Entries in black & white (68)
Pushing the shutter on your camera when looking at a subject at eye level with nothing else special done is very likely to result in an uninteresting photograph. Shooting like these I often refer to as just snapshot photography. I tell my photography students that to make a photograph one often has to show the viewer something she/he cannot also see simply by standing there too. One of the easiests ways to compose a shot that breaks from this constraint is to simply look, up! A sharp eyed viewer will also notice one of my other favorite composition techniques in the above shot of Signature Tower in downtown St. Petersburg--ending lines flush in corners.
This shoot was with returning client Mark, but was by far the biggest contrast between photography services with the same client. In November 2012 he reserved a car photography shoot for his Mustang Cobra and as you can see this time it was a model portfolio shoot, involving himself and his girlfriend too no less! He saw some of my previous modeling shots at a brick wall and vintage door location and asked if we could use that same downtown St. Petersburg Florida spot.
For the shoot Mark wanted some individual shots of himself, individuals of his girlfriend, and then also shots of them together as a couple switching between the brick wall background and the vintage door. They also did a wardrobe change. For the above shot I used the pinhole filter in Silver Efex Pro to create that shadowy black & white look.
Not being professional models I suggested various ideas in addition to the ones they wanted to try too. I always like to try and get a dynamic look shot, so I suggested a hair toss. It took several tries and different starting points and remembering to smile even though she was flicking her head back, but in the end I got the result I envisioned for the shot.
For their first model portfolio shoot they both did great and I am of course always happy to work with a previous client again. I look forward to whatever type of shoot Marks wants to do next be it model, car or something else!
I first saw this white Lexus LFA #406 at the Cars & Couture Tampa event last year, but it was roped off making it impossible to get any kind of usuable shot at that event. Lucky for me it was shown again at the 2013 St. Petersburg Grand Prix Gala this time with no ropes. Still, it was in the middle of a building lobby surrounded by people so to get usable shots I liked I had to be pretty creative with editing.
Usually I have an idea of where I want to end up before I start editing a shot, or even before I push the shutter out in the field making the photograph in the first place. This time I did not anticipate liking B&W better, nor adding digital blur (both Guassian and motion) to the shots.
Every shot was made from a 7-exposure HDR image and required a lot of color correction. Shooting in RAW and auto white balance normally produces a very color accurate shot once in Aperture 3. Not so this time as even after Aperture did its thinking on processing the RAW image it remained very yellow. I heard people with point and shoot cameras complaining how yellow their shots were coming out too. Standing in the space I did not notice that much warm lighting so I was surprised the RAW shot needed as much work as it did. Below I show in four abbreviated steps my digital editing workflow starting with a single RAW file and ending with the final look I chose for the shot. In all this initial workflow took about 45-minutes to finalize. It was then faster to apply it to the other two images in this post since I knew what I wanted.
On a spring Saturday morning I met Meredith with her Canon XSi for a 1-on-1 DSLR Photgraphy Lesson in the downtown St. Petersburg area. Like many of the people that take my lessons, she had had her DSLR for quite some time, but only had been using it on various auto-modes. I taught her my 5-step method for making the transition to shooting in manual mode and that there is a definite methodology one can follow to get a well exposed and sharp shot in any given shooting situation.
Besides how to use the 5-settings necessary for manual shooting, I offer advice and tips on how to manage one's photography gear starting with how to safely change lenses, how to hold a DSLR properly, how many memory cards & batteries to have, etc. I firmly believe many practices of the professional photography must be adopted even if just going out shooting casually for fun on weekends.
Last month Brooke's husband took a night photography lesson with their Nikon D3100. Yesterday afternoon I met her for a more general 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson focused on making the switch from aperture priority mode to shooting using manual exposure mode. I think by the end of the 2-hour lesson Brooke had successfully made the switch!
Brooke had photography knowledge, but it was not organized in a way that could be counted upon to produce consistent results when shooting in various conditions. I helped her organize that knowledge and added in key pieces of additional information using my 5-step process for getting a sharp and well exposed shot in any shooting condition. I started by pointing out that since she was already an aperture priority shooter, switching to manual means only adding one more thing to set yourself, which of course is shutter speed.