Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazing Grace

Adding a bit of texture to an image is a simple process and I feel it can make a good picture great.  Today we will look at a simple example of texture application and how it can finish an image.

What we have here is a simple enough of an image that just needs to be "finished". As it was out-of-the-camera, it would probably have made everyone else happy, but to me it needed closure.

Posing The Model
In this situation we have Grace here with some large black wings.  Sure, I wish they were white to complete the "Angel" theme, but we work with what we are given, don't we? Sure, I could have changed them to white, but that is quite a bit of work that I don't feel really would add that much to the image overall.

I cropped in a bit (by moving my body) and shot this portrait oriented image to highlight her good looks and body.  She is a mother of three by-the-way, which just goes to show being a mom isn't the end of a modeling career.

Sure, I could have made this a full body shot, but I don't think anyone really cares about what shoes she is wearing.  I do have some full-body shots, but those are profile or using more interesting poses for Photoshop projects I have planned for rainy days.  In fact, I think you need a mix of shots when you are shooting.  I use a six shot method, where I take two shots at full body (different poses or angles), two a medium (like this image or a bit closer), and two nose-hair extreme counting close-ups or head-shots.  I then change my position, rotate the camera and wash, rinse, repeat.  I find that in using this method I never encounter a situation later where I missed shooting some amazing make-up or awesome leggy bits.

Lighting The Model

There are two lights in this shot: A large softbox camera left (gridded to prevent to much splash on the background), and a strip box camera right (slightly behind the model).  In retrospect I should have moved this rim light forward as the wing is blocking the intended lighting on her side.  I did fix it in later shots, but I really like this pose and look from the day of shooting, so we just deal with it and learn a lesson about big black wings wrecking your perfect shot.

This image was shot with my Nikon 70-200 ƒ2.8 (my favorite lens), on my Nikon D300.  It was exposed at ƒ5.6 at 250th ISO 200.  Aside from the aperture, these settings are typical for me as I shoot indoors most of the time using my Einstein strobes.  Oh, I did put up an equipment page for those interested in what I have in my bag(s).

Post Production In Photoshop
Basically we follow my standard workflow in this image.  The first thing I do is duplicate the entire image in case I screw up and trash some part of her.  It should be noted that I am working on this as a smart object until I begin the actual editing process.  I do this so I have the same controls one has a Lightroom without going all the way back to Lightroom to make some minor adjustment.

Once I am sure I like the coloration and exposure, I will rasterize the smart object and begin removing any  scratches, pimples, whip marks, hand-cuff lines and so on that *might* be present.  I will also take this time to liquify any areas of the model that they might feel sensitive about (tummy, arms, armpits, freakishly huge earlobes, etc).  No need in this case, but this is when I would typically perform that correction.

With all of the skin retouching done I begin adding adjustment layers for different elements of the image I want to highlight.  For example, there is a curve just for the wings.  I wanted to pop the contrast and show more of the details here, so I applied a curve adjustment (slight S shape) and masked the layer so it only affected the wings.  I did the same with the hair, as I really like the addition of contrast in the hair on most of my models.

Lastly I add in the texture for the background.  In this case it is a sky image combined with textures from the venerated and often referenced Fly Paper Texture collection.  Using blending modes I mess with the combination of the textures until I like what I see.  I am not going to give you the *exact* recipe here as I feel you should experiment with your own combinations rather than making something that looks the same as my example.

I will be posting another shot of Grace soon (full body//profile) once I get that work completed.  Total time to complete this image was around 15 minutes or so.  Most of that time was me messing with textures until I was happy.  In retrospect I feel I should have increased the exposure of the halo on her head, but perhaps someday I will re-open the image and take the needed 30 seconds to make it perfect.

Thanks for reading and if you want to feed the monster, please leave a comment to motivate me to write more often :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sheer Elegance

I love it when you can plan something and it works out better than you could have imagined.  That is the case with this specific shot.  I was pondering the pose and lighting and later the post production lead me down some interesting turns.

Posing The Model
I wanted a sexy, elegant and yet demure pose with a topless model wearing only fish-net stockings.  This was initially for a contest on greenmartini.com, and I needed a subject.

So, putting a pose together that is provocative yet still keeping the naughty-bits hidden was a challenge.  We worked through several variations, and I will post some of those to the bottom of this article for those interested.

Some people have commented on the model and her form.  I think she has a perfect body, and her back is strong, yet the pose causes a bit of rounding.  I actually think this makes her human and if I were to have her sit up more, or fix it in post, the entire image loses so much.  Therefore, I decided on this final image and am pleased with the result.

Lighting the Scene
There are two lights in this scene, the key (gridded softbox over the head of the model) and a background light.  I have the key gridded so it does not splash against the wall that is only 3' away.  In this case the key is an Alien Bee Einstein exposed at ƒ5.6.  The background is a Nikon SB-900 set to round ƒ4 or so.  I did not have the room on the ground for another AlienBee, so the SB will work in this confined space just fine.

I will always light in layers like this when possible, as having the background and model at the same level of exposure really makes for a flat image.  Because I control the exposure of each, I can do anything I desire with the scene.

Post Production In Photoshop
First, this model has some complexion issues that she is working though, so we need to eliminate those for the time being.  Using the spot healing brush as well as the clone stamp, we are able to fix what flaws she might have pretty quickly.  Note that I don't have to do any liquification on her body at all.  Ah, the joys of youth.

Once I have any marks resolved I find I am not happy with the background.  I had put a blue gel on it, but after looking at it, I find the contrast a bit to much.  So, I create an adjustment layer and lighten the background (masking the model), and then add a hue-saturation adjustment layer clipped to that one and remove some of the blue.

There was one major issue in that one of the strings in her stockings was broken (you can see if just above the heal of her left foot on her butt).  I used the clone stamp to resolve this so the eye didn't tend to wander around looking for a break in the pattern.  Breaking patterns is a great way to control the eye of the viewer, and in this case that would have been a bad thing.

I tend to flip the image over and over as I work so my eyes are fresh.  As I work on this shot I decide the background is really quite boring.  I search for a pattern that might be interesting, and see one right on her legs that would work!  I create a pattern from a swatch on her thigh and then invert it and create a new layer using that as the background.  Of course I have to mask out the model, but since I already have that from the exposure and saturation adjustments, this is a quick trip.

