Saturday, July 25, 2015

Improve your photography with a different point of view.

Quick Tip:
One simple way to make your photos more interesting and dynamic is to experiment with shooting your subjects from different angles and viewpoints.

Here is a scene shot on my desk using toys for my models.

Here is the exact same scene shot from lowdown with a macro lens.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Create a controlled desaturated image in 2 minutes.

Here's a fast method for giving your images the popular desaturated look. It's a look often seen in film posters but you can see this look in many other places too.

This method allows you to control how much or how little you want the effect to be visible and also gives you control over tone and individual colors. It's straightforward and uses adjustment layers in Photoshop so you can save the effect as an action to use on any of your images without starting from scratch each time. Basically you'll have created your own customizable filter.

Watch the video and have fun!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Belize Effect Continues

I've been in Belize for the whole month of May and notice that once again my stats are acting as if they are affected by my global placement.

I've commented before that whenever I visit Belize, the sales of my Belize located stock photos seem to increase. So once again when I look at my stats for those pictures I see that I have made 14 sales on 10 of my Belize images for the month of May instead of just 3 or 4.

It is just an odd coincidence but I wonder how long it will last. Also it's always the older images that pop up too  — anyway, these are the images, if you licensed one of them, Thank you :)

Apart from these I sold an additional 34 stock images in May.

Friday, April 3, 2015

17th Street afternoon

There isn't a story to this. Just walking down 17th Street in San Francisco on a sunny afternoon, and these are a handful of views that caught my eye.

Boyz on Bikes

Who will be the chairman?

Crossing genders

Weed of wisdom

Sun worship at Church

Blooming house

17th and Abbey

Car wash, yeah!



Marching to the beat

Monday, March 16, 2015

Larger than life portraits

When a client requests a portrait and asks for something a little different, and isn't "just saying it", I get very interested. In this instance, they wanted a photographer who was happy to include some image manipulation to create the final result. So after a brief conversation, I submitted some visuals including this one below.
This was just to help illustrate the idea and knowing that we would tweak and adjust once we actually got to shooting, everyone was happy to go ahead.

We agreed to meet near the bridge on the day of the shoot. I made my way to the bridge about an hour earlier so that I could walk the bridge and get some angles I had already scouted. I wanted to be shooting my client within an hour of leaving the bridge so that we could keep the lighting conditions of the 2 components within the same spectrum.

I chose a high location up on the headlands for the portrait part of the shoot. This allowed me to use the sun as a studio key light. Using the side of the hills, I could control how much light was falling on the model and also the direction and it as coming from.

We also shot a whole range of other more conventional portraits too including headshots and personality shots.
There were also a few things we tried as the session developed and my client was really relaxing and getting into the fun of the shoot.
I was able to capture the above image as a single shot. Just a matter of retouching out the post and drawing in a thin metal pole to carry off the illusion.

In all the portrait session lasted for 2 hours as we made good use of the amazing location and light that we enjoyed. And for good measure I included some levitation shots. It's always fun for me when a client can throw themselves totally into an unconventional session. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another levitation

You've seen lots of "levitation" images and many of you have probably created your own by now.
I created the image above for a Holiday Card. During their family shoot on the streets, mum suddenly asked if there was any way we could achieve a shot with her son floating with his balloons.

I had no tripod or assistant along with me but after a quick glance around, this came together in my mind.

First off I took a photo to set up the position of Mom and her son "floating off".
As you can see I coached my clients to become actors for a while and they delivered a great Oscar seeking performance.
The second and final part of the image was a shot of Dad looking up at his "floating" offspring. As mentioned earlier, I had no tripod to lock the camera down with so I was shooting while sitting on the sidewalk and trying to direct the family between the 2 shots without moving the camera too much.

Inevitably there was some movement of the camera in between shots but with a little work in photoshop to match the 2 frames by distorting the images to suit I was able to create a seamless final image. Finally there was some more retouching to remove Dad's hands from his child's body and then some toning.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Alternative to Photoshop

We still have to keep watching to see if this headline can stand up for itself without needing a question mark, but maybe…

Last night I signed up with Affinity Software and downloaded their beta version of Affinity Photo. I played with it for about an hour last night and by the end of that time I was finding my way around the package quite well. And that was without watching the intro video or reading any manuals.

Like Photoshop, it is a 2 step offering. It has the RAW conversion engine with all the usual functions we're used to seeing. I was impressed that it also opened all my native NEF Nikon files with no trouble so it seems to be loaded with very up to date RAW processing profiles. After processing your RAW file you can move across to the rest of the package to take advantage of layers, filters, adjustments, and all the other toys that are fun to play with.

It seems fairly agile and lets you do complex warps etc. really quickly. I'm going to spend more time with it and I'll be working with the manual and supporting resources to see just how the package stacks up for me.

You can learn more about Affinity Photo at their site and download the beta package, which is MAC only at this stage.

So for now, An alternative for Photoshop? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Taking Stock: 2014

First of all let me wish you a happy and prosperous 2015!

2014 was a busy year for assignments and other projects. After prioritizing my work for the year my stock photography was given the least preference so additions to my body of stock photography work for 2014 were minimal.

Even so, I managed to do 515 stock image sales during the course of the year. I was also able to re-license some of my 2013 images that clients requested extended usage on.

My 1st image sale of 2014 was this one:
The photography was done in San Francisco and the image is Royalty Free and is model released. This image has had 9 sales during 2014.

And here is my last stock image sale of 2014:
This was sold on December 31st and shows the National Assembly and Government Buildings  in Belize. It seems quite fitting as I am currently in Belize. This photo was taken in Belmopan in 2013 where I specifically did a shoot of the Government Buildings for submission to the image libraries I contribute to.

Clients have already made bookings for me to shoot photo assignments in the approaching February, April, and May, but I will be prioritizing to include some stock shots that I already have concepts for.

I'm looking forward to a full and exciting 2015 and wish you all the same!