Author Archive for Douglas Witt


there is no escaping the guru mind…

‘It is easier not to begin. once started, however, it is much better to finish’… 


once we authentically step foot on a spiritual path, there is no stepping off again, there is no escaping the guru mind…


Fetish workshop

I attended a fetish workshop hosted by renown erotic photographer, Scott Lanes back in January. The models are, the beautiful Shiva Kitty and Laura Unbound and the rigger is Topologist.



The lighting was a basic ‘arrow through’ set up with a diffusion filtered backlight set up, camera left, as the key light  and a large softbox in the foreground, camera right,  as the fill. there is also a reflector  in the camera left foreground and a handheld reflector for added fills.

Laura Unbound is in control

In Control

This particular series of images is my first attempt at advanced dodging and burning techniques. these techniques are often used in fine art B/W, fashion, editorial and other beauty photography styles. In short, it involves brightening the highlights and darkening the shadows and smoothing their transitions using grayscale. Basically I create two layers in soft light blending mode, one is labeled ‘dodge’ and is only painted on with a white brush at around 10% opacity with a 25% flow. The second layer is labeled ‘burn’ and is only painted on with a black brush at the same settings. ‘Dodge’ is used to make the highlights brighter and ‘Burn’ is used to make the shadows darker. But be careful! a little can go a long way, so use a low opacity and build up…



I am a big fan of art erotica, especially fetish art. It is unique in what it offers the world of art nude and erotica for it is sexual in nature, but without depending on any overt use of sex or nudity:

fet·ish also fet·ich: –noun

Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.


…oh, the implications!


Well, it’s about time…

And time is in finite supply.

The photo set is named “Dark Angel” and is an homage to Bettie Page. It is also a whimsical, naughty, and funny story, and we had a blast shooting it! You can see more photos from the set on our website

For the Dark Angel set, I used some new Photoshop techniques that I would like to share:

Tighten in color

What I am discussing is how I achieved the unique contrast between the highlights and shadows. I was emulating a “Lith” print. The main Characteristics of a Lith are high contrast, split toning, and grain.

High contrast is pretty straight forward and is accomplished in a multitude of ways in Photoshop. For this set there are two types of high contrast applied. the first is the High pass filter in soft light blend mode which is part of my beauty retouch. the second is the last step I use and it is a ‘levels’ adjustment layer to create a ‘black point’ at 7 and a ‘white point’ at 247. this is the old way to accomplish this and is done in a ‘curves’ adjustment layer as well, which I suggest and usually use. Since This was a 47 image set, with a 4 day turnaround, some shortcuts were made, and since the results were similar (the ‘curve adjustment was a little better) I went with the easier of the two.

Black and White

Split toning refers to using more than one tone in a black and white image. In this set I used a warming filter (#81) and applied it to the entire image. This is pretty easy step.

Split Toned

Adding noise to the set was rather straightforward as well, but there is a twist. Under ‘filter’, ‘artistic’ I added ‘Film grain’ noise to a merged copy of the image as I liked it. Then, with the layer selected I selected the “FX” button at the bottom of the layers palette, and ‘blending options’ I dragged the ‘underlying layer’ highlight slider back to 80, then, by holding ‘option’ and dragging the right side of the highlight slider back up to 100. this removed the film grain noise from the highlights while keeping it in the shadows. I then lowered the layer opacity to 55%.


Also, pay close attention to how you render the image black and white . Simply selecting ‘Convert to grayscale’ is an inefficient and clumsy way to accomplish this, as is ‘de-saturating’ the image. If you have CS3 or CS4 you can use the Black and White adjustment layer, and with earlier versions can use the ‘Channel mixer’ adjustment layer. there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to black and white, take the time to separate your tones to create the beautiful Black and white image you envision.

These all began as standard beauty retouches with the ‘Lith’ treatment applied at the end of the process. I actually have this technique set up as an action, but because of the fine tuning that must be considered for each individual image, I set each step as a separate adjustment layer, this way changes can readily be made to each step if necessary.

I hope I was able to teach something about this technique, please leave feedback so I can better blog my art to you.



I did it…

I quit!

I said I would, and I did!

Now what?

Money must be made, whether I like it or not… so, here’s the plan…

Hard Work and, um, and some other stuff I think… seriously though, the main source of income at the moment is my architectural work, which is OK, but not nearly as cool as erotica, I assure you…

Waltham, MA

it does provide income and unique shoot locations for future model shoots. I have shot everything from architecture to events and local landscape for one real estate development firm here in Boston.

Worcester, MA

It is not enough, however, and so Bebe Dollface and I started Focal Impulse Studio together with moderate results so far.

Bebe Dollface

We have been shooting boudoir and pin-up sets for clients such as Sarah here…

Focal Impulse

we are hoping to work with some professional models and MUAs for our art concepts and hopefully end up shooting an editorial someday…. we just need someone to notice! and that is my new day job, to make sure that happens!

I am a Photoshop wizard as well and I am hoping to generate income by doing beauty retouches, masks, or any other Photoshop need… Craigslist here I come!! and Model Mayhem which just started a Photoshop account!!

This can be done! There is both talent, drive and a plethora of life experience to make this a success!!

positive energy, keep it coming, I need it.

My blogs will be a bit more focused in the future, for now, however, I just wanted to provide a bit of context. I plan on blogging my adventures through freelance Photography…

the next adventure is Pink…




Things are about to change

I put in my two-week notice of resignation on Monday. It’s just time, and if I don’t do it now, when will I? I am a photographer, you see, an Artist, and I don’t respond well to authoritarian rule! So I’m going to do this photographer thing full-time.
I have multiple sources of income right now through the Photoshop work to the corporate events, architectural shots, and a wedding here and there. But what is really making this quitting thing necessary is the work I am shooting for Focal Impulse studio! We started shooting boudoir sessions for everyday women and it’s been an undeniable hit!! $350 for a 4 hour boudoir shoot, 3 outfits, with 5 fully Glam-shopped images! If you look at what this usually costs this private session is a Great deal!! And by the number of clients we have now, many people agree!

Good times, exciting times!

Ps… Exciting is a clever euphemism for stressed the fuck out!! This is good for my soul, however, as I can now create my art!


D. Markus Witt


a photo for once…

Here is a sample of what we have been up to over at the Focal Impulse Studio:

Happy Hollidays


D.Markus Witt


Promo Holiday Shoot


Angie and I shot our first ever promotional holiday shoot yesterday; we had a blast! The plan is to have one a month as promotion for the pin-up / boudoir portrait packages we are offering for the holidays. Images and full blog on the incident will be up by the end of the week. 

and some actual humor to come in the future as well…

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