In a photography studio setup
you can use as much or as little light as you want, adjust the angles of the light and how harsh or diffused it may be and all sort of other factors. However, with all the little things you can do to manipulate the outcome of artificial and studio lighting, in my personal opinion, there is nothing like the amazing asset that is natural light.
While there is a big difference to the approach a photographer might use working with natural light rather than a unit powered by batteries or a wall outlet, and some may say utilizing light from nature may be more difficult, I really don’t think any artificial setup can compare to the glow and cast from nature itself. This is especially true of what is commonly referred to as the “golden hour,” a brief time period twice a day of about an hour or so around the times of sunrise and sunset.
I urge all photographers to get outside and work outdoors or shoot with window light as much as possible. Once you get used to it and take the chance to experiment, I’m pretty sure you might just get hooked. Here are a few samples of my own natural light work, one with a stunning landscape and several with model photography shot near windows or outside.
Ok, so for a little while now
I’ve been posting some photography tips using Photoshop as well as some other things involving working with other multimedia in a simple and straight forward manner. That being the case, I’m considering setting up a website specifically for video tutorials that I have created to help others. After all, I think when one person has knowledge of a particular subject, why shouldn’t they share it with others hoping to learn? I know that I personally owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have taken the time to make a little clip showing me and others how to accomplish something we might otherwise be ripping our hair out over.
Some of the tips I have put into video form so far include:
Making realistic backdrops in Photoshop
Working with the spot color effect in digital images
Using the Dodge/Burn and Exposure tools in PS
Creating your own DIY photography gels
Easy photo resizing
Converting video to audio
I would like some feedback from my readers on this idea of a new, most likely subscription (or at least donation) based site. Who knows, maybe there’s something I’ve made that you can use for yourself or someone you may know.
Bynum, North Carolina is a small town
in fact, that’s probably an understatement. The community consists of only a couple of roads and no more than a few hundred residents. But among its charming rural appeal, there is one resident who has drawn audiences from across the globe to see his colorful wood work. His name is Clyde Jones and he is a local legend. In fact, each and every year, the community holds and event called “ClydeFest” as a carnival and folk art festival of sorts based around his work.
It just so happens that last year, my brother purchased a home in Bynum. And for the first time a bit more than a week ago, I got the opportunity to see the notorious home of this folk artist first hand. It was something to see. Here are a few photos that will give you an idea of what this guy is all about.
Oh, and just in case you might be wondering, you can’t purchase Clyde’s work. He doesn’t sell it. The only way to get one of his pieces is for him to gift it to you. And his only stipulation – you have to light the critter up in your yard.
Have you ever had a photo capture your eye
and then wonder how the photographer accomplished the effect within that piece of art? For a lot of us, this happens fairly frequently. And if you’re really interested in finding out how that particular image came together, what do you do?
In this digital age, it’s quite possible that your first instinct is to turn to Google or whatever else may be your preferred search engine. However, in many cases, you may not be able to find what you need with a simple “how to” style search. Even if you do get results, there’s a good chance you’ll end up finding some conflicting information. No need to worry though, there is a much easier way to figure out what a you’ll have to do in order to get the qualities you love into images you shoot on your own.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Flickr. For those of you who haven’t, it’s a photo storage and sharing tool with a bit of a social networking quality as well. The site has undergone some awesome visual upgrades lately but one of its coolest features still remains. That would be the ability to see the technical details of each image. With this information, it should be pretty easy to recreate an image similar to those you admire so much.
You’ll be able to tell exactly what shutter speed, aperture, ISO and more is the combination that produces the desired result. All you have to do is go out and find an image (on the site) that you want to emulate and go from there. Sure, some photographers may not like the fact that you can access this info. But the way I see it, it’s like sharing with and learning from other professionals and not really any different than when someone posts a Photoshop tutorial on Youtube. And besides, photographers essentially OK this when they decide to sign up of the site in the first place.
