Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Visual frequencies

Sean Baker from ModelMayhem, one of the original creators of the frequency separation script I use, wrote this blog post about how the method works. Click here to see his post! Hopefully it can shed some light on the subject for those who are still new to retouching but want to understand this powerful technique.

I like film... but I can't explain why I like it.

Typical conversation:

Friend: "I like film"
Me: "Why do you like film?"
Friend: "It looks different"
Me: "How does it look different?"
Friend: "I dunno, it just does"

I'm more and more convinced that people who like film aren't very good with Photoshop. They like film because they don't have to do anything to achieve a certain film effect. Whether this be B&W or the washed out look that Holgas produce, these photographers want a specific look and feel without working for it. Problem is, they don't know exactly what that look and feel is.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Seeing is believing

A while back I talked about whether it was possible to train/teach someone to "see detail".

I have my own opinions on this topic but that's not the point today. I'm going to talk about what "seeing detail" really means.

I believe that good photographers have what I consider "higher fidelity" or more bits of "processing power/depth" in their eyeballs (and brain). They see things in more gradations than normal people do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1-on-1 Custom Lighting Workshop

As an extension to the regular workshops, I am temporarily* offering 1-on-1 custom lighting workshops to select individuals. These workshops are conducted on a 1-on-1 basis. You will be the only student so you have my complete and undivided attention. Though I call it a "Custom Lighting Workshop" the workshop is not limited to lighting but instead is tailored to whatever you want to learn, however you want it. Prior to the workshop we will review your specific goals and I will put together a program to cover the lessons and material to accomplish those goals. You can ask me anything and we can go anywhere. We can cover lighting to post-processing to whatever! The sky is the limit.

Keeping me honest

Because I tend to lie... :)

I knew I kept my flickr photostream for a reason! I posted this picture yesterday. Within 24 hours, I received notice that there was something wrong with it:

If you look closely, the left (our left) strap is darker than any of the other blacks. This is a result of my masking out my levels layer to reduce the blown out whites in the jacket and the chest. In my haste, I screwed up and overlapped into the shadows. Oops.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts on lighting...

I've been asked again to talk about lighting on flickr (by Ryan Nanca). Only this time I feel like I ought to provide a slightly informative post. Here we go!

This diagram is responsible for a lot of my non-1 light setups. Yet as I draw/build this diagram, I already know that I can not possibly provide you all the nuances that I apply in this setup.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time to sell the Hassy...

The 120MP APS-sized Canon sensor is here...

This new Canon chip is 29.2 x 20.2mm chip. My H3DII-31 is 44x33mm. The D3 sensor is 36mmx23.9mm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

D3 300%

The D3's no slouch... especially when I have a longer lens on the D3!

Technical vs. Artistic

As a result of my this post, the comment conversation sparked a thought or theory so to speak. Namely, that one can be technically sound but totally lack the artistic aspect of photography.

/raises hand

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paije reel

What can I do with 12+ hours?


There's a larger version on my flickr reel. Actually I have no idea how much time I spent on this. Most of today. Some of Thursday night. I realized a few things as I did this:

Saturday, August 21, 2010


There are some things I'll never get used to and some things I'll never get over.

This is one of those things; love and hate relationship. H3DII-31 at 300%. Click to see full image of crop.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I suddenly feel like a fool...

You guys know who you are. Yeah I'm talking about you! :) *cough Tommy and Barrington (oneredpanther)

Seriously though, I suddenly feel very silly blogging about the little knowledge that I know, when most of the people that follow this blog know more about photography and retouching (read: Photoshop) than I do. As I mentioned in a reply message, "Why don't you guys write some blogs so I can learn something knew!"

Why anyone reads my inane comments about photography-retouching is beyond me! LOL! :)

That being said, I bet the average IQ of my blog readers far surpasses any other photography blog out there... peace out, my followers are smarter than your followers :) LOL!

Since this thread is worthless without pics, here's a picture of my dog Amy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2 month vacation

It's been 2 months since I've seen my H3DII-31. Almost... I sent out the digital back on June 18th. If I depreciated the camera linearly over 2 years (although I'd probably do it logarithmically to do it right) based upon the price I purchased it, in 2 months it has depreciated about $850.

To recap, there was a small scratch on the IR filter on the lens. The camera was sent to Redmond, WA (Hasselblad USA) whereupon it was assessed that it needed to go to Copenhagen, Denmark (Hasselblad headquarters) for sensor repair. In 2 months, my camera has travelled more than 18,000 miles and had quite the European vacation.

