Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Our tree is up and decorated for another year. We are all looking forward to the holidays and some much needed relaxation, along with lots and lots of great food. Merry Christmas to anyone who may read this. As always i wish everyone the best year to come and may it be filled with awesome creative photos.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I am a proud football dad but often feel antisocial as i dont sit with the other parents. I kneel on the sidelines until my ankles go numb, holding my camera and monopod. This was game two which was played tonight and i managed about 30 shots that i was happy with. Next game is sunday and i hope to get 50 to add to the collection.
Monday, September 10, 2012
I was downtown doing a quick commercial shoot tonight and this scene stopped me in my tracks. The quality of the clouds moving behind the cathedral cross was very very nice. I placed the cross in a highlight area of the cloud and composed for the rest of the clouds that were trailing off. I did quite a bit of photoshop work on it just to darken distracting bright cloud areas and lighten others. I didnt realize it at the time but when i got home i clued in that tomorrow was sept 11. That inspired me to prepare the image tonight and post.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I been throughly enjoying shooting with an iphone this last few weeks. I have been using hipstamatic, instagram, and camera plus, as well as a couple more that i cant remember the names of. I have taken close to 300 photos and find i shoot so much more because i have the camera in my pocket all the time. I took these two today on the side of the road while driving my daughter and friends somewhere. Took 20 seconds to shoot, 20 seconds to edit, and then they were online. I plan to take many more and be posting some here in the near future.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Happy Canada Day to all. We spent this years holiday in Shediac New Brunswick and saw lots of great images. For this one we were actually eating breakfast and the light was really nice on my niece and her boyfriend. I went out to the car to get my camera and met this man when i was walking back to my meal. He was very nice and i told him i had to get a shot of him and his great tie. We talked for 5 minutes, i met his wife, and then i finished a great breakfast.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I had a great family photo session tonight with a great family. I have only download one of two cf cards and have a post already. What does that say. I tried some different things tonight too which was fun for me. I left my lights in the bag (crazy i know) and set my lens at f1.4 and left it there. I feel so young and wild, or wilde (only one person will get this one). Ok, cant wait any longer, must see the other card.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I have been working on a bit of a group assignment with some friends called "up close and personal". I was walking by this house recently and it just seemed to fit the bill. It looked like whoever was sitting on the front porch had just vanished. I loved the way the door was ajar. It just seemed to be a personal scene that i had stumbled upon. I had my camera and tripod and thought an hdr would further enhance the theme. I wanted to show every detail in every shadow and highlight, nothing hidden. I did a 9 image bracket and ran it through photomatix pro and topaz detail 2. I think honestly that i overdid it and may go back later and tone it down a bit, but for now its a sketch and is postable. Whoever was inside shut the door halfway through my shoot and then it felt impersonal and i left.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I have been very very busy lately and have felt like i've been chained to my office chair. So friday after work i said to myself "not touching my camera this weekend. Going to read, go for a run or three, and thats it." Then Friday night two superheros rang my doorbell. I had my lighting figured out before the cat ran outside. Main light up high pointing down at a 45 degree angle (sb flash zoomed in to 85mm and at full power), background light behind them pointing directly at their backs and zoomed to 85mm at full power. With superheros they will complain if you dont use full power. Its all or nothing. I laid on the ground in front of them with a 24mm lens to maximize the sky which was looking pretty cool. Managed about 10 shots before their bedtime. In photoshop i upped the clarity, used topaz detail 2 a bit, and then imported back to lightroom to use the bleach bypass preset filter (i think that was the one i used). I did this on a seperate layer so i could lower the opacity and flavor to taste. I also retouched my lightstand out of the background and darkened the houses and car that was on the road. I overdid the image a bit with sharpening and detail and drama but felt it needed every bit. I got up at 8 this morning and saw the two of them, back in costume, running up the sidewalk by my house. You can never go wrong with a couple superheros in the neighborhood.
