Pause for Gauze

Last week I mentioned that I’d become obsessed with an online store called Oh My Gauze, and at the time I said I’d take some pics of my new outfits eventually, so here’s part one of me fulfilling that promise. I’m also going to link to items when I can, so you can go check them out if you want (some of the pieces I bought were discontinued and are no longer for sale through the store, although many times you can find them on eBay). You’re welcome.

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Photography nerd alert: this is a composite shot – my upper body is from one photo while the lower body is from a different one.

I say part one because I seriously bought a lot of pieces from this store in the past few weeks. About 8 items are at the tailor right now, because in tops and dresses especially OMG clothing tends to run a little large on me. I’m skinniest in my shoulders and torso area, so with the generous sizing of this brand those things can look sloppy even though they’re already intended to be loose. Pants and skirts, though, are generally fine, although I did take one skirt in for alterations as well, because the balloon hem combined with big pockets made it a little heavy and it was pulling the skirt down (the waist was a little big, but it wouldn’t have mattered had the skirt not been on heavy side).

I will say that my outfits were a big hit at the tailor’s; it was a holiday here today so a lot of parents were taking their kids in for alterations on this or that (no idea what sort of kid-events go on in October, but there sure were a lot of people there) and as I kept coming out of the fitting room with more artsy, funky outfits, women began to notice and ask where I got all this fabulous stuff. I told them, of course; I have no need to keep a good thing secret. Since my last beloved baggy-clothing store, CP Shades, shut down, I certainly want to send OMG as much business as I can so I don’t lose another manufacturer that I love.

This past Sunday I decided to throw on some of the new clothes and shoot some photos; but pictures of me just standing around in outfits isn’t of much use to me beyond this blog, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and do some jumping shots I could have more fun with. Little did I know how fabulous these clothes would be when they are in motion! Sure, I knew they were made to move and flow, but they created such amazing shapes I almost jumped myself to exhaustion playing around with it all. If you’ve followed my blog or Flickr page at all, you know how much I love using fabric in my movement photos to create interesting shapes, but most of the things I wear in those photos aren’t things I’d be caught dead in day to day. With OMG I have finally found a clothing line that works wonderfully in jump shots but that can also be worn out of the house! Heavenly.

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Yep – right after the shutter snapped that shoe hit the ceiling

Those pants are called the Ida pant and they are a new style to the store. I about died when I saw these, as I’d seen pants like them all over the Lagenlook boards I’ve been following on Pinterest, but as I mentioned last time, usually this stuff is pretty expensive. The Ida pant is only $63, though, so they were really affordable. They are amazing, and in spite of their general craziness they look great on; not bizarre at all, just interesting, and almost like a skirt if you don’t look closely at them. Comfortable and fun and no one else I know is going to have a pair of these. Moving on.

The top is called Vanna and I have two of them; as I mentioned earlier, OMG’s tops can often be big on me, and even when altered their slouchiness can weigh me down and make me look like I’m drowning in clothes, so a top like this is perfect for me. A flowier top balances my skinny torso out with my bigger hips, and this one with the cropped length gives me a waistline. It’s also very easy to wear; like most of OMG it’s a throw-it-on-and-go affair.

Some of their items, though, are not so convenient:

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PS – I had NO makeup on during this shoot as I’d spent the whole day in the pool, so I thought some funky glasses would detract from that. Not sure if it did or not.

OK, this is another new piece from them called Jeane; they call it a dress but it’s actually more like harem-pant overalls. Some of you know how much I love overalls and have been lamenting their lack of cool-factor since the 90’s, so a combination harem pant and overall seemed to be a slam dunk for me. However, the entire jumper is resting on those tiny little straps, which are basically shoestrings that tie in the back, and they are not up to the job, in my opinion. First of all, I despise anything that ties in the back (bathing suits come to mind; I love the look of a halter-style bathing suit top but they almost ALL tie at the neck and I just can’t stand that. And yes, I’ve been looking at a lot of bathing suits lately, too) and secondly, those skinny little straps don’t feel resilient to me at all. Plus, the first time I washed this one of the straps came ‘unthreaded’ (not sure what else to call it) and I had to use tweezers to force it back through, so they are not secure at all. I started to send this one back, but then I took these photos and realized how amazing the whole thing is, so I took it to the tailor and asked her to replace the shoestrings with something more sturdy that I would not have to tie. I don’t think I can get the straps in the same green, but I told her black would also be fine.

