Sunday, March 22, 2015

Self Portrait - Dedpxl Assignment 09

Been a while internets!

I recently took it upon myself to be much more active in my photography. It probably will not yield millions of dollars but this is my creative escape. UNTIL IT MAKES ME MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Not really.

This month's assignment was to take a self portrait. I ,like most photographers, hate being in front of the camera. I think we all dislike the pressure of performing like the models we're hiring. They kind of know how to perform for it and let's be honest, we're not beauty queens (hence why we're in the back of the camera - ha).

Here is the setup for the photo I submitted. 

I wanted a very simple setup. Photos that are too complex can disturb the effectiveness of a well executed portrait. And I'm a simple guy. A white background, a practical light and some rim light. A small 5-in-1 diffuser (about 32") acted as a background. I was able to tighten the shot enough to not have anything else in there. Triggered my d7100 with my cell phone on a cool app that acts like a remote shutter. Here is the result. 

Data about this photo here

Hope you dig!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dedpxl 4 : Get Low

God sometimes I wish time was a commodity, I'd buy all of it!

For this past assignment, I only had 2 hours in my schedule to think of something to shoot and get it done. My original idea was a location based idea where I would show a little girl dominating an older sketchy-looking older man. Time to plan, get the models and assets and actually shoot just did not happen. So instead, I walked around my neighborhood and shot this;

Dedpxl Assignment #4

Not my greatest piece of work and I even wonder if I should have submitted it but I wanted to be consistent. I think next time, If my work is not solid enough, I will simply not submit. 

I have some other projects to share so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dedpxl Assignment 3 :: Shadows (going nuts)

Man oh man this is difficult!

The weather is quite horrible in Montreal nowadays and work has been crazy. So doing this assignment in the short time frame and outdoors (as Zack suggested in his example photos) is quite difficult...but we are pushing through with trials and errors. 

I was doing some test shots to see if the comfort of my house can yield something interesting but alas, I do not like what I did. I got these items (Love Picture Frame and a Heart) from my fiancée's recent bridal shower and decided to use them as props. (well I bought the flowers but let's not go too much into details)

Something is missing and I don't really connect to them so I will not be posting those on the assignment group or on my Flickr Account. So I will keep trying - thanks for driving me crazy Zack, I love the hint of insanity that comes from challenges.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photoshop Tips (and it's FREE!)

Found a YouTube channel that gives out tons of FREE Photoshop tutorials. Check them out, they are awesome!

I was looking for techniques to adjust for a more cinematic color grading in one of my photos and found this awesome video ;

 They are pretty legit - check them out!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photoshoot #2 Professional Portrait (Headshot)

Here are some results of another small project that I took in order to improve my overall photography.  This time ; professional portrait/headshots.

I came do do this shoot because my colleagues were complaining that they did not have serious LinkedIn profile photos - I said that I have a good camera and lights and immediately booked a date to get it done - seized the opportunity! 

I had 1 hour to shoot 6 people of different heights and skin tone. Pretty challenging for a first project, but I'm glad I did it - I learned quite a bit about directing subjects in posing and giving them advantageous looks (especially if they aren't super models - like 99% of us). Establishing a good communication is essential.  I don't think in another circumstances (not knowing them personally) I could have done this. People are kind of clueless about how to demonstrate their best self. This is where my video production experience kicked in.  Meanwhile - you don't want to lose the technical aspects of photography of adjusting everything for the subject. But I think I managed to crack out a few decent shots giving the circumstances.

I find most "profile" portraits out there flat and without soul - they simply don't sell the person as they are. I tried to mitigate this by using my 2 umbrellas and speedlights in a way that gives a deeper look to the photos or as I call it a 3D effect - I do wish I had a rim light in order to detail the silhouette but let's avoid "gear acquisition syndrome" or GAS for now.

What I learned from this ; 

- Trick shots first? I made the mistake of going for the tricky shot first without warming up properly i.e. safe white wall shots. There are some windows that gives a great view of the city but lighting for this is complicated - especially when using shoot-through umbrellas that spills light around.  The umbrellas ended up being seen in the shot. So I had to scrap most of those. Lesson for next time - start safe go crazy AFTER (or buy some softboxes....GAS!).

Didn't work all.

- People don't necessarily dislike your photo but mostly themselves. I had a someone complaining that she didn't like the way she looks because she had big cheeks and wanted me to scrap the photo...the cheek size is mostly due to the fact that she wanted to smile in her picture and that will automatically enlarge your face. So I learned to deal with.

- Get it right in the camera will save you time in post-production. There was a case of wardrobe malfunction (see below) 

 My liquify skills are not that great so it's either photoshopping things to hell or asking the subject to fix his collar.....I think the answer is clear. Fixing this even gave the appearance of a longer neck.

I will be probably shooting a couple more of these - being a professional and having a healthy network of people, I won't be missing out of friends with that need. I kind of like it - giving confidence with my camera. It's a great thing!

Happy shooting.

Repetitive Shape, Pattern & Rhythm - Michael Kenna

Master of the titled subject but also of simplicity and negative space. Here are my favorites from him.