Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Urban Acid Action

A contact of mine on Flickr just mentioned an action that I thought might be worth a look.

Here's the description of the how and what the action does:

This action tries to mimic a cross-processing technique used in some glamour, fashion, and urban photography. It skews and saturates colors, while dramatically increasing contrast. The action does all this by creating an aggressive curves adjustment layer (which is user adjustable). Secondly, the action creates a black layer which can be used to desaturate/mute the colors. This can be accomplished by changing the opacity of the layer.
Respective credits and this description are included in the zip file.
Now personally don't really have any urban or portrait shots so I was eager to try it out on something different. So here as you can see is the result on one of my Beach Hut images.

The action is fully customizable at each step of the process and I really liked the results. Of course it's not for every photo!

If you wish to download it you can do so here

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting Settled

So I have moved from the UK to Nova Scotia now as some of you who follow me on Flickr will already know. It has been hectic to say the least but things are starting to settle down. I have been lucky enough to get out and about seeing some new places and of course some of my old favourites from past visits.

I hope to bring you a few of these as I take more and of course in time I shall be adding them to my online shop at Red Bubble.

I have joined a local camera club here, and for those of you following the blog that don't belong to one, I urge you to. I was and still am, also a member of my local club back in the UK. I left on a high from that club having won both the trophies for prints and digital images which was a big thrill.

You can learn so much from other members and it's a fun way to expand your hobby!

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Just to let you know that due to my moving overseas, this blog may be a bit of a dead zone for a while until things are sorted the other end. Hopefully I will be back blogging before too long!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Additions

New additions to my Dreamy Nature collection are now available to view/buy in my Red Bubble Store, all the new additions have had textures added from the Flypaper Collection as mentioned in my last post.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flypaper Textures

Just lately I have been noticing more and more on Flickr the mention of Flypaper Textures being used on images, so I decided to check them out. There are three sets to choose from Tex Box One, Tex Box Two and a new addition Fly Edges. Having looked, I couldn't help myself! I bought Tex Box One and in my opinion the set is superb, a wonderful collection of subtle textures. My favourite of the set would have to Apple Blush (used on the image below). All the files are large and high quality. Tex Box One and Two are $35 each for a download and the Fly Edges set is $40. CD's can be sent at a small additional cost. Currently if you buy sets one and two together you can purchase the download for a special price of $65.

On the website you can also find some tutorials for getting the best out of your textures.
Delicate Duo, click image to view larger

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fabulous France

For those of you following me on Flickr you will know that I have been busy uploading my many images taken from my travels around France last year. My trip was split between the Loire Region and The Midi-Pyrénées which is the largest region in France. This area is truly spectacular, there are so many places to see, each one more breathtaking than the last. Some of my favourite shots are now available to buy via my Red Bubble Store. If you would like to see more of this region, click here and view the film.

One of my favourite places Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top Marks :o)

Last week at my local Camera Club we held our last internal competition of the season. It was 'open subject' so the images submitted were many and varied. I, as usual, had difficulty prior to the event deciding what to choose for submission (the decision making involved in selection nearly drives me round the twist as I have real trouble in making up my mind, nothing ever seems good enough to me) but in the end opted for two of my Alberta landscapes in the prints section. I was convinced they wouldn't do so well, but was hugely honoured and pleased when the judge awarded top marks for my 'Autumn on the Parkway' shot and better still I came second too with Spirit Island. For me the highest praise from the judge (well respected in our area) was the fact he said would love to hang the Icefields Parkway shot on his wall.

Autumn on the Parkway (Click image to view larger)

Spirit Island (Click image to view larger)

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vintage Addiction

...And here's me thinking that colour was my only vice! Since discovering the wonderful 'Hand Coloured Vintage Photo Action' by mutato-nomine that I mentioned a few posts back I have been completed addicted to testing it out on all manner of images. I thought I might share one of my favourites to date. You can click on the image to view the larger version. And if you haven't checked out these actions yet you can download them here. I can't promise this is the last time I will speak about this!!!....Twitch!

Stonehurst Cove, Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia (View the original here)

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Butterfly Brushes

A while back I created a butterfly brush set for personal use and forgot all about them, (example of the brushes below). I thought others may like to use them. You can download the file here. The file is zipped and comes complete with installation instructions for Photoshop. Enjoy! I hope you find them useful!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So today I was trawling around the net looking for PS Brushes, several tangents and a couple of hours later I came across a couple of really good sets. (Not what I was looking for I might add), but having found them I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give them a go and see what effects I could achieve.

For my 'Tiny Dancer' image featured here I combined the 'Hand Coloured Vintage Photo' action from the other day with a Dandelion Seed Brush by Redheadstock) and several different brushes from an Old Letter Collection (by Shiranui). (Just click on the named links to go straight to the respective download pages).

Just in case you are not sure how to install a PS Brush file:

Copy the file to the correct directory. If you downloaded the brush set in a zip file, you can just extract the 'abr' file straight to the right place.

The directory you are looking for will be in your Adobe folder under presets then brushes, example path below:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop CS1\Presets\Brushes\

Simply copy the file there, and the next time you start Photoshop, the brushes will be available from your brush set menu. If you don't want to restart the application to try out your new brushes, click on the brush tool in Photoshop, then load brushes (see ref picture, click to enlarge).

