Friday, January 4, 2013

Where to eat?

Here's a great little restaurant in Sorrento, Italy.  That's my wife checking out the menu.

Carnival (Italian) Masks

The top three images were taken with  +1, 0, -1 exposures because I had very contrasting lighting.  I wanted to show the colors and details, but I couldn't get what I wanted with one shot.  I initially processed the images using Photomatix detail enhancer at the default setting.  That gave me a flat (low contrast) image with more detail.  I chose to process the image using NIK software Color FX 4.  I applied tonal contrast, glamour glow, and lighten/darken center.  With all three effects I used the default settings.  Then, I made the final adjustments in Lightroom 4, adding clarity, sharpening, vibrance, and an additional vignette.    

Here's the final image.  The additional clarity brought out more of the mid tone contrast.  I increased the  vibrance, added sharpening, and increased the vignette to draw attention to the center of the image.  

When you process your images,you will need to evaluate each image and process it differently to get the look you are after.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How I did it.

I must confess, I used a plugin to get this result.  First, I took 3 exposures (-1, 0, +1).  It was pretty bright outside so my shutter speeds were fast enough to hand hold the shots.  I began in Lightroom and merged the exposures using Photomatix's plugin to create a 32 bit file.  This allowed greater latitude for the highlight and shadow adjustments.  I brought down the highlights to get some color and detail back in the sky, then lightened the shadows to get some more detail in the shadows.  Then I increased the clarity to bring in more mid tone contrast into the fields and mountains.  

The plugin is not for tone mapping.  It uses the exposure fusion function of Photomatix.  As you can see, you get the benefit of "HDR" type processing with a very natural look.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sorry, it's been a while.......

I'm very sorry it's been so long since my last post.  Life takes over and before you know it...... well, you get the idea.

Here are some shots from PSW 2012 in Las Vegas.  I"m not posting this to say anything about my learning process.  My intention here is to thank the people at Westcott for the lighting, and to personally thank Shelley Giard of Tampa, Florida for her time and efforts to perfect the hair and makeup on these models.  I used to think "yea right, hair and makeup..... the girls (guys) know what they need". But I've seen the before and after images.... (can't find them now when I need them) but, WOW.... what a difference!

I have two makeup/hair artist I would like to recommend as I have seen their work, and think highly of their abilities.  First of course is Shelley Giard in Tampa.  The second is Lisa Gumz (married to Dave Cuerdon, who is an excellent photographer and retoucher) in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

If you have a shoot that really matters, call a professional for hair and makeup.  In the end it makes you look better too.  Thank you Shelley.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What happens in Vegas.................

You meet the most interesting people in Las Vegas.  Great model, great makeup.  The lighting was provided by Westcott.  As you can see, the cross lighting makes for an image with a lot of contrast bringing out the detail in the makeup.