Possibilities for Surreal Storytelling in Images
So as I was saying, I'm not going through to the all the setup I did what I shot wider of her with a twenty four seventy mill so this time I wasn't shooting the room in these kind of portrait segments but I did shoot I was still shooting with the ability to do a panoramic by going upwards to the chandeliers so when we were planning on coming to this room and doing the storyboard leena did the sketch and everything the chandeliers seemed to become part of the seemed to this chandeliers are so dominating the room that bright way had them on full brightness I like how pretty they are, how ornate they are I like the fact that they're evenly spread from the room you got six of thumb on dh the way she is putting her arms in the air the sworn like pose we were talking about it's like she's reaching to them all through them so I'm just bearing that in mind as I go through my journey of processing because well, I was thinking when I was showing her is up like the annie liebowitz pictures online...
, one of my mood boards there's a shot of model in a powder blue dress hurrying down some steps and I was thinking that you know, maybe she could be emotion running through this room, but in order to do that you've got a you've got a just have a sense of where she's maybe running from, and two in the image eso a different possibilities her reaching upwards because especially with this pose that we kept doing, is that something that we are actually going more towards their going upwards rather than hurrying along. So that soul kind of growing in my mind, as I look at the images I shot towards the end, so I quite like this picture. I like the shape of her dressing his picture, there was other pitch, I didn't take a cz many posters of her in this final set up as thie initial fifty more shots I've got less choice is to play with, I'm aware of that, and they've got these shots, which is just standing there and they had to meet really, they are interesting because she just well, if that's the only shot I had over I would make, I would do it, I will make you because I mean, not this one in particular has got no flashing it, but let me just show different sample like all of these, these like, this is what I mean. I mean, I'd make it work if if I had to work with that one picture, but for me there's better choices, and this one also doesn't in terms of, um I don't know if this is very flattering and having the arms squashed her side it's not the end of the world it's just I don't know whether that's a deal pose this one where she's putting her arms out I don't know whether that just looks like she's just kind of aimless and I don't know where that works so if I go okay this one here where she's around right in front of her I don't know I mean that that's not bad that could work but the face looks a bit pensive I don't know whether it looks like it's in really finished pose like I think I was asking it apart lips a lot because I wanted her to look kind of relaxed and in the moment rather than waiting for the click of the shutter you know so because I wanted also to capture between shots sometimes you get your best shots when you capture a model between takes because she isn't doing the exact static stagnant posing and she's kind of maybe a little bit more chilled and in this kind of moment and then as soon as you get your camera rupture changes so that's something that happens a lot I try to get a variety because I like to be ableto have my journey continue in the selection of the images so let's, so let's look at these once I've five earmarked uh like I say I have got if I want to choose one where her think her hands are up in the air I've gotta just choose from the few that I have off this particular frame so quite like that one you got this one as well hands are a bit more is that one thing or something going on here so I think hk more fingers spare so let's let's open up this shop like when I've opened up the other ones I don't want to make too many changes to it I might just bring the shadows off bit like I've done here um I could also maybe play with tin in this stage but I'm not too bothered because I think I've got a feeling I'm no I don't want to change too much off the collar relationships in this image might exaggerate them so that everything's been more saturated but I don't make it too cool I think it's just about right at least I'm gonna leave it at that for now just like I felt with the last picture um and I won't tell to me to get into this boom arm first so I'm not going to change it too much but I want to work on that first let's open that so I'm gonna close those of the images down in a sec so I've got them out the way and I do like this picture I've just done it's just that I want to get few options going so let's, just close that and so where's my picture without the boom on. Okay, so make sure you get one with matthew in uh she's fine she's fine to be there because I just want this part. So I'm just looking at this part here that's let's um, open that up now, I don't mind this being you can see the ceilings of it a little bit lighter than that, but like I say, I don't mind could bring that on being light in and the ceiling is almost like its own separate thing going on here. I don't mind having a bit more light on that, so I'm not going to start darkening it to be