All Posts Tagged ‘retouching


Dipping my toe

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Funny isn’t it? I never expected to make the jump into YouTube and yet, here we are.

After writing my last post on Light Painting, I found that I really enjoyed sharing what little knowledge I have with you. When I was starting out as a CG artist, I used to write tutorials, and I loved it. This mini, let’s call it an “explanation” of a photographic technique took me back to that.

Words aren’t always the most effective way of showing you how to do something, especially when they are sprawled out in printed form across a screen. Hence the natural jump onto YouTube. And here it is, enjoy…like…comment…subscribe…you know how it goes.

What can you expect from me going forward? Well, to be frank, not much. This is new to me, it requires enormous amounts of conscious thought to do. I have about 9 videos that I would like to make but don’t hold your breath. However you can subscribe to my channel here if you so desire.

If I do finally pull my finger (tripod, microphone, lights and camera) out then there are some areas that I would like to cover. I’d like to show retouching tips and tricks. Different photography techniques including lighting techniques. Possibly gear reviews, this is actually something that I used to do. I may occasionally try and make some travel videos too. But my initial plan was, is to show you what goes on behind the scenes at a shoot and through the editing side of things.

My thinking about this whole thing is that I am currently dipping my toe into it. I don’t want to buy any new gear for it yet but if it does start take off, then I will try and focus more time, money and energy into it.

Let me know what you thought, I’d genuinely love to hear what you have to say.



Image Breakdown: Lotus

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I shot this outside my flat at a time when I only had 1 flash unit. Naturally that isn’t quite enough to light up a whole car in a single exposure. So I had to do multiple exposure. I thought I would show you how it was done.

lotusThanks for watching,



Image Breakdown: SLS AMG

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Pretty much a year ago I shot this image! I shot it at Mercedes World near Woking. I have to say I normally like to get things as close to the final image in camera as possible but with this image, well that just wan’t possible.

Here is a animated gif showing you the progression of the image over about 4 hours in photoshop.


Essentially it was a lot clone stamping, heal tool, paint brush and masking. I don’t think I would want to do this much retouching just to get an image again. But it is nice to know that I can if I need to.

Thanks for watching,



Revisiting work…

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Back in October I shot a McLaren MP4-12C. I had been dying to shoot this car for a long time and I had been waiting 3 Months to shoot it. On the day of the shoot, the weather was threatening to turn for the worst and taunting us with spattering’s of rain. Which finally ended in us being snowed off of the shoot. I got maybe 10 minutes to shoot this car.

Here is the original edit from the shoot.


And here is my re-edit:



I think I know where I went wrong. As I normally shoot portraits, I tend to under expose the background and then light the subject to make them pop off the background. That is what I started to do with the McLaren. Except I made a massive mistake, the McLaren is black.

It seems so obvious now but making a background darker to match a dark car will make them blend into each other.

I went through my exposures and found one where the background was at a better exposure and then used far less exposures to “build” the car. In the end, I had used 3 different exposures. From memory I think I used 5 for the original.
So less really is more.

I think now, the car separates itself nicely away from the background. I am much happier now with the image. I will be going back to visit this car in the summer which will mean a full feature so do stay tuned!

I hope you like it.




Why your street photography sucks!


I’m going to talk to you about street photography. Do bare in mind that most of what I say is meant to be taken as tongue in cheek so please try not to cry if you don’t like what I’m saying.

The term “street photography” to me is a very broad one. Essentially what it boils down to in my opinion is anything taken on the street. Generally there are two camps on the street photography debate, and they are;

Wide Angle and Telephoto.

Wide Angle– people in this camp tend to believe that shooting wide angle gives you the great atmosphere of being on the street. They believe that because you are occupying the same space as the person you are photographing, that the image is that much more raw.

Telephoto– people in this camp feel that it is the isolation of a subject that allows you to capture the raw emotion of your subject. This also means that you are much further away and are therefore much more capable of getting “the shot”.

But which one is better?

Well that is really up to you to decide. I feel that street photography is as much about you as it is about your subject. I personally prefer to shoot with a longer focal length lens. I use the Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM lens which is sublime! This allows me to be at a “safe” distance and isolate the subject nicely with lots of pleasing sexy Bokeh! Because we all love BOKEH!!!

However, I have been known to take a lot of street or candid photos with my iPhone which has a wide angle lens. This is because there is no shutter noise which makes it very discreet. Lovely stuff.

But why does my street photography suck?

Well I am going to assume you didn’t fuck screw up your exposure and focus so that’s not it.

Story telling.
To me an image that doesn’t work is usually down to it not engaging with the viewer. For instance photographing people from behind on the street. It doesn’t look good. All you are seeing is someone from behind. No engagement, no emotion, no eye contact. More than likely it sucks.

If there is nothing going on in an image then it will struggle to stand up as interesting photo. Try to tell a story. A lot happens on the street, try and capture some that action. Be patient and observe. Don’t just spray and pray. Wait for something to happen. Watch people and see if you can tell part of their story. Obviously don’t go stalking people, that will more than likely get you some unwanted attention.

You are shooting in a big group.
Shooting in a big group may be good for your confidence and you might start taking shots you wouldn’t normally take but think how this looks to people on the street. You can’t exactly be discreet when walking around with a load of people carrying cameras. Grab some headphones and walk around on your own and get amongst it!

It helps to be in the right place. For instance, you ain’t gonna get many good shots on the street whilst sitting in your bedroom reading this! Being where the crowd is usually works best as well as being around at the right time. And what quantifies as being the right time is dependant on what you want to capture. Which of course is up to you. Just don’t trespass.

Shooting Dave’s final thought:
Figure out what you want to see then go looking for it. Don’t rush it, don’t force. Don’t get frustrated by it. The whole reason you are out “doing” street photography is because you are done with the contrived, controlled and planned shoots. Street photography is supposed to relaxing so don’t get stressed about missing that moment. There will be plenty of others. Just be patient.

To answer the question “why your street photography sucks” it is simply because you take photos that suck 😉