Saturday, March 31, 2007

brian

brianThis shot came from playing around with a lensbaby 3G, with the creative aperture kit. In particular, using the star aperture and going out of my way to find lots of point light sources.
I'd met up with some friends to have dinner at Chuy's on Barton Springs Rd. We then went out to shoot some of the interesting neon on the various restaurants along the road. I brought along my lensbaby 3G as I really haven't spent as much time as I'd like getting to know how it works. Also I've recently picked up the creative aperture kit and knew that all the point light sources would potentially give me cool effects. I'm still finding the 3G an interesting lens to get to grips with. There's definitely more potential for in focus shots than with the 2.0, but I still have to get my fingers in tune with the various knobs and switches on the 3G. I keep finding myself trying to focus but landing on the lock release knobs, rather than the focus knobs. The juice bar on Barton Springs Rd happened to have some brightly coloured spot lights, that I tried to use for effect in this shot. Brian is standing under a green spotlight and I then used the lights from the bars on the other side to frame him with the stars. I found that to get really good stars, the point light sources have to be quite a long way back from the point of focus. This makes sense - the more out of focus they are, the larger they appear. Getting the relative distances correct took a bit of playing around. I also shot maybe 30 frames here to get one close to being in focus. That in general seems to be a challenge with using the lensbaby, but particularly at night. It is just difficult to see through that small viewfinder in low light. I also think I might need to dial in the diopter adjustment on my camera, to suit my eyes. There is a car passing in the background that created an interesting star trail from the brake lights - something to play with more I think with these creative aperture disks. The stars, being symmetrical also don't suffer from the inversion that occurs with a heart shape aperture. With the heart, the out of focus bokeh inverts if the focus point is in front, or behind the light source that is creating the shape. You can see this if you look at a light ray diagram ( which I might get around to drawing soon). It can make it a bit fiddly trying to get the effect you want with the disks, but a symmetrical aperture doesn't have that same issue, as it is the same reflected on any axis. I worked on this image a bit in Lightroom, using the 'on image' colour adjustments. These are great - you can adjust hue & saturation directly on the image, clicking on a particular region you want to modify and dragging the mouse up or down to change the particular parameter you are working with. In this case I made the background regions more red by adjusting the hue. Working with this, along with a graphics tablet is even better than with a mouse - I just click with the pen, on the image and drag - it feels very intuitive. I'm looking forward to trying this out for black and white images too - I think it has a great deal of potential.

7 comments:

bvlindalou said...

I love the little star above his head and the colors. Great job with the angle, also. Linda

Jeff said...

Interesting colors. They make this image interesting. Well done.

Jen Price said...

Way cool! The stars and the colors just pop. Neat little gadget.

advman said...

Gordon,

that's pretty awesome. I am not sure how many images with stars one can see before this get's old, but here it is fantastic.

I mean, being not American I always wonder about your fuzz with your flag, and I actually dislike it in general (must have something to do with Austro-German history and the flag-frenzy - and not only that - we once were in), so, under these circumstances, an image where I seem to recognize a flag, must be pretty good to make me like it. This one I like a lot. Fantastic job.

Germaine said...

Really cool. I look forward to Further Adventures with Lensbaby.

Gordon said...

I don't really get the American preoccupation with the flag, either. I suspect it is because they pledge allegiance to it every morning in school, so the national identity gets all wrapped up in it. Much in the same way the English identify with the Queen so much.

Holly Sisson said...

Very cool lensbaby shot Gordon! Love the use of complementary colours, the red background is fabulous.