Lilies, Sunflowers and Gerbera.

I rather like photographing flowers, so I decided to buy some and do just that. The ones that appealed to me the most out of those available on the day were a mixed bunch which included Lilies, Sunflowers, Gerberas and some kind of Brassica which I must admit didn’t seem quite so photogenic! I was inspired, in part, by an article written by Lee Frost in one of the magazines about creating “Fine Art” flower photographs, so armed with said magazine, flowers and various other props, I went ahead and here is what I came up with:-

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a White background profile view.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a White background profile view.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a black background.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a black background.

I was quite pleased with the result but I wondered what they would look like in black and white:-

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

(looks better on a full screen and without the watermark, as you might expect)

I then decided (some time later) to have a play with some of the photographs in some photo manipulation software called “Smart Photo Editor” by Anthropics Technology Ltd – the Makers of Portrait Professional and again I was more than happy with the result. Smart Photo Editor allows you to put new skys, backgrounds, and make more adventurous editing changes with a couple of clicks. Many of the effects are a bit “over the top!” but you can get some good results if you don’t over do it:-

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a white background.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a white background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a watercolour style background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a watercolour style background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a red background and a dry brush paint effect.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a red background and a dry brush paint effect.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a oil painting  background.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a oil painting background.

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder; I like them and I hope that you do too, otherwise I wouldn’t be showing them to you – I don’t think that they will be to everyone’s taste but if you fancy having a play with some of you photographs on a dull rainy afternoon, you could do worse than giving it a try. Do a search for Smart Photo Editor or failing that, Anthropics and you can get a trial version for free. I think that the full price is £39.00 but they are always having sales and special offers – the last time I looked it was at the reduced price of £19.99. I have posted some of these on my Fine Art America page:-

My Fine Art America site.

Picfair.

One of the other things that I have been doing with my time recently is putting my photographs on a site called Picfair. Their tag line is “your pictures are valuable”, so I now have 461 photographs on there and more will follow. It is a stock site but it is not aimed at the out and out commercial buyer; there are many other reasons why people want images such as for personal or company blogs, publications, backgrounds for web pages, promotional materials but not for advertising such as billboards or pop-up adverts, or for incorporating into logos or merchandise. They have one licence for all and are open to amateurs and professionals alike. The way it works is that you join, put up your pictures, say how much you want for the licence which is on a royalty free basis, the buyer pays a bit on top of that and that is Picfairs way of making their money. You can charge anything from £1 to £1000 for the use of your images – your choice (although, there are not many at the higher end – most people charge between £3 and £30)

The site has a friendly feel to it and Benji Lanyado, the Founder and C.E.O. awards “Stars” to the photographs that he likes. These starred photographs gain extra prominence as you can specifically search for “starred” images. My last upload was awarded 17 stars and here are the images that Benji particularly liked:-

Impressionist style photograph of Saint Catherine's Chapel through the mist with Chesil beach in the background.

Impressionist style photograph of Saint Catherine’s Chapel through the mist with Chesil beach in the background.

Old posts standing resolutely strong against the wind and tide under a silver sky.

Old posts standing resolutely strong against the wind and tide under a silver sky.

The Sea out of context.

The Sea out of context.

Waterfall at Watersmeet, near Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon, England.

Waterfall at Watersmeet, near Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon, England.

Exmoor pony grazing in a fiels in Exmoor, England.

Exmoor pony grazing in a fiels in Exmoor, England.

Teasel Sihouette at Sunset.

Teasel Sihouette at Sunset.

Typical street scene in Arles, Provence with an old Restaurant, given a paint effect.

Typical street scene in Arles, Provence with an old Restaurant, given a paint effect.

Bamburgh Castle across the sands of Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland.

Bamburgh Castle across the sands of Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland.

The beautiful island of Eigg, one of the Western isles of Scotland in silhouette. Photograph given watercolor treatment.

The beautiful island of Eigg, one of the Western isles of Scotland in silhouette. Photograph given watercolor treatment.

Eilean Donan Castle in the blue hour Contre-jour after sunset. Originally taken on Fuji Velvia slide film and converted to digital. Seen from the Loch Duich side with Loch Alsh in the distance.

Eilean Donan Castle in the blue hour Contre-jour after sunset. Originally taken on Fuji Velvia slide film and converted to digital. Seen from the Loch Duich side with Loch Alsh in the distance.

Tree lined stream recorded in infra-red in spring time and given a sepia type tone.

Tree lined stream recorded in infra-red in spring time and given a sepia type tone.

