While rummaging through a closet in my home studio I came across a large roll of canvas. The idea came to me that I should paint a custom backdrop for my portrait studio. Even though I have a B.F.A. in painting I had never embarked upon painting a backdrop. After a bit of research on google, I gathered my tools and got to work.
First I taped down a sheet of plastic to protect the floor, a drop cloth, which I later removed, and my canvas. Then I began to prime my canvas with gesso. A lot of people skip this step but I could only hear my college professor Mr. Wright scolding me for not priming my canvas. Gesso sizes and primes the canvas for paint. It ‘s an extra step but will save you time and paint in the long run.
The next step was to paint a brown base coat. I rolled this on in one coat. My goal was to build up thin layers of paint to have them show through one another.
I wanted to and some lighter colors, grey, peach, yellows and whites to give it some luminosity. I found these little jars of paint at our local Habitat Resale store for 50 cents a piece in a variety of colors that were perfect for this project. I then began to roll them on in a criss cross pattern. Tip: Get yourself an extension pole. It will save your back.
So so after a lot of rolling out paint I decided to let it dry and add more layers the next day.
I did did not like all the harsh lines that were left from the roller so I decided to add some watered down paint layers with a large sponge. I then began just swirling the paint until it became more painterly yet soft.
I am quite happy with the result.! I can’t wait to use it on a shoot this weekend to see how it will look in photos. I have enough canvas for another backdrop. What color should it be?
I wanted to practice shooting into the back light in my new studio. Alas, I did not have a model. What I did have was Mr. Bear and he was a willing model. He even put on a tutu❤️
I have tried this technique a few times with very poor results. I shoot in aperture priority on my D800 90% of the time, no judgement please, it’s how I shoot. When I do shoot in manual, while using my Lensbaby, I get good results. For these shots I used the Pocket Light Meter app. It worked like a charm! The app uses live view so you can change the focus point and the settings change on the fly. Very cool. I now know I can shoot beautiful back lit images with ease. Happy days❤️
Just a quick share of my little part of the world here in lovely Lawrence, Kansas. Autumn is upon us and nature is beginning to show her colors. I took these photos while driving my trusty Jeep around on the back roads puling off to the ditch to capture the beauty. On my next adventure I want to find some proper Kansas Barns so stay tuned!
Just a quick photo of Milton’s shiny patio furniture. I took this with the Instagram app on my way to work. Hope you all are staying cool during this heat wave.
Today I was bored so I thought I would download one of my older photos taken with my D300s and edit with Instagram on my iPhone. Instagram is a free app that has filters that you can apply to any photo on your iPhone. You can also take photos with the app and then it allows you to upload them to flickr, Posterous, twitter or Facebook. On this image I used the “Apollo” filter which gave it a bleached out, soft pastel look. Not all filters look great on all images so you have to play around to find the right one for your image. Instagram doesn’t allow you to tweak the filters, like changing the saturation or contrast, but it’s built in schematic is quite nice. I can usually find a filter that works for any image. Overall I really like this app and it’s free!
I wanted to share a different style of painting with you today. I made this in a more watercolor style. I like the more pen & ink style combined with the subtle colors.
I was running errands today and I spotted this lovely pink blooming tree in a courtyard downtown. Shot with the Lensbaby Composer I wanted to capture the light streaming through the blooms. I really like the painterly backgrounds that this lens creates. It also creates a feeling of movement.
- Spring Pink Tulips (gallery32.wordpress.com)
- My Favorite Spring Tree (patkat80.wordpress.com)
- Swaying Blooms (gallery32.wordpress.com)
The Tulips in my garden have started to bloom. I shot this with my new Lensbaby and edited this in Photoshop with some actions and textures. I love the bright pink and greens. It has an underwater feel to it. As always you can find this in my etsy shop. Or you can just click on the photo and it will take you there.
I received my Lensbaby Composer in the mail today. Excited to use it, I snapped some quick photos of the drying roses in my kitchen. It took me a few shots to figure out the settings but I am happy with the results. The forecast calls for Sunny and 63 degrees tomorrow so I will be out shooting! On another note, I am having a 50% off sale in the shop starting at Midnight tonight through Midnight Sunday. If you have been wanting any photo(s) in my shop now is the time to buy.
- Lensbaby (jessidavis.com)
- Lensbaby Composer & Scout (pcreviewonline.com)
- Lensbaby Accessories (ayusadha.wordpress.com)
Another photo from my walk last week. I love these striking, dramatic yellows and the lovely bokeh, of course. I have ordered a Composer Lensbaby lens for my camera. I am super excited for it to arrive. I have a Muse Lensbaby, however, I wanted this new lens that offers a bit more control over the “sweet spot” in the image. My hope is that with more control I can start using it in my portrait photography to add a different perspective and look. I can’t wait to share some images with you.
I had many items on my to do list today, however, it was 60 degrees outside so I headed downtown for lunch and ditched my list. I walked around snapping photos and then ran into my friend Bart at my favorite coffee-house, the Bourgeois Pig. We sat, sipped latte’s and chatted about the news of the day and then it was time for me to get back to my list. It was much less arduous knowing that I enjoyed a couple of hours of warm sunshine. Happy Days!
The lovely Ms. Florabella is graciously offering some free web templates on her facebook page. I used the diptych template to make this image. It’s a great tool and who doesn’t like free things?