Tag Archives: photo retouching

#Changeiscoming

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a great Tuesday! Just to let you know that over the next couple of days we are going to be scaling back social media profiles. There are many various platforms out there and with growing time restraints we have decided to scale back slightly and concentrate on updating fewer of our social media profiles more regularly.

ReClick Photo profiles which will be retired are:

Google+
Tumblr
Path.

We will be formulating a regular posting schedule so you will know where and when new updates and content will be added.

This is the start of some exciting changes here at ReClick Photo so please look out for further updates over the next couple of weeks!

‪#‎changeiscoming‬

Thanks

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

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Reminder: It’s Mother’s Day Soon!

Have you remembered it’s Mothers Day (UK) on Sunday 6th of March? Instead of giving your Mother an another bunch of over-priced flowers and large box of confectionery this year, why not completely surprise her by giving her a completely unique and extremely personal gift that will in turn get you major brownie points and prime place in her good books.

So here’s what you can do. But remember its a going to be a surprise so don’t tell anyone about it who can’t keep a secret ( in my family my Dad is the absolute worst!).

  • Step 1 – Like the younger incantation of yourself, go exploring through photo albums, shoe-boxes of random photos, and other nooks and crannies for the best image of your Mother you can find. Just pick a really good photo that means alot to her, i.e. your parents wedding day, holding you as a baby, or a great picture of your Mother as a child.
  • Step 2 – Send it to me here at ReClick Photo. In order to help you with your gift giving endeavours you must decide on what you wish to be done with your selected image. If your image has seen better days then I could restore it for you. If your image in in black and white, I could colour it for you. If you would like your mother to look her very best I can even retouch the image for you. What ever option you would like I am more than happy to help. For all methods of getting your image to me here at ReClick Photo, please visit my website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk. To ensure your image arrives to me quickly and safely please use my recommended method of scanning your image and send it via email to me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk. for a free no-obligation quote.
  • Step 3 – Once satisfied with the work completed and I have received payment, I will send your new image to you via email, where it is yours to do with as you wish! You could simply print of the image from your home printer or you could use one of the many companies out there to print it onto a wide range of things from a mug, to cushion. The choice is completely up to you!

Would you like to see an example of what I can do? I will show you as long as you keep it a secret, it’s for my Mother for Mothers day! Let’s take a look at the original image:

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Image before restoration and recolouring.

If I was to tell you how old this image, there is a slight chance that my Mother would hear about it, so for the sake of diplomacy I will describe it as being a few years old. As you can see, due to not being stored correctly it has suffered a little damage. So the first task is to rectify it.

After a little care and attention its time to bring this sepia image to life. In recolouring this image there is a few key areas that I believe need the most attention in order to successfully recolour an image.

  1. Skin – The most important area which need a lot of attention. Thinking that your skin is all one colour is wrong. Take a look at your own face in the mirror closely and you will see lots of variation in tone and texture. To replicate it digitally can be a little difficult but, when done correctly, it really makes your image. Just remember when you are ill you can usually tell by the colour of your skin, so getting the right colour is extremely important. My method of successful skin recolouring is to use a colour photo as a reference. It doesn’t have to be a photograph of the person you are retouching, it just has to be of someone with similar colouring. Like all good things, it take time and patience to complete.
  2. Eyes – Some would say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul, for me they are one of the most important areas of a persons face. Like the skin the best way to approach recolouring the eyes is to use a reference photo. Do not take anything for granted, because what you think is not always what is there. For example what we describe as ‘the whites of the eyes’ are not pure brilliant white. Why not take a little time to examine your own eyes and try and pick out all the different colours you see.
  3. Hair – Hair comes in all shapes, colours and textures, so to recolour someone’s hair can be tricky. Yes you have guessed it, use a reference photo!  To successfully recolour hair, you have to retain its texture and shine. Just think of those shampoo commercials we see on TV!

Would you like to see the finished result?

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Image after restoration and recolouring.

So what do you think? Do you think my Mother will like it? As you can see above, once you successfully recolour the skin, eyes, and hair, then the hardest part is done. Recolouring the rest of the image is a much easier task as the most important areas are done.

So how do I select the colours to use in the rest of the recolouring work? Well there is a few ways in approaching this. Firstly you can use ask those who were in the photo at the time. But failing that you can either use their favourite colours, or the last resort use artistic licence. Here at ReClick Photo I will only recolour your image to your own specifications, but don’t worry if you have no idea what to do then is just tell me to use my initiative. But please don’t worry, if you are not satisfied I will change anything you don’t like and no payment is required until you are completely happy with the finished result.

