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Cross Processing People!

Saw a tutorial by Joey L and started experimenting with some cross processing techniques. The image felt special because the US flag had a fluid quality that blended into the windows. Although there was something there, the image was not popping, so I decided to try Joey's technique on this image.

Three Photoshop layers changed this image radically. 

I added a curves layer to increase contrast. 

    

 

 

I then added another layer to play with the different color levels in the image, to achieve a look that looked interesting to me. 

And here comes the cream, to finalize it, I added a Channel Mixer layer, and played with the sliders. Hint: It is important that the values of the sliders you change always add up to 100%.

And here is the cherry on the cake! Play with the opacity slider and follow your instinct. You will see the cross processed look take place in front of you.

What I love about this approach, is that images have a degree of color and luma information that you can tweak at different stages of the process. Give it a try an let me know what you think.

Here are the before and after images.

Before 

Before 

After

After



The Five Non-Negotiable elements a Client must ask from a Headshot Photographer

Hi folks.

It's been a while since I posted, but I have some new exciting blog posts coming up. This one in particular is directed to actors looking for a headshot photographer and that deem a re-shoot. Here are the five non-negotiable elements:

1. SHOT MUST BE IN FOCUS

Day after day I get clients showing me their current headshots, or some shots that they had taken that had been sent to them that were not in focus. By being in focus I mean, the eyes must be in focus. That is the key part of our face agents, managers and casting directors relate to. Moreover, the eye closest to camera should be in focus if only one of the two is going to be in focus. Never have the one closest to camera out of focus and the one furthest away in focus. 

Eyes are in Focus, Face is well lit, Shot is well exposed, Whole face dominant, shot in .raw

Eyes are in Focus, Face is well lit, Shot is well exposed, Whole face dominant, shot in .raw

 

2. SHOT MUST BE WELL LIT

By this I mean, you don't want any distracting shadows under your eyes, over your eyes, under your chin, under your nose... Some shadows are necessary to create depth in the shot, but too much is distracting. 

3. SHOT MUST BE WELL EXPOSED

Make sure that the shot that you get isn't too dark or too light. If it is, the photo may be ruined. Some of this can be fixed in post-production, but too much will definitively ruin your picture.

4. IT MUST BE WELL COMPOSED

This one is pretty self explanatory. It is called a headshot for one and only one reason. It is a shot of your head. No half body, with lots of space around it. You really want your shot to focus on your face and a bit of the shoulders. Within this composition, you will see stylistic choices. Some photographers prefer to shoot landscape, me for example, whilst others prefer to shoot portrait. How much of the head is left in the photo is also a stylistic question. Look at photographers that you like and look at the way they frame their heads. That will give you an idea of the look they go for.

5. IT MUST BE SHOT IN .RAW PICTURE FORMAT

Don't let them shoot jpeg. Demand that they shoot raw. If you don't, you may end up with a picture that needs retouching but is totally un-retouchable because Photoshop will ruin the image when adjusting things like color temperature, exposure, and skin retouching. 

 

If a photographer can provide these, then you are ready to go. Shop around and pick the one that you like best. If you go with them and the session does not accomplish the above 5 points, do not hesitate and demand a reshoot.

Best of luck and always remember to enjoy your session!

 

Traveling Photography - Slowing Down

It is amazing how many of us carry our camera everywhere, and then just snap away at the first chance we have. I just came back from a trip to Europe, and I am guilty of this myself. During the trip I was looking at some of the images I was taking, and I pretty soon realized: "I am going too fast!" Careful composition, lighting and subject selection takes a little time. God Bless technology. I can look at my images on the day I shoot and learn from my mistakes. The next day I can be ready to implement the new knowledge. It enables you to get continuous feedback which is something that I find very useful in acting too. From my experience in Grad School, I found that I was also able to slow down, and get continuous input on my craft.

So the next time I go travelling, I'll try to remember three things that really helped me in this trip.

1. Go first thing in the morning or late in the evening (which happens to be Magic Hour) when people are beginning their day or winding down. The most interesting things happen here, and usually you are relieved from family and friend pressures during those hours.

2. Take a few shots, look, shoot a few more, look again... settle in a position once you have had a little time playing around with the composition and moment.

3. Breathe! Remember that 'inspiration is the act of allowing breath in'.