Tree-lined pathway in monochrome from infra-red recording. Location - near Bossington, Somerset, England.

Tree-lined pathway in monochrome from infra-red recording. Location – near Bossington, Somerset, England.

Boathouse on Derwentwater, Near Keswick, Lake District national park, Cumbria. Portrait format.

Boathouse on Derwentwater, Near Keswick, Lake District national park, Cumbria. Portrait format.

Boathouse on Derwentwater, Near Keswick, Lake District national park, Cumbria.

Boathouse on Derwentwater, Near Keswick, Lake District national park, Cumbria.

Arthur - a listed building on Goonhilly downs, Cornwall, England. Arthur was built to track the Satellite Telstar and took part in the first live trans-atlantic television transmission.

Arthur – a listed building on Goonhilly downs, Cornwall, England. Arthur was built to track the Satellite Telstar and took part in the first live trans-atlantic television transmission.

Sunflower lit from behind.

Sunflower lit from behind.

Sunflower basking in the sun

Sunflower basking in the sun

These images, and all of my other photographs – many of which were also starred on previous uploads, can be found at:-

https://www.picfair.com/paulcullenphoto

Fine Art America.

Hello everyone,

it’s a while since you have heard from me I know, I’m sorry but I have been busy. One of the things that I have been busy with is “Fine Art America” postings. I have joined the site and so far, I have uploaded 180 photographs for sale. I am really excited because now, through Fine Art America, “things” can be made from my photographs – not just prints, canvases, framed prints and the like, useful things like phone covers (iPhone and Galaxy S phones only at the moment) Tote bags, shower curtains and even duvet covers!

I sort of discovered it by accident – well I knew that it existed but thought that it was a bit “high brow” because of the name, but I was doing some research and discovered that they turned paintings, photographs and other art works into things and I was hooked. There are hundreds of thousands of artists, photographers and digital artists have uploaded their work onto the site in digital form – the watercolourists and oil painters have scanned or photographed their work; I thoroughly recommend that you take a look whether you are buying or selling or just looking – it still costs nothing to look!

If you were interested in selling, there are at least two options:-

Free:- You get to post up to 25 works into your own account, you can set up galleries, and sell your work through the site – http://www.fineartamerica.com

You set your own prices, there is a base price for everything (how much it costs to produce the merchandise) and then you say how much you want over the top of that. If you make a sale, they pay through PayPal – so you would need a valid paypal account that can accept payments – but most people who have bought and sold through Ebay would have one of those.

You pay $30 a year:- In addition to the above, you get your own website which you can customise – so it doesn’t look like The Fine Art America site, you also get a share (5%) of the cost of the materials used to make the product that your buyer orders (Frames, mounts/matting, phone covers, bags, and so on. your web address is yourname.artistwebsites.com

mine is (‘Cos I paid the $30):-

http://johnpaul-cullen.artistwebsites.com/

In addition, if you decide to sell your images/pictures through their stock library you get another personal web address through pixels.com

If I have whetted your appetite for more, please follow the following link:-

 

scotland photographs for sale

u.k. photographs for sale

Latest additions to my Veer stock account – Saving for every eventuality!

I have taken a bit of interest in pigs recently; no, I don’t mean that I have taken up Pig farming, it is more that I have been photographing Piggy Banks and adding useful (I think) and illustrative text to them for the stock libraries. These are a few examples recently accepted onto my Veer account:-

Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif - University fees
Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif – University fees

Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif - Break in case of Emergency
Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif – Break in case of Emergency

Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif - Retirement fund
Black piggy bank and some coins with the motif – Retirement fund

Other examples can be found here. (Please click)

Vintage and Retro Photo Shoot.

I had the opportunity to attend a photo shoot last night with one of the local professional photographers, David J Severn who I met through the camera club that I have recently joined. There was a 1940’s and 1960’s theme to it. I haven’t worked with models very much and so I thought that it would be a good idea to get involved to build up my confidence. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and as he runs these sessions regularly, I plan to go again soon so watch this space….

In the meantime, here is a taste of last nights capture:-

Helen Mae Green 001 Helen Mae Green 002 Helen Mae Green 003 Helen Mae Green 004 Helen Mae Green 005 Helen Mae Green 006 Helen Mae Green 007 Helen Mae Green 008

 

Model and make up;- Helen May Green

http://www.lovebirdsvintage.co.uk/

Photographer:- Paul Cullen (Me)

Studio owned by/ Lights set up by:-  David J Severn

 

Lightroom Presets.

