Tag Archives: topaz

Outdoor Portrait with Justine

1o days ago or so, I taught outdoor portrait lighting techniques at the Cascade Center of Photography in Bend, Oregon. I demonstrated multiple techniques including reflectors, diffusion panels, and wireless flash.

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We went to a location where there was a field of wildflowers that we could use as a background, or in this case, our entire scene. Our model here is Justine and she was gracious enough to kneel in the flowers on a small trail that goes through the field.

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Outdoor Portrait Lighting with Kim

This portrait was taken last week during my Outdoor Lighting Portrait workshop at the Cascade Center of Photography. We chose to shoot at a field of wildflowers for this colorful background. The model is Kim and the purpose of this portrait example for the students was to shoot after sunset and then light the model with flash.

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The reason to wait for the sun to set is to reduce lighting contrast substantially, then reintroduce light by adding flash to increase lighting contrast-but contrast that I am now in control of.

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A Constant Craving

At some point a bird walked by and left these imprints on the wet sandy beach. Birds are foragers, always looking for something to eat that will sustain them. I as well am a forager, always searching for something to feed my craving to create. It’s a never ending hunger. Photography sustains me!

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Captured with a Nikon point and shoot and processed in Photoshop and Topaz Adjust. One of the things I do when I look at something like this is to find angles or rotate the camera to create impact to the lines that are in the scene. The footprints were going in one direction so by positioning the camera to make those footprints come from one corner up to the other, more drama is created in the composition.

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Post Processing Adventures

I photographed this image at Red Rock Conservation Area, North of Las Vegas, about 6 weeks ago. I was zipping down the road from Mt. Charleston when I spotted the cactus starting to bloom. I guessed that I was about 1 week to early for full bloom, but I was not going to be here in a week, so I shot anyway.

I used a flash to fill in the shadows on the cactus and that worked great. But since it was 4 pm the light was not that great yet, so when I opened the image in Photoshop it looked like a basic snap. That’s where the fun begins. You get started and you never know where you are going in creating. Are these images ever DONE? No, they are abandoned when you are happy with the results.

I always bracket exposures so the first thing I did was HDR process it with the only intention to add drama to the clouds. Then I opened Topaz B&W Effects and used the Cerulean set to colorize the image. Once I got here I decided I had what I wanted and subsequently ‘abandoned’ this image to go start the process all over another. If you want to know about Topaz, here’s the link: http://www.topazlabs.com/aff/idevaffiliate.php?id=196

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The Barrel Cactus

I was just hiking around Sajuaro NP really hoping to find blooming cactus, but it is to early still. They will be blooming in the next few weeks, but I am an impatient traveler choosing to move to new locals and scenery. I did however grab a lot of other images including this detail of a barrel cactus which I then converted to B&W using Topaz B&W Effects. It seemed more interesting than color image.

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