JB's Portfolio


I'm kind of new to the practice of photography. My background has been in film, with a focus on scriptwriting and moving images rather than frozen moments in time and the juggling of exposure settings that photography demands. But over the last 6 months I've learned quite a lot and have found a new hobby! I love taking street photography in the city of Melbourne and tweaking my images on Photoshop. I'm always learning new ways to capture moments with my canon DSLR camera, Morgan Freeman, who I obtained during an adventure in New Zealand in 2016.

My Fav Photographers

Being more from a film background, my favourite photographers are actual cinematographers, like the geniuses Michael Slovis and John Toll behind Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul TV series.

Breaking Bad: a masterpiece in cinematography

I also love the double exposure effects in True Detective.

Double Exposure Photography in True Detective's opening credits.

In terms of actual photography, I am a big fan of Steve Mccurry's dramatic and eye-opening work around the world, in particular his ability to capture powerful portraits of refugees and third world countries.

Steve Mccurry, bottom left, and a collection of portraits taken around the world. I love the colour applied to his subjects and the way he captures their eyes, which contain so much power and soul.

My Photography

While I haven't had a heap of experience taking photos with my camera, in the last 6 months I have been building up my skills by taking photos of the city at night. Here are some of my favourites:

I took these on a photography course in the CBD at sunset. Most of them were about using the correct exposure in low-light settings. The last few were examples of painting with light down in Hosier Lane.

Composition Skills

The three skills I have chosen to share are RULE OF THIRDS, LEADING LINES and CONTRAST

Early Work

Early on, I noticed I was taking photos of subjects during a presentation in the city with the rule of thirds applied, but not quite right. The speaker in the first picture is not quite in the right spot and I should have framed him a little more to the right to sit on that line.

Rule of Thirds: Speaker Presentation in the city

The middle picture has a better framing for rule of thirds but does not have much in terms of leading lines: the only thing present is possibly the shoreline and the horizon. It works better as a symmetrical picture.

Leading Lines: shoreline in New Zealand

Lastly, I wanted to contrast the bright sunlit church spire with the grey cloudy sky in the background, which worked quite well on this occasion. So too the tree in the foreground.

Contrast: church and tree in Thames, NZ

Later Work

The rule of thirds works a lot better in this later photo I took in the city, drawing attention to the graffiti face on the left side. Also the gutter runs along that left line. However I do like the even symmetrical split down the centre, creating a two-way balance.

This photo really captures the diagonal lines racing across the building from the powerlines. Also the ridges of the building's face from right to left create a sense of pattern, as do the columns running up and down. However, I could have balanced these vertical lines out better.

The contrast in this photo is of my wife's profile, face, nose, jawline compared to the grey brick wall and the hoodie she is wearing. This brings the focus in on her face a lot more and almost creates a kind of shape with her features. I played around in photoshop to exaggerate this effect a while lot more.

Technical Skills

Double Exposure

Creating a double exposure effect on Mages, my wife.


I wanted to combine portraiture photography and landscape photography using photoshop to create a double exposure effect on my wife, Mages. She is from Argentina and my aim was to combine a photograph of Patagonia, in the south of Argentina, with a portrait of her.


My main source of inspiration came from the opening credits of 'True Detective', which uses an animated version of the double exposure effect.

When looking up some pics, I found these, a black and white portrait fused with a forest and a soft coloured portrait using a mountain scape. I noticed how the portraits were usually shot from the side, profile, so the features of the subject were prominent and added to the effect of the landscape inside. There was a clear background, in order to seperate the subject from the back, a nice high contrast.

Inspiration photos for the double exposure project

Test Photos and Research

The portraits I took of Mages were taken outside and were problematic because of the cluttered and busy background, which made it tough to seperate her from the background. The tilt of her head was probably too dramatic to use for this project.

Test shot 1

This portrait of Mages was taken for her Tedx profile on the internet, where she volunteers her time as the event manager. While I like the desaturated look and the moment of her laughing whilst looking left of frame, there wasn't enough shape around her head to give enough of an effect for the double exposure project.

A photograph of Mages from Tedx
This photo was an example I found that better matched the kind of posing I was looking for.

This was the final portrait of Mages I used. While the background was still cluttered, it was more appropriate because of the more profiled pose. I used a small aperture to keep the subject in focus with the background slightly blurred. The lighting was natural on a fairly overcast day, which diffused the light across her face, creating little shadow.

The portrait I chose to use.

This is the photo I found online of Patagonia that I decided to use. I liked the glowing of the clouds and the colouring of purple, orange and deep blue. I imagined using the mountain along the sides of her face and the lower, gloomier half along her jawline.

The landscape photo I chose to use.


The tutorial I used was helpful in stepping out the process stage by stage.


At first I had to seperate Mages from the background by using the magic selection tool, copying her shape onto a solid white coloured canvas.

Then I brought in the landscape photo of Patagonia, dropping the opacity level and positioning it across the subject's face, finding a spot that I liked.

Progress of the project at different stages

Finally, I created a layer mask of Mages that combined the two images, using the shape of her head as a frame for the landscape. I brought the opacity of the landscape back up, then used the brush tool to black out sections of the mask, bringing Mages' face back through. Lastly I played around with the background colour, colour-picking palettes from the landscape image.

The final image


While I was happy with the final product, I do think I could have played around with the colouring a lot more and creating a few more effects to adjust the shape of her outline. I would have also liked to have taken a better photo from the beginning, in a studio, with proper lighting and background.

Created By
Joshua Burns

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.