Thursday, January 31, 2013

Multiplicity Self Portrait, pt. 2


Now that we have our multiple photos from part one of this tutorial it's time to put it together. If you did everything right in the first part then each image should line up with each other.

Most major photo editing software can be used to accomplish this effect. Just make sure you can work in layers. If you are a beginner it is often easier to do all the image composing first and then do a final enhancement after.

If you are more advanced and/or are working in RAW do all image enhancement first. Just make sure you apply the same enhancement to all the images in the series. This will ensure your final composition has a unified look.

Multiplicity Self Portrait, pt. 1


A fun little project we have done with our group in the past is a 'multiplicity self portrait'. It is a simple technique that challenges several skills to accomplish good results; storytelling, staging, maintaining continuity, photo composition, layers, blending and so much more.

If you're an advanced photographer this is all child's play and you might want to skip over this, but sometimes playing is good for the soul. This is also a fun project you can sell to potential customers, specially young people. Kids really get into this.

If you're a beginner this is a great way to learn several skills at once. It gets you thinking in terms of a project rather than just going out and snapping photos. Doing this exercise requires planning, attention to detail and patience. Skills needed if you are to advance as a photographer.

In this first part I will go over the setup and things to consider when doing the actual photo shoot. Part 2 will cover the post processing and editing part of this project. Some of this is covered in a previous post; "Self Portrait Clone Style".

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Must have non-DIY photo equipment


When building up a collection of equipment for either a professional studio or a serious hobby studio, price is always a consideration. I am a big proponent to DIY equipment, specially if it can be crafted in a way that doesn't look home made. However, some things just can't be home made that a well stocked studio can't do without.

Here is a small list of some of those little things you will always find yourself reaching for when doing studio work. Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list and there are some useable items I'll surely have forgotten to include. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section below.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Working outside your confidence zone


Years ago I used to teach modeling at the New Haven Barbizon Academy. I had many students over the six years I taught there and the majority of them were not there to become fashion models. They were there for enriching their own lives. Whether it was to learn how to present themselves professionally or walk with grace the underlying reason was to gain self confidence and a sense of self worth. Many introverts came through my classes.

One tool I used to explain "fear versus confidence" was the confidence meter. It is an imaginary scale starting at your feet and fading off into the distance. The scale starts off at a save green color indicating your comfort zone and progresses on into a red color representing your anxiety zone. The green represents those situations and environments where you are comfortable and at ease with yourself and your surroundings. Your confidence is high, your attitude is positive and you feel good about yourself. There is a sense of familiarity.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY fluorescent panel light


Photography has made some wonderful advances in the past several decades that, in retrospect, would blow your mind. For those of us who came into digital photography from the days of film, there is no denying how far it's come. Yes, some things have been left behind and many would argue that the ease of accessibility to photography has watered down the creative pool. But that's for another article.

In particular, lighting has made some significantly huge strides. Small camera flashes have become more powerful, larger strobes have become more portable and the advancement of fluorescent and LED light has simply been astounding. While there is no denying the advantages of professional photo-calibrated lighting, for the beginner or hobbyist those lights are well out of their price range. Fortunately the photography world has a large sub-culture of creative minds that like to bend rules and re-purpose materials. For those of us with shallow pockets; thank god for the do-it-yourselfers.

I recently found myself wanting a small panel fluorescent light. Something I could use for product shots but wasn't too expensive. A quick trip to the local home improvement mega-store solved my problem.

Broad light vs short light


 In a previous post I discussed the use of language as a means of communicating visual ideas through standardized definitions (Your photographic language, part 1). Having a common set of descriptive words that all photographers understand is important if you want to properly explain a process, a lighting scenario or a technique.

With lighting alone there are hundreds of definitions. Some are general while some are very specific. Two terms we discussed in our most recent workshop are broad lighting and short lighting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

MPG starting the new year with a bang


A new year is upon us and our photo group is entering its third year. We have seen a great and steady growth in membership throughout this past year and we have also seen a shift in meet ups. We are stepping away from "let's go to such-and-such and take pictures" to "let's get together and learn something". As it was mentioned to me on several occasions, there are plenty of groups that get together to take pictures of activities. There are not a lot of people doing what I do--that's teach photography.

We started this year on a great foot. Three workshops were posted and all have booked up. Our first one has just finished with a 100% turnout rate (always a good sign) and the following workshops look to follow suit. If you were interested in one of the posted workshops but were unable to get in, don't worry, we'll be doing them again throughout the year.

Our first meet up of the year was a workshop on studio lighting. Rather, it was a combination of DIY lighting for studio and a lesson in using found lighting to create striking images. Here are some of the highlights;

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