Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Beauty Shots and Portraits #14 & #15

Its been a while since I last had a chance to write a blog. I've been preoccupied with all the other stuff in my life. I have had a ton of backlogs and some finished output waiting to be blogged. But since its raining outside again, I'll shoot a quick one.

We had a shoot last Friday complete with studio lights. I wanted something unique for my portraits project so I ended up processing two portraits as beauty shots. Normally, I wouldn't go for beauty shots since I am used to doing full on portraits. I'm not used to chopping off the head and shoulders so that the focus would be on the face. And I prefer a different lighting setup too. But sometimes, breaking the habit makes it all worth while. And I am happy that I have two new faces to add to my portraits.

Portrait #14: Roj
roj portrait (1 of 1)

Portraits #15: Mylz
mylz portrait b&w (1 of 1)

PS: Special thanks to Kaye Garino for the awesome makeup and Richard Amora for the studio lights.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Post Processing Hell and High Key

I have this habit of looking for leftovers inside the fridge in the middle of the night and making a meal out of what I find. It's something I have been doing since college and I usually write blogs while I'm eating; it helps me think better.

Last night, I did something similar. I scanned my old archives for shots I haven't done any post processing on. I actually found a couple of whole shoots that were left unprocessed. Most were dated around November to December last year. Back then I had photoshoots every weekend. The set I chose was one sandwiched between a prenup shoot and volunteer work. I have been trying to find time to do some light post processing for this shoot but newer shoots keep coming up and it gets stuck in the back burner.

In the IT industry, we call projects that are stuck in the back burner as being in the "Development Hell". I'll call this "Post processing Hell" since the shoot has been done but the photos never got to the post processing stage.

Well, I made some progress last night and found some pretty interesting shots of Anne. The photos belong to the High Key session (our group refers to shoots either by the name of the model or the concept); I never got to publish any of the shots from that session. I applied some of my newer post processing workflows to this set; my workflow from November last year didn't really do much to get the most out of my shots. A few plugins here and there, some clone stamps, and then some cross processing and B&W conversions later, I got some quality output. Funny, how a little post processing can go a long way.

I should do this more often as I think I am doing a better job post processing some time after the shoot than having to rush my output. But then again, I don't want my shoots to end up in limbo for a long time.

High Key B&W
Anne in B&W

High Key
plain (1 of 1)

Cross Processed
Anne Cross Processed

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Last of Summer: Portraits #12 and #13

It's the rainy season again which means summer is officially over and schools have opened once again. There is a heavy downpour outside I can't go home so I’ll just write another blog. I think it’s time to buy one of those rain covers for my camera and try shooting bad weather photos again.

And speaking of seasons, I have been shooting with the PhotoBombers in a remote part of the city where I have seen the seasons changed. First it was parched, and then burnt (naturally or via human intervention), then green shoots started appearing and lastly, a spectacular sea of green. It is a very versatile location and that’s why it is my favorite spot; plus the fact that its secluded.

And our last shoot with the waist high grass sporting those fluffy cotton like things on top was for me the most memorable.

We had Dexia and Michelle for models the last time out. Dexia is an image model for a local clothing line and Michelle is a first time model. They were classmates since kindergarten and are practically inseparable; not to mention they mirror or complement each other in looks and behavior. I enjoyed the shoot but I was having a hard time controlling aperture priority mode while being against the light. It was too late when I figured out how to work through it. Lesson learned, next time use the Manual mode. One other thing I failed to do is bring out my zoom lens as I wanted to have lens blur of a different sort. Anyway, I'll get my chance soon.

Here are a couple of shots from the set. I used only plugins for Adobe Photoshop in this set. Nik Software can really make life easier when you know what to do. Since I don't, I spent a week experimenting on what effects to use.

Dexia (Indian Summer)
dexia (1 of 2)

Michelle (B&W Film effect)
michelle (1 of 1)

And here are the portaits I will be adding to my project.

Portrait #12: Dexia
dexia (2 of 2)

Portrait #13: Michelle
michelle2 (1 of 1)