Aug 23, 2014

One Great Wedding 28 June, 2014

As I sat under the night sky, I again found myself thinking back to my recent trip to Namibia. It wasn’t a holiday, but it wasn’t work either. This, was much, much more.

You see, this trip, was for a wedding. But, not just any wedding, no. This was my younger brother’s special day. He had met his very special lady through his circle of friends. To cut the story short, things went well and they are now very, very happily married.
I can’t remember when last I have seen Brendon this happy as I did over that weekend. Quite a bit of time has passed since and I still think back on it.
[Tokens of thanks will be mention first in my little story]
First off was the announcement, then the planning etc. that built up to the big weekend. So, my first thanks must go to Stephen and Robyn, for hooking a brother up. Without you guys (and whomever contributed), I would not have been there to share their day. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I love you all so dearly.
 Stephen Robyn, Sinead and Abigail Scott

Right, now I had to make a plan to get to the airport. Victor Moss and Leanne (soon to be Moss) Van Zyl, thank you for putting me up for night night. Oh, and tolerating my pongy shoes and somewhat rapid exit the next morning. Love you guys too!
Victor and Leanne Moss
We landed in Namibia just minutes before the Scotts and Dougalls from Johannesburg. What a treat! The gathering has started. Here’s Michael and Annemarie Scott, with their 2 year old daughter, Gia. Whom I only just met in Namibia. Thank you for travelling all the way from Louis Trichardt to join us.

Michael, Annemarie and Gia Scott
  Thank you, for being there, the company and the chance to finally meet Gia in person. Thank you too Michael, for the walks, I really enjoyed them.
Now, we can’t forget the cousins, Robert and Kylie, (the real Jo’burg family) who arrived on the same plane from Jozi. Thank you guys for being there, for all that you guys did in making the weekend what it was.
The family is coming together now. 

We step through passport control, collect our luggage and are greeted by the last brother and the love of his life. We will get back to them later…
We arrive at Farm Finkenstein, just in time for brunch. At this point we are met by the new extensions to the family. The bride’s mom, Malize, thank you for opening your arms to our irregular family. The sister Nadia, who became a friend and of course, our guide, driver and liason when needed.
There are a few more names that need to be mentioned before we go onto the main event. Erika and Shawn, the residents of Farm Finkenstein. Two more awesome people who opened their house to us. Put us up for the weekend in some incredible rooms and put up with us. They provided great company and presented us with some fantastic feasts. Thank you very much for everything that you did. Shawn, you can braai, champion.
Now, I could carry on and on, but you’re here to read about a wedding and see some pictures, right? Well, okay…
Introducing the stars of the story.
Brendon and Carmen Scott.
Good looking couple, aren't they?
First off, on the lighter side, they apparently have a debate as to who is more uh, ‘full of it’. We now have the pictures to prove it. Oh my…
Okay, but seriously, Brendon could not have found a better person than Carmen. It’s been a long time since I have seen Brendon this happy, truly happy. Now, the arrangement between Brendon and myself was to shoot only post weeding photos… but, I couldn’t do that. What, the whole ceremony must just be cell phone pictures from behind, really? So I walked about and took photos of it all. In hindsight, there could be one or two that I missed, but I got most of it.
But. let’s rewind a bit…
First off, we all played our part in setting up what we could and of course, there had to be a little tension, but that blew over quicker than a Gauteng storm. Tables were set, all extras in place. My beautiful mom, Mavis Scott, made these really awesome thank you cards and face cloths with a B and C embroidered into them.

The entire d├ęcor, when done, looked like it was done by professionals. Well done to all who helped make it look so good!
How the cards and face cloths looked on the table
It all looked so great!
View from the married couple's seats
A view of the intimate dining area, very well set up.
So, the wedding was small and intimate with only close family and friends.
Brendon took his place up front, next to the Pastor. The crowd took their seats, but had to leave them behind because we still needed them for the ceremony.
Carmen emerged with her mom Malize (apologies for the spelling) by her side and I must say, Carmen, looked amazing.
 Brendon was brimming with excitement. We could tell by his inability to stand still, or keep his hands steady, or the fact that he could not stop grinning. Carmen, kept her cool better, but the tell-tale signs were there, she was just as excited.
The wedding went off without a hitch and nobody objected. The rings, everything was perfect. Except, maybe for the one or two cheesy jokes. Then it was first photo time… and everybody wanted in on that action… as a photographer, this is the challenging time. There are so many over-eager, paparazzi types and that resulted in me bobbing about between the frenzy to get my piece too. I, somewhere along the line, was the lucky one who managed to find the piece of metal with a tap attached to it. Well, my right knee actually. A little blood was worth it though. But after all that, my time was now…

