Fitness Model on Location with Hiram Chee

Rose78

I was aiming for a clean catalog feel.

We shot this image at high noon in a football field. I used an Einstein F13 in a Softlighter without the sock for fill. I also used a -3f stop ND filter on my 85mm F1.8 to get the blue sky and blurred background.

I was shooting at F5.6. 1/125, ISO 100.

For post processing, I processed the RAW file in Capture One to dial in color balance, contrast, exposure, clarity, structure and sharpness. I then uploaded the image to CS6, denoised with Nik Dfine, softened the skin in Imagenomic Portraiture, balanced contrast in Nik Color Fx Pro Contrast and pre-sharpened in Nik software.

Lately I have been importing my edited psd files into LR5 and exporting JPGs at the appropriate size.

BTS-field-Rose-web

See more of Hiram’s work at his website.SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

Don’t Be Afraid of ‘Systems’

SUMMER-SCHOOL

As a commercial photographer I know a lot about how to make things happen. In fact, being a commercial photographer is a lot of ‘solutions… NOW’ sort of life.

The locations are too small or too large. Too many lights or not enough. Always need another stand or something that will go just 6″ higher. It is a constant battle of “making” it happen when so many things are against the photograph coming out at all.

Solutions – solving problems – that is the nature of what we commercial shooters do.

I have to admit that I have never liked ‘systems’. I hated them, actually. They took the serendipity off, they seemed to be too button down corporate to me.

But I came around out of necessity. I was always able to keep things in my head; appointments, billing, conversations, expectations. All in my head.

I was also pretty good at multi-tasking.

Then I realized that ‘multi-tasking’ wasn’t really what was going on, I was busting my ass doing things simultaneously that could easily have been done one at a time. The idea of ‘multi-tasking’ really is a farce for so many reasons.

We are humans and most of us humans have to have a focus. A way of putting all of our attention on one thing, and getting that thing done.

Spending 6 hours multi-tasking to get 4 hours worth of work done is inefficient at best. Destructive in many ways.

So I found myself forming systems… little ones at first, then larger and more complex ones as the gigs began to get more complex.

THE SIMPLEST SYSTEM: CHECKLISTS.

I use checklists for many of my common functions now, and I use them religiously.

I have a checklist for my shoots. And I check each thing off as I load it. Does it make loading go a little slower, yeah. A little. But I never worry about getting to a gig without something I NEED.

As I have mentioned before, I have cases with gear that is packed in accordance to the type of gig I am doing. All my speedlights (save one in the bag) are in one large tool kit with triggers, cords, modifiers and all kinds of clamps and holders. When I do a gig with speedlights, that box is there and it is everything I need. There is a checklist in the box to help me repack the items. Did I remember to get all the clamps, and are there any grids missing? Checklist… got it.

I have a larger kit checklist that combines the different containers, which are also checklisted.

A big shoot may require Lighting Kit A and Lighting Kit B. It will also necessitate stand case A and B as well. Since those cases are prepacked to the same standards (checklists) each time, I need only grab them and load them according to my needs.

Every item I use is on a check list. They are marked as loaded, and then remarked when reloaded at tear down.

I don’t ever want to get home without a camera body or flash head. Again.

THE DAILY WORK CHECKLIST

I have been asked how I get so much done (even though I sometimes go to bed thinking of all the things that didn’t get done). I have my daily checklist to help with that.

Here is how I do mine. Starting early morning.

5AM to 6AM: Check Email / Social Media for trending articles.

6AM – 7AM: Write for my blog/book. I try to write 1000 words a day across various platforms. These days I do a bit more than that since I am working on a novel and doing discovery for a non-fiction book.

7AM – 8AM: Breakfast, walk the dogs, take my daughter to school and such.

8AM – 8:30AM: Review plans for the day.

9AM – Noon: Email is off, focus on the main job at hand. Can be broken into two distinct gigs if necessary. (This includes any marketing initiatives.)

