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About Photography / Professional Eugene Hopkinson33/Male/United Kingdom Recent Activity
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Newest Deviations

Pattaya Dusk by slowriot Pattaya Dusk :iconslowriot:slowriot 27 2 Into the Storm II by slowriot Into the Storm II :iconslowriot:slowriot 34 2 Structure, Constructure by slowriot Structure, Constructure :iconslowriot:slowriot 11 1 The Ice Queen by slowriot The Ice Queen :iconslowriot:slowriot 5 0 Selenium II by slowriot Selenium II :iconslowriot:slowriot 16 0 Andalusian Dusk by slowriot Andalusian Dusk :iconslowriot:slowriot 47 3 Stray by slowriot Stray :iconslowriot:slowriot 67 3 Steindl's Staircase by slowriot Steindl's Staircase :iconslowriot:slowriot 6 2 Alcedo Atthis by slowriot Alcedo Atthis :iconslowriot:slowriot 16 0 Devonian to Cretaceous by slowriot Devonian to Cretaceous :iconslowriot:slowriot 46 3 Tides of Time by slowriot Tides of Time :iconslowriot:slowriot 0 0 Vexed by slowriot Vexed :iconslowriot:slowriot 4 0 Rosy Classic by slowriot Rosy Classic :iconslowriot:slowriot 3 0 Solitude by slowriot Solitude :iconslowriot:slowriot 7 1 Corner by slowriot Corner :iconslowriot:slowriot 32 0 Sun, Sky, Sea, Ships, Shore and Shade by slowriot Sun, Sky, Sea, Ships, Shore and Shade :iconslowriot:slowriot 39 1

Activity


Pattaya Dusk
Another two-shot handheld HDR, this time with different manual shutter speed and ISO settings as the light was rapidly changing, manually aligned and merged to get the most drama from the sky and the lighting on the land and sea. The images chosen for the HDR were from a consecutive series, rapidly shot, which captured the moment the streetlights were turning on - the higher exposed image which was exposed for the shore was taken the moment before they lit.

Shot from the same location as "Sun, Sky, Sea, Ships, Shore and Shade", this is in a way a spiritual successor to that image.

However, the edit is intended to be more subtle, with a softer and more mellow, pastel colour palette. Normally I'm a proponent of lower resolution images, but there's a great deal of detail in the shore buildings and boats which I find myself wishing was visible here - at 1200x800, however, you just can't make any of it out. The lens distortion also has the buildings leaning in a little too much, so not seeing much detail there is probably for the best.

Overall editing steps consisted of manual HDR combination, separate curves selectively applied to the sky and the land and sea, cloning out sensor dust and distracting floats in the foreground, wavelet decompose and suppression of coarse details in the lower clouds and sea, and suppression of finer details and noise in the upper clouds. Finally resize, wavelet decompose at the new size and raising the finest detail level's influence globally, and finally selective sharpen.

High quality prints are available at riot.dpcprints.com.
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Into the Storm II
Shot at the same time as Into the Storm, from the window of an international flight somewhere over India, the brighter cloud was flashing with lightning every couple of seconds. Lit by the last rays of the sun, while the lower clouds below are already falling into shadow.

Shot handheld through the window under the wing with the amazingly flexible Helios 85mm f/1.5, stopped down a bit for its best sharpness, and manually focused in live view. The heat of the sensor due to being in live view for an extended period is responsible for the surprisingly high noise, despite this being an ISO 100 shot - something I need to keep a closer eye on in future.

I decided to take the editing a little further than the original, and revisit it using some techniques I've picked up more recently - most specifically, wavelet decompose. Separating the image into detail scales, I boosted the relative small details in parts of the upper cloud while reducing the broader details in smoother places, as a form of manual noise reduction of sorts.

Editing: curves, dodging and burning, wavelet decompose and detail scale adjustment in various areas of the image, resize and selective sharpen.

Prints are available from riot.dpcprints.com.
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Structure, Constructure
Shot in the last of the evening light against an already darkening sky as the sunlight slanted at the perfect angle - this crane braced against a slip form tower block under construction cast its shadow on the building in just the right way.