To finalize the image I add another texture set at a low opacity to bring out some of the darker part of the shot and add a richness to the image.  As always, I am addicted to the Fly Paper Texture series for these types of finishing items as I feel strongly they add so much to an image.

Total time to complete the image is around 20 minutes.

Bonus Image

The image to the left here is another from the same shoot.  Again the same process was used in almost the same order.  I did have a bit of work to do in the "nether regions" to keep the image from being adult in nature, but a quick bit of additional shadows from an overlay layer fixed that up right away.  A texture was added as a finishing touch as in the image above.

Total time for the image on the left was closer to 10 minutes as I didn't have a lot of work to do on her back.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making Friends The Hard Way

Being a fan of the unusual often wins me the chance to take photos that no one else would probably approach.  Around the end of last year we had a body painting extravaganza and one of the suggested themes was the Frankenstein type of stitched-together person.

Out of the camera this image is pretty decent, but it really lacks depth and storytelling, as as it is now it makes for a somewhat disturbing glamor shot.

Lighting The Image
This image was lit by two lights:

A 22" beauty dish with a 30 degree grid on it.  This was positioned directly over her face.

A strip softbox with a cloth grid  was camera left and a little behind her.  This is the "boob" light as it will cast the desirable shadow in the cleavage as well as add a rim light to help her be more three dimensional.

The goal of the grids is to keep the background from being overly illuminated and control fall-off of the light.  I much prefer to shoot on a gray background than on white because of the "splash" of light that bounces back onto the model from a white sweep.  Because I often composite my images with others, that annoying splash can make the transition quite noticeable.

The image was shot at ƒ5.6, 250th at ISO 200, which is very typical for much of my studio work.  The recycle time on my lights at ƒ5.6 is very quick and the depth of field is plenty deep to keep the model in focus.  I shoot my Nikkor 70-200mm ƒ2.8 for most of my work.  I LOVE this lens because it is super sharp and allows me to work from a distance to keep distortion to a minimum as well as shoot on a relatively small background because of perspective compression.  I can explain that in depth if there are those that don't understand what I mean by all that gibberish.  Ask questions in comments and I can address them.

For those interested I use Paul C. Buff Einstein's for my studio lights and modifiers.  Occasionally there will be a rogue Norman or a Speedlight in there as we have some around the studio, but since I much prefer the Einsteins.

Posing The Model
As far as the story should go, we have a woman that has been sewn together from the parts of others.  Having her be cheery and happy would be out of character.  The sad and forlorn look is much more in character.  Also, we need to sexy this lady up a bit, so I dropped the shoulder straps to show off her chest and paint job therein.  Not much more to say here as the pose will work with the story we need to complete.  I do have a ton of other shots from this brief session that are awesome, but the pose here really made it work over the others.  I prefer this one because she was not looking at the camera.  I find that engaging the camera is often nice, but just as often I don't desire this.  I suggest you balance your session and be sure to get some of each as you will kick yourself if what you really needed you didn't bother to shoot.

Note that I made sure to show off as much of the body-painters work as possible as they will probably want this for their portfolio.  Always keep in mind the make-up, hair, wardrobe, etc and the needs they have  when you are shooting.  I often shoot closeups of make-up just to be sure those people can walk away with something at the end of the day.  I find it rude when someone is only shooting full body shots of a model and isn't concerned about the fact the details added by make-up will be to small to be appreciated.

Post Production In Photoshop
Well, we have quite a bit of work to do, so lets get to it.

First thing we need to do is to correct any issues with the model.  This might include liquification of arms, abs and so on.  Kristen does not have any issues there, so we can skip by this step.  I did adjust her hair position a bit but not much.  While we are focused on the model, take this time to fix any complexion issues weird wrinkles and so on.  One of the main things I use liquify on is armpits.  The folds of skin there can often lead to the dreaded "armpit vagina", so posing is important or you will have to deal with it later.  Liquify allows you to fix that area, but it is a ton of work.

The next thing I needed was a room that worked with the lighting I used during the shoot.  I was able to find this shot of a hospital bed on the web.  Please note that if you use images they either need to be under the Creative Common's License or ones you have purchased or have permission to use.  Don't go stealing work, as I am sure you will be upset if someone did the same to you.

The photo of the room had some wacky light thing hanging from the ceiling, so I had to clone that out (using the aptly named clone stamp) and correct some of the drapes over the windows.  Once I had the background working I created a mask of Kristen so I could drop her into the image.  I use a lot of tools for extraction, but I don't use the Photoshop extraction tool as it makes me want to throw things.  I much prefer the masking tools and the new "refine edge" commands in CS5.

Now that I have the model in place over the background I make a copy of Kristen so I don't screw her up.  I then proceed to dodge and burn her image to match the lighting.  A great example here is the stool in the shot.  It should not be illuminated if the light from the window is to be believed.  Using the burn tools I darken this until it looks proper and believable.  It does not need to be perfect, as this is art dammit :-)  Note that I also used the dodge and burn tools above and below a few of the stitches on her body.  I did this because I figured the skin tones of the people used to assemble her would be unique.  I decided not to go overboard on this so it is subtle, but I feel it helps sell the idea and story.  In the end I also added shading around the perimeter of the room to bring the focus to the middle.  This is known as a "vignette" and is actually undesirable in the optical world, but it can help with focusing the eye in specific areas of the scene.

My final step is to get the colors of the two images to be somewhat similar.  At this time I also decided on the final tone of the image and greenish was the winner.  I selected it because of the somber feeling and almost sickly/solemn feeling it might give to the viewer.  Using a curves layer I adjusted the colors of both images independently until they were close.  I then added an adjustment layer of "photo filter" or whatever it is called (looks like a little camera).  That was used to add a tone to the entire image and resolve any minor differences that might have been present after my tone curves.

For the final touch I added a hue/saturation adjustment layer and dropped the saturation of the entire image.  The happy red of her dress needed to be not-so-damn-happy.

As always a "Like" s much appreciated using the Facebook button at the top of this page.  Comment if you have questions or just want to say "hi" :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Floating Orbs

Today we will be looking at the last of the three images I shot with Playboy model Victoria.  As mentioned in my previous posts Waiting for Morpheus, and Precious Cargo, this image was shot in Edgerton, Wisconsin which is just outside of Madison.  As a side note and shameless plug; I do have a Photoshop workshop coming up in a few weeks in Waukesha.  You can sign-up for that here.