Now with the project complete lets take a look at before and after image comparison.

Mothers Day, Mum, girl, child, children, gift, present, restoration, recolouring, vintage.
Before and after image comparison.

I hope this blog post has given you food for thought for your Mother’s Day gift this year. But if you are reading this from outside the UK then why not give your mother a gift to let her know how much she means to you – you don’t need to have a special day to do that. So what ever your imaging needs are please let me help! All you have to do is send me an email to info@reclickphoto.co.uk with your chosen image and let me see what I can do for you.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

 

Beauty: The Art of Retouching.

How many times have we looked at an image of ourselves and started to think about what you wish could be altered, whether it is to remove some unsightly blemishes, change the colour of an article of clothing, or even fix an unruly head of hair. How many images of major events in our lives have been tarnished by an unsightly problem. Here at ReClick Photo we are always here to help. Would you like to see an example of what we can do? let’s take a look at an image before retouching.

girl, Beauty, retouching, portrait, face, flower, photography, photoshop, photo editing, photo manipulation
Original image before retouching

As you can see from the image above they are a few imperfections that here at ReClick Photo can rectify through image retouching. Personally I think this a lovely photograph, but I can understand why someone would like some alterations to the image. So with this photograph I decided to give you an example of what a complete retouching experience would look like here at ReClick Photo. Here are a list of objectives I wish to complete in this project.

  1. Remove all blemishes, spots and freckles from the models skin.
  2. Tidy up stray hairs from the models forehead.
  3. Tidy up the models eye-brows.
  4. Change the colour of the flower in the models hair in order to compliment her make-up.
  5. Reduce the size of the models nose slightly and increase the size of her eyes a little.
  6. Emphasize the colour of the models eyes and build up the shadows and highlights on her face.

Would you like to see the finished result?

girl, Beauty, retouching, portrait, face, flower, photography, photoshop, photo editing, photo manipulation
Image after retouching

What do you think? I hope you agree that there is a marked difference between both of these images, although each of them have their merits. It is merely a matter of preference of which we may like or dislike.

Please note that this is an example of a complete image retouch from ReClick Photo.  I can retouch anything from just a single spot on your chin to an example illustrated above.

After completing all the objectives listed above I decided to then darken the edges of the image slightly and and apply a blur to everything in the image except the main features of the face. My intention in doing so was to finish the project by drawing further attention to the main area of the models face.  Let’s now take a look at a comparison of both images to compare the difference in both images.

girl, Beauty, retouching, portrait, face, flower, photography, photoshop, photo editing, photo manipulation
Before and after retouching comparison

Image retouching can be carried out on personal images as well as those intended for professional and publication purposes. Here at ReClick Photo I would be delighted to assist you in all your image retouching needs. Please feel free to contact me via my email at info@reclickphoto.com for a no obligation quote.

For more information on ReClick Photo and the work I do, please visit my website at www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

My Funny Valentine

With the sales of red roses and large boxes of chocolates set to go through the roof over the next week in time for Valentine’s Day, have you ever thought of surprising that special someone in your life with a totally different and comically funny valentines gift?

This year for Valentine’s Day, why not take a special photograph of you and send it to me here at ReClick Photo, and for the small sum of £5.99 I can perform a digital face-swap, and send the finished result straight back to your inbox for you to then do with as you wish. Let’s take a look at a demonstration of what I could do.

couple romantic love valentines day happy photograph
Original image before retouching.
Featured above is my choice of image from my favourite free-to-use public domain image website, www.pixabay.com. As you can see, this image is perfect for a face swap, as both people are looking straight at the camera. For best results we need both of the faces to be looking in the same direction. Let’s take a look at the finished result than I can tell you how it was done.

valentines day valentine couple romance retouching gift present photograph
Example of a photograph that has been given the ReClick Photo Face-Swap treatment.
What do you think? An Image like this will make everyone laugh, it will certainly be a talking point! To achieve this I first loaded the original image into my image-editing software where I carefully selected both faces and made a copy of them. Next I superimposed the faces onto its new body. Once positioned, I began to blend the faces into the existing heads. This meant blending the two skin tones, blending the new face with the existing hairline and ears etc. The main objective is to make it look as realistic as possible.

To give an image of your choice the ReClick Photo Face-Swap treatment all you have to do is send your images to me via email to info@reclickphoto.co.uk and I will start the transformation!  I all I ask is that you make sure that both people in the image are looking in the same direction. The finished image will be sent to you directly via email where it will be yours to do what ever you wish with it! Please note you will not be asked for payment until you are satisfied with the transformation. Upon receiving payment your final higher resolution image will be emailed to you directly.

