Hey all you soulies, we’re coming in with a bang, and first we’d like to introduce you to a few of our favourite friends in black and white.
Have a seat ‘ol love, and I’ll walk you through how you can get this great (David Bailey) look at home.
David Bailey Tutorial;
I have a really simple tutorial that is going to make you feel like a super model, or fashion icon, whichever you prefer! (it looks wordy, don’t worry, I ramble a bit!) You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a digital camera and a wall.
Step One- to get the ‘studio’ look, you are going to need a blank wall. Sometimes, if all the walls in my house are covered up- I take some pictures off the wall, and photoshop the hooks out, afterwards, or hang a sheet on a curtain railing.
Step Two- GET LIGHT! I do suggest that you shoot either in the morning or in the middle of the day, because you want as MUCH LIGHT as possible- so stand near a window, it’s best if the window is to the side, because you will get nice definition of shadow that way, and it’s slimming. :]. Whatever you do- don’t have a window behind you, because you’ll turn into a silhouette. If natural light is an issue, (I know it’s hard in England lately!) find a nice strong lamp and angle it till you are happy.
Step Three- Set that camera up! Hook up your digital camera to a tripod or rest it on a flat surface, to reduce blurry images. Turn that flash off and put it on a ‘Self Timer’ setting, if you can’t persuade a loved one to click the shutter for you.
Step Four- SHOOT! This is the fun part! Put on your favourite top (darker for light backgrounds) and do your hair, and just have fun with it! Try some really silly faces if you’re nervous- it will relax you! You want to try and connect with the camera, to get that fashion look. Try staring straight into the lense, dead centre, and keep checking what you look like, so you can tweak the camera till it’s just right.
Step Five- Put your grandfather’s paintings back on the wall and plug your camera in!
So, while you’re waiting for your photos to upload, I’ll tell you a little bit about this fantastic photographer, David Bailey. He was around in the 60’s and 70’s when all the hip photographers (like Richard Avedon) were moving into minimal styles- using simple white backgrounds and sticking to the cameras and format that they knew and loved. Black and White and Medium Format. (A Medium Format camera is often a lot bigger than the standard 35mm film camera which you or your mum probably had in the 70’s.) Medium Format is still quite popular in today’s fashion industry, but Bailey was one of the pioneers that took photographing celebrities and stripped it down to its gorgeous, simple core. So in a tribute to their genius, let’s turn the attitude up, and the saturation way down. (most, but not all of the photos at the top of this post are by him.)
Step Six- Choose the photo(s) you want to edit and open it in photoshop, or some editing program. There should be a ‘desaturate’ or ‘black and white’ option somewhere (under Image>adjustments in photoshop). A little tip- to get the best black and white, you might want to brighten your image, or increase the contrast. Here’s a screenshot of using a layering technique, but Image>Adjustments>Levels or Image>Adjustments>Curves works just fine too.
Step Seven- Crop that baby! Medium Format cameras use a square crop; so to give it a more authentic feel, go on and be a square. (:D)
Step Eight- Save!
Here’s a couple of my takes. They aren’t perfect or anything, and they don’t have to be- if you want to go for a more old-y look, try adding a ‘film grain’ filter in photoshop or purposefully leaving it a bit too light or dark.
If you don’t feel very pretty today- dig into your files and find a picture that you like and apply the same techniques.
Okay, I’ve talked a lot now, so to spice it up, our real first Challenge is to use a studio-like photograph (it can be one that you’ve taken, an idol, or a magazine cut-out) in a project, or scrapbook page, or journal. We want to see what you’ve got, and there will be a full set of Vespa-pa-pa-pa papers and Banter for our favourite!! (because i love you!!!)
here are my projects!
And check out what Jen did!!! I love her photos too!
Please post your submissions with a link in a comment and we will post the winner when we announce our next prompt! Have fun!!!
p.s. We've started a flickr group too, so you can share there as well!
p.p.s. We were so impressed with all the response we got, just from the first post! we can't wait to see what you do!!!