Sunday, March 29, 2009

Photoshop World Boston images first installment

Here are some images I made while at Photoshop World Boston. I'll add more in the upcoming days.

Thursday night photowalk. It was a bit cold but raining. I ducked into a entrance of a ritzie hotel, setup my tripod and made this image.

Same night but a few blocks ahead.

Joe McNally teaching big lighting with small lights at one of the classes I attended. This was taken with my 5D Mark II at ISO12800. Yeah, ISO12800. Who needs lights?

A few of us went on a mid day photowalk. I spotted Jeff Schewe in front of this firestation.

My buddy Harold. I setup two 580EX IIs. One behind him as the flare inidcates and one to the camera right.

NAPP instructor Dave Cross

Monday night photowalk.

Monday night photowalk. Waiting for the subway train.

Last day of classes. NAPP Forum crew. From top left: Brian, Dave, Lisa, Roux, me, Roux's friend, Russell, and Russel's wife.

PSW Boston wrap up

My apologies for not updating the blog more while in Boston. I was so exhausted everyday. Here's a quick recap:

My flight to Boston was quick and smooth. I landed at 4:20PM and was checked into my room by 5:00PM Monday. I met up with some friends for dinner and drinks and hit the town for some long exposure night shooting. Thanks to Jeff and Brian for planning the walk. It was blistering cold. Boston is perfect for night shooting.

Tuesday morning I woke up, got some Starbucks coffee and oatmeal, showered and attended the Canon Live Shoot. It was a one day seminar to learn studio lighting and portrait post processing. It was a bit of a disappointment. I did learn a bit from the lighting theory lecture but the hands on was pretty dull. I met up with some NAPP Forum friends at the Cheesecake Factory. I got to finally meet some really cool people: Harold, Mike Hoffman, Firgs, Roux, Dave, Michael Green, and Larry Becker. We then all went to the Hotel Lounge for the Forum party. I got to meet Dave Ziser and Vinelli. Dave Ziser is a famous wedding photographer and Vinelli is a NAPP staffer that is just as nice and fun as can be.

Wednesday was the first day of classes which was kicked off with a keynote speech and the opening ceremonies. Really funny stuff. I was shocked but thrilled to find out that one of my shots from the Canon Live Shoot was selected as one of the top 5. I attended some classes and visited the Expo where I was in Heaven! All the new photography and Photoshop gear and software was on display and for sale. Let's just say my wallet came back lighter and my suitcase heavier. Wednesday night was the After Hours Party. Kelby and the gang played some covers (they were actually really good) and we had some food and drinks.

Thursday was the longest day for classes. It started out with Joe McNally's class. Truly inspring! His images are what I inspire to make. After all the classes, a dozen or so hit the streets again for another photowalk. It was a lot warmer but raining. I returned to the hotel early and watched my Duke Bluedevils get eliminated from March Madness. :(

Friday was a light day. Got to sleep in until 8 and only had 3 or 4 classes. Attended the closing ceremonies and was ready to get my luggage and head to the airport......until I discovered my flight was delayed 2 hours. So a few of us went to dinner. Finally got to the airport and flew back home. I arrived in Newport News but my luggage was still in Boston. Didn't get it back until Saturday night. I came home Friday night exhausted but was surprised by my awesome wife. While I was gone, Michele cleared out our garage and converted it to a studio. I was speechless.

I had a great time in Boston. The city was charming and very photographic. The people were great. I got to meet some of my NAPP friends and most of all I came back inspired!

I'll post a few of my images from PSW and Boston soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photoshop World, Boston

Well I landed in Boston around 4:20PM and got checked into my hotel room by 5:00PM. I could not have asked for a smoother trip up. Boston is huge. It's a great mixture of old historical and modern architecture with lots of character. The hotel I'm staying in (Sheraton Boston) is massive. I saw Dr Russel Brown and met Ben Wilmore already. I met up with some of my NAPP Forum buddies, had some Mexican food and hit the streets for some long exposure shooting. I'll be updating this entry in my blog all week with updates and images.

Monday Night

Cactus Club with my NAPP buddies.

