Lightening Up

First of all I apologize for the rambling mess that is this post; it’s late and I am struggling to keep my eyes open, but I wanted to post some shots from today’s spontaneous set before turning in. So forgive me for being less than eloquent here.

I got off work early and decided to play around in makeup and take portrait shots,  then the best pic of the 500 I took was one where my face doesn’t show at all – go figure.


I love that top for photos, even though the cropped aspect of it is problematic. Sure I look OK in this photo, but there’s plenty of others were I most decidedly do NOT, which is why I tried to take all my photos of the head and shoulders only; I just missed the mark in some of  them like the one above. But the asymmetry and vibrant color really make it a good photography top, exposed skin notwithstanding. I actually cropped this one to share it on Facebook because I’m not totally thrilled with the amount of skin I’m showing here; it’s just that the shape my body made in conjunction with the curls and the one-sleeved top was very visually appealing, so I prefer this longer version to my Facebook one (which has cropped out the entire abdomen area. I’m a bit of a prude about skin-showing, what can I say).


Anyway, there’s the makeup. I think I did a pretty good job. I really wanted that yellow to pop, so I loaded up on it as well as on eyeliner and brow pencil (as usual). I even added a little cleft to my chin, but it may look more like I smudged off my makeup right there. not sure.

This next one was a mistake – I  meant to reduce the exposure of my Speedlite but accidentally increased it instead, and this shot was blasted out from the flash. I decided to try and edit one of the shots I took like this before I realized what I’d done, but on its own it wasn’t quite right.


The highlighted areas are all too flat and there’s a lot of purple tint to my skin, so I uploaded this one to Pixlr and came up with the following:


Eh, it’s a little campy but I like it all right. I have a lot more to process as I was actually playing around with light a lot in this set – using reflectors and off-camera Speedlites and what have you – and I took over 500 photos (!). But I ran out of time and energy tonight to edit any more than these, so more coming over the weekend I am sure!


Continuing the purple

For these, I used one sheer as a “skirt” and used the other one for movement. These are some of my favorite shots so far.

Making a bit of a weird face here, but overall I really like this one. That top sheer kinda makes the shape of a snake raised to strike.

Loved the shape here – everyone on Flickr kept commenting on how strong my fan must have been blowing to get this effect, but actually there was no fan running at all here. It’s just the way I swung the fabric before the shutter closed.

You can’t see it, but just off to the left I actually did have an industrial-strength fan blowing underneath the curtain to keep it floating around above my body in interesting ways.

More purple

So this costume change isn’t much of a change from the photos I shared yesterday. Basically the difference is I have on these wide-legged purple pants I bought off Amazon when I was searching for dance attire to wear in photos (this was before I discovered the joys of online vintage shopping via eBay). The pants are actually praise dancing pants, and I can honestly say I had not heard of that particular term before when I bought them. I had heard of liturgical dance, obviously, but the phrase “praise dancing” was new to me. I was sure I was the only person among my friends who’d ever heard of it, but so far, everyone I’ve told about it has already been familiar with the activity. So I guess I was just out of the loop on this one. Moving on.

Anyway, I put on the purple pants to add more flowy fabric into my movements, and I like the way they turned out even though the purples don’t quite match. This was actually the first outfit I wore, and these were some of the first photos I took; I realized after the fact that I needed to move the camera back some as a lot of these shots do not capture all the fabric in the frame. Bugs me a little bit, but I liked many of the shots enough to use them anyway.

I just realized I only have a few from this costume so far; much more to come. It may not be until the  weekend when I have time to work with more editing but I know I have more to edit from this section of the shoot.

I blurred the edges because I felt it made the cut off material look more intentional. Not sure that’s gonna fool anyone though.

What can I say – I could not be any happier with how these curtain sheers worked with the camera.

So just two for today. I am itching right this second to dig into the RAW files and find a few more to edit before posting, but I know it’s going to throw me off schedule if I do that, because I will get so engrossed in the work I won’t get myself to bed on time or anything. So I will have to be happy with only sharing two photos today. More later though! There are wigs and Mardi Gras masks involved in the next set of shots!

The purple series

Oh Lord have mercy, I have a ton of these I want to edit. I think I might actually do it this time, instead of saying that then getting bored after processing 4 or 5. I’ve already processed 14 of them – using a backdrop that required no editing and sticking to the basics when processing helped to move things along for me. Plus, when I’m all dolled up in costume I feel no one wants to see 30 pictures of me in the same outfit just moving my arms a different way; with the purple sheers, it’s more about the shapes the fabric make than anything I might be wearing, so I think that gives this set more longevity. If that makes sense.

And by the way, I woke up with sore shoulders from all the steaming I had to do the night before to get the wrinkles out of both the backdrop and the sheers. I did get my husband to move the backdrop all the way up to the ceiling, and after all the work I did on it I am just leaving it up for now. No way am I folding it back up right away and creating more wrinkles! So, when I turned my studio back into an office I left the backdrop up and kept the pictures that usually hang there off the wall. The more I get into this photography stuff, the less office-like my office looks, and the more it transforms into some crazy photographer’s messy, chaotic work space. Oh well.

For reference, here’s how wrinkled everything was right out of the boxes – I took some test shots Saturday night, and yes I was in a pair of swim shorts because it was so freaking hot that day – but you can see how much better everything turned out after steaming (although according to my husband I have damaged the sheetrock by steaming the backdrop right up against the wall; didn’t have the heart to tell him I’ve been doing that regularly for the past two years):

This entire set needs Botox.

I did do a few outfit changes, although they were slight, so perhaps I’ll try to upload over the next few days by collecting the different looks together – but in many of them, you can’t tell what I’m wearing anyway. For today’s installment, I didn’t have much of a ‘costume’ on with the sheers at all, just black tights and a black leotard, and a black wig cap to hold my hair in place. (Moment of vanity here – the leotard was a weird fit on me, as things like that always are due to my long torso/short legs body type. The way it was pulling on me made me look much thicker around the middle than I actually am; my waistline was pretty much disguised, and I readily admit that there are a few cool shots I passed over because I looked, well, chunky. And yes, I did try to edit my waist into the shots, but you could tell. Moving on.)

I love how tall this one made me look, and the balance of the feet peeking out on one side, and then the opposite hand. Totally accidental on my part, of course.

Love the shape this one created.

This reminded me of an octopus, or a flower. The two do have things in common, you know.

For fun, I’ll go ahead and throw this B&W in here. The photo itself wasn’t all that thrilling, but I did like how I came out looking like some sort of sad, gothy sea-creature, so I thought a little monochrome might add to that mood. Throw in some overlays and textures via good old Pixlr, and there you go. Nice and spooky for Halloween.


I did make a collage of all these with the idea of sharing them in one shot, by the way – but I do not like how small it makes each picture. I prefer to share these full size, or as full size as they ever are when I post them on the blog. For a true high-quality copy you can check out my Flickr page, but I only post one photo there per day.So much more to come from this set!