Following on from a recent studio session I thought I’d share with you some of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ information such as the lighting techniques and then finish off with a run through of the editing; taking the ‘out of camera’ images through to completion.
This particular shoot forms part of an ongoing project working with talented Make Up Artist Syn Ella. We’re currently working on new portfolios for the new year and having only worked with her a short time I’m really excited about some of the future shoots we have planned.
With regards to this particular studio session we focused solely on head shots and wanting the background to be clean and crisp we went for the white seamless set up; going the whole way setting up the reflective flooring…just incase we opted for some full length shots too.
As you can see from the lighting diagram I used a Profoto Beauty Dish as the main light which was positioned above and to the front of our model. Initially I wanted to use another light low down aimed up at our model’s face creating what’s commonly known as ‘Clam Shell’ lighting but instead opted for a Silver Tri Grip Reflector; reason???…I didn’t have a low enough light stand to hand
The white seamless background was lit using two Profoto heads either side and aimed ‘give or take’ into the middle. Both were flagged/hidden behind ‘V’ Flats to prevent lens flare and set to light the background at around 1½ to 2 stops brighter than the model to give pure white.
The two images below show the ‘out of camera’ image on the left and the final edited version on the right:
Here’s a video showing the editing process in Adobe Photoshop CS5 taking the image above from the ‘Before’ to the ‘After’ stage; mainly working on skin contrast and adding a bit more ‘punch’ to the eyes.
In real time the editing time was about 10 minutes but I’ve speeded up the video so that you can see the whole process in double time (ish):
I think like most photographers I can never just set up and start shooting; it takes me a little bit of time to get into the right frame of mind and ‘get my eye in’ and this is the same for everyone else on the set including the model and make up artist. This is the time when I’ll set up something real simple and rattle off a few frames. The image below was taken during this ‘warm up’ time and shot with just the Beauty Dish above and to the front of our model.
The images taken during this time aren’t one’s I’ll make use of as a rule but being a bit of a hoarder I’ll never throw them away; I’ll generally practice some retouching on them during a bit of downtime as was the case below:
If you’d like to see the techniques I used in the video (plus ones used in the image above) explained and at a slower pace you can find them in the Technique Category in the top menu, at this link or by visiting my YouTube Page. Oh and incidentally, the techniques can all be done in earlier versions of Photoshop.
Thanks to Glyn for asking me to post a Guest Blog for him. In truth he asked me ages ago, and I’ve just been too busy or distracted to settle down to it until a couple of nights ago. While I’ve been following Glyn online for ages, and we’re both Adobe Community Professionals, I only met Glyn in person recently at Scott Kelby‘s recent London Seminar.
Anyway, Glyn is adamant about waiting for the new generation of the iPad. I felt the same way until I actually got my hands on one, prior to the Irish launch. After 10 minutes playing about with one, there was no hope of ever holding out that long. I got one in the first week of release.
First and foremost, the size is perfect for bringing about with you. The weight is comfortable enough for one hand use for short periods. More importantly is the screen is beautiful for photographs. I’m currently use a really cool app called Minimal Folio to show my work, from casual interactions, to more serious client meetings. Folks love the tactile response as the scroll down the photos, or scroll between different portfolio sets. It’s not like trying to aim pages so the window light does shine off the photo covers. As well as my photos, Minimal Folio can present PDF, useful for my magazine work, and Movies, for my timelapse and short films. Anything that can promote my work and bring in more is a boon in my opinion. I have an exhibition opening in December and showing the images on the iPad has been useful in securing some funding to help offset the costs. As a first exhibition, I’m not expecting to sell out, but I’ll be happy if I can recover costs.
Even though professionally produced portfolios are expensive, if I used the iPad for that only, it would be a waste for money. For it to be truly useful it has to allow me to travel without a laptop. Now I don’t mean teaching trips, where I have to be able to run PC/Mac compatible software, I mean general travel. This means being able to import and view photos, work on them for web purposes and do general net related stuff. Apple’s Camera Connection Kit allow me to import from camera via the USB connection, or via the Sandisk Image Mate card reader. There are others that work, but I rely on Sandisk over other cards and readers.
When I get the images in, I view through the inbuilt Photos app, but I use Filterstorm to edit images. Of course, it’s not the same as Lightroom or Photoshop, but I have done headshot sessions where the final output from the iPad was perfect for the client. The edit and conversion was done in Filterstorm, and even emailed from within the app. There will be Filterstorm Pro after iOS 4.2 is official that will make it into a more robust app for photos on the iPad.
Email, Facebook, Twitter and a host of social media related things are possible from the iPad. Of course there are other things it’s great for too. I find I’m reading physical books less and less, opting to use Goodreader with PDF copies instead. It’s great carry a whole library in the weight of 2 books! It also can get files from your Dropbox account, as well as download files from the net.
