Monday, April 29, 2013


Enduro shot and edited for LA Splash Cosmetics.

SCE (Southern California Edison) just shut our power off an hour ago and my drives are off, display is off, printer is off (not like I print much anyway as I'm patiently awaiting a new Canon PIXMA 9500 MKII printer head and ink), and admittedly it's kind of nice having all these "distractions" turned off.

Running on battery power on the MacBook Pro and tethered to the iPhone for Internet. Maybe I should disconnect from the Internet too?

Now that would really feel like "old times".

I loved this shot. I haven't talked at all about this shoot and I probably will shortly in a web video or video journal. I'm starting/trying something new but it's still too early to unveil anything. I'm not even sure what's going on but as I mentioned last night, "something is happening".

Quickly on the retouch of this shot. It took me at least 3 sittings to finish this image. Cracked/dry skin, overdrawn lips, difference in exposure, eyebrows, etc. each face required at least 1.5 hours to edit and since there are 3 faces I spent at least 4.5 hours on this shot when it was all said and done. I liked this shot but I'll be the first to tell you that editing beauty shots of multiple faces is tough!

What else? Natural light. Nothing special. Didn't even use reflectors as I'm a minimalist in general. The background was a black train in downtown LA. The sun was behind and blocked by the train so really the main light was the blue sky. Nikon D800 ISO 1600 f/9 1/320th on a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D handheld. Love the D800 but dealing with that much detail is a pain in the ass. I hope LA Splash prints some ginormous billboards from these images!

Highlight control on Dulce (the one on the left) was a little challenging because she has fair skin and was more exposed to the light. Freckle control on Kaislee was a challenge but manageable. Really the majority of the time went into manually smoothing out the skin tones because you can't just run filters or actions on skin without proper clean up. When everything was said and done I more pore/skin detail than I even needed. And sometimes you need to turn that sharpness down just a notch.

I know I don't often shoot/retouch beauty these days but I still miss it. The fact that it was commissioned by LA Splash made it more palatable when spending that much time on the retouch. And yes to a certain extent I miss the beauty stuff!

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