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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


This is not easy. Somehow, I cannot seem to generate eye pleasing photos that compares to others and "pops". I want to submit something clever - I can only seem to get average looking photos....A tiny bit frustrating.

All negativity aside, I have an interesting story for one of my submissions.

I was walking around my city with the specific goal of finding photos, my girlfriend now fiancé decided to come with me. I found an abandoned building and saw this. While I was correcting my camera setting to take the best photo possible, a homeless man came around and start asking questions about the desecrated state of the building. My girlfriend, a usually really good natured person got really nervous. A few minutes into the conversation - the homeless man and myself ended up figuring out that we both did not have a clue what happened, only that I could determine that this building caught on fire a few months ago. I left the scene and I had a bug, I wanted to get away from the assignment and by take a portrait of him. Ask him his story and maybe post something à la HONY. But I did not. It's not my style and I am still looking for it. Regardless, somebody else is doing it way better than I ever could so I'll leave him the space.

RSRP Assignment Submission 2
First submission to the second assignment. Shapes are the bricks and their positions, rhythm is the light and the "high notes" of the bricks (I like to think).

This photographic journey is sometimes long and frustrating but is filled with emotions and self realizations. Got to keep on shooting!

Second submission - I think I will delete it - maybe not - maybe...

RSRP Assignement Submission 3

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lines Assignment - Last Update and After Thoughts

The first assignment is now over. From the small amount of time I had to shoot, I took out 5 photos and submitted 4 (rest of my photos from the assignment below).

Unfortunately, my photos were not reviewed by Zack as he had more than 4000 submissions. But I'm glad that I participated. I am now a little better at seeing those lines in my photos and understand how they visually impact. What I learned ;

- Simple is sometimes better


Great composition is key ;

Credit Robert Earle

And within a not so good photo, there is a great photo - you just have to work it.

No example here.....just a thought.

I will be be moving on to the 2nd assignment which I will post about a bit later this week - much tougher challenge this time - hoping to get something right!

Lines Assignment

Is that even considered like a line submission?
Decided not to submit this picture, I did not feel it was strong enough to be presented.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dedpxl Assignement - Lines Update

Dedpxl Assignement- Lines

assignment (əˈsaɪnmənt) n
1. something that has been assigned, such as a mission or task

In my journey, I will pursue opportunities that allows me to grow as a photographer. This is why I joined Dedpxl - an initiative by Zack Arias (a really cool photographer). He has set up his first assignment titled "Lines". Zack is a commercial photographer, and a really cool dude. Never met him but by watching this video, you can understand that even dropped in a foreign country - he can get people to participate, pose and interact.

Will you participate in this journey? I will. I am taking some time this week-end to start to "see".

Go here for the written assignment or sit back and enjoy the video below of the assignment.

Zack Arias links : 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Your Camera - in Manual

Scary thoughts when starting out - it took me a while to understand how everything is connected but when you will understand this, you will be wondering why the hell it looked so complicated. Luckily, I did not have to see a guru on a remote and hidden mountain to understand this - Internet is FILLED with resources (most of them free) explaining how stuff works, if you scroll until the end, there is a neat video for you. The photography community is quite strong on youtube and I strongly suggest subscribing to some of the people out there.

In short :

Shutter : Controls Ambient Exposure (available light) - or How long does light comes in
Aperture :  Controls Flash Exposure and depth of field ("created"/flash light and out of focus image)
Iso : Light Sensitivity (Higher is usually worse)

Problems that all those 3 might give you (well some of the problems I ran into) with examples;

Shutter : Blurry image
In this case, shutter was not fast enough for the amount of ambient light (dark wedding room) so you cannot only see blurs.

Aperture : Overly dark or overly bright image
Aperture (3.5) was way too high for the flash so once again, you cannot see anything.

ISO : When too high, grains appear in dark places (cell phones are fantastic at this)
See the mutty/grainy blacks in the photo? That is what we are trying to avoid.
All of the 3 items mentioned before are in relation and will help you understand how your camera's manual setting work. The all work in a triangle. Lower your aperture and you will need to increase your ISO. Increase your shutter and you will need to decrease your aperture to compensate. 

The video below is what unlocked in my little brain how my camera really functioned. Take out your photo note pad and start!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seven Photoshoot

Got some great results out of this shoot!

Seven is a really talented Montreal artist. Dancer extraordinaire and fitness guru - check out his fitness group youtube channel Regiment (contact me to get in touch with him). The shoot was organized to cover his dancing needs for his Krump. At the same time, we threw in a couple of shots to cover for his other projects (acting, modeling etc...). The main performance shots were inspired by a photo posted by David Hobby blog (a.k.a. the Strobist) - the shot below was taken Christopher Tan

 Left photo Credit Christopher Tan

I decided to go with hard light since Krump is a very agressive dance style. Krump requires control and explosive movement and the shadow play really creates an effect that gives 3 dimensional feel to pictures. This was really easy to shoot, Seven is extremely comfortable in front of a camera and really knows how to create those poses that shows the full spectrum of whatever he is doing.

Fortunately, Seven and I have other projects coming in so I will be posting updates as soon as they come. Until then - happy shooting!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Another Photo Blog - Another fish in the pond

After much research, studying and waiting, this is it - I am starting this blog to share my photographic journey.

A shot taken in Paris, reflects who I am as an individual (not really)

I have started a couple of years ago - 3 exactly - when I purchased my first DSLR camera. But time passes and the passion continues so I wondered, why not make the people around me profit from all the reading and efforts I have put into this? I do not think there is a better way to approach people and tell stories than photography. 

It started when I was about 7, I got my first camera from a good friend of my mom. The only issue was that it was a film camera, I was seven years old and 35mm film was (well to me) expensive. So that passion of mine waited a couple of years. I replaced the camera why a pencil and started drawing. I did not get really good, but I did not put that much effort either (see below and more disaster here) - I consider it a future retirement hobby. After a few years, and the ability to generate income - we are here.
 Progress...or is it?

So....what is going to happen here? Updates about shoots that I have, gear that I bought (I am cheap as hell so don't worry - you can afford it) stuff that I learn, photographers that I really like....and of course photos. I am fortunate enough to have my best friends that are in the entertainment business so you will see a lot of them in here - along with other projects I am working on.  So stay on and visit often, I will update this blog regularly (along with my personal blog about my super life (who cares!?!?) so we can all learn.

Have a powerful week,