The iPad is still targeted as a consumption device. Video and audio are excellent, especially with the 10 battery life (and longer!). I’m using Atomic Web Browser for surfing the web, a great improvement on Safari. As a musician, I’m really liking the iPad as an impromptu practice pad. I own a Korg Toneworks unit for bass, rather pricey when I got it, that’s been dropped for the Amplitube iRig. There’s also a host of other instruments that work on the iPhone and iPad; this video from Atomic Tom shows some of the iPhone versions:
I don’t think it’s perfect. I do miss Flash on the device. I’d like if there was a camera in the device, even a basic one for Facetime and Skype. I still haven’t found a perfect time management app. I’d like dedicated USB, with the option of using higher powered devices, even at the expense of battery life.
In connectivity terms, I went with a 3G, for 2 reasons, one is for normal out and about use with no wi-fi, and the other is for travel, because wi-fi can be well overpriced in hotels and free hotspots are hard to find. Of course, in Mallorca recently it proved easier and cheaper to buy a router for my host’s internet than get a microsim! Next week will tell the tale as I tour the UK with Mark Cleghorn. A device like a MiFi might work out cheaper to buy with a 3G only iPad though (but you then have to bring 2 devices!).
So Glyn, keep holding on. Failing that I’ll have one for sale after the 2Gen version is announced!
Oh and one more thing if you’re about the UK this week, here’s the link to the tour I’m on with Mark Cleghorn and onOne Software: [Link]
Yet again the weekend has crept up on us at an alarming rate so I thought I’d finish the week off with a couple of items and a bit of a ‘heads up’ as to what to expect next week…
Photo Shoot & Editing Walk-through First off, I’m going to put together a walk through of one of the ‘studio shoots’ from this week covering the lighting set up and then the editing using both Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ll go through each of the stages and also put together a short video too. Most of the techniques are covered in the Beauty Retouch series I recorded a short while back but there’s the odd one or two that aren’t so look out for that next week.
I’m really excited about the Guest Photographer post that will be online next week. Now at this stage I’m not going to reveal who it is just in case his busy work schedule means delaying slightly but for all you iPad owners out there plus those of you like me who are holding off until the 2nd Generation you’re going to love it!
To give you a brief overview the post covers not just using the iPad for portfolios but also for importing and editing photos ‘on the go’ plus a whole lot more.
Like I said I shan’t say who the Guest is just yet nor will I bow to pressure and say that he’s from Ireland and a Lightroom Guru…just in case you guess correctly
Joe ‘Jackie Chan’ McNally
Having only just stopped laughing I couldn’t resist posting this video up…
In January 2011 Joe McNally is taking his photography workshops around Asia and this is the promotional video; classic:
Ok so that’s me out of here, but before I go I just want to say a BIG thank you to everyone that passed on their thoughts about the new video page on my main website. The resounding decision was to keep all the ‘Behind the Scenes’ videos to the main site so that’s what I’ll be doing.
Have a great weekend and for those of you going to Bonfire Nights have a fun, safe time and I’ll see you back here next week,
Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m rather partial to putting together and sharing videos showing ‘Behind the Scenes’ footage from recent photo shoots and Post Production using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Every video I’ve put together gets uploaded onto my YouTube and Vimeo Pages but ever since the wonderful folks over at Livebooks designed my new site I’ve wanted somehow to integrate them into that too.
Now I love video, I really do and I’m a big believer that over time, it will become much more important with regards to advertising, SEO and attracting clients; I mean who would have thought that a couple of years ago that we’d now be able to record and watch High Definition Video from something as small as a mobile phone???
Needless to say when Livebooks recently announced that they were now able to offer ‘video’ page upgrades I jumped at the chance and put the upgrade request in straight away; a request they fulfilled within 2 hours by the way and is now ‘live’ on the site.
This is probably stating the obvious but as a photographer it’s really important for clients to ‘like’ you and get a feel for how you work and think so another way that I’m looking to integrate video within the site is in the ‘About’ page with maybe snippets from photo shoots, editing and some kind of voice over/interview; the exact details I’m not 100% sure of at the moment but I’m working on it.
Can you help? With around 40 videos now on my YouTube and Vimeo Pages at the time of writing this post, covering ‘Behind the Scenes’ footage and Post Production tutorials/walk throughs I wanted to ask your opinion on something…
Should I restrict the videos on my main website to being just those showing ‘Behind the Scenes’footage from Photo Shoots or should I also include some of the Post Production ones too? If I do include some of the Post Production videos, should I restrict it to the ones that run at 2x speed showing the editing process from start to finish rather than the ‘instructional’ videos?
I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this so if you get the time or inclination feel free to let me know what you think using the comments section below or shout me out on Facebook and Twitter. In the mean time though you can check out the new video page over on my main website www.glyndewis.com