This week we are introducing Mextures Shorts - a new series of feature articles designed to feature photographs as much as photographers. You can think of it as a bit of a photo journal showcasing beautiful photographs and incredible Mextures edits. For this first edition we have both pictures and words from Barbara (@bea01). Barbara has a way of both capturing and creating with the smallest of subjects, stringing together miniature details and then using Mextures to fill her images with color, light and sharpness. We'd be honored if you took a few minutes to read through these words and gaze at Barbara's stellar work!
WHAT SORT OF CAMERA GEAR DO YOU USE?
I have two cameras: a Canon 60D and Canon 70D with a variety of lenses. My favorite lens is the Canon 100mm/2.8L macro. It's just perfect for my kind of photography. Occasionally I use my iPhone 6s for some shots - mainly for landscapes.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING PICTURES?
I started photographing way back when analogue film was the only choice. My then-future-husband used to play American football and as I felt it was just too boring to sit there and watch, I started taking photographs of the games - mainly black and white. After becoming a mum, I took a long break from excessive photographing due to lack of time, but some years ago I discovered Instagram and got hooked on it again.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
When I first became familiar with Instagram, I discovered so many great photographers with different styles. I really loved macro photography, so I thought I would give it a try. My main focus is the light and even more the shadow. It is that one ray of sun that hits a flower in the shade that I'm after. And aperture 2.8 is my friend! A blurry background lets a flower stand out and look special. I think it's not always the vivid colors and the bright light that make a flower look beautiful - I prefer the pale and dark side of nature.
WHAT MAKES A PICTURE MEMORABLE TO YOU? THE THINGS THAT MAKE A PICTURE STAND OUT AND STICK IN YOUR MIND.
I think most of the time it’s the mood of a picture that catches my eye. It can be mysterious or peaceful or even disturbing, or it is possible that it reminds me of a special, wonderful memory like a beautiful walk in the forest. It’s not so much what a picture actually shows but what it transports to my mind. There are so many great artists on Instagram who are real masters of that kind of photography. I can see a picture of a raindrop on a leaf or a rose in a certain light and a certain color combination, it is that mood in the picture what sticks in my mind and what I would like to recreate in my own pictures. And with Mextures, I’ve found the perfect tool to help me get there. Mextures is the perfect editing app to achieve the special look I am after.
WHAT SORT OF THINGS HAVE LED YOU TO THE MOST PROGRESS IN YOUR ART AND STYLE?
After I discovered Mextures one thing led to another. I found so many great artists with that certain style I love so much. I found hubs which have specialized on the kind of editing I like. So I started trying to see what I could do with my own photographs. And that is basically what I'm still doing. I have a certain result in my mind and I keep trying until I achieve it. So there is no special experience or lesson that is leading me, it is just always trying to create a picture as I want it to look. When it's done and it gives me that special mood, then it's complete for me.
IF YOU WERE GIVING ADVICE ON HOW TO CREATE MEXTURES WORK SIMILAR TO YOURS, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU WOULD WANT TO PASS ON?
My first and most important advice is to take a good look at the Mextures tutorial. And then keep trying! Let your mind fly until you are happy with the result. And don't forget to save the formula.
For me, I choose the picture and I usually start my editing in Snapseed - doing all the basics like cropping, exposure, saturation and so on. Occasionally I proceed with VSCO or Faded app for the right look. Then I use Mextures to create the look I finally want to achieve. I start by using some of my saved formulas - adjusting them then until I'm happy with the result. The good thing about Mextures is that every layer on every formula can be adjusted or deleted or another layer can be added. Finally, I use the adjustment tools in Mextures to adjust the exposure or the saturation on the edited picture and there you are!
WHY IS PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE PROCESS OF CREATING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
My job is basically trying to solve conflicts between people. I think that is the reason why you hardly find people in my pictures. Photography and editing is the healing tool for me, it helps me to calm down, to relax. While taking photos and editing I think of nothing else but how I want them to look like in the end. So, let's say, it is some kind of therapeutical for me, it helps me to keep some sort of sanity.
WOULD YOU SHARE A FEW INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS THAT INSPIRE YOU IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER?
Al of the people I'm following on Instagram inspire me in one way or another, so I wish I could name them all, but here are a few:
@essence.of.e - Quite a young and small gallery with magical edits of people, landscapes and close ups.
@hurleyburley - Dark pictures with strong colors - wonderful!
@eleathar - Looking at his pictures is always like entering a new and fantastic world. I love it!