Mystic Weekend Revisited: Creative Portraiture

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Occasionaly my creative vision outstretches my technical ability to produce the photographs and images in my head. Our Mystic Weekend session is a great example of not having the technical know how to produce what I could see mentally. We photographed these images in the fall of 2011 and at the time my Photoshop skills were caveman crude. 2 years later my knowledge of Photoshop has increased from 1% to 2% doubling what I know, but still a long way to climb. Part of re-processing these images were restoring them to my original vision and some of it was a test to see what I could do with them now. Most of these have never seen the light of day because I didn’t know what to do! We are sharing now to show more from the original plans. You can read the old posts Day 1, Day 2 AM, Day 2 PM.

Let me reset the story for all of our new followers. We have a Druid Archer hunting down other mystical creatures including the Red-headed Sirens and the Winged Faeries. There is also a fight between Old Man Wisdom and a Sun Goddess as she tries to posses his knowledge. Who wins is tough to say as the sun is setting. These were all photographed in my hometown of Kingsbury, Texas with a lot of help from some talented individuals. Kari Lehman and Mitch Bergsma were are Sun Goddess and Old Man Wisdom respectively on day one. Then Mitch turned around and filmed this awesome behind the scenes video. The second day had a crazy fun cast of models/actors. We had Kayla Klepac and Jenny Lynn Larsen as our Red-Headed Sirens. Haley Read, Sky Van Vliet and Tricia Peters Moon as our Winged Faeries flying from a 30 foot trapeze rig and jumping onto mats. Ivy Koehler as our Druid Assassion with head to toe tattoos (and based on the Iron Druid Series from Kevin Hearne).

The top image is an example of what I didn’t know at the time. Creating fire and lighting effects in post production. Color grading to this extent. Removal of unwanted objects more complex than a dust spot. I really had to get it right in camera because my post-production skills were limited. For most projects, that mentality was great and taught me to get as much right in camera as possible. When I want more than enhanced reality I am at a loss. This is a big step to adding to my post production arsenal. A big part is the software used. For us the jump from Photoshop Elements to the Adobe Creative Cloud has been a huge boon. The latest Photoshop, Premiere and ancillary software allows us to produce more than we imagined. The new tools are fast and photographer friendly. Still a ways to go and maybe in a few more years we come back to these photographs and go really over the top!

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