May 4, 2015

Stonelick Covered Bridge

Stonelick Covered Bridge. David Hayes, 2015.

This past Friday my wife and I took a short drive into the "country" so I could do a photo shoot of the Stonelick Covered Bridge. The bridge, knocked out of commission some time ago by age and an overweight truck, just reopened to traffic last week. It's on a very quiet road so I was able to take my time as I shot...I think it was a good twenty minutes before any car came through!

This is my favorite angle from this shoot...and through the magic of my iPad apps I was able to remove stop signs and other distractions....and then give it a painterly look. 

Just as a side note...Friday was an absolutely beautiful spring day and driving through the country side to reach the bridge made me long to buy that proverbial "farm"! Maybe. Just maybe...

April 29, 2015


Ponytail Plant 1. David Hayes, 2015.

I have this love-hate relationship with houseplants. I go through "phases" when I can't get enough of them...particularly the more unusual ones...and then we end up with a house full. Then...I want to get rid of them. Usually when they've reached an almost unmanageable size...

Ponytail Plant 2. David Hayes, 2015.
I did this before we moved a year and a half ago. Got rid of all our house plants. Now...I want new ones. Much to my wife's amusement and eye-rolling. I'm starting with succulents...just purchased a bunch of these. Had to have this Ponytail Plant when I saw it! It's a nice size now...hopefully it will get bigger. Much bigger!! Don't know where I'll put it if it does. Cross that bridge when I come to it.

Over the week-end I put the plant in front of a backdrop and did a couple quick shots with my Nikon. While I wish I had used a wider backdrop so I could have captured the entire plant, I thought some of the shots were worth further work. Both of these images were processed in Lightroom...different approaches...different presets. You'll be seeing more of this plant in the future...

April 22, 2015

White on White

Cutting #1. David Hayes, 2015

The latest prompt from Be Still_52 had us taking a walk in nature...enjoying the Stillness and all that. We were also asked to either/and do a still shot "on location" or bring something back to work with later. Pressed for time...and lack of cooperative weather...I elected to take a small cutting from a tree growing in a nearby vacate lot. After getting this home, I realized that there wasn't much to work with...more leaves vs. flowers. Giving this some thought I decided to cut back as much as I could and challenge myself to work with "white on white"...white flowers against a white background.

Cutting #2. David Hayes, 2015.

In the end, this challenge was quite frustrating for me. I couldn't get the light "just right" or my camera focus where I wanted it...and you know what I mean. So I just shot and hoped I that I would end up with something I could work with in Lightroom.

Cutting #3. David Hayes, 2015.

I tried several different backgrounds during this shoot. The first two images were against a backlit fabric drop. Cutting #3 was a side lit shot against a stuccoed board. Cutting #4 was against a rose backboard.

Cutting #4. David Hayes, 2015.

Once I started work in Lightroom...and picked these four shots to edit...I first did some cropping...more in some cases than others! I left Cutting #1 pretty much alone after that...just a quick tune-up and one of Kim Klassen's presets. Cutting #2 and #3 I converted to black and white...I do like the shadows in #3. The prettiest of the group is Cutting #4...I did have some fun with the color gradient from left to right in the background.

So there you are. Not the easiest group of images to edit...sometimes that happens!

April 15, 2015

Walking the Streets of Milford

Storefront. David Hayes, 2015.

Sometimes all one has to do is to look to their own backyard for great images. Or in my case, downtown "Old" Milford, Ohio which is only a block or so from our row house. I see these sights almost's part of the route my dog and I take on our morning walks. Even still I'm always amassed when I do I grab a quick shot here and there to find out what I've been missing! 

Storefront was shot with my iPhone6 native camera app and processed with the app, Enlight.

Mirror Mirror. David Hayes, 2015.

Very close to where I shot Storefront, is a store window that is always filled with the greatest stuff! The problem shooting this  through this window...or through any dealing with the window reflections. I've several different tricks that I might use depending on the Mirror Mirror I decided that these reflections just added to the image particularly after processing it with the app, Distressed FX. 

April 10, 2015

A Tea Party!

Morning. David Hayes, 2015.