For only £5.99 you can surprise your loved one with a thoroughly amusing and completely different valentines gift this year! Times running out so please contact me soon so not to be disappointed! Please bear in mind that this is not only a great gift for Valentines Day it would be a fantastic gift for a birthday, wedding anniversary etc.

For more information about ReClick Photo and the work that I do, please visit the website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo

Behind the Photograph: Blackpool.

Sometimes when it comes to photography, clicking the button on your camera is just the start of a great image. In this edition of Behind the Photograph, I’m going to let you know what the process is behind getting a few of the images in my last post, Blackpool Do We Really Like To Be Beside The Seaside, ready to be shared with you.

The first image I will talk about is the the one featuring the seating located next to The North Pier. Let’s take a look at the image as it was captured:

Seating, Victorian, promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, seaside, resort
Ornate seating located by the North Pier Blackpool as captured.

As you can see, the sun was hiding when I took this photo. It was a lovely warm day, but a little cloudy and it must have went behind a cloud. This is when I am so glad I recently decided to shoot in only raw at all times now. After a few slider adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, the image came back to life right before my eyes. It never fails to impress me. Now with a proper image to deal with I move on to making it better. By removing the string of lights from the top left hand corner and heightening the saturation levels, the image is much improved.

Seating, Victorian, promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, seaside, resort
Ornate seating located by the North Pier Blackpool.

The best way to see all the changes is to compare the two photographs side by side like the example below.

Seating, Victorian, promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, seaside, resort
Before and after comparison of the ornate seating located by the North Pier Blackpool.

Let’s take a look at one more image from that days images. Here it is as it was shot:

Blackpool Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, seaside, resort, Victorian, visitor attraction,
View of the Blackpool Tower.

The idea I had behind this image was to capture the fun and sense of novelty that Blackpool has, hence the jaunty angle! Looking a little closer I could see a few things I could alter in order to make it a much better image.

Blackpool Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, seaside, resort, Victorian, visitor attraction,
View of the Blackpool Tower.

The main objective here is to emphasise the shapes and lines of the buildings to do this I need to get rid of any distracting elements. Removing the strings of lights, the street lamp is a good start. I then digitally retouch the paintwork to freshen up the appearance of the building in the foreground. To complete the retouching process, I decide to remove the part of the building in the foreground in the top left hand corner of the image. By doing this I believe it shifts all the attention to the tower itself. Now it is complete.

Blackpool Tower, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, seaside, resort, Victorian, visitor attraction,
Before and after comparison of a view of the Blackpool Tower.

Like with the first images, I will compare the before and after photos beside one another to see the full effect of what has been achieved.

By writing posts like this, it shows you the power of retouching and the work behind making the images that I take ready to be shared with you.

If you have any images like these that you would like to be given the same treatment, then please contact me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk I would love to help. For more information about ReClick Photo and the services I provide please visit http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

To see all the images I took at Blackpool, and many more, please visit our Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/people/reclickphoto/

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

Inspired By: Brief Encounter (1945)

It’s time for the next in our Inspired By: series. Today’s post will feature an artwork inspired by the classic 1945 David Lean film, Brief Encounter.

It tells the tale of a pair of married middle aged strangers who meet by happenstance at a railway station. An innocent encounter over a cup of tea in the stations refreshment room leads the two into a whirlwind romance that neither was looking for, but was powerless to resist. Arranging to meet again the following week, they both parted to go back to their mundane suburban lives with their spouses and children.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
Refreshment Room Sign at Carnforth Railway Station.
As their weekly meetings continue they both grow increasingly more in love, quite unaware of the consequences of what such a relationship would have on their families. It isn’t until a chance meeting with one of Laura’s (Celia Johnson) friends that make them both aware of the reality of their situation.

With the fear that they might be caught together again, Alec (Trevor Howard) arranges for them to spend the afternoon at a friends flat. When Alec’s friend Stephen returns home early, Laura, ashamed, leaves via the back stairs onto the street. After walking for hours in the rain, Laura eventually finds a seat on a bench in a local park. With the weight of her situation weighing heavily on her shoulders a policeman walks towards her, and by his manner gives her the impression that he considers her to be a prostitute.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
View of the clock at Carnforth Railway Station.
The full reality of what their initial innocent arrangement had now turned into was now apparent to them. Realizing the danger and what it could do to their families, they both come to the decision to part.

