Making Not Taking Photographs

Backstage views on making photographs professionally

Posts Tagged ‘Portrait Photography’

Big group Lighting ;)

Posted by Mike on November 9, 2008

To shoot (don’t ya hate the word “shoot”) this group I used 2 600 watt second lights.

One was coming out of a 5 foot umbrella at about 10 feet high. The other was coming from the right side bounced off a ten foot white board for a reflector.

Still, there was significant light fall off toward the rear and right side of the group. A major factor here is poor ambient lighting and the room was solid black, floor, ceiling, and walls.

I solved the problem by splitting the photo into two layers, making levels correct for the front on one and the back on the other. A layer mask with a graduated fill fixed the problem….

Hey! notice that I even have tonal separation between black hair and black curtain in the back row!!!


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Posted by Mike on November 9, 2008

This is a dream situation for portrait photographers… because why?

Because this is kind of the stuff you grab when the house is on fire.


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Street Photography

Posted by Mike on October 20, 2008

I have never been really great at just walking up to people and getting them to agree to a photo… I’m OK at it but not as good as some others….

Bo helped me out… he was game for anything when I met him and gave me a 20 minute performance. So I gave him a portrait of a man who may not be the same guy he sees in the mirror, if you know what I mean.


Posted in Photojournalism, Portrait Photography | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Just Walking by…

Posted by Mike on September 20, 2008

I was photographing a group of actors and directors out in front of Benaroya Hall in Seattle a few days ago and this guy walked by…. Quickly I asked him if I could photograph him….

No lights, 35 mph windstrom, 21/4 square film with 50mm lens…. a lot of Photoshop.  It came out great and has already won one prize in competition.

It just goes to show you that the camera and the lights and all the the-wiz“stuff” are not as good as your eyeball when it comes to making the photo.

Here is the group we were photographing for an annual report.


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Photos of the BAND, Pravda Studio

Posted by Mike on June 8, 2008

A little lighting control, defocused background, and minor retouching produces great location shots of the BAND. By the way, the party was hosted by one of our clients Gourmondo catering.

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China’s continuous black eye…

Posted by Mike on March 2, 2008

A lot of people have over the last 40 years started saying more favorable things about China. There is this impression that things are “better” over there.

Well, here is one thing that isn’t better. And, if I could avoid buying anything made in China I would.

They are bums.

But, of course, they are bums just like the United States is a terrorist nation (as a government) but, of course, not us, individually.. We did finally just throw out the worst (by ANY measure) administration we have ever had in 200 plus years. So there’s hope, I guess.

This wonderful little girl was adopted from China and brought to the US to live with some folks who adore her. Even the dog adores her… He, by the way, uses his tail as a metronome as she practices the violin.

She’s smart, she’s a musical talent too. I bet she’s famous someday!

Here is the black eye part. She was dumped off at an orphanage to die by her parents solely because she is a girl.  So I hope she gets even by becoming a talented wonderful person and tours China playing with an orchestra for $20,000 per performance.

The photo was made with a Canon 20D and a 16 to 35mm Lens and two flash heads off where you can’t see them.

Posted in Photojournalism, Portrait Photography | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »