It’s Over…

People, Portraits

… but in a good way!

I crossed another item off my photography bucket list this past weekend when my friend Dave Gardiner and I rented a photography studio for the day. We had been talking about it for quite some time and found a fantastic studio called Salt Studios. It’s in a very “up and coming” town, Asbury Park. It’s a hip town and very artsy. Something to do for everyone!

We had the studio to ourselves for the whole day and boy did we need it. We had a total of 11 models, quite a few of which were dance majors at a local college. They and all the models made the experience a day to remember.

With that many subjects we needed a large studio and at Salt we had access to essentially 3 shooting areas. A large white sweep, and two other areas that feature brick backgrounds and an overall industrial look. Perfect for shooting a variety of looks.

In this series I photographed Christina with a dark background and gelled it to match the jewelry she was modeling….

The only problem I had with these was I could not figure out why the softbox on my left was not firing. Without it I was getting that shadow to the left of her nose and it was driving me crazy. Duh, after twenty minutes I realized my batteries in that flash were over-heating and not flashing. This was hour seven of the shoot and I’ll have to admit I was hungry and tired…. not thinking clearly. I still like the result.

Stay tuned more to come! And thanks for looking!

 

Something a Little Different…

Digital Art, Post Processing

I’m always looking to create something new and different to separate myself from the crowd.

When Topaz Impression became available I had to take a look at it. It didn’t take too long before I fell in love with the program.

Basically this program will turn your photographs into digital art. It incorporates a couple of dozen presets ranging from the most recognizable impressionists to the newest in modern art techniques.

In this piece I utilized the Impasto preset to give this Jersey Shore icon a painterly look…

_MG_7779

Look for more of these types of digital art from us here at Attanasio Imagery. As always, all photos are for sale. If interested please contact us directly. Thanks for looking!

It Ain’t Easy Follow-Up…

Headshot, People, Portraits, Post Processing

So I’ve had a chance to process a few other shots from my outing on Monday so I thought I’d post them and add a few more thoughts….

I had more keepers than I originally thought. If you remember, in my last post, I was complaining about the difficulty of establishing proper focus in such low light. Well I guess my camera was better than I thought. Focus was spot on on many of the shots. Just like the one you see below….

_MG_4697

Proper color temperature isn’t necessarily necessary. (Can a writer say that?) The warm tones in the image compliment Loriana’s hair, eyes and jacket. I decided to use it as an integral component of the series. I think it works.

Finally, I’ve been working on frequency separation in Photoshop to smooth out the skin yet retain it’s texture. Thanks to the people over at Elements Village FB group for encouraging me to go for Photoshop CC. Glad I did!

_MG_4639

I have a few more to process from the series so stay tuned for an update over the weekend since snowmageddan is approaching:)

This Stuff isn’t Easy…

Lighting, People, Portraits

Continuing on my quest to become proficient at portraiture, I had the opportunity yesterday to shoot at a fantastic location in Lambertville, NJ. The chef and owner, Chris Connor, allowed a group of photographers access to his restaurant Antons at the Swan to shoot with whomever we could bring to model.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous. My skills are not quite as good as many of the other photographers but I figured I have to step outside the box to advance my skills. My daughter offered to go with me and I’m glad we did!

The restaurant is a building that was built in the late 1800’s and was filled with some great art work, mirrors, antiques and the like. This coupled with large windows with wonderful natural light presented quite a difficult scenario when dealing with flash.

I was equipped with every piece of studio equipment I had in my possession. I bit overkill in retrospect. Especially my 35lb. c-stand.

We took a quick tour of the different rooms (dining, lounge, and bar) I assume we were all staking out our shoot area. I choose a corner and stairwell that lead to the bar on the lower level.

This is the result. I used my beauty dish and the very low ambient light available in this area…

_MG_4647-2

The low light was quite the challenge as I felt my camera was searching and searching but much to my surprise many of my shots were spot on focus wise. Also another challenge I encountered was the difference between the color temperature of the flash as compared to the color temperature of the background. In this particular shot the foreground was quite cool and the background quite warm. I did adjust the temp. in camera and that seemed to help. I then utilized the adjustment brush to fine tune the foreground.

Any thoughts? Would love to hear your input, put it into the comments section.

My Journey Continues…

Headshot, People, Portraits

…into the photographic world of portraiture.

I’m continuing my quest to become proficient at the skill of off camera flash and in this session I utilized two speedlights. The first in the form of a beauty dish(key light) and a secondary flash used as a rim light. The beauty dish was positioned directly over my camera and the rim light, with attached flash bender, in back of my niece to separate her from my background.

The sooc result is seen here….

_MG_4520

In assessing the shot I first look at what I like about the shot…

  1. Color temperature is almost spot on.
  2. The power of the key light is producing an exposure exactly how I envisioned it.
  3. The rim light strength is perfect.
  4. Body and head positioning is good.
  5. And I love how she is interacting with the camera.

I then look at what I want to correct inside Lightroom and Photoshop…

  1. The position of the beauty dish was aimed too high on her head an overexposed her forehead and hair.
  2. The shot, as a whole, is slightly over exposed.
  3. I want the shot to be slightly warmer.
  4.  Retouching of the skin to remove imperfections with frequency separation.
  5. Some dodging and burning to add some depth.

Here is the result…

_MG_4520-2

As 2016 rolls on I will continue to update you on my progress into the world of portraiture. In a few weeks I will be renting a studio(for a day) to practice my skills in a professional environment. I’m a bit nervous about it but excited as well. Stay tuned!

The Library Lion…

Architecture

As I photographed this lion outside of the New York Public Library it never dawned on me that there could be a backstory behind it’s creation and existence over the last 100+ years.

This sculpture and it’s twin just to the north side of the entrance to the library have quite a history. They (Patience and Fortitude as they are known) date back to 1911 and they started out as Tennessee pink marble. They were crafted for $13,000 each, have had their names changed on more than one occasion and have appeared in the motion picture The Wiz. The lions are trademarked and have been ordained “mascots” of the NY Public Library on 5th and 42nd street in Manhattan. For a full history of the iconic symbols of New York City please go here, it’s quite interesting.

_MG_4032

On another note, I guess this will be my last post for the year. I want to thank all of you who are new subscribers as well as my veteran readers. I hope you enjoyed the content and continue to watch us grow here at Attanasio Imagery.

Thanks again and Happy New Year to you all!

My NYC Workflow…

Workflow

I loved this scene the second that I stood in the middle the street. There was quite a bit going on here and I wanted to capture the hustle and bustle of New York City during the holiday season.

In the unprocessed shot there’s chaos… cars, people, lights, buildings, signage and some sky. The problem, no real focal point…

_MG_3939

I set out to create a photo that contains the individual elements of the scene but directs the viewer to a more concrete subject. Can you guess the main subject of the shot?

I’ll take you through my workflow as concise as possible. I used quite a few pieces of software in my quest to bring out the main subject in the scene…

1. I dropped 3 bracketed shots into Photomatix and then into Color Efex Pro and got this…

_MG_3939hdr

2. I worked it some more in Analog Efex Pro 2 adding  zoom bokeh and got this…

_MG_3939hdr-2

3. Finally, I worked it a bit more in LR and then added a painterly effect in Topaz Impression and ended with this… if you click below the preview and it will take you to a bigger, high quality image on my website.