Sunday, September 14, 2014

High Key Composite

I was in New Orleans in August and took some photos of the interior of St. Louis Cathedral. I've been in there before with and without a tripod, and found the white balance really difficult to nail down. I decided to work on some black and white variations recently, then remembered some photos of Alyssa I took back in December with her in a white dress. I thought compositing the images together might be interesting -- both pretty high key with some atmospheric effects between the groups of layers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nicole and Bass #3

Here's another photo of Nicole and her bass at Kempner Park. This image was taken with the Garten Verein pavillion as the back drop. It was also among some of the last photos we took, so the light is nice and low in the sky opposite Nicole. We lit her with two softboxes crossing to add a little more pop. The pop, however, caused some bad reflections in the bass, so in post I darkened some of the highlights down. 1/100 sec at f/6.3, 85mm, ISO200.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nicole and Bass #2

Here's another photo of Nicole and her bass at Kempner Park. This was taken early in the shoot. Larry and I back lit her a little with some natural light, then added a softbox from behind and off camera right to add to the ambient. The main light was from camera left. I've lit like this a few times in the past 6 months, and I really like the movement of light from highlight to shadow, then quickly back to highlight for some accent rim light (which you can see on Nicole's left shoulder). 1/200 sec at f/4, 85mm, ISO200.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nicole and Bass #1

I thought I'd post a few photos from a shoot I did last week with Larry Patrick and our friend Nicole, who's a musician, scientist, and a great person to have in front of your camera. About two years ago we photographed her on the beach with her saxophone. For this shoot we decided to photograph her with her upright bass at Kempner Park in Galveston. As the sun got low and was filtering through some trees Larry and I began experimenting with back light and lens flare, something I've really grown to love over the past few years. I played with some shots with the sun directly behind her head, but settled on this shot with the sun peaking around her head right at eye level. 1/60 sec at f/13, ISO 200.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#527 -- Lensbaby or Nik #3?

Another photo of Julie at the beach during our maternity photo shoot. This shot was taken opposite the sunset which is behind me and to camera right. That light was enhanced with a speedlight in a Westcott Rapid Box at about 1/16 power, no gel, just the natural warm light.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

#526 -- Lensbaby or Nik #2?

Here's another photo of Julie at the beach. I broke one of the basic rules of photography by placing her dead center. The seagull in the upper right was taken from another photo shot that day and blended in. I did a lot of color work on this image -- added some red in the shadows and shifted the highlights a little warmer, also desaturated the blues a little. I liked the fact that there are only two real dominant colors in the image -- reds and blues. Even the sky here has that same tonality. So, take your best guess -- Lensbaby or Nik?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

#525 -- Lensbaby or Nik?

About a month ago, I had the pleasure of doing some maternity photos with Julie. We decided on a beach location, and I had the idea of using a lensbaby for part of the photo shoot. I have to tell you, I've had a love-hate relationship with my lensbaby since I got it, probably 7 years ago. I like the look of the images, but hate the fact that everything is manual -- manual focus, manual expsosure, no zoom. It's about as far back to basics as I like to go. I have the Lensbaby 2.0, so I'm sure the lens has improved over the years, but for the limited times I use it for a certain look, the 2.0 works fine for my needs. For me the most frustrating part is how the plane of focus shifts from front to back, not like a normal lens where you have a zone of focus, with the Lensbaby 2.0 you can have the subject's face in focus, their legs out of focus, and a point on the horizon tack sharp -- crazy stuff. But I guess that's the point of using the Lensbaby -- the randomness makes it unique and not reproducable in Photoshop. About the same time that I did this shoot I also upgraded to the new Nik Collection filters with Analog Efex 2.0, which has some amazing motion blur effects. For the next week or so I'm going to post some photos from the shoot. Please comment below about whether you think the look of these images is with a Lensbaby or with Nik. I'll tell you what I used on the image before I post the next one.