I co-hosted yet another “Light The Way” photographic workshop with my friend and fellow photographer Brad Smith this past weekend. This one took place at Manic Training Which by the way is an EXCELLENT place to workout!
We had a blast with lots of photos created and lots of learning happening I LOVE to teach what I love… I believe we had about 15 photographers in the room with 5 models and 2 hair and make up professionals. Thanks also to Trevor Holden and Matt Jacobsen for some behind the scenes photography and assistance in setting up and breaking down the piles of gear we brought with us, as well as taking some participants under their wing as needed.
Check out this really fun video we made of the event!
Thank you very much to Lynda Williams of Formal Hair Design her hair styles keep getting better and better! Check out these ladies!
And Thank you to Jennifer Hodge of Spectrum Make up Artistry Always does just the right amount of makeup so the ladies look their best!
Here are some photos that I created
A big THANK YOU to our Models who really stepped up to the plate!
For the camera geeks, and photographers that want to take their images to the next level
This is how I created the portrait of Joan Dwyer from “All That Matters”
1st the concept: I sat down with Joan 2 times (with multiple phone calls and texts in between) and we chatted for about an hour each time about this portrait, this time is a very important part of my process. We talked about who she is as a person, a business woman, a mother, a friend ect… And I floated ideas for how to portray her in this portrait. One thing to note is that she was very nervous about being photographed as most people are (including myself) This time we spent together is so very important to making folks feel comfortable with the idea of being photographed. My idea was that I wanted to photograph her as a Goddess at rest. I wanted to tell the story of what I think All That Matters represents and what roll it plays in our community. She was very reluctant to be portrayed as a Goddess, because, understandably, she didn’t want to give the impression she thought of herself as high and mighty… But this is (as are all the Rhode Island Portrait Project series photographs) my conception of who she is. Who I think of her as, not who she thinks of herself as…
2nd the execution: We built this composition over time using different things that Joan had on hand at her place I wanted it to be symmetrical and balanced visually because Yoga is all about balance. I decided to light her with candles mostly, so I went to Job Lot and the dollar store and bought about 200 candles! We used every single one! I constructed the composition slowly, and when I had everything placed where I wanted it to go then I set the exposure for the room (see 4708) then I added the one speedlight shot through a softbox (see 4710) and last I lit the candles and made sure the light was right coming off them (see 4713) when I had everything set which took about 1.5 hours then we started taking photographs and pretty quickly we got the winner (see 4733)
Here is my exposure info: ISO 800 (thank you Nikon) Shutter 1/25th and F 4 on my 50mm lens
With a little photoshoping the portrait was complete! I removed the leg of my light stand and some debris in the back ground as well some optimizations of contrast ect…
Here is a backed up shot so you can see where my light was positioned
This beautiful photo of my daughter was taken in afternoon/evening light. The sun was getting pretty low in the sky and directly behind her. I had an 85 mm lens on the camera. My aperature was set at 1.8 which makes that wonderful blur in the background shutter 1/640th of a second ISO 100
I was about 6 feet away from the subject, and just off to my right about 3 feet away from her was a gold bounce gently pushing light back on her. Very simple but effective
First and foremost a good portrait comes from 2 main places in my opinion. 1st understanding photography, the fundamentals of light and composition has to be in place. But then you have to understand people and how to make them feel comfortable… I am writing about the 1st part. If you need help with the people part, I can’t help you. But if you can’t get someone to relax in front of the camera 99% of the time it is the photographers fault… not the subject
The photo you see here was taken in a hotel room. I was standing on a chair with a large window to my left. I had one of the brides maids hold up the brides dress high behind her to make a pleasing background and to bounce a little light back at her. This is all natural light. ISO 100 1/90th shutter and 1.8 Aperature on a 50mm lens. Here is a photo of me taking this photo to give you a perspective
This portrait was taken in a hallway right next to the bathroom (really) see set up shot #2 It was taken on my Nikon D2x 100 ISO 50mm lens 1/125th shutter Aperature F 2.2 I had a large window on my left and dry eraser board on my right bouncing a little light back at him. I am super happy with the results! It looks like a studio lighting set up don’t you think?
This photo I am showing you here was taken with my 50mm Lens on my Nikon D2x, ISO 100, 1/25 shutter and 3.2 aperature. I was on the second floor of a big building with a wide open window behind the bride. We had almost but not quite direct sun streaming in onto her from behind and to my right. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon so the sun was way high in the sky. You can see the tree tops in the back ground out of focus because I was shooting at 3/2 Aperature and they were about 100 yards away. I had one of the brides maids hold a reflector low and bounce light right back onto the Brides body and face. so the reflector was bouncing exactly opposite of the sun light. (Thank Megan!!!) Here is a behind the scenes photo of me taking the photo (thanks Danielle!!) and the final version of it. I worked it in lightroom 3.2 beta and made it B/W with just a hint of brown/yellow added to the dark areas for warmth.
I have been seeing alot of HDR photography lately on the web and frankly most of it is pretty boring to me. Like a new toy photographers have gotten it is over used as of late. But some HDR can be really great. So I thought I would try my hand at it. I hope I didn’t fall prey to the siren song of HDR. If I start posting lots of these types of images please remind me of this post…
For those of you who don’t know about HDR or what it is. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it combines multiple exposures into one final photo. I took three photo at Astors in Newport at a wedding a few weeks back and took some time to blend them using the new Photoshop CS5 HDR I like it. Here are two images dark and light that I started from I also took a middle exposure not posted but I think you can get the idea here.
And this is what we ended up with. Let me know what you think?
More in my series showing the behind the scenes of portrait sessions. Working with pretty people always helps… Lucky for me I had a beautiful woman to work with. I was using 3 lights for this portrait. two up and behind her about 5 feet away from her with no modifiers on them at all, just the speed ring/reflectors. For those of you aren’t photographers that is just a small silver ring to generally point the light one direction. I was shooting in an office building see the florecent lights and power strip on the wall … I just over powered the lights in the room with my lights so you aren’t seeing any of those in the final shot. My main light which was a light shot thru an umbrella was set up above her and to my right but as close as I could get it to her about maybe 3 feet away, because I wanted that light to be as soft as possible. I used the regular green wall as a backdrop. We ended up with a dramatic image! Dig it!