March Madness: 23; Retouching a Headshot

March Madness: 23; Retouching a Headshot

Portrait/Head shot Retouching Tutorial:

By Alex Baker

Most portraits need some amount of retouching in Photoshop to help them look their best, and to an extent, many clients expect it. The most important thing to remember when retouching is to do everything on a separate layer so that you can easily go back to an earlier stage in the process, delete a layer or reduce the opacity of a layer if things have gone a little too far. My final PSD files have more layers than an onion! A really great retouch in my opinion doesn’t look as though it’s been retouched at all – the skin should retain all of it’s texture and not look plastic or soft, and (especially important with a portrait or headshot) the subject should still look like themselves (albeit after a really great night’s sleep!). I especially find working on skin to be quite rewarding (maybe I don’t get out enough…) and below you will find my methods for retouching. As anyone familiar with Photoshop will know, there are many different ways to achieve similar results, this is merely my preferred method. As you will see I almost never use frequency separation unless I absolutely have to so this will not be covered in this tutorial (there are many great ones online for this). I always keep the brushes at 100% opacity and just adjust the flow.


March Madness: 21; A Unique Pour Shot

March Madness: 21; A Unique Pour Shot

The Beauty of the Pour

by John McAllister

Freezing the movement of liquid will always captivate the viewer.  Each snap of the shutter creates a unique image. Take a moment to think about the multitude of variables involved in the simple act of pouring a wine into a glass; they are numerous, complex and compound.  It’s this random element that fascinates me… the angle and flow of the pour, the timing of the shot, the curve of the glass and a whole lot more result in a diversity of shapes and swirls of varying translucence as the liquid glances off the surfaces. The usually unseen or barely glimpsed turmoil becomes visible and a natural beauty is captured in an instant that can never be exactly repeated again.


March Madness: 20; Making the Image by Making the Shadow

David Travis is a Project 52 member, and a quite wonderful photographer. For the Still Life Class, the assignment was to create powerful images using a “point source” light which would create a powerful shadow.

In fact, the shadow should define the subject in many ways/

This image uses the shadow to make a visual pun. Can you see it?

Lighting setup below.

Without the shadow, we would not have much information about the subject.

Lighting setup below.

March Madness: 19; On Going Pro After Working Corporate

March Madness: 19; On Going Pro After Working Corporate


Quitting the day job for a life as a freelancer?

OK… but here is something to think about.

You can quit that soul-sucking cubicle job, but can you let it go?

I think that is going to be the toughest challenge you face.

Corporate life and the life of a freelancer are so different that they are polar opposites in the mindset of humans. To approach your entrepreneurial freelance career as you would a corporate career will doom you to instant, painful, and ugly death (business wise).

In corporate world:

You have a set time for nearly everything. Go in at 9, go home at 5. Monday through Friday. Two weeks of vacation – SCHEDULED. Sick pay (numbered). A boss that tells you what to do, for every hour you work. Someone is watching and monitoring and measuring what you do. You earn the same amount of money per week whether you fucked up the Jones account, or helped land a new, even bigger account. You get the same money for the hours you work as the person in the cubicle next to you, the same benefits, the same job description, the same parking pass, the same “permission”.

Permission to do a limited, company defined, corporate defined set of actions.

And the good news for corporate folks is that they get used to it.
And the terrible news for corporate folks wanting to become freelancers is they got used to it.

In ‘freelance’ world, none of that exists.

No set time for in or out, no vacations scheduled. No rules on what you have to do, when you have to do it, who you have to report to, when you have to report it, or whether the report was good or not. You do not have the same ‘perks’ as anyone, nor do you make the same amount of money for the same amount of hours worked as a competitor, and you may actually go weeks without making any money at all. You do not have a manager standing over you telling you what to do, and whether or not you did it correctly.

You do not need permission from anyone else, because you are the only one able to grant it.

And if you fuck up the Jones account, YOU take the hit.
And if you bring in a bigger account, YOU accept the gig.

In a corporate world it is them first, you second. In a freelance world it is you first, the world second.

Working corporate means going home at 5, having dinner, watching some “Game of Thrones” then off to read for an hour before going to sleep. You have some balance of life and work. Sixteen hours of life, 8 hours of work.

Freelance means you are working most every moment of that time, and building/making/creating your business.

There is no fucking “work-life balance”. There is work, and more work.

Then if you have done all that work well, you get a job that is work.

Eight hours of life, 16 hours of work.

Does that sound impossible? Does it sound harsh?

if it does, perhaps the corporate world still lives in your head and you are trying to bend a freelance world into what you know… the corporate world.


Stop right now.

They do not mix. They have never mixed. They will never mix.

If you are recently corporate, and struggling with the freelance, you may need to do a mental reorganization. A ‘reboot’. Start over with your life.

Try a freelance retreat, or meditation. Read books by entrepreneurs. Stop watching TV, or playing video games.

Success is only granted to those that demand it, not ask for permission to chase it.


— Don Giannatti