There I was, in a ghost town in the desert in Arizona, or Nevada — it was so remote it's hard to be sure — with a super-telephoto zoom lens, a model in a flowy dress and an empty highway. I just got so excited to lay down in the middle of the road that I forgot that the sky was totally bland. Now, a bland sky doesn't ruin a portrait, but it would have been nice if there were some huge monsoon thunderheads up there. I could use Luminar to combine this with another photo of puffy clouds and combine the two images (and maybe I will later), but I … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Utilize graduated filters to finish your portraits
I just attended WPPI in Las Vegas along with thousands of other photographers. The great thing about this conference is that it's focused on portraiture. There are all kinds of classes, but even if you only attend with a free expo pass, you can learn from speaker after speaker about tips for making the best portraits of your career and how to help your business grow. I've attended this conference for the last 10 years, as well as many other conferences. And you should, too. See new gear New gear won't make you a better photographer, but it … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: You need to get out more
(Editor's note: Dave DeBaeremaeker photographs toys. His work is amazing and, believable. In this guest post, Dave shares the experiences of why he began photographing toys, and what he learned along the way.) Humans are creative creatures. Ever since the first finger painting on the wall of a cave, humans have endeavored to express themselves thru imagery. From those first cave paintings, the imagery improved over time to the hyper-realistic Renaissance painters. Later, when cameras were invented, the desire to express and create with … [Read more...] about The joy of toy photography is fun & learning too
Shooting with speedlights on-location is a great way to be mobile, creative and light! We all know how heavy camera equipment can be. Speedlights on-location allows you to have the perfect light on your subject with a dramatic sky! I shot this photograph along the waterfront of downtown Sharjah, UAE during my Location Lighting Workshop at the Xposure International Photography Festival. I had a beautiful model and a beautiful golden light in the sky. How do I get dramatic color in the sky? You start with "the element you cannot control," … [Read more...] about Photographing portraits during Golden Hour
There are many online resources that offer eyelash brushes. A simple Google search for "Eyelash Brush Photoshop" will return several great sites. I downloaded the brushes from Obsidian Dawn’s website and paid a small $3 fee for commercial use. Want to learn more? Check out this article, "Adding Realistic Eyelashes in Photoshop" … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Download and install eyelash brushes for realistic eyelashes in Photoshop
Create a “Model Release” subfolder in the same folder as the images the release is for. This makes it easy to find and easier to match the release to the images. Store the digital model release form in this folder. If you prefer paper release forms, scan the original and place it in this folder. File the original paper release like you normally do. Want to read more? Check out more in the article, "Where to store your model release forms" … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Keeping model releases organized
About a year ago I started trying out other genres of photography as a way to jump out of my nature photo comfort zone, reshape my style, and give my creativity a kickstart. This came after some pretty tough personal challenges and dark times that nearly ended my career. For whatever reason, after a few shoots, I found myself drawn to model photography. Beyond the initial shock of having to work indoors while not spending almost all my day knee or waist-deep in swamp water, the biggest surprise of all was how much I enjoyed the challenges of … [Read more...] about NSFW: Working with models, the do’s and don’ts of implied, boudoir and nude photography
When shooting a photograph, I often feel that I am creating a single frame from a movie. The star of the movie is the subject. With the use of backdrops, light, a ladder and a Venetian Blind I have created an effect and a mood. In this article, I am sharing examples of the use of colors and lighting to create different visual effects. This set is from my Creative Lighting Workshop in Boston on April 22, 2018. I had 2 completely different lighting setups right next to each other. How the Lighting Was Created Model Valentina Beli … [Read more...] about Creating Effect and Mood with Light
In this video, I'll show you the power of using a grid to further modify the light on a softbox. It creates mood and makes it simple to control the light completely. From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers Modifying a softbox with a grid from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Course transcript So now what we want to do here is modify the light a little bit further to where we're just using a beam of light. And this next shot's going to be a … [Read more...] about How and Why to Use a Grid on a Softbox
Guitarist, singer, and photographer Ken Susi of the band, "Unearth", dropped by the Photographic Test Kitchen, for a portrait session. Our goal is how to create a different look by using colors. Creating the First Image In the first image, I used 2 Dynalite Baja B6 strobes, one on either side and slightly behind Ken, giving him the light on his face. Both strobes had a Dynalite 20 degree, 7” grid. The ends of both of the grids were wrapped in Rosco Cinefoil, black tin foil, that controls how the light is spread. On the left side I used a … [Read more...] about Coloring a Rockstar
What is a Layer? Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images. They allow you to add filters--or stack several filters together--to apply corrections or enhancements. Changing blending modes, adding a layer mask and adjusting the overall opacity (revealing or hiding the layer below) will give you the freedom to experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image. Base Layer Luminar creates a base layer when an image is first opened. Think of this as the background layer. Since there isn’t a layer beneath it, you … [Read more...] about Tips and Tricks for Using Layers
What is a snoot? A snoot is just a funny name for a piece of equipment, generally a tube or similar objects such as a conical, cylindrical, or rectangular shape, that fits over a studio light or portable flash. It allows you to control the direction or area of coverage of the light. Basically, it makes the light more focused and concentrated by directing your light and focusing it. This makes the coverage very narrow and the light falls-off very sharply giving you a harsher or harder light. Adding a Grid Personally, I like the snoot and grid … [Read more...] about How to D.I.Y. a Snoot & Grid
Have you ever been in a room and looked around and felt like you didn't belong? Just felt like you were a fish out of the water and your hoping no one noticed that you're drowning in the corner. That is the story of my life! I can't tell you how many times I have actually fallen into a job or mistakenly taken a great photo. For instance, I saw a local ad for an event photographer for the grand opening of the local Paul Mitchell school. At that time I was shooting for the local paper and thought, "I'll apply, why not?" Worst that could happen … [Read more...] about Is Opportunity Knocking? Are You Ready?
