Lightroom presets are interesting. Most of the time I prefer to edit my own images. If I do decide to choose a preset, I end up making additional adjustments, so I figure I should start from scratch anyway.
I saw the frosty fog rising off of the river on Sunday morning and noticed how the trees became frost covered. I know the time frame to capture this is short and it was already 10:00 a.m. I knew I had to get moving!
I used a 0.6 ND filter, because the sun was so bright and it really separated the blue sky while maintaining the white snow. I photographed these images with my Tamron 24 – 75mm f/2.8 on my Nikon D800E at ISO 50. Shutter speeds and aperture varied depending on the light. Most of the time it was at f/8 – 11 and 1/100 – 1/200.
In post I decided to try the IR preset. Some of the images were very impressive using this preset. I do like a little more contrast, so I adjusted the blacks and contrast slightly to give me the look I wanted.
I hovered over some of the other presets and the Direct Positive really made the images pop with color! The contrast between the blues and whites was beautiful! Direct positive is a process dating back to the 1800’s. Typically, the image was captured directly onto the paper and it was a black and white image. In Lightroom, the direct positive setting increases the saturation, blacks, and highlights and produces a very high color image. The image can be easily converted to black and white after using the Direct Positive preset.
The images below demonstrate the use of 2 different presets in light room; Direct Positive on the left and infrared (IR) on the right.
While I do like my images to have a little more contrast (more pleasing to my eye), there is something about the subtleness of the image below that I like. Left is the original and right is IR. I did remove the boat from the image.
The vignette in the corners is from my ND filter on the camera. I do attempt to remove that with cropping or adding a reverse vignette.
I suggest you try some of the presets in Lightroom; what is nice, Lightroom gives you a preview of what it will look like. I use this as a starting point then make my own adjustments. I have also set up my own presets in the past if I’m editing a batch and making the same changes throughout.
Have fun experimenting in Lightroom!
JAX Theatre: Hansel & Gretel: The Musical
We all know the Grimm’s fairy tale about Hansel and Gretel; they leave a trail of bread crumbs to find their way out of the forest, only to have the crows eat the crumbs and they stay lost, then happen on a gingerbread house owned by a witch who wants to cook them…
JAX Theatre has it’s own adaptation of this classic tale. Jordan Nickles is the creative mind behind the characters and the song lyrics in his adaptation of Hansel and Gretel: The Musical. If you have followed JAX over the last 4 years you have seen Jordan transform himself from a “young Scrooge” to the “elder Scrooge” for A Christmas Carol: The Musical. For this, we need to start from the beginning.
In 2011 JAX Theatre had it’s first production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical. Nickles portrayed “young Scrooge”, Marley’s ghost, and Ol’ Joe. Marley and Ol’ Joe required extensive make-up applications and removals between scenes. Jordan designed his own make-up for the parts and applied and removed one character’s features to transform himself into another character. Jordan brings such energy to his performances and each production is bigger than the previous. In 2012 and 2013 JAX brought in the talent of RJ Haddy to transform Jordan into the “elder Scrooge”. (See blog post:https://pamdecampphoto.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=101&action=edit) Other plays produced by JAX Theatre have been Steel Magnolias, Sleepy Hollow, and Alice’s Wonderland.
In 2013, not only did Haddy transform Jordan into Scrooge he applied his creativity to transform actors into Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Marley’s Ghost.
For the JAX production of Hansel and Gretel: The Musical, RJ Haddy’s talents were called upon again to transform the lovely actress, Eva Martin, into Beatrix the Witch who lures the Hansel and Gretel into her home.
Eva was thrilled with the opportunity to work with RJ. During the time in the make-up chair Eva sat very still and RJ was amazed at her patience while he glued, sponge painted, and airbrushed her features on. The process began with Eva having her beautiful locks of hair covered with a bald cap.
RJ applied a layer of white on Eva’s face. He used his signature Shadow airbrush to apply the contours and fine details to give her face dimension and depth.