Based on the suggestions I have received I will be adding more model interaction details as well as lighting details.  Thanks to all that took a moment to stop ogling and leave me feedback as I much appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Interacting With Models
Normally I discuss ideas with the model before we shoot, but in this case I met Victoria the same day and we did these shots with no preparation.  In an ideal universe I would meet the model in a nice public place (like a coffee shop) and we can discuss her goals and the goals of the shoot (they might be different).  Topics of discussion might include things like wardrobe, poses, and considerations for hair & make-up.  This also gives the model an idea of who I am and can review my portfolio and increase trust.

There are super creepy photographers out there, and also a few models that wig me out as well so you have to make sure you concrete the fact you don't fall into this category before the shoot.  So, meeting like this before hand is huge for trust as well as comfort level for everyone involved.  The model will have confidence in you as you have already set a very professional foot forward with a meeting.  Even if you can't meet, but suggesting it, can add a lot of value and professionalism to your persona in the model's mind.

Timid or uncomfortable models take crappy pictures, and since they also want nice work from the shoot, you have to get them relaxed.  Here are a few things I think help with that:
  • Meet before you shoot and have a solid idea or two
  • Don't shoot nudes or even suggest it the first time you work together
  • Be confident and sure of your self, even if you are guessing.  Panic in your mind only.
  • Be fun and interactive with the model.  Getting them to laugh helps a ton
  • Don't be a "guy with a camera", learn to control your male drive
  • Have a plan and treat the shoot like any other business transaction
  • Don't try and seduce or hit on the model, that is not why you are there
  • Compliment the model and show them the shots you love as you take them
If you can't meet with the model before the shoot, you can still use a lot of those tips.  However, there are a few others skills you have to learn to shoot impromptu.  The biggest one I can think of is the "wardrobe sorting" skill.

When shooting at group events or with a model I have never met, you have to be prepared to comfortably  rifle through a suitcase of undies, bras and other unmentionables to build an outfit that works.  If you have a wardrobe person, this is a step you can gleefully skip, but if you don't then you will have to learn to think like a photographer and less like a man.  Female photographers can do this so much easier of course, as a male will often get shy at this point if you are thinking with your unit and not with your brain.

You need to relax and work with the model and discuss which outfits she likes and then take her ideas and work with colors you think look good as well as the outfit that will flatter or obscure the model properly.  You want her to look sexy, so you can probably figure out what looks nice, but you can't be shy about it.  You can compliment the model, but don't get weird about it.  Models don't like to be treated like strippers but they do like to be told specifically what is sexy and how you plan to use that to the best of your ability. You have a job to make the model look and feel sexy, so keep that in mind and compile an outfit that works as a professional and keep your mind on the job.

For example, if the model has great legs, you might skip stockings completely and tell her your reasoning.  If they have some "cottage cheese" going on, you might want to pick out the fish-nets with a small pattern and tell her how sexy these would be.  In both cases you are building confidence and you will take a stellar photo, but at the same time you are not getting weird about it and drooling on yourself.  Remember, your job is a fun one, but your interaction and resulting photos can have a profound impact on the model (see my previous article on model psychology).

Learning to keep your libido out of the equation will make your interaction with the model so much easier and enjoyable for everyone.  If you want to hit on the model, do it after the shoot at dinner or something.  Keep a clear line between business and pleasure.

Posing the Model
In this specific case we had a pool table to play with, and of course I think her on the table would be a fun shoot.  I often let the model dream up ideas as well, and if you can make your idea their idea, you can really hit one out of the park. That was what happened in this case, as she suggested climbing onto the table and from there we played with different angles and ideas.

As you can tell from the finished photo, she was not wearing much in the way of clothing.  As a Playboy model she is already confident with her body so wearing a revealing outfits was not a concern for her.  In fact, as a funny side note her breasts keeps popping out of her jacket (and even out of the dress in the elevator shot), so we starting laughing about it that they "needed to come up for air" and things like that.  It was a great source of laughter and confidence building between us as I didn't take photos when I noticed she had a wardrobe malfunction.  That was a huge plus in her mind to my professionalism and it made the shoots so much easier and enjoyable as she knew I was not taking the images for the wrong reasons and she didn't have to worry about showing what she didn't want to show.

Lighting The Scene
Because I was traveling to another floor in this four story building I didn't want to bring my big lights with me, so I brought three of my Nikon SB-900 speedlights.  I was using one of them on camera for a trigger but it was not going to show in the shot.  The other two were outfitted with a Lumiquest Softbox III and have Velcro permanently mounted around them for just such an occasion.

The speedlight positioned camera right also had a CTO gel on it to warm up the scene.  Normally I would have put this on the key, but I was looking for something out of the ordinary.  I had an idea in my mind for this shot once I saw her on the table, so the gel was going to help me with a bit of realism later (I will get to that in a bit).  In the room was also a large window letting in WAY to much sunlight, so I used a reflector to cover the window as much as possible.  The sun would have added a weird color temperature as well as a new level of harshness to the image.  On top of that, the speedlights can't complete with the sun and the room was already pretty dark so it had to go and I was shooting at ƒ5.6 @ 250th - ISO 200.  The speedlights were mounted on Manfrotto 5-Section stands and were just out of the shot.  If you look at the shadows, you can figure out the exact angle.  Looking at things like the shadows and even catch-lights in the eyes can help you immensely in reverse engineering the lighting on an image.

Photoshop Post Production
As discussed in my previous article her skin was really glossy and was causing some overly exposed areas on her face and body.  Using the clone stamp set to darken I sampled from other areas and created a "patch" on a new layer.  I could then drop the opacity back on the finished clone layer until things looked much better.

The biggest challenge with this image was the distracting background.  The room was not something I wanted in the shot, and at the time of the shooting I knew it would be problematic.

As a side note I think it is a valuable skill to learn to look at the background almost as much as the foreground.  You can avoid the "pole sticking out of the head" and other dumb mistakes if you take a moment to check it out before you press the shutter.

To remove the background I created a solid adjustment layer and started on masking her out.  Using the pen tool as well as the background eraser it was a bit time consuming but looks so much better with those distractions out of the image.