Finally, some quiet time with the newlyweds. They spoke about a very special tree and the rail tracks… I like both ideas and had the privilege of seeing them prior to the wedding. Let’s go!! We hopped in the little Toyota Fortuner and rolled gracefully through some pretty rough terrain to the uh, Pappul? Well, The Giant Australian Oak Tree. This is where Brendon and Carmen took their first “couple Seflie”, so it was a must.

Brendon showing His Support for Carmen

Carmen correcting Brendon's manners.
Their love for all life.
Kylie had asked me ealier that Saturday, why I was smiling. I told her it was because of the clouds in the sky. It made little sense to her at the time… I’m sure she understands now…

 We had allot of fun during the shoot (as you’ve probably noticed already) and as usual, I was shooting on a bit of a whim… getting ideas as we went along. Between myself, Nadia, Carmen and Brendon, we really got creative. In this photo (during editing), I noticed the cloud formation resembled a heart. So, a little cloning and painting, I managed to emphasise on that shape. I hope they noticed. If they didn’t, they would now… see the difference?  

Okay, I’m running out of things to write about, so I’m going to call it an end. But, a last few words need to be said. It was a fantastic weekend, including the game drive and everything else we saw and did. Again, I say thank you to everyone involved. To see two people so happy together is something amazing. Weddings always seem to bring people together in love and happiness. Even the people who are not getting married. I have found new love in such a short time for my new sister-in law and her family. I still think back every day on that weekend and how special it was.

Much love to all of my family.

Jun 6, 2014

Water Legs - Photo Manipulation

I've done something out of the norm again!
I got this idea to replace my legs, with falling water onto my shoes.
It really wasn't easy to shoot, but it was fun.
Of course, the first thing of any photo shoot is the setup. I mean, focus, position and of course, a proper frame or composition. Remember to shoot a little wider so there's space to crop. It's a real bugger to try and add to a shot afterwards. For this experiment, I used my back yard, well, actually my landlord's back yard. My spot had great light bouncing off the wall behind the camera, allowing me to be in the shadow of a tree, while still getting enough light on me as I posed repetitively until I had a shot I could use (shot about 5 shots in total).
I don't have fancy gear, I don't. This was shot with my Sony SLT-A35 and my kit 18-55mm lens set to around 18mm.

Now once I had a pose that would work, the pouring could begin. 8 or 9 shots (and a wet pair of denims and especially the shoes) later, I had two images I could potentially use to mask over my legs.
Here's me now finally getting the left "leg" close enough.

Then the right leg.
Each time I would have to walk to the camera, check the shot and try again. The tap I was using was also a walk away, so the bucket constantly needed filling too. Remember, I don't have a remote shutter or anything, so each shot was set with the camera's 10 second timer. In which case I would be running up and down between shots.

Problems will arise if your planning is not 100% spot-on. Here I was using a square bucket, because it gave me great walls of falling water. Thing is, somewhere along the line, I got must have bumped the shoes, or the camera just slightly, so the alignment wasn't accurate. Also, the water angle wasn't right. But it's cool, I have Photoshop CS5.
When I was masking the water over my legs, I had to adjust the correct them. For this I used my select too, pressed ctrl+T to select the distort option. This helped, but not enough. I then used the rectangle marquee tool to select the parts I needed and ctrl+J to duplicate these. Again, the select tool and, again, the distort function to try align it more. the I used the warp tool (right-click select warp) to bend the shoes back into place and align things properly. Then I added mask layers to the water and blended them in properly. Once I had them all aligned and blended, I cropped the image a bit. I then created a merged image from the layers (ctrl-clicking on merge layers will create a merged layer without losing your previous layers).
I then played a little further using Shadow/Highlights and a soft-light B&W layer blended over that to bring back some depth and detail. The result is what you see below. :)

Remember, If you want more details, or to book me for a unique and creative shoot, drop me a >mail< and I will pencil you in. All images are the intellectual property of Collin Scott Photography, all rights reserved (C) 2014.
If you do share, please remember to respect the creator and to mention them in your post.
Thank you, have a great day!