Check out the video I have created below to find out how to access this information for yourself. In this case, I used a model photography shot that I took myself but it works the same for every image throughout the entire site.
A local actor recently hired me
to create an online portfolio and some promotional materials for him. Here’s the post card I came up with:
The front features our home city of Pittsburgh in a washed out photo as the background. It also emphasizes his build and history as a boxer.
The back uses a plain white, non-distracting background for sort of a minimalist effect. It also shows a few different look variations with the small images as well. I’m sure he won’t mind the contact info being out there, after all, that’s the whole point of promotion isn’t it?
I made sure to use a fairly interesting font but also tried to keep it simple enough to be easily readable.
Here’s the online portfolio I built on his behalf:
So as you may or may not know, my educational background is in the literary arts. And in 2006, a few years after graduating from college, I wrote my first book. Since then, I have added three more to that list. However, the newest isn’t a literary work but rather a visual showcase of artistic photography. And the next one will be an SEO guide.
I’d like to that this posting opportunity to provide a little detail on each of my books, starting with the most recent.
A yet untitled SEO guide for simple and effective website promotion.
This is a visual piece focused on my work with model photography and showcasing several creative images built around the art.
“Making Beautiful Photography: A Guide for the Novice and the Enthusiast”
This publication (available in e-book format only) seeks to help those who have a passion for digital photography by offering basic photography tips and tricks that are sure to improve anyone’s understanding of this visual art.
“Shadows and Shade”
This book centers on the emotions and circumstances that we all come to experience at some point in our lives.
In the amalgamation of three sections, the reader will be taken on a journey through the stages of life, the daily challenges of our world and the mysteries of our very own minds.
A little while back, I had asked for opinion and ideas form readers of the Creative Dreamers blog to help to determine the new photos to be featured on my arts services and photography website homepage. See post entitled: Help choose the new photos for my website.
Well, the deed is now done and three new photos have been added to replace a few of the older ones. I know I had initially said that six new images would be added but due to some technical issues that are a bit out of my area of expertise, I ended up only going with three.
Here’s a screenshot from the new front page:
Thanks for your feedback.
Shadows are a double edged sword
In photography, they can be used strategically to enhance shapes and form or even the overall tone of the image. But at the same time, inconveniently located harsh and harsh shadows can just about destroy an otherwise beautiful photograph.
Some of the photos you may not want in your shot are those that appear on the background behind your subject. This can occur commonly in studio or other indoor settings.
But fear not, there is a fairly easy way to correct it with the use of Photoshop or most other common editing tools. (This works especially well with either black or white backdrops but may work adequately with other really dark or really light colors as well).
Once you’ve opened your photo and decided what shadows much be removed, select your Dodge/Burn tool in Photoshop or the equivalent in another program.
If you’re working with a white (or really light backdrop), you’ll want to use the dodge tool. The reverse is true if you’re image has a black (or really dark) backdrop.
You may need to adjust the exposure and brush size. It is best to start out with a relatively low exposure such as 25% too see how things look. You can always adjust it to a higher or lower level if need be.
Use the tool to cover over the shadowy part of the background that you want to remove and that’s really all there is to it.
It may take some trial and error but you’ll get there.
What do you think?
My photography and creative arts business website is going to be getting a makeover in the near future. And, I’d love to have the readers here at Creative Dreamers offer up your suggestions for a new look.
The current look of the Three Rivers Creative Arts website features six photos on the homepage that rotate in something of a slideshow. While this format will remain, I’m looking to change the featured photos and replace them with others from the various galleries on the site.
In the end, a mix of photos from the following galleries will be chosen to be included in the new homepage layout:
Occasional Portraiture and Events
To have your two-cents considered, feel free to choose up to six photos from the site by providing the name of the gallery, the page number within that gallery and the number sequence in which the photo appears. See example below:
You can submit you favorites by commenting on this post.
Thanks for your feedback!