Now, to really play with this image I had another photographer at the event climb onto the table after the shoot and toss some of the balls into the air.  Because we have one of the lights gelled, the balls look very real because they are matching the exact lighting conditions!  The balls were masked out using the pen tool and then added to layers above the model.  I created a curve adjustment layer and added some shadows in places where I felt the balls needed to be anchored to the background or the model.  I use this method quite often when I need shadows.  to do this I create the adjustment layer (normally levels), and then darkened the entire image.  I then invert the mask and can use a white brush to "paint" back the darker areas where needed.

I hope you found this article interesting and my tips on model interaction were helpful.  As always a "Like" or a comment is much appreciated.  I also added a "share via email" ability to this blog, so Blogger.com can send an email to you when a new article is posted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Precious Cargo

I recently had an opportunity to work with my first (and hopefully not last) Playboy Bunny.  We met in the attic of an old factory in Edgerton Wisconsin, which interestingly enough has a front seat view of the edge of the Earth.

I spied this old freight elevator almost as soon as I came in the door.  To my joy, as well as great concern, it was also the mechanism we needed to employ to get to the attic where I planned to shoot.  To many stairs and too much equipment makes for a longer day.

Posing the Model
I wanted to play with the corner of the elevator box and get a lot of vertical lines.  The texture inside was pretty sweet, so I wanted a pose that was tall, yet sexy.  Basically I let her do her thing as I snapped away.  I don't typically work this way, but she knows how to move what she has, so let's just let her do her thing and I shut-up for once. :-)

Lighting the Model

The elevator area is devoid of lighting as far as I was concerned.  The tiny light bulb that was at the top of the cage wasn't worthy or powerful enough for a make-n-bake oven, let alone to use for photography.  To complicate things this elevator isn't very large and the opening is even smaller.  The only way to light it is to "throw" light back into the box.  There are two ways one could do that that pop into my mind: 1) Use a very large 6' soft box nearly covering the entire door, or 2) use a gridded light and direct the beam to specially where I wanted it to go.  To me the choice was easy as I really love higher contrast images, and the large softbox would make the light flat and even.  Secondly I didn't have a huge soft box with me, so you can see how easy of a decision this really was to make.  I used a 22" beauty dish with a 10 degree grid on it.  It was nearly at full power to get the light to the back of the elevator and through that tight grid.

Post Production with Photoshop
I had a few goals with the post processing of the images I shot with her in the attic, and the big ones were enhancement of the textures of this grubby place, and the second was making sure she remained hot as could be.  The second one isn't very difficult, so we work mostly with the dirt.

First thing I did was to work on the color.  Often I will wait until later to do this if I don't really know what I want the final image to resemble, but in this case I saw it the moment it appeared on the back of the camera.  I desaturated the image quite a bit as I tend to prefer that by using a hue adjustment layer.  The elevator really is the gray color you see in the image.  This isn't some sort of selective color thing (which I am generally not a fan of), so I just wanted to point that out in case you were wondering.

Secondly as you can see in the original there are some dumb stickers and warnings on the wall of the elevator that do cause the eye to wonder where to go first in the image.  I decided these had to go and did a quick/sloppy removal using the clone stamp and a brush.

For the final touches I wanted to really pop the grittiness of this space and the best tool for that is.... (drum roll please)... the Burn Tool!  Yes folks, this tool (set to around 11%), will bring out the gritty in anything it hits.  Used in conjunction with the Dodge Tool you can really make things pop.  I created a duplicate of the final image using merge before I went nuts with this as I didn't want to screw up the nearly completed image.  Once I was done, I strategically placed my signature in the shot and called this one done.  I would like to point out that I am a fan of my signature NOT being something that attracts the eye, but is easy to locate if one is looking to find it.  I am often annoyed with photographers that put some awful watermark or super colorful signature in an image in such a way as to confuse the eye.

If you liked this post and want to see more, as always take a moment and add a comment, no matter how trivial it is, it is appreciated.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Said The Spider To The Fly

We have some very unique places to shoot in our studio, being that it is a nearly 100 year old abandoned factory.  One of those places is an old tool-crib.  For those of you that don't know, a tool crib is where factory employees can beg for expensive tools at a service window in order to do their job properly.  The goal of the crib is accountability for that costly saw and its expected return when the worker is done hacking things in half. 

However, all this tool crib has to offer these days is a plethora of spiderwebs!  Yup, and along with those webs come a ton of the little creepy workers as well.  In some places they are so thick they are almost opaque.  I guess that is what you get with 20 or so years of letting them run the place.

We do rent the studio if you are ever in the Milwaukee/Racine area, please let me know and we can make some arrangements for you to test your arachnophobia.

Posing The Model
The model today is actually one of the hair dressers I had with me, but because all of the models were making squeeling noises, she volunteered to be in the shot.

Basically I was looking for something that really worked the creepy factor.  Lots of poses come to mind, and I am sure I will get in more shots of this space in the future.  I was actually there this weekend, but we decided to play in an old power room filled with valves and forgo this for a day when the model isn't making high-pitched noises at the thought of entering the room.

This pose was a "come here" type of pose.  Because she had on a little-girl type of dress, we went with it reminiscent of something one might see in The Shining.  I would like to note that this room is HUGE, in there are probably 8 halls like the one in the image, so I am not really doing the space any favors with this tight crop, but then the space is holding the subject, not the other way around.

Lighting The Scene
In this case, I used a ƒ2.8 24-70mm lens (racked out to 70mm) and mounted this on a tripod.  The overhead lights were plenty bright and the "raccoon" under the eyes we normally try and avoid is making my neck-hairs stand on end, so we went with it and didn't add anything else.  Yes, the model had to stand damn still, but I think the exposure was around 1/30, so very attainable without pushing ISO up very far (I avoid that at all costs).

Post Production & Photoshop
OK, now is where the fun begins.

The initial image isn't bad, and that is always the goal of course.  If you can shoot it, do so.  Don't use the "well, I will just fix that in Photoshop" excuse if you don't have to.  No one likes additional work later when you can take a moment and fix it at the point it is taken.

My first issue is always color balance and I am looking for something on the *old* side, so yellow it will be.  Adding a huge adjustment layer we can mess with this color as often as we feel the need as we continue to develop this creepy visage.

The model didnt' really have any cosmetic issues, and from this distance if she did they would not be readily visible anyway.  We can pretty much blow past that and get onto the lighting.

