Such a silly, simple camera toy – a small glass ball, costing about $8. But, great fun to take a photograph or ten through, until the novelty wears off, just as the technique is mastered. These came out a little differently using the infrared modifed camera as the light doesn’t reflect on surfaces in quite the usual way. Done with it for now, but I might revisit a few monuments with it, it functions as an extremely wide angle lens, so quite good for the kind of places that you usually can’t quite fit in due to other buildings and such.
Well, I won a part of a bigger thing, the macro segment of The 2018 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year. I’ve not won anything like this before, possibly because I’ve timidly not entered any infrared macro photos in any competitions. There’s even a nice prize lens coming my way.
So check this months D-Photo magazine, turn to page 42 and, look, it’s my butterfly, among some other darn fine photos all plucked from the 13,000+ entries in the competition overall this year.
When I bought a Surface Pro I romantically imagined drawing directly to the screen as I traveled; drinking in cafes by the Seine, jet-setting through airports and all that. And, this will be feasible eventually, digital sketching turns out to be just as much hard work as any other way of drawing. Just a little less messy.
Working in a new medium is always a mix of lovely and awful. I’ve been taking the tablet to a weekly drawing portrait group I attend for a couple of months now. While still mild torture (I miss you charcoal) the processing is slowly becoming fun-ish.
After much practicing with different programmes, I settled on Autodesk’s Sketchbook as having the best interface for drawing live. Photoshop is just too fiddly for quick brush changes and such with out a keyboard, and Sketchbook lets you work in layers (so an under sketch to paint over is possible), as well as having a interface easy to manage with just a pen, a nice selection of so-called natural media brushes available anda fair amount of control over how they perform.
Here’s a couple of examples, each about 1 1/2 hours drawing time, from live models.
Another week, another puppet finished – in a little over a week Late Night Puppets will be opening in Wellington, part of the 2018 Fringe Festival. It’s a playful improvised show, with as the title suggests, a few puppets in it, as well as a bunch of human friends. Most of the puppets found me through ebay, but a few, five or six if I keep sewing, will be puppets I’ve made.
Here’s Cinnamon or Caramel or Ginger (he/she goes by various names), whose arms were stitched on just in time for today’s training session.
The eyes are from a $1 toy found in a charity shop, with added doll eyes replacing the original black spots. I felt vaguely guilty about cutting up a creature just for the eyes, so also reused the fabric horns, and made a blue and pink tongue out of one of the original legs.
In pieces on Friday
This little bee’s grooming routine on my hotel balcony was like some kind of impressively athletic workout.
35mm macro lens, IR modified camera, f/9 1/250 iso 320
And here, a much less elegant pose
Hmm, even at life drawing classes, when there’s a whole person to draw, I seem to be most enjoying just drawing the face at the moment. The model today had a nicely classical sort of profile, with one of those scrubby little beards that are so irritating to draw quickly.
Charcoal on A3 brown paper, 15 min sketch
I spent last weekend in Christchurch, a city justly famous for it’s blossom-tree filled parks. Thinks look just a little different in the near infrared: branches about to burst with buds are glowing already, and sometimes colours sharply different in daylight aren’t (magnolias for egs, the dark dark purple kind and the white kind, both look the same).
Duck Lake, closeup blossom and a Field of not-golden daffodils, all with the 35mm lightweight macro lens which has become my go-to holiday lens choice.