Hello,

I have just been working on some photographs of some flowers that I made a few weeks ago. Most of the photographs that I took were of a single red Gerbera flower from many different angles in natural light. I have the habit of taking lots of photographs with only very slight changes before moving onto bigger changes, and many of these photographs were looking a little too alike so I played with some of the Lightroom presets to get more different effects. I was quite pleased with these effects – the ones that I was most pleased with can be found at:-

https://500px.com/paulcullenphotography/sets/flowers

Here are some examples of the effects achieved:-

Original colours.

Original colours.

Selenium Tone

Selenium Tone

Original file.

Original file.

Red Hi-Contrast - one of the monochrome presets.

Red Hi-Contrast – one of the monochrome presets.

Now that you have an idea of the original colour scheme, I’ll just put in the adjustment/preset/changes used.

Cyanotype.

Cyanotype.

Black and white look 3.

Black and white look 3.

Yellow filter - the effect that you would have had putting a yellow  filter over a monochrome film

Yellow filter – the effect that you would have had putting a yellow filter over a monochrome film

Cross process 3 - each of the cross process presets  gives a different effect.

Cross process 3 – each of the cross process presets gives a different effect.

"Aged photo" preset.

“Aged photo” preset.

No preset - only adjustment of Clarity and Vibrance  -green background.

No preset – only adjustment of Clarity and Vibrance -green background.

Cold tone  - Red on Green background.

Cold tone – Red on Green background.

Split tone 2 - there are three native split tones. (On a green background)

Split tone 2 – there are three native split tones. (On a green background)

Bleach Bypass (Red on a green background).

Bleach Bypass (Red on a green background).

So there you are, 11 (13 if you count the reference images that I have put in at the beginning) different effects that you can achieve on similar images to make them stand out. There are many more, so I hope that I have given you the incentive to experiment with your own images to produce something vibrant.

The presets, found on the left hand side in “Develop mode” really just alter the adjustment controls on the Right hand side. You can broaden your scope even further with third party presets that you can buy or even get for free; alternatively, you could experiment with the right hand controls to create your own effects. Lightroom has the ability to save these “home grown” presets.

Haven’t got Lightroom? Don’t worry, other photo editing suites like Coral Paint Shop Pro and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite also have built in presets.

Latest Upload to the Stock Libraries.

I thought that my old coin collection may be of some interest to people from an educational point of view. I think that they could be of use for those completing History projects or other numismatic endeavors (That’s the study of coins – I had to look it up) so I decided to post some of them to the Microstock libraries. They have been accepted by Veer and I am still waiting to hear from Bigstock and Shutterstock. Here are photographs of some of the (I think) more interesting ones:-

Commemorative coin celebrating 50 years since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Face side.

Commemorative coin celebrating 50 years since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Face side.

Commemorative coin celebrating 50 years since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Reverse side.

Commemorative coin celebrating 50 years since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Reverse side.

American Dime 1929

American Dime 1929

fifty German pfennig 1940

fifty German pfennig 1940

Five Pfennig 1925

Five Pfennig 1925

Queens Silver Jubilee 1977

Queens Silver Jubilee 1977

Royal Engagement.

Royal Engagement.

 

Trash the Dress shoot.

I was invited to attend a “Trash the Dress” photo-shoot by a professional photographer called Bob Richards. He is a good friend of a good friend of mine, and now he is my friend – I digress!

The “Trash the Dress” event was created by photographers and their wedding clients who wanted to do something different with their wedding dresses than put it away in a box for ever. The concept of trash the dress is that you take your now redundant wedding dress and literally trash it; destroy it by going to somewhere really mucky – Beach, industrial wasteland, lake, muddy field, Scrap/junk yard – and you take photographs of the event happening – for posterity! At Bob’s event, he gathered together Models, Make-up artists and Photographer friends to take photographs and have fun at the same time. The venue was Colwick Country Park which is just to the east of the U.K. city of Nottingham. It is a beautiful place and it has a large lake in the middle of it. It also has a disused church at one end which came in useful for alternative shots. Here are just a few of the photographs that I took – more can be found by doing a search for “Paul Cullen Photography” in Facebook or searching “paul2210” in Flickr:-

Wendy Noble.

Wendy Noble.

MonikaV

MonikaV

Stephi

Stephi

Diane

Diane

Wendy.

Wendy.

Trash the Dress 22-07-14

The Lady of the Lake.

The Lady of the Lake.

Nicky.

Nicky.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC