January 29, 2011
December 21, 2010
December 5, 2010
October 22, 2010
A friend of mine had a party recently with half of them being musicians who spend the evening playing Rock and Roll, Blues, Jazz and whatever else catches their fancy. While they played I took pictures. I don’t use my add on flash as much as I’d like and this provided a great opportunity. The basic setup is shutter priority with your shutter set to a 60th sec. I haven’t liked the results because the aperture is usually wide open resulting in a shallow depth of field. I’ve found that’s okay if you have one subject in the image. With more subjects in the image and a shallow depth of field, one subject will look fine but the other subjects will be less sharp and that annoys the heck outta me. So I set the aperture priority to f8.
I got a lot of nice shots but I was looking to do a little more with a few of them. I’ve got a lot of Presets in Lightroom but none of them really caught my fancy. Then I viewed Episode 247 of Photoshop User TV. Scott Kelby explained a tutorial creating a bleached bypass effect in Photoshop. Duplicate the background layer twice. Then desaturate the middle layer and change it’s opacity to 80%. Switch to the top layer and change the blend mode to Overlay. Quick and easy and a nice effect. Bringing the image back into Lightroom, I did some minor adjustments and then used a Develop Preset that mimics the look from the movie “300” and I was done.
September 15, 2008
On Friday PDN posted an item about the October cover picture of the Atlantic with John McCain. PDNPulse: How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain. It revealed how Greenberg sneaked additional pictures for the purpose of creating additional images. Images she could use to present McCain in a negative light. No matter what your political leanings. I hope you think using your access to a client for one purpose so you can create an image to put the client in a negative light is wrong. Such an action is a breach of trust.
Some commentors are willing to excuse her because she’s an artist. As if being an artist gives her licensce to behave in an unethical manner. One commentor related the story of the late Richard Avedon’s portrait of Richard VIII and Wallace Simpson. Avedon wanted to get past the typical happy face and present the real them. He told the couple he’d run over a puppy and got a picture of them showing saddness at the story. The first time I heard how Avedon got the picture it disturbed me. He used deception to elicit an emotional response and then presented it as something it wasn’t.
Greenberg got a picture for political propaganda reasons not artistic.
June 26, 2008
Leafing through the July Issue of Shutterbug Magazine I found an advertisement for a software program that does “portrait enhancement”. The ad has a face with a before and after comparison. The before shows the face with regular skin tone and small zits and imperfections. The after shows a mannequin. No imperfections and a skin tone that reminds me of CSI face reconstructions.
Juxtapose this ad with an ad a few pages before that for fine art paper. It’s a Black and White portrait of a man holding a chicken. If the photographer did any retouching it wasn’t on his face. This is a real guy reflecting how he’s weathered real life.
This is not to knock the software. The before/after is a way to show how effective the software is. It’s just an observation on the idea that less is more. Not all imperfections are distractions. Subtlety is the enhancement.