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Archive for November, 2012

The multi-talented Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is well known…

for his long career in the music industry. After all, he’s been pumping out pop and rock tunes since the 1980s. But, considerably less people probably know about his other artistic talent.

This November, Adams released the book “Exposed,” a collection of his work behind the camera as a photographer. I myself just heard about it today and decided to do a little research. As it turns out, this musician is quite the double threat.

Bryan Adams photography book

Check out some samples of his work below:

Lindsey Lohan by Bryan Adams

Lindsey Lohan

Ben Kingsley by Brian Adams

Ben Kingsley

Lana Del Ray by Brian Adams

Lana Del Rey

Editing disasters – what not to do to your photos

As a general rule…

every photographer edits his or her photos to some extent. Sure once in a while a shot here or there will turn out just fine from the start  but that’s pretty rare. And while most serious photographers use a program like Photoshop to make adjustments to their photos, the tips below will apply to just about every possible editing tool.

Let’s think of it this way:

Hollywood celebrities and those with substantial incomes who spend a lot of time in the spotlight sometimes get a little “work done” aka plastic surgery. However, sometimes it’s done well and other times it can be a horrific disaster. The same can be said for these two approaches to re-working your images.

1. Exposure

Say you take a picture you love but notice that the image you bring up on your computer screen is darker than you had hoped. What’s a shutterbug to do? – why, bump up the exposure of course. Not so fast! While this is an easy and effective technique, you have to be careful. If you turn up the exposure too far, the washed out effect that will result can look unappealing and amateurish. Unless you are going for an intensely blown out scene intentionally for artistic purposes, this is a very bad idea.

over-exposed bad photo

Blown out shot from excessively high exposure.

well exposed photo

A well exposed photo from my work with Three Rivers Creative Arts.

2. Saturation

Having the pleasure of working with a number of alternative models, I know that photographers like myself love to showcase subjects with colorful hair or body art. When attempting to do this, or to enhance colors in less than vibrant skin, muted sunsets, animal coats or  anything else, you might opt to increase the saturation. Again, good idea, but keep it to a minimum. While a little saturation can add some wonderful coloration, too much can actually bring out the noise in a shot, redden this skin too much in people and simply make things look less realistic.

over-saturated photo

Unrealistic looking shot resulting from excess saturation. 

One of my well saturated shots from a shoot for Twisted Angels.

The bottom line:

No matter what the subject matter might be, the same rules apply – by all means kick the exposure and saturation up a notch, but be careful about how much.

Rock, pop, hip-hop and metal oh my – music in the ‘Burgh

Over the last decade or so…

I’ve been lucky enough to encounter and meet some of the local, Pittsburgh-based musical artists that have helped to keep the long tradition of fine musicians from the region alive and well. And in this post, I’d like to take a a moment to introduce you to the work of these outstanding talents.

Now, if you’re from the “Burgh, or have spent some extensive time in the city, you might already know about these artists. If not, in my opinion, you’re in for a real treat.

Pittsburgh rapper J James

J. JAMES

I’ve known this talented rap/hip-hop/pop-rock artist since he was about 6 years old. His music is entertaining and energetic and will really get you pumped up.

Anthony Rankin Pittsburgh musician

ANTHONY RANKIN

This young man has a music degree from a local university and has been working with some of the biggest names in the local music scene. I believe he’s released 4 or 5 albums to date.

I am Jedi Pittsburgh band

I AM JEDI

I met the lead singer a few years back while while she was delving into modeling a bit. I was one of her first model photographers. She and her metal band are awesome lyricists and musicians. And unlike a lot of metal bands, the lead singer can go in and out of traditional vocals and “screamo” singing with ease.

Nightlife Pittsburgh band

NIGHTLIFE

This band is comprised of several middle-aged guys and a hot young front woman. Together, they make for a great combo. I’ve only come across them recently as that the aforementioned lead singer is the girlfriend of one of my old neighbors.

The Awful Waffles Pittsburgh band

THE AWFUL WAFFLES

Like I Am Jedi, this band’s front lady came to me first while experimenting with modeling for goth pics. She also has a degree in music with a focus on education. These guys seem to have a heck of a lot of fun doing what they do.

Braden Mills Pittsburgh musician

BRADEN MILLS

I first met this guy at a local artist market. He just randomly began playing for a crowd. At that time, I think he was about 16 but far beyond his years in vocal abilities and especially in the way her could handle his guitar.

Alternative style girls in the music industry

It’s been a while…

since I’ve posted about one of my favorite subjects. As an avid fan of the arts, especially photography, I’ve long had a fascination with alternative style. This is apparent in much of my work with alternative models. If you’re not familiar with it, there are a number of prior posts that deal with this subject matter.

