Monthly Archives: September 2015

Pink Me

Early paper and ink quality wasn’t all that great and, unfortunately, when you’re looking at your old colour photographs from long(er) ago you’ll notice they’ve mostly turned a weird mush of yellows or pinks. They are likely otherwise undamaged, but the discolouration is usually not very pretty.

Like in this photo from my collection from the early 80s.

As I’m in the process of resorting and reprinting and digitizing all of our private photo albums, every now and then I’m tackling a few photos in Photoshop and fix them up.

Now, it sounds a bit easier than it is. With this particular photo I have the great advantage that I have a memory of this day. I remember it was taken just after the summer holidays, when a small pop up studio set up in the local mall. My mother used to take me there almost every year to get my portrait done and have the prints go to the grandparents as Christmas presents. It was a good idea to do it well before the festive craze (I know now where I’ve got that from) plus having portrait photos taken just after summer, before the long winter pale sets in.

So, I remember my then favourite top as being very pink, I also remember that I would have been quite tanned from many weeks at the Italian Riviera, with my hair going very light.

All this helped a lot when I set out fixing the colours in this image. There was no other damage, no cracks or weirdness, so it was really just about getting the colours right.

Obviously, this process is much harder when I don’t have a memory about the occasion. When restorating the colours in clients’ images it requires sometimes a bit of emailing back and forth, to get the exact tinge of a dress, of a flower bouquet, of the hair.

But for now, this ‘pink me’ is all good again.

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‘I could never resist the call of the trail’

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So Buffalo Bill said. I can’t resist it either. Well, not quite the same trail, but a trail it is nonetheless.

For me, it’s the light trail. Chasing it with my camera has been something I wanted to do for ages. Since I finally have acquired a remote shutter release, this last Winter nothing stood in my way.

So I thought I’d share my first attempts and all the wisdom I have found whilst following ‘the call’ 🙂

Firstly, finding the right spot is not quite as easy as I thought it would be. Zebra Crossings are lit at night, so the reflections of the passing cars can be seen in the photos. More ghost trails than light trails maybe.

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The better spots are where you have a fixed subject, building, bench or the like, and the traffic goes past parallel, between you and said subject. You don’t have to worry about headlights.
If I say ‘worry’ I mean that headlights are just too bright and if you’re too close they brighten just about anything and everything and ruin the trail. Aim to get more breaklights than headlights.
If you thought your spot is awesome and only cars drove past: it may be a totally different story if you have only 4x4s drive past, as their breaklights are so much higher, it makes the whole photo look different.
That being said: Try to utilize the lights of a bus. I was lucky, getting a bit of an ambulance in one shot, too.

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Avoid roundabouts. They’re like the Wild West, too many comings, too many goings, really hard to anticipate anything.

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Unless you have the eyes of an owl at night, I highly recommend a miner’s light of some sort. I got myself a $5 one from the Dollarshop. If you don’t want to wear it on your head, you can wear it on your wrist. Much better than having to take out the phone and shine it’s light around.
Needless to say to wear appropriate clothing. An hour goes by in no time, and many nights I was glad for my gloves and thermal underwear, thank you very much.
Good shoes protect your feet and ankles, as you might stumble around in areas that are a bit difficult to access, especially in the dark.
Make sure you’re safe, especially as a woman. I always tell my husband where I’m going, and I am most aware of my surroundings and very, very distrusting. Late passers by trying to start a conversation with me ‘what you’re doing’ sort of way could attest to that. But hey, the trail has to be safe, sorry guys.
With daylight savings coming soon, light trail time is over for this year, but I’m sure I’ll be hearing the call again next Winter.

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