There are times when I hit a creative everyone does. I've learned to try not to fret about this and to be patient. Most times this works. As of late I've had one of those blocks which is why I've not been posting as much as I usually do. So I waited...then I saw a challenge on Instagram that tickled my fancy and away I went. The challenge was issued by @adianbert and titled #theteacupseries. Tea cups. Me? Yeah right. On the other hand...why not! 

After looking at some of the earlier postings I realized I was up against some of the still life greats of Instagram. Which meant I had to take a different tack to get my images noticed. Perfect! In the end, I have come up with five different images that I'd like to share with you in this post. The first, Morning, was shot with my iPhone6 and processed in Snapseed.

The Cup Ran Away With The Spoon. David Hayes, 2015.

The Cup Ran Away With The Spoon was also shot with my iPhone and processed in Snapseed.

Green. David Hayes, 2015.

Green also shot with my iPhone and processed in Snapseed.

Yesterday. David Hayes, 2015.

Yesterday was shot using the Hipstamatic app with a bit of touch-up in Snapseed.

Go Ask Alice. David Hayes, 2015.

And what's a tea party without a little madness? Go Ask Alice was also done in Hipstamatic and Snapseed.

I might not win the #theteacupseries...but I did have fun and my creative block is gone. Now that's my cup of tea!

April 7, 2015

Pretty Pastels...

Three Roses. David Hayes, 2015.

Not my usual thing...pretty pastels. But sometimes a guy just has to step out of the box and given such a thing a try. Pretty pastels...with a dreamy backlight look. That's what the latest Be Still 52 prompt asked us to take on. So here are my images...

Three Roses was shot with my DSLR and processed in Lightroom. After doing my usual adjustments, I applied a Kim Klassen preset called "pastelhaze". 

Roses and Eggs. David Hayes, 2015.

A similar workflow with this image with an added step of opening it in Photoshop and applying a Kim Klassen texture called "Simple 1". 

Don't know how much of "pretty pastels" I can take...even still, I am pleased with my results. Hallmark Cards...are you looking for some new images? Give me a call!

March 30, 2015

Pictures in Pictures

Ice on Ice. David Hayes, 2015.

Week 11 of Be Still 52 asked us to us prints of our images as part of the overall composition in a new image. I can't say I was particularly inspired by this I took a traditional approach to my set-up. Ice on Ice, shot with my DSLR and processed in Lightroom, use 4 prints from my ice.cubed series and a small vase holding two jumbo ice cubes. 

Light on Light. David Hayes, 2015.

Same approach with Light on Light

I also shot these two set-ups with my iPhone6 using several different camera apps. I'll post those images later this week. I think you'll find these images to be a bit more least I did!

March 23, 2015


Moment. David Hayes, 2015.

Last week's Be Still 52 lesson asked us to pick a simple a spoon...and explore lighting "around the clock" which is to say taking a look at all angles of your subject: back lighting, front lighting, side lighting, and all the angles in between...

Moving away from light bulbs and ice cubes, I decided to use a sumi brush and ink bowl as my subject. In this first image, Moment, shooting with my Nikon DSLR, I shot from the side and slightly above. I then processed the image in Lightroom using one of Kim Klassen's presets followed by opening in Photoshop and applying one of her textures.

Sumi. David Hayes, 2015.
I used a similar workflow when creating Sumi, but with a different Lightroom preset and Photoshop texture. Subtle differences in how each image presents itself but both turned out to be a great study in simplicity, shadows, and texture.

March 18, 2015

Ice. Cubed.

Abstract (Cube). David Hayes, 2015.

In Monday's post I shared with you that I had hoped to build on the success my lightbulb series has experienced by doing a like shoot using jumbo ice cubes. I also shared that I didn't think that this shoot worked as well...but now I'm thinking I might have been a little hasty in my judgement. Looking at my close ups of the ice cubes I was struck how much they reminded me of abstract paintings...and off I went!!

Abstract (Cube) started off as a close up of two ice cubes. Then I used a brand new app, "Enlight" and there it is!!

My Love Is Blue. David Hayes, 2015.

Intrigued by air bubble in the top ice cube I went to work on this image. Two ice cubes, a large dose of the app "iColorama" and a touch of "Snapseed" and I had My Love Is Blue.

Storm. David Hayes, 2015.

This one took me a bit of work to bring around to something I liked and that was keeping to the series. After using the app "Stackables" and some help from "Snapseed" I finally came up with Storm

There you have Ice. Cubed series. I haven't given up on using jumbo ice cubes in a future stay tuned!

