Thorn

My introduction, and photography

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Hello,

I'm new here so thought i'd introduce myself a bit. Figured, what better way than to show some of my work?

The short version would be something like: Scandinavian Objectivist, enforcer, lawyer, photographer and aspiring artiste. My friends would call me a dog. I say i'm wonderful. ;)

I have a degree in digital graphics, but never worked with it professionally. I prefer working on my own things, when I need to, and i'm not good enough yet to pick and choose.

A few years ago I took up photography as a new, fun, hobby. Bought my dads Nikon D90 and went with it. Got a new D7000 a year later. Sold everything off last summer, to go off and see the world a bit. I also needed to focus more on my drawing and painting skills. Still do.

Anyhow...

This is my first successful photograph. It was a real bitch to take. Imagine crawling on all fours trying to aim the camera and direct theese tiny little bugs. The don't take direction very well. With a 60mm macro lense you also have to get really, really close. All the while you have gusts of wind ruining every shot. Well, almost every shot...

whz787.jpg

I wanted the lovely golden light juxtaposed with silver. It took quite a while to get the right silver grey..

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And here's more of that silver

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My favorite color. I like how the shadows in the center of the flower adds drama, and danger... It's beautiful, but I wouldn't want to touch it.

2elt3yq.jpg

This flower would be more calm, reflective and introspective...

2khcep.jpg

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Here's from my first studio shoot. Met this awesome lady who runs two photo studios and models for photo shoots. It was an interesting study in all of the things that can go wrong. Still, I managed a couple of decent shots.

Ironically, on the best one the flash didn't fire (that's why it's so noisy)

[Note from MSK 7-24-2017: There was an ad complaint about the photo below, so it was changed to the link only.]

http://i58.tinypic.com/24zhe6h.jpg

Here it did fire.

6oevxu.jpg

I used only one large beauty dish for the lighting. I like how the beauty dish gives brilliant highlights and well defined shadows. In retrospect though, I might have adjusted the position of the light to get a prettier shadow under the nose. Still, I think there's a certain beauty in simple, clear lighting. The more typical, formulaic, 3-point lighting approach often yields boredome and smoothed out forms.

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This is my favorite shot. I had just bought a new lense, Nikon's 180mm f/2,8, and went out for a walk to try it out. Mid day, bright sunlight, a lovely walk... but, well. not ideal conditions for photography. Timing, framing and lighting was off on just about every shot.

Thankfully I don't suffer from puritanical delusions regarding photography. Meaning, I don't mind some heavy editing. Actually, i'd do some voodoo and sacrifice a goat if it helps. Though usually, I just stick to Photoshop. In this case, if I remember correctly, I converted it to my own pantone color scheme, overlaid a rusted metal texture and built a black and white filter in Filter Forge. I like how it turned out.

2eewr2o.jpg

I'll end this with a few shots of the worlds coolest animal.

Bright sunny day again. This one took very little editing. Sometimes bright noon-day sun is the best you can get. Notice how the full spectrum light brings clarity and subtle color variations).

2r7uhk5.jpg

...or dramatic shadows. I think they were acting out some kind of play. Never got what it was about, but seemed interesting.

246a07o.jpg

And finally.

10ggt2u.jpg

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I'll end this with a few shots of the worlds coolest animal.

...or dramatic shadows. I think they were acting out some kind of play. Never got what it was about, but seemed interesting.

Welcome to OL...nothing like a slam dunk entry...

Beautiful shots.

As to the Lemur's, were you fortunate enough to be on Madagascar, or were you at a zoo?

I love shadows in pictures. In that shot where the flash "failed," it succeeded. The shadows add a sultriness to the models beauty that is quite powerful.

Then again it is a matter of personal tastes and appetites.

Thanks, you do good work.

A...

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Thank you for the warm welcome! :)

Unofrtunately I shot the lemurs at the zoo. It would have been cool to go to Madagascar to shoot them. Although i'm not sure they would be as friendly in the wild. Being eaten by angry lemurs would be a bad way to die. ;)

Speaking of which, I just noticed that Internet Explorer and Chrome display the images differently (I think IE ignores the embedded ICC-profiles). In the first lemur shot I must have gotten the versions mixed up, because there's a slightly lighter dark value in the black background that should have been edited out.

There are other slight differences in Chrome. In the second lemur shot the added film graind is more visible, which it should be.

And speaking of grain, here's a tip to all photographers here. Take a look at AlienSkin Exposure. It's a plugin for Photoshop that simulates real film. Works nicely if you quickly want to try different looks. But the best part, I think, is that it has "real" film grain. Why is that good, you might ask?

Well, first of all. If you have larger areas with flat color or, worse, grey your image might look more lifeless and booring than you intended. With a little variation you might get more visual interest. Secondly, it looks more organic. And lastly, maybe you just want that specific look. If you ever meet someone who works in movie post-production, ask them about grain (but only if you have a lot of time to sit in for a lecture :D ).

In the second lemur shot I wanted to go for a look that reminded of an old black and white film. Found some film stock in AlienSkin that I adjusted to my liking, and it added that grain that I think reinforces the look. :)

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Thank you guys! :)

I hope you do pick up the camera bag! I find it one of the most satisfying things in the world to just take the camera bag, and then walk or drive in some random direction - photographing anything that looks interesting.

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Thom, excellent work. That double bug picture is amazing. With the second in the corner, the balance is just right. The patience it took to get them both in the same shallow focus plane. The girl is great too. Yes, ditch those lights and strobes for window light, for mood work, I think.

I also have a d7000 among my bodies (as well as too many lenses for one man) and youve brought out the best of its performance.

