Guess what I did today??

I used my manicured nails to scrape $12 from the bottom of my bank account and bought a few Photoshop Action. PS actions, and PS in general is all new to me. I’m SO not used to having a handy dandy “easy” button set up to do my editing for me. So you can understand my excitement at having a time saver at my finger tips. Worth the $12 in my book! Which is the only book that matters.

DEFINITION OF PHOTOSHOP ACTION: An Action is a recording of a series of Commands in Photoshop to which you apply a name. Later on, you can play that recording back on a different file and have Photoshop do your work for you.

JAKE’S DEFINITION OF PHOTOSHOP ACTION: Woooooooooooo! A time saver! Lawd have mercy, a time saver! 

For those of you who know me understand how precious time is to me. By the time my head hits the pillow at night I am usually negative time. (Ah shit! I was supposed to give the kids a bath! I knew I forgot something…) So I usually get all giddy and swollen and out of breath when I discover something that saves me time. Can you imagine how excited I was when I discovered that crockpots were a thingFugetaboudit!

Remember a post I did a few months ago about Horse Photography? I spoke longingly about merging my two greatest loves in Photography: Horses and Fine art. I’m pretty good at my normal (read: boring) shoots, i.e. Maternity, family etc. But the money is really what gets my ass to sit down and edit.

When I do a Fine Art shoot everything is different. There is excitement, makeup artists, weeks of planning, models, sets, elaborate outfits and so so so much inspiration. And when I do these kinds of shoots I am dying to sit down and edit them. My studio/office calls to me throughout the day until I finally give in (and usually abandon an important project or chore. Meh). 

I went off topic (I’m harebrained. Sue me). My point is that PS actions might be that thing that will help me merge my two photography niches!

I asked my friend Julia to model for me (For more about Julia, scratch and sniff here), and her horse Pluto. She obliged because she is awesome and because old fisherman tell tales about my awesome editing skills in old, stinky bars by the sea. It’s true.

My vision was of a powerful sorcerous and her trusty steed, calm and collected, while she holds a ball of flaming magic.

HOT DAMN! We got the shot almost immediately!

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I wanna throw in a disclaimer real quick: I DID NOT just throw the photoshop action on top of this photo (as gorgeous as it is). I worked on this photo for days using several different editing programs. And then when I was 100% happy with it, I added the action. absolutely don’t want to become reliant on the ease of using actions (I used BOLD and italicize to provide emphasis Peons. Did you feel it?)

Now that that is out of the way, allow me to present you with the final piece.

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Damn I’m good!

My plan now is to recruit a few other horse owners and convince them to let me turn them into scenes from a fantasy story book.

Editing is life Peons! Learn it!

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes I love my weird brain. Sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes my brain says “Hey! Let’s recreate the four elements using sexy models!”

Cool idea, brain!!

Sometimes my brain says “Hey bitch, you’re gonna find a sexy model, somehow convince her to follow you into a creepy abandoned building in the middle of bum fuck Egypt, and throw cups of baby powder at her face”.

Um…..what?

“Yup! Convince that hoe this needs to happen”

So as you can see, my stupid brain wouldn’t stop nagging me until I made this happen. And I’ve learned to listen to my weird brain, after all, it was the one who told me to start this blog.

Que model Leilani Mallet. She and I have worked together before. Leilani is up for anything! At our last shoot we snuck onto a movie set, snapped some shots, and then got kicked out. Fun times.

We prepared for such shenanigans this time around. We packed water, baby powder, extra outfits, music, baby wipes, coconut oil (which somehow fixes everything) and camera equipment, and headed out.

My vision was for an elegantly dancing woman, surrounded by rubble and destruction, making scary monster faces. I envisioned darkness, black and white, depth, emotion, grace. But rarely do photo shoots turn out the way I plan.

My cousin and auntie volunteered their time and help for this shoot (thank gawd!) and they scouted out several locations for me days prior.

I told Katherine I wanted dark, scary, abandoned and dilapidated. Boy did she deliver!

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Especially on the scary part.

We used three separate locations. Each had its own charm. The first was a gorgeous run down “house” full of debri, rusty nails sticking straight up out of the floor, insulation falling on us from the ceiling and glass everywhere. It was amazing.

Leilani dressed in a black leotard and we got to work. I asked her for “Beautiful body, ugly face”

This is what she gave me:

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Gorgeous! But it was still brighter than I wanted. Time constrictions forced us to shoot during the day. Nothing a little photo shop can’t fix!

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Boom!

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And boom!

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And boom x3!

The next location was only a few miles away and we drove there with excitement. Little did we know we’d arrive at satan’s armpit with all the undue excitment of children going to the dentist for the first time.

The beautiful graffiti on the walls belied the disgustingness of this awful place; dirty underwear littered the floor, accompanied by millions of glass shards, more debri, and an old mattress that I’m sure has seen some awful shit. And wouldn’t you know, we even found a bum’s last meal.

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Mmmmm.

I needed Leilani barefoot for this shoot. And I’m so lucky my assistants brought a broom with them.

As we went spelunking deeper into the abyss (trying not to catch an STD in the process) we happened upon a lovely brick wall. White. A pure white brick wall people. 

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Ok so it was not in my vision to have white. But I somehow loved the look, and I immediately saw the potential.

Leilani changed into a white leotard, we swept the floor and got to work.

My two assistants, Katherine and Teresa stood off to the sides holding cups of baby powder to throw at Leilani. Some shots came out PERFECT.


Others….not so much.

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We are not professional powder throwers.

What was perfect about this shoot was that Leilani gave her all. If I asked her to jump, she jumped (I cringed at the sound of her feet hitting the concrete painfully). If I asked her to contort her body but keep her face serene, she did it.

Sweat was pouring down her face, covered in baby powder, muscles sore, surrounded by societies cast offs and a homeless man’s ball sweat.

But not once did she complain. Bless her heart.

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We were surrounded by destruction, as I had planned, but I hadn’t planned on creating such beauty in the thick of it. We were essentially in the forgotten parts of the world. A house once loved and warm, now abandoned and hopeless.

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I’d like to think we brought some forgotten happiness to those locations as we tried our damndest to make it worth something.

We could see what we had accomplished, even as the powder created balls of dough in our noses.

Let me know what you think of Leilani in the comments!

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Happy shooting! Happy editing!