exactly like the picture I just opened. I don't mind it having a little bit more detail in the shadows because this room's got these panels going on and it's natural to see this kind of difference between look at that, how dark eyes and how bright that is, so think that's fine open up so let's just do this quick because I'm already donna boom boom arm a job I'm just doesn't take long just gonna literally dragon hold shift um, again, you could do it the way it doesn't matter, I'm just going to raise her uh my mask so it's just a little cut that so like I say, I've got rid of the woman, but I've also got an extra bit of brightness in the ceiling and that's fine for this particular room because you've got all these different things going on with the panels so let's just fun that and get up saved off and I'm thinking about those shots I took off the ceiling because always talk of her reaching to the ceiling it's already interesting because you can see the mural on the on the ceiling so even if I didn't get any tilt shots, I think there would be foundation here to play with what we've got already in this frame but we have those extra shots of the ceiling and I'm wondering could they bring something extra to this picture? Always just extra unnecessary space? Sometimes in fashion you need extra unnecessary space because that's part ofthe extra space for text to lay out so that's something to bury mind it's just uh so I've saved that because I needed to be saved to do my duty, my phone large. So now I'm going to go to pictures I've got more of a ceiling on even more of a ceiling so the sketch that lena dead of all those well heated drew the chandeliers as part the sketch, so I've kind of got this vibe but if the chandeliers can have this predominant presence in the image but could go in an interesting direction that mirrors the sketch that you did and his intentions for this and using the room to the foolish that we can use it so let's open this is gripping a temperature down a little bit just click that one actually that's um that previous conversion starts a little bit too bright let's bring the shutters down on temperature down a bit I think when I came back it was a little bit more orange point doesn't matter too much because any discrepancy weaken take care off with a bit of masking which is why I'm not going to select blend all images together as I do in a minute that's open that and it's also opened the other even further back image again I'm seeing how far we can go home I don't need both I might not want to go sit so far back but this way we get to see all six chandeliers so just tio previous as well so all right let's open that then I'm going to go into my photo merge so all my open images are the ones I want to use in this vote merge he's taking his time so that's three images here I'm not sure entirely which a function I want to use the weight is even more coming up so I've got some more pictures open I didn't realise we're open just get rid of those so I got this image open here I could always remove him from the dialog box, but I just like to lick my life simple by not having to win things open like mister let's go back into that that three images on tick blend um I will try auto it might distort the model because so essentially it's trying to read for the sealing after the model so it's likely going toe stretch the model in a way that we might not be entirely happy with. This is where you might want to play around with a different options you've got in the folk merge on try for telling it to do it separately or solyndra clea or you might even choose collage option which sometimes work sometimes doesn't let's see what it does uh it has stretched her. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad thing um when I'm looking at actually that has stretched her is that a bad thing? Because the way the room's going the room looks like it's going out this some that might be a good ground there might be a relevance in just stretching the picture that way a bit myself so that I just basically stretch everything out because it's all going very tall in this triangle emotion so it's not too big a deal I could always try other options in that photo emerged, but I think if I might be risk of if I did try different one, it might give me too much ceiling, but I like here that we have this nice, um, vision of her. She doesn't get lost too much she's stretched into started a little bit, but not in a way that I don't think is unflattering. I think it emphasizes her as this great, big, strange spectacle in the room, so let's, just peel back those layers because there is a little bit of incongruent between them. So I've got this one this one and it's fine, because there's so much there is a little bit of mr that tiny bit of the candles, so let's, just have a look how far it goes down. So I've got all that room to play with so I can just click on that mask. Uh, let's, just hurry this up, so I'm not spinning too much time doing boring things, although the necessary things, but I'm just going to bring that rap down, always pass a chandelier into that green area. So there's definitely no discrepancy between the chandeliers because those are the bits with lines toe matchup. Um, wait for that. Well, go on, then I got this one here, so let's mask that just that line there that's just dip into each chandelier so which one is