& Then There Was Flash

In photography, natural light is king, in-camera flash is public enemy number one, and off-camera flash is your bffl (best friend fo’ life). These are facts.

The benefits of having an off-camera flash are evident the first time you master taking a photo with one; It’s like striking gold! Manifesting a clear picture with little noise and exposure in all the right places is literally perfection! 👌

After finding some good resources on Pinterest one night (and taking a few experimental photos of my living room), I decided to look for a workshop or a class where I could properly learn and develop the fill flash technique.

At a workshop in Marietta, GA, I used off-camera flash along with some other photo gear I’ve never used before (but will probably one day buy) to make some creative and interesting portraits!

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“These photos were taken with flash?” you ask. You bet! The light is amazing, right? 🙂

It’s just the right amount of flash power– not too much and not too little. It takes some practice to master this technique (I still don’t have it down completely), but I can already tell that it’s one of those things that, as you get more familiar with it, becomes second nature.

I got a little creative toward the end of the class and took some photos using more dramatic and directional light.

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Maybe you can tell already, but I like my photos to be a little underexposed (hence why I adore the look of the photos above). A little drama keeps the frame interesting! 😉

You can check out Atlanta School of Photography’s website here. They have awesome workshops and ongoing classes in all areas and genres of photography!

Iphoneography

All Hail The iPhone 7! Cue the music, please!

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Bagpiper at Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Since the debut of the faux-bokeh, dual-camera having, and better than ever iPhone 7 camera, I’d like to enter into the time capsule of basic camera phone pictures some of the best photos from my obsolete iPhone 6. What? Apple is ushering in a new era, and while I’m not lamenting “the death of the SLR” ( I mean, really?), I’d still like to stake my case in the #iphoneography world before ante-iPhone 7 pictures disappear into the abyss. Continue reading “Iphoneography”

Rock and Roll Marathon: My Favorite Photo Edit

A year ago today, I took my Nikon camera and my Canon analog SLR to the Rock and Roll Marathon in Savannah. Telling my few Instagram followers that I “gave myself press clearance,” I updated my feed with action shots in real time during the race.

“Covering” the marathon was a significant photo project for me; I actually felt as though I was on assignment! 😉 My favorite part was following the action and literally chasing  the shot and connecting with my subjects.

While there were several photographers at the event who were probably paid by the marathon itself or were from local newspapers or television news crews,  I probably stood out as I didn’t have any official marathon credentials and wasn’t near the finish line for my main coverage of the event. I found that most of my best photos were from along the route instead of at the finish line as one might expect.

One of my favorite photos is of a runner who was so absolutely in the zone. He stood out because of his bright orange shorts, and because he was the only runner sporting Beats headphones. He was obviously in it for the long haul and was focused on achieving his goal of crossing the finish line. I loved catching these candid moments where you can see the endurance manifesting itself physically and mentally in each runner. As the race progressed, you could see the perseverance and pride of each participant as it cemented itself in their confidence with every pace they took.

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After I got home and uploaded all of my photos, I kept revisiting this one thinking that it would be awesome to isolate the runner so that he was the main subject. I started brainstorming  the best way to do this, and while I knew that the clone stamp would take care of much of the background, I knew the challenge would be in recreating his right shoe which was partially covered by the other runner’s leg.

I worked on this part of the edit off and on for several weeks, practicing different techniques until I was mostly satisfied with the result. What I’ve learned most about Photoshop is that it helps if you use information that you already have, and when that’s not possible, get creative!

From the part of the right shoe that was already visible, I recreated the shoe laces using the clone stamp tool. The tread was tricky, but I used a rotating clone stamp brush to create the form of the shoe and the runner’s foot. Taking the Nike swoosh from the left shoe, the rotating clone stamp also helped to add the logo to the right shoe.

I tried to think of the edit in elemental steps and taught myself each element until I was satisfied with the photo.

At first, I thought it would be impossible to recreate, but with a little imagination, a lot of patience, and some good ol’ trial and error, I came up with the best representation of his shoe that my imagination could conceive.

The best part about learning to edit photographs is that you’re never done discovering all that you can accomplish! Challenging myself with an editing project like this helps me to see all of the possibilities with photo editing as well as the potential in my own images!

What’s your favorite part of photo editing or favorite technique that you’ve learned so far in the skill?

Don’t you just love it…

…when you have a vision and then you make it a reality?!

I got an idea last week to do a photo spread that looks like a “screenshot” of my Instagram feed. Wanting to showcase some of my best photos from a photography project I completed last year, I took to the interweb to search for how to make that happen.

Sometimes when I dream up awesome visions, I forget that it’s probably not all that hard to recreate or manifest. Thanks to the land of Youtube, I found exactly what I was looking for! What I wanted to do wasn’t hard at all; it’s simply a photo collage with perfect squares.

I spent Saturday practicing and learning how to make a collage by watching a few different videos. You know how they say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”? Well, there is and I try to learn every single way! But seriously, I find that it helps me learn a skill if I learn it a few different ways. This is wisdom that I gained when trying to master all the math classes I’ve ever taken in life (ahem, college level algebra 3), and it really helps to reinforce the learning process. 🙂

Needless to say that with a little practice, I created a 3 x 3 masterpiece of last year’s Rock and Roll Marathon:

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It was exactly what I wanted and I’m proud to say that I have learned yet another Photoshop skill. I’m almost an expert (not!) 😉

I love when I can “make my dreams come true” in Photoshop. How do you challenge yourself in post-production?