3 Amigos

Shadow Play

The Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

This week’s The Daily Post photo challenge is Humanity.

Love is what keeps us (the mankind) together.

Motherly Love

Nikon D600, Nikon 24-70mm, ISO 100, 1/200sec @f/3.2, lit by Westcott Octabox

 

My rainy day adventure

Decided to take upon the Daily Post weekly photo challenge themed Adventure. Haven’t done a challenge or project in a long time and got my inspiration from David Williams.

It was a rainy evening and I ventured into my backyard as the pouring rain was taking a break to seek my rainy day adventure shot 😉

Unprocessed Image - Nikon D600, Nikon 105mm, ISO 320, 1/10sec at f/16, pop-up flash was fired, -3 EV

Unprocessed Image – Nikon D600, Nikon 105mm, ISO 320, 1/10sec at f/16, pop-up flash was fired, -3 EV

Post processed in Lightroom 5 and OnOne Perfect Suite

Post processed in Lightroom 5 and OnOne Perfect Suite

Going, Going, Gone…

No, I am not talking about this just gone August month. It’s about my $35.00 promo portrait session.

Why Oh Why? That’s what a couple of my good photog friends had to ask when I had posted my real sweet deal about a month ago. Surely they knew what it takes to do a successful outdoor portrait session and they cautioned me not to get burned with my promo sessions 😉

Ah yes; I know that, my dear friend. I am doing the month long promo all in the name of marketing my spanking new photography venture and just want to get out there and shoot/show what I have to offer..that’s what I said.kids

Surely, it took a lot of work. You see, I have a day job that pays my bills and I’m a weekend warrior when it comes to my photography business. So it did take a lot of ground work. From the time it takes

to coordinating with the client, to come with an agreeable time on the weekend and location for the shoot
to get something going for the kids when me and wifey are gone for the shoot
to get the post processing done in a reasonable amount of time
to get the marketing aspect of the business going
to continue working with the  client when the shoot is complete
….and the list goes on….

No, I’m not complaining.
I am just making a point on what a heck of a deal this sweet promotion was 😉

Some of my favs from this past 30 days or so

Headshots

Headshots

 

Headshots

Nikon 105mm, ISO 125, 1/200sec at f/5.6

Just about a month ago, I had a gig to do some portraits and location shoot for a client in St. Louis area. During my initial conversation with the client, as they mentioned doing portraits my mind started fancying the idea of doing headshots. Then about a week before the shoot, I started doing my homework on taking decent headshots. Read a lot on doing headshots using a single/simple light setup and eventually settled on clamshell lighting which involves 2 lights setup – you set up the lights such that they look like a clamshell and you shoot in between the gap.

Then came the time to practice the setup and pose. Now, I am not the kind who likes to be photographed and did I mention I like hiding behind my camera. But for this trial shoot I was a willing model besides my lovely wife.

 

 

We used a muslin backdrop that I had dyed using Rit fabric dye about 2 years ago – I had a hunch that this gig was coming before then (right ?). Since I knew beforehand that my clients will be wearing black tops, I want to experiment with a black polo shirt for this trial headshots shoot. So, that’s how I ended up with a headshot with a wine red backdrop which I wasn’t a big fan of…

Fast forward, I am a long time user of Lightroom and it has been the post processing software – I religiously post process the pics before the whole world could see my pictures. Started with Photoshop (about 5+ years ago) but switched to Lightroom and never went back to Photoshop. Although I use Nik collection, and a couple of Topaz plugins – my workflow has always been around Lightroom. Now, I am not the one who spend hours on post processing or do composite images. I would spend about 30 minutes max (on extreme cases) on an image.

 

Headshots

Nikon 105mm, ISO 100, 1/200sec at f/5.6 with masked background

But lately, I do want to spend a bit more time on post processing – call it the effect of spending time on 500px and Pixoto. Further, if that’s what the client wants, it’s just about time to start learning new skill sets. So I’m on a quest to master layer/composite techniques. Here is where OnOne Perfect Photo Suite comes into picture – I have been reading quite a bit lately on Perfect Suite and started playing with this quite a bit. Masking is one area, where Perfect Photo Suite really shines.

As a part of learning and experimenting with Perfect mask, I picked my headshot with burgundy backdrop and played with it for a while and voila, I’ve a headshot picture that I really like. Still a lot more to learn but I’m heading on the right track!

Now, if you asked how did my headshot shoot for the client go – that never happened. Client was okay with just the portraits. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed 😉

Mini portrait session for Sangita & family

Having done my first promotional family mini portrait session for Sangita, I want to blog about the shoot on what worked, what didn’t work, process flow and such. Want to get this post done when things are still fresh in my mind.

 

Needless to say, the session went very well.

