Far Away From Home

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This image was created far away from my home. The first of many images I created on my Europe 2014 trip and will be included in our upcoming exhibition "Landscapes of the Soul" opening on 22 October 2014.

When I planned my trip, I had hoped to be able to create some images along the way. I even packed a prop dress and carried that around in my backpack every day.

Many of the locations and sights I wanted to see were the types of places I dream about… medieval castles, ancient ruins and magical gardens. Although I had many hopes of being able to create images, I was not sure I would actually have the opportunity or that the environment would allow for it. Little did I realise when I set out that I would be able to create way more than I could ever have imaged.

So, there I was running around Europe changing into my prop dress in public, dodging tourists and security guards and created image after image. I am sure many of the images I shot will go no further than files stored on my hard drive, but the memory of creating the worlds of my dreams will stay with me forever.

This image was taken at the Silchester Roman Amphitheatre in the UK.

The inspiration and story of this image was exactly how I felt at that exact moment… I came across this little scene by the amphitheatre, with the house poking out of the trees, and I felt instantly enchanted and magical.

Thank you to my cousin and her family for bringing me to Silchester and waiting patiently while I ran around like a fairytale character. Picking and eating blackberries from the bushes along the way was an added bonus.

For me it seemed like I did surprisingly little manipulation to this image. As you can see from the before image, I did some bits of compositing:

  • I added a dress flip and hair flip to add movement and create a sense of haste.

  • I also corrected my hand that was holding the remote.

  • Then I removed the electric wire and my bra straps that were showing.

The major work on this image was to expand the frame. Being in somewhat of a hurry, I did not focus as much as I should have on taking the additional shots needed to do the expansion. This meant I really had to piece things together quite a bit. Nothing like a bit of practice though and I’ll be getting lots of that when processing images from this trip. Fitting medieval castles into one image will be the perfect challenge!

Once the expansion was done, I adjusted the light by darkening areas that I found were too light and lightening the areas that were too dark. From there I did various colour and tone changes according to my style. The final touch was to add a texture as per usual.

As you can probably tell from the blog posts I do to accompany my images, I like to share my process. Is there anything in particular you would like to know more about, or would like me to discuss?

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