See what I mean, though, about the pictures proving that I really need to keep this piece? It takes some amazing photos – only one of which I’ve had time to edit (trust me there’s more):

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My eyes went really wonky in this shot, so I ended up actually copying the left one and pasting it over the right one, then flipping it horizontally. I still look weird here, but not nearly as weird as I did before. Sorryboutit.

The shoe match here was great; those are from Urban Outfitters and are always on sale two for $20. I have a ton of them and find uses for them all the time, aside from photos (I learned long ago that bare feet are not the business for jumping shots unless you have pretty ones and can point your toes well; shoes make for a more flattering photo without the distracting dragon toes or, in my case, super-long skinny feet that look awkward). This was one piece people at the tailor’s place today were really freaking over how cute it is. Really unique; I just hope she can fix the straps to make it more manageable.

And while I’m thinking about it, I want to link here to another fabulous clothing discovery I recently made: Sleevey Wonders. I’ve always hated having to wear full-length tops under sleeveless dresses and things, but I also am not a big fan of sleeveless things (I just like being more covered than not; I’m not modest, I just think covered arms are prettier). Sleevey Wonders give you, well, sleeves, without the bulky top attached. Brilliant! They aren’t cheap, but for me they’re worth it. So far I have a blue mesh one and a white jersey, and I’m going to be picking up an ivory one soon. I wear the two I already have all the time – including in the pictures above. Moving on.

Now this next item is also unusual, and I was uncertain whether or not I’d like it, but in the end I’m glad I tried it out:

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This is a color I’d generally never wear, but OMG is having a sale of discontinued colors right now that’s up to 50% off, and I couldn’t bring myself to buy this in a more wearable color (for me, anyway) and pay twice as much. So, chartreuse it is. I paired it with a pair of Chico’s Black Label satin cargo pants and a long-sleeved tee from Ann Taylor Loft, and bingo – I really like this look. It’s especially nice how well all this stuff goes with so much of what’s already in my closet – it’s not my first time at the artsy-flowy-fashions rodeo, people. Remember my Free People obsession of about a year ago? Most of what I bought from there works great with this stuff too, so my wardrobe has literally doubled over the past three weeks. It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s all good. This can also be worn on it’s own as a dress, by the way.

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Also good for leapin’ – YEP!

Speaking of overwhelming, I had to quit editing outfit shots after these last two, but believe me, there’s more where this came from.

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The hair is Laine by Rene of Paris, by the way

The top here is called Lynn, and it’s a narrower cut that didn’t require alterations for me. They also make a short-sleeved version of this called Grace that is great under other things. The whole line has some really interesting hemlines – there’s lots of angles and asymmetry that makes layering really eye-catching. The pants are pretty fabulous – they’re called the Osprey and I kept resisting buying them, because the price was around $85 and I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much when the sale pants were around $30 – finally they also went on sale and I snatched up two pair (in this color, called Fig, and also in Bone). I will say these pants looked AWFUL right out of the box, and I thought I’d made a mistake until I washed and dried them and they fell into place. The shoes, by the way, are another pointy-toed flat slide from Free People that I bought recently – so comfy and so unique with the shiny fabric. Love them.

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Simon is also impressed

I have a lot of really fantastic jumping shots to process later, and more outfits for a future post, but I did want to go ahead and show off some of this stuff now. I think I’ve calmed down on the purchasing for awhile, but I definitely plan to go back often and add to my collection when I can. Dressing has been so much fun the past few weeks, and I think you can see why – this stuff was made for me. And comfy, and easy to clean (machine wash and dry), and affordable! Love.