During the play the Beatrix takes on her own transformation so cracks are painted onto her “skull” and some of Eva’s own hair is pulled through the bald cap to add to the witch’s realistic appearance. After all Beatrix is 900 years old!
A long flowing wig was added to complete the look.
When RJ is working he attracts on-lookers. These are not they typical on-lookers though. Stacey Morrison and her fiancé Jerod Walker both enjoy crafting sets and experimenting with special effects make-up. They helped to design and build the set for Hansel and Gretel plus provided make-up design for the ballerina Petra.
Below Jerod provides his talent to bring Petra to life.
Below are scenes from Hansel and Gretel: The Musical.
Start Talking Initiative
Ohio Governor John Kasich and First Lady Karen W. Kasich have launched a program to help keep Ohio children safe from the tragedies that result from drugs. Start Talking is a part of a new drug abuse prevention initiative launched January 8 with a focus on ways we can all work to reduce the likelihood of youth drug use before it even starts. Research shows that youth are up to 50% less likely to use drugs when parents and adults talk with them about substance use and abuse.
The Start Talking initiative hosted a kick off event at Wheelersburg High School in Wheelersburg, Ohio on January 30, 2013. The Wheelersburg area has had it’s share of “pill mills”. The larger issue in the area now is heroin addiction. The goal of Start Talking is to educate and empower our children to talk to adults and to speak up about what they are seeing around them. The program is also designed provide tools to increase the communication between the parents and children. Wheelersburg Local Schools Superintendent Mark Knapp introduced the program and talked about how the school can be pivotal in educating our children on drug abuse and empowering the students to talk to the teachers and coaches if they are aware of a problem.
Mark Knapp, Superintendent of Wheelersburg Local Schools
Wheelersburg Baseball Coach, Michael Estep, reinforced the need to open a dialogue with our children. He says he uses his Saturday morning sessions before double headers to bring speakers in to talk with the baseball team about a variety of issues. He feels coaches and teachers are in a good position to provide support and encourage kids to stay off drugs. In a time when peer pressure is strong, sometimes, just knowing there is an adult, whether it is a teacher, coach, or parent the student can turn to makes all of the difference.
Coach Michael Estep presents at the Start Talking kick-off initiative.
Among the speakers today were parents who had lost children to drugs. It is important to realize the majority of drugs are obtained through family and friends. Think about what you have laying around the house. When was your last surgery? Do you still have those pain pills laying around? Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and other parents could unknowingly contributing to drug abuse to our children. Take the time to go through your medicine cabinet and clean out medications that could lead to addiction.
The first speaker, Danielle Smoot, gave an emotional testimonial about how her son died after his first exposure to drugs. He was seen in the hospital and then when he came home, they put him to bed. When she went in to check on him he had died in his sleep. She emphasized that any child could be exposed to drugs at any time.
Danielle Smoot emphasizes that “one time” can lead to a tragic end.
The next speaker was JoAnna Krohn. Her son had a troubled time with drug addiction. One night he was having a party and obtained a loaded gun and accidentally shot himself in the head. After the death of her son, Ms. Krohn founded SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss and Continuing Everyday), an organization to provide to evidence based support and education to children and adolescents on substance and alcohol abuse. SOLACE also organizes support groups to help individuals who have lost a family member to drug abuse or individuals who have someone in their family suffering from drug abuse and addiction.
Jo Anna Krohn speaks about the tragic loss of her son, Wesley, while he was under the influence of alcohol and opiates.
Mr. Paul Schoonover gave testimony about his son’s history with drug abuse. His son came to him and told him he had a problem and wanted help. Mr. Schoonover said that his son completed a drug rehabilitation program and they mistakenly believed he was “cured”. His son died of a heroin overdose the day after he had completed a drug rehabilitation program.
Mr. Schoonover talks about the loss of his son from a heroin overdose.