Noon – 1AM: Lunch, email, social media check in.

1AM to 4PM: Email is off, focus on the main job at hand. Can be broken into two distinct gigs if neccessary. (This includes any marketing initiatives.)

4PM: Check Email / Social Media. Have a bit of fun.

5PM /5:30 PM. Dinner and get ready for webinars usually at 6PM.

After Webinars, relax, read, chat with friends.

Before retiring in for the night, I take a look at today’s list and make tomorrow’s list of prioritized gigs.

I rarely watch TV or movies (weekends are for that) and I rarely have the same schedule every day… this is an estimate checklist above.

Shooting days are far different and by nature looser.

CONTENT CHECKLIST: WEEKLY

I maintain a lot of online presence; from this site to the three Project 52 Pros as well as my namesake site, it can be overwhelming to keep up with it all. I have a checklist for content, updates, posts and what gets attention on what day.

For instance, I post on the Project 52 Pros sites with regularity. New assignments are added each Friday, and the critiques are uploaded the day after they are given. (Unless I forget to check my list… which recently happened when I travelled. Lesson learned. Big time.)

Here is what a content checklist could look like:

Posts:

Lighting Essentials on Monday.
Project 52Pros on Tuesday
DonGiannatti.com on Wednesday
DonGiannattiPhotography on Thursday
New Assignments on Friday (All P52)
Newsletter on Sunday.

I use the Editorial Calendar Plugin to keep ahead of things on my websites.

For content I also have a small checklist. 
Citations linked.
Author Info added.
Links checked.
Spelling checked.
Any additional info that was promised or needs to be on the post.

I probably add a couple of checklists to specific projects once or twice a week, but these are the ones that keep me going… and turning out a lot of content.

Don’t be afraid of checklists and systems… find the ones that work for you and make them your ally in the war that is over our time – and those who want as much of it as they can get.

If you have any systems you would like to share, use the comments field below.

NOTE: If you are a wedding shooter, check out this article at Tiffinbox.

“Photographing Pills” with Alicia Bonterre

Assign15-Alicia-Bonterre-Tue

The assignment was to photograph some pills and bottle for a drop in to another shot.

  1. Parameters for the shot? White background…..that’s it. My thought process for this shot was how can I make this even a little bit interesting
  2. What type of shadows do I want and
  3. What kind of specular/highlight do I want.

To this end I chose a brightly colored bottle and pills…more interesting than solid white pills.

I then used a softbox close to subject to soften shadows and a small strip light on a speedlight to give long specular highlights and help show shape of the pills.

bts

 

westcott strip

(I actually started with a Gary Fong diffuser instead but the specular was round and small and didn’t help show the shape. Below you can see how the highlights from a small, round light do not help the presentation of the pills.)

gary fong diffuser

A BTS of the Fong Lighting:

gary fong BTS

See more of Alicia’s work at her website.SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

Available Light / Available Tools; with David Price

2014-P52-Week-16-David-Price-1-Hands

I wanted to side-light this artisan’s hands to highlight the texture both in her hands, as well as the fabric. She was making a set of custom gloves to honor my wife for her many years of service to living history re-enactments.

I did not have a lot of equipment with me; just my camera and a little quick thinking. As you can see by the picture of the dark hands, the sunlit side goes quite bright, and the shadows quickly go to almost black. I did not have a set of reflectors with me, but there was a white dish-towel sitting on the table next to me. I asked a young lady sitting nearby if she would be kind enough to hold the towel near the shadow side of the hands, and that brought the contrast back to a level I could appreciate. I varied the distance to taste, and the resulting picture is what you see presented here.

2014-P52-Week-16-David-Price-2-Dark-Hands

2014-P52-Week-16-David-Price-3-SETUP

Available natural light and available tools.

See more of David’s work at his website.

SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

Fitness Shoot with a Model by Hiram Chee

Rose349 3

For the key light I used an Einstein F8 through a Softlighter camera right and for fill and Einstein F4 through a 8in reflector and 30 degree grid, camera left. The reflector was angled up towards the model’s shoulder slightly towards the back wall. I also feathered the Softlighter slightly forward from the model to get the Rembrandt effect.

For post-processing I use Capture One to get my exposure, color balance, contrast, sharpness, clarity and structure dialed in. I then transferred the image to CS6 and de-noised with Nik Dfine, followed by skin smoothing with Imagenomic Portraiture, balanced contrast with Nik Pro Contrast/Color Efx and sharpened with Nik RAW pre-sharpener.

I finally did a BW conversion in Nik Silver FX. Here is a BTS that the model snapped while I was setting up.

BTS_Rose_fitness_shoot

 

You can see more of Hiram’s work at his website.

SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

Cool Sneakers with Alicia Bonterre

Today’s class is from Alicia Bonterre, a photographer who makes her home in Trinidad.

This was the assignment:

Running Shoes are one of the staples of sports and fitness… and come in all colors and sizes.

Distance runners, joggers, sprinters, hobbyists and kids all have shoes designed for their specialties.

Our job is to shoot a pair of running shoes… And do it with some flair.

The brief:

We have to see the side of one of the shoes, and we must see the bottom of the shoe. Tread is important in running shoes, and it is darned hard to photograph.

This can be done as a studio shot indoors, or a ‘studio’ shot outdoors… in a controlled location environment.

Lighting:

Think soft ambient light with direction. Remember that it will take something a bit punchy to show us the tread of the shoe, as well. I would think sun/diffuser/mirror possibly?

You will have to be very aware of the shape of the shoe from the side… and how you decide to show the side and bottom are up to you, but you will most likely have to prop the shoes up with small cards or shims.

This picture was my inspiration and guide.  I wanted to see how close to replicating it I could get. 

inspiration pic

I used two strobes.

SUMMER-SCHOOLI crossed the light so one hits the left side of the shoe to show the texture of the bottom, I used barndoors and a honeycomb grid here to keep it hard and focused,  a softbox on the right was aimed in such a way as to skim across the side to show dimension and form.  Shot at f11 to be sure all is sharp and in focus. The weight and stick holding the shoe up were later removed in Photoshop and the green background light and swirls added.

sneaker bts tutitorial

Final Shot

sneaker 2 tutitorial

Visit Alicia Bonterre’s website.

Making a “Splashing” Apple with John McAllister

SUMMER SCHOOL, DAY ONE: JOHN MCALLISTER.

John shows how to create this stunning effect.

P52 Summer Assignment 26: “Wet” #3

You can download the raw files used to make this photograph here.

Image One
Image Two
Image Three
Image Four
Image Five
image Six




For more from John McAllister, visit his blog.

SUMMER-SCHOOLALL THE TUTORIALS DURING “SUMMER SCHOOL” ARE BY PROJECT 52 PRO MEMBERS EITHER CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR ALUMNI.

 

Viral Visual Strategies

Social Media – VISUAL social media – is really powerful.

“On Thursday April 10th I shared the tumblr page with a huge dog magazine I’ve worked with regularly called The Bark. By Friday morning, it had 4,700 likes and 1,080 shares. I also sent the link out to a magazine called Koream Magazine, and on Friday they started to publicize it. All all the other huge Asian American media channels started to pick it up – like Hyphen, Angry Asian Man, Audrey Magazine, and more.

 

The Korean American founder and curator of a My Modern Met saw it on Saturday and immediately reached out to me for an interview that afternoon. Within the hour she had it up on the site and she told me that all the major news sites follow the site like The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, just to name a few.”

A Photo Editor

Talk About Your Awesome Opportunities… Holy Smokes THIS Rocks!

