Monday, November 7, 2011

Caleb’s (almost) Six Year Pictures ~ Georgetown, MA Senior Photographer

   “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

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I have the most strange, wonderful boy.  I didn’t ask him to do the above poses.  I was trying for one good shot near this fence.  In less than a minute, he gave me at least 16 different expressions and I just kept snapping. 

The best part about those shots is that they really show who he is.  He’s funny and silly and five, almost six.  He’s sweet and mischievous and hilarious.  He’s my Little Bear, my Bub, my most handsome boy.  

I thought he was so big last year.  Here’s a comparison shot in chronological order- 2009 (3, almost 4), 2010 (4, almost 5) and 2011 (5, almost 6).2009klindsey 015

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And a full body comparison, again 2009, 2010 and finally 20112009klindsey 011a0161aIMG_5945a

Are you also in disbelief that time slips by this fast? And how quickly kids change?

The school picture came back terrible.  I don’t know the company that does them for my town, but it doesn’t matter.  They plop your kid in front of a green screen, tell them to say “cheese” and go to the next in line.  I got back a proof of this horribly forced expression in front of 7 different digital backgrounds, each uglier than the last.  I say this not to bash green-screens or school pictures but because I realize that I am blessed.  I am blessed to be able to take pictures and treasure them.  I am blessed to take pictures that I LOVE.

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I love that I can see his personality in these.  I find that as he gets older, all that I have to remember his past with are the pictures I have.  Sometimes I have a memory and think OH!  If I just had my camera then…. If I just had taken some pictures.  If I could just SHOW you how it was, how we were, how life was lived then… If I had just taken some pictures….

If I had just taken some pictures, I could hold that memory one more time.

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I think that’s why I get so wrapped up in my work.  I really believe in what I do.  It sounds so cliché to say it out loud (or type it out loud, as the case may be)…. But that’s what it comes down to.  My life has never been lived in front of a green screen.  Life is lived in everyday moments.  Here are some unconventional shots of a trip I just returned from.  I will never ever forget this moment and how wonderful it truly was to be there.

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Buy, or don’t buy, your kids school picture in front of the green screen.  Hire, or don’t hire, a professional photographer to take pictures for you.  But DO… absolutely DO…. take pictures and capture your life as you live it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Now for something a little different | Georgetown, MA Senior Photographer

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Hurricane Irene came through town last weekend as a tropical storm where I live.  A few high winds, some rain… We were lucky not to catch the brunt of it.  As it made its departure from us, I headed to a local beach to check out the tides.  The wind was whipping the sand around and the surfers were out.  I enjoyed shooting for fun, shooting for no reason.  Just being there felt inspiring.

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I am definitely not a landscape photographer.  I enjoyed the challenge, though.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who is your photographer? | Georgetown, MA Senior Photographer

 

Sometimes it’s hard for the untrained eye to see all the issues that a trained photographers eye can see.  First and foremost, your photographer should be able to see and read light.  There should not be massive shadows across the face.  There should be light in the eyes.  The color of the skin should be true to life.  And the picture should be edited (and by “edited”, I do not mean thrown into Picnik and changing the saturation levels from normal to eye blinding).  That is a huge one.  If your photographer hands you your pictures on a CD without editing them, you need to run away.  Far away.  Shooting is only about 25% of the work, editing/culling/organizing is the other 75%. 

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I can already hear the shoot-and-burners (You know, those “photographers” who use their low-end cameras to take pictures, then throw them immediately on a CD and sell them for pennies to the dollar) screaming about how editing is “fake” and their artistry can be seen without the use of Photoshop!  If anyone says this to you, I again advise you to stay far, far away.

Photoshop and Lightroom are digital tools that now replace the wet darkrooms we had in film days.  In film days, the film had to be developed by hand and that was an art in itself.  Then the printing of the pictures in the darkroom was an intricate process where you learned to manage exposure, light, brightness, contrast, and highlights and shadows.   The digital age is no different and while getting the picture correct in-camera is a necessity, it is also a necessity that the pictures tonal ranges and WB are managed in proper editing software. 

So enough of my preaching about good photographers v. bad.  I want to do a quick tutorial on editing outdoors when there is a lot of green bouncing everywhere.  It can be tricky to manage white balance when your shooting around a lot of grass and trees because the green can be overwhelming.  Here is my SOOC and my final:

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As you can see, there is a lot of green to manage and the temperature from shooting in the shade is very cool.  Very first thing that needs to be dealt with is getting correct White Balance in your RAW editor (You ARE shooting RAW, right?!)

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Using the WB tool, don’t bother clicking on the white area of the shoulder which seems like the obvious choice.  It’s pure white, right?  Well, your in the shade and that white is really blue.  Click on the shadow part of the white of the shirt.  In the shade, that will look blue/purple (as noted in the screen shot above.  You can see the WB tool rendering the white as a very blue-ish purple.)  Clicking on that part of the shirt, I got a much warmer picture and that immediately brings you closer to where you need to be.  It brought me TOO yellow, so I slid my temp slider back towards the cool side just a tad.  Important to note:  Look where my tint number is:  +23 for magenta!  Usually, my tint stays around 0.  However, when your in the shade and that close to the grass, you will definitely need to watch your tint to compensate for all that green.

I’m done with Lightroom, now.  For me, Lightroom is more of an organization tool than an editing tool so I’m moving on to PS now.  Export out.  First thing in PS is sharpening, cropping, Portraiture.

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I want to take some cyan out of the green, deepen it and make it a more true green.  Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Selective Color.  This is where artistry/your eye comes into play.  I worked on most colors individually.  Remember your primary colors and how green is made (yellow plus blue) and change THOSE colors before fussing with green.  The exact combination is not important because it will be different for every picture.  You might need to mask skin.  Play around!

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Soft light @30%

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Next is some selective burning with the burn tool and selective saturation with the sponge tool.  I never set either of these tools at more than 3% and always always do them on their own layer so that you can reduce opacity.

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The rest is touch ups.  Under eye bags fixed with the patch tool.  Cloned out the bit of sky in the upper left corner.  Her skin was pretty red/orange from tanning so corrected that a bit. And that’s it!  And here’s the final shot.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Becca | Georgetown, MA Senior Photographer


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