I’ve also got some self-portraits to share that I’ve edited recently, but I’ll upload those later. For now, enjoy the rest of the week, and I hope you have as much fun getting out of bed and putting on clothes as I do!

Pant-a-palooza

More Free People! These pants photographed great, but they are the least flattering to actually wear, since the white stripe going down the outside of my body tends to widen me as opposed to the other pair I own, which has a darker stripe going down the side to make them slimming. But whatever, they looked great in photos, and such are the perils of shopping online. I was conflicted about which shots to process since I liked so many of them; I liked all three of these but to reduce repetition since they’re all so similar, I made use of the collage feature in PIxlr:

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I also think the shots taken in this particular outfit turned out so well because this was done at the beginning of the shoot; it’s not uncommon for me to get sloppier as time goes by and I start to get tired. I think my focus was good here as opposed to later when everything got blurry and soft. I actually had a tighter focus here too, which made it harder to fit myself into the frame (that’s why I’m hunched over in all of the collage shots) but that helped me get my face into focus.

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There’s those other yoga socks I was talking about yesterday. They have slip-resistant soles and little cutouts for the toes; cute as heck and I can see where they would be very helpful for yoga. As I already mentioned, I like them for making my feet look more graceful when jumping. Now this next one is rather weird…

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…but I liked how the shape of my hair mimicked the shape of my legs/pants. If you squint your eyes when looking at this, it looks like a vase someone tossed into the air. This last one is a mirror pose of the wreath one, so maybe I didn’t need to process almost the exact same shot, but I did it anyway:

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Obviously I added a little texture, which I ended up not liking, so I went back and took it out later. Anyway, in the future I need to remember that a closer focal length is a good thing. The farther away I get, the softer everything gets; makes sense, I just forget it from time to time.

For these next shots, I remembered to pull them into Photoshop and play with the burn tool again to enhance shadows and midtones; it’s such a new process for me that half the time, I forget to do it. Since I forgot to do it in all the shots above, you can scroll up to compare the difference the burn tool makes. It really adds some nice depth:

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And yes, my backdrop was wrinkled,  but I was too lazy to edit it out. I tried occasionally to conceal the wrinkles with textures, but it didn’t end up making enough difference to keep doing it. In fact, it may have made them appear more prominent:

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I thought ahead about the cat hair and glitter all over the floor of the backdrop in these shots, and really blacked out the entire area rather than going in to delete every little speck, but wouldn’t you there’s one stubborn piece of glitter that’s still over there on the lower right-hand side, twinkling away. Oh well.

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I liked this next leap, just for something different:

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And I don’t actually know what else to say here, as I’ve posted a lot of pictures and have run out of steam, so I’ll just post the last one now to close out this set, finally. This is every outfit I photographed on Saturday, so who knows what photos I’ll be sharing in my next post. Lord knows I still have plenty to process! Since Luanne loves them so much, maybe I’ll upload more antique-district pics tomorrow. 🙂

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A Few More to Share

I’ve processed about 20 of the photos from last Monday’s shoot, and my energy and interest is starting to wear down. Still, 20 shots isn’t a bad payload at all, so it’s all good. The levitation shots didn’t work out at all, so that cut down on the end results considerably, but I do still have some nice jump shots to process that won’t involve too much beyond the basic editing, so in the end I bet we get closer to 30 out of the whole thing, which actually may be a record for me.

Here’s a few more I’ve worked on in the past few days, which actually isn’t many because I’ve been doing other things, including getting obsessed with Mad Men about six seasons late so I’ve been binge-watching that, plus getting my hair done yesterday which took a ridiculously long time to look basically no different after I was done (roots touched up and a simple trim for $200 and it took almost three hours because my stylist was running all kinds of behind), plus my father-in-law has been in the hospital getting his gallbladder removed, so lots of other stuff going on.