With Alec being given the opportunity of a job in Johannesburg, they both arrange to meet one final time at the Railway Station to say goodbye. Their last moments together were interrupted by Laura’s friend Dolly who talks incessantly, and is unaware of what was really going on.  Robbed of their chance to say goodbye, Alec’s train arrives and all Alec could do to say goodbye was to squeeze Laura discreetly on the shoulder before leaving the refreshment room. After a few moments, Laura overcome with emotion, dashes out to the platform to try and see Alec for one last time. As she does the express train thunders past, not giving into a fleeting suicidal impulse she gathers herself together before going back into her dull suburban life surrounded by her husband and children.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
View of the tracks and station buildings at Carnforth Railway Station
Directed by David Lean, the film was an adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1936 one-act play Still Life, with the screenplay written by Noël Coward himself. Featuring a stellar cast and a soundtrack in which Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff is its main musical theme. It is a film which, at its heart, is a story of forbidden love and the delicacy of the human spirit. Although it was made at the end of World War Two, Brief Encounter still enraptures everyone who watch it. Male and male, young and old, it still maintains a timeless and universal appeal.

Recently when I was visiting Lancaster, I had the privilege of visiting Carnforth Railway Station which was the location of Railway Station featured in the 1945 film. Walking up the ramp where Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard ran up on several occasions on to the platform, and to see the magnificent station clock under which the two met, I was thrilled. I love films, especially black and white classics, and to be standing in the location of one of my all time favourite films was a bit of a dream come true. With my camera in hand, I took photographs of everything I saw.

Today’s Inspired By: will feature an image I took that day. Let’s take a look.

Carnforth Railway Station Lancashire clock movie film Brief Encounter David Lean Noel Coward Celia Johnson trevor howard love story
View of the ramp and Clock at Carnforth Railway Station Before retouching.
To those of you who are familiar with the film this image will appeal to you as much as it does to me. The moment I took this shot I thought that this would make a great project. This is what I want to achieve:

  1. Enhance the image in order to evoke the spirit of the film.
  2. To shift the focus of the image to be on the ramp and the clock.

Whether I am a hopeless romantic at heart or it’s the effect Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 thats playing on my mp3 player, I started to think about what life would have been like for Alec and Laura in the years after they last met. Would they have lived out the rest of their lives without a thought about their Brief Encounter?

This is what I imagined.

Its 1979, after many years working as a doctor in Johannesburg, Alec is now 71 years old. It has been 5 months since he lost his devoted wife. Now a widower, he is faced with the prospect of living the rest of his life without her. Surrounded by his children, who are all grown up with families of his own and live close by, he is now alone with only his memories to look back on. Whilst sitting at the desk in his study, he unlocks the drawer to the left of him. Opening the drawer towards him, nestled amongst other papers there is a photograph that has been with him nearly all his adult life. Holding it tenderly he looks deeply into it trying desperately to envision the person who he had leave there. With waves of memories flooding back about Laura and the time they shared, he quickly puts the photograph back into the drawer and locks it. For a moment he started to wonder if Laura still thought of him. What if things had been different? Rising from his chair he walks through to the sideboard in the lounge and pours himself a brandy in order to pull himself together. The choice they both made back then was made, and neither time nor thoughts can change it. To bring up the past was of no help or comfort to him. The memories of what happened all those years ago had to stay locked away,like the photograph in his desk. Not just for his family’s sake, but for his.

I have created that photograph.

Carnforth Railway Station Lancashire clock movie film Brief Encounter David Lean Noel Coward Celia Johnson trevor howard love story
A digitally aged version of a photograph taken at Carnforth Railway Station.
Would you like to hear about how I achieved it?

Although Colour photography was in existence in the 1940’s, it wasn’t affordable to most people. so by desaturating the image it gives it a more authentic feel. By doing so also refers back to the film itself, which was filmed in black and white.

I wanted to give the image the appearance of being an aged photograph that has not been stored properly, and that has deteriorated with time. Drawing inspiration from some old damaged family photos I distressed the image. Using brushes of different shapes and set at various opacities, I  aged the photo. Blurring areas, discolouring other areas etc.

To distress I even more I  damaged it digitally. Again with various brushes set at different opacities applied what looks like scores, cracks, water damage etc.

Looking at old images they do not have nice clean straight edges, this image should not have then either. With a white brush set at full opacity I worked on the edges of the photograph, making them uneven and worn.

The cameras of the 1940’s did not have the technology we have now. The term mega-pixel was alien to the photographer of the day. In order to imitate the technology of yesteryear I needed to reduce the clarity of the image. To achieve this I added noise to the image then applied a Gaussian blur.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Brief Encounter and what I have done with this image. For more information about the film please visit:

I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s post, and if you have images that you would like given the same treatment then please send an email with your image to info@reclickphoto.co.uk. You can also visit our website at www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

To see all the images I took at Carnforth Railway station then you can do so by clicking here to visit our new Flickr Page.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. You can catch up with our first Inspired By: post about Alphonse Mucha by clicking here!

