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 fianc√© 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 √† 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.