The evening light gave a lot of depth and richness to the colours naturally, so the subsequent edit was fairly minimal - a crop to square, curves, wavelet decompose and reduction of large scale details on the concrete surface, resize and sharpen.

High quality prints are available at www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM…
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The Ice Queen
A spontaneous portrait, with the shallow depth of field of the 50mm f/1.2L.

Fluorescent lights do have their uses. This was shot in a lift, which has fluorescent tubes running vertically behind greenish glass on both sides. The quality of light is quite unique, giving a flat ring-flash-like effect of lighting without shadows, but adding a greenish colour cast from the fluorescent light that doesn't usually make it seem suitable for portraits. However, this time I wanted to express a distinctly wintery mood, and the lighting helped a lot with that.

I've recently switched to using the EC-S precision matte focusing screen, and I'm enjoying it a lot - it makes a huge difference when manually adjusting focus with lenses with such wide apertures as this and my Helios 85 f/1.5. Without it, I don't think I'd have been able to place the focal plane so confidently, quickly enough to capture the natural expression in this spontaneous portrait.

Editing was fairly minimal; a small crop to place the eyes and lips almost exactly on the golden sections. Curves to emphasise blues in the shadows (mainly the scarf and coat), reds in the lower midtones (especially the hair), and slightly raising all three of greens and reds and blues in slightly different areas of the highlights. Resize, and selective sharpen.
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Selenium II
This is another hand-held HDR, believe it or not, at 800mm. Shot at the 400mm end of the 100-400L IS, with a 2x teleconverter - however, on a larger crop factor body (and no crop, unlike the previous photo). I wanted to include some more visual environment, this time. I knew the sharpness wasn't going to be amazing, but I didn't have time to get and set up a tripod before the moon ducked behind cloud; besides, the 2x TC is a cheap one and reduces critical sharpness a good deal anyway. The image stabiliser, combined with some careful balance and elbow bracing, allowed me to shoot a three-shot HDR at -6, -3 and 0 stops, varying the shutter speed from 1/80th, via 1/10th, to almost 1 second, in a rapid 10fps burst.

I wasn't happy with any of the automatic alignment efforts of Hugin and Luminance HDR, and the tonemaps all looked completely crap, so I decided to approach this as a manual HDR with partial duotone instead. I wanted to split the tones into three zones, each occupying a distinct third of the tonal range; the full range of the sky to occupy the lower third only; the moon itself to occupy the upper two thirds, with the craters, seas and lowlands occupying the middle third, and the highlands occupying the uppermost third.

I started by taking the highest exposure, showing the sky, and applying a manual tone curve so that the brightest point of the sky just outside the lunar disc was at 1/3rd luminance value; I then flattened the remainder of that curve so the rest of the disc was no brighter than that 1/3rd grey.

I then layered the darkest -6 underexposed exposure, showing the moon clearly, on top of that - aligned it, and set its mode to additive, so it would build on top of the 1/3rd grey of the disc as its darkest point. I adjusted its curves similarly, this time to scale it to the remaining 2/3rds (the combined result taking up the full luminance gamut), and adjusted the shape of the curve to more distinctly separate the craters and seas of dust from the highlands.

I then experimented with some manual duotones, but in the end felt that the unedited natural slightly warm grey cast of the sky fitted best for the clouds, so I left that - it looked close to a pantone warm grey 5C - so this is actually a full colour image. I applied a pantone cool grey 10C tone to the moon itself only, which seemed to produce a pleasing but subtle colour temperature contrast.

The remainder of the edit was just the usual resize, and selective sharpen in three stages, to bring out the most detail from the moon and try to compensate for the lack of critical sharpness from the crap teleconverter combined with the atmospheric distortion.

