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Lance Nicoll
New Orleans, LA

Articles written by Lance Nicoll

Retouching Monday - Submit Your Image to be Retouched for Free!

This week we get to look at yet another style of retouch, a sports styled image. Each genre, weather it be fashion, beauty, landscape, or sports is going to have different parameters to follow and slightly different goals to achieve. With a female athlete it can be particularly tricky, because it can be challenging to find the line between doing to much or not enough especially as it come to skin retouching. In this post we will look at some of the steps and tricks used in this particular image that can be applied to your own sport retouch. We will also take a look at what else can be done to this image.

The Monday Retouch - How to Retouch Landscapes - Submit Your Image to Be Retouched!

This week's winning image comes from Photographer Daniel Nordholm. It's a stunning landscape image that he captured in Lofoten, a beautiful archipelago in Norway. I was very excited to break from my norm of beauty and fashion retouching to tackle and share a landscape retouch. Many of the techniques and the workflow of a landscape can be very different from portrait retouching, while the philosophy can be quite the same. In this article, you will see the full retouch of the image in the short two-minute video. In all, the retouch took about an hour. I will also share some specific techniques for landscape editing that you can use in your images as well.

The Monday Retouch Episode 3 - Submit Your Image To Be Retouched For Free

It's Monday so it's time for another speed retouch and episode of Retouching Mondays. This week image comes courtesy of last weeks winner, Ben Scott. If you would like me to retouch your image and send you back the full-high res final image, all you have to do is post your image in the comments and wait to hear back. I will email the winner on Thursday morning, so post your newest favorite image that you want retouched. It can be any genre, beauty, fashion, landscape, wedding! I'll record the retouching and send you the final image to use as you wish! Take a look at the speed retouch of Ben's image and let me know in the comments if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Now lets take a look at the before and after and the challenges for this week's Monday Retouch.

How to Shoot Full Length Editorials in Studio: Full Gear List and Lighting Setup

In this tutorial I will show you how to setup your studio strobes for full length portraits as we shoot an editorial style lighting setup. First we will look at the entire gear list we used and you can use for a similar setup, from the backdrop to the studio heads. I will breakdown our lighting. with lighting diagrams and explanation of WHY we are placing our lights where we are. Also, in this video tutorial we share some Behind The Scenes from our shoot day.

One of the World's Best Compositers Reveals His Complete Workflow and Retouching Techniques

Erik Almas, one of the best commercial composite photographers, has recently teamed up with the team at PRO EDU to create a fully comprehensive tutorial on his complete shooting and retouching process. In this video Almas takes us through an hour-long tutorial, retouching and completing the backplate for one of his tutorial images. I'm always impressed when photographers and retouchers, especially those at the top of our industry, open the doors and reveal their entire process and Almas has done no less here.

Mary Ellen Mark's Final Project: Picture This New Orleans

Mary Ellen Mark, famed photographer, passed away very recently. It's only fitting that her final project center around rebirth, a term that is synonymous with city – my home – New Orleans. I found these images on CNN.com tailored beautifully with quotes that elegantly express the story that Mary Ellen Mark's images tell. Every image tells a story both literally and figuratively, there is a story included with many of the works that provides insight from those who are themselves players in the tales.

The Monday Retouch: Episode 2

It's Monday morning and that means another completed retouch and time to submit your image for next week. We had more amazing submissions last week and here is the winner! In this post, you will see the SOOC image compared to the retouched image and I will discuss the particular challenges and the direction I decided to go with the photo. You can also watch the entire retouch in the video. And once again, you can post any image of yours that you would like and it may be chosen to be retouched for free and delivered to you in full-res to do with what you'd like.

Take an Emotional Journey Through Time with Photographer's Amazing "Past and Present" Project

Three years ago, Photographer Christian Carollo came upon his grandfather's travel photography from across the United States. The initial spark for the "Past and Present" Project started with a particular image of the small coastal town of Winchester Bay, Oregon. Christian wondered if he could replicate the image and he succeeded. This was the start of an epic and awe-inspiring project now known as the Past and Present Project. Christian has traveled all over the United States, continuing to replicate his grandfather's images. The results are breathtaking and have re-inspired in me the true emotional potential a single image can have.

