Saturday, January 16, 2016

My List of Photographers to Follow on Instagram (so far!)

I was a very late adopter to Instagram, but I finally joined lat last year and I'm really liking the experience.  In my short time I've found a few photographers that consistently put out some great work.

So here's my list, in no particular order, of amazing photographers to follow on Instagram (so far):

Dave Black (@daveblackphoto) - actually Dave is the reason I initially joined Instagram. He only posts on Instagram and creates some truly inspirational images. He's a sports photographer and creative lighting genius - whether with a speedlight or large/small flashlight his creative lighting images are incredible.

Kalebra Kelby (@kalebra_kelby) - if you want to see what can be done with an iPhone then this is who you want need to follow. Extremely talented, a great storyteller, and one of the warmest and kind hearted people you could ever meet.

Rob Foldy (@robfoldy) - commercial sports photographer, portraits or action doesn't matter, he nails it every time.

Paul Zizka (@paulzizkaphoto) - landscape and adventure photographer - it seems he's either somewhere at sea level, or thousands of feet above creating stunning images.

Scott Kelby (@scottkelby) - a little bit of everything from travel, to portraits to sports - a great eye for composition and colour, and his images always tell a great story.

Toby Harriman (@tobyharriman) - cityscape, seascape, landscape and timelapse -  he also does some cool things with light and spends a fair bit of time well above sea level.

Mike Taylor (@taylor_photo) - think nighttime, think stars, think milky way - a beautiful collection of images.

Bruce Getty (@gettyphotography) - sunrise, sunset, long exposure, amazing colours, and I'll take a wild guess that he has an affinity for bridges.

Colby Brown (@colbybrownphotography) - landscape and travel photography, pretty sure he's never passed a lake or waterfall he didn't capture beautifully.

Hope you check them out, and you can hit me up on Instagram at the same time!



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Not My Normal Self Portrait - Part 3 "The Post"

Hey everyone, here is the third and final instalment of my "Post Apocalyptic Corporate Headshot" series of the "The Shot," "The Shoot & The Gear," and "The Post."

Here's the video that shows how I created this image in Photoshop.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Not My Normal Self Portrait - Part 2 "The Shoot & The Gear"

Part 2, "The Shoot & The Gear." The original concept for this image came to me when my wife asked me to take her to Michael's, a local craft store. It was around Halloween and they had all of their Halloween themed things out on display. As soon as we walked into the store I saw the skulls, which got me thinking about how I could possibly use one. My first thought was some kind of self portrait with the skull overlay, or a bones behind the face kind of thing. So I had to grab one.

I decided to try some sort of overlay so I knew I needed a headshot of both me and the skull. 

I wanted a dark look so I chose only one light to camera left and positioned it so I would fully light my right side, and have enough drop off to darkness on my left.  I needed to have the lighting the same for both shots, so I had to have both my face and the skull in pretty much the same position. I also chose a black background to keep the dark theme. Here's the lighting set-up.

I took a lot of test shots, and was tethered into Lightroom to see them a bit larger so I could assess the overall exposure and focus. Once I had both nailed down I did two things:

1) I turned the AF switch on the lens to "off" so the camera wouldn't try to refocus everytime the shutter was fired, and;
2) I placed a mark on the ground as a reference for my distance from the lens.

Here's the self-shot I used - this is the RAW shot converted to jpg, no post done yet.

Once I was satisfied with my self-shot I grabbed the skull for the next shot - again, this is the RAW shot converted to jpg, no post done yet.

As you can see I was holding it up at head level to try and get the same perspective. This is where the mark I placed on the ground came in. For the self-shot I was sanding over the mark, but for the skull shot I was standing behind the mark placing the skull above it closest to where my head would have been. This was key to get light to fall in same way for both shots, and also to try and match the perspective when I took both into Photoshop to merge them.  

Gear used for the shoot:
- Nikon D810
- Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8
- Nikon SB900 Flash
- Nikon SU800 Commander Unit
- Lastolite 24" Ezybox
- Black backgound with Manfrotto background stand
- Vello wireless Shutter Boss - remote trigger
- Tethered into Lightroom

Stay tuned for part 3 "The Post," where I'll show you how I created the final image in Photoshop and Lightroom.



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Not My Normal Self Portrait - Part 1 "The Shot"

Hey everyone, here we go with another instalment of "The Shot," The Shoot & The Gear," and "The Post."

Now, there is a back story to this image. While I was at Photoshop World in August one of the tidbits of advice I picked up about pushing your creativity is doing something the complete opposite of what you would normally do. Well, if you look at most of my portfolio you'll see that this about as far from my normal as I think you can get! LOL!

This was also a way for me to work on generating a concept, planning the various elements, figuring out how to light it and shoot it, and finally how to bring all the elements together in Photoshop and Lightroom. I'm definitely not a Photoshop genius, but I've picked a few tricks here and there, so it's always fun to try new things.

Stay tuned for Part 2 "The Shoot & The Gear," where I'll walk through the concept, the planning, lighting, and shooting.