Happy New Year!

Did everyone enjoy the countdown party and fireworks? Me and my team did! We celebrated in our cozy little crib, sipping home brewed coffee and enjoying the moment.

In this year, we hope to carry more projects to present to you. Mostly about art; drawing and painting, photographing and coffee art.

Yes, coffee art. Stay tune for more information!

Again, we wish you a very happy and prosperous 2016! Stay healthy and young!


Interdisciplinary practice

What feeds into my Art?

My interests, hobbies, mediums, family, the world around me and the world in my head. Basically everything. My practice is Interdisciplinary as it crosses many fields.

Lets look at some of my Artistic Photos

These were shot right after a heavy know in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2012. In the daylight shots I literally caught moments “frozen” in time (excuse the pun), in the night shots I caught interesting lighting effects.

These featured in my Artist blog so for the Ice on the line click here for the post and the night shots click here

Now I’ll show some of my sketches, these are often starting and problem solving part of an Artwork production

Again these are sketches, through these ideas can be tested and developed further, and often form the basis for the final works or are put aside in favor of another approach.

Next post I’ll show some of my design examples.

As always please comment and/ or subscribe (before the cookies go stale).

Art & Fine Art

Art is a huge subject, I have often heard people ask “How do you judge something so subjective?”– people I have met.

The answer is purely based on your opinion, your personal taste and your general expectations.

So I’m going to talk about my Art practice this week, this will be done over a small number of posts. Today I’ll show some of my works done with more traditional media, in other posts I’ll talk a little more about, other media, what feeds into my art and inspirations.

Generally my practice includes;

  • Traditional media
  • Digital media
  • Photography

Traditional media such as Painting, Oil pastel, Soft Pastel, Chalk and Graphite form the core of my practice in terms of mediums. Most of these example have blog posts relating to them on my artist blog at laijenkinsart.wordpress.com

Pictures here are Life in a Box no 1 & 2, Gypsee the Tzar, Zizou 7 & 8.

Please click here for the blog posts about the artworks, Life in a Box no 1 & 2 and Zizou 7 & 8 .

I also like trying things, sometimes it could be in terms of idea, sometimes it’s in terms of composition, here is an example of something in terms of light and physical construction.

Picture here is Crossroads blog entry can be found here

Just because an Artist may use traditional media doesn’t mean they wont use a less than traditional approach, in all cases with my practice I attempt to keep whatever approach I use relevant to the key idea of the project.

Please share your comments, suggestions with us and please subscribe (we have cookies…. I swear).

Family Photos Or Group Photos

There are many mile stones in our lives and the lives of our family members, this is why Family Photos are an important part of our lives as they capture a moment where everyone (everyone who could be there) is in one place. This is true for both immediate and extended family.

In general there are two ways of capturing theses moments, they are gathering the group in one place or someone shooting photos of people interacting.

  • Gathering the group this is best done with a hired Photographer so everyone is in the shot. This is both the easiest and hardest shot, depending on the cooperation of the various members.
  • Floating Photographer now this one you don’t need a hired Photographer to do it, you or someone else can do this yourselves. But a Hired Photographer will  guarantee results you only have to be comfortable with a stranger at your family gathering.
  • In most cases both types of shots are done, the question being is will you hire someone to do it?

Pros of doing it your self vs cons of doing it your self.

  • I’ll use a tripod yes you can, unless you have a remote trigger you’ll have to run into position before the camera fires.
  • I have a remote trigger good you can stand in front of the camera and shoot, but what if something changes? Light? someone moving out of focus?
  • Ok I’ll take the photo myself, this is also an option, your there any changes can be compensated for, people can be kept inline you just need to push the button. But you wont be in the photo, remember the reason taking it?
  • I’ll get some else who’s there to take it, this could work provided you don’t over do it, remember you invited them to participate not be your photographer.

Pros and Cons of hiring someone.

  • I have to pay them yes you do, because they are providing you a service.
  • They can put my photos anywhere they want! No they cant. They may ask if they can use a photo for their marketing and promotion purposes but you are under no obligation to allow them to do so. As they are providing you a service they must respect your privacy and personal identity and those of other guests.
  • Will they do a good job they have to, it’s their livelihood, you have to trust them to do the job and they have to deliver.
  • If something goes wrong? you are covered under the same rights as anyone else who hires someone to do a service.
  • Hire me so you can enjoy your family gathering.

Also don’t forget the traditional Family Photo, where you go to a photo studio or the Photographer comes to you. Although straight forward and simple these work very well as memory mile stones. You can look back over a growing collection and see how your family has grown through the years.

Please share your thoughts and ideas, ps subscribe we have cookies (if I can remember where I put them XD)

Passport photos

I can do passport photos, how can I say that? I did my own.

OK here’s the story…..

I’m outside my home country and my visa will expire in a few months, my passport is still good for a few more months after that but it will be less than six months… Sound familiar?

