Author: kaldesigns

Photographer, web designer and retouch artist based in Central New Jersey. His style is black & white with emphasis on contrast, negative space, and manipulation. He specializes in, but not exclusive to, portraiture, fine art, and conceptual photography.

Truncated octahedron

Truncated octahedron

The assignment was to create a custom 3in diameter sides truncated octahedron using either bristol paper or on Maya. The picture above is my prototype of the paper octahedron.

What I learned from this assignment was that Maya is easier and has more options since it can create shapes that cannot be cut on paper but doing it on paper gives you the satisfaction of completing it the hard way and you get to keep something out of it.

The octahedron I created is a prototype and it is far from being perfect when you look at it up close and in person but from a photographer point of view, it looks great with proper lighting.


The Shannon Rose project


Shanon Rose stacked

Digital imaging assignment: to composite together a shot at Shannon Rose with a model that was shot another time. We built an exact duplicate of the bar at Shannon rose with plywood and used the same angles, focal length and lighting to light our model. Similar to the miniature portrait assignment, we match the subject with the background by adjusting the saturation, hue, and luminosity to make the subject look like it belongs with the background.

Compositing a concept

Compositing a concept

This was an assignment for my digital imaging class and the theme was miniature self portrait.

This composite consist of 4 pictures: the subject, the clouds, the grass foreground, and the Rubik’s cube. The Rubik’s cube was the first thing shot for this assignment, followed by the subject from the same angle and lighting. then the clouds I shot another day and made adjustments to it to look like clouds. And as for the grass foreground, it was an old picture I took 2 semesters ago.

The steps for this composite starts out as an idea, then I gather all the pieces and composite them together while matching the saturation, luminosity, and hue, as well as other adjustments such as shadows, lighting and angles so the subject fits in with its environment.

Shadow Box

moon 2
moon 2

For this assignment, we were to create a 11x6x8 box with a foreground, middleground, and a background, then light it to create depth, as well as to play with the shadows to manipulate contrast and composition.

First thing’s first, the original picture is not my work and I do not own the copyright of that image. It belongs to Diggie Vitt, a photographer I follow on Flickr. Here’s a link to his work,

I chose this picture to do the shadowbox on because it was simple, it has one of my favorite kind of lighting in it, and it works very well with the fore/mid/back ground. It’s a simple design and it didn’t take me long to construct at all. This assignment was all about lighting, so I didn’t really need to make a overly intricate design with the cuts, proper lighting was what made this complete.

For the lighting, I used 1 light (hot light) bouncing off the white acrylic in the back through a tracing paper which is taped to the back of the shadow box to give off a nice diffused light.

What I could’ve done was to put a small hard light beneath the moon in the back to create that highlight as in the original picture. Rim lighting on the foreground is also missing and I suppose I could experiment with razing the edges on the foreground to catch some light from the back. But nonetheless, overall I think this assignment was a success.

Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Did a quick photoshop session on an old cat picture from my “Stray Cat Series” on

What I used for this was mostly color fill layers and few minor adjustments to curves and saturation.

1. Color Fill
This can be done with either making a new layer, filling it with a color you like or sample a color from the image, which is what I did. What I usually do is sample a darker and lighter color in the image and set one of them as a darken layer and the other a lighten layer. Turn down the opacity and layer mask to your liking.

2. Curves
You can create a similar effect as the color fill method by adjusting the RGB in curves. Adjust for color, lower opacity, layer mask, and so on.

3. Vignette
Vignette can be done easily in lightroom but I didn’t feel like exporting it to lightroom then importing it back into photoshop. There are so many ways to do it, but what I did was create a new layer, center elliptical marquee tool, invert selection, feather it by whatever you want in refine edge, and adjust opacity.

4. Effects
Another optional thing you can do is add a texture layer over the image and change the layer to either overlay and screen. Like Instagram’s toaster filter has kind of a crosshatching effect in the middle layer, you can easily mimic that with anything, say a macro shot of cloth or a piece of scratched glass/metal.

Everything is subjective, there are countless things you can do to enhance your images, but the key thing to keep in mind is to not overdo it to a point that looks over-processed.