Launch of Ann Hoddinott, Artist website

I am pleased to announce the launch of my latest website design project; Ann is an accomplished artist who exhibits widely and wanted a portfolio style website to promote her wonderful, Ann Hoddinott

Clean, sophisticated and striking are a few words to describe the finished site. It has been an enjoyable experience working with Ann and I hope to design more websites for artists in the future.


Figs (part one)

I have been working on a new series of images, all about figs. After gorging on them straight from the sun warmed tree back in early September I set about trying to capture them. These three images are my ‘high-key’ images, with a more moody take still to be processed and shown…enjoy!figfig fig

Lavender and lenses

lavender field, SauzetLavender field near Salles sous BoisI had a great time in early June trying out a new lens,10-24mm nikkor, for my Nikon on these lavender fields in France. All of my shots were taken a bit too early in the season for the flower heads to be as intense as I would have liked. But as they say, beggars can’t be choosers, and I hope that these images are just as enjoyable.

Photographing the Open Studios WBNH 2015 flagship exhibition

I have had the great honour of photographing the Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire’s flagship exhibition, “INSIGHT 2015” for their publicity.
It is an exciting and vibrant exhibition showcasing the work of over 100 artists taking part located at the gallery, New Greenham Arts Centre, Newbury. The exhibition runs from 2nd – 25th May, on view are a wide range of art works.

Insight5 Moscow

Coverage of this exhibition can also be found on: Buzz magazine online

Book cover project, part three

Anna Nagel has asked me to create cover images for her book called Fair Game. In this third and final part I am going to show the text overlaid onto the images created and processed first in Adobe Lightroom, using Adobe Photoshop. Links here to read part one and part two of the book cover project.

Taking the exported jpgs and opening them in Photoshop I started to think like a graphic designer. Here the importance was for the text to work with the image not against it. Most authors who self publish look to Amazon and Kindle to offer their work to the world. There are guidelines that you can follow when sizing your image ready to be a digital book cover. A ratio of 1:6 seems to be popular, but I found it easier to work to large and small thumbnail dimensions, 2500px x 1563px and 65px x 100px. The prefered file type is jpg set to RGB, as these images will be seen on screen rather than print where you would use a CMYK profile. The over-riding factor was that the text had to be perceivable at the smallest thumbnail size.

Fair Game1_skia
Fair Game1_thumbnail

Starting with cover image 1 I tried various fonts to show Anna. My gut told me that Cochin worked better, but I wanted to show her a sans-serif font (Skia) so she could compare the styles. Also I have swapped the position of title and author name, again to provide an opportunity for comparing.

Fair Game thumbnail 2

Fair Game2_thumbnail_bw

With cover 2, I had left lots of space at the bottom of the image for it to be filled with the title and author name. Drop shadows behind both lines helped the words ‘lift off’ the image. A final consideration was how the cover image translated into black and white. A large proportion of users have Kindles or e-readers that can only display greyscale.

The decision is up to the client, Anna, and I can only hope that I have given her enough to make an informed choice. Of course final changes will inevitably be made and rightly so, after all this is a creative process and by it’s nature evolves.

Anna has asked people to vote for their favorite with a chance to win a copy of the book,

Follow Anna on Facebook.

Fair Game is available through Amazon follow this link, or on Goodreads follow this link.

Book cover project, part two

Anna Nagel has asked me to create images for her book called Fair Game. In this second part I am going to show the initial images that I edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. In part three I will finish by showing the text overlaid onto them.

My start point is to process the .NEF files generated by my Nikon D7000 in Adobe Lightroom. The image was shot in natural daylight (10 secs @f22 ISO100 50mm). I firstly correct any chromatic lens aberration and upright the perspective. Then I lightly sharpen, white balance to Daylight, check white clipping (this is shown on the ‘before’ picture as red), remove any dust or spots. Finally I reduced the saturation, so the orange fabric wasn’t too harsh and dodged a little light back into the tarot cards.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 15.02.03
Screen shot of book cover 1 in Adobe Lightroom

The second image was also shot in natural daylight (10 secs @f29 ISO100 56mm). I repeated the steps that I completed for the first image. I finished by burning the highlight on the wood to the left of the image, so the wood was more evenly balanced all over and increased the shadow alongside the right of the lavender.

screen shot of book cover 2 in Lightroom
Screen shot of book cover 2 in Adobe Lightroom

I export the images as Jpgs and open them in Adobe Photoshop.

Anna has been talking about this process from her point of view, why not take a look here, Or follow her on Facebook.

Fair Game is available through Amazon follow this link, or on Goodreads follow this link. Next time I will show you how I added the text elements into the images in Adobe Photoshop.