I’m always trying to learn new techniques to enhance/improve my photography. Sometimes the lessons relate to lighting setup, camera operation, posing people, or post-processing. In this case, I wanted to continue on with my theme of faces and headshots and had the opportunity to work with someone locally that I’ve been trying to shoot with for a few months now. Because of her background, Barbara has a unique look and headshots were definitely something that we wanted to capture.
A clean headshot to show freckles
I edited the first shot below in a few minutes using the standard techniques that I typically employ in lightroom and photoshop. This one was a simple and the main factors were to 1) make sure the image was one that enhance natural beauty (e.g., little makeup) and 2) make sure that her freckles were the focal point.
Exploring the use of the lip gloss brush in Photoshop
As I moved through some other images from our shoot, I decided to return to the headshot series and try a little something different. In this case, I wanted to have a clean shot of Barbara but also wanted to put a few more touches on it. So, I picked her out of the image, added a different gradient background and then played around lip gloss brushes to give a little color and makeup to the lips.
Before and after showing all edits
To give you a better idea of all that was done in the image above, you can see the side by side before and after image below.
What to shoot?
I was recently contacted by Jessica who is an aspiring model who wanted to setup a shoot. Being that I have been doing a lot of test shoots I thought it could be a good way to try something different. Jess was interested in a lot of different themes, but one of the things that she was interested in capturing was fitness oriented. I started as I usually do and created a fitness board on my pinterest site and sought out how to capture fitness in photography.
Shooting on Seamless
Most of my recent shoots (mainly due to weather) has been in the studio on either white or black seamless. This definitely limited us in terms of getting some really good action fitness shots, but we were able to still get a few decent shots. It seems that really working with limited light on black seamless is the way to capture fitness in photography and showed the best definition in her abs.
How to Capture Fitness in Photography
One thing that I have determined in trying to capture fitness in photography is that shooting on location would definitely enhance the ultimate results. Some of the best shots that I’ve seen related to fitness photography is when people are shot using equipment or flexing their muscles AND when they are a little sweaty and have some glistening or beads of sweat. With Jess we shot a few different themes so we didn’t have her get all sweaty for that reason, but something that should be considered in the future.
Sidenote about the D800E
I have been shooting with the Nikon D800E for a few months now and this was the first time that I noticed the “moire” in the images. You can see it in the orange shirt she has on below. Something to consider for future shoots, especially when photographing people in various clothing.
Fitness Photography with Jess
Hanging a Friends
It has been a busy year and we haven’t been able to see our friends as much as we have in the past. Knowing that we are not having kids, their children have been secretly taken in as our own. While are friends probably don’t know this, we like to pretend that if we had kids then these would be ours. At the end of the weekend, however, we’re like grandparents who have spoiled the kids for a short stint and then hand them back to the parents to deal with the fallout. These kids, however, are about as well behaved as they get. The one exception is with an Angry Birds obsession.
An Angry Birds Obsession
Even as I write this, I can hear him in the other room asking about “Angry Birds Starwars?”. At four year’s old, He carefully crafts his way through the various levels all the while yelling out the percent battery left on the iPhone. “Fifty Six percent remaining”, you an hear him yell from the other room. When the battery gets too low, his sister reminds him that he will soon need to put it back on the charger and in the final moments before imminent cell phone death, he screams out “Noooooooooooo” as the phone goes to black.
A Growing Trend?
The occurrence of this phenomenon is not entirely new to me. A little over a year ago another of our friend’s son exhibited the same behavior. In that case, however, it was at a gathering of friends (mostly adults enjoying a few libations) and a few kids. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, we were unaware of the tactics from the three year old. Apparently he had previously been cut off from his addition to Angry Birds by his parents who could see the crazy obsession taking over. Instead of dealing with the punishment, he quietly went around the party asking each adult, “Do you have an iPhone?” After a brief “Yes” from the unknowing individual, the 3-year old would reply with “Do you have Angry Birds?” It wasn’t long until the father caught wind of this and quickly put an end to the begging…and that’s when the meltdown happened. Apparently the designers of Angry Birds are on to something when it comes to this game and kids.
Post Processing in Photography
Photography for me has always been more than just shooting. While some purists will probably say I’m not a “true” photography, I like to think that setting up and taking the picture is only part of the process of creating a final product. As an insomniac, I spend a lot of time learning tips and tricks for editing and basically continue to learn as I go. Because of this, my style has evolved since my first model shoot one year ago and continues to evolve as I experiment with new styles, themes and editing techniques. I had been hooked on NIK software for most of my “actions” and “layers”, but recently purchased the Alien Skin Bundle after a suggestion and recommendation from my hero Sue Bryce during her live shoot on CreativeLive. So with that, I am “playing” with the software and wanted to share some post processing examples.
Post Processing Examples
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