Practice Shoot with Sheena

Yesterday Himal Reece and I decided to go out and practice our ambient light shooting skills. We left all the lighting gear behind and took just our camera body and lens. I selected my trusty 70-200mm f2.8 lens. No reflectors, just find the light and use it to the best of our ability. The light was not the best or so we thought, however in the end it turned out pretty acceptable. The location also had it's challenges, but that was exactly what we needed. So here's a shot from our shoot and a bit of info on how I was able to capture the shot. ISO - 800, Shutter Speed - 1/250s , Aperture - 2.8, Focal Length - 105mm

Light coming in from camera right.

Post Processing done in Light Room 4.2

ISO - 800, Shutter Speed - 1/500s , Aperture - 2.8, Focal Length - 155mm

Light coming in from camera right.

Post Processing done in Light Room 4.2

Vanessa Mel

Last week we received a call from a potential model and she and inquired as to our ability to do body art. It's not something we've done many times before, however we thought we'd give it a shot. My wife being an artist, how hard can it be? We told the client sure, we can do it!

Well Lisa said I can do the body art but Natasha (my sister) and regular Make-up artist will have to deal with the make-up side of things. It so happened Natasha was unavailable and Lisa was tasked with the entire job.

She did pretty good and she's now looking forward to a bigger challenge. You go Lisa!

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Photoshop World Orlando 2011

During Photoshop World Orlando 2011, I was able to capture a photo that was later used in Photoshop World Ads as well as being published in the Premier Issue of 'LIGHT IT!' iPad magazine.My photo is also listed in the Photoshop World Photo Gallery. How cool is that!?

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[caption id="attachment_970" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photoshop World Gallery"][/caption]









Here's a quick video recap from Photoshop World Orlando 2011.


Three (3) Tips To Establish A Better Connection For Portrait Photography

[caption id="attachment_944" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Studio Shoot with my Crazy Model "Jazz Apple"."][/caption]  









Maybe you can try one of these tips next time you're doing a portrait photo.

1) Shooting straight on with your subject at or near eye-level establishes eye contact and a close relationship between the subject and the viewer. There is an intimacy to a straight on camera position that evokes an emotional response.

The straight on shot can work from any height, but it is most effective at eye level. If you want to establish an immediate connection between the viewer and the subject, shoot straight on.

2) Try to get an honest, genuine expression. Expression sells portraits. So get a real one. If you just tell someone to smile it rarely works as well as getting them to smile in a genuine manner. I am not above telling bad jokes to my subjects to get them to laugh or smile naturally. It makes the portrait more real and intimate in my opinion.

3) Take care of the technical stuff BEFORE the subject arrives for their portrait. Know those camera settings and lighting setups you want to use before they show up. The photographers who spend time fiddling with their cameras and gear won’t have as good a chance at establishing a real connection with their subjects.

What to Wear for Portrait Sessions

I say it all the time, however I still think that communication is the most important aspect of portrait photography, especially for posing. You may start to discuss this during your first contact with the client. To make the best possible portrait, you need to start before a subject arrives at your studio or location. A few simple tips suggested to subjects can make their session go better, and help them enjoy the portraits produced during the session, which hopefully translates into more clients and repeat business. Let's face it, as I always say "most of us do this because we love it" however the equipment is not free. Nothing detracts from a subject’s face more than clothes covered in busy patterns and prints. Your attire depends on the type of portraits we're looking to create.

Things don’t always work out as we'd like and we often have to work with what we have. Although you might prefer that a portrait subject bring solid colors to a shoot (not WHITE if possible), that doesn’t always happen out here in the real world. So when the clothes aren't working you can try shooting tight. This will avoid the possibly distracting clothes.

Cropping tightly helps the portrait somewhat but it won’t always work to minimize the busy pattern of a subject's clothing. When this happens you can try changing to Black and White.

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Portrait Photography Tips

Here are 15 random portrait photography tips. Try them before you decide they won’t work :) 1. To make someone look smaller, photograph them from a high angle. 2. To create a dramatic portrait, fill the frame with the subject’s face. 3. Use large objects such as walls as reflectors when you can’t use electronic flash. 4. When photographing men, give them something to do with their hands. 5. Have your subject bring their chin down to make the eyes look larger. 6. When you photograph dark skin, underexpose by one stop. 7. Reflectors are an easy way to balance light on two sides of a subject. 8. Have your subject lean toward your camera. This creates a strong connection. 9. Large light sources placed close to the subject will provide the softest light. 10. Make sure your portrait background is clear of distractions. 11. When shooting a full-length portrait, women usually look better when they are photographed with their ankles crossed. 12. Make sure to focus on the eyes. Everything else can be soft. 13. Keep your subject’s arms away from her body to enhance the waist. 14. When posing someone in a seated position have them sit on their thighs, not their rear end. 15. Make sure to have a minimum of six feet between your subject and background to avoid casting shadows on the background.


Years of Wisdom

  [caption id="attachment_477" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Colin with Guitar "]Colin with Guitar[/caption]


A man of many words, wisdom far beyond my years. This man know as Colin has enlightened me with knowledge for many years now. Unknown to him he’s the reason I’ve made many wise decisions in life.

[caption id="attachment_478" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Colin in deep thought."]Colin in deep thought.[/caption]

As one who’s been educated far more than many of us today, lives a very simple life with a great appreciate for the natural surrounding. His burning desire to explore his vast garden on a daily basis if far more than you can ever imagine. Totally unplanned I visited him with my wife on Monday August 1st  2011, and as I sat there and listened I thought it would be fitting to document this legend in my eyes with my camera. I asked and he concurred with my request.