During that time I shot exclusively with the D3. The love affair with the D3 was rekindled and I made some amazing images while the H3DII-31 was getting "serviced".

Now that it's back everything changes... exactly what? I'm not sure, but we'll find out...

What I'm afraid of is...

That when I shoot with the H3DII-31 I might not get the same results... in other words, I'll get worse results.

How could you get worse results shooting with the H3DII-31 over the D3?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weapon of Mass Destruction

WMD D3/70-200mm f/2.8G 1/200th f/11 ISO200 @70mm. One light camera upper left.

This was taken by my friend Pam on the day we shot Marisa. Remember how I mentioned I was "demonstrating" some poses? This one caught my attention in Lightroom. Quite captivating if you ask me.

Before I uploaded to flickr, I received several calls from the NSA, CIA, and FBI requesting that I destroy these files. Something about "not wanting to shatter monitors around the world...", and "...loss of vision..." and "WMD..." blah blah.

If they want to take it down, they'll have to do it themselves :) I consider this image a public service... after all, I'm bringing sexy back. LOL :)

The Return: Part II

Yeah, that's a picture of my screen... Low-tech baby! :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Something's different

Ever since I created that first image of Marisa, I've been trying to figure out why it looks different. I've employed a few different retouching techniques but there is something about that image and the subsequent images that are "different".

Sometimes I do things in Photoshop that I'm not necessarily 100% aware of and have to later on backsolve. Interesting huh? LOL :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Everything that I know

Marisa LA Models. D3/70-200mm f/2.8G 1/200th f/10 ISO200 @78mm. Large softbox from camera upper left.

If I were back in college, today would have been the last day of finals. And I would have nearly flunked all the exams if not for a single saving grace...

Let me explain.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Building negative space

Here's an example of what I do sometimes when I need more canvass

Full length and space

I've been shooting a lot of full length lately. Well, no more so than usual but I've been addressing the full length shots differently.

First, I've been composing them differently. I will sometimes compose the frame so that the model is to one side. It's not much but it's different. Sure beats the middle of the road stuff I used to do (and still often do).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Return?

Got an email from Matthew Frary concerning the H3DII-31 that I haven't seen since 6/17.

"Here is what I heard today from our repair department

If the 31 from Calumet is RMA 6289-3 it was sent to DK on 7/9/2010 and it should show up this week .

Let me know if you have any other questions

Thank you for your patience in this matter"

Does this mean I might actually have the Hasselblad back sometime soon? I dunno.

7 images

I retouched 7 images today. I started at 10AM and with many breaks in the middle (even had time to attend a designer's event in West Hollywood) finishing up now. Things sure have changed since the days of the endless retouches.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Event photographer needed

My buddy emailed me yesterday with the following message:

"i am not sure if you had received my email regarding our event tomorrow night at Royal/t and not sure if you can attend. i am actually needing a favor, of course if you are attending. There will be a good number of media people there and we will need a photographer for pictures used for press material as follow ups. i wonder if you have time to attend and if you could do us a favor to take pictures at this event if your time permits."

Shooting this weekend

Actually the shoots started yesterday. Today I was at the studio (not shooting). Tomorrow I shoot my first test with FORD Models. Sunday another test (at the beach) with Pinkerton.

Just in case you're wondering where the heck I am. When I shoot, I don't blog as much :) But I'm around... gotta have something to blog about right? :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Please don't retouch...

I'm in the process of being "tested/interviewed" to retouch a lookbook. They asked me if I could retouch along these lines:

Which is what exactly? I'm not sure? This image doesn't look to be retouched at all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

JustHost Down

Was down for the last 6-8 hours... back up now. Grrr...

That meant no emails and no website for L U C I M A.

Can you teach someone to see detail?

This is somewhat in response to Tommy's post and also in response to my conversation with Gil yesterday regarding uneven skin tones.

Tommy mentioned that if you retouch your own images, then you'll know next time not to blow out the highlights on the skin... incidentally something that I'm very careful not to do because I feel the skin tones are the most important part of the frame. But you wouldn't be aware of this unless you're also doing your own retouching.

"Court-vision" and "Reviewing the tapes"

Actually running the workshop provided lots of insight as to where and how photographers can improve their images. I'll borrow basketball analogies and call these two things, "court vision" and "watching the tapes".

Monday, August 2, 2010

Harping on the subject of retouching

Recently I looked through my posts trying to find where I talk about how retouching is uber-important, blah blah and realized "Damn, I don't have 1 specific post dedicated to harping on the subject of retouching"

Now I do.