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Monday, April 5, 2010

My name is AJ and I am a Colour Addict!

If you know my work then you will know that I love colour, there's nothing that lifts my mood more than seeing an array of bright colours all together.

So it comes as no surprise that I rarely create anything in monochrome. Quite odd really as I love other photographers images in monochrome, but when I try it myself it just doesn't sit right with me visually. I believe in my whole collection of images there are only possibly five that have passed muster in the monochrome bracket and one of those I simply had to put a hint of colour back into. Ironically two of the aforementioned five were published nationally.

So this month on my Red Bubble Profile I am celebrating my colour addiction with 9 of my loudest and brightest images!

Oh and just because I mentioned it, here also are my monochrome images that were published.

Left: DIY...NOT and Right: Slinky

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gone all Flashy!

So a while back I talked about a company called Wix who offer a free service to build and host your flash website. No technical skills required, (currently running in Beta), there are a selection of very appealing templates to choose from and the interface is extremely user friendly. With the free account your site will include ad banners for Wix, but you can upgrade to Premium at anytime, which opens up a range of extra features including unlimited pages, using your own domain and removing the ads.
I was extremely pleased with the results of the free site and I decided it was was time to have another go at this, so this weekend I put together a new website and this time I upgraded the package to eliminate the ads. the combo package which I purchased costs $99 per year. Although I am personally a huge fan of free stuff and it pains me to pay, I thought it was about time I made the investment!

Here is the end result. Below is a screen shot of the gallery page, I like it and would love to know what you think and if you like it, why not give it a go yourself. To visit the new site click here

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Another Texture Giveaway

Here's another homemade texture to try out on your images. This one gives a very vintage feel with its worn edging and faint text.
Below is an example of the result you may achieve. In this intant I used the multiply blend, desaturated and lightened the texture slightly.
To download the texture just click on the texture image and you will be redirected to the download page if you have missed any of the previous textures and tutorial just click through the thumbnails (top left).

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Step Back in Time

I found a superb vintage action today online called 'Hand Coloured Vintage Photo' I thought that some of you may be interested in giving it a try. You can download it here and see my example below. To attain the colour result you must run and complete the ageing first.

If you are unfamiliar with PhotoShop Actions, you may want to take a look at this tutorial which is a basic introduction.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eye Spy

Following on from my previous post regarding the security of images, here's a neat little way of keeping check of your images and where they are being used online.

Tin Eye is a reverse search engine that hunts down where your image is being used on the web. Although still in development and unable to check every single web page, it does work. I myself search every now and again if an image of mine has received a lot of hits on Flickr from unknown sources. Just a couple of weeks ago I found a European online magazine using my Stonehenge image without my consent, I wrote a strongly worded e-mail to them and they apologised profusely and removed the image.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sign Your Name

With the advent of change relating to copyrighting of images published online (and not for the better) we really need to make sure our work is protected. If you are UK based and have not heard about these changes yet please read this article.

There are steps you can take to prevent theft of your images online, but in my opinion none of them are full-proof. That said, digital watermarking does provide some peace of mind. Digimarc (a plugin for Photoshop) have recently upgraded their application and it is definitely worth looking at. I currently use it and find it quick and easy to use, the basic account starts at around $49 per year.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm no Tweeter!

To tweet or not to tweet, that has been the question on my mind now for quite sometime.

Half of me thinks yes what a great idea, I can use it as a subtle marketing tool and the other half of me thinks I don't want to randomly chit chat rubbish with people.

As for celebrity tweeting, it gets me so mad! I like to think of my celebs as detached individuals, untouchable, sometimes elegant, sometimes clever or whatever I choose them to be in my own mind, but honestly, miscellaneous ramblings from celebs about what they had for breakfast, yada, yada, just makes them look and sound stupid with too much time on their hands and further more breaks the illusion and mystery for me.

So although I haven't entirely ruled it out, I shall not be tweeting anytime soon. However, thanks to a friend I have just discovered spnbabble. Now this to me seems a far better prospect. Maybe not as big yet, but geared for marketing, not twaddle! Check it out and see what you think. You can follow me on there if you so wish under the name DigitalExpressions.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

United Arab Emirates

A small selection of my United Arab Emirates images are now available to buy from my Red Bubble site. Click here to go staight to the photo set. A superb trip full of architectural wonders and of course plenty of sand.

If you are ever visiting make sure you don't miss out on a dune bashing trip definitely exciting and the landscape is magical.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Talking Italian With 30 Words

I was recently approached by a company called 30 Words asking if they could use an image of mine in their newest addition to the product range.

30 words are superb and compact range of language guides for travelers. They are small enough to fit in any pocket and contain over 800 key words and phrases. The accordion design of the vocabulary pages makes looking up a phrase or word very easy. Best of all the guides are very durable, they are waterproof and tear-resistant and should survive even the most arduous adventures.

I think they are a cracking idea and I will certainly be trying the Italian version out later this month! My Riva Del Garda image (below) features on the back of the Italian edition and you can find out more about 30 Words by visiting their website and their blog.

I personally wish them every success for the future!

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