Friday, June 29, 2012

Conversation on Flow

I had this email conversation with a former Magic workshop photographer.

Q: Its just a thought, and something that could compliment your workshops or help people along as well. Obviously would have to use your own images. Its just a thought - as no-one here really 'moves' like girls in LA. :S

[presents slideshow containing images like these]

A: I like it. This would be a very good asset for girls that don't move well...

But can they translate what they see into an actual pose. That's the question.

Will they overthink things and try too hard to emulate? That's a risk.

It's a good tutorial though. But the challenge in getting a girl to move is part of the exercise for me. It's like a psychological Rubik's cube!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Retouching without Expectations

Office Romance. Impromptu shots of Jessica in the makeup chair getting her hair done.

Q: Even though we selected some wonderful images from your last workshop, I have hated all of my retouching attempts. Oh, they have been all very professional and technically appealing, but they just don’t speak to me.

I cannot render them all in black and white and most do not lend themselves to the beauty-image style I normally do. I have to find some middle ground between technically perfect/emotionally dead and black and white. Do you have any suggestions? I love how you have been able to retouch some of yours so that the colors are muted, yet still interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Beauty Reboot

Evoke. Shot by Ali Al Marzooq. Retouched by yours truly. Kathleen Ty MUA. Tiffani Chynel styling. Jessica Today model.

Taught a private workshop recently where we shot some beauty and I had an opportunity to retouch it live and relive some of the fun I had when retouching beauty.

It's been a long while since I've had to retouch beauty but the beauty retouching skills have not waned. If anything they've gotten stronger with the thousands of faces I've dealt with through the years, regardless of whether the shoots were for beauty or not. It really goes back to my previous post about lighting, retouching, and understanding the human face being all overlapping perspectives.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vision * Execution = Results

Steve Jobs * Steve Wozniak = Apple 1977

100% Vision * 0% Execution = 0 Results

0% Vision * 100% Execution = 0 Results

Leave it to LUCIMA to convert photography into a mathematical equation :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Video: Song Editing

Song selection and song editing comprise some of the earliest steps in the creation of my videos. My videos are largely driven first by sound and then by visuals. Much like how I would suggest lighting follow the concept, I believe that the visual cues should follow the audio cues. The song sets the mood and creates the foundation for our story.

For that reason I sometimes draw inspiration from the lyrics of the song.

A little more about song selection. For fashion videos, progression and build are really important. Songs that offer no progression throughout the entire length of the track are poor choices for pairing to video. Just as a story must have a beginning, middle (and climax), and end, so too should a song have beginning, middle (and climax), and an end. The song, while not the focus of the video, must complement the video and push the story along. If it's flat or boring or too much of anything, it will fail to pair appropriately to the video.

Apple to Professional Users: Screw You

Apple to Professional Users: Screw You

Lloyd's a smart guy and I follow his blog now to keep updated on the hardware developments. With each WWDC Apple moves further away from their original diehard supporters. It used to be that graphic artists were the core of Apple loyalty. Not so anymore. Apple caters more to their fanboys than their old-school user base. But mark my words, if Apple continues its current trajectory, a revolution is just around the corner. The professionals, the artists, and the power-users won't tolerate being left in the cold.

It's just a matter of time. Make your next move carefully, Apple.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video: Stick to the Script

Shot list from Lie to You

This is a rant.

A while back I shot a video. I had a script all set with shot list, angles and all. But on the day of the shoot I deviated from the plan. I won't go into the details but the point is I deviated from the plan.

The problem with video is that execution is paramount. Unlike stills, you have much less latitude to fix stuff in post production. Furthermore, your camera angle is (or least should be) constantly changing. So you have to consider much more than your typical still image angle. Toss in proper storytelling and sequencing and you have a medusa monster that is infinitely deeper and more complicated than still imagery.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Deus Ex Machina

Adjustment Bureau. Perfect example of deus ex machina.

If I could just win the lottery. If I just could just get on American Idol. If I could just get published in Vogue. If someone would just discover me.

I'd show the world. Because I'm a superstar.

No. You're not. What you are is delusional. What you want is a handout. What you believe is unreasonable given your track record of success.

Let's rewind a little.