Tag Archives: Adobe Photoshop

Projektor with Lady Aera

Projektor Lady AeraProjektor with Lady Aera

 

This weekend I was able to shoot the first set in the art book concept we are working on “Projektor”.

 

Working with the only lighting being a 1500 lumen projector is an interesting prospect. We shot raw, 2.5F and around 3 seconds on the shoot. We also shot in bursts of 3, high, low, medium so we could merge the pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop along the way to make sure we were getting a decent exposure. Lots of chimping because of the low light process on this photo shoot because if the model moved during the burst shoot (high, low, regular) the image would come out blurry in the final product.

 

If you want to shoot like this, I highly recommend any 1500 Lumen or better projector, a tripod because no one can hold the camera still enough, and work with the model so that they know low light means a lot of smears. My defect rate on this shoot was somewhere around 40% (where I am deleting about 40% of the pictures I take) because they are blurry or otherwise show model movement. It is hard holding still for three or so seconds.

 

You also want to make sure that the studio is warm, that is one of the things about the studio I work out of, it might have heaters, but they don’t work. Most of the rooms in the studio are cold and if you have a model, posing nude, cold will not work out all that well.

 

Make sure you do use an MUA for this, even if the backgrounds are heavy and it is hard to make out the makeup, you still want to have a period makeup job for this depending on what period of makeup you want. For this we chose to use a 1920’s style makeup routine, heavy eyeliner, skin lightener, deep red lipstick to work with some of the images that were lighter than the darker backgrounds.

 

In all, shooting in low light is a lot of fun, but practice first with a friend before you pay for a model to do the work. Camera sensors differ and it can be difficult to work in low light. It can be amazingly rewarding though, and a skill worth developing for your portfolio. Sadly, most of these pictures need to remain behind passwords for the time being because I don’t want to deal with the voyeur web sites.

 

Fantasy Photo Art

Fantasy Photo ArtFantasy Photo Art

There are all sorts of fantasy pictures out there, but some of the most heavily processed pictures outside of fashion photography are going to be the overt fantasy pictures. While I grew up with people like Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and Carlos Diaz it is hard to find anyone who is recreating the look and feel of those illustrations in photography. First of all these kinds of pictures take a lot of time to put together in Photoshop, although OnOne Perfect Suite does cut down on the processing time with equal if not better results. You are still going to need Photoshop at some point to help manage the layers and smooth out those things that OnOne Perfect Suite will not smooth out.

To show how this really works I should probably make a movie and load it up on YouTube, and that is on the project list of things to do. Which is a really long list, so this is one of those eventually things as I get around to it and clear my plate of things to do today. I would highly recommend starting with a base picture of the scene you would like to create. Have the model pose as close to or as perfectly as you would like, I also recommend a non-cluttered background. Most of these were taken outdoors, and when you are trying to delete the background, plants, trees and other things you do not want in the picture take time to remove regardless of the software you use to set the mood and tone of the picture. Some photographers I know will shoot on a green screen or chromatic screen to make removing the background a lot easier. I tend to shoot these outdoors without the use of a green screen because moving a prop like a huge four ton rock into the studio just isn’t going to happen.

I recommend a 45 degree gradient for the lighting if you are going to go for a true Julie Bell or Carlos Diaz feel to the fantasy pictures you create. Then insert the background, components, and other mood lighting effects you want after you delete the background. Also you want to add texture and lines to the picture in Photoshop filters to make the lines pop like they would in an illustration. If you know your model well you can also change the mood around to suit the personality of the model, for example one of the models in this is a Goth, so making her dark and moody suited her personality and she ended up liking the pictures enough to turn them into her facebook profile image for a while. In all it depends on what you are going for with Fantasy Pictures, for some it is all about taste, for some it is all about recreating gods, goddesses, and trying to bring back some of the 1970’s old school style of fantasy art works.

Fantasy Photo Art

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Glamour Bikini Model Javs Anne

Glamour Bikini Model Javs AnneGlamour Bikini Model Javs Anne

This is a set from Rock the Bikini earlier this summer, trying to catch up on all the pictures I have taken this summer has ended up being a challenge that I am really falling behind on. If you want to see all the modeling pictures go to this LINK, if you want to see all the events, burlesque and other stuff including PAX go to this LINK.

Javs Anne is one of the more fun models to take pictures of. She has a natural grace when it comes to working with her in front of the camera. She has a photographer boyfriend/husband/SO that has kept her busy since this photo shoot and I am glad that I met both of them. The set pretty much so speaks for itself in terms of the model and how natural she is in front of the camera.