The image is under exposed as far as I am concerned.  The center point of the image is of course our pretty lady and we really need to get her up to snuff.  The easiest and most non-destructive method to fix this to do this is a curve adjustment layer set to the screen blending mode.  I could have increased the ISO to get the proper exposure, but I also would have done damage to the exposed areas where now I have more control.  In the end the image will be textured anyway, but at least I can make decisions about what I want blow out. 
This curve-screen method is my favorite because it does not increase the image size as much as a copy of the layer set to screen.  Plus we also get the benefit of the curve in case we want to adjust the overall adjustment.

Once that layer is in place I might go in and mask out areas that are overly bright.  Remember a mask can be added to about any layer and is automatically put in place for adjustment layers.  Just paint black on the mask and it will block out the effect from that area.  You can also paint shades of gray if you only want a partial effect as well.  In this case I had a 20% black brush and painted on the mask over areas to remove the effect (darken), and in some cases I would go over an area several times.

Next I wanted to add a texture to add some age as well as another level of detail.  Again, if you don't already own The Fly Paper Textures, just go get them now.  I can't tell you how often I use these, and many of my future images also utilize one or multiple images from this awesome set.

I choose one of the textures from the set and set it to overlay blending mode.  I then used the mask on that layer to remove the texture from areas like the models face.  I also took the dodge and burn brushes and proceeded to bring out more of the concrete texture on the floor.  The area behind the model was also lightened to "bring her forward" and increase the contrast and focus for the overall image.

Questions, comments, witticisms, criticizes, heresies, or fallacies?  Please leave me a comment.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Inverted With Pearls

I don't often do glamor shoots, but I do find they are a lot easier than most of the things I attempt and they do keep one sharp on some of the basics of lighting and retouching.  In fact, from a lighting perspective they are often very challenging as one as to take extra time to "sculpt" the model with the light because they are always self conscious about something.  That in itself cracks me up, as these beautiful women always think their boobs are too small, too large, lopsided, whatever.  Of course this has quite the level of entertainment value, but also gives you a lot of clues on how they should be lit and for that you really need to pay attention.

Posing The Model

In this shot I wanted something a little more interesting then her just standing there looking pretty.  So, I had her leaning backwards over a stool.  I thought this did nice things to the hair and also gives us a unique view across the chest.  The pearls were added to give you something to look at .

Lighting The Model
There are a lot of books that go into great detail on how to light people.  Basically you have to hide the stuff they don't like in shadow or by using their own body to obscure the view, while you simultaniously highlight the things they do like.  One of my favorite rules is, "keep the rack away from the key light".  Meaning, don't point the chest at the key light or it will flatten the chest.  You want shadows there, and you are not going to get them if you have the light heading right at them.  Rim lights do a wonderful job in the chest area as they can help highlight or shadow depending on the pose.  This is a huge mistake I see from beginner photographers, as they are trying to light everything evenly and you don't want that!

OK, so now that we have that rant out of the way I wanted to use Rembrandt style of lighting on her face for this shot.  You can tell it is Rembrandt (modified loop), by the triangle of light under her eye camera right.  I used three softboxes on this shot, one on the right for a rim light, one of the left for a rim, and the key was just outside of the frame camera left. The rim lights are barely on, and I could have shot this with one light quite easily, but I already had them in place for another scene so I just used them since they were there.

Powerful Yet Dangerous

I take the time to ask the model what they are self conscious about, but I also take into consideration what I think is attractive and find a balance.  Justine here doesn't have any issues of which I am aware (and I did ask).  She is just a happy and attractive young woman and is open to all my strange ideas in the hopes of becoming a professional model someday.

However, a word needs to be said here on the power the photographer has to really screw up in a big way, and I don't mean from a photo perspective. 

People all have feelings, and you don't know all the specifics going on in their heads.  They might be near the brink of a break-down and the last thing they need is a shot that makes the look fat, flat-chested, or fugly.  If they get shots from you that deflate them personally you can really wreck someone's day, or even worse be the straw that broke the camel's back.  I read an awful article a few years ago about a woman that turned to modeling to help her gain self confidence as she was in a personal slump.  The photographer was a "friend" that had a camera, and he sold her on the idea of taking some images to show her how attractive she was.  In the end her shots were so bad they affirmed what she was already feeling.  Of course she became even more depressed and nearly committed suicide.

I realize that story is pretty awful, but it does illustrate an important point in that your images are not just your best attempt to make a model look good, as their might be more at stake they you realize.  In this case the photographer could have also had the opposite effect and really made her feel good about herself.

Photographers have a HUGE effect on the self confidence of the model!

Take time to talk to the model about what they want from the shoot and where they might feel they have issues you want to downplay with pose, light, and shadow.  I would rather tell the model all the photos were destroyed than deliver any image that makes them look poor, and then offer to re-shoot at my expense. 

If you are just getting started working with models take time to work with an experienced model as they already know how to pose themselves and can actually help you quite a bit.  I know I learned a lot early on while working with some experienced folks, and this was a lot smarter move that I realized at the time.

Sorry for the depressing subject there, but I felt the need to toss it in here as it is important and is something you might never have considered.  But consider it or not, it is still there.

Photoshop & Post Production
Post production here is basically retouching the skin using the healing brush and dodge and burn tools.   I should point out that I prefer the older version of the healing brush where you need to designate the source area.  I prefer this control to the new one that makes a pretty good guess 80% of the time.
Dodge and Burn were used to even skin tones in areas but they also don't remove or alter the texture.

Once I had the image where I wanted it, I added a few lens blurs to the image to put more of the focus on the face and finally sharpened the eyes for the final touch. 

Total time to finish the image was around 30 minutes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eldritch Light

Since I am on an apparent binge of showing some of my re-lighting images, I thought I would take this opportunity to show you another one.

For this shoot I spied this unusual ensemble one of the models had brought with her.  I was also keenly aware I needed a prop to go with it and happened to have this handy lantern hanging around.  I am sure all of you have tons of weird things you never imagine using in your images, and this is a good example of something we had on a shelf that worked well with the plan I had in my tiny brain.

Lighting The Model
In this situation I already had a black background setup from another shot I was just doing, so I had to think fast as to how to shoot this very dark outfit on black and still have it be visible.  The key here is to side light it from both sides as well as to key light her from the front.  So, three lights in a Y pattern were enough to pull from out from the black background and yet also to sculpt her form.

Posing The Model
Because we now have this interesting prop, we want a pose that works with it.  I tried several unique ideas and this is the one I like the most.  Several of the others also look great, but I think I will make one into a graveyard image at some point in the future but this one was solid enough to work with just an obscure idea and not something photo-realistic.

