Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Restarting My Photo Blog

Having taken a break for quite a few years on my blog, I have been recently motivated by Jennifer's and her desire to start her blog, Adventures of a Chicago Ballerina. As I helped her along in the process, I realized how much I missed writing articles for my personal blog. Most of my creative and informational writing efforts have been directed towards articles that appear in Shutter Magazine. However, there are many lighter topics and several image series that don't work for that periodical because they are either really short or somewhat controversial.

So, time to kick this thing in the pants and get writing once again! I plan on several series on my personal projects as well as other topics such as in-person-sales, lighting, and post-production. Have ideas for articles you would like to see?

Photography In the Shawshank Prison

Jennifer In The Shawshank Prison
Speaking of Jennifer, here is a shot of her from my last trip to the abandoned Shawshank Prison.  In the creation of this image, I wanted to add something else to the scene aside from this amazing ballerina.  My original thought was to add a bird, but I decided on this piece of flowing fabric to help draw the eye into the image and keep it there.


Lighting the Scene

The lighting for this was relatively simple, as we had a medium softbox (2x3) gridded and boomed overhead with the help of my voice-activated light stand, Gary Box.  "Gary, move that a little to the left please." :-)

Post Production

As for post production on this image, I decided to go with a rare black and white conversion. Usually, I love the colors and don't care for black and white. However, the contrast here in this conversion is just a much more powerful image.  I do not use any presets for my black and white conversions, I just fiddle with settings inside of Capture One until I have happy with the result. By the way, that is how I treat pretty much every image and why presets and I don't tend to get along.  I want each image to have its own voice, and using a preset means it never really had a chance to be all it might have been.  Of course, if there is a series and I am looking for visual continuity, then I might create a preset based on my tweaking of the main image and apply it to all of the others in the series.

If you are interested in how I use Capture One, I have started some Capture One tutorial youtube videos on my culling workflow, color grading, and other goodies.

Photography Equipment I Used

Sony A7Riii - Dumped all my Nikon gear and moved to Sony.  So happy I did!
Sony 24-70mm GM Lens - This is my primary lens for just about everything.
Godox AD200 strobe on a boom.  Plenty of power and lasted the entire day.

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