Assisting for a photographer or videographer can be a rewarding experience filled with knowledge and new perspectives. An assistant often receives an insider's view into how a photographer runs a production, and gains networking opportunities that may not have been accessible before. However, being an effective assistant requires more than holding light stands or reflectors. Great attention to detail and a humble can-do attitude can ensure your return to set, and solidify your reputation as a reliable assistant. While every photographer varies, we will review some of my tips for proper etiquette for assistants, from a photographer's perspective.
In the final part of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will look at how I do my Black and White conversion. This image is a dramatic image so it calls for a punchy and high-contrast black and white conversion. In this tutorial, I will show you how I stack blending modes and adjustment layers to get my image exactly where I want it. You can follow these steps in your own images or use the techniques and customize them for your own use. In the video you will also see how to use layer masks to create targeted adjustments for your high-contrast black and white portraits.
My favorite part of the wedding day is the reception. After the traditional first dances, and speeches are done, and the wedding party starts to let loose. The party is in full swing and the best man is giving “ The Dougie ” his best attempt in an effort to win a dance battle against the bride. While capturing these images I want the viewer to feel like they were in there, in the moment. My goal is to not light up the entire room like a Christmas tree. I want to see the light from the DJ and the motion on the dance floor. This is how I do just that.
For those of you who get into situations where you have limited time to set up, manually light and fine tune it to how you would like, well-known photographer Joe McNally shows how quick and easy using TTL can be when pairing an Air Remote with a Profoto B1 strobe unit. This would be great for event shooters, and setting up for quick portraits. Read on for two other videos on high speed sync and lighting ratios.
In my opinion, mastering negative dodge and burn is the key to any beauty retouch. There are many steps and many hours that go into a great retouch, but negative dodge and burn is as essential, if not more so, than any of them. The term "negative dodge and burn" is one that I first heard from fellow retoucher Pratik Naik . It was the concept of having a specific process of removing distractions and smoothing tonal transitions through dodge and burn that was responsible for one of the biggest jumps in my own personal retouching game.
Rings can be considered one of the most important details of a wedding day. The groom may have spent months trying to find the right ring, and even longer saving up to purchase it. When the bride first announces their engagement, all of her friends can't wait to see the ring. It’s the only item from the wedding day that most couples will have their entire lives (besides the images of course). When I take pictures of the rings, I want to capture more than just the ring sitting on a table. I want something visually interesting and unique. Here is how I do it.
In Part 3 of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will finally get into the first main step of the skin retouching process. Basic skin retouching involves addressing subtle skin and texture issues on our portrait images. We will not only look at techniques for skin retouching in Photoshop, but also discuss the theory behind our decision process during the retouching process. I will also show optional techniques for those looking for quicker or alternative options during their portrait or beauty retouching. In case you missed it, during Part 1 of the tutorial we went over the lighting and shooting of our image and in Part 2 we looked at the "pre-editing" process.
Anyone who likes to bring a light or two on-location knows the frustration of wanting soft, controllable light that won't weigh you down or break the bank. The Westcott Apollo Orb is, without a doubt, one of my favorite lighting modifiers. As you'll see below, the Apollo Orb has just about every feature you could ask for in its unique, somewhat-brolly-box-style design, all at a modest price point.
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to shoot with the Broncolor Siros Monolights for the first time. Until now, my light of choice has been the Profoto D1. I, like many of you, have seen reviews on Broncolor's new monolight, and like many of you as well, have been a bit skeptical about their delve into competing with Profoto's D1 and B1 Series for the high-end monolight market. The Siros is available in two models, a 400W/s monolight and an 800W/s monolight, and for this shoot I used five Siros 800s. In this article I will give you my complete lighting setup, gear list, a retouching preview, and complete review of my experience with the Siros Monolight and BronControl app.
Beauty photography is something that I have become drawn to over time. Setting a mood, imagining a makeup style, and finding or even creating props to fill the frame with my model’s face is something I came to love more than anything else. In any genre of photography, I feel like it is important to develop a style that is recognizable. May that be retouching, posing, lighting, or something else, if people can tell you took the picture it means you have developed a signature style. For my beauty work I wanted to create a signature lighting setup that would be easy to recreate wherever I would go, no matter the condition or the place the shoot would take place in. Here is how I created it and how you can recreate it as well to make it your own.
If you are one of the thousands of professional and amauter photographers in the industry at some point you’ve probably hit a creative rut in your work. It happens to the best of us. Lighting setups can quickly become repetitive and boring after shooting for several months. If you’re looking for some inspiration and instruction on how to kick-start your creative lighting skills I might have the perfect tutorial for you.
A question asked very often by photographers is "How do I fix red or mismatched skin tones in Photoshop?" As with everything in retouching there's hundreds of ways to achieve the same thing. So the question you're left with is, which is the most efficient method that has the best results. Here's the top three methods known to mankind, pick the one right for you!
Recently I went to New York City to do a week of headshots. As many of you know, part of my cinematic style involves shooting outdoors, but flying from Los Angeles to New York City to put this on meant I couldn’t rely on the weather. Figuring out how to translate the look and feel of my style indoors was the only way to make it a success. As I’ve had many questions about how to make this look happen inside for those that can’t always be outside, I decided to share my own experience with you.
In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial , we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.
When Nashville-based photographer Jake Harsh was tasked with coming up with an original photoshoot where he could flex his artistic freedoms, things turned slightly dangerous. His brave subjects for this shoot, the electro-pop band Hand of Hearts , would stand in a room with 18 pounds of fireworks being ignited and what transpired after that would be unpredictable. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video of what happened and the resulting images.