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I have to say, Candace’s son was amazingly well-behaved while we shot photos for three hours, but he was a little shy in front of the camera, doing more giggling than actual posing. Still I did get him to jump about five times, and this was one of the best ones (he didn’t quite grasp the concept of looking at the camera while leaping). What can I say – super-cute kiddo, and I’ll have a few more to process of him later (although he was part of the 85-mm lens switch without changing camera settings fiasco, so most of his portraits came out blurry).

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And there’s one of his mom – too bad they’re not a more handsome family. huh (/sarcasm)? This was one taken with the 85mm too, so I futzed with it enough to hide the blurriness, hopefully.

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And there’s another one of Tamara, for good measure. You know I love hair flying about! I had to bring my own fan though – that’s one thing the studio didn’t have.

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This is one of many cool leaping shots I still need to process, although obviously I did process this one. I just remembered I still have lots of yoga shots to edit too – so it looks like I’ll get another good week of editing out of this shoot. Not bad for the $70 or whatever I ended up paying for the studio, and I can feel my interest and energy coming back just thinking about the nice photos still available for processing!

Photoshoot Round 2

After working on deer portraits, I decided to change costumes and do some jumping. Unfortunately, my office/studio gets really hot during the day when it’s hot outside, so I couldn’t leap for long as I timed things badly and was jumping about at the hottest part of the day. I still got some good shots, just didn’t get as many as I usually do. I’m learning to take less anyway, since I can only process so many photos from the same shoot before I get bored. There’s no need for me to take 300 shots each time, it’s just I have so much more to work with when I do; but when it’s 100 degrees outside, and about 80 degrees in my studio, well, I just can’t handle too much bandying about in a hot wig and layers of costumery. So I made this part quick and kept the fan on high to try and reduce the heat.

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Is this a fab dress or what? It’s like a cross-dressing costume for Peter Pan.

I wanted to play around with different movement and camera focus some, since I tend to rely a lot on fully zoomed-out full-body jump shots. I thought it might be interesting to bring the focus in and just capture parts of me in motion; it irritated me a little as I feel I probably missed cool movement this way and am still more interested in the shapes the entire body makes, but still. Gotta change things up a bit when I can.

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I felt this one needed to be B&W for some reason. And that little shot of the floral tights bugs a bit; it takes away from the seriousness of the shot, but cropping out the leg entirely ruined the movement of it so I had to keep it.

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I love this one – I look like some freaky combination of a My Little Pony and a day-glo extra from Cats. The wig is another Gothic Lolita one; not sure you can tell but it transitions from purple to pink on the ends. 

I also wanted to play around with leaping in such a manner that I might flip the photo on its side and look like I was falling, or flying, or something. This hasn’t gone so well for me in the past but I thought I’d give it another shot by trying some jumps with a falling motion to my body. Interestingly, in the leaps where I tried this, I kept visualizing me flipping the photos over to the left, so when playing around with editing I kept flipping everything that way and it wasn’t working. Then I got the idea (duh) to flip to the right and it looked a little better. Still not sure this works but maybe that’s because I know I was leaping straight up and can’t stop “seeing” it when I look at it. Who knows. Also, it’s a bitch to edit the floor out of the shot but that has to be done or the effect is ruined, so I probably won’t try this with too many photos just yet. Or maybe I will, who knows. I just know it took twice as long to edit this one, and I had to use several extra layers of texture to conceal lines that would indicate what was really going on.

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Click on this one to see a better shot with more clarity. For some reason it looks crappy when inserted into the post.

Tomorrow I’ll share the last “look” from this shoot, although I’ve got lots more of both these and yesterday’s costumes to edit. I’ve also kept my studio set up in case I want to shoot anything else on the holiday. I do have lots of grocery store pics to share at some point since that’s what I did Sunday.

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Kinda cheesy background but I thought the movement of the stars worked well with the shape my body made.