I used a white reflector and a fill flash for this as we were under a tree at the time, and the tulle fabric we were using as a prop for the whole shoot. I really needed something that would cut through the tulle so that I could get some of the light through it and fill in the shade from the tree. Full day light and water behind the model was the real issue throughout this photo shoot, so the reflector and the fill flash with my favorite gary fong was the best way to go.

I didn’t use any special effects in Lightroom or any other software program. From Camera to Lightroom, with some highlights and increasing the contrast a bit was all that was really needed to bring out the model and give the mood that I was trying to create for this quick model set.

Glamour Bikini Model Javs Anne

 

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On One Perfect Photo Suite 7.5.1 Review

On One Perfect Photo Suite ReviewOn One Perfect Photo Suite 7.5.1 Review

The only reason why I know about this software is a hat tip from a photographer over on Google Plus, so G+ is an amazingly vibrant photographic community and we share a lot of information about what we use and how we use it. I have been mucking about with the trial demo version of the software now for about 20 days and I have to say that I am going to buy it.

Getting me to buy more software is a pain, I have a work flow that works for me, Camera to Lightroom, to any kind of touchups that I want to do in Photoshop.

On One fit perfectly into this work flow, and it did change to Camera, Lightroom, On One for effects and art work to Photoshop for conversion over to JPG and usually sharpening and embossing.

Usually software is not something I bring right into a work flow to see what happens with it. But as I got more and more comfortable with the artistic and portrait touches I could do with it, for those pictures I want to bring into an art effect with this software made perfect sense. Not all pictures are ever going to end up on the art side of the work flow. Often Lightroom is just enough to work with when cranking out modeling pictures or working with landscapes and then working effects in Photoshop. On One perfect photo suite seriously cut down the amount of time that I am working the same effects in Photoshop, but opened up a whole new avenue of working with photos that I would have originally only have done back in a real dark room with a real wet process.

I was even able to recreate some of the pictures nearly exactly in Perfect Photo Suite that I was able to create in a wet process in a dark room.

Usually this is what I would create in a Dark Room using a wet process
Usually this is what I would create in a Dark Room using a wet process

Would I recommend it, yes, it seems to do a lot of really interesting art and general effects that can enhance a picture for publication. It does not do everything you can do in Photoshop, but it creates some clean edges when masking pictures, creating silver effects in black and white images, some refocusing effects, and then the huge pool of art and other effects that you can use to put a different spin on a picture.

For example in one picture I was able to put a flame effect on the hem of a skirt to bring out the idea of movement on the stage.

 

Burlesque dancer with flame effect on hem of skirt
Burlesque dancer with flame effect on hem of skirt

Honestly you could and probably will spend 200 to 300 dollars on software that will do less, is harder to use, and does not do what you want it to do right off the bat. There is almost no ramp up speed with the On One Perfect Photo Suite. The software has saved me hours working on some of the art pictures I have been working with. So check out the smaller gallery below. All of these were made with On One. I was not compensated for this – really just a hat tip from a photographer, a quick painless free 30 day trial download, and my 2 cents for what it is worth.

 

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Pinup Model Alley Kat

Pinup Model Alley KatPinup Model Alley Kat

Alley Kat is new to me, and I was able to get some quick pinup pictures with her at the recent Rock the Bikini photo shoot in Poulsbo Washington. In all this ended up being a really interesting photo shoot, and one that could be easily made into Vargas style prints using Photoshop CS 6. Whenever you get the chance to shoot a pinup think of Vargas and the posing will be a lot easier for you to do. You can also think of Dita Von Tease as well if you prefer a more modern approach to Pinup. I am more old school, thinking the front of bombers in World War 2 more so than the stern latex style of today.

Alley Kat is perfect for old school, especially with the school girl one piece bikini that she was wearing. The problem was that the background didn’t have enough draw on the ground, and I didn’t want wicked shadows in the shoot. So I ended up having to do a lot of background fill in to make these pictures work. These pictures were taken in bright sunlight, fill flash, and a white background on pavement, running at 100 ISO and as clamped down on the camera as possible to flatten the picture (almost Bokeh) to the point where everything would flow together when taking the picture.

There were minimal light room corrections overall, other than the healing brush, upping the exposure and upping the contrast to bring out the tattoos that she has. I used the dodge burn tool in Photoshop CS 6, along with upping the highlights in the hair, adding a burlap texture, as well as adding a 10% opaque fiber to the picture to make it look like it had been rained on, or had some serious wear and tear to add to the Vargas feel.