completing itself? Okay, I don't want to I'm not worrying too much about the lightness here because this is an area that is a kind of mystical part of the image where you've got different reflections look going on in here from the light of the chandeliers so it already is a little bit and even so it's no big deal to have that slight wortham lightness popping up in this further part subject trying to zoom out there in a while it's not looking so what I wanna do is I want to zoom out okay, so what I'm looking at now try and cover this quickly. I want to move on to strangeness. Um I'm just looking at how I want to work with us here because obviously this is stretched out here were caught in here do we need this? Looks like a bit ambitious thing toe warp once I start swapping it's gonna pull out here and all over the place. So maybe the best thing to do is to crop because then I could just keep the two chandeliers as punctuation on each side of the picture so you know, I might change her mind and try some experimental warping later, but for now I'm gonna have to happen with that because I want to think about this this space here because that it really is where the image is going so I'm just gonna go straight in and crop it uh, it depends how decisive you are in terms of deciding yes, that's the image I want or whether you want to save those bits to play with layer in this case, I'm just gonna go straight. And now the image, the the part about the bond there, I could probably clone that the reason I would clone it is because I want there to be at least some space between the tip of her dress. In the end, I wouldn't want to crop because he's going to become too close to the bottom, I'm goingto do that very quickly he's gonna make merge old to a top player and I'm just gonna I'm not gonna do is properly, but just roughly to get rid of that area at the bottom of the picture just so that we could work with a nice, clean canvas so I wouldn't want to cross him off the bottom like I say, so I think it's important to fill in this very easy dark detail. So it's just clones stamped all making a bit of a mess last line, right? So let's, just zoom out, so I like where this picture's going? Because now it's time to make maybe bit more sense in terms ofthe the ceiling is starting to become part of the point of the picture rather than the outer parts and she had told us that the size of the dress is becoming more appropriate in that it's building towards something I like that we seal the chandeliers, the pretty look symmetrical, the room and the way in which the room has got these different things going on and it is becoming more irrelevant because this chandeliers that becoming a symmetrical part and not the stuff going on on the walls. So without I mean, I want to know if I was at home I was spending a lot more time kind of thinking about color at this point as well in the I'd be thinking what is going to go color wise? And I would I do want to do that, but I feel excited enough about the composition here to start thinking about this part here because we have this interesting mural already going on on the ceiling of thie location. But is it enough? I mean, is it is it interesting enough because it's very thing I feel like maybe we could add more in there to make it look more like that is a nighttime sky or there's something in that area rather than these kind of stars you can kind of hardly see or maybe a way to exaggerate it so that they becomes more interesting I mean I could just select around it and exaggerate more like exaggerate the green so it looks like an opening to the to the sky or maybe there's a more surreal direction I could take it in I don't think I would necessarily want to put any kind of object around her probably because this is about symmetry the picture it's about applying something that is a holistic effect rather than something jutting out on either side of her unless it was the fact that could envelope her you know, maybe I could bring some up for you back in because the thing about the fog thing I don't like about using things like focus that you get so carried away with the effect of the drama of doing it on the shoot that sometimes you lose direction of hollis effect is going to be applied and it's an effect that's indelible in the picture so once it's there you know it's there rather than something you can bring in as a composited element so I wouldn't you worry too much have you got fog machine? I would think about the possibilities of bringing that azad effect in compositing I don't like to encourage people to add things in vote shop but I actually think it's more convenient because then you choose which pictures you want to put it into without the fog actually just being stuck over something in the picture and once you once it's there it's there you can't move it to another picture there's something behind it visible through it unless it's a thick enough cloud where you could just move it and then you might as well mate I have taken it from a picture a stock image of a cloud so folks can be problematic that's why on this while I'm sticking to this picture to start with because everything is coming together very as a unit result so let's go into my stock folder on dh just I have a thing you know, at my odd selection of pictures like I say, I don't really want to put anything next to her, so I'm not going