There's already a well known Thom in photography, an American - bythom is his website. He's one of those who likes sharing his techniques in excellent articles.

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Thank you!

It was actually "guide light" (or whatever it's called) on the strobe that lit the girl in that image. Though the beaty dish gives rather straight light beams, which might be what gives the illusion on window light. I was lucky to have placed the light so close to her, and not using a grid as I initially intended.

I liked both the D90 (some of the shots are from that camera body) and the D7000. The D7000 got rid of the softness that annyoed me with the D90, and gave better noise performance and spectral characteristics. Great camera, especially now that you can find used ones for cheap.

While I don't think cameras matter that much, I think the next one will be a full frame sensor. I'd love to get a medium format camera, but it's either too expensive or too inconvinient. I love the focus transitions on bigger sensors though.

Thom Hogan is a great source of information. I really like his site. Even though i'm Thorn, not Thom. :)

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Hell, I guess this is as good a place as any to post some unique photos...

chicken-church-by-the-sea-madeira-beach-

The Chicken Church a-hen-that-lays-golden-eggs-smiley-emoti

house-with-suspicious-face.jpg?w=800&h=5

A Suspicious house in Prague?

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Bewildered banjo?

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Level headed?

And 46 more...

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/05/50-faces-in-everyday-places/

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The eyes have it.

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PS

Keep your lenses and get a D810 before deciding to spend 50k on a medium format.

Yes, that's indeed sound advice. I'm not really serious about going medium format. It's too expensive and inconventient. Aesthetically though, medium formats has beautiful gradations and focus transitions.

Now, i've spent the summer travelling europe with only my Sony Xperia Z3 as a camera. I'll use the photos as reference for landscape paintings, once i've digested it all.

Right now i'm working on a digital sculpture, a draugr king:

2zoxjxy.jpg

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Welcome to the board, Thom. You are obviously a talented and productive artist. Your comment in another topic on the perception (or misperception) of color inspired me to post a new item under Epistemology.

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How did that guy manage to shave?

--Brant

A fair question... he died just after shaving. ;)

On a more serious note, it's a work in progress that will have a full body, clothing, hair and maybe even a beard - once finished. I got some inspiration from Norse mythology, the ring wraiths from the Lord of the Rings and Manfred Kielnhofers 'Guardians of Time' (if you haven't seen it, google it - his work is so friggin cool and creepy! :) ).

I haven't decided yet where exactly i'll go with this, yet. It's just for fun, and sculpture is what I love the most. :)

Welcome to the board, Thom. You are obviously a talented and productive artist. Your comment in another topic on the perception (or misperception) of color inspired me to post a new item under Epistemology.

Thank you! I don't recall posting anything on the topic of color (though I find it a fascinating topic, so I migh very well have said something about it). Would you mind guiding me to the comment and your topic?

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Terrific work with the digital sculpture! I had to look up the topic, not having ever had my hands on any software.

For those wondering about the difficulty, power and finesse of digital sculpting, a brief overview ...

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That's a very good explanation of digital sculpting. Today (that video is from 2007, so there's been some development) it's become more like working with digital clay - if you want to work that way. What I mean is that you can stort from, say, a sphere and manipulate it very freely with different brushes. You can merge objects, or remove material, similar to adding slabs of clay. Or build something like an armature on which to add material and sculpt it (there are many different workflows).

For example, my bust started with a sphere for the head and a cylinder for the neck. From that I created a very basic bust without features. I carved in eye-sockets, added a cylinder for the maxilla and boxes for the nose and zygmatic bone. Like this:

311wem9.jpg

This kind of software has been revolutionary for the games and visual effects industry. In the beginning there was polygon modelling (still in use today) where you manipulated faces, edges and vertex points to shape the object. Quite fidgety and difficult to work with a lot of detail. With subdivision-modelling you divided all the faces a number of times, to get more resolution and smoother surfaces. These surfaces were hard to manipulate though, and they demand a lot of computing power.

Along comes Pixologic with their software Zbrush, that suddenly can handle millions of polygons on modest hardware. On top of that they have really nice sculpting tools and the software takes a lot of the technical work out the way, to enable artists to work more freely and focus on the artistic aspects. Suddenly artists had all this power in their hands to create amazing artwork, that could be used in production.

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I am astounded, not so much by the technology (though there is that), but by your use of it. To give me the same software would be to give paints to a chimpanzee.

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Yup sculptris as a plugin for zbrush, fun stuff, I Also have Cinema4D but have been focusing on my photography for the last couple years.

I prefer the Dynamesh function in Zbrush, as the Sculptris-bridge is so unstable.

Haven't tried C4D yet but lately i've been thinking of ditching Autodesk in favor of Maxon. I don't like the way Autodesk handles their applications. For example, it took until Maya 2016 for them to update the polygon modelling tools. And for some reason it seems they're forcing their applications into certain niches. Like Maya for games and animation, and 3DStudio for rendering and visualisation.

Since i'd rather not use both Maya and 3DStudio (i'd rather not use 3DStudio at all since I find very clunky to work with), i'm looking for alternatives. And C4D looks interesting.

I am astounded, not so much by the technology (though there is that), but by your use of it. To give me the same software would be to give paints to a chimpanzee.

Thank you!

To answer your question in your PM, I have just registered on Deviantart and put up a gallery there:

http://alexitq.deviantart.com/

And here's my latest piece as well:

4jq5u0.jpg

This is what I find so fun with working in digital. I was going through and testing some brushes in Photoshop. Found this one that had a pretty cool texture, so I doodled around with it, and... well, it's like a Rorschach-test or like staring at clouds - you start seeing things, and then you can start to develop them. Works in traditional media as well, but it's more cumbersome and wastes a lot of material.

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