July 21, 2015

Two Up

Pearls. David Hayes, 2015.

Easy. That's what I thought when I read the prompt: "utilize two sides of a square...allow for room to breathe....shoot top down..." Easy...not! Maybe I was overthinking this hold concept but I could not put anything together that made me happy. Pearls is one of my images I put together for this prompt. I shot this with my iPhone6 and processed it using the app Laminar Pro.

Invitation. David Hayes, 2015.

Same set-up but this time I shot it with my Nikon D90 and processed it in Lightroom and Photoshop. Comparing the two, I prefer Pearls.

Quiet. David Hayes, 2015.

My thoughts in putting Quiet together was to utilize the sides of the bowl to define my two sides...and to leave lots of open or breathing space. (I shot this one using my Nikon and processed it in Lightroom and Photoshop. I do like this one...)

Eggs. David Hayes, 2015.

Eggs is inspired by Amy Duncan of FourCornersDesign. Her work is always amazing! (Shot with my Nikon and processed using Lightroom and Photoshop.)

Clamped Eggs. David Hayes, 2015.

This is my last attempt. Thought I'd play with some "hard" images. Yeah...I like this one the best! (Shot with my Nikon and processed using Lightroom and Photoshop.)

July 20, 2015


According to the Urban Dictionary, one of the many definitions of faffing is "...to muck around, wasting time doing something not necessary." Another way to look at it is to just play around with objects to see what comes about...without any preconceived notion as to the end results. At least that's how I take it.

July found me without much focus for my photography...nothing seemed to interest me. So I decided to faff around! And it's been much fun as I spend a little bit of time every day fiddling around with this and that and then take a shot with my iPhone6. Cropped square and processed using an app of choice, the image is then wrapped in a border and dated using the Polamatic app. I used the Formulas app to create July 19, 2015.

Four pair of scissors against a white background and processed using PS Express gave me July 7, 2015.

We were visiting my sister-in-law and brother-in-law when I shot this image. She had just unpacked her weekly CSA share and took a moment to quickly grab the shot. I used VSCOcam to process this one.

Another simple set-up...a bowl on a black background, a linen napkin and some paper-wrapped eggs. I used PS Express to process July 6, 2015 as well.

July 14, 2015 wasn't what I started out with...which is the beauty of faffing! The cherries are in a white bowl which is sitting on a white background. So...talk about a total overexposed image! I could have "brought it back" but instead just left it the way it was! Sometimes things are best that way!!

Not all my faffs have been top-down set-ups. This vase of flowers was sitting on a table on my sister-in-laws back porch. Perfect for a faff! I used PS Express to crop and basic toning then PaintFX to blur out the background.

There you have it...a taste of my July faffing. If you'd like to see more than check out my Instagram stream @clearerreflections. Here's to Happy Faffing!!

July 17, 2015

Of Cabbages and Sunflowers

Of Cabbages and Sunflowers. David Hayes, 2015

I had the pleasure last week to visit my sister-in-law and her husband who live on Torch Lake...which in close to Bellaire, MI. It was a peaceful two days of perfect weather, enjoying the lake, and taking in the goodness of a Michigan summer...including the local fruit and vegetables! The cabbage and sunflowers were purchased at a local market and I just had to do a quick set-up and shoot on their back porch as the light was perfect! (The wine I was drinking probably also helped!)

Blueberries. David Hayes, 2015.

Whilst I didn't shoot this image during this visit, the blueberries are from the same markets. I did this soon after returning home...both my wife and I were eating them by the handful so I had to work quick!!

Both images were shot using my Nikon D90 and processed using Lightroom and Photoshop.

July 16, 2015

Butter and Eggs...

Butter and Eggs. David Hayes, 2015.

I haven't been blogging a lot lately...saving this time for what I come up using the Be Still_52 prompts. (Come follow me over on Instagram: @clearerreflections) In any case...Week 26's prompt involved butter and eggs. Simple I thought. Simple...not! Could not come up with any clever ideas on how to set these two basic items up! In the end, I bought a block of butter and a dozen brown eggs...and after a quick moment looking for inspiration on Pinterest...went into my studio!

Soft Boiled. David Hayes, 2015.