The Monday Retouch - Submit Your Images For Next Week !

Its Monday so as promised here is the completed retouch for last weeks winning submission by Mitchell Flores. For only being the first week of this regular segment we had an great number of submission and it was hard picking, can't wait to see what you guys submit this week. In this post I'll go over some of the steps of the retouching process and talk about the challenges for this particular image. If you would like your image to be selected for next week, post your low-res image in the comments below by Wednesday of this week.

Submit Your Image To Get Retouched For Free This Week!

I'm excited to announce a new weekly segment, where you the Fstoppers community can submit your favorite image to be edited and retouched by me, Lance Nicoll. Post an image you recently shot, that hasn't been retouched yet, in the comments below. On Thursday I will retouch it an post the recording of the entire process! If you guys love it, I will continue to do this every week! – And maybe in the future even do it as a Live Retouch with Q&A. The rules are as listed below. Really excited to see everyone's submissions. Submit your image by Wednesday at Midnight to be selected.

The Story of a Homeless, Working Fashion Model and Photographer

Jane Ridely of the New York Post revealed a compelling story of New Yorker Mark Reay, who for years has worked as a High-Fashion Model while living homeless. The rooftop dweller breaks the stereotype of the dirty, lazy, drunk that we tag along side our homeless community. Reay's roles and his look as that of the sophisticated and affluent. On set and walking through the streets of New York, you wouldn't guess that the well-dressed and well-groomed model may just be headed to sneak off to his rooftop sleeping quarters.

Understanding Aperture and Exposure: Part 1

A few years ago I started this blog for my photography students to help re-enforce the most fundamental aspects of photography. Understanding how your camera works and all the variables that make up a proper exposure is as essential to photography and breathing is to life. I've now decided re-transcribe these for Fstoppers. I will be posting all of my basics and fundamentals posts, about two a week, over this next month.

Ranking The Top 5 Fashion Photography Websites

For those of us who admire and look to gain a foothold into the fashion photography industry, finding reliable quality resources can be invaluable. Being a great fashion photographer goes beyond lighting and encompasses understanding the genre, trends, and the ever evolving industry as a whole. In this article we rank the top online resources for fashion photographers. All of these sites can serve as inspiration and show insight for both new and established members of the fashion photography industry.

Model Mayhem Has Some Competition – Finally!

Model Mayhem has long been the double edged sword that many of us starting in fashion photography have to deal with. How do you find talent and put together your team when you first start? Finding those resources and assets is difficult and the idea of having a database of people looking to do the same thing you are is brilliant, but the go to source for that is slightly less than brilliant. Model Mayhem requires that you put together and add a portfolio before getting started, but the vetting process is very much lacking. Those of you, especially photographers know the often agonizing process of finding good talent through MM. Especially for those of you, like myself, who live outside of the major fashion markets. We now – finally – have an alternative in the new service, Portbox. I have been fortunate enough to take a look at the new site and speak with its inceptor, Joseph Evans.

3 Ways of Changing Makeup Color in Photoshop

Changing makeup color or the color of anything in Photoshop for the matter doesn't have to be a challenging task, although it can be very easy to mess up. In this tutorial I will show you three different ways of changing makeup color in Photoshop.

However, these techniques can be used to change the color of any portion of your image portrait or otherwise. The techniques in the video will range from quick methods that beginner Photoshopers users can use to the more advanced techniques retouchers can make use of.

Creating Colorful Portrait Effects In Camera and In Photoshop

So a few weeks ago I found sometime to shoot a personal project, a summer inspired beauty shoot. The idea behind the shoot was to focus on summer and to play with bright and vibrant colors. Prior to the shoot a spent days experimenting with new techniques and different ways of introducing color into my shoot. In this article I want to share a couple of techniques I used to create colorful effects in camera and also how I recreated one of those effects in Photoshop.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 5: High Contrast Black & White Conversion

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.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 4: What Is Negative Dodge and Burn

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.

Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial Part 3: Basic Skin Retouching

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.

Model Testing with the Broncolor Siros Monolight

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.