PRESCRIPTION

Phew! I've only just found the time to sit down to edit this image (which I shot on Friday) after shooting two weddings and doing a 1-2-1 session this weekend, it's been non-stop!

I went for an eye test on Thursday and my eye prescription has changed. I've been noticing it for a few months now but only just managed to remind myself to book an appointment this past week. (This is a friendly reminder to all those that need to book an eye test, do it now haha!) After I had my test I had no time to get some new glasses so for the whole weekend I've been dealing with a slight squint in my eyes, in an effort to sharpen my vision whilst shooting the weddings! (glasses wearers will understand the pain 👌)

Anyway, my aim for this week is to get some new ones, but I lovveeeee my old Bailey Nelson ones (not spon lol) they are super cheap and comfy! 

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PLAYING WITH FIRE - #HotelsWithHolly

To start my new YouTube series 'Hotels With Holly', I thought I'd kick off the season with a stop in a shepherds hut; not too far from Glastonbury! The new series will follow my travels as a wedding photographer around the country, as I stay over in some cool and quirky hotels. My aim is to shoot a conceptual image at each hotel/location to channel my creative ideas as I open myself up to new and exciting places! (Plus I get super lonely on my travels, so this keeps me distracted!)

I wanted to start with something quite abstract and whilst I was bouncing my ideas around the shepherds hut, testing out a few locations, I had a wave of anxiety about shooting in a privately owned place. I glanced to the right and began staring at a pile of logs whilst the idea formed in my mind about playing with fire. The anxiety that had overcome me seemed to have manifested itself into idea and I decided to roll with it!

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SELF PORTRAIT WORKSHOPS - DAY 7/7

I AM THRILLED TO FINALLY ANNOUNCE (to the internet world!) THAT I'LL NOW BE HOLDING SELF PORTRAIT WORKSHOPS and my very first one will be in Tunbridge Wells on the 26th May 2018. The workshop is designed to help photographers gain more confidence in creating ideas, shooting and editing conceptual self portraits. If you want to know more information about the workshop and what it will entail, leave your email address below or send me a direct message and I will send you the information brochure!!! (I'm also now offering 1-to-1 workshops tooo - message me for more info! ♥️)

- I said in yesterday's video that I had a very exciting prop/outfit to use in today's image (I sneak peeked it in Mondays video if you want to see), but I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted and wasn't mentally prepared to shoot such a heavy concept. I'm a little disappointed but I have big plans for it and I will be shooting with it in the next few weeks! With that said, I decided to keep it simple today. ★

I will be filming a reflection video on the things I've learnt from this project in the next week, along with the prop making video that I mentioned yesterday in my instagram stories. 

But for now, SLEEEEEEP! 

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Watch the behind the scenes and the final day here:

 

 

CONTACT - DAY 6/7

I've unintentionally created a series of images about weather and the universe this week, but I kinda like how everything has turned out! I've discovered my LOVE for creating life size/large props lately, so I'm definitely going to be doing more in the future. Although, the next thing I need to invest in is somewhere to store them all - my prop room is bursting at the seams already! 😂 

Also after this image was taken, the sun popped out to say hello! ☀️YEY! I have a SUPER exciting announcement tomorrow to end the project on a high - keep an eye out! 

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Watch the behind the scenes here: 

THE DARKNESS - DAY 5/7

Overnight I felt a sense of vulnerability and weakness about creating this project, mainly because I'm putting so much of myself into it. I decided to release those negative thoughts in today's image and remind myself that I am my own limitation. 

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Watch the behind the scenes here: 

WE SHARE THE MOON - DAY 4/7

I'm currently undertaking this project from my childhood home/parents house in the north of England this week, which means I'm staying away from my home with Jack. I have my family around me for support but I could do with seeing him right now. Today began with a lull of low energy and I wasn't mentally prepared to solve any problems or failures, I just wanted everything to pan out as smoothly as possible. Jack is a great problem solver and emotional weight lifter and I seem to fall back on him when I'm feeling not so efficient. Anyway, I gave myself a little pep talk and grabbed a coffee for an energy boost and managed to stop the moon from falling over in the wind whilst I shot away. 