Photoshop & Post Production
From the untouched image you can see we are properly exposed but again we face the reality that black on black that will be... well, black.  So, I need to push her "forward" by making a significant difference between the model and the background.  Normally I would not have shot this on black, but sometimes you don't get options so we deal with what we have.  Luckily we knew this before hand and lit her well enough to make extraction easy enough for what we need to do here.

So, the first thing I did was to isolate her and add a texture to the background but not to the model.  This was done using a mask on the texture layer where the model should be untouched by the texture.  Next thing we need to do is increase the brightness of the image, and I did this the easy way by making a curve adjustment layer set to screen and clip it to the model layer.  You can do with by holding down the ALT key and dragging a layer between two layers in the layer list.  In the end this screen layer will act just like a copy of the entire image set to the screen blending mode, but takes a lot less memory.  That brightened things up plenty and in some areas I used a soft brush on the mask to slightly darken some of the areas that were looking blown-out.

Finally we need to fix the obvious in that the lantern isn't putting out any light.  Now, I could have put something in the lantern, like a speedlight, but they are too large, but I probably could have scrounged around and located something if given enough time.  Besides, I really felt the "fake" type of lighting I was imagining didn't really require a photo realistic look.

This lighting effect was a building up of many layers all set to various blending modes from hard-light to screen.  Each one was a slightly larger "glow" added to the layers already in place with a large soft brush using a whitish color.  As you can see the final glow is quite large, but because the opacity of each layer is low, and the blending modes really mute the effect, we end up with something pretty cool looking.

After playing with a few more layers of various lighting we apply to the model using blending modes a few layers to light the face, arms, legs and other things that might receive light from the lantern and much more interesting that a real light might have looked (or at least that is my story, and I am sticking to it).

As a final step I added a layer or two with some bokeh (those round blurry circles).  These bokeh circles actually come from another photo I had that was out of focus from a trip somewhere, so again I am using all kinds of things I had laying around.

Oh, as a bit of a bonus, I have another image of this same model in another outfit.  This was shot in the freight elevator we have in the studio.  Unfortunately the lights in the elevator don't work, so I had to add it in post.  I used the same techniques for the most part.

Again, the key to this method is using a lot of subtle layers that all work together.  Trying to do all of this on a single layer would probably result in something craptacular, so just take your time and stack up the effects.

As always your comments are appreciated and motivate me to write more articles.  So if you found this at all interesting take a moment to add a comment or click the "Like" button up top to get this onto Facebook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Somebody Call A Nurse?

One of the last shots from my Halloween adventure I wish to share with you is this happy-go-lucky nurse in a lovely new hospital portrait.  I am not really very happy with this image for several reasons but I am sharing it because it does demonstrate how flexible an image really is and why you should save EVERYTHING.  I never (and never is a long time) delete images in the field based on the camera preview, even the blurry ones.  There are often times when an image might be used in an unconventional way, like the bridge image in my last post, so just keep it all as hard drive space and CD/DVD media is cheap.

As mentioned in several other articles I was in Green Bay, WI and shooting at a haunted house.  The models were all dressed up and scary/pretty for the event and this one (Angela) was no different.  I was working with her in some other shots (which I will post below) but when I first saw her I was outside on a break sitting next to some big blue metal buildings.  I loved her make-up and lovely look and asked her to pose in a way that breaks about every rule they tell you in photography (straight shoulders, straight-on look, chin down to canoe the eyes, etc) and I didn't even care about the distracting background.  I snapped this single image and made arrangements to work with her later in the day.

Lighting the Model
I used a single light source with no modifier.  The light was positioned 149,597,887.5km from the model.  It was also warming the planet and providing gravity, but those are secondary to shooting of course.  The shadow was provided by this huge blue building that also gifted us with a lovely blue cast to her right side.

Posing the Model
Like I mentioned before.  This photo is pretty much a list of things NOT to do when shooting people, but for creepy factory, it works pretty damn well.

Post Processing in Photoshop
Alrighty, so there was a *tiny* bit of Photoshop involved here.  First thing we need to tackle was what in the world to do with this image.  I had the hallway creep into my mind and proceeded to locate a suitable image from those available under a creative commons license on the Internets.  I found several I liked, but this one was ideal for the image I ultimately wanted.  Note that I had the other choices on other levels I toggled on and off as I worked just in case I wanted to change my mind.

First thing I did was to remove her from the background using all the tricks I know.  It wasn't too hard but a few problems remained, like the blue cast from the building on the right as well as the lighting was not a match for the background (or any background for that matter).  I should mention that when extracting I don't rely on any after market plug-ins, and the Photoshop extract tool is as annoying as country music.   I tend to use a lot of the pen tool as well as the background eraser for most of the things I extract.  Remember you are not sending someone to the moon here, so you don't have to be perfect about it unless it is for a client and even then if you can't tell it isn't perfect then who will know (I promise I won't tell).

I am tossing in another image I did the Angela to the right here because it was from the same day and probably not worth you reading my rambling in a separate article.  It was lit by two SB800 Nikon speedlights and I applied an effect to make it look like it was an image on an old black and white television.  OK, back to the show...

To remove the blue cast we just use a hue adjustment layer or curve and remove the blue from the image until we are happy with it.  If we feel we need blue in other areas you can use the mask that is created with the layer to lessen or eliminate the adjustment.  Remember the mask isn't just black and white, you can partially remove an adjustment as well with a brush set to a partial opacity.

Obviously our biggest challenge is the fact this image isn't lit at all like our creepy hallway background.  So I placed the model over the top of the background and pondered which of the 782 method for re-lighting the image I would choose this time.  The winner was what I call the "Overlay dodge and burn" method of punishment.

Note that this method was the weapon of choice until CS3 when the dodge and burn tools became useful.  Before CS3 they were very annoying and were so bad they were probably banned from use on prisoners in some countries.