High quality prints are available from www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM…
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Andalusian Dusk
Shot shortly after sunset looking west along a bay of the Andalusian coast from a relatively tall mesa, using the 100mm f/2.8L macro to compress the perspective and flatten out the waterscape. The light in winter here is amazing, giving the dusty sunsets a soft golden glow that then infuses into everything, melting into the ocean and the stark desert mountains.

Working with the wavelet decompose technique to control detail on different scales, suppressing finer details in the sky and mountains as a form of noise control, and suppressing larger details to bring out finer grain in the surface of the sea.

Editing: 0.9 degree rotation to level the horizon, cloning out sensor dust, curves to bring up the blues in the shadows and the yellows and reds in the highlights, dodging and burning to increase the contrast of the sea relative to the mountains, wavelet decompose and reduction of smaller details in the sky and flat areas of the mountains, and decrease of the coarse details in the sea surface, resize and very light sharpen.
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Stray
Winner of this week's "The Eyes Have It" contest on dpchallenge.com.

A young stray cat feeding off scraps under tables at a cafe in a small town in Spain. I placed the camera down on the ground under my chair with the 16-35 at its wide end, and did my best to attract her over. I was hoping for more symmetry, but I quite like how the curious look combined with the offset paws and tail.

A lot of experimental editing here, taking certain techniques a bit further than usual. Rather than a selective partial desaturation, this is actually a selective combination of two different duotone conversions - the majority of the image converted to a manually curved duotone based on pantone warm grey 7U in the midtones, and pantone cool grey 10C in the highlights. The eyes are done with the same process but the opposite way round (with different curves), so the midtones are the cool grey and the highlights are the warm.

Another technique I'm experimenting with here is wavelet decompose, splitting the image into different detail scales and smoothing out detail at some scales only; that allowed me to reduce the coarseness of the fur and bring out the finer fur texture around the cat's face.

Overall, a lot of editing steps here: Starting with dodging and burning to fully blow out the background highlights. Curves to bring up the blues in the shadows (this was originally a colour edit) and raise the overall gamma. Selective curves and saturation adjustment to emphasise the colour and tone of the eyes; partial selective desat on brightly lit parts of the foreground to make the highlights more muted and subtle. Crop to place the eyes on golden sections, and then in a bit further to fill the frame. Cloning to clean up distracting dust from the ground, and a few stray hairs on the cat. Desaturation with a red/orange filter effect manually pulled with channel mixer. Two different duotone conversions as mentioned above, applied selectively. Wavelet decompose, and smoothing out the wavelet contributions from higher scale layers to bring out the finer detail in the fur. Amplify the two finest layers of detail to 200% and 150% respectively. Resize, selective sharpen, and a few spots of selective gaussian blur on the out of focus areas where banding had become visible.

High quality prints available from riot.dpchallenge.com.
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Steindl's Staircase
The title refers to Imre Steindl, the designer of the Hungarian Parliament building, who went blind before he could ever see it completed. There's a statue of him in this room.

I actually saw this staircase on a postcard, before I ever visited, and immediately thought "I want to try a version of that shot!"

The reality is always a little more fiddly than the ideal, though. I had to shoot hand-held in poor light, holding the camera out above the heads of pushy tourists and composing in live view... the lens distortion required a fair bit of correction, as did my imperfect framing which left this slightly off centre; the edge of the white portions of the carpet not meeting the corners of the image symmetrically bugs me, as does the slight asymmetry in the windows, and this lens loses a lot of quality in the very corners. To be fair it's designed as a 1.6 crop lens, shooting on a 1.3 crop body, so I shouldn't complain.

Editing consisted of lens distortion correction, perspective correction, cloning out some rubbish on the stairs (they don't keep that red carpet very clean), curves, excessively aggressive dodging and burning, resize, and a teeny tiny sharpen. Lately I've been noticing oversharpening more and more on some of my older work, and the works of others, so I've been consciously trying to dial it back more.