Family portrait sessions are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re up to until you’re onto the shoot. That’s the challenging part and having done five sessions now, I’m liking it so far.

 

Things that worked

Simplicity is the key – be it location, pose or clothing choice, keep it simple. I had requested Sangita to get her kids dressed on “less busy” looking clothes and some dark shades. That really helped. On location choice, we had picked a park close home with trees and picked a spot where there aren’t any man made distractions. That really helped to get the subject pop out.

Things that didn’t work

30 minutes is really short for a portrait session. Client is concerned about the clock running and I’m concerned about getting at least few decent shots in the stipulated time.

2 year old have a real short attention span and you’re working on a narrow window of opportunity to capture the moment. This is something I will need to practice 😉

Anyway, in the end it turned out to be a successful session. I am all ready for next mini portrait challenge or my box of “dark” chocolates 😉
Gear used:

Nikon D600
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-600 on a Westcott Octa Box mounted on a Manfrotto light stand
Neewer 5 in 1 reflector – used the silver reflector to fill the shadows

Post processing:

Lightroom 5

Post processing workflow:

Import
Crop
Adjust color temperature
Tweaked exposure using local brush
Tweaked saturation on the greens
Tweaked luminosity on skin tones
Tweaked clarity and tweaked tone curve
Export

$35 promotional mini portrait session

What better way to celebrate owning a photography business – throw a promo mini portrait shoot session 🙂

 

Yes; it’s official – I have a photography business Aperture 22 Photography LLC registered here in Missouri. Though the idea of starting a photography business has been seeded in my mind for a long long time now, it didn’t turn into fruition until this Spring. It’s one of those things, you wait and wait for no apparent reason – I hear that as procrastination. May be so 😉

Back on the promo detail…


What does $35 buy you?

 

We will work on a date/time preferably in the evening (before sunset) or weekend for the shoot – did I mention I’m a weekend warrior 😉

You pick a place – park/backyard and such. Outdoors are way better than studio for portrait session. You still want it be done indoors. No problem 🙂

If you have some idea for pose, you can share them via Pinterest or email.

I may suggest what color clothes to wear for the shoot.

I drive with my handy, dandy assistant a.k.a. wife (she got an “eye” for portrait and we work as a team) for the photo shoot session.

Mini session will run for 30 minutes – oh yes; I will run my stop watch. Just kidding 😉

We will try 3 – 5 poses during the session and will try to capture candid moments too.

After the shoot, you will get the digital copyright to all the You will get about 10 pictures professionally post processed.

You do get 2 8×10 pictures (of your choice) printed.

You will get all the pictures on a DVD media or uploaded to cloud services (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc)

Satisfied?

Contact me here to schedule your portrait session.

Augusta, MO Photowalk

Had a chance to do a photowalk with the photogs at the O’Fallon Photo Club at Augusta, MO this past weekend. Haven’t done a photowalk with these folks in a long time now. My last photowalk with this club was back in 2006 or so during the worldwide photowalk day in St. Charles, MO.

Though I really like the idea of taking part in photowalks, there always seems to be something or the other that takes up the priority.

Photowalks are like a box of chocolates.

You will never know beforehand what you will get into…unlike a planned photo shoot, where one would know the subject to be photographed in advance  and do his homework, photowalks are a challenge. Am I going to shoot street shots or will it be landscape or what it would be? – one would never know until he participates in a photowalk. I like this challenging part of the photowalks.

The challenge begins right from the moment you decide onto participate on a photowalk,

* What lens should I take for the photowalk?
* Do I need to take my spare camera body with a attached lens?
* Do I need to take my walkabout prime or do I need a zoom or do I need a macro?
* What bag should I take – backpack or messenger bag?
* Do I need a tripod or how about a monopod or none?

So the challenge goes on…although there isn’t a clear cut answer, I am leaning towards a prime and a macro for future photowalks. The general idea is to travel light. Then there is always going to be a second thought (in a future walk) on why didn’t I bring my zoom lens 😉

Here are some of my thoughts on photowalk – besides the social aspect of meeting the like-minded photogs, there is always a trick or two you will learn. In my case, I had a chance to chat with couple of folks on their workflow and also had a chance to see how a photog used a wireless flash to lit the subject. I might tag along my Cactus transmitter and a speed light for my future photowalks.

So, we did the photowalk for a couple of hours and I came up with a few shots that I like.

Enjoy!!

Blue Angels

St. Louis Air Show 2014

Had a chance to visit St. Louis Air Show this year with friends and family. Perfect weather on this Sunday for an air show and took my good old Nikon D70 to shoot, as D600 is yet to be serviced by Nikon LA center. Cropped sensor coupled with Nikon 70-200mm came in handy for this event shoot. As I knew beforehand that it will be a sunny day, took my cheap ‘o Tiffen ND filter and shot the entire event with the ND filter ON.