An “opportunity” for you to bust your ass, make some cool shots and then give them away to someone who will then get to use them for whatever the heck they want to for as long as they want to. Oh, and by the way you need to simply shut up about it.

sucks

 

And they are happy to tell you why the work you do sucks… they even have “Ten Reasons” that it does so.

LOL… togs… waddaya gonna do.

No, I won’t link them… they are already getting all the traffic they need.

Oh, and there is NO MENTION of money on this site either… so you get to work hard, submit, get told that your work sucks and if it doesn’t suck, they get to keep it and use it for anything they want without paying you for it.

Yeah, Photographers is smaurt peepuls.

My Newest Book Will Take Your Photography To The Next Level… or something

how-to

I have decided it was time for me to put it all out there… no holding back, no withholding of the secrets that I am privvy to. All of the stuff that other photographers wont tell you… I will. I am like a man on fire.

Without the burning pants and sickly smell of charred skin of course.

But otherwise… burning up, baby.

So here is a brain dump of EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE ABLE TO SHOOT GOOD.

Some of the topics I cover show you exactly WHY I am considered one of the foremost photography people south of Chandler Blvd and West of the Walmart.

Yeah… McNally ain’t gonna spill his guts like this.

Arias ain’t gonna spill his guts like this.

In fact, when bringing up guts and the spilling of them no one does it better than me. Once in college I drank an entire gallon of Boone’s Farm Strawberry something… GUTS SPILLED.

Epically.

I have no idea why I told you that, but then I have no idea why you are still reading this.

Chapters I will use to expose the ugly underbelly of photography and those secrets that only the ‘pros’ use to make gooder pictures than you do.

A sample of the kind of hard-hitting information that will spell success into the 6 figures and beyond.

1. Which ISO is best for Bokeh so creamy you can stand a fork in it.

2. Portfolio secrets I don’t even know, and I know a lot.

3. Things to say to Art Directors that make them feel all jelly and want to give you more money for the most stupid mundane shit you will ever shoot.

4. Sure, you gotta great camera… the joke is on you. Most pros shoot iPhones and Holgas.

5. You’ve heard of the “rule of thirds”? Bullshit… the “Rule of Pi Squared Rounded to the Closest Tenth” is what all the big guys use. Especially the Europeans who are all working here and doing killer work for big ad agencies without their green cards.

6. The 6 Secrets to finding a good Off Shore Bank for all the money you will be making after reading this book.

7. Ethical questions all photographers must face. (Gotcha… LOL, no photographers have ethics… that is just so stupid.)

There are like a lot more… and all of them are life changing, awesome and will give you that extra heads-up for getting the drop on your competition.

In fact if you have a lot of competition in your market, you will especially enjoy the section on “Staging an Accident” with ten tips even the biggest city Coroner will miss every time.

So send me money. Lots of money.

If you send me enough money I will send you the book.

If you don’t send me enough money, I wont send you the book – and don’t ask or whine about it, WUSS.

No returns / No refunds.

Get the heck outta here.

Photographers Dump Film so They Can Emulate It Digitally… or, something…

“The company, founded back in March 2011, received the fifth largest Series A round Accel Partners has ever done; the investors are well known for the funds they granted a company called Facebook back when it was just starting up.

Besides the app itself, VSCO’s known for the preset packs it sells for Adobe Lightroom and Premiere; the filters that come with it emulate film with near-perfect accuracy, and a gift from the gods for people that prefer the look of film but can’t afford the gear.”

See More Here.

PROJECT 52 ANNUAL FOR 2013

ANNUAL-COVER

Is available at Blurb if you love the feel of good paper and a quality book.

We are also giving it out as a free PDF for all. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think would be interested.

All images are copyright the photographer, and there is contact information for each photographer included.

Big SHOUT OUT to all who were involved with Project 52 and to the current members… Thanks to all for being involved.

Download the Screen Res version here: PROJECT 52 ANNUAL 2013

PURCHASE IT AT BLURB (at cost).