GREETINGS FROM NOLA

Nola Dog Besotted BlogI am just popping in really quick to let you know I am still away and didn’t have the foresight to come up with anything, charming or creative for this Monday (and Tuesday).  That’s what happens when you are in New Orleans, the real world no longer feels real, it’s as if you have slipped back in time, where the pace of life is a whole lot slower and my get up and go has got up and went. I have been wildly inspired by pretty much everything you can think of–the architecture, the history, the food (oh, goodness if I eat another Beignet..), the flora, the fauna (as seen above), just everything.  I leave on Tuesday, but Nola is high on my list of places to return to one day. I am thinking this would be a perfect spot for a future live Souvenir Foto workshop, the light here is amazing, lots of drama and moodiness, but you can also find beautiful + bright. There is also no shortage of photo-op’s!  I have been actively documenting my trip via Instagram if you are curious.  I will have more shots to share soon.

I shall see you back here on Wednesday per usual, can’t wait!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future. Will it be the Bay area or Seattle? She’s open to your suggestions!

JEN HUANG WORKSHOP PHOTOS + PRESET REVIEW

Jen Huang Workshop Photos i

Jen Huang Workshop Photos iiiI have a major confession, well not that major.  At my Jen Huang Workshop I didn’t shoot film.  I had good reason, I felt like I so rarely have the opportunity to shoot people (other than my husband) that I knew I was going be a wreck and then add film on top of that equation it could have been a disaster. I also really wanted to take advantage of all the beauty Jen had masterfully set-up for us, from the styled florals and vignettes (like that beautiful dress above) to the models, I didn’t want to miss a thing.  I must say that all the models were amazing and I do want to show you some other images soon, but I was just crazy for Laura Murray.  If you read my blog you know I have an obsession with beautiful skin and lashes and what you may not know is I also love me a good set of teethe, Laura was flawless. Besides the preset I used to make her photo black & white and a tiny mole that I removed (that she may have wanted to keep), I didn’t have to do any other edits to her (nada, rien, zip–no teethe whitening, no eye sharpening, no skin smoothing, nothing). Her eyes sparkled, her skin glowed, her hair was soft and in beautiful waves, she was the perfect subject. And get this, Laura isn’t even a model, that beautiful girl is a talented photographer!  I hope she doesn’t mind that I am plastering her face all over the blog this morning.

Now for the presets I used. I have had this set for awhile, I bought them when I got my copy of Lightroom 4, they are the Film Art Presets from Clickin’ Moms. I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer of not letting the name dissuade you.  You do not need to be a mom to participate in their forum or partake of their presets. I personally love these presets, even though I am a novice to LR and don’t really know yet how to manipulate the presets as well as I would like to. They do work best on RAW files and I currently do not shoot RAW but I was still able to use them and I am happy with my results. The thing I love most about presets over actions is you can scroll through each preset very quickly and get a preview of the results, it’s so much faster than using a Photoshop action. If you apply the effect and hate it you can just press ‘reset’ and your file is back to the original in a blink of an eye. I also feel like the Film Art presets do a beautiful job of mimicking film, the ‘moonstone’  is one of my faves in the color options and the one I used for the edit ‘Pewter’ is always a good choice.  It’s a great buy if you have been wanting a film preset collection but feel like the VSCO or the Red Leaf versions are currently too much of an investment. And you? Have you tried any of these preset collections or think there is a set I should have mentioned?  I do know that the look is not a substitute for the beauty of film, I do love the look of film so, but it is a nice alternative for those that want to get creative in the digital darkroom and add a nostalgic quality to their photographs.

make-up by 1011 makeup | styling by borrowedblu

P.S. One of my favorite floral studio’s Studio Choo is offering a very affordable flowering arranging class in April. Check it out!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

LETTERING WINNERS!

Santa Barbara Fog by Tristan BThis is one of my shots from the morning of the Jen Huang Workshop.  I never acclimated to West Coast time my entire trip so I woke up at un-Godly hours but was able to watch the sunrise on multiple occasions due to my jet lag.  I really loved the photo-ops I had throughout this trip and of course being a California girl I will always have an affinity for my home state. I promise I will write more about the workshop and the trip, but I think there is something I need to address stat.  In my haste I did not announce any winners for the Hand Lettering Bestowal.  I did have a lovely young lady email me and of course I have lost her email (so organized with the emails), but because she was kind enough to gently remind me I would like her to be one of the winners (if she hasn’t given up on me).  I would also like to bestow some lettering on the following lovelies that entered to win and who patiently sat by whilst I neglected to announce a winner:  Karolina, Lori, Rebecca, Mary Macleod and Kathy.