High quality prints are available at www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM…
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Alcedo Atthis
Editing: Curves, selective saturation, cloning, dodging and burning (including dodging all of the remaining background into oblivion), channel mixer to blend blues and greens, then splitting them into layers and applying a different curve to each colour to reassemble them into a more pleasing flow of irridescence of greeny-blue to deep blue, selective desaturation to remove browns and reds except around its head, selective desaturation of the wingtips, selective curves, crop and extending with a white "border" for a more pleasing composition, resize, and three stage selective sharpen.
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Devonian to Cretaceous
A sectioned ammonite fossil; my first attempt at a proper photo with the 100mm f/2.8L macro. A beautiful lens, very well built, and optically excellent. I definitely need more practice to get used to it.

In this shot depth of field was a tradeoff against critical sharpness; I was shooting on a tripod with flash, so I wasn't limited in my choice of aperture. However, the majority of the subject matter was very close to the plane of focus, and I began to see losses in sharpness due to diffraction as soon as f/11 and smaller, so i chose to limit myself to that aperture - despite the loss of depth of field leading the image to be less sharp along the left edge due to the subject's surface curvature.

Editing: crop, cloning of sensor dust, tidying up the corners, and removing stray dust on the subject, curves to emphasise the blues in the shadows and reds in the midtones, resize and sharpen.
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Tides of Time
A somewhat challenging take on the classic blurred-water long exposure, and a homage to the iconic scene towards the end of Apocalypse Now where Captain Willard rises from the mud.

I asked myself what would be a difficult subject to carry out a long exposure with, and decided a human portrait would be pretty tricky; a couple of seconds might be fine, five or even ten might be harder, but 30 should be a genuine challenge to avoid blur. I felt it would be more interesting to combine this challenge aspect with a recognisable classic long-exposure cliche, and since traffic trails wouldn't really work with a human in the shot (and wouldn't be all that difficult, anyway), I decided to combine rippling water with the static human face instead of ocean cliffs. And since it would be unreasonable to ask any model to sit very still in a cold bath (more on this below), this had to be a self-portrait.

The light source is a single candle, trimmed to the right length in advance and supported by a water-filled gin bottle, to hold it at the correct depth in the water. I used a neutral density filter as well as dropping the ISO to 50, to allow me to keep the aperture reasonably wide, to get an acceptable amount of background blur; by trial and error I settled on f/5. Camera was set on a sturdy tripod, set to mirror lockup to minimise vibration, and configured to autofocus on the spot where my right eye should be, in the top left third of the frame. Configured to autofocus on shutter half-press, which was actuated by a wireless remote release.

Setup photos: 1 2

Then after enough test shots, it was just a matter of filling the bath with cold water, climbing in, propping myself up so that I could sit very still, and firing the wireless remote release with one hand out of the frame without getting it wet, while holding my breath. This was the least blurry of however many I managed to take before freezing to death.

Why was the water cold, you ask? To get the framing and perspective I wanted, I needed to shoot with a 50mm from close up - just over the rim of the bath. Water vapour from hot bath water would have condensed on the lens. That can sometimes give a useful soft focus effect, but it wasn't what I was going for with this shot.

Editing: cloning out some water droplet reflections and hot pixels from the long exposure, selective gaussian blur in a few spots where the water had stayed too still, curves (especially adding a blue fill to this otherwise almost entirely red/green shot to add a film-like effect), resize and three-step selective sharpen.
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Vexed
A street portrait at dusk; the timing was right for the fading sky light to balance against the lights providing the background bokeh.

Trying for a bit of a different portraiture style; The model was instructed to look quizzical, but this annoyed expression came out instead, and I decided to go with it.

The bokeh shows the "swirl" characteristic of the Helios when shooting wide open.

Editing: Just resize and sharpen.
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Rosy Classic
It's good to have an excuse to shoot with the 135mm Soft Focus. A one of a kind lens, really, allowing you to get shots of a quality you simply can't produce by postprocessing alone. It has a separate rotating control for "amount of soft focus", which basically introduces a controlled amount of spherical aberration into the image.