Anyway, when I also stop to consider my interest in various genres of music, some of those musical styles go right along with the alternative cultures of body modification (like tattoos and piercings), Gothic looks, punk attitude and more.  That being the case, I decided to write this little post highlighting six of the hottest ladies in the music industry who fit the aforementioned mold if you will. Of course, there are many, many, more so feel free to offer your thoughts, suggestions or additions to this list.

Avril Lavigne

From the beginning of her career in the poppy punk rock scene, Avril has been a huge success. She’s got attitude, she’s got talent and she’s got a punk but marketable look. She’s also been featured in the Maxim Hot 100 several times as well.

sexy pic of Avril Lavigne

Hayley Williams

The first time I heard Hayley sing I was highly impressed with her vocal skills. Once I learned more about her band Paramore, I got hooked. She’s a stunning beauty and seems like loads of fun too.

very hot Haley Williams

Taylor Momsen

This child actress from films like How The Grinch Stole Christmas has done a complete 360 and now sports a sexy goth look. The music she makes with her band The Pretty Reckless is dark and edgy.

sexy goth Taylor Momsen

Megan McCauley

While Megan is a little lesser known, it’s surely has nothing to do with her skills as a musician or her very attractive punk-ish look. I suggest you check out her song Tap That for starters.

hot sexy Megan McCauley

Siobhan Magnus

Perhaps American Idol’s hottest and most authentic rock chick, Siobhan seems to be a fun and eclectic package. After she sang the Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black on AI, I darn near fell in love.

very sexy Siobhan Magnus

 Shirley Manson

While Shirley hasn’t been active in music in a while, this lead singer of the band Garbage was arguably the most notable Goth chick in music from the mid-90’s – early 2000’s. If you want to see for yourself, maybe you should check out the video for the song When I Grow Up.

goth girl Shirley Manson

Hope (a poem) – For the victims of Hurricane Sandy

As a poet, I often feel compelled to write after some major event occurs, whether that event is something good or bad or simply indifferent. That being said, a few days back I wrote this piece as a part of the emotional journey we are all going through as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

girl in Hurricane Sandy

Hope

And so the wind and rain swirled mightily

Over the labors of both man and machine

Relentless in enacting its wrath on each

—————————————————–

When all was said and done

The fierce storm sought only to take

Leaving lifeless bodies

And lost memories in its wake

—————————————————–

But amid all this sadness

And the suffering within our hearts

Comes the triumph of the human spirit

Across the land and beyond

—————————————————–

We will rise from this devastation

Coming back from where we’ve been

We will see the sun tomorrow

Because with hope, we’ll always win

I usually avoid flash in photography but…

While in most cases, the use of flash in photography is actually unnecessary at  best and possibly even destructive at worst. Pop-up flashes often result in harsh and unflattering shadows or a blown out, over exposed shot. And while it is harder to make this sort of mistake with strobe lighting units, some people overuse these as well. One such example would be taking them along for mid-day outdoor shoots.

But on occasion, using flash can be just what is needed to get the desired effect.

One such example, intentional and artistic shadowing.

Here are two simple and interesting ways to pull off this approach.

1. Place the subject of the shot close to the background -

The closer the two are, the easier it becomes to produce intended harsh but artistic shadows.

shadow of a skateboarder

2. Go projector-style -

Place an object that can cast a shadow in front of the flash unit and shoot away.

shadows in fashion photo

Have fun!

Arts related business supporting hurricane relief

As the founder of this blog, I am affiliated with an arts services website with a few sub-divisions if you will. And knowing what the people on the East Coast of the United States are currently going through, I thought it might be a good idea to promote the relief effort through this outlet.

That being the case, the Three Rivers Creative Arts website and the aforementioned sub-divisions have decided to do the following.

Three Rivers Creative Arts

- For any person who donates to a an established, reputable charity for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, you can e-mail us at trcapromo@gmail.com telling us the amount you donated. For every $10 worth of donations, you will earn one entry into a drawing to win a free HP photo printer (Model A646) a more than $300 value. If you win the drawing, you will be required to provide verification of your charitable donation.

The winner can pick up his or her prize at out studio in Pittsburgh, PA or it can be shipped for a fee of $15.00. Entries accepted until Nov. 10.

Twisted Angels Alternative Modeling Community

- For each new subscription purchased between now and Nov. 10, 25% or $1.00 of the first month’s subscription will be donated to the American Red Cross for the relief efforts.

Jason Greiner’s Official Author Website

- If you donate to any established or reputable relief charity for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, we will give you a free copy of the deluxe version of the e-book “Making Beautiful Photography: A Guide for the Novice and the Enthusiast.” Get this $5.00 value until Nov. 10. Just e-mail us through the “Contact Us” page form the link above and tell us about your donation.

Hurricane Sandy over New York

 

 

 

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