Zakim Bridge


Woke up at 7AM to the sun shinning. Went to Starbucks in the hotel (oh yeah) and now getting ready
for the Canon Live Model Shoot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

God works wonders in His small world

I get a text one day from my friend and fellow photographer Beth stating "I'm looking at one of the most stunning woman I've ever seen in person. I must photograph her!"

Beth proceeds to get this stunning woman's (Rachyl) telephone number and makes arrangements for us to photograph her. In speaking with Rachyl, Beth discovers her husband (Joel) works at a local Starbucks (my second home) that I frequent. Joel knows me by name and knows my drink of choice at Starbucks. (Venti Double Shot on ice, breve, sugar free vanilla and 6 Splendas) Yes, I do go there waaaaay too often. Joel also knows that I'm a photographer since I have some of my work hanging on the walls at his store. When Rachyl discovers that I know Joel, and Joel knows me and my wife Michele (another Starbucks addict), she feels much more comfortable about meeting us and allowing us to photograph her. Small world!

Rachyl is a natural beauty and the camera loves her. Her and Joel are great people and it was fun working with them yesterday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Photoshop Class: Portrait Retouching

This Tuesday's Photoshop class will be on portrait retouching. We will cover methods and techniques on how to remove blemishes, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, soften skin, whiten teeth, add drama to the eyes and much more. As always, we will start from a RAW image and go through all the steps until final output: web or print. If you have a portrait file you want to work on in the class, please feel free to bring it. If not, a RAW file will be provided.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Case for B&W

When one thinks of Hawaii, blue skies, green palm trees, and aqua water comes to mind. This image of Chinaman's Hat in Oahu has all those colors, however, I felt that the strength of this image was the converging lines. I wanted to remove the focus on the colors and place more emphasis on the converging lines.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We felt a bit green

After a few days of being under the weather, Andrew and I thought it was time to have some fun. I used some green and red gels to create the Hulk look.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photoshop Class: Landscapes Before and After

This is to recap what we did in class and provide a visual before and after.

We started out by double processing the same RAW image. Once to bring out the warmth of the sun rays casting through the mountains and the second to get the sky and water to be a vibrant blue.  We did this by changing the color temperature in Adobe Camera Raw. We also increased the saturation and luminance in the HSL/Grayscale tab in Adobe Camera Raw. By bringing the luminance down in the blue channel, we were able to get the richness back in the sky.

Once both versions were open in Photoshop, we copied the cooler version on top of the warmer version as a second layer, added a white layer mask, and painted with a soft black paint brush over the mountain portion of the image to bring out the warmth. We now have the best of both worlds. Warm rays and mountains and cool sky and water.  Flatten image.

We took the image in the LAB color mode and did a curves adjustment on the lightness channel to add some more punch. We also did a curves adjustment on the a and b channels to saturate the colors. These adjustments and every other adjustment was done on a duplicated layer.

We then chose the lightness channel in the Channels palette and made an adjustment to the Highlights/Shadows. This brought some detail back into the dark areas of the mountains.

Our final step in LAB mode was to add more punch by creating a duplicate layer and changing the blend mode to soft light and reducing the opacity to 20%. Flatten image.

We changed our color mode back to RGB. Created a duplicate layer. Filter-Other-High Pass - 12 pixels. Changed the blend mode to soft light.

Used Unsharp Mask to sharpen for print.

Below are the before and after images:



Please feel free to post questions.
Thanks for attending the class. I hope you got something out of it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pixels are potential

This Tuesday's Photoshop class theme is Landscapes. We will take a RAW file and process it from Adobe Camera Raw and then in Photoshop. We will address some common issues with digital images and how to overcome them. We will also cover tools and techniques that can be used to add that POP to your images. I have selected the image below to use in the class. The reason why I selected this image is because it suffers from a lot of issues and without any processing, it looks to be a throw away. However, with the right processing, all the potential that is in these pixels can be unleashed to make a great image. The mindset should be to take the best shot you can with your camera and use post processing only to make minor adjustments, however, it's good to know that Photoshop can do magic. I took this shot from a helicopter in very harsh light. Even though I used a circular polarizer, the harshness of the light still caused some issues. There were no adjustments made to this image other than resizing it. Please check back on Wednesday to see the before and after.