Friday, May 18, 2012
I had a few minutes tonight while leaving a wedding and the sky and light was very nice. Grabbed my tripod and did a 9 stop bracket of this building with a 24mm lens. I ran 5 images through photomatix and then used topaz detail 2 on most of the image (did the whole thing then masked out the sky and a bit of the foreground). I applied a heavy vignette and masked out the building and a bit of the flowers. The flag was moving so it was pretty messed up. To fix it i opened one of the images and stripped in the flag. I retouched a bit of the messy one out. I was going for nice and dramatic.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I was very fortunate to work with a great team recently to produce a photo that i was very very happy with. I photographed 142 individual people one evening over a span of three hours and spent the entire next day selecting people and pasting them into this one comp. I have done this type of work before several times but this was the most amount of people i have done in one image. I used the photoshop 6 beta and it worked perfectly. Not one hitch or crash, however i did save often. For selections i used the quick selection tool and then the refine edge command with smart radius selected with a radius of 10 pixels and a feather of .3. For most i then had to zoom in and use quick mask to tweak my selection as patterned clothing did not select well and the white hats had some troubles also. I used an action for refine edge as i did it on each image. I would then drag the person onto the comp and use another action for matting - defringe by 1 pixel. I then just arranged the layers for look which was the fun part. I was exhausted after this job was complete but it was well worth it when i saw the look on the conference attendees faces when they saw it for the first time.
Friday, April 27, 2012
I have been using the cs6 beta since it was released and i really like it. One of the new features, used in the photos above is the tilt shift blur in the filters menu. I have created it on this blog before but it was a much longer involved process. Now its just a filter and very easy to use and modify. I put together the images above very quickly and if i had taken more time i would have put the blur on its own layer and then made the transition from sharp to blur more subtle. Away from photoshop now and on to photography. Its funny how some photoshoots go. Sometimes you predetermine your setup, have the lights all prearranged, and even know the poses that you will do during the shoot. Sometimes however you wait and let the subject determine what will happen in the shoot. For this one i did a standard more traditional setup for a "safety shot" and then let my subject, or in this case my subjects waredrobe, dictate the rest of the look. For the shot on the left i used one strip softbox and for the shot on the right i used two of them. I placed the dark suit against a bright background for contrast and moved the light around till it hit him the right way. The right way of course is different for everyone, there is certainly no one "right way". I was very happy with the shots and had a great time. What more could i ask for.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I started my weekend with a great shoot with a local bodybuilder. I have been thinking about this shoot for about two weeks and trying to decide how i wanted to light it. What else did i have to decide really. I didn't stress about what aperature or shutter speed to use, he brought the muscles and the gym, so lighting is all thats left. I spent two evenings practicing on myself and i am really glad i did. I was not happy after night one and nailed it pretty early into night two. I ended up with three lights, two behind him and one in front as the main. Not sure if this image is the best representation if that setup as i think i moved the rear lights more to the side (cross) but in the other shots it worked like i had envisioned. I mainly just moved them because i had switched to a wide angle lens and they would have been in the shot if not. I played with the image in lightroom and then opened in photoshop and ran it through topaz detail. I did some retouching, added a vignette and sharpened and that is about it. I was very, very happy with the shoot and i really owe the success of it to my model, V. Thank you again. I just finished downloading and havent looked at many of the other images but i will and will add more soon.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I am not one to toot my horn, or whatever you would like to call it, but i noticed last week that my photos made the covers of both the english and french visitor guides put out by NB Tourism. I have had many shots published but usually kind of know what they will be used for and am not surprised when i see them. Not the case for these which i found quite comical.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
I went for a little walk with my camera and tripod tonight looking for an hdr background image for some compositing i want to do. The images i shot for that were ok but really just so so. As i was leaving the orchard i found this cool looking piece of tree laying there looking at me. I couldent do any hdr as my tripod does not go directly to the ground so i just held the camera to the dirt and shot. I ran this one through topaz detail, silver effects pro (made the black and white a luminosity layer which brought out the detail in the sky) and added a curve in photoshop. It was a great night weather wise and i ended up with one shot i liked. Well worth the walk.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I was very lucky to be able to attend photoshop world in washington dc last month. It inspired me immensely and i truly feel my shooting has improved because of it. I also had fun, alot of fun. I dont often get the time to just walk around and shoot for the hell of it. I still have not had a chance to look at many of the photos i took but i will for sure and will post a bunch here. I did process one so far. I did an hdr from three photos, ran it through silver effects pro, and then through topaz detail. This elephant was in one of the art museums we visited, cant remember the name of it right now.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I had an engagement photo session this weekend and was truly thrilled with the results.
I could not have asked for a better couple, and the red dress was incredible.
I tried to keep the shoot spontaneous and fun and to help me accomplish that i kept my flashes in the bag.