In all, not enough pictures came out the way that I would have wanted them to come out. Some came out exactly as I was seeing them in my own head. I’ll probably go back to this shoot later on and do some revising of them to see what other things I can do to bring out what I was thinking at the time I was taking the pictures. Many thanks though to Alley Kat, I would love to get her back into the studio again and see what other kinds of pinups we can do. If you ever get the change to do a “rock the bikini” as a photographer or as a model, it is worth checking out.

 

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Converting a picture over to a Pencil Drawing in Photoshop 5

Converting a picture over to a Pencil Drawing in Photoshop 5Converting a picture over to a Pencil Drawing in Photoshop 5

This is turning into something that you might not use all the time, but it does make for an interesting way of processing a picture if you have a couple of minutes to spend converting something over to what it was not originally. This is one of the pictures I crossed over to a line drawing today using a couple of video tutorials over on YouTube. The best one is right here and if this is something you want to do, then this is the kind of effect you are going to get.

If you want to muck about with beyond what the video says, you can go into the Image -> adjustments -> and then manually tinker with contrast, brightness, and even add some interesting pastel colors to this as you work through the process. The one below this was semi-colorized because I decided not to desaturate this puppy before I went and followed the directions.

The real trick seems to be working with the black and white, with a about 20% Gaussian blur, then making everything in the layers into one picture. It is a neat handy trick if you ever want to turn a picture into a black and white line drawing. It is a fun technique to work with and you can do some variations along the way.

Here is the regular version using the steps in the video link that we posted above. This is one where I changed the Contrast and Brightness down a bit.

Sample with a darker contrast and deeper brightness

 

Here is another version were I didn’t desaturate the colors first, just started converting over and then added an edge glow to it on the final processing pass. Either way you can end up with some pretty interesting things to look at when you are doing this.

 

Not desaturating the picture keeping the color tones in place
Not desaturating the picture keeping the color tones in place

The video from Blue Lighting TV is the best one we found so far, as we find more cool easy to do and verifiable videos we will share them. This is not a recommendation, there are other videos out there, but if you are pressed for time, like I am, then finding accurate and easy to follow videos to practice are pretty important. There are many videos on YouTube, not all are verifiable, or the conversation in the video just goes downhill really fast.

Model Kat Chaos (Line drawing version)

Model Rylin (Color version)

Photographer Dan Morrill

 

 

 

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Grid Girl Roxy and a Vintage Charger

Grid Girl Roxy and a Vintage ChargerGrid Girl Roxy and a Vintage Charger

This is another grid girl via Femme LTD here in Seattle. This one was done earlier in the morning without using a reflector and just a polarizer on the lens. Processed in Lightroom 4.4 from Adobe with the standard HDR settings (highlights -100, shadows +100, white and black balance according to taste, and clarity +60).

I like the way that these settings helped bring out the reflection in the cars, in some of the pictures I dropped the color channels to highlight the burnt orange color of the car and the highlights in Roxy’s hair which matched out the color of the car fairly well. In others I took them as is right off the camera without any Lightroom trickery. Sometimes you can over do the Lightroom settings by adding too much clarity to the picture. That really depends on your model, what I have learned is that the darker the skin tone the more clarity you can add to a picture if HDR is your thing. For people with really pale skin, like a red head or someone who is very white, you really can’t use a lot of clarity because it brings out interesting bruising colors in their legs or a lot of veins that are time consuming to pull out using the healing brush in Photoshop. Tradeoffs are everywhere, you need to figure out what suits your artistic vision against what the manipulation looks like in Photoshop or Lightroom.

There are always problems with light shooting on an overcast day, so having a reflector is a good idea. I used the white side of the reflector for this one thinking that the gold side would impart too much color to the skin tones all the way through the process. My thinking looks like it was right in this instance with this model and the light conditions for the photo shooting time I had with her. Roxy is a pretty cool person to work with and she is a lot of fun in front of the camera. Overall I am pretty happy with how these all came out so as always looking for your opinion on the matter just to see if I was wrong or right with my assumptions and what I did post photo shoot with the images.

These pictures were shot using a Nikon D5100, a Nikor 18-105 lens with a 64MM Polarizer on the lens. I used a standard 42 inch reflector with the white side reflecting light onto the model. The light room settings were standard HDR settings (see above for the numbers) and pushed out at 300 DPI from the export.

 

 

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