I'm dedicating todays image to Jack, because we share the moon. 

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Watch the behind the scenes video here: https://youtu.be/IYfVlfTNlLs

WEIGH UP - DAY 3/7

Today I weighed up the pros and cons of running around barefoot in the freezing cold versus staying inside in the warmth. I chose to do both but the sound of the kettle boiling forced me to do the latter for a lot longer. 

As a little experiment, I filmed my behind the scenes video with a different camera today. If you want to go and see some incredible drawing skills... 👀lol, and me complaining about the cold for 5 minutes, go check it out! 

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P.s I promise not to complain about the cold for the rest of the week. 

THE SHOCK - DAY 2/7

In today's image I wanted to represent the feeling I get when I receive bad news. That instant anxiety and shock I get from a few spoken words that cut in so deeply, and the paralysing effect it has on me when something has leaped out of my control. 

The day began with lots of rain and wind and so my first idea had to take a back seat to make room for my trusty back up plan. Luckily by the time I had decided to shoot, the rain let up and I ran outside to shoot my image as quick as I could. I think I shot around 10 images in total, most of which I ended up using for the final image (Yey!). I'm super relieved that it came out the way I envisioned it, because I was freezing my bum off whilst shooting! 

Watch the behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/6JvPp0qBO4s

LANDED - DAY 1/7

YEY! The project begins!

 I began my day by gluing on the remaining flowers to an outfit I've been making for weeks. I planned to shoot it for day one but when I woke up this morning, the land was covered with fog and although it looked absolutely amazing, it wasn't going to suit my original idea. (Crossing my fingers for brighter weather in the next few days! )

I found this little guy in Home Sense a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was put my finger into his little hand, I felt a little spark and an idea popped into my mind. I put him under my arm and waltzed straight to the counter to buy him. It was a super fun morning shooting in such a beautiful atmosphere. He was pretty good companion - my mate Astronaut. 🚀

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Behind the scenes video! 

I See

Editing, holidays, crazy winter weather and a super comfy sofa has stopped me from running over the past 6 months (oh and the lack of motivation and pure laziness). So I'm writing this here to hold myself accountable, I'm taking myself out on a run, and I will enjoy this and not quit in the first mile.

Fallen

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.

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Chance



Today I got my upper helix pierced and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet! Finaaalllyy, after YEARS of wanting it and not having the courage to do it, I did it! All with the help of Lena, who has taught me a lot about embracing things and just not giving a fuck. I once tried to pierce it when I was 13/14, with a needle, pressing my ear up next to a radiator (which is what a school friend told me to do hahahhhh… bad idea!). The pain wasn’t worth it so I stopped before it went through and my ear just swelled up and stayed red for the next few weeks (would NOT recommend!). Anyway, I came home all inspired and decided to create this image! I’m loving the notion of chance and experimentation today, taking a step back from pressures and limiting art ideals. I opened this image up into photoshop and although it isn’t as thorough as I’d usually edit, it was satisfying and easy, and that’s what I needed today. Something to take my mind off the fact I have to sleep on the opposite ear for the next 8 weeks 🙄😂 (which also happens to be my worse side to sleep on🙈) Any advice for looking after piercings as they heal?

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HOW TO COMPOSITE - PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL

Hey lovely people! Thank you for landing on this blog post, you are most likely here because you are curious as to how I edited my latest image ‘Attachment’. Well, you are in luck because I’m here to tell you the exact techniques that I used to merge all the images together in Photoshop to achieve the overall ‘realistic’ image, yey!

Here's a before and after of the original image and the final image:

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STEP 1: TAKE A SET OF IMAGES IN THE SAME PLACE USING A TRIPOD.

Before we dive in to the edit, you might be interested to see the behind the scenes video showing how I shot the image. We took ourselves to Hargate Forest (which is aprox. a 4 minute drive from my house - it’s amazing having a wonderful location so close to me!). We shot the image in one of the open fields in the middle of the forest, I’m always drawn to this area! In the video, I explain my process from drawing out the idea, choosing the props, comparing locations, setting up the tripod, shooting the base image and finally, shooting the composite ‘ribbon’ images.