The intention here is the classic late 70s / early 80s overdone glamour look, loads of glow and softness and light and warmth. To achieve that, a lot of lighting on the background is needed, and to allow the glow to diffuse through the model rather than simply blowing out highlights and deepening shadows, it's necessary to almost entirely eliminate shadows in the image - at least sharp ones. Everything has to be diffuse, and then the glow can just about be made to work. It's pretty hard not to overdo the effect with this lens, and when overdone, everything just looks dazzling rather than comfortable.

Composition was intended to evoke a lot of 70s style magazine work where the shots are faux-candid or impromptu portraits, the camera briefly catches the model's eye in a stolen moment. There's a doorway or a wall and a hint of background detail just to give it some setting and tonal balance to the composition, despite the background really being lost to an aethereal dreamy blur.

Like many of the uncommon lenses I've been shooting with lately, this requires live view to be able to see what's really going on, because what you see in the viewfinder is nothing like what arrives on the sensor.

The majority of the actual editing was mostly work with curves to amplify the warm colours. Slight rotation, crop, cloning out sensor dust, curves curves curves, dodging and burning especially to bring out the shades of the hair, hue adjustment on the background, resize, and selective sharpen.
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Corner
Not a lot to say about this one; another composition that simply stood out to me immediately. Shot with the ultra-wide at the long (20mm) end.

The shadows are cast by buildings that would have been just outside a tighter crop, but here I've taken advantage of the extended editing rules to ruthlessly remove adjacent trees and buildings, along with some distracting wires and lights. Extended the buildings to the corners to make the most of the geometry. Tidying up the clouds a bit, resize, sharpen.
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Sun, Sky, Sea, Ships, Shore and Shade
Another hand-held HDR, a three-shot burst at -3, 0 and +3 stops from the evaluative meter, varying the shutter speed between the shots to keep the aperture at a constant f/8.

The three images merged with Luminance HDR, and used to produce three separate tonemapped versions. The three were then blended in postprocessing in the following ratios: Mantiuk06 algorithm 45%, Drago 30% and Fattal 25%. Each tonemapped version had its curves adjusted individually prior to finalising the blend to get the best contrast, and the resulting image was again curves-adjusted to bring out the best colours. This is a slightly more sophisticated version of the workflow I used on Castell Dinas Brân.

Editing consisted of cloning out some sensor dust, cloning out some distracting floats, manually correcting for lens distortion visible on the buildings on the left, rotating by 0.9 degrees and touching up the resultant corners, resize and sharpen.

High quality prints are available at www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM….
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Alpha
Shot just as the sun was setting, everything was bathed in a purpleish light that gave excellent contrast to the stonework. Editing this I knew right away that a good black and white conversion was essential.

A manual duotone used here with duotone warm grey and cool grey.

Very much a last minute entry, completed with four minutes to go.

Editing: cloning, curves, desaturation, curves, resize, duotone, sharpen.

High quality prints available at www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM….
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PyroTechnical
Those of you who have been following my abstracts on here will immediately recognise the lens; it's the vintage Soviet Helios lens modified to have a square aperture, which I used to produce another urban abstract, Taxi Noir.

This is indeed a shot of real fireworks, on bonfire night. Square aperture set to a value that approximately parallels horizontals and verticals (with this lens nothing is very precise, because the bokeh tends towards the oval at the corners, as is typical for the type), then de-focused an appropriate amount to get a pleasing degree of spread, while watching in live view. Once the correct settings were found, however, I switched to shooting from the viewfinder (despite not seeing a true preview of the bokeh) to be able to catch the right moment without the additional mirror movement delay of shooting from live view.

Editing: crop, cloning out a distracting street light, increasing saturation on the blues and reds, subtle curves, resize and sharpen.

Prints available from www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM…
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Still Life with Fruit
It really went against the grain with me to set up a still life with studio lighting, and then shoot it at the widest aperture.

Normally in a flash-lit scene like this it would be possible to get everything pin sharp, but I wanted to sufficiently separate the model in the background from the core depth of field, while compressing the perspective just the right amount to frame it this way; that meant sacrificing some sharpness on the candles at the back and the grapes and apples at the very front.

