No matter how much you plan for photography, it rarely goes as planned. Those unexpected moments, however can lead to some outstanding results.
Case in point: I had planned a shoot with Model Kyuri outdoors. Instead of setting up strobes, I opted to filter and bounce the incoming sunlight through scrims and white boards. The patio structure above was slatted but it was cloudy when we started so it worked out quite nicely.
That was until the sun tore through the clouds and sent strong beams of light through that slatted patio, ruining my beautiful soft light setup. (More after the jump).
10 Cinema inspired Lightroom Presets were created and just released by outstanding photographer, photoshop/lightroom teacher and creative retoucher Armando Martinez. There’s a lot of Lightroom presets out there and few are really worth investing in but I’d say these are well worth it. Armando, a professional creative retoucher and color expert says the presets were inspired by some of the best cinematic treatments in films he saw in 2013 which include: Rush, Nebraska, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Her and more.
Photographing subjects in a halo of light, is one of my favorite lighting effects and easily accomplished. You need little to no equipment and can pull it off almost anywhere. See more examples and get a quick how to after the jump.
2013 Photography Review (My favorite shots of the year)
The purpose of my 2013 Photography review is to review all the shots I took in the last year and to set my goals for coming year. My goal last year was to get at least to book 3 shoots— whether paid or not—every month. It was a year of practice, practice, practice. Having primarily shot with strobes and a lot of equipment in the past, I wanted go back to my roots, shed all the gear and go au naturale with using only available light. That meant no modifiers, no reflectors, etc. A goal that turned out to be challenging, rewarding and huge learning experience.
This slide show compiles a lot of those shots alongside captures where I used only one light or my cell phone. These photos were not selected based on artistic merit either. They’re photographs I like for one or more personal reasons. I create these slideshows so I can compare the past to the present and set my goals for the future.
2014, is all about making as opposed to taking a photograph. Which means more planning, sketching, themes, wardrobe, set designs, collaborating with other talented artists, etc. There will also be a lot more video work done. The first of which starts shooting this month and I can’t wait to share with you.
It’s been an honor doing what I do and working with the people I get to work with. You know who you are. And it’s been an honor sharing the work with all of you. Hope you all have a kick ass year.
And my personal favorite would have to be the intro shot for this post. A collaboration with model, Andrea and Wardrobe stylist Karen Deputy.
If you’ve been on the fence for getting on board with Adobe’s creative cloud, now’s your last chance to get the Lightroom/Photoshop bundle for only $9.99 a month. That’s a considerably low price for two powerhouse software packages.
This was Adobe’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal which they extended until the end of year.
There was a lot of flak after Adobe announced that they would move completely to a cloud based service. Photographers were were upset because they didn’t want to pay $49 a month for a suite of software they didn’t need. So Adobe began offering Photoshop only for $9.99 a month. That was already a pretty good deal, but now they’ve sweetened the pot and thrown in what in my opinion is the best photo catalog/raw processing/editing software out there: Lightroom for the exact same $9.99 a month.
This deal only lasts until the end of the year, so if it’s something you’ve wanted, better hurry.
Rounding out the trifecta of influential and inspirational photographers alongside Richard Avedon and Herb Ritts is Patrick Demarchelier. There are similarities between their styles which is why I’m such a fan of all three. Demarchelier, in my opinion was amazing at capturing subtle beauty and natural expressions in both his fashion and portrait work. (View his work after the jump).
This week’s capture features the beautiful and talented Antoinette. Photography lighting doesn’t have to be complicated. This was shot with a single strobe and a small softbox, slightly above and to the right of camera. A larger softbox would’ve given the image a much softer transition throughout the shadows but I purposely wanted more contrast and punch to the image. (Lighting diagram and more after the jump).
Photographer Herb Ritts has and probably always will be the biggest inspiration and influence in my work. I grew up in the 80′s when his photographs were on the covers of most major magazines and even album covers. He was mostly known for his distinct, graphic fashion images but he was also an amazing celebrity portrait photographer.
He photographed clean, pure lines and forms with a graphic simplicity and composition that drew you in. I marveled at how simple, yet powerful his photographs were. I’ll let the work speak for itself. Here’s a few of my favorite Herb Ritts photographs.
Walking into Hawleywood’s Barber Shop in Long Beach and Costa Mesa you’re instantly transported to a different era. An era where your dad’s traditional barber may have worked if your dad’s barber was tatted up and listened to punk rock. On Saturday’s all the barbers are suited up with black ties, trousers and buttoned vests. They literally look like they walked off a 1940′s movie set.
Friend and photographer Tom Gomez was there to shoot a calendar and recruited me as backup. Since I was in the back seat, I took advantage that I didn’t have to direct, coordinate models, put out fires, etc. and decided to shoot for myself. I still had to help Tom, so I didn’t get to take a lot of photos but I thought I’d share what I did manage to capture. (See the Slideshow)
With photography, especially beauty and fashion, I like to experiment to get different effects without the use of editing software. Making photographs this way gives your image a unique look that’s hard to replicate. It’s also part of my process to try and break away from over editing images in post and getting a more complete shot in Camera.
The photograph of model Kyuri, for this post was created using an inexpensive prismatic bracelet I found at Michaels. I picked up a variety of these for under $20. They had all sorts of shapes and colors and each one yields a completely different result. This particular piece (seen below) created nice diagonal refractions which I thought looked interesting. Like every tool though, knowing when to use it and using it in moderation is key. (Tips and details after the jump).
Trying to hold a camera steady while getting tossed like a can in the back of a moving pick up truck isn’t easy. Trying to photograph a gang of moving motorcycles while in the back of a moving truck, is even harder. This was how the images posted here for the Biltwell catalog were made.
I spend a lot of time bouncing from place to place shooting on location. I used to haul a giant FatMax upright wheeled-toolbox, several light stands, small strobes, large strobes… Every shoot reminded me packing and moving into a new home. My small car’s trunk and backseat packed solid with equipment seemed chug more than zip along the road.
I’ve started to go back to the days when all I used to pack was one flash, one light stand, small umbrella and camera. Even that seems like a lot sometimes. So there’s times when I challenge myself and pack nothing but my camera, one lens and flash. Nothing more.