Here’s a link to that video so you don’t have to go anywhere (because I’m kind like that! lolol);

STEP 2: CHOOSE BASE IMAGE

Let’s begin with what I like to call the ‘Base Image’. This is an image that usually consists of the best pose for the final shot. I select the image with the most suitable facial expression or poise. I like to start with the expression, because it’s always easier to add in hair, legs, arms, dresses if needs be.

The process of choosing the base image starts with narrowing down the images by a process of elimination. I use the program ‘Bridge’, which everyone always questions, because it’s the forgotten Adobe program that CC provides. I’ve used it since starting photography and my process of choosing the images hasn't really changed since the start of my journey. It seems to be the best way for me, but you can use whatever you like! (You don't need bridge but it makes it easier.) 

I’m quite the indecisive person so I always like to start by going through the images putting a '5 Star Rating' (shortcut - Cmd + 5 on Apple) on the images that I think will work in the final image. See below image for example: 

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As you can see in the above screenshot, I managed to choose 102 images, and although this includes the composite images, I will need to narrow it down further. 

I then go through the images again and label the next round with a 'Red Label' (the correct term is 'Select' in Bridge - Cmd + 6). On this time round, I'm looking for images to use for the base image. 

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Once I have a selection of images that is easier to manage, I then go through a third time and label the images with a 'Yellow Label' (the correct term is 'Second' in Bridge, but aint' no body got time for that!)

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Finally, I open the last selection of images (in Yellow) into Photoshop and analyse these images to pick the best one for the base image. In this case, I was stuck between these two images:

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In the end I decided to go with the left image because I felt the composition had more connection with the camera/viewer and reflected my original idea the best. 

3. EDIT THE BASE IMAGE & BEGIN COMPOSITING ON TOP

I usually clean things up and do a light retouch/edit on the image before I start compositing, however in this case I decided to start with pasting in the composite images first. 

We took SO many images of the ribbon (as you saw from the behind the scenes video!), so I decided to open each of the selected composite images and paste them onto the image using the following technique:

Using the 'Lasso' tool with the 'Feather' set at 0 px, I drew a selection around the ribbon with about a 1-2cm gap around the edge of the selection, to allow for layer masking later. 

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Once I made the selection, I copied and pasted the selected image onto the 'base' image. To do this I did the following:

 EDIT > COPY on the selected image.

EDIT > COPY on the selected image.

EDIT > PASTE SPECIAL > PASTE IN PLACE

 

4. COLOUR/LIGHT ADJUSTMENTS

The ribbon selection has now been pasted into place onto the 'base' image, and the next step is to match the images using the adjustment tools. 

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As you can see, although this image was taken on the same day, the light changed as we were shooting. So before I start the layer masking, I need to make sure the images match in tones and colours. To do this I select the layer that contains the ribbon selection;

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I then go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS and start with > Brightness/Contrast. 

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I upped the brightness and contrast to match the background.

5. LAYER MASKING

After I matched the brightness of the selection, I then began to erase out some of the background of the selection using LAYER MASKS.

To add a simple layer mask, select your layer and click on the button at the bottom of the layer panel that has a black circle in the middle. See below; 

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The next thing I did was select the brush tool, making sure to change the brush colour to black. 

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Using the brush tool I went around the ribbon selection and erased away any unwanted areas. This blends in the layered image and makes it more realistic. 

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I then repeated this process to all the other layered ribbons. 

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6. CROPPING

After I had added in the final ribbons, I decided that the image looked much better as a square image. I spoke about this in my behind the scenes video. I felt it didn't balance as well being a landscape image. So I  cropped it square and evened out the ribbon so that it flowed better in the image. 

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7. COLOUR GRADING/USING PRESETS

Finally I opened up the image into Lightroom and added my presets. I usually start with LXC and build upon the colours in Photoshop after the preset has been applied. 

Here's a little process of change that the image went through as I edited the colours. 

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Annnnd that's it! 

Hope you enjoyed this littler tutorial, I've uploaded a speed edit over on my YouTube too so you can go check out the quick version of this tutorial. Let me know what you thought to this and if you think I should do more of these. Leave a comment below!!

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SPEED EDIT

Thanks for reading guys! 

Holly x