Tag Archives: Image

Bring Something Sexy the Movie

Bring Something Sexy the MovieBring Something Sexy the Movie

 

So in case you didn’t know we are part of a Freelance Modeling movie by Rebel and Dark Angel Productions. You can see the teaser trailer right here down below if you are interested in seeing the life of a freelance model.

 

Kristy/Rebel has been one of those folks who inspired me to be a better photographer and take on some of the move interesting art projects like Liquid Light, Projektor and the upcoming idea of “Dark Beauty” although I desperately need to change the name to suit more of what I am going for with the 1920’s 1930’s jazz age photography styles.

 

The teaser trailer is right here:

 

The uncut footage from the liquid light shoot I did with Kristy is right here:

 

In all I am super excited about being in a movie for and about freelance modeling, because this is an important aspect of the industry. I hire only freelance models; I don’t want to work with agency models because all the money does not go to the model. I would much rather the model gets all the cash and calls it good.

 

I also work with freelance models because I enjoy them; they are often freer in emotion and expression than what is coming out of the agency. Plus I get to work with new models, models that I continually seem to rehire depending on the project, and models that are taking an active interest in what I am doing as an art project. I tend to do more art projects than simple fashion or event photography. I have found many agency models to be a bit stiff in how they work, and that seems to be part of the agency system. I need art models, not fashion models and this drives the process.

 

Go check out the movie, check out the web site bring something sexy, and I hope you watch the movie when it comes out, it is going to be a great flick. It was a lot of fun to participate in, and hey it’s our first movie where we are not taking it. That is worth the blog entry and then some.

 

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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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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Should a photographer honor a takedown request?

Should a photographer honor a takedown request?Should a photographer honor a takedown request?

We all have them, over the last year I have had three people request that I take down the pictures I took of them. Generally they might be because the pictures are crappy (which happens), or they have some other reason. Let’s look at each of the three requests and then ask yourself how you would handle them. On all of these, I did honor the request, and will explain more after I get done with the examples.

Public Protest Pictures – one young lady was at the Annual Slutwalk and was captured in four pictures I took at the walk. Her office workers found out that she was part of the event and started harassing her. She was not just caught by me, but caught by a major news outlet as well and posted all over the newspaper. That is probably what caught the office workers attention. She is a rape survivor, but the actions of her office workers started triggering bad events. The e-mail that was sent to me to take down the four pictures was impressive, and for what I thought was a very good reason. She is getting harassed by her office workers for talking about surviving rape and participating in Slutwalk which is a major anti-rape event/protest here in Seattle. I took the four pictures down, and never heard from her again.

Model Shoot – model revised the paper contract so that she could control what was posted online from the modeling shoot. Model refused to release any of the pictures because this was the first time she had pictures taken of her in underwear. I am not talking a small shoot here, but because she was an awesome model and I didn’t notice what she had penciled into the contract (that is my mistake), I spent a significant amount of the day taking her picture. When the model refused to release any pictures, I was stuck with three hours of lost time, and a couple hundred pictures I could have used. The objection was not to the pictures, but that she was in her underwear. The pictures were taken down because my lab assistant countersigned the contract. My assistants no longer have the ability to sign contracts on my behalf (didn’t realize they had them before, and this might be a way to scoot out of the whole mess), and I moved over to electronic copy for the model releases that cannot be modified by anyone but me.

Event Shoot – a performer of the event was so concerned about her image that she needed to approve any picture posted online from the event. She requested a take down, but since technically I don’t own the pictures, the event does, asking me to take down the pictures rather than the event organizers asking me to take down the pictures made this one highly unusual. The event eventually decided that it would be better to take them down rather than have an upset artist.

The only other issue with pictures over the last year was a gallery name and how the model perceived herself, which is a quick easy fix and no loss of imagery.

Each one of these is a different circumstance I have had with models, needless to say yes I do keep a black list of models or event performers who ask for a take down and will not take their picture again in the future. Like all cities, this is a very small town, so I figure I am on a couple of models and event performers black list as well. Fair is fair, if the relationship is not working with the model or performer then it just will not work. The first one though is unique, I have never before or sense seen anyone in a protest march ask for their picture to be taken down from the internet. I have no idea how the newspaper reacted, but the pictures were missing from the news site a few month later. Other than being seriously annoyed that someone would use a protest picture to harass a co-worker, that one was probably the most legitimate reason to take down a picture I have seen yet.

If the photographer has taken crappy pictures, tell them that they are crappy. That you don’t like them or that they do not portray you as you wish to be seen by the public. Don’t go all copyright on them, don’t go all ‘but I am in my underwear’, look at it realistically. The photographer spent time on those pictures. It is unlikely that they ripped them off the camera and posted them, they went through some kind of post shoot process that meant time with the shoot far beyond what you saw. The photographer has an equal investment in time, and would much rather hear the pictures are crappy than pulling some kind of bone head maneuver about copyright or underwear. Most photographers are going to be cool about it, and would much rather deliver a picture you are happy with along the way. Realize the photographer is also an artist in their own right, so an argument like this just fails:

“It isn’t just about quality of photography. I like to be in control of my art just like any other artist.”

 

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To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

 

To watermark or not to watermark that is the question
To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

There is no easy answer here; I have varied between using watermarks and not using watermarks. I am in a current let’s not use watermarks for my pictures, although I have been known to use them depending on the circumstance. But I tend to agree with Thomas Hawk, not to watermark for many reasons along the way. Thomas Hawk makes a compelling argument – few of the real masters in the field actually use watermarks.

For me it is more of a personal reason, I want to sell my pictures – if I use an embedded watermark that is the last thing someone who buys my picture is going to want to have as part of the picture. It is there, and sales are going to be really difficult on those pictures I have watermarked in the past. I want to sell (not that I am having much luck at that either), and a watermark just gets in the way. The buyer can’t remove it, it is there forever, and shows up on the final print, no one is going to purchase it.

Watermarking is an interesting process where you as a photographer think you are going to generate some buzz for your work, build some name or brand recognition, or otherwise make a valiant attempt at stopping “photo thieves”. Personally I would love to see someone with an image on their web site that they didn’t pay for that I have fully copyrighted because I am sending them a bill, a big bill, a huge bill that will help me feed my cats for a month. I am going to screen cap that puppy, the bill will go out, and if I don’t get payment I am sending it off to the most aggressive angriest most annoying bill collection system that I can find. I’ll enjoy doing that, because at least I’ll get some money for what I am doing.

I have also noticed that most photographers have a pretty unique style when it boils down what kinds of pictures they take. You can include your data in the meta data of the picture even though it can be stripped, heck you could even use stenography with you name embedded in the digital image so that it does not show up on the final print. That final print is everything; there are other ways of protecting your pictures without a horrible watermark.

So right now I am not using a watermark, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. There are other ways of finding out people who are using your pictures without permission or payment. Then send them a huge bill and call it a day. Just remember to make friends with a bill collection agency.  We all have our ways of doing things – for now I am forgoing the watermark in favor of sending Guido over to their place of business.

 

 

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