Basically you need to understand what the overlay blending mode is and how it works to grasp how this messed up method can be used.  The Overlay blending mode does nothing when applied to a 50% gray color.  If it encounters a color lighter than gray it will brighten and you can already guess what is does if the color is darker than 50%.  So, to use this method we create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray (that is an option under the layer fill menu or shift-backspace for you keyboard short-cut freaks, of which I count myself a proud memeber).  Once we have the new shiny 50% gray layer, we put it over the model layer and set it to overlay blend mode.  BOOM!  Nothing will look any different, but now we can begin the magical process of re-lighting the image.  I started with a black brush at 10% opacity and started to darken the right side of the image by painting onto the 50% gray layer.  I work from the the outside-in fucusing in sculpting the model as if this was a shadow cast by a real light source on the right.  Pay attention to anatomy, and if you don't know anatomy then get your spouse, mate, plaything, playboy, whatever and use it as a reference.  Just keep going over the image with the brush and watch the darkness come into the image.

This process took a good 30 minutes just to re-light her and once it was done I decided to drop her opacity and give it a ghostly appearance.  After looking at this image that I worked on months ago while writing this, I feel I should have done the opacity treatment differently and used "Render Clouds" on the mask to give her a less uniform apparation, but overall it works just fine as it is.  I always say that I will go back and revist it later, but I know I am just fooling myself :-)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Need Not Be Present To Win

When I am inspired by something it often isn't in the ideal environment.  A great example is my complete lack of a full-sized starship and futuristic laser weaponry.  I just can't find a battle cruiser at a reasonable price, so one often has to improvise.

On this day I was inspired by this vinyl dress that Kristen brought to the shoot, as it seemed almost futuristic in many ways, but again I was fresh out of amazing places to shoot it.  However, we do have Photoshop, and often you can use common things to get an unexpected outcome.

Posing the Model
I was looking for something elegant and stern.  I think she hit it just fine.  That is all.

Lighting the Portrait
I was using three lights for this shot.  A typical large softbox (gridded) and a strip softbox (also gridded) and off to camera left.  I gridded them so they would not spill light onto the background as I had devious plans for said white roll of seamless paper.  I put up an additional light, but rather than trying to light the entire background evenly I used a barn-door modifier and was looking for a kind of beam "woosh!" type of light.  You might remember this type of background lighting idea from a science fiction post I wrote last year using a similar modifier (you can see it in the camera shot near the bottom of that article).  The idea here is that whatever we plan to do with the background, it will probably look pretty sweet with a little variation.  The original photo out of the camera is pretty decent, but not quite where I want it.

Post Production in Photoshop
The first thing I normally fix is anything wrong with the skin of the model.  Luckily there wasn't anything major, so this was a quick step. Next I wanted to put the model into a futuristic setting, but I also didn't want anything obvious.  So, a bit of "implied detail" is going to work well here.  Sometimes attempting to create a photo realistic setting just isn't going to look good, so we can go with something abstract and let the viewer decide where this shot was taken.

I created some burst patterns with the pen tool and added white fill to them as well as distorted, stretched, duplicated, and otherwise abused  them.  This transformation extravaganza combined with blending modes created a pretty abstract lens-flare type of effect while completely avoiding the use of the oft overused filter of the same name.

However, the background still wasn't what is could be because the background was still this gray paper with a bit of interesting light; it needed something else.  So, I searched around for some stock photography and found a shot of a bridge.  I cropped just the structure under it which was composed of beams and other metal thingies.  By placing this under the new light patterns I had created, we now had something interesting!  The bridge layer was desaturated and tinted a light blue to add some color hints.  I also rotated it to the point it was almost upside-down, but I liked the ways the lines were working and moved around the light layers I had drawn until they both worked together.  I sharpened the dress to help make it a bit more glossy and called it done.  Total time to complete is around 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sum of All Fears

Sometimes an idea just pops into your head that makes you think you should probably seek medical attention, and today we look at one of those images.

Seth here was asking to do some sort of shoot with me, and I wanted to work with him on something in this last hour Halloween bash.  His make-up was an inspiration for this idea, and all we needed was a cup of fake blood, which was not difficult to obtain.

Posing The Model
Sharon was my victim of choice here and we spotted a nice area of green grass directly next to a parking lot.  In fact the pavement is so close to his left knee, it was in a few of the other shots.  The premise here was simple, create an image that an raise those little hairs on the back of your neck by making something so surreal and yet *possible* as to concern the viewer.  I had Seth put some of the fake blood in his mouth and when he did his *hiss of death* it would come running out.

Lighting The Scene
Because it is pretty much dusk at this point in the day,  had complete control over the light and didn't have to argue with the sun with my tiny speedlights.  I probably could have used 2 flashes for more light volume, but I also think the mood required some nightfall to add to the creepy factor.

I used two Nikon SB-800 speedlights on this one triggered by my SB-900 using the magical Nikon CLS system.  The key light was placed camera right on a stand about standing height beside me.  The light it would throw on Sharon needed to be one that went into her eyes, so the "thousand mile gaze" would feign the look of death.  The gaze can be accomplished simply by looking through the photographer and not at them directly.  I think she was focusing on one of the drunk people watching us the parking lot behind me.  In this case I also felt we needed to pull the models out of the darkness with more than just a key light, so I put a bare SB-800 on a stand behind and to camera left of Seth.  I put a blue gel over it thinking that this was probably moon light if the scene was to be realistic.  There would not be light there for random reasons, so making it a moon in post would be simple enough.

Post Production In Photoshop
Post production on this image was not terribly complex but more is involved here than initially meets the eyes.  As you can see his face is underexposed, and I think this is mostly because the batteries were about done playing with me for the day and I didn't have any more spares.  I hate doing it, but in this case I needed to increase the exposure in post, so I added curve adjustment layer set to screen mode.  This is more efficient than making a copy of the image and then setting it to screen, plus you get the added bonus of a curve you can fiddle with if the mood strikes you.  Of course I did fiddle with it a tad, but not to much as I didn't want anything wacky here.

I also had to fix some of the missing white make-up so the skin tone with be less obvious.  Using the clone stamp tool, this was pretty easy to correct in a few minutes.

Next I decided to handle the moon issue.  This was super simple as I just tossed in a circle with a neutral gray (with a few splotches of darker values), added a Gaussian blur and then set it to screen as well.  That handled the color cast and it looks real enough for this image.  Photo realism is not required all of the time, and learning when you don't need it can save a lot of frustration and wasted time.  I could have used a stock image of the moon, but the blur would have made that a useless purchase, and the blur was really needed for the mood in my humble opinion.

For Seth I needed to add a little more creepy factor, so I lowered his jaw to an unreasonble span by using the Liquify command.  I also added another curve with a black mask and went in and painted in a few of the highlights (white on the mask) to be sure the blood streams were obvious.