Representative Terry Johnson who has served the region as the county coroner and as a physician talked about the “heritage” of drug addiction. Many of the children who fall into the cycle of drug addiction are from families who have had long standing histories of drug abuse…parents, grandparents and so on. It is a difficult task to break that cycle; they live how they are taught. He said as the coroner he has seen things we would not believe. Conditions children are raised in down to elder abuse and neglect. Rep. Johnson credits closing the “pill mills” as a first big step to eliminating the availability of drugs.
Rep. Terry Johnson shares his experiences as county coroner and seeing first hand the effects of drug abuse in our region.
Portsmouth, Ohio Police Chief, Robert Ware talked about the efforts law enforcement is taking in providing support and education to the schools and to the community. He also talked about the efforts law enforcement has taken in making arrests and stopping the trafficking coming into the area. Chief Ware, concluded the program with this final quote: “How would you feel if you didn’t take 5 minutes to talk to your kids?”
Portsmouth, Ohio, Police Chief Robert Ware discusses what the police department has been doing to fight the fight against drugs.
Drug usage in this region has been prevalent since I was in school. You knew who used and who didn’t. When I first realized there was a problem was when I was walking home from school one afternoon (remember this is the late 1970’s) and I saw a car pull over and one of the students who was a year ahead of me ran over to the car and she was handed a bag of different colored “objects”. I was so ignorant about drugs at the time that what I saw did not register with me. It wasn’t until later on did I realized I had witnessed a “drug deal”.
Just because we live in a small town does not mean we are immune to the problems of drug abuse and addiction. It is very important to talk to our children early on and frequently. I started talking to my daughter about drugs when she was in first grade and I haven’t stopped. I always emphasize to her that just because her friends say something is “ok” does not mean it is. I’ve always told her no matter what do not get into a car if someone is under the influence of anything or for her to drive herself if she is. It is always ok to call me for a ride home. Never put yourself or others at risk. I will not get mad; I will not ask questions. What she has heard me say over and over is “Never, ever, drink anything, someone else has made, or drink out of a container you did not open yourself, or drink anything you didn’t make yourself.”
Like Police Chief Ware said, “How would you feel if you didn’t spend 5 minutes talking to your children?”
For more information on the Start Talking Initiative click on: http://www.starttalking.ohio.gov/About.aspx
The Making of Scrooge
I know this is a late update to the Christmas season, but I felt it was worth publishing. I had a wonderful opportunity to photograph the special effects make-up process of RJ Haddy of RADFX Company in Charleston West, Virginia. For those of you who are not familiar with RJ’s work, he was a finalist and fan favorite on the SyFy Channel’s second season of Faceoff. RJ (pictured below) came to Wheelersburg, Ohio to transform Jordan Nickles, a 19 year old actor, in to the elder Ebenezer Scrooge for JAX Theatre presentation of A Christmas Carol: The Musical.
RJ, in the weeks preceding the play, had taken a plaster mold of Jordan’s face so he could design the foam latex mask to apply to Jordan’s face to make him look “old”. Below is Jordan.
The mask was a 6 piece foam latex prosthetic that was applied one piece at a time and then the “seams” were glued and blended together so it would appear as one piece. The “mask” moved naturally with Jordan’s facial expressions and was very realistic in appearance.
The next photos show how the mask application progressed. The entire process took 4 hours to complete. If you want to view the video of the entire process (8 minutes) go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2l0BF8ieXc
Veins and age spots were added to make the skin appear more realistic.
The following sequence is the application of the hair, eyebrows, and sideburns.
I enjoyed, very much, photographing and video taping this process. RJ is a wonderful to work with. Jordan is a very bright and talented young man and he has made JAX Theatre a wonderful establishment and had brought a variety of cultural experiences to our area.
Jordan and RJ posing and showing off the final results.
I have to include one more shot…This is my favorite shot of the two of them.
I hope you enjoyed this visual journey of The Making of Scrooge. This was such a fun assignment that I hated not to share it with everyone.
Stay tuned for my next adventure!