Blue Sunday

One of my New Years’ resolutions was to be a bit more productive on my weekends, instead of just playing Infamous/ Oblivion/ whatever all day long. I managed to get a far bit done today, all of it with a distinctly blue hue. I’ve been knitting a beret (beanie? toque?) from this pattern, in a petrol blue, and have finally finished the fiddly bit, so I should be able to whip off a quick crown and be able to wear it ….well, in winter. Actually, I’m hoping to have it ready to wear for our trip to Paris, so there is a bit of an ulterior motive.

I’ve been getting a bit obsessed with nail art lately because it’s the only thing that stops me from chewing on my nails like a crazed hyena in a bear trap. And the nail varnish adds a little bit of strength to my paper thin, weak-as-hell nails, so I finally have those little white strips above the nail beds (well, under all the varnish) and sometimes…sometimes the nail actually grows past the ends of my fingers! Madness.

The thing with painting your nails is that after doing it for a while just doing “a colour”becomes a bit boring, so you start experimenting with nail art and painting techniques and generally making a mess because you’re in a hurry. But sometimes you have a moment of what feels like genius (i.e.you successfully rip off a tutorial you found on a nail art Tumblr), and you want to run around showing off your fancy-ass nails. Which is why I started to think about photographing some of my more successful ventures.

This coincided nicely with wanting to experiment with gels- I’d seen a portrait of Hugh Laurie with a blue background that I was sure was a gel, and I  had a lovely tealy-blue gel I thought would do the trick. So I decided to combine the two goals…and voila!

(The setup, if you’re one of those Strobist-type people was a gelled 530ex shot directly at the wall, with a 430ex bounced off a reflector umbrella to left of camera but angled away from the wall to minimise light spill.)

Blue-hued nail art, studio lighting

I learned some valuable lessons from this session, namely that the camera picks up everything, so you might want to clean up the little splotches of nail varnish in your fingers so you don’t have to post-process them out. Also, I learned that photographing your hand with a 50ml lens is really uncomfortable unless you have detachable hands, or elasticated arms. And that no matter how nice your cuticles look to the naked eye, your camera, when paired with a flash, sees a two-dollah crack-ho.

Blue-hued nail art, studio lighting