Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” And he was not talking about longer lenses, he actually meant moving your feet. But what if you shooting such a blazing inferno that even pyrotechnicians are afraid of.
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Building on last weeks April fools joke, where I riffed on the absurd idea that women actually prefer to look awful in photos and the current anti-Photoshop and no-makeup selfie trend making the rounds on social media – in this week’s article, I am going to share how to use proper lighting, posing and the right lens to make women look gorgeous without Photoshop, and then how I touch up portraits in Photoshop.
But first, we need a before and after (complete with cheesy internet meme).
Yes, this is the same woman…read on to find out how I went from before to after.
I just got an email confirming my press registration for this week’s Photoshop World Conference and Expo, and I’m actually fascinated by the notion of an annual convention built around a computer program. On the other hand, I suppose I shouldn’t really be all that surprised. While there are other editing options available, Photoshop and Lightroom have pretty much become the standard by which all others are judged. And let’s face it– to a certain extent we’re all a bunch of geeks. We obsess about our cameras, lights, and other gear, so why not that important final link in the chain– the software that puts the finishing touches on our vision? In fairness, all of this quasi-philosophical rambling comes on the heels of a busy weekend of shooting, combined with an extraordinarily short turnaround time on the editing. Three days of shooting ended at 8:00 last night and the images were delivered to the client at 6:00 this morning. If shown as a mathematical equation, my current state would be probably be something like:
(Creative Overload + Sleep Deprivation) ÷ Caffeine Intake = Stuff I Wonder About
A cinematographer is also known as a director of photography. They’re the guys that make the movies we watch look how they look. It’s their photographic eye that we see. And they don’t get too much recognition for the work they do, with most of the attention going towards the director and actor already. I wanted to write about a few good ones and see if it can become a weekly thing if you guys are into it. You probably know the work these guys have done, so I’ll cover what they did to get the shots that we see on the big screen.
If this is going to be the first out of more to come, I’ll start it off with a bang by focusing it on Roger Deakins.
So often we are distracted by what we see, sucked in by that which is right in front of us. Each day can be a battle of not missing the forest for the trees, and losing track of the big picture, both metaphorically and literally, is a demon to which we frequently fall prey. But, life is as much about the unseen as it is the seen…it is more honest to say that it is what’s lurking in the shadows that truly defines us rather than what the world around us seems to see.
This concept, when considered in photography, is as much philosophical as it is visual. There are thousands of tutorials on how to maintain a sharp focus or isolate a subject or achieve that perfect image. But, life, which is the literal reflection of art, is not sharp or clearly-defined or nice and perfect. It’s not! What if more contemporary photography chose to focus on the imperfect, the beauty in the flaws, and creation by suggestion rather than destruction by defining? [Read More…]
Adam Elmakis is one of the best concert/band photographers I know. He was kind enough to “sit” with us for an interview. I had no idea how demanding his job was.
DIYP: Can you tell us about your background and how you got into photography?
AE: I was born in California, and my parents moved us to Madison, WI when I was young. My family was normal-ish (I like to think). I got into photography in high school.
I started shooting in 2005 when I was a high school sophomore in Madison, WI. School wasn’t really my thing, but I took a yearbook class that I really liked. We were given an assignment to shoot self portraits, and when the school counselor saw my photo he convinced me to give photography a try. Eventually I signed up for dpchallenge.com and shot around for that site, and the same teacher was able to convince someone from the community to generously give me a camera. I’m very competitive, so it dpchallenge was a fun way to get inspired! You can see some of my early work there.