Work made with 3 speed lights Here's the equipment used to create this photograph: Nikon D810 Nikon 105mm Macro lens 3 Nissin Di700A speedlights Nissan Carbon Fiber Light Stand Nissan Air 1 transmitter Rogue XL2 Flashbender Rogue large Flashbender Rogue Grid set Rogue Gel set Click Props "Factory Floor" backdrop https://youtu.be/cIrX4qx8iUE … [Read more...] about Photographic Test Kitchen: 3 Light Setup
(Editor's note: This guest post by Andrew Darlow is excerpted from Focus and Filter: Professional Techniques for Mastering Digital Photography and Capturing the Perfect Shot, by Andrew Darlow, © Ulysses Press.) They say: “It’s not what you say but what you do.” Well, in portrait photography, what you say to your subject is as important as what you do with your lighting, framing and camera settings. Knowing a few simple things can help your subjects relax, and at the same time help them to express themselves so that you can capture their … [Read more...] about How to Talk to Models, Family & Friends to Make More Natural Photos
Simply put, a model release is a permission given to the photographer from the subject to use photos of them. In order to assure the best return for photographs offered for sale through Adobe Stock or any agency, releases are needed. A model is anyone being photographed Model releases are important. They are a written agreement between model and the photographer as to how the photographs may be used by the photographer. Anyone in a photograph is a "model" even in a family or editorial setting. Anyone who can be recognized in a photo is a … [Read more...] about What is a Model Release?
Let's be clear on one important fact. I. Don't. Shoot. Weddings. Period. Back when film was photography's medium, I did my share of weddings. For the most part, it was fun. I took great satisfaction in recording a happy time for the couples and their families. Early on I noticed that the women of the bridal party were outwardly happy while, at the same time, wondering how they and been convinced or was it coerced into wearing hideous (their description not mine) eggplant or fuschia colored dresses that would never leave their closets until … [Read more...] about Bridesmaids and The Bride
Headshot photography, once reserved for actors and the occasional executive, is now about as mainstream as LinkedIn or Facebook. Whether you're looking for a job, changing careers, starting a new business, or looking for a date, an amazing headshot is step one. Headshots are the core to the now overused term of personal branding. Call it whatever you want, but it all starts with a headshot. I can think of no better way to learn headshot photography than from the man himself, Peter Hurley. Peter has been perfecting the craft of headshots for … [Read more...] about Reviewed: Perfecting The Headshot
Shooting tethered means that your camera is connected to a computer and the pictures are saved to the computer while you shoot. You can do this by using a long USB cable or sometimes an ethernet cable from the camera to the computer. If you're using a Lumix camera, though, you've got to buy Promote Systems software to tether with a cable. Or, you can just connect to your computer wirelessly anywhere in the world with camera's built-in wifi. Here's how to do it on a Mac--I'd love some help from you writing this up for a Windows … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: How To Tether Wirelessly With Lumix
Happy Summer! It’s time to get away from the computer or out of the darkroom and enjoy the beautiful weather and shoot! Here are 3 tips on making great beach photographs. I shot these photographs at the end of the day, catching the very last bit of light, at the same location, yet achieving very different visual impacts. All of these photographs are shot without a tripod even though they are fairly long exposures. Exposing for the last light of the day. Start by using the in camera meter to read the light on the horizon. Make sure you are … [Read more...] about Shooting on a Beach!
