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Archive for April, 2011

ShootStyle hosted a boudoir shoot!

April 27th, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

Some of the ShootStylers: Andree Kehn, Earl Christie, Michelle Turner & Stacey Doyle, headed to the shores of Sebago Lake in Maine for a boudoir shoot. We were joined by guests Sharyn Peavey, Audra Welton and Johnny Arguedas. The shoot focused on boudoir, however, some of the braver of us did step outside into the chilly Maine air to create a few images.

Carol Savage and Earl Christie took a few ‘behind the scene’ shots as we worked. Below is a collection of images from the day. Enjoy!

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“Here Comes the Sun” winners!

April 21st, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

A great big congratulations to Louis Torrieri for his winning entry of the “Here Comes the Sun” entry of a Vampire Queen getting her tan on at an indoor tanning bed.
First PLace

He wrote a little prose to go along with his image:

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What Makes You Click?

April 13th, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Style

I am nothing if not random. I get inspiration from so many sources.

A few years ago, I dropped off the big forums and stopped reading other wedding photographer’s blogs. Shocking, I know! I decided to draw my inspiration from the sources I’ve loved all along; fashion magazines like W, Interview and Vanity Fair – movies by Pedro Almodovar, Michel Gondry and Sofia Coppola – music and videos by Radiohead, Modest Mouse and Jenny Lewis – books by Augusten Burroughs, Chuck Palahniuk and David Sedaris – and traveling absolutely anywhere.

While asking around, I found that most of my fellow photographers also get inspired by these things, and here are some interesting answers : personalities, self growth and learning, architecture and love.

I’m naturally influenced by my peers here on ShootStyle, and fellow wedding photographers Fer Juaristi and Angelica Glass. Other photographic influences include Avedon, Sally Mann and Newton. Their photography encompasses all these things that inspire me. The moody, colorful, quirky and loud. I may not easily carry over these loves into my work directly, but it’s what my eyes and my heart are drawn to. It’s where my personal work would go, if I had the time. (one day…..)

Emotion, light, composition – my 3 must haves for a perfect photograph. Probably the biggest inspirations that I do use and carry over into my work everyday are nature and relationships.

Right now, with spring teasing to show it’s face any day, I’m inspired by color.

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The story of how: Zombies crashed my wedding !

April 6th, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

“There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.”
Tom Robbins

It was a beautiful day in the Boston Commons, lovely weather, a bit overcast, perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

The above image isn’t one you typically find in the collection of images from a wedding day. And, the shot didn’t just happen, the zombies weren’t just hanging around waiting for their 15 minutes.

After Stacey & George’s ceremony, we took some photos of their friends & fam, and then the skies started to darken. A few drops came down, so we all walked, rather quickly, to the waiting carriage just outside the Commons gates. As Stacey & George got in, the skies opened up & poured down. They wanted one quick ride alone around the park, so I waited, under a family members umbrella, for them to return.
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Basic Color Enhancements in Photoshop without Expensive Actions

April 1st, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

 

With all of the actions and presets that are commercially available, it would be easy to spend hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars on a quest for the perfect post processing solution.  However, many photographers find that they tire of their actions after a short period of time or (even worse!) that their work starts to look less like THEIR work and more like someone else’s.  Don’t get me wrong- I’m not slamming commercial actions at all (and in fact I would even characterize myself as an action junkie of sorts), but I do use them sparingly and often at low opacities.  I want my work to look like my own, I want a consistent style (most of the time) and I want complete control over my output.

I like bright, colorful photographs.  I like my colors to pop, but not artificially so.  I want the colors to look like I remember them.  Because I see bright colors all over the world, that is generally how I remember things- bright and colorful.  As a result, I find myself really punching my colors to get the output to match the colors that I remember.  Here is a quick step-by-step detailing one of the ways that I work with colors.   For this example I am going to use a quick family/self-portrait that I took of my family the other day.