to look for any object like you know, uh I'm also thinking, you know, she's got hands in the air, so I looked at this bird here on dh I don't know it's just from some kind of old painting, but my shoulder it's from what I tend to do is play with things and then sometimes I don't know it's from I'll look it up on the internet on dh usually all my things I get when it comes to paintings these are all really old paintings, but usually I don't know the names of them exact name of them until I look after look afterwards and check where it's from and double check that it's definitely old enough to use but sometimes I like to just be inspired first rather than getting all the necessary details so if I just saw a picture like this because sometimes you can you can get ideas from when you just play with things so like I did with the girl in the red dress I used a painting initially to make me think I want to put it by the sea but then I went to get my own c image instead of using the painting I thought would be good enough quality so I've just dragged it in a cz this small object I don't tend to use small objects I'm not goingto use it right now anyway I'm just going toe put this in I'm not saying this is gonna work I'm just saying I'm playing around with maybe there is the potential of having something in her hands or maybe their hands is supposed to be going towards something but there's no harm in trying things and seeing whether they work or not so I just reduced capacity so I can see through it so it literally is like drafting vision literally and drafting visually uh again I'm just drafting by putting away maskell it I'm just bringing up my uh brush to sharpness just so I could do a quick like go over with it so I can see you know is this is there anything in this is it going not really crap or um you know, is it something that I could develop into an interesting complicit and then let's just increase the levels on it but it's a bit faint just to go with the picture more on then I don't get so carried away with the details at first, like I was saying about toddling in and out you know, I'm looking at this, you know, realistically does this look good? Does it look odd to me? Initial reactions is that I feel like it should work on I feel like in terms of the size of bird I mean, probably maybe a bit smaller I don't know uh in terms of the size of a bird, it works but just it doesn't just work does it appeal to me part of me saying no because it just looks kind of change because you've got all this stuff going on and then you kind of put paint bird in the hand on the thing about this bird decides the center of attention is gonna be the thing that ever was looking at when they look at the picture dude, I want them to be looking at this bird do what do I want it toe claim all the limelight if you like I do, I want that to be the thing that is the wow about this picture and part of me is thinking no my like I liked it at first maybe I like the fact that it would mean that she's looking at it is an object, but is it good enough? Object doesn't need an object I don't know, I think it's something that I the kind of thing I would try for then I would be honest and say to myself, well, no, I just don't like it and sometimes you just have to listen to your heart rather than your brain that wants things to work out once to put out there that thinks that feels a space, it makes sense, but then your heart is just saying I don't like it, so you know, you can always have these options ready and if you're not sure you could just get rid of him temporarily by toppling the eye symbol, I'm also thinking now back to the speck to the sky I'm thinking about this picture the moon I took in my garden it's a long exposure but it's not brilliant quality but had quite interesting effect I won't even the way I work is that sometime that I even overthink things, I just literally think let's just put it in and see whether whether it floats my boat or not, so I just reduced capacity do a very quick layering just so I can kind of like position at least in where it would be um to get rid of the chandeliers because they're going to be bright in the final picture, I know that they've gotta be bright, I've got the they've got be no part of the spectacle now, let's interesting. Interestingly enough, as I'm reducing the opacity, this could be how could be presented because it fades out and blurs into the mural that's already there rather than having it for what? Like that? So if I was to have faded like that, could that be interesting? Um do I want as much cloud? So I want to bring back maybe, but this greenery, if I were to do this again, this is rough. This is just like me sketching infomercial um, maybe if I change the color of it as well quickly with that kind of go somewhere with this tended to be more blue to have met much the mural. Or maybe I do want a bit red pumping in there in a bit of yellow on their way back to blue. So then okay, that and just zoom out and I'm thinking to myself, I liked it when I was zoomed in, I liked how you have a moon because you do already have a moon in this mural, but it's very, very think crescent moon so it's just barely noticeable, so it's just not significant and often partner picture so if I were to bring this moon in it's a lot more noticeable is a part of the narrative it's center of the mural I'm I'm honestly