I was undecided about the best setup for this shot, so I tried two approaches, of which this is the second. The first approach involved shooting wide, with a 24mm lens quite close to the fruit on a tripod with mirror lockup and a remote release, at f/1.8, producing this alternative version.

I did quite like that one, especially the way the model looks in it, but I felt there wasn't that much separation of her as the "distracting background" from the foreground - while shooting at f/1.8 had most of the foreground unacceptably unsharp.

This version was shot at 100mm, hand-held, from a considerably longer distance away - outside the room, in fact. That allowed me to put the model further back in the scene, and have less light spill on her from the main lights, while keeping her sufficiently blurred yet providing overall more sharpness to the fruit. Helps that the 100-400L is an excellent lens for critical sharpness, too.

Light setup was three wireless flashes, the one on the right firing into a matte umbrella close to the fruit just out of the scene on the right. The flash on the left was at table height, considerably further away, zoomed in to 85mm and configured for 1:8 power ratio with the primary on the right. The third flash was acting as a master, mounted on the camera and contributing no light to the scene. Exposure time was dictated primarily by the candles - to get the right balance of candle brightness while controlling light spill from them, I settled on 1/160th of a second.

Editing: cloning out dust and scratches on the table, imperfections on the fruit and a few small unwanted glints of reflection and skin blemishes on the model. Dodging and burning to clean up some imperfectly dark parts of background, and add a bit more tonal depth to the lighter parts of the green fruit. Subtle curves to raise the midtones a little and bring some more blue into the deep shadows while reducing it ever so slightly in the midtones. Resize and selective sharpen.
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By the Old Canal
This shot really composed itself - as soon as I saw the scene, I knew how it had to be framed and shot.

The lens is the 50+ year old Helios again, of course my favourite, and it's previously proven its might as a distortion-free architectural lens when stopped down to around f/8 - however, this scene is to present it with a bit more of a challenge. This is shot wide open at f/1.5 - which, even at this distance, makes the depth of field shallow enough to separate the house and boat from the trees behind and the path in front. Focused in live view, as a standard modern focusing screen would not show the subtle distinctions in focus at this aperture.

Of course it also introduces a fair bit of chromatic and spherical aberration around the edges, but this only helps to emphasise the vintage feel of the scene that fits the content well.

Editing was intentionally restrained and under-saturated, avoiding the heavy dodging and burning that it would be tempting to use to bring out more colour from the foliage and contrast in general.

Editing: curves, cloning out a few distracting blemishes on the house and a logo on the boat, mild dodging and burning, resize and sharpen.

High quality prints are available at www.dpcprints.com/print.php?IM…
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deviantID

slowriot
Eugene Hopkinson
Artist | Professional | Photography
United Kingdom
Wildlife, expressive abstract, and former journalistic photographer.

Prints available at riot.dpcprints.com: riot.dpcprints.com
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Comments


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:iconaltoceyx:
AltoCeyx Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011
EH,Is "Kingfisher" available as a
print?!
Reply
:iconslowriot:
slowriot Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Photographer
Hey,
I don't really want to help deviantart to make money by letting them sell prints of my art, while they continue to serve me adverts ;) most of my prints are available at [link] instead :)
Reply
:iconxd-pimpin:
xD-Pimpin Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009
I Love Your Spray Picture. Its Amazing. (:
Reply
:iconaquilachrysaetos:
AquilaChrysaetos Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2008  Student General Artist
I've posted my scratchboard of [link]

I hope you like how it turned out! [link]
Reply
:iconrakkuamiya:
RakkuAmiya Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008
Welcome back! Some great stuff in your gallery, so definitely a +watch. :)

Graeme
Reply
:iconequinox2004:
Equinox2004 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2008   Photographer
Your portraits are amazing.
Reply
:iconkailor:
kailor Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
this promotion is for you my friend: [link]
Reply
:iconantepli:
Antepli Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2008  Professional
i like ur gallery, thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconmotion-design:
motion-design Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2007  Professional General Artist
hey! check my journal [link] your picture is there!
Reply
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