Sunday, September 30, 2012

senior high school pictures in MI

Had the pleasure of shooting Alli's senior high school pics last week.  Here is a sampling.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Larry Becker found a great one

Over at Larry Becker's Cheap Shots, he stumbled upon a terrific little device that rivals my earlier work-around for a tri-bracket flash.  Here is his post regarding the Impact FA-300HS Triple-Flash Hot Shoe Adapter Mount .  This thing looks awesome and I'm going to be buying one or more very soon.  Impact is B&H's house brand.  Inexpensive stuff, but reliable and trustworthy.  Cheap enough to have a few if something tanks, but strong enough that they probably won't.

In terms of physically mounting the flashes, it is not really any better than my 59 cent solution.  But where this really shines is, with the 3.5mm connector, you can trigger them all with one receiver whereas my solution required three.  So, better, sleeker, and well, just better, again.  As I say, I'll be buying somewhere between one and four of these puppies very, very soon.  Did I mention that they are just $18.95 each?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office : EOS 6D

Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office : EOS 6D:

Here are all the specs.  Seems the 1/180th flash synch spec is true.  Hermmmmm.......

Canon unveils f/1.8 PowerShot G15 | Digital Camera World

Canon unveils f/1.8 PowerShot G15 | Digital Camera World:

New G model announced.  Haven't had one but always thought they could be amazing in a pinch (especially because of that hotshoe that would accommodate some mighty fancy OCF work).  And, of course, amazing when you don't want to lug around a bulky dslr.  But who wouldn't want to lug around a bulky dslr?!?

Canon EOS 6D: price, specs, release date confirmed (UPDATE) | Digital Camera World

Canon EOS 6D: price, specs, release date confirmed (UPDATE) | Digital Camera World:

Official/semi-official info.  Sounds mighty good.  I was hoping for a price closer to $1700-$1800 (this post says $2100, body only).  And still waiting to hear more about synch speed.  1/180 troubles me if true.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Canon 6D info (maybe)

Here's the alleged leaked specs.  Hopefully we'll hear something official soon!

Canon EOS 6D

Canon 6D Specs (potentially)

  • 20.2MP Full Frame CMOS sensor
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • DIGIC 5+ processor
  • ISO 100-25,600 (ISO 50-102,400 w/ expansion)
  • 11-point AF w/ center cross-type point
  • 4.5fps frame rate
  • 1/180s sync speed
  • 30s to 1/4000 shutter speed
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Weather sealing
  • SDXC Card slot (UHS-I support)

Monday, September 10, 2012

edit, edit, edit to the oldies

Model: Kelly Kirstein
Stylist: Jamie Sturgill
MUA: Sigal Levine
Royal Oak Photography Meetup Group/Amy Claeys-founder

a re-edit from the May (?) shoot

Saturday, September 08, 2012

split toning and "reducing the color palette"

Split toning and "reducing the color palette"

After every photoshoot, the same thing happens for me. Someone (usually my terrific spousal unit) will ask, "So, how'd it go?" And I always answer, "Don't know, yet." And I mean it. Oh, I have a reasonably good idea if I got any keepers or if it was a total wash, but between the screen-size and resolution of the camera's display and what I know might be done with careful editing, I truly don't know whether or not to be happy about a shoot until I've run a few pix through Lightroom.

A standard "keeper" will get the full batch of edits (exposure, color correcting, probably a bit of skin softening, selective sharpening, cropping, etc. etc.). Lately, however, I've managed to save a few shots I wasn't previously thrill with, by taking advantage of the split toning tool and indulging in an editing philosophy I will call "reducing the color palette".

The photo above is one example. I know the die-hards will scoff at the dramatic difference between the post and the SOOC. My opinion about editing pictures is that there is a time and a place for every sort of editing. For example, I generally don't like those HDR images that are WAY too crisp, too saturated, and generally more like a illustration than a photo. That being said, there are some masters of the process and some individual images that really work with that level of post. And I am forced to say, "WOW!".

And isn't it funny how sometimes the level of post doesn't really trouble the eye until you see the SOOC? I am VERY happy with this image and I don't even think about the post on it until I toggle back and forth between the before and after. (scroll to the bottom of this post for the SOOC shot).

But I digress. Split toning and reducing the color palette. 


You probably already know about split toning. You add a color tone to the highlights and/or the shadows, control the saturation and balance of each and affect a subtle or strong color transformation to the image. It is often done to monochrome images to simulate antique looks or the colors of particular films. I apply it to color images as well, usually to enhance the mood of an image. Here, the split toning setting were:

Hue 55
Saturation 43

Balance 72

Hue 233
Saturation 63

These settings had the effect on this image of warming, homogenizing, and generally giving a feel of an editorial safari shoot. Dr. Livingston, I presume?

How do I decide how to split tone? I usually grab the highlight saturation slider and take it all the way to 100. Then I run the gamut of hues until I find something promising. Then I starting pulling saturation back down until I think it works. Then I do the same thing with the shadows. Then I yank the ol' balance slider back and forth until something makes me smile. Then there might be a final adjustment to any of those sliders (or a fresh look at contrast or exposures) and then I'm done with the split toning.


Now what is this "reducing the color palette" business you were talking about? Simply put, I find that too many colors in an image can, on occasion, detract from the overall effect. For instance, if your primary subject and surroundings are of warm colors and there is a splash of something blue off to the side or in an article of clothing, it can have the effect of looking too busy or simply distracting. I will often dull those extraneous colors or pull them into the correct portion of the spectrum (if it's close, I can manage it in Lightroom -- if dramatically wrong, Photoshop). In this image there was no completely wrong color, but I felt that the green of the foliage to the left was distracting, I largely desaturated it, but it retains some color from the split toning. Also, I reduced clarity and sharpness on those plants.

The issue for me usually comes with mixed warm and cool tones in an image. For people I prefer mostly warm colors. Other types of images may have and emphasize their cool colors. And art shots, especially images such as night cityscapes might just knock your socks off with a wildly mixed palette. 

But sometimes, just sometimes, you might find that this technique can help to save an image you just weren't that thrilled with at the capture. And with that, here is the above image as it came out of the ol' Canon 40D, as promised.

Hope you found this post useful or at least gave you something new to think about in the wonderful world of post-processing!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

couple new edits

A couple of new edits from a shoot this past spring.

Hair and Makeup - Sigal Levine
Styling and Hair - Jaime Sturgill
Models - Jaime Hassberger and Steve Kuras
Royal Oak Photography Meetup Group, Amy Claeys, founder

Model: Kelly Kirstein
Stylist: Jamie Sturgill
MUA: Sigal Levine
Royal Oak Photography Meetup Group/Amy Claeys-founder