March 16, 2015


Cubed. David Hayes, 2015.

After the success I had with my "Lightbulb" series, I thought I'd give a go at recreating the series using jumbo ice cubes. After giving a look at my raw images after that shoot, I decided that they just didn't work. For all sorts of reasons. I'll try again some other the meantime I thought I'd share a couple of the images that did work. Like Cubed which I shot with my iphone6 and processed using the app, "Stackables". 

March 13, 2015


Celestial. David Hayes, 2015.

One last image from my "lightbulb series". Celestial was shot using my iPhone 6 camera app and processed with the apps Handy Photo and Laminar Pro. I've posted a short tutorial on how I created this image over at "The Woven Tale Press". Here's the link to take you there:Celestial

March 11, 2015

Brown Bulb

Brown Bulb (v1). David Hayes, 2015.

One more look at my shoot from last week...this time a close up of the same set-up I shared on Monday with the "focus" on the amber bulb. This first version was shot with my DSLR and processed in Lightroom for the usual things. No preset was applied.

Brown Bulb (v2). David Hayes, 2015.

Same shot as in the first version, but this time I applied Kim Klassen's "Breathe" preset and did some light adjustment to the Saturation setting. This version is a touch more softer...but you'll have to look close to see any difference.

Brown Bulb (v3). David Hayes, 2015.

This time I applied Kim's "Lazy Day" preset and touched up the Saturation. I do like how this preset worked with the amber bulb as well as the my vote goes with this version.

March 9, 2015

Three Up

Three Up (v1). David Hayes, 2015.

Backlighting was the gist of Week 8, Be Still 52. So...the prompt was to give it a try using various settings on our cameras...playing with the light if you would. We were also asked to try out a couple of new LR presets that Kim also provided. This first version was shot with my DSLR and processed in LR for the basics. No presets applied.

Three Up (v2). David Hayes, 2015.
Version 2 has the "Breathe" preset applied and I did some adjustment to Saturation after applying the preset. Makes it look a bit dreamy...

Three Up (v3). David Hayes, 2015.
This final version has the "Breathe" preset removed and the "Hazy Day" applied. Again, I adjusted the Saturation. A bit of sepia/vintage look....

While I like all three it's Version 1 that gets my vote at the moment!

March 6, 2015

The Woven Tale Press

It has been my pleasure to recently become a part of the community of artists at The Woven Tale Press. This is a community of people - writers, photographers, artists - brought together by a diverse editorial group who offer a "collection of eclectic culling of the creative web." In addition to regular member posts, they publish a monthly e-magazine "to highlight the blog post otherwise buried in a blogger's archives; the painting or photograph from an artist's site worthy of greater focus than its singular web page; the innovative, the funny, the offbeat."

I am quite excited to share the fact that in the just issued March issue that I have a multi-page feature of some of my latest still-life images. I am also excited by the fact that in this very same issue my friend, Amy Duncan of Four Corner Designs, has two of her digital collages featured! 

I hope you check out not only the latest e-issue of the Woven Tale Press but their website as well! 

March 5, 2015

White Tulip

White Tulip (v1). David Hayes, 2015

I couldn't help but leave you with a couple more images of the tulips I used in my still life set-up this week. Like the other images I posted this week, I shot this with my Nikon D90 DSLR and processed it in Lightroom. This first version also has the "Breeze" preset applied after I had adjusted for things like exposure, contrast, and the such.

White Tulip (v2). David Hayes, 2015.

To create this version, I opened version 1 in Photoshop and applied the texture Simple Set #2. I do like how this texture brings out the shadows in the I'd have to say this is my favorite of the two.

March 4, 2015


Duaflex (v1). David Hayes, 2015

So far this week I've been sharing my images of various elements to this still life. I thought today I'd share the entire composition. As before, I shot this with my Nikon D90 DSLR and did some quick processing of the raw image in Lightroom. I was after a dreamy effect so I also worked towards a bit of soft focus effect using the "Breeze" preset given to us by Kim Klassen in her workshop, Be Still 52.

Duaflex (v2). David Hayes, 2015.

In this version I opened the image in Photoshop and applied the Simple Set #1 texture which was also supplied by Kim for this lesson. I like how it darkens the image just a tad, bringing out the shadows a bit more.