Looking at the images after my shoot, I wasn't all that impressed. It wasn't until I started playing with the these two in Lightroom and Photoshop that I found what I was looking for! (And yes, I did eat the soft boiled eggs afterwards...they were yummy!!)

July 5, 2015

Two Things

Two Things - Take 1. David Hayes, 2015.

Just two things - fruit and a bowl. So I decided upon green grapes and a white bowl. Backlit. Tight focus on the bowl. Going for "simply elegant".....

Two Things - Take 2. David Hayes, 2015.

Take 1 has minimal processing...Take 2 a bit more. One is from the side. Two is from the top...with a touch of Photoshop texturing...

July 2, 2015


Kipling. David Hayes, 2015.

"Be inspired by a still life painting..." That's how part of the prompt read. Hmmm... So I dug out all my old art history texts, and Googled "old masters still life paintings"...things like that. Decided to go with the all dark look, light from the left, Dutch masters sort-of-look....

Problem was that this type of set-up proved to be a devil to photograph! Too many contrasts between "whites" and "blacks". It took four separate tries and a reset before I had an image I was happy with! A true learning experience indeed. All good!!

June 25, 2015

Change Up

Coneflower #1. David Hayes, 2015

The prompt asked that we change things up...get outside...shoot some landscapes and then play with the edits. Be different...out of the box. All of that sort of thing. Problem was that on the days that I could get out to do that it was either pouring down rain or too stinking hot for my tastes...

Coneflower #2. David Hayes, 2015

Instead I went with my back-up plan and tried out a new 40mm lens I just purchased. Wanted to see how "close" I could get. Not a bad choice given what I came up with...but still hoping to get those landscape shots...

Both images were shot using my Nikon D90 DSLR and processed using Lightroom and Photoshop.

June 18, 2015

Four Things

Bread 1. David Hayes, 2015.

The prompt read: "Gather four things...a loaf of bread, linen, twine, and a pair of scissors..." An interesting combination of elements was my first thought. As I worked my set-up I saw how naturally these did come together!

Bread 1 is one shot from my session. I had to do some heavy duty cropping on this one as I "overshot" my backdrop...meaning my backdrop wasn't big enough. Lesson learned...I now have a bigger backdrop for the future. 

Bread 2. David Hayes, 2015.

Same set-up...shot from above. I like how I could deal with a bit of lens distortion that comes from such shots using Lightroom's tools.

Bread 3. David Hayes, 2015.

One final angle of this set-up. All were taken with my Nikon D90 DSLR and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.

For You. David Hayes, 2015.

We were also given a triptych template and challenged to put together our own foursome threesome (my words) using our images. For You is my version. 

June 9, 2015

Dirty Squares

Dirty Squares. David Hayes, 2015.

It was one of those nights...nothing I was editing was thrilling me. Perfect time for a little "faffing". For the hell of it I thought I'd create a white square and post it on IG just to see what sort of response it would get. I created the square, labeled "Square" (real original!) and started to post...

Then a spark of orneriness came across me...let's make it "dirty" and stick in into a Polaroid frame.  Added the word "Dirty". Perfect. 

Dirty Square - White. David Hayes, 2015.

What amazed me is how many people "liked" it on IG. Even left nice comments! I was on to something!!

Dirty Square - Red. David Hayes, 2015.

Dirty Square - Red was posted the next day...

Dirty Square - Blue. David Hayes, 2015.

Dirty Square - Blue followed to finish up the series. By then, my public had gotten bored with the whole concept and had moved on. IG can be such a fickle bitch sometimes...

I created each of these images using PS Touch and Polamatic. Should you be interested in owning a print of all or any of these, just let me know. They're only $90,000 each. (Might as well pay me that amount versus some dude in NYC that steals images...)

June 8, 2015


Gather. David Hayes, 2015.

Mood boards. I've see them all the time on IG and Tumblr. Full of wonderful crazy things that have significance for the creator...and perhaps those viewing them. Me...I take in the composition and most times droll over some of the included items...

From time to time I try to put together my own boards but never have liked what I come up with...probably because I'm not going about it the right way. Getting in the mood and all that...

The recent Be Still_52 prompt asked us to take a moment to settle into "intentions" and then take a walk in nature. To gather things during our walk that reflect said intentions. Then, use these with chosen props to create a board.