Most of my time outside of school was spent going to local shows, so I started bringing my camera to concerts for fun. Eventually I became friends with local promoters and was able to trade photos for free admission, and from there I scored gigs with online publications that allowed me to start shooting bigger shows from the photo pit. My [parents’] house became a crash pad for touring bands, and we would usually do quick press shoots the next day around town. I went to college for a semester, but ended up deciding it wasn’t my thing. Was making pretty decent money doing press shoots for bands. So yea, stopped school, and started touring.[Read More…]
Samsung is launching a new mirrorless camera, and they’ve designed it and priced it to reach out not only to photographers, but to everyone: today they’re introducing the NX Mini. (which can already be pre-ordered)
This is the camera for the high school senior who loves taking selfies with her iPhone, Instagrams hourly, and started gaining an interest in photography after noticing how artistic that close-up macro shot she took of the dandelion on her front lawn was. Now she puts up more pictures of nature, like those centered, vignetted black and white shots of leafless trees with “#Winter <3” in the caption (Oh, you know who you are if you do this. You know.) It’s always awesome to see someone new getting in touch with their creativity, and it’s great to see so many people out there today getting more into photography because of their smartphones. But what’s the biggest problem with a general audience (Mainly the kids in high school. I come from a sheltered town.) getting into something like photography? They don’t know where to take their next steps. Cameras in the past few years have generally been large, bulky, and expensive. With so many options out there, and with Nikon D38957539 this or Canon 90D that, people naturally get confused.[Read More…]
He is one of the most iconic American photographers, an innovator in his time responsible for aiding in the awareness that led to the preservation of some of our most spectacular natural treasures. He has left millions awestruck by the imagery he captured and inspired millions more to aspire to follow in his steps. His skills were commissioned by government agencies, and the value of his original prints stretches well into the millions. He is Ansel Adams, and his camera was an outdated, antiquated piece of rubbish.
I am certain most, if not all, photographers have experienced it at one time or another: the feeling that you and your skills are made inferior by the equipment you are using, a condition commonly known as camera shame. We shrink back into the shadows around other photographers with “more-pro” gear than us, we avoid conversations with photographers who are knowledgeable about equipment, we miss or turn down opportunities out of embarrassment, and we find ourselves tripping over ourselves in the pursuit of “the next great thing” in hopes of being able to hold our heads high in public.[Read More…]
It had been a while since I had shot on a DSLR, most of last year I had shot on the Fuji X-Pro or a Pentax 645d. I was starting to shoot more and more video and thought that maybe it was time to pick up a 5dm2 or something similar. I even thought about the 5dm3 and was just about to buy one when my good friend Martin Gillman announced he was selling his D800, humm, I thought.. Yes.. Deal. I picked the Sigma 35mm Art lens and the 105mm macro (will be looking at the 50mm Sigma too). For video, I will be renting things like the Zeiss Compact zooms.
Martin dropped the camera off and I just needed to shoot asap, I spoke to my lovely lady friend Ameila and we formed plan to shoot some lingerie with Penny Grimley on the make up. The styling was made up from a few places and things we could find quickly. (Fleur of England, Cristina Adami and Henry Hunt).
I am a big Fuji X-Pro fan, in fact I am a Fuji X-Photographer, I spent most of last year without a DSLR at all and I started to really miss one. The idea of such a powerful multi-use tool started to really make sense. From Leaf to Leica, d90 to 645d, I have shot with and worked with everything. Pretty much all of last year, I didn’t touch a DSLR and after picked up the D800 again…. I can totally say with full confidence, DSLR is always going to be the future. Such multi-use, powerful cameras will never die. There is a place in the market for Compact System Cameras (CSC), DSLRs & Medium formats (MF). I still don’t think we need FF CSC’s though, or CMOS Hassy’s. I like that each has it’s own area and use. Maybe DSLR is the new Bridge camera from hobby to work tool ?? Either way.. The lenses are getting better to cope with the sensors and the 35mm Sigma and the 55mm Zeiss make the D800 seem like a totally different camera to the one I took to the USA and Africa a couple of years ago ! It is good to see that the lens and camera manufacturers are putting time into getting good glass out there into the market. Thank you Fuji, Nikon, Sigma and Zeiss… Love you all !![Read More…]
So, today we’re going for another trip to the softer side of photography. Specifically we’re going to talk about portraiture, and the importance, benefits and winsomeness of meeting your clients before you shoot them, instead of just emailing a bit back and forth. If you take a couple of minutes and read through the post, and implement some of it into your workflow (if you haven’t already), I promise you it’ll make your portraits more personal, more intimate and just make for a much more pleasant experience during the actual shooting session. So, without much further ado, a couple of lists of reasons for, and ways of making the most of, meeting your clients before you shoot them. This week I’ve even tried to cut down on the fluff words (tried being the operative word here).[Read More…]