Patagonia and Antarctica – A Black and White Perspective

Black and White Photography is how photography began and continues to be a strong creative choice of expression for many photographers. The explosion of digital darkroom technologies like Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture, and basically any image editing software, have made black and white photography accessible to everyone. Before going digital (2004) I flirted for a time with black and white slide (transparency) film called Agfa Scala. Before images could be converted to black and white with the click of a button, I had this idea of creating nearly identical, but separately exposed images, one on color film and one on black and white Scala film. My goal was to have a set of images with precisely matching pairs of slides, one in color and one in black and white. Then at my gallery exhibitions I wanted to have a pair of synchronized slide projectors showing each pair in sequence, first the black and white image, with all the beautiful tone and texture and then slowly fading in the color one over the top. Of course now with digital images so common place and the ability to digitally fade an image from color to back and white so simple I am not sure if I will ever go to the trouble of setting up such a slideshow.

Anyway, in February 2000 I ventured to Patagonia and Antarctica, with two cameras, one loaded with (probably) Fuji Provia and the other with Agfa Scala, I proceeded to carefully take virtually identical images using a tripod, two identical cameras and lenses. I would take a color image and then as quickly as possible swap cameras paying particular attention so as to keep the image alignment exactly as it was. Even after processing I took special care to align the resulting slides in their slide mounts.

Here are some of the Agfa Scala images I took in Patagonia and Antarctica… These are not digital conversion in Photoshop, these are scans of black and white positive slide film.

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-001

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-002

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-003

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-004

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-005

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-006

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-007

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-008

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-009

Antarctica-Patagonia-BW-010

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Lobuche – a low flat place. Short Film Trailer

“Lobuche” – a low flat place (trailer) from Phillip Norman on Vimeo.

“I stand in the shadow of the roof of the world. With a deep breath I think of all the times I have dreamt about this place, these mountains. I have been here many times through the stories, the photographs and the efforts of many others. Now I stand here, and I can hear, I can feel, the call of Sagarmatha. For now, for this life, this journey turns here, towards home, and I am of course ever mindful of those waiting for me there. This place, these mountains, as other places, other mountains, other wild places, fuel my soul. This journey doesn’t end here, with memories and with photographs and with a little dust on my boots, it takes a turn down a different path. And as I turn and step towards home, I look again over my shoulder toward those who journey to stand on the roof of the world and I wish them good luck. Namaste.”

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A Milky Encounter

Aurum Light Milk Workshop 2013 – Melbourne

In November 2013 in Melbourne I attended a workshop by Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz of Aurum Light (blog) held at Young Street Studios. I was fascinated and amazed by the work of Jaroslav from the very first time I saw one of his Milk portraits, particularly the Mermaid and Samurai images. I was intrigued by how he had achieved these amazing creations and when I heard he was touring the world teaching his technique I knew I had to attend. The workshop organised by L&P Digital Photographic was held over two days, the first day we all got to try our hands at this amazing technique but not before Jaroslav gave us a very good insight into his creative process and some of the great opportunities this work has brought to him. So after a day of shooting and throwing milk on very cooperative models, day two was spent working on the post production. Jaroslav gave us a very generous and detailed description of his creative process from start to finish including the conceptual beginning, through the image capture and into the complete post processing workflow.

I quickly learned that there was no single secret or trick to Jaroslav’s amazing creations, that every step along the way is key to his successfully bringing to light what he first imagines in his head. It starts with an idea which he then methodically breaks down into small pieces and then goes about one piece at a time putting everything in place that he needs to get his vision into reality. The key to his success I think is not the technical aspects of this type of image, which he did not invent, however it is the application of his creative vision and his highly skilled technical execution.

The workshop was jam packed with information and was excellently presented by Jaroslav and supported by his wife and the team from L&P Digital.

The models Ashlee Anne (below) and Elisabeth did a fantastic job.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can create with this amazing technique…

Thanks to Jaroslav and all his team.

Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz – Aurum Light: Web | Blog | 500px

Here is the image I created at the workshop with fellow attendee Lachlan Downing

Image capture by Phillip Norman and Lachlan Downing. Post processing by Phillip Norman

Image capture by Phillip Norman and Lachlan Downing. Post processing by Phillip Norman

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New Albums by Jorgensen Albums

I am very excited about our new albums from Jorgensen Albums of Perth, Australia. It’s great to be working with an Australian company, and we’re looking forward to producing Verity and Rohan’s albums in May. Here are the studio samples with pictures from Rachel and Dan’s winter wedding in Calgary.

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

Phillip Norman Photography Jorgensen Album Studio Sample

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Mist Mountain Panorama – Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

Here is a Microsoft DeepZoom version of my Mist Mountain Panorama
 

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The Canadian Gigapixel Panorama Project

Moraine Lake Giga Pixel

As part of my research into large gigapixel panoramas I recently did a test at Moraine Lake, where I took 165 (11×15) images and merged them into a single 1.75 Gigapixel 2:1 panorama. Of course I can’t display the whole image here on flickr but I put together this smaller jpeg version with two 100% crop windows so you can see the level of detail in the full size version.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture f/22.0
Focal Length 200 mm
ISO Speed 400
Exposure Program Manual
Copyright All rights reserved! Copyright Phillip Norman

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Moraine Lake Giga Pixel

Here are two zoomable versions of my Moraine Lake Panorama.

