At first glance of many of her photos….
the beautiful Kelly Knox, a model based out of the UK, seems like just another stunning blonde bombshell. But, if you take a closer look, you’ll find that there is one big difference. Kelly has no left forearm!
She was born with this condition and as a child refused a prosthesis. Since that time on, she has never wore won.
In 2008, she won the BBC series “Britain’s Missing Top Model” and has been dominating the fashion scene ever since.
As a photographer who personally believes that models do not have to fit any specific cookie-cutter mold, and that beauty comes in many forms, I think she is an inspiration for both disabled and able-bodied people everywhere.
The very nature of art is highly subjective…
and as such, there are quite a few things that artists and art enthusiasts alike do not necessarily agree on. However, there is one thing that most creative minded people probably accept as a practical truth – creativity requires inspiration.
Some people are inspired by nature, others by the human condition, still more by the words or wisdom of others. In fact, while inspiration is not always something that is easy to come by, there is no doubt that the possible sources of inspiration are endless.
My inspiration for my poetry books and artistic photography come from any number of places.
What inspires you?
In my personal opinion, if my poetry, photography or other artistic pursuits actually turn out to be inspiration for other artists and their work, that’s one of the best feelings of all.
99 Inspirational Artistic Quotes
Within the art of photography, there are many sub-categories.
Most of us can probably come up with some of the more common ones without giving it much thought – portraits, landscapes, wildlife… But one of the ones that has a huge industry onto itself that may not necessarily rank high on your list is food photography.
Think about it, many major restaurants, grocery stores and other similar businesses use images in their advertising. And just like is the case with any other form of photography, a well shot, well edited image is essential.
Example of bad food photography:
Notice how the color is bland, the image is washed out and it is actually quite hard to even know what the item may be.
Example of bad food photography:
This image blurs out background distractions, features nice and even light and really captures the texture of the meal.
Here are a few tips that might just help anyone interested in delving into this sort of work.
1. Lighting and white balance
- Make sure you have an adequate amount of light for your shot but don’t do overboard. You don’t want to have hot spots in the image that can distract from the main focal point. Nor do you want to see harsh shadows.
2. Color and texture
- Do what you can to make the color as accurate and inciting as possible. Same goes for texture. A few Photoshop tools that can help here are playing with the satiation and using the dodge and burn tools.
3. Remove distractions
- If there are any items near your image that might take away from the food itself, do what you can to remove them.
Good luck and have fun.
For almost the last two weeks…
like many people across this planet, I’ve be captivated by the spectacle that is the Olympics.
And as a photographer and artist at heart, I truly appreciate the artistry of athletics and the creative wonders such an amazing event can produce.
Given my appreciation for such things, I thought I would include some scenes that both chronicle and inspire.
These first three photos where taken when workers at the Sochi games formed a giant heart on the halfpipe in honor of the late Sarah Burke, the woman who was instrumental in getting the event into the Olympic Games.
Canadian skier Alex Bilodeau celebrates with his special needs brother Frederic after winning gold.
The storied Jamaican bobsled team making their entrance during the Opening Ceremonies.
Maddie Bowman sailing her way to gold in women’s halfpipe skiing.
Bode Miller speeding down the slopes in what will likely be his last Olympics.
A unique perspective taken from the Bobsled venue.
An amazing long exposure shot of a downhill snowboarding race.
This one is of the beautiful Sochi sky over the Biathon course.
First off, I’d like to appologize to the readers of this blog for the delay since my last post. Thanks for being cool about it. And just for that, I figured I’d give you guys a real doozie for this one.
Anyone who works with studio photography knows that as a general rule, the setup includes multiple light sources. This is for a number of different reasons which include reducing shadows, evening out the exposure and thing along those lines. However, at times, the use of a single light – mono lighting, can produce some really awesome artistic effects.
One thing it can do is add a sense of drama to your shot.
Check out the image below as an example of a single light setup I used for a photo shoot last week.
