Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's in a Modeling Agency Image?

I found this on ModelMayhem.com and I thought I would share my response to the question:

So I did a test shoot with model for a model agency last week. They emailed a few comp cards of girls requiring new shots, so the first was done last week.

I felt the shots were lovely and asked for feedback moving foward, but was told this by the agent involved: "I must admit although they are nice shots I don't feel they are quite strong enough for the models folio's I feel they look like "TEST" shots. At this stage I might hold off doing another shoot."

Tip of the day: Mind your Background Exposure

Kate. The Grotto.

Goddamnit. Goddamnit. Goddamnit.

That's what I said today after seeing the images on my camera when I didn't mind my background exposure.

The primary issue is dynamic range. A background with an extreme exposure range usually looks bad. Blown highlights next to dark shadows usually = EPIC FAIL.

The above image of Kate was balanced in-post tremendously to be presentable. In its original state, I almost deleted it. Hell, if it weren't for the fact I captioned it "The Grotto", this image might not even make sense.

The issue as I mentioned is usually dynamic range. To our eyeballs a sun-soaked ocean in the same frame as a shaded piece of rock looks just fine. To the Nikon D3 sensor, it's basically a blown-out patch of white next to a lost patch of black. So if you only mind your subject's exposure (in this case Kate, who has been properly exposed), you're going to wind up with an epic fail on your hands when you get home and find a large blown highlight next to a large black patch of shadow.

Mind your background exposure in capture so you don't wind up cussing yourself out later in post!

My Official Stance on Light Meters

Screen capture from Forrest Gump. Forrest as a boy wearing leg braces to correct his crooked spine.

My relationship with light meters has had more ups and downs than the recent stock market.

When I first started shooting, I shot without a light meter.

Then after reading up on how professionals did things, I bought a Sekonic L-308S.


No thank you AdSense but I will not be flooding my blog with advertisement.

Friday, August 26, 2011

While You Were Sleeping

I haven't found any consistency with capitalizing my titles. Sometimes it feels wrong, particularly when it's a phrase. I think about stupid things like that

Some of my favorite days are ones that I get to sit in front of the computer and just edit. Sadly those days are too few and far between in my life. The last time I spent any significant time in front of my computer was the weekend of July 4th. On Friday July 1st, I met Jay to discuss Kate's video (Project X). We shot Project X all Saturday July 2nd. On July 3rd and 4th I had 2 blissful days of pure editing.

I didn't see a single firework. I didn't go to any parties. In fact I slept early. And I stayed in my office all weekend long.

But the beauty of it all was that I knew that no one was going to bother me for 2 days. My phone was not going to ring. I wasn't going to get any messages or emails about work. I didn't have to do anything for anyone for 2 days. I got 2 days of freedom that I could play catchup and finally get some work done. It was as if the world were on pause and I was the only one in motion.

I miss those days. And it's exactly for that reason that I look forward to holidays and weekends. Not so I can go buck wild but rather so I can work without interruption.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Ernie in the Challenge Stradale. iPhone4 & Camera+.

"Choice. The problem is choice." - Neo

It was the foundation of The Matrix movies. That humans must choose their reality in order to "survive".

It's also the foundation of real life.

This past week, I had a chance to partake in a "bucket list" event. Drive Pacific Coast Highway, down the Californian coast, in a Ferrari with my car enthusiast friends. What made it even better was that one of my friends was purchasing his first Ferrari, something that he'd wanted to do since he was a child. Sharing this event with these individuals was an opportunity that I would not miss. Even though I had a major client to shoot for a day later, I chose to go on this journey.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

There Are No Guarantees

Did I know I would find success as a photographer when I jumped into this field?

Hell no.

But like any major decision, e.g. getting married, having children, buying a house, etc... there simply are no guarantees.

The best you can do is perform your due diligence and hope for the best. The rest is up to Lady Luck.

Of course, hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of talent don't hurt your odds.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

L U C I M A Fashion Photography Business Workshop

Just posted the business workshop details! :) Click on the image for the jump!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

L U C I M A | Kate Compton

Also known internally as Project X ;)

Choosing the Wrong Images

It had to be said.

Not every photographer's eye is as acutely developed as the next.

When Anna Wintour looks through images, she sees things that I might not even consider.

Similarly when I look through images, I judge by a different set of criteria than most others do.

As an example, in my last workshop I saw some amazing images on one photographer's camera as we reviewed them... literally on the back of his camera. Later on however, these same amazing images failed to find their way onto the LUCIMA Workshop Facebook group. Instead the photographer uploaded other images. Much to my chagrin these images he chose instead paled in comparison to the ones that I saw on the day of the workshop.

Monday, August 15, 2011

LUCIMA Business Photography Workshop

I've been wanting to do this workshop for a long time and I'm currently putting together the presentation material on it and it's a doozie! :)

Seriously, who says "It's a doozie!" anymore???

And what the hell's a doozie?

Apparently it comes from a reference to the Deusenburg automobile which in its day was one of the biggest and most impressive cars on the road. Doozie is short for Deusenburg. Reference.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The days get longer and more drawn out with the things that I do and it leaves me blog-less. This bodes poorly for the future of this blog but here's a snapshot into my life.

I was sitting with a client yesterday and when I clicked on some edited images from Lr to show, the images suddenly shifted to a transformed, wrong color, whacky corrupted version of the original file. No amount of restarting, rebooting, etc. would do the trick. Even the full TIFF files with all the layers intact were corrupt. Backups were NOT made of these files most likely because they were corrupt and even if the backups were made, the backups themselves would be bad too.

What happened?