The Black and White Treatment.

Life is very busy at the moment – lots of distractions – and I am having difficulty keeping focus on progressing my photography. Often at times like this I go over my older stuff with the intent of giving the old stuff a make over – edit them in a different way to produce something new; I quite like messing around in Photoshop and Lightroom so this quite suits me, although some might say that I should just get out and take some different photographs but somehow with everything else (life) going on it is not always that simple. I am off to Normandy in a few weeks and I have great plans for that trip so watch this space. In the meantime I have been going over my old (2011) Northumberland photos and thought that I would share with you some that I have converted to Monochrome (mostly black and white but I do like the toned effect too) within the Photoshop plug-in Nik Silver Efex pro. I really like these – I wouldn’t be showing you otherwise – and they have had lots of positive feedback when I have posted them on 500px, Pinterest, Facebook, Fine Art America and Photo4Me, so I hope that you like them too.

Lobster pots stacked on the quayside.

Lobster pots stacked on the quayside.

Abstract river flow - water taking on a milky form through long exposure.

Abstract river flow – water taking on a milky form through long exposure.

Statue of Field Marshall Viscount Hugh Gough, K.P., GCB, GCSI, PC, who fought many campaigns oversees, now situated at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.

Statue of Field Marshall Viscount Hugh Gough, K.P., GCB, GCSI, PC, who fought many campaigns oversees, now situated at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.

Statue of Field Marshall Viscount Hugh Gough, K.P., GCB, GCSI, PC, who fought many campaigns oversees, now situated at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.

Statue of Field Marshall Viscount Hugh Gough, K.P., GCB, GCSI, PC, who fought many campaigns oversees, now situated at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.

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Warkworth Castle, Northumberland.

I love Northumberland and will go back there to capture its natural beauty again but converting to black and white or toning the images give the images a different dimension based on tone and contrast, light and shade rather than colour which changes how we view them.

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Photo project – three of a kind.

The camera club that I belong to Beeston Camera Club is always on the lookout for new and interesting ways in which to engage the members in activities as well as turn up for the great variety of interesting and varied speakers which have been hand-picked from fine photographers from near and far. One such activity was to create a photo project which was to be constructed from three separate photographs. We were sent some examples but the brief was very open (and essentially open to interpretation). The resulting works were presented to the members at a “members evening” last Thursday, the 11th February 2016. Several members produced works for the event. The result was wonderfully diverse in terms of interpretation. I contributed five works and had great fun doing them – here they are:-

Triptych 1

This was my first attempt. It is made up of the same image but in the three instances the image was given a different treatment in Photoshop with Nik Color Efex pro  4 and Nik Silver Efex pro 2 plugins.

Triptych Tulips

Next, I decided to use some square images that I had produced. This time it is three separate images/compositions and they were given different treatments in Photoshop and Nik Plugins. It started as just the three squares but it looked a bit long and thin so I extended the canvas above and below and coloured the extensions black. I think that it looks quite effective, but then I don’t let ’em out until I am happy with them! I was only going to enter one and this was my choice, but was encouraged to send more, so I sent my first work together with three further works after contributing this one.

Saint Emilion, one of the great Bordeaux wine regions and a beautiful place to visit. Saint Emilion is found to the North-east side of the City of Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France.

Saint Emilion, one of the great Bordeaux wine regions and a beautiful place to visit. Saint Emilion is found to the North-east side of the City of Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France.

I thought of a wine theme with this one. The larger background image is of Saint Emilion, the very famous wine region – part of the Larger Bordeaux region in Aquitaine, France. I have been there several times now and it is always a pleasure. It is a beautiful village, even if you are not interested in wine you will enjoy a visit. The grapes on the vine was actually taken outside of Bordeaux (not far) in a village called Villeneurve de Duras in the Cotes de Duras wine area, not far from Bergerac – it is one of my best sellers on Shutterstock and has sold all over the world. (I did take some photographs in the centre of St. Emilion and some of those have sold too). The third photograph was a still life photograph that I made and then put it through Smart Photo software from Anthropics to give it an older look.

 

A mixture of Oxalis, Kerria and Clover on a textured background.

A mixture of Oxalis, Kerria and Clover on a textured background.

A while ago I went out and picked some flowers – the Oxalis and the Keria grow in my garden – the clover from the Local nature reserve and I photographed them on a white high-key background in a light tent. The textured background was the back of a red granite grave stone. I changed the blending properties on that layer and altered the opacity (and probably the brightness). The flowers were placed onto the background by copy and pasting them.

Turbulence in Water - Abstract

Turbulence in Water – Abstract

Finally, the theme for this one was waterfalls. The background image was an abstract of flowing water from Aira force, approachable from the north side of Ullswater, Cumbria. Aira Force is a National Trust managed series of lots of waterfalls. The image in portrait format with the bridge is the first substantial waterfall that you come across as you ascend Aira Force – I would have been happy with just this one, but there are more falls – lots more culminating in a huge wide torrent at the top. The other photograph was taken at Watersmeet near Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon and is within the Exmoor National park.

I am sure that I haven’t done my last three in one composition; I enjoyed myself so much with this photography project that I am keen to explore more possibilities – why don’t you give it a try?

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.

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Paris 2013

Paris 2013 by paul2210
Paris 2013, a photo by paul2210 on Flickr.

My wife and I went to Paris in October of 2013. No trip to Paris would be complete without a photograph of Notre Dame Cathedral. The usual view is of the twin towers to the front of the Cathedral but I quite like this view made on a beautifully sunny day. A visit to Paris is thoroughly recommended – I’ll certainly go back given the slightest opportunity.

Warkworth

Warkworth by paul2210
Warkworth, a photo by paul2210 on Flickr.

The river Coquet as it runs through Warkworth. This photograph was taken using a Canon 20D which had been converted for Infra-red. The camera was loaned to me (and everyone else in turn) by Lee Frost. I was on one of his courses in Northumberland. The IR camera gives a strange colour cast but I have made this one “Antique” Monochrome using Lightroom 5.