Creating something a little different to fit what your clients want can be great. I was tasked with creating some head-shots for a client that fit the overall look and feel of their branding. The portraits that I create usually are on the more dramatic side, darker backgrounds with a more classical feel. With this project I was having to switch things up a bit. Not only because I wanted to do something different but also to fit my client’s look and established brand.
I worked out a lighting set up and editing style to create the look desired. Here is what we came up.
A lighter, lower saturated, higher contrast images with a white background shot with a single light. One strobe with a 36″ octo softbox on stand, Nikon D800, 24-70mm, F2.8, edited in LR. Here are a couple diagrams showing a basic layout of the light and subject positioning.
Nothing really complicated or extravagant just a simple setup with some basic post work. But the final look that we got is what we wanted. This is a reminder of the KISS method, keep it simple stupid.
Climbers on the western face of El Captain. Working together as a team they are able to reach a goal few are able to even dream of.
I am about to reach all new heights on my blog for the month of June. I am going to be doubling the “visits,” “views,” “follows,” and “likes.” I am wanting to see how many more I am able to get before the end of the month. So as an incentive I am holding a little contest. At the end of the month, I will put all the names of all the people that have “followed” my blog and “liked” any of the posts into a hat then I will draw one name. That person will win a signed print of one of the images, not yet chosen, from my recent adventure in Yosemite.
So if you are reading this right now, click the “like” button below or the “follow” button above to be entered to win a signed print from me.
I went out to shoot my first time-lapse video after work, trying to capture downtown Tulsa, OK during sunset. This is what I got, hope you like it, remember to click it and share it.
I was trying to set up the tripod and camera quickly before I lost all the light and the attempt to shoot the time-lapse during sunset became mute. All this while trying to not to set my stuff or stand in goose droppings, since this area is heavily traveled by Canadian Geese, nice! Because we all know there is nothing like a little salmonella to go along with your time-lapse video.
The camera I used Nikon D800, lens Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. After settling on aperture (f16, for a larger depth of field) I took a couple of test shots to double-check the exposure. I also adjusted the circular popularizer to help the contrast and saturation. I then set the shot interval and the time frame (expose every 15s for 1 hour), then set it in motion. After a few exposures I realized that I forgot to set it to manual instead of aperture priority. So now as the sun sat the exposure time grew, this of course lessened the desired effect of the sunset. But I still think it turned out pretty good for my first time. However since I wasn’t able to get the exact look I was going for, I have to deem this first attempt a failure. But I like it anyways. I hope you like it, let me know in the comment section below if you would please. Oh and don’t forget to Click it and Share it!
So I invested in some new gear before the end of the year.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Then this last weekend I bit the bullet and ordered a second new lens and a teleconverter.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
Nikon 2X teleconverter
So the 20-200mm & 2X teleconverter arrived, YAY!!! Of course after work I ran down to the river to test it out before the sun was gone, and here is what I got.
The full view of the Geese coming in for a landing on the river.
A cropped view of the Geese coming in for a landing on the river.
Of course the 2X teleconverter not only doubles the focal length of the lens being used it also doubles the f/stop. So the lens is a f2.8 through out its focal length there for with the teleconverter it goes to a f5.6. So with the higher f/stop I increased the ISO to 1000 to keep the shutter speed a bit higher to try to freeze the action. I might in the future raise the ISO even higher to bump the shutter speed even higher as well. However with it all being said I am still very happy with the results.
These are a few of the photos I captured when out for a walk at Oxley Nature Center, a local preserve here in Tulsa. I wanted to capture some scenes that are representative of Oklahoma in late fall. The day was overcast and a bit misty, not that cold but enough to wear a long sleeve shirt. The wind was calm, and it seemed you could hear for a mile, which added to mystery since you could see that far due to the mist and dreary haze. But it is precisely that haze and the overcast skies that make for some great images. The light is nice and even, flat with no hard shadows. Perfect for portraits, however it would have been better if I had gotten out there a bit earlier in the day, but none the less I was there and getting some good stuff.
All the photos I made that day I used my tripod and remote trigger, I was wanting to eliminate any shake that may occur due the longer exposures, since the light was a bit low over all. The lens I primarily used was my 50mm f1.8, I love this lens. Unfortunately I did not bring my f-stop higher for the shot of the dandelion, if I would have more of the water droplets would have been focus. But as is I still like the shot. Its the little things like that, that can trip you up sometimes. I try to keep a mental check list in mind while shooting, so to eliminate those little details that have big affects on my images. No detail is too small that is for sure.
At lunch today I wanted to experiment a little at a fast yet affective lighting and camera setup for portraiture.
Well this is what I used and how I used it.
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: 50mm F1.8
Filter: ND8 (to help with exposure levels, it was bright out, don’t hate me)
Flash: SB-600, (using the built in flash in the camera as a commander unit to trigger the external flash)
Light-Modifier: Westcott-Micro Apollo
Tripod: Giottos MT 9370
While waiting for my friend, I setup my tripod, camera and flash with modifier. I preset the exposure to 2 stops under. At this point my friend co-worker and fellow photographer Jim showed. I had him stand out around 5 to 6 feet from the lens and to the left of center of frame. A few exposures to dial in the flash power and position then began creating a few proper exposures, while I continued to work with the position in relation to the subject (Jim) until I came up with something close to what I was looking for. Since this was a short, fast experiment at lunch. I didn’t want to spend too much time fine tuning the image. The point of this experiment was to see what kind of image I could create in a short bare bones time frame.
Well this is the last image in the line of exposures. I am posting both the RAW unedited as well as an edited version of the final exposure. Hope you enjoy.
Jim in the RAW!
Jim in the edit.
What I did, I created 2 adjustment layer one for Levels and one for Curves. Adjusting lightness, color and contrast. On a 3rd layer I used the clone tool to take out highlight hot spots, a few blemishes and a stray hair or two. Then I made a 4th layer as an additional adjustment layer to modify the levels again and then isolate the modification to the eyes only to brighten his eyes just a touch. Just like when I created the exposure I didn’t want to spend a lot of time editing. Oh and I cropped the image to slightly reframe and create a more pleasing composition. I could have spent more time taking out the wrinkles and smoothing the skin tones, and on and on. Well this is how it turned out, not too bad for a 5 minute or so …. portrait.
Let me know what you think. I really would like some feed back, I am always looking to improve and to grow as a photographer. Thanks
Just uploaded a few new header images. I was doing some hard work (playing around : shhh don’t tell anybody) with some glass cleaner, flash, and a straw, oh and a few rubber bands too!
I would like some feedback on these 3 images. You know a critical breakdown of the color & comp etc. I am going to be doing some product shoots soon so some external thoughts would be nicely appreciated. So come on get to it, let me hear from you. Ok your still reading this, I said now, NOW!