How do I fix this problem? Answer renew passport in my case the photo requirements in Malaysia differ to those in New Zealand. Meaning that I either had to shoot it  myself or find someone that would do it to the NZ requirements.

So I did it myself.

Passport sample 4x3

Yes that is me, passport photos are never pretty anyway I shot this using a tripod + camera and knowing what was required.

This photo was accepted as I have received my new passport with this photo.

So can I shoot your Passport photo?      Yes I can.

What will I need? I will need to know the requirements for your country as in many cases each country has its own accepted standards and requirements for passport photos.

And you have to be physically in front of me, for when I take the shot.

Do share your interesting moments while having your passport photo shoot!

Baby Shoots

Baby Photo Shooting

Each moment of your child’s life passes in a blink of an eye. Why not capture as many of these moments as you can while he/she or they are still young?

Let me share with you three approaches in which to capture and/or create these moments.

  • Natural / Moment capture shot. This is an unplanned moment, just a moment but once caught you will treasure forever.
  • Interaction / Action shot. This is a shot of your baby interacting with someone or something, these can be unplanned or set up (to a point), again the idea is to capture a natural moment.
  • Staged shot. Lets face it, babies are cute why not show how cute yours is? These are shots that are planned, set up and carefully implemented with a preferred result in mind.

These are only a few examples of many possible approaches. Just a few to share at this moment.

Please share your comments and ideas with us.


Photo retouching / Image manipulation Expanded

One of the challenges of manipulating images for other uses is often the size. This usually shows in two ways, DPI (same as PPI) or the physical dimensions of the photo or image.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you want to use an image for something bigger or better.

  • How big is the current image? Is it 300 DPI or 72 dpi? Is it A4 size or passport photo size?
  • What size do you want it to be? Are you wanting to enlarge the photo or image? OR are you wanting to make it smaller?

DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (points per inch)

There is no difference between the two, they are two names for the same thing both originating from printing origins. What is being described here is the resolution of the image, higher the number of dots or point per inch the higher detail of the image. Very quickly here are some common DPI levels.

  • 72 DPI , is the industry standard for web or screen based images.
  • 300 DPI is a good standard to use when scanning or processing digital images for print jobs. For large scale print jobs higher resolution may be required.

DPI is used in relation to bitmap images, picture a grid with each square coloured one colour or tone. So there is a limit to how big these types of images can be stretched before they pixelate.

Ok let have an example

lets take this 4″x3″ photo that is at 72 DPI


Then we look at the image size and compare the difference when we want it at 300 DPI

And to show the size difference I created a file at 300 DPI at A4 size, this image should show what I am talking about.

size example

I have had cases where images were just too small for what their owner intended. I highlighted this issue as it has been one of the most common issues I have run into when people have asked to retouch and or modify an image.

In general the issues facing image retouching or manipulation jobs depend on client expectations and the amount of “data” or information available in the source image.

There are many other issues that can crop up with these kind of jobs, so if you would like me to give advice and/or write another blog entry on this topic or want to give any other comment or query please comment below, or you may send an email to me at laijenkins@gmail.com

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Photo retouching / Image manupulation

Old photos, images are important to us. As they carry memories of friends, loved ones, old and new, as well as important events. It is heartbreaking to find or see these damaged.

But in many cases all is not lost, as it is possible to restore these photos or images digitally. Sadly in some cases there is little or nothing that can be done. The real question in regards to a damaged image is, is their enough data intact to repair the damage?

Lets look at a bad case

Original Image supplied

This photo when processed had a lot of “dust”  and scratches on the negative also the negative itself may have expired leaving this photo badly scratched up and  the colour inconsistent. There is also a very high amount of light being reflected back into the lens. With the level of noise present in this photo it means that any attempt to sharpen up some of the details would be difficult at best.

Anyway I wanted to see what I could do….

I cleaned up the dust and scratches and reduced the noise, the easiest way to deal with the wild colour is to remove it as in this case it very difficult to balance (I won’t say impossible), as when the colour was corrected in one area of the image it went out in another. I would have had to divided the image into sections and tinker with the colour in each section making sure the finish image would fit together as a consistent image.

Sharpening up, I sharpened the image a little to show what would happen to this photo….

Notice the increase of noise or grain? This is where black and white images have an advantage as the end result would only have to worry about a slight in crease in grain, while colour have to watch the levels of noise. These levels depend largely on the preference of the client.

Keep in mind the above example was a very badly damaged image that I had.

The results of any retouching or manipulation job can vary depending on a number of factors, including size difference between original and modified versions, application or intended use of the final image and many other factors.

I’m my next post I’ll expand more on issues you can encounter when wanting an image or photo retouched or manipulated.

Don’t forget to subscribe to us and feel free to drop a message or two for any comment or suggestions.