Monday, March 23, 2009

Undead Bloodsucking Orchids from Outer Space

My wife looked at me and asked me if I wanted to go with her to an orchid show.

"Do I want to?" I asked.

Sheree (my much better half) sighed and waited patiently. A hundred excuses came to mind, but when I looked into those clear blue eyes, I realized that an orchid show with her would be much better than sitting at home. So I went.

I hated it.

I don't like flowers and I have seem SO many freaking flower shots on flickr that I could cough up a petalball. But I decided to make the most of it. I took out my camera, sucked on my teeth (a thing I do when I am asking myself what the hell I am doing where ever I happen to be while I am sucking my teeth) and looked around for something that poked the creative muse.


I decided to settle for something...anything...even distantly interesting.


So I sighed and started shooting.

I didn't even cut the images off my card for three weeks. When I did, it was to get at some other pictures I had taken that I WANTED to work on.

Then one afternoon, I started poking at the stupid flower pictures. Have you ever done that? No idea what you were going to create...just...well poking at the things. I took a LOT of orchid images that night. I started thinking about orchids. I started thinking in terms of opposites.

How about vampire orchids? Hmmm...the idea made me smile.

I have been having a wonderful time ever since then playing with these pictures.

The one at the top of the blog is a composite, built inside Photoshop, and was built almost entirely out of plug-ins. The planet is done with Flaming Pear's Lunar Cell, the stem is a photo I took of a flower my wife had hanging around the house. Linking it to the planet is a simple star.

The motion was added using Alien Skin's Motion Trail. The only actual photo is of the orchid. The entire process took me about thirty minutes.

This one was even faster: I shot a close up of one of the fricking orchids and turned it upside down. The trail of dust was done FINALLY using Alien Skin's Fairy Dust plug-in from one of the all time BEST plug-in sets: Mystical Lighting. (This one is difficult to use...but well worth the investment of time.)

I am currently doing a series on my flickr site featuring these images, coupled with shots we took on the trip to Brazil. It's written as a Sherlock Holmes story with a twist toward the absurd. Here's the link if you want to know more:

So what's the point of this blog?

Three things, I think.

1) There's always something to photograph, even in places that otherwise really suck.

2) Plug-ins can do very cool stuff very quickly. It doesn't negate the skill of the user. I am all in favor of long as I can get the exact effect I am looking for. It's true that sometimes you need to spend as much time learning plug-is as you did learning some aspects of Photoshop.

3) You can get wonderful results if you try HARD to look at something from a completely new viewpoint.

I really appreciate the emails, folks. Don't sweat it, okay? Sheree and I are about two weeks away from the next trip (this one goes to England, Ireland and many places in-between) and we are in the process of moving our company from one place to another.

We're very busy.

But I still think about all you folks. Often.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave, Great site mate.

Looking through I came across the much loved Blood Sucking Orchids and well, had to leave a note.

I'll be in touch about a few of the courses as well. Not sure whether to look at the Basics in 6 hours or skip to some more advanced stuff.

I'm a CS3 user and can get around, but like most, am not using this powerful tool to its full extent.

Any suggestions?

All the best,

DavidH (The Aussie)from Flickr