1) The original file. I download my RAW files to my computer and run them through Lightroom.  If I am going to work on the photograph in Photoshop, then I leave it quite flat.  I don’t really do a lot of color and contrast enhancements in Lightroom because I like to use layer masks, the opacity slider, and brushes to change the effect in different areas of the photograph.  Most of the time I use Lightroom for color and white balance corrections and leave the rest untouched.  So, here is the original as it was run through Lightroom:

 

2) Dodge and Burn. If you have any action sets at all, it is likely that you have a dodge and burn action in there somewhere.  I recommend using curves to dodge and burn rather than the official dodge and burn tool in Photoshop because the latter can shift your colors.  I’m not going to go into the step by step process to create your own Dodge/Burn action since most people do own actions to lighten and darken different areas of an image, but if you would like to hear about that in a future post just shoot us an email and we will make that happen.  As you can see in this next step, very little changes.  I have lightened the skin in a few areas, but otherwise I have left the image alone.

 

3) Vibrance/Saturation Layer. If you open the Layers palette in Photoshop CS5, you will see a circle that is half white/half black at the bottom of the palette.  Click on that, and then select Vibrance/Saturation.  Generally I will make the greater part of the adjustment with the Vibrance slider.  What is the difference?  The easy explanation is that Vibrance is a non-linear adjustment while Saturation is a linear adjustment.  What does this mean?  The Vibrance slider will enhance the colors that are duller in the picture to a greater degree while the Saturation slider enhances everything equally.  Therefore, my larger move will occur with the Vibrance slider while I change the Saturation slider sparingly.  The great things about this method is that it creates a layer mask for you, so if you have an area of the image that looks strange and seriously overprocessed (whatever your version of overprocessed is), you can simply paint the effect out of the image.

 

4) Brightness/Contrast Layer. Once again, I will venture to the Layers palette.  Make sure you are on the background layer and then click the Fill/Adjustment Layer (black/white circle) again and select Brightness/Contrast.  I generally give the image a bit of a contrast boost in this step, and then I paint the effect out of some of the shadow areas in my layer mask.

 

5) Curves Layer. I create a new Fill/Adjustment Layer and select Curves.  This time I create a bit of an S curve so that the lighter areas are brightened and the darker areas are darkened with another contrast boost.  Once again, I will paint the effect out of some of the shadow details as well as many of the skin tones.

 

6) Texture/Overlay.  Finally, I will determine whether the image could benefit from a texture/overlay.  In many cases, a subtle texture applied judiciously can boost the colors of your image.  In this case, I selected a texture I shot several years ago (it is a shot of a rusty sheet of metal that is red/orange) and pulled it onto the image.  I selected Soft Light as my layer blending mode, lowered the opacity of the layer, and then created a mask and painted it out of the skin.

Because I leave all of my layers open until the end, once I get to the “final” image I can go back and tweak the opacity of each layer if there is something about the image that bothers me.  In this final image I have painted the colors out of the skin to give a more natural skin tone.  This is only one technique for enhancing your colors in Photoshop without actions, but it is definitely one of my favorites!

Post by Maine Wedding Photographer Michelle Turner.

 

 

 

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Assignment Series: Here comes the sun!

April 1st, 2011  |  by  |  published in Mingle

It’s the end of Winter! Time for SUN!!! in this installment of our ever-popular assignment series, we bring you the phrase “Here comes the sun!”

Your assignment is to illustrate the phrase “Here comes the sun!”. This might be a photojournalistic exercise or an artistic construction. We leave it up to you to define the phrase and how you will interpret it.

You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment, special!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along.

The most creative entry wins!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter!

Images should be sized to 590 pixels on the long side. If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler! And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one! You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment. Email your entry to:

assignment@shootstyle.com

We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.

www.facebook.com/ShootStyle

The deadline is April 15th!

Let’s have fun doing this together!! Assignment series: “Here comes the sun!”

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