In fact the opposite is true.
I've been so busy that I have been very poor at updating my website with news and new images.
This year I've taken more photographs than ever, but I've also been concentrating more on portraiture. I've also been doing quite a bit more work in post production.
This image is a case in point.
Most of the long exposure shots taken with Hazel involved LED lights (either on finger rings or inside balloons), and I grabbed five shots using the LED lights. But as it was Halloween I wanted to try something slightly more spooky.
So the basis for this shot was a single long exposure. At the start of the exposure a flash was fired illuminating Hazel's face. This was a Canon 430 EX II in a mini beauty dish without the bounce panel (so used as a reflector), fitted with a 20 degree grid as I didn't want the light anywhere except on Hazel's face. Then after the flash fired I asked Hazel to look left 90 degrees and then right 90 degrees while I illuminated her face with a torch. This took a few times to get right. In the first couple of attempts, Hazel looked left and right quite slowly. The result was that the moement was just a blur. On the third attempt I asked Hazel to hold for a few seconds when she was looking both right and left. This time the shot came out more like I had expected, but my use of the torch over-exposed Hazel's face. The fourth attempt produced the image I used as the basis for this image, but I took a fifth shot as a safety measure.
So I had 10 photographs from the shoot downloaded onto my computer and today I finally sat down to work out what to do with them.
The photo that formed the basis for this shot did look interesting but, as you would expect from the method used to take it, there were side-effects that couldn't be overlooked and would have to be incorporated into the final image.
The most important was that the colours were all over the place. The camera had been set to auto white balance, but the image had been partially illuminated by a speedlight and partially illuminated by a torch. After making the colour temperature cooler I gave the photo a slightly sepia colour treatment.
The next side-effect was that (as you would expect) with a long-exposure illuminated with a torch and a moving model, there was a fair bit of blurring and movement lines. The image I wanted to create was an old, tatty, spooky photograph so I exagerated this even further.
The first stage was to add an additional layer of muck and grime. I keep a collection of textures just for this purpose. Next a layer of creases was added.
To make the image even more spooky I applied a layer mask to show the blue eyes from the original cool colour temperature layer.
The image was then cropped slightly to improve the level and composition.
Finally, as I wanted the image to look like an old damaged photograph I gave it a border to look like a burned print using On One Photo Suite.
The final result is probably one of my favourite images I've taken this year.