thinking I like the fact that it's a blurry thing that I wanted to it's something that I'm adding that isn't a solid thing is in effect over a part of the image that I think is an important part of the image the sky it fits in with the narrative she could be reaching through into the sky but then I can't help feeling that at the moment at least it looks a bit cheesy like I don't know whether that moon just looks a bit two moons this's the inside of my mind just making very strange thoughts out loud but I just don't know it minds part possibly comes brings to mind kind of um bad folk shop efforts where you've got, you know, cheesy things like big moons added and I don't know I don't know one of those things where I'm trying it and I'm kind of feeling I don't want to ruin this picture I don't want to I don't draw away from the strengths that already there so again it's set to maybe um that we go into my bridge I also want to show you oh I'm in bridge voice mai okay, so you got my folder and I so a few of the things I was thinking about for this image go back into the stock so I was trying loons um also trying the horse uh a back shot the horse because it felt like it was fitting in with the perspective this is just something I just didn't know it was gonna work until I just tried it now the issues I got with them I don't think it's gonna work I just has too many issues too much of a risk the lighting is just not matching the perspective is okay but the lighting but also just as much as the lighting I'm also thinking that's the being lost a little bit in what's already going on in the picture so instead of adding to its confusing a picture so I don't know I wanted to add it because I wanted to see whether it had a place in this scene I don't really necessarily think it does I just wanted to try it and see with it might work I'm still not I don't think it's absolutely rubbish I just think there's fundamental things that make it hard to work with now I've also tried this strange and thing from one of my stock images which is this case of butterflies um that I just on a whim just dragged in cause thinking that this area of the picture is like this mystical part of it where you've got this blurring between like foliage and sky and what else could be coming out of that? So I tried putting these butterflies on these run like low rapacity and just kind of lame ass blood and lame asked softly on each side and I haven't done anything else to it just literally put it into tested on dh. At first I was excited, I thought, well, that's interesting, because then you've got his larger than life thing coming out of the ceiling, obviously, but flies on that big usually, but it's like maybe she's a little doll inside a room that's opening out to the real world or maybe this is a this is a normal world and this is, you know, this fantasy world coming in, but then the more I looked at them, I thought, well, actually, is it just does it look like I just plan to stock image on top of a picture you know, does that really does it really convey that is it really got that magical synergy or does it just look ordered out of place? But I do like the way in which this key word synergy that I'm going to be using all that have used a lot is coming from the green murky nous off the green already there in the image, and then you've got it coming out and I like that I think there is something possibly in that, but I'm not sure what these butterflies themselves are just too over the top. It may be that I should look for a picture that has some kind of foliage in it maybe, but not maybe the butterflies. I'm not sure I'm not one hundred percent put off. This is something that I've just been playing with, and then also I have tried and images from skies as well. So just pictures of skies that I've taken that I remind all folder here on brought those in thought about where the fiery red sky might have a place in this image. Or is it not about fiery red sky? Is it better to keep it? Is this nighttime kind of sky with stars or something? Kind of, you know, more sober and dark and twilight like andi, even virus guy here, maybe I could bring clouds down, so they're coming down towards her, maybe she's reaching towards a cloud that's maybe hanging here, or does that distract too? Maybe from from the stuff going on around her, if I could achieve it, technically, will that work? If I can really work on making that cloud look? Decent the picture I showed you the day actually showed you earlier as well, of the girl standing in the middle of the room with the clouds coming in the birds on the floor. I played for a long time, making that cloud look as it did, because at first it just looked like his big hayes, and I wanted to give the cloud is defined edge that slowly, softly, when progressed into this haze below her. So I spent a while kind of preening that so sometimes an idea that you might have needs time to work on, so you can see it best enough in your draft were sometimes you have an idea? I'm not sure it's going to what you have to try, and you have to make it look as good as it can be, so that you can think, yeah, that actually works better than my draft and there's that bird as well. So those of this things I'm thinking about, but why do know is that as I work on this, and as I try these different things, I really feel more convinced about the composition