The Midland Hotel Revisited: Behind The Scenes

Welcome to today’s second post about the iconic Art Deco Midland Hotel Morecambe. I hope you enjoyed looking at the images in my first, The Midland Hotel Revisited – An Exhibition in Monochrome just as much as I did taking them. Here I will share with you the original images as the were shot, and tell you about the behind-the-scenes process behind getting the images ready for posting.

Let’s starts with the first image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the The Midland Hotel before retouching.

As you can see there are few distracting objects in this image that could do with being addressed. Here is list of the work I carried out:

  1. Removal of the:
  • Cracks on the render on the boundary walls
  • Lamp post on the right
  • Sign post on the left
  • Birds flying in the sky
  • Black car on the left
  • Red and white plastic barrier
  • Signs at the pillars
  • Bollard in the middle of the road

2. Desaturated the image then adjusted the various levels including brightness/contrast, curves, sharpness, etc.

Now we have a finished image. Let’s take a look.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
Front facade of the Midland Hotel Morecambe.

Although it is tricky to remove the signpost and street lamp, it is definitely worth the effort. Now you can appreciate the facade in all its glory.  Let’s take a look at the next image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel from the left

Like the image above, there are few things that could do with being changed in order to make it a better image. let’s take a look at what I did:

  1. Removed of the seagulls
  2. Cropped the image slightly
  3. Retouched the blemished in the render of the wall to the left
  4. Desaturated the image and adjusted various levels including curves, exposure etc.

Let’s take a look at the finished image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
Front facade of the Midland Hotel from the left.

I believe that seeing the image in black and white helps you focus on the hotel itself. The cars are no longer a distraction as their colour has been stripped away. Now we can move on to the image of the hotel’s entrance pillars.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel’s entrance gateposts before retouching.

As you can see here the pillars are getting lost within the image. My main objective here is to make sure that they are the main focus. with so many things to do here its hard to know where to start. here are the things I had to do to achieve the finished image:

  1. Removed the private parking signs, and AA sign.
  2. Reinstated the grill running between the pillars.
  3. Removed the orange barrier and retouched the side of the blue car.
  4. Removed the security cameras, and the fun fair from the background.
  5. Retouched the render on the walls and the pavement and slope leading into the car park.
  6. Cropped the image.
  7. Desaturated the image and altered various levels such as exposure, brightness/contrast etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The entrance pillars of the Midland Hotel Morecambe.

A feature like these pillars should be celebrated and now with this retouched image I believe they are. Like the previous image by removing the colour the pillars are now the main focus as the cars are not as much as a distraction as they were. Let’s now turn to the images taken from the rear of the building.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
Rear facade of the Midland hotel from the right before retouching.

Compared to other images in this post, you will see that there is not much that needs to be altered. But what is done makes a world of difference. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Removed the seagulls from the sky.
  2. Cropped the image.
  3. Desaturated the image and adjust various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The Midland Hotel Morecambe rear facade or the right.

Now in black and white you appreciate the architectural features of the building even more. let’s take a look at an image take from the other side of this facade.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
The Midland Hotel from the rear showing the cafe before retouching.

As you can see with this image, like the one before, it does not need a lot of retouching but with a few small tweeks the image can be greatly improved. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Retouched the pavement, removing some of the blemishes.
  2. Removed the bird in flight.
  3. Cropped the image.
  4. Desaturated the image and adjusted various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The Midland Hotel rear facade from the left.

Out of all the images of the Midland Hotel I took that day, this is my favourite. Now in black and white its architectural features really stand out. Finally we will move on to the last image of the shoot.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel taken from the pier before retouching

Like the previous two images this last one requires little change. What is done, I’m my opinion , make a great difference. This is what I did:

  1. Retouched some on the blemishes on the pavement
  2. Desaturated the image and adjusted various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
View of the Midland Hotel from the Pier.

Now you can see the architectural form of this building at its very best. By changing the image to black and white you can see the hotel in all its glory.

From the outset I had decided that I wanted black and white images for this project, as I have mentioned earlier,it accentuates the buildings form plus it echoes the original photos of the hotel when it first opened in the 1930’s. I wanted to show in this post how sometimes taking the photograph is just the start of creating a beautiful image.

If you have any images like the ones you see above and want to give them the ReClick Photo treatment, then please contact me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk or you can visit http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.