Much of the photography you see daily, from internet ads to magazines, includes a model. A model is simply a person who is in a picture for a purpose. Maybe the purpose is to sell something, maybe it's to practice being a model, maybe it's to practice making pictures. Whatever the reason for the picture, I have some tips about working with models. This is stuff from my own experience, growing from a hobbyist to a full-time contract photographer. You Should Photograph Models First of all, you should be photographing models. You need to … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: You Should Be Photographing Models
I made it a goal this year to learn something way outside of my photography comfort zone of the great outdoors. After my first plan for a project exploring "underwater fine art nude food photography" fell through (apparently, Thanksgiving dinner was not the place to jump-start this idea), I decided to take a workshop on studio model photography. Yes, that is correct. Me. Indoors. In a studio. With models. Gasp... Let's face it, I am a lot more comfortable waist deep in a swamp filled with ‘gators than in a studio! Fortunately, a few weeks … [Read more...] about Getting Out of Your Photography Comfort Zone: A Nature Photographer Wanders into a Studio
Recently I wrote about how Digital model or property release forms have made it easy for photographers to always have a release handy. Now the next step is where to store the forms. Here’s how to organize and store the forms to keep them safe and easily accessible. Storing Digital Release Forms Most digital release form applications have the ability to email both the photographer and model a PDF of the release. It’s tempting to keep this in your inbox or in the application. A better solution is to create a “Model Release” subfolder in the … [Read more...] about Where to Store Your Model Release Forms
The eyes are the most important part of a portrait, and the expression in the eyes makes the difference between a well-lit picture and a stunning portrait. You'll notice that when people look into the camera you have about .026 seconds before the eyes start to glaze over. The eyes quickly look disengaged and even frightened. The majority of pictures posted on the internet have dull, uninterested eyes. But there's a simple way to help you get fresh eyes in every picture. "Look down at my toes, please." Whether I'm photographing old friends, … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Great Eyes Start At The Toes
I try my best to have a hair and makeup artist on set but sometimes the shoot doesn’t have a budget for it. Here’s how Photoshop can help fill the gap and add realistic eyelashes in about 5 minutes. Download and Install Eyelash Brushes There are many online resources that offer eyelash brushes. A simple Google search--Eyelash Brush Photoshop--will return several great sites. I download the brushes from Obsidian Dawn’s website and paid a small $3.00 fee for commercial use. After downloading the brushes, double clicking on the brush name … [Read more...] about Adding Realistic Eyelashes in Photoshop
Category: Portraits Photographer: George Prapas - GP_MG_8774 Hey guys! My name is Kristina Sherk and I’m a professional retoucher and portrait photographer from Washington DC. At our DC headshot studio, we like to think we know a thing or two about photographing and retouching people, so I’m going to start featuring some amazing portrait photographers on Mondays, here on Photofocus! Here’s our first featured portrait photographer: Bulgarian photographer George Prapas has got a keen eye for photographing people and it absolutely … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day – George Prapas
When a photographer works with a model for the first time, what should you do? What expectations does the model have from you as the photographer? What can the photographer do to ensure a successful shoot? Rather than speculate and come up with answers that I thought might be appropriate, I put these questions to three models with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working: Julana, Stevie and Zan. What are the 2 or 3 most important things a photographer can do ahead of time to ensure a successful shoot? [Julana] Scout the location to find … [Read more...] about Advice To Photographers From Models
There are very few additions that you can make to your camera bag that spur your creativity as much as a Lensbaby lens does. I’ve bought my first Lensbaby for my full frame DSLR in 2006. Today, 10 years later I still enjoy using my (latest version for APS-C Fuji X-Mount) Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35 lens. But the lens has really grown up compared to the early version from 2006. Instead of the flexible rubber tube that you had to manually turn and hold in place with your fingers, the new versions come with a flexible stepless locking … [Read more...] about Get creative with this lens — My quick Lensbaby Composer Pro review
While I was in Colorado Springs, I led a photowalk sponsored by Perfectly Clear. A group of us met up and photographed The Garden of the Gods. When nighttime fell upon us, we retreated to Applebee's for a late dinner and a roundtable discussion. Waiting for our dinner, we snacked on appetizers as I answered questions on a wide range of topics. Showing an image from my portfolio, my new friend, Richard Firth, asked How did you create that look? I stopped in mid sentence, smiled as I quickly wrote down his question and made it the title for my … [Read more...] about How to Create the Look – Adding Accessories
I've put together a comprehensive look at the new drone registration policy. This full length course walks you through the why, when, and how. Seeing how steep the penalties are you may want to pay heed. Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. ?The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. The In-Depth Look If you fly a drone, quadcopter, model airplane, or UAS in the United States airspace, the Federal … [Read more...] about What Does the FAA’s New Drone Policy Mean to You?