of this, because I feel like the room is presented in a way where it's not so much about showing the walls really wide it's about showing the ceiling wide and showing her reaching towards it, and that for me does justice to the dress so I'm still thinking about the dress after I have done anything that I might do it here I'm also then gonna be thinking about what's going on down here this is all a bit boring with this carpet around her could I have maybe some focal clouds coming in around her I'm definitely gonna work with accentuating this dress fitting this that out a little bit here so it's round this is this is another draft I've done not the one I've just been working on so on the one I've been working on you've got that extra bit space there at the bottom so I might even stretch out a little bit more so it's she's not so close to the edge but I like the composition and that for me is really a promising start but also just before I end this segment I just want to also go and do emerge to merge alter one layer on going to curves I mentioned earlier how often going to curves and play around with the adjustments to get a glimpse of where this might go so that's the cubs just when I probably wouldn't want to do I don't want to do in effect that basically like small eggs out everything that I've taken time to capture in the best way possible but what I do like is when I can bring things to life a bit more so I'm not entirely sure whether ana throw off the blacks too much. It might not be a case of that. A lot of the time, I'm throwing off the tones a little bit so the image becomes more unified, which is great on a compass it because when you've got all your pieces in place, you can throw off the blacks, you khun, get rid of that cotton paste look light, you can often get between elements, having said that, you can put us many curves adjustments as you want on a picture that just isn't gonna work if you can keep layering and layering if you know that pieces doesn't belong in an image, then that's going to become highlighted rather than resolved through your later color processing. But color processing is really great stage of compositing, because then your image become the final piece final painting I like how the this curves adjustment is bringing out the purple of this guy again. I can't say I'm not sure I'm gonna put something here yet. I like how it's fringing her dress a little bit, bringing out this kind of nice they retail missed. Around her I would also be looking at her hair I would definitely want to do some work to her face because the distortion of the photo much that I really like on her body is doing something to a face that I don't quite like there that's very simply rember did with the liquefy tool by just pushing that upwards and taking a liberty like with the warped tour to just massage pixels into place. I also want to think about hair because even though it looked beautiful and every shot is fading a little bit into the background and I might even bring a little bit more hair in from another shop and just planted there lay a mask it and just softly arrays that in so hair becomes standing out a little bit law I'm gonna end it there I'm already a little bit over on dh if we do have time for questions, then I welcome them, but if not, I can answer them on the next segment. So I think there's one final thing that we should talk about, which is a question of how long do you actually spend on your images? I mean, obviously with this one, we're not gonna be able to finish it here in class, but how long do you work on your image is till they get to the final point I'm generally I tend to spend a good few hours I mean, like I say, obviously it depends on how much processing but one of my typical images like this in terms of the thought process and then trying different things on dh then finalized at to do the technical part finalizing cutting things out, whatever you know, it could be a day or two don't tend to spend a massive deal of time on my image is a lot of time it's just about tweaking things I already know I wouldn't know where they're going to go it's just case tweaking it the thought processes along this time for me that's why I knew I wouldn't get too anywhere near like a final final thing on this workshop because not just a because of the technical time I need to do all the stuff I don't wanna be doing that in front of you guys but also the thought process, you know, like you've seen, I've been thinking about these options nhs on I want you to show you those thoughts that going through my head because that's, how I work but to actually arrive at the final conclusion takes time to discriminate and eject things that I know that I've tried to work with but then decided no, you're not going to belong in this image, so let's work with this on I want to capture all that in them the recorded movie as well. When I get home, because there's naturally going to be longer, more boring periods of me thinking and deciding. And then I can relay my thoughts back to people more concisely afterwards. But but, yeah, general, a couple of days for an image like this, I think, unless it's a specifically longer project where I'm working on a huge picture like I did with the face that I showed in the day, which took months for my image, is generally now it's. I don't like to spend months, but just a day or two.