I didn’t attend last night’s talk on TV news photography but I understand from Brian it was one of the best talks given at the club.
I can’t really add a blog on the evening.
I thought instead, having read some blogs from the judges on their points of view on judging competitions. I would give a blog on how difficult it is sometimes getting an image ready for a competition.
Did the slipper fit?
I have always been competitive and always try and learn from any comments and criticisms given by the judges on every member’s image shown in the competitions.
I have made a special effort this year to try and produce at least one image that is slightly different and perhaps create an idea that may not have previously been seen by the judge.
However the subject given on the “Time theme” had me baffled for a long while. Initially, I sat down and came up with what I thought was an original idea of me as a youngster in a mirror reflection whilst I, now much older looking into the same mirror, but searching the internet for tips I found the idea had been used many times before, so I abandoned that idea.
I then read the H G Wells Time machine book to see if there were any ideas in it that could be use but there was nothing in it to help me.
Then I came up with the idea of a theme of ‘Pantomime time’ especially Cinderella who had a disaster at midnight lol. However, I would need a glass slipper and looking on the internet I could buy a pair that Kim Kardashian would wear for £500 but too expensive to use as a prop in a photograph.
So I went on to YouTube to see if it was possible to make a glass slipper. One guy had successfully made one by covering a high heel shoe with triangle shapes cut from a hologram tape. Years ago, I was reasonably good at making fancy dress costumes so it would not be too hard to make or would it?
I then found myself down at the Hobby Craft shop in Aylesbury where I was asking the manager if she had any hologram tape and a perhaps a toy shoe as my wife doesn’t wear high heels. The lady manager suggested some glitter and that I could perhaps try a charity shop and get a pair of high heels for 50p. So out of the shop I came, clutching two tubes of crystal coloured glitter, a jar of white paint and some glue lol.
I then had a tour of all the charity shops in Aylesbury looking for one high heel shoe but all the shoes were sold in pairs and they wanted around £8 a set. So that involved me going to the counter each time and asking for a high heeled shoe in any condition and then having to explain that I wasn’t actually mad but wanted it for a prop. I also wanted a large clock that didn’t need to work but I needed to get a shoe at the right price first.
There wasn’t anything in Aylesbury so I tried the Wendover charity shops and one kind lady popped upstairs and came down with a pair of heels that were scuffed and said I could have them for £2. However, I didn’t have any luck with the purchasing of a clock. So it was back into Aylesbury where the madness continued searching the charity shops asking for a large clock that didn’t need to work and finally I found one in a backstreet charity shop for £2.99.
Now I had spent £11.99 but needed a pumpkin and six white mice. Fortunately Halloween was approaching so I had no trouble in getting a pumpkin from Tesco for £3.99 and picking their biggest one from their large stock pile. I was then back on the internet where I found it was possible to buy toy mice for cats but nothing looked realistic and those available came in various colours in a set. (I found out cats are apparently colour blind).
The pet shop in the local nursery had white mice but they had wheels on powered by a clockwork engine but they didn’t look realistic enough and cost £3.99 each. Finally I found my last prop in the pet shop in Aylesbury which had a realistic brown mouse for £3.99 but I could only justify buying one at that price. So I had now spent many days hunting and a cost of £20 on props just for a photograph lol.
The manager in the Hobby craft shop had suggested that I painted the shoe white first, as any marks on the shoe will show through the glitter. However, I did have two shoes to experiment on but need to get it right else I would be paying out a lot more to get another pair.
So I painted a white shoe white and also in the inside of the shoe and then after it had dried I applied some glitter
However, after several coats of glitter it didn’t look that good
So it was back to Hobby Craft shop to buy some cut stones for another £1.50
But didn’t really improve the slipper much and also the reflection in the clock was going to create a problem so the glass had to come out
Ideally I would prefer a Grand Staircase but turning up at a mansion to ask permission with a pumpkin under my arm would not have gone down well. Also I would needed to have got the shots right first time as I wouldn’t get a second chance.
So it was back to the drawing board on making the slipper
And a rearrangement of the cut diamonds
Then I went into the software to see how NIK would create an image in midnight mode and GIMP to enhance the diamonds
Well that wouldn’t be good enough so it was wait for darkness and use a flash. I thought I had got the required shot but spotted the mouse didn’t look realistic and its eyes were just not big enough
So it was into GIMP software to create some small eyes
a couple of hundred pictures later arranging the props in different positions
And having spent weeks on this I finally picked the one for me after cloning the mouse’s tail to a point but would it please the judge. He wouldn’t be aware of the time I had spent on it. I titled it “Oh my god is that the time”.
Fortunately the judge liked it enough to give me an 18 which was pleasing and worth my while, as my scores were rising this year
I was improving and looking forward to the next competition,
or was I ?
Another little blog to come later as I try to make sense of the next one lol