Don’s Next Project

6 September 2020

“The Blue Violin”

The Blue Violin

Before lockdown I started planning a series of shoots involving a violin. Not any ordinary fiddle. But a blue violin I discovered on eBay for £25, including delivery! Bargain! And it tuned up to concert ‘A’ – but it was destined to be a prop and doubtful the actors I engaged in this little escapade would know which end to blow in to. A local studio booked and with models researched the project floundered when full lock down was imposed.

During lockdown I revisited old RAW files and experimented with photoshop blending layers, frequency separation, noise filters and masks. And as lockdown was relaxed, I rescheduled the postponed shoots with ideas of how the post processing would build the image. I wanted statuesque dramatic monochromes, high contrast lighting inspired by Dutch masters, colourful abstract, and Edwardian chic.

I had backgrounds from Leighton House to sync into using VR techniques, matching implied direction of light, and newfound processing skills to match colour, gamma curve and definition. I was careful to match the ISO and lens angles. As Leighton House was mixed lighting and an ISO of 2500 that was a challenge, but I needed consistent sensor noise.

Several blending techniques – overlay, multiply and soft light – blending high contrast images with high frequency filtering over naturally exposed frames to created soft, high contrast monochromes. With much accidental experimentation I found a rich colour-scheme with a high blended curve which created a Dutch masters look. Not classic Rembrandt lighting, but allowing flesh tones to emerge from darkness.

Studio sequences played with angular poses and a boho look with coloured lighting.

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