I shot 90 percent of the images with available light, even some with the sun behind them and exposed for their faces.
In this photo i laid down on the bridge with a 24mm lens and had them run towards me. I set camera focus to continuous and the drive speed to continuous low. I was lucky that more shots were in focus than were out as they would go through areas of shadow and then bright light. I kept the aperature set to f2.8, iso 100, and shutter speed wherever it fell.
I have only had a chance to go through a couple of the photos but will be adding more very soon.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
This was made from 5 images sent through photomatix pro.
I then used lens correction and added a vignette. Made a mask to take the vignette off where i didnt want it.
I then mistakenly desaturated but was on the wrong layer so only the vignetted part became black and white.
I however liked the mistake and kept it as a final image.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Just setting up lights for a shoot today and thought i would have some fun.
Funny part was that the door to the studio was open and a girl walked by and didn't know what i was up to.
In photoshop i cranked the clarity and then boosted the contrast. Sharpened alot also.
Added a grunge border i downloaded from the internet.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Of course i mentioned in my last post that i was a flash photo kind of guy but this weekend i kept them in the bag and used available light for a couple shots of my son. He was putting on his shoes in the first one and i ran and grabbed my camera. Getting ready for bed in the second and was lit from the tv. I thought it looked pretty cool so once again i said "dont move" and ran for the camera again.
I have been playing with a new to me black and white software called nik silver efex pro 2. It is sweet. There are lots of presets and then you can take it way further and selectively alter various areas of the image. I haven't used it much so i still have alot to learn but so far so good.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
I did a shoot recently and happened the scene above by fluke.
I did a bunch of different setup shots that the client wanted and i mainly used two sb flashes bounced into large umbrellas for light. I had finished out back and moved to the counter shots but needed something to stand on. I went back out back to get a milk crate and this guy was cutting a muffler off. I just so happened to have my camera around my neck so i started shooting. The only light was from the torch and burning metal, with ambient bringing up the rear. I cant remember what lens i had on the camera, a 50 or a 35mm. All i know is that i wanted to get closer but was worried about getting burnt. Large groups of sparks were hitting the ground and spreading fast. I got as close as i dared and shot alot of frames.
I would certainly call myself a flash kind of guy as in pretty well every situation i am always thinking "flash would make this look great". Once in awhile i do get a surprise from the ambient.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
One of my favourite models i might add, and just any old three lights.
Had a main light shooting through a 24" umbrella, a hair light pointed direct but with a snoot made out of black foil, and a background light point direct and zoomed in to control the spill (sb 900 flash zoomed to 135 at a power of 1/32 and 4 steps from background).
I processed the black and white in lightroom and used a preset called b&w creative creamtone. I then tweaked the sliders a bit and opened in photoshop. Just did a little retouching and burned the floor and legs down a bit as they were quite bright.
Total time of shoot was about 5 minutes and mabey 10 more in computer.
Friday, January 06, 2012
I was asked to do a quick shot of someone on a phone for the web the other day and he was nice enough to let me post it to my blog. I used a shoot through umbrella (medium size) with a sb flash. I placed it above the back of the computer to camera left.
My worries were many as usual, will pointing flash at his forehead blow it out in comparison to the rest of tones, will it be too bright on white computer, will body be too dark due to computer blocking light, can i get the light far enough to left due to wall, is background distracting due to window on right of image. Some of these concerns turned into small problems but overall i accepted these as what i could do with what i had available. When he looked at middle of screen his eyes were dark so i had him look at top left corner of screen and kept joking around with him for an expression (note: this is not the image that will be used on the web, its just one i liked). The shoot only took about 10 minutes, was fun, and will work for the intended purpose.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
A new year once again and time to reflect on the past year and one to come. I have read alot of blogs of photographers speaking about the same thing but i was late in putting my thoughts into the mix.
Speaking of last year, it was great. I was happy with my work, tried some new things, and worked with some wonderful people.
Moving ahead to this year, I would like to continue, full steam ahead. One thing i would like to do is more one on one shooting, mainly for fun. I want to do a few portraits and try some new lighting things that i have been thinking about. Shoot more perhaps also, although i dont take any lack of photos in the course of a year. I bought a book for some new inspiration and have read it off and on over the christmas break. I also want to work out at the gym like a madman, in my spare time of course.
Hopefully the year will be healthy, and very happy.