In the end I am quite pleased with the shock factor of the image and the overall mood.

As always comments are appreciated.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Posession Is Nine Tenths

In trying to create images one must constantly consider the balance between lighting, post, and the pose.  You can light an image perfectly, create wonderful work in post production, but if the pose isn't interesting or does not move the viewer, the image will probably cure insomnia.  I see this a lot with images of children where the photographer won't take the time to get at or below the eye-line of the candy-covered kid.  Take a moment and think of what can be done with the pose and then consider how to tell a complete story.

Posing The Model
In the image we will discuss today I had the model (Allie) strike a very unique pose.  We were in the same haunted house as the previous article, but a room decorated with weird bloody artwork and Barbie heads pinned to the walls.  Obviously anyone who actually lived in such a room would be a tad "special", so to play with this idea we work on making the model look as if she is possessed, but in a pretty way.  Sure, we could get truckloads of fake vomit and tell a story, but the models would also like to have something to put in their portfolio too.  However, in this case her Alice In Wonderland costume really played the innocent-little-girl card, so we run with that idea.  The pose is full of energy from the movement in the hair to the outstretched limbs.  The angles of the arms help added tension and help direct the eye to the face for the initial glance.

Lighting the Model
Once we have a pose idea we need to figure out our lighting.  As discussed last article, I am only toting around three Nikon SB-800 speedlights and some modifiers.  My camera gear is in always in my priceless Pelican 1510 (I am so gushingly happy with this case), and because it has wheels I can pile stuff on it and move around from room to room with ease.  I highly recommend this product as I would make this purchase again without hesitation.

Lighting this scene will require a few things be accomplished.  Obviously we need to light the model, but we also need to light enough of this weird room to make it count.  I was trying to work with one strobe with a Softbox III on it and another with a barn-door pointing at the wall you see camera right.  However, in the end I just could not get enough control of the second light so I opted for just the softbox camera right pretty high up and just out of the shot camera left.

Post Production With Photoshop
To finalize the image we need to take and add some additional elements and pump up the contrast. I took some hair from a few other shots and added to her brunette locks to give the image more movement.  In photoshop I used a very large custom splatter brush set to a very dark red and added it liberally over the walls behind the model.  I also added some splatters to the floor, but those were to augment what was there already, just not very obvious.  I then desaturated the image and added a heavy contrast curve on an adjustment layer

Overall not much in the way of post production, but the image really didn't need much as it already had a great pose and light to sculpt the model illuminate the overly eerie space.  My only regret with this image now that I look at it months later is the thumb camera right.  Someday I will go back in blend it into the shadow as it really jumps out at me right now.  Of course I might not, but that is what makes us artists right; complete indecision :-).

Sometimes you need to walk away from an image for a day or so before you publish it so you can see things you might have missed in the past.  I also flip the image horizontally while working on it to give my eyes a chance to see things I might have missed.

A little note on my equipment references.  I have a lot of fun photo toys for sure, but you will see time and again there are a few I have really come to love and use.  I mention them in my articles and I link to them at Amazon in case you are so moved by reading that you need to own them.  I will only do this for the items I really love, not for the equipment I regret purchasing or things I seldom dust-off and drag to a shoot.

Total time in Photoshop ~ 15 minutes.

Again, if you like the article please leave a comment as that motivates me to write another one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Light At The End of The Tunnel

Ok, after taking a long break from this blog because I figured no one was reading it, I am back to toss out a few new articles and see how it goes.  Thanks to those that did post, as it motivated me to give this another try.

Right now I need the kick in the confidence, where later you can get lazy about commenting :-)

The images I selected for this article are from October, and of course that means Halloween and all of the sweet locations that come about during that time of year.  The next few articles will come from a haunted house I worked in around the Green Bay, Wisconsin area.  Each is quite different but they all share one common element; they are all shot with speedlights.

Posing & Setting
In this particular venue for testing neck-hairs had a hallway covered with painted lath board.  I really liked all of the leading lines created in here and knew it would make for a fun shoot.  If you can create triangles or use angles to create leading lines you should always jump at the chance to do so.  Those elements really help guide the eye around the image and add a sense of tension or energy to images.  You can do this with arms, legs, or the elements in the environment.  Of course if you don't have any at the time of the shoot, you can always add some later :-) 

I asked the model (Jaci), to take up as much space in the hall as possible.  So, all of her poses are wide and full of energy.  Sure, she could have stood there and looked pretty, but in this case I really wanted to use all those leading lines and pump up the energy in the entire image.  The top shot is to be reminiscent of someone stopping in the middle of a hallway to suddenly check behind them, as if they were trapped.  The bottom was more of a spider like pose to really play with the fact this is a small tunnel (and I also needed her to block the light in the back with her body).

Lighting The Image
Because I am working in a remote location, I decided to travel as light as I could and use only speedlights. I had 3 Nikon SB-800s and one Nikon SB-900 speedlight and a few different modifiers with me.  I am using the SB-900 mounted on the camera to trigger the Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System), but it is set to not contribute to the exposure in any way.

In the shot above I am using a single SB-800 with a small Speedlight Grid mounted to the front of the light with Velcro. This of course was done to control the spill from the light but the model asked me about it so I removed the grid to demonstrate to her how this little tiny grid can do so much (see inset at the right for the shot with no grid).

In the shot at the bottom of this article I am using the same SB-800 on a stand with a grid in the front and in the back I am using another SB-800 bare with a blue gel over the top.

Photoshop & Post Production
All of these images are very close to what came out of the camera.  The image at the top has the most work done with an aggressive curve to increase the contrast.

I also used the clone stamp to remove any little bits of the ceiling that survived the grid and also pushed the saturation up on the slats to really make them almost surreal in appearance.  Her hair also has another curve to pop the highlights and help bring it out of the darkness a bit.

I also added a slight reflection onto the floor to help balance the image, as a bunch of black at the bottom was kinda silly and would normally have led me to crop the image.  However, I really felt the low angle would benefit from more floor and just needed an excuse to keep it there.

The image at the left has a tiny curve for contrast (as I think all digital images are a bit flat) and nothing else of note.

Hope you have enjoyed this article.  Please tell your friends, use the "Like" button on the side for facebook and comments are always good motivators for me, so please keep them coming.

Waiting For Morpheus

final image This image was shot on location in Edgerton, Wisconsin, which I mentioned before is very close to the edge of the Earth (pu...