To all the winners, please email me what you would like and I will get right on it! By the way, I chose so many winners for selfish reasons, I haven’t practiced my lettering for at least 14 days and I am anxious to get back to my practice and it is so much more helpful if I have a specific directive.  I am happy to be home, albeit my temporary home, but really my home now is where my husband and girls are, that being said I would prefer my home be on the West Best Coast. Sorry, I read that on a billboard and think it’s quite cheeky, so sorry to boldly rip it off.

P.S. One of my very favorite blogs + photographers, Caitlin of Roost asked me to do some lettering for her amazing beauty giveaway (gasp!) you would be remiss if you don’t go check it out (pinky promise). To say I was honored for the invitation is a complete understatement. To have my lettering on one of my fave blogs? It’s like winning the Lotto!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | DIGITAL DARKROOM

EleanorPetry_Fuji_FP-3000b-+++

I am well aware that many of you don’t have the time or inclination to try film out, but still would like to achieve the look in the digital darkroom.  There are many ways to do so, but I am going to just go over the ones that I feel are the most authentic looking and the easiest to use.

I have been shooting with the VSCO app on my Iphone pretty much since the day they released it to the public.  I had been following some photographers that were in beta testing with the app and It was killing me to not get my hands on the #VSCO that I kept seeing.  This is a nominal investment for such a simple app with stunning results. The more lofty investment is the Lightroom presets, which I do own.  I had waited until they had improved the .jpeg conversion as I don’t shoot in RAW.  It’s one click, filmy goodness.

I mentioned 9 Lives Photoshop actions last year, but it deserves another mention. The designer of the actions, photographer Kim Miller has introduced more sets and is working on Lightroom versions  Kim has made her actions very affordable and they truly emulate film.  My only complaint is that the layers are not grouped, but you can always record that into the action if you know what you are doing. If you work with actions often you’ll understand why a grouped set is ideal, it may not bother you.

One of the signs of film is grain.  In digital photography we are usually trying to avoid this at all costs, but for the sake of emulating the film look you could shoot in lower light raising your iso almost as high as it can get.  I feel this produces lots of fine grain and when the photo is converted to black & white you get a very film like effect. This would be the most cost effective route to play with film effects in the digital darkroom.  Or you could always start in film by picking up a disposable camera like the talented Amy Merrick has done and try your hand at getting beautiful shots like these.

Photo by Eleanor Petry

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | ELLIOTT ERWITT

week of film elliott erwitt besotted blogToday I am driving up to Santa Barbara, which I am very excited about.  I am meeting someone I have long admired via the interwebs, who I do consider a friend and a tremendous source of inspiration.  If you only knew how unlikely this whole trip is for me, you would be very proud.  I am very shy and uncomfortable around people, unless I am working and I put on a ‘business’ social face, but to just meet people for the first time is a bit terrifying.  I am equal parts nervous and excited, so I hope the balance doesn’t make me too much of a goof ball!

Back to some of my fave film photographers!  Eliott Erwitt is way up there.  I worked at gallery in my late teens and was exposed to many classic photographers, Eliott Erwitt being one of them.  Last year when I was in NYC I got to go to an intimate exhibit of his work, the best part was the guided tour which was recorded by Mr. Erwitt himself.  It was such a treat.  You would think Erwitt’s work was another street photographer great like a Cartier-Bresson.  His shots all seem so candid and as an aspiring photographer you may wonder how it is that he had gotten so lucky to seemingly always be able to be in the right place at the exact right time. When I worked at the gallery, I just thought he had impeccable timing, not that I knew anything about photography but I did know enough to be impressed by a photographer who was able to capture such moments. Fast forward a couple of decades and Erwitt himself reveals his secret to me (and of course every other attendee to the exhibit).  He was in advertising and these seemingly candid shots were all well executed and staged.  The top one above with the Great Dane and the Chihuahua was something he had painstakingly planned for a shoe ad. One of his other most famous shots of a couple kissing in their car has people from around the globe letting him know that it was them that he had happened to come across and shoot, some even demanding compensation, but alas it was a friend and a model he hired to do the shoot.  The magic of the images for me now after the reveal is how he was able to create such  authentic captures.  There is no doubt in the viewers mind that these moments are not real. Some of the other photographers that I love that are in this same vein of creating these ‘authentic candids’ which are carefully planned are Norman Parkinson and Robert Doisneau (his very famous kiss photograph was an awesome staged shot). Definitely visit the links to see their work, I think you will be very inspired.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

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