Long ago I stopped gathering things from nature feeling that it was best to leave everything right where it was. Low-impact visits. Take pictures instead. So...that's what I did...take pictures of the Little Miami River as I walked a portion of it. Those are in the middle of my board. The props...the wooden board and spoon are a surprise gift from Kyle Tueffer of Bole and Buck that arrived that same day, the other things just seemed to fit.

Shot with my Nikon D90 camera, processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.

June 3, 2015

Recipe Book Project - Recipe Number 2

Covered Bridge. David Hayes, 2015

I have used the source image of this bridge once before...this time I used the app Enlight to give it a different look and the basis for my second Recipe Book Project video tutorial....have a look!


May 28, 2015

Recipe Book Project - Recipe Number 1

Tower. David Hayes, 2015.

Some time ago I ran an on-line project entitled the "Recipe Book Project." where I shared my "recipes" for creating iphoneography images. I also invited other artists to contribute their images and recipes. This went on for a bit...but then it didn't and I stopped from lack of time and interest. That was then and now is now. Thought it might be fun to give this project another go...but with a twist. Instead of posting full blown tutes, I'll be posting mini-tutes created using the app, Pics2Mov. Today I'm posting Recipe Number 1 which is about how I created Tower.

Let me know what you think of this format...and...if you'd like to play along and submit your mini-tutes, I'd be honored to post them on my blog!

May 27, 2015

River Dreams

River Dreams. David Hayes, 2015.

Not exactly "organic"....which is the theme of last week's Be Still_52 prompt...but I really didn't want to do fruits or vegetables. I thought about using ostrich eggs...but then I didn't have any....

These were taken last week at the Little Miami River which runs just blocks from our row house. The images didn't come out looking as good as I hoped...lighting wrong or maybe it  was my attitude when I shot them...or something. I took a different tack when I processed them in Lightroom...went for a black and white vintage look. 

Still working on the "organic" idea...haven't given up yet...

May 21, 2015


Postcard. David Hayes, 2015

I don't know what it is as of late...I seem to get further behind on my projects than ahead! Maybe it's because I keep adding new ones? In any case...I'm just finishing up last week's Be Still_52 prompts!

This prompt asked us to consider a family member and then create a still life portrait of them using objects that connected us to them. I chose my wife who is an accomplished knitter and seamstress. Borrowing a bit of her yarn and needles, I put together this vignette. Shot with my Nikon D90 and processed first in Lightroom. From there I added the Post Card texture in Photo Shop. I really do like how this all came together!

Fabric and Yarn. David Hayes, 2015.

For this one I added a piece of fabric, her pinking shears, and measuring tape. Again, shot with my Nikon and processed in Lightroom. While I think this is a better "portrait" of her as it has both fabric and yarn, "Postcard" is my favorite.

May 14, 2015

Milk and Cookies

Milk and Cookies (1). David Hayes, 2015.

So...when I saw that the most recent Be Still_52 involved "milk and cookies" I wasn't all that excited. After all...I'm more of a "beer and pretzels", "wine and cheese", or "bourbon and cashews" type of guy. None-the-less I have it a try. Here are two images...both shot using my Nikon D90 and processed in Lightroom...

Milk and Cookies (2). David Hayes, 2015.

May 10, 2015


Cuppa. David Hayes, 2015.

A recent Be Still_52 prompt was "cuppa". My first thought was...hmmm...maybe it's time that I join the club and post an image of one of those fancy coffee drinks. Or maybe a trashed Starbucks cup filled with cigarette butts. Something like that. Instead I went the traditional route...it's good to practice with what works. 

The first image was shot with my iphone6 camera app and processed using VSCOcam.

Cuppa 1. David Hayes, 2015.
This image was shot using my Nikon DSLR and processed using Lightroom. After some adjustments in Basics, I applied a Kim Klassen preset. 

Cuppa 2. David Hayes, 2015.

My third image was also shot using my Nikon and processed in Lightroom. This time I used a VSCO black and white preset.

The same set-up...three different angles and processing approaches. Not bad at all. Now I'm going out to find that trashed-out Starbucks cup...

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 everyday...it'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 window...is dealing with the window reflections. I've several different tricks that I might use depending on the image...in Mirror Mirror I decided that these reflections just added to the image particularly after processing it with the app, Distressed FX.