As part of my research into large gigapixel panoramas I recently did a test at Moraine Lake, where I took 165 (11×15) images and merged them into a single 1.75 Gigapixel 2:1 panorama.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture f/22.0
Focal Length 200 mm
ISO Speed 400
Exposure Program Manual
EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Copyright All rights reserved! Copyright Phillip Norman

This is a half size (50%) Microsoft DeepZoom version

And here is a full size (100%) GigaPan version

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3 Image Canvas Photoshop CS5 Template Tutorial

TUTORIAL – PHOTOSHOP CS5 TEMPLATE – 3 Image Canvas 30″x15″ (Triptych)
This is a step by step Photoshop CS5 tutorial showing how to create a 3 image canvas using shape masks and smart objects. It is an adaptation on a method demonstrated by Kevin Kubota at the Digital Photography Bootcamp in Sisters, Oregon, in November 2010.

Here is an image of what we are going to create with this tutorial…

photoshop template triptych

Step 1.
Open Photoshop and create a new file (File/New or Command+N). Copy the settings from this snapshot…

Step 2.
At the bottom of the layer palette click on the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” button and select Solid Color. In the dialog box set the color to white by either clicking in the far top left corner of the color window or entering ‘ffffff’ in the hex color field right at the bottom (you can also enter 255,255,255 in the R,G,B boxes if you want).

Step 3.
Now we’re going to add some guides to make it easier to lay out the images and masks in our canvas. Make sure you have your rulers on (Command+R). If you click and hold on the left ruler, and then drag out into the image window a guide will appear, drag it out till it lines up with the 1.5″ mark across the top ruler. You can also go to the ‘View’ menu and select ‘New Guide’ and add the guides by filling in the dialog box. Create vertical guides at 1.5″, 9.5″, 11″, 19″, 20.5″ and 28.5″.
Also add horizontal guides at 1.5″ and 13.5″.
Your template should now look like this…

Step 4.
Now we’re going to create the shape masks that will act as windows for our three images, but before we do that there are a couple of things we need to check.

First make sure your foreground and background colors are set to black and white (if they are not, in your tools toolbar click on the little black and white squares above the foreground/background color swatches, and the little arrow to swap the foreground to background color)

Now on the “Tools’ toolbar click on the ‘Rectangle’ tool and make sure it is set to “Shape Layers”. Draw your rectangle using the guides as.. well guides… so that the rectangle fills the left hand guide window.

Step 5.
You will now have a new layer, double click the layer name and rename it to “Image Left”

Step 6.
Click on the “Create New Group” Button. Rename the Group to “Image Left”.

and drag the “Image Left” layer onto the group layer.

Step 7.
Repeat Step 4 twice to create 2 more shape layers and rename them to “Image Middle” and “Image Right” respectively.

Step 8.
Repeat Step 6 to create corresponding Group Layers
Your layer palette should now look like this:

And your template should look like this:

Step 9.
Ok so now we have the basic structure of the template set up we can now go about placing some images into it. For this template we are going to use smart objects so that we can easily adjust sizes and replace images later.
So to do that go to the ‘File’ menu and click on “Place” and find an image you want to use for this template. A portrait format image is best and as large an image as you have too, the bigger the better (I use full size jpegs from raw from my 5DMKII which are 21 megapixels). When the image comes in it will be in the middle so drag it over to the left frame and re-size it using the corner grips as required. Once you have it where you want it click enter or on the check mark at the top of your photoshop workspace. Remember the rectangle mask will “crop” the image in a minute so for now just get it positioned using the guides to show you what will show through the mask.
Like this…

Step 10.
Now in the layers palette drag the new image layer down into the “Image Left” group above the mask.

Step 11.
With the image placed above the mask (and in the group) right click on the image and select “Create Clipping Mask” from the pop-up menu…

The image should now be behind the mask and also cropped by it.

Step 12. (optional)
For the images I am using for this tutorial a white border doesn’t work so well so here is how to change it. Click on the little white thumbnail to the left of the “Color Fill 1″ layer. Now in the dialog box you can select any color you like.

Step 13.
Repeat Steps 9, 10 and 11 two more times each in order to add the other two images…

Step 14. (optional)
The images I chose already had a sloppy border on them, but I decided I didn’t want the for this template so now that I have them images behind a mask I just selected the image layers and using the Move tool I stretched them a little bigger so that the sloppy border got cropped by the mask. Now I am going to add a thin white edge highlight called a stroke. Select the mask layer called “Image Left”

and then go to the Layer menu and under “Layer Style” select “Stroke”

Use the setting in the snapshot below, and click on the “Color” thumbnail (the little black rectangle next to the word “Color”) and change it to white.

To create the same stroke on the other two masks select the mask layer “Image Left” in the layer palette and right click and select “Copy Layer Style”

Then select the mask layer “Image Middle”, right click and select “Paste Layer Style’. Repeat for the mask “Image Right”

So that’s it you’re done and hopefully your template now looks something like this…

I hope you found this tutorial useful and don’t be shy, comment below or email me any comments or questions.

Good Luck
Phil

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Moraine Lake Pano 01

We had a great day last Friday at Moraine Lake. I was there with the family and Jocasta was kind enough to look after Oliver while I did some test shots for my Canadian Gigapixel Project. I took a 1.5Gpxl set which I haven’t tried to merge yet, busy doing wedding stuff.
This is a 68mpxl version from 12 frames.

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