Beauty in Death

Right now it is a pretty ugly time of the year. Everything is dead or dying. The vibrant greens of summer foliage is gone, and all the flowering bushes are dormant. But if you live in an area like mine, stop for a minute. Look around…how many shades of brown do you see? Can you even count them? What about all the yellow and gold tones? The bits of green here and there are a deep rich hue. There is still beauty…you just have to look at things differently!  For a photographer and artist…this is also a time to get creative with editing to bring out some of these shades even more brilliantly. I got asked to share some behind the scenes info about this session, so here we go! Also, I get no benefits for the places that I link. I am simply sharing what things work for me, I am nto advertising for anyone. Let’s start with my two “locations” (they are cell pictures and meant to be informative, not pretty. LOL). The first is just some dead grass around some chopped and left behind firewood….

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The second is a large tree that a storm ripped out of the ground and dropped on top of my favorite flowering photo tree (which had to be chopped up and hauled away). But after getting over my original upset, I told my husband that the fallen tree had to stay…after all, it makes a pretty great photo prop! LOL!

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I used my Nikon D810 and Sigma 85 1.4 lens. My setting pretty much stayed the same- F/1.4, ISO-64 (which was too low, I should have bumped it up a bit), and SS 1/640. These are all natural light, on a very over cast day (which is my favorite kind of day for photographing!).

I did hand edits on several of these images, but then I did have fun playing around with some different actions since this was meant to be a more creative session. Keep in mind these are not quick fix filters. These are tools! When you run an action, be sure to open the folder, turn off all the options and then slowly turn them back on and adjust to your liking. Check out Nikki Harrison’s Youtube channel for tips on hand edits and using actions. I see actions being marketed as a way to speed up workflow, but often they slow me down simple because I like to go back and forth and paint bits off my subject. Like a painter that enjoys playing with mixing different colored paints. This first is a kind of blooper shot, but made me laugh. I did hand edits and then used an action called  “Romancing The Stone”.

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The next images I played with an action called “Anthony & Cleopatra”. I rarely use it…but for the images I do need it for….Wow! Talk about a pop!

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For the following image I used an action called “Amanda” .

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I use Chasing Light Actions the most, but I do own quite a few other sets. This one was edited using the Editorial Collection by Greater Than Gatsby.

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These were edited using a mix of actions (mainly Chasing Light and Greater Than Gatsby)-

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Notice those last two have sun flares. Those were added in Photoshop. Remember it was a completely overcast day, so I wanted to improvise to show off all those beautiful tones. You can find sunbeams and sun flares on Etsy and many different websites. HERE is a tutorial that is pretty easy to follow for those that are new to this :). It starts around the three minute mark! She also sells a nice set of sun flares.

Okay, so now a before and after of my favorite from this session! The top is the image prior to any editing (other then small adjustments for example to exposure since I should have kicked up my ISO a bit). I shoot in RAW, so my images are very boring SOOC (straight out of camera), and I have to edit them to make them appear as they do to the human eye…or how I imagine the world around me in my head 😉

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Hope that was somehow helpful to someone! Have a lovely weekend!

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About The Author

Brittney

Hi! I am Brittney Gobble, and I have been an animal lover since I was able to crawl after a cute puppy or kitten. When I was about 6 I told my mom I was going to be “rich” one day. When she asked what did “rich” mean, I quickly responded “It means I can have lots of pets!”. I suppose I have achieved that dream…. I married my veterinarian (and love of my life) in 2006 and now breed and show top quality Sphynx cats. I have three beautiful kids and many “four legged” family members running around. A couple of years ago I picked up a camera to begin photographing my kittens, and from there my love of photography has grown. There is nothing that I love more then capturing the “look” in an animal’s eye that truly shows their personality.

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