Here are a few photoshopped versions of my own eye, just a few trials I’ve been playing at.

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Cracking up

I like the thought of changing my face, I’m not unhappy with my features, it just interests me. The world of photoshop interests me! Endless possibility. But to create something new from something so personal is a bizarre novelty that hasn’t worn off yet. I’m sure as I get used to photoshop I won’t be as humoured by it as I am right now, when at home relaxing with my laptop on my lap. However, for now, changing myself is still a good thing and quite the current pastime for me.

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The thought behind this image was to emulate some doll images I had taken for my ‘Personal Insecurities’ project I had done. Cracked and broken, but still human inside.

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My colleague brought this wonderful doll into work so I could photograph it for my project. It was perfect and fitted in with my project and other work beautifully. I am very pleased with the images I produced of the doll and even more so with the photoshopped images of my face I had gone on to do after being inspired by the doll.

 

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Feeling Feline

Last night my friend was telling me how she had seen cats eye contact lenses in a shop. I’ve used fashion contact lenses before, we tend to go all out for Halloween, getting dressed up and planning our outfits, buying zombie look contact lenses, it’s all a bit of fun.
I made the ‘Skele blending’ images, as I now call them, the same way I have done these animal blending images. I dont know why I haven’t tried it before, but my friend mentioning the cat contact lenses gave me the idea to try blending faces with animals faces. Being on my own today I only have my face to trial with and pictures of my daughter from a few weeks a go, but I’m very pleased with this quick idea. It was a nice way to kill a few hours anyway!
So I took a few different pictures of my face with a neutral expression, found an image of a cats eyes online making sure the picture was taken from a straight face on angle, then blended them together! I chose to do just the one eye and part of the face as it was far more interesting of a picture than two eyes or a full face. This idea soon evolved into different animals other than cats. The owl eye didn’t quite sit right with me. Maybe it’s the shape? The cats eyes seem far better fitting. I will try scales and reptiles too when I have another go at it. After I had blended the two images together, I enhanced the images by playing around with contrast and brightness. Contrast is a favourite tool on photoshop of mine, I love slightly over exposed images, making the white border on almost too much. To me it just makes the image ‘pop’ a little more.
I also changed a few images to black and white to see what the outcome would be, but I’m unsure,still, if I like them that way as I feel the 3D feel of the fur is slightly lost in black and white. So seeing this I layered the images again so that everything was black and white except the fur and the animal parts. This outcome is my favourite. I love how creepy the over all images are. Again its a little different, just how i like my work! I was thinking of trying body parts too, not just head shots, then shooting people with animalistic expressions rather than my neutral expression. Such as teeth baring like a canine, or an innocent expression like a bunny. There are, again, many routes I could take this quick idea, I just hope I have the time to explore at least some of them.

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In the Chester Chronicle

I was featured in the City paper again! I’m very proud of myself to be published a second time! Exciting stuff.

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And here is the first time I was published. In the Chester City Chronicle also.

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More Personal Insecurities

More Personal Insecurities.
Carrying on from the last Personal Insecurities shoot where I set alight an image of myself, I now took it one step further. There has been some snow this month (January) and I hadn’t really taken advantage of that fact until tonight. I decided to again set alight my Personal Insecurities images but this time in my snow filled garden. Firstly you must know its 10:30pm and we have quite a sizeable unlit garden, I went to a little table we have and set up. Matches in hand, camera at the ready and a torch in my mouth just incase the flames didn’t provide enough light! Which they didn’t for most shots. I lit the corners of the A4 paper, away from the image, just to curl the sides up, because once the paper is put down on to the snow obviously the fire would go out. So once curled and placed on the snow, I lit a match and started burning the sides of the paper. It worked brilliantly, I am so pleased with the out come. When the fire hits the ink the page burns a lot faster and I had to step back so to not burn my fingers getting too close and excited with the camera. I adore these images.

I’m an insecure person in general. I second guess almost every move I make, so studying Personal Insecurities in photography is wonderfully therapeutic for someone like me. Seeing and reading how others feel, trying to make myself understand as humans, we ALL feel insecure at one point or another. All of us, about such a wide variety of things. It’s human nature. I am insecure about many things, as we all are, and one of those many things is my appearance.
Self portraits, for me, aren’t as bad as someone else taking pictures of me, it’s a control thing. I am in control of the images, I get the final say on the look and feel of the images and I get to direct and compose the images. I also get to bin the lot if I so choose! I am in total control. However, once I am happy with the shot other people are inevitably going to see it. Here’s where we get insecure. That’s me people are looking at. That is also an image I have composed, edited and produced, it’s there for people to critique. I am fairly new to the world of photography and I feel a great passion for it, I hold my work dearly to me. What if people hate the work I so love? Be unimpressed by the work I’m so very proud of? Or worse, dismiss it, not even have an emotion evoked from it.

But watching those flames lick the side of my face on the image was wonderful. I saw it was a great image and now the new image (the original image being eaten by flames) is even better. I’m very proud of my creation and of my growth as a photographer and ever so slightly less hung up on my self portraits. And even LESS worried about how people perceive my work as I am fiercely proud and excited by each project I take on.

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Inside outside

I’ve been looking at inside/outside photography. Everyone interprets this subject differently when it is first presented to them. A few days ago I had seen a diagram of an eye and a skull, so rather than going down the popular doors and windows or buildings and nature route, I instantly thought of our human bodies and portraiture. The inside of the body shown on the outside.
This shoot was quite simple to start with. I took some self portraits of myself and also took some images of my partner, both in plain coloured clothes. I edited the images, heightening contrast and brightness and converting to black and white. I then went on to blend images of skulls and skeleton rib cages that I had found online, onto the portrait shots. It’s a bit tricky lining things up, making sure colours and edges match, but the out come is really effective. They are delightfully surreal. I then started to blend two finished images together, which were still creepy, but almost delicate with their psychedelic symmetry. The plain white back ground let’s you concentrate fully on the subject, no noise to distract your eye. Our expressions needed to be neutral, again I didn’t want anything distracting from the object of the shoot, which was to show our bodies not our emotions. The shots of us looking down or away from the camera are my favourite, I feel these are stronger, less posed and more natural looking images.

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