In this case, I used a light on the left side and as it stretches across the model it fades into a darker shade. This accentuates the points closest while sort of leaving an element of mystery about the elements hidden in the dark distance.
Give it a try for yourself some time. You just might love the results.
Editing is crucial
For any photographer who takes his or her craft seriously, editing is just a fact of life. And while it has its creative qualities, a lot of shutterbugs would agree that it’s not exactly their favorite part of the process.
When all is said and done though, the time used doing a thorough editing job is well worth it when you see the final product.
Some causal photographers make the mistake of thinking that some of these “editing” apps, online tools or quick-fix type programs can get the job done almost instantly. While it might not take a long time to edit an image sufficiently, any real quality editing can’t be done with just a click or two of the mouse.
Below is a sample of some photography editing I did after a recent promotional shoot for a young lady starting her own life coaching business. I hope these before and after images along with the basic steps taken to get from the original to the final version will give you an idea of what I mean.
Please note that all edits where made using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and a program called Portrait Professional. However, some of these edits can be made using any number of other programs that offer a wide range of similar features.
General overview of steps taken to edit the above photo:
1. Adjusting exposure
- Started out with “Auto Levels” before increasing the exposure a little more.
2. Tweaking colors
- An increase in overall saturation was used to add color and vibrancy
- Using the “Dodge/Burn” tool also helped.
- Basic tuning with Portrait Professional softened the skin, reduced blemishes, removed pores and took care of assorted imperfections.
4. Small details
- It was necessary to use the” Clone Stamp” tool to match some skin tone areas and clean up shadows and glare cast by the glasses.
- Did some final burning to minimize hot spots and even out the color of her hair.
When I make plans to shoot artistic photos of skies, landscapes and architecture, I get out my professional-grade DSLR. However, there are times when a beautiful shot presents itself and you just don’t have the big gun handy. So, you can either miss the shot or make do with what you have. And what many of us have these days are mobile phones with workable cameras.
Here are a few pictures I thought I’d share that feature some amazing skies, a very cool rainbow and some stylish lights inside one of Pittsburgh’s largest entertainment venues. I hope you like them.
I was flipping through the channels this morning when I came across one of the non “Fast and Furious” films that stared the late Paul Walker. It was a 2006 movie entitled “Eight Below” and having remembered it vaguely, I decided to watch the last half an our or so.
Being a dog owner and nature lover, I can tell you that this movie really pulls at the heartstrings. Though sad in some ways, it is also quite inspirational. And in honor of this film and the amazing creature that is the dog, it seemed like the right time to post some beautiful and artistic pierces showcasing these truly amazing creatures. I hope you enjoy them.
As even the most casual readers of this blog know by now, I do a lot of work as a photographer and thus take my art very seriously. So as a general rule, while I would never really advocate a cell phone camera over a fully functional DSLR, bridge camera or even a quality compact unit, the fact remains that sometimes these are simply more convenient.
With that being the case, I decided to give a quick review of the camera from my new phone the Samsung Galaxy S 3 Mini.
The official manufacturer’s specifications -
5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama
Real world usage (my opinion) -
The camera offers a fair amount of adjustable features for a phone. This includes modes for shooting at night, facial feature enhancement and the ability to add a bit of sound to the beginning of your photo. While the jury is still out on these modes, the sports mode leaves a lot to be desired. But then again, that is typically the case on most cameras or devices. The flash is pretty good and very similar to any standard camera flash. You can easily adjust the flash setting as well. In addition to the auto focus mode, you can also opt to use macro focus which might come in handy with close-ups. The ISO can be set between 100 and 400 and it also provides the ability to adjust white balance on a basic level.
The official manufacturer’s specifications - 720p@30fps with secondary VGA
Real world usage (my opinion) -
The standard video quality isn’t bad and the camera’s microphone captures the audio well. However, it is possible that it might be a bit too well as that does pick up a bit of background noise. They video files come out in MP4 format. As of this time, I haven’t been able to determine whether or not the video can be adjusted to be full-screen or not. Video can be shot in both a front and rear facing manner.