Friday, October 21, 2011

Color into Black & White

Black and White Photography is a very special kind of "photography". Now with the digital age, we can shoot in color and transform that image to what pleases our eye. I took this landscape image in Livermore, California. As you can see the original RAW image looks flat, uninterested and boring. But, when ever you shoot, you try to envision how that image will look after is gone through the darkroom (post-production).
The sun was behind me and my settings were iso 200, shutter @125th and fstop @F16. I actually shot it handheld but, the lens was not zoom out. It was @ 75mm. I already knew this was going to be a B&W photograph.

I didn't need to open photoshop to work on this. I knew that I could work straight from Camera Raw. The first thing I did was turn it into grayscale in RAW. I started the process doing a little burning (darkening) in the foreground and some spots in the hills using the adjustment brush. Also, I brighten the shadows in the left barn, so, the door would not look just like a black blob. I increased the clarity and the contrast(just a bit). And to finalize I did a minor vignette around.

This was a pretty simple capture and image to process. One note You really want your images to be captured without any adjustments made in camera, so, you can do them yourself. The final image is in your mind, the camera only helps in capturing it.!

One more thing.. the guys at Digital Photography Cafe
are taking their show on the road to the 2011 PhotoPlus International Convention + Expo.  You can view more info
on this video....

Friday, October 14, 2011

10 Reasons Why Photographers Charge

Few years ago, I found a post about why photographers charge the fee they charge.  They were missing some major points, so, I took the opportunity to write an those missing points

As professional photographers, we offer a creative service to a client.   We produce an image, not a photograph (even though it looks like a simple photograph) The client pays us for our creative and artistic talent. And because of this -service-, there has to be some kind of fee in return.

There's probably more reasons, but, these are the ones I came out with.  I hope these points can be helpful, whenever you're asked,  why do you charge what you charge!

 And the final and most important reason of all.............


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Struggles as a photographer

When you become a photographer you become open to challenges and problems starting your photography career. Chase Jarvis interviewed Zack Arias a while back and even though the interview is a little long..but, Zack does an amazing job explaining how to NOT to quit (I hope this makes sense).  Also, I have embedded some photo tips given by Chase.  Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Street Photography

Street photography is a very special way of taking candid photographs (on the street) There's a way of doing it without being rude or disrespectful. Street photography is done to capture a moment in time.
The video after the photos was shot in London to document what happens if you're told NOT to photograph in the street.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome and Greetings

Welcome to the first post of creating professional images.  This blog is intended to teach and at the same time to learn to "create images" not photographs. We'll be working with various photo filters programs like Color Efex Pro from Nik Software, Inc. and Exposure from Alien Skin. The main editing tool will be Adobe Photoshop.

I'll be explaining all the way from camera capture, settings, post and final output.  Later on we'll learn all the different mounting and printing options that are available from Bay Photo.  

One key note...this is the way and the workflow that I personally use.  Many have different way of doing things..but, this is how it works for me. Programs and tools that I use are because they work for me.  I am not sponsored by these companies. 

Another school year has started and many high school seniors want their Senior Portraits not to look boring.
This last weekend we did a photo production of a son of a good friend of mine.  This is the out of the camera raw.  Settings were: f10 @160iso 200shutter, Manual mode @25mm and white balance was set for flash.

I shot it using a 20x20 softbox on a stand with a Canon 580ex II with a wireless triggers on it at 1/2 power. Softbox was camera right slightly toward subject left.  The sun was at 11oclock from camera.  And I was kneeling down so, I could get those nice clouds in the back ground.  We did about 12 shots to get this one right, because I was shooting manual mode we had to measure where I was actually going to take the shot.

As you could see the images is a ok capture, but, is missing that "wow" look.

To start off...I usually do a semi-post on Camera Raw.  The first thing I did was a crop to get the right composition that I like.  This was a tighter and better composition that I was comfortable with.  I dodged his left side of the face and neck slightly using the adjustment brush and adjusted the clarity to 23.  From there I saved it as a Tiff.   Photoshop was opened and I used the bleach bypass filter from Exposure, did a slight vignette and a  sharpening and walla!!!! 

The rest of the images can be seen here.   In our next post I will explain a photojournalism shot.