Duaflex (v3). David Hayes, 2015.

And for the final version, I removed the Simple Set #1 layer and replaced it with the Simple Set #2 texture. Almost too dark for even my tastes, it does help bring the foreground out more than the other versions. So perhaps a little more "tweaking" would help....some other day.

March 3, 2015


Opening (v1). David Hayes, 2015.

Yesterday I posted some images of a stack of books that I used in my Be Still 52 still life shoot over the week-end. Only with the books there were also a vase of tulips, a vintage camera, and some vintage photos. Today I want to share with you all a close up of one of the tulips that I shot with my DSLR and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. This first version was just processed in Lightroom for crop, exposure, etc. Nothing else was done to it.

Opening (v2). David Hayes, 2015.

In my second version, I opened the first version in Photoshop and layered a texture that Kim Klassen had provided called Simple Set #1. I like how this gives the image a bit more depth as well as "dirtying up" the edges a bit.

Opening (v3). David Hayes, 2015.

For this version I removed the Simple Set #1 layer and applied in its place a layer called Simple Set #2. A little darker and "dirty"... certainly a difference to the original version. I'll let you decide which one is best! (I like this version...but I'm that way.)

March 2, 2015


Knowledge (v1). David Hayes, 2015

This stack of books is from a more elaborate still life I set up in my living room over the week to take advantage of the sunlight streaming through our front blinds. The most recent Be Still 52 prompt had us working with more depth-of-field and falling off activities...and the results from that I'll share in a latter post. For now...I wanted to share these two versions of the books I shot with my iPhone6. This first version was then processed using the app, "Perfect B&W".

Knowledge (v2). David Hayes, 2015.

I used the app, "Laminar Pro" for this second version. Hard to say which one I like the best. Perhaps the second over the first...

February 25, 2015

On The Hunt

On the Hunt. David Hayes, 2015.

Something a little different today...a landscape vs. the still lives I've been posting as of late. I took this a couple of days ago whilst walking my Brittany along the Little Miami River here in Milford, OH. What I was after was a pano of the frozen river but my dog, always the ham, decided to photo bomb while I was running the shot. Taking a look at it later I decided to keep her in the shot...makes for a more interesting image don't you think? (Shot with my iphone6 in pano mode, processed with Stackables and Snapseed.)

February 23, 2015

Two Versions

Version 1. David Hayes, 2015

You've seen my iphoneography images from this shoot in my earlier it's time to show you what I did with my DSLR and Lightroom/Photoshop. Version 1 was edited in Lightroom and the preset Kim Klassen gave us was applied.

Version 2. David Hayes, 2015.

With Version 2, I opened the first version in Photoshop and layered on a texture Kim also gave us with this lesson. I think I like this version the best!

February 22, 2015

Four Lovelies

Pears have always been a subject of artists and photographers. Their skin and curves seem to attract many artists, including myself. Four Lovelies is my most recent study of pears this time shot with my iphone native camera app and processed with the iphoneography apps Distressed FX and a touch of Snapseed.

Let’s begin with the source image taken with my iphone 6 camera. I shot this using natural light against a white background in my kitchen. Looking at this image I immediately like how the light played along the curves of each of the four pears.

Opening the app Distressed FX, I picked the “Finch” filter in the top row which gave the image a nice late afternoon glow.

Moving to the second row of filters, I then used “Broken” as I wanted to give the image a vintage painterly look. This filters has a great texture feel to it!

Time for a bit of tweaking! Clicking on the “Adjustment” icon in the right hand corner, I then adjusted the Contrast, Brightness, and Color Palate using the slider bars. This helped pull out more of the shadows and details. I then saved this version to my camera roll and moved to Snapseed.

Here’s what I have so far.

If you’ve never used the app Snapseed, I would highly recommend that you get it for your toolbox. Not only does it have some great effects but also it is my go-to “finishing” app when I want to quickly add a bit of polish to my images.

Opening the image in Snapseed, I used the “Tune Image” feature to fine tune the image’s contrast and saturation.

I normally don’t add “Frames” to my images, but this one just seemed to need one! So…I went to the “Frame” menu and picked “Frame 10”. Perfect!

The finished image, Four Lovelies. In five quick steps…can’t beat that!!