Brighten an Autumn day

Closeup of young sunflower
Bright & beautiful sunflower

I love Autumn, the fresh weather, the beautiful colours – but I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this sunflower as it really brightened a bit of a dreary day. I bought a bunch for my wife who’s been feeling tired due to carrying our 5th child! She loves sunflowers and I think they reflect her character well.

I do have some more autumnal photos to follow – I was determined to get back up-to-date so stood in the drizzle and took some dripping wet photos!

So I hope this brightened your day like it did mine 😉

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Autumn has arrived

Autumn Plastic Frog
Autumn Plastic Frog

Well Autumn has most definitely arrived. There were a few days where we had glorious sunshine and on occasion temperatures you might even consider balmy. However, the temperature has dropped as have the leaves, the nights are darkening and Autumn is in full flow.

I like Autumn, it’s fresh and you get beautiful colours as leaves turn from green, to red, to brown.

The image above at full resolution is not what I would consider technically perfect – but here’s the thing, does it capture what I was after? And the answer is yes! Reduced and softened with a bit of colour correction and it looks really Autumnal – which is what I wanted!

In Photoshop try using different layers with different blending modes. Blur the upper layer, reduce the transparency and see what you get. Trying things out in Photoshop is important as you never know when you might want to use the effect another time, even if not now. It would be interesting to see the most used techniques or the ones everyone wishes they knew!

So don’t throw out a photo without thinking – maybe you can stylise it somehow and still get an eye catching image.

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Tip 1: Take lots of photos/footage

Seriously, I took 10 shots of the single pebble in this photo: http://simondeanmedia.co.uk/2009/09/a-daughters-pebble/. The following photo is from the gallery:

One of my daughters
One of my daughters

During the family photoshoot of about forty minutes I took around 120 photos. (Some of that time was spent controlling the children). We ended up with a couple of montages and a couple of single framed shots. When shooting video always roll at least 5 seconds before and 5 seconds after and always always do it more than once if possible – with documentary style photo and video that’s not always possible, but the key is to take more than you think you’ll need. Start rolling/shooting slightly before you think it will happen.

You’ll be surprised at the shots you didn’t plan. You also get to learn what works and what doesn’t. You can’t practise and test enough. Be prolific.

The more you do it the more great shots you’ll get – and then the pain comes from choosing, not from that missed moment!

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Motion Graphics WIP

A frame grab from a motion graphics sample I'm working on
A frame grab from a motion graphics sample I'm working on

I’m frustrated at not having kept up with posting – so here’s a flavour of something I’m working on in the background. It’s all done in After Effects and will be a 10 second animation. The finished clip will go into a montage of Motion Graphics stuff soon(ish).

I do have some tips and tricks posts coming up and some more photos to upload – where does the time go?

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