Autumn and I*

Bella Kotak is one of the most genius photographers I know - her pieces are dreamlike, feminine and breathtakingly beautiful. I met Bella a year ago when she joined my course (I was, at the time, pulling my hair and struggling with Year 2). First impression? 'This girl looks too good to be here!' I thought. You should have seen me, eyes bloodshot in my tee and skinny jeans, and Bella would walk in wearing her most fabulous shoes and dresses. Me - very jealous ;) But with time, I learnt not only to be jealous with her fashion sense, but also with her amazing graphic skills, her architectural works, and her photographs. Well, enough of me yapping, read on! Here's Bella's post on how she does a photo shoot: 
-Hien N.
P.S.: Please don't forget to check out her websites! 

Equipment -
- Canon 450d
- Canon 50mm f1.4
- Manfrotto tripod

A step by step guide through today's photo..

photo 001 - The Location

photo 01 - The simple set up. One manfrotto tripod. no remote - it's broken so everything had to be manually focused which isn't easy when you're alone. The way I get around this is to focus on one spot and then move the camera to where i want the frame to be and then try and place myself in the 'area of focus'. Practice is key for this :)

photo 1 - The photo that i've chosen to work on, perfectly focused and works well for my idea.

photo 2 - Using elements from other photos

photo 3 - Merging the two together in photoshop execute the concept

photo 4 - Manipulating the images together

photo 5 - Cropping

photo 6 - Using falling leaves from other shots

photo 7 - Adding leaves

photo 8 - Final photo, edited by changing colour saturation, adding textures and playing with curves.

Self portraits aren't easy. It's hard when you're alone and there's only you to do everything like throw some material, chuck leaves, get the focus right, get the angle right, hope the exposure's on the right setting and so on. But once you get 'the shot' it makes it all completely worth it. I love doing this as it was doing my 365 project - a self portrait a day for a year that made me realise how much I love photography and how much I have yet to learn. Being a model for my shots meant that there was no one else around to see how many times I got it all so wrong and after some time when it came to finally working with other people and models I was confident in myself as a photographer and a retoucher.

For anyone that is interested in photography I'd highly recommend some mini projects to set yourself and especially through flickr. There is so much support from that site that I know without it I wouldn't have come as far as I have. A 365 project- a photo a day, be it a selfie or another subject is a great project. Alternatively a 52 week project - a photo a week is worth doing too.

Should anyone want to get in touch with me with any questions, the best way is through my email - or alternatively you can find me on Facebook - -I check both regularly.

Keep snapping :)
B x


Hien said...

Your works never cease to amaze me! Thank you for this post Bella x
p.s.: I'm tempted to steal your style, colour-wise ;) LOVE the dreamy quality of them.

April said...

I LOVE IT!!!!! Bella, you are so talented!! I am inspired! Maybe I will try the 52 week project you suggested, though I have no idea what I am doing with the camera whatsoever! :-)

Bella Kotak said...

Aww Hien you've been far too generous in your description of me! And haha I just realised I must of been totally half asleep when I wrote this. I'm nowhere near as eloquent as you two! :)

April, seriously do it! Trust me I had no idea either about how to shoot, etc but the more photos you take and the more fun you have it becomes second nature to learn and pick up new techniques. Plus reading photo mags helped me a lot!

martha said...

little genius:)

Rory MacLeod said...

Bells, I've known you now for nearly 7 years, and been following your photography religiously everyday for the almost 2 years - Yet every new photo amazes and inspires me! :)

Thu said...

how lovely :)

Post a Comment