Photography isn’t all about just using a camera. Sometimes when working with clients the day just does not turn out that spectacular. Lighting can be a key element in location or environmental photography. Weather is always unpredictable, especially when you book day or months in advance.
Post processing or editing an image can be key in bringing a so-so image to life. Every client has an idea in their head of what they what. I love to examples before shoots because it give me an idea of their style.
I teach photography and Adobe Photoshop. I created a series of videos for my students to follow as a secondary method of learning. In the video below I walk you though the process of creating this image. Some will like the before and others will like the after. The goal is always to have the ability to create exactly what the client is looking for. I have a whole section in the INFO menu on tips to improve your portrait. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Soft Warm Sunset Portrait
In the image below I softened the skin. Sometimes when you shoot in this style the shadow areas need to be opened up a lot and can start to show grain. I increased the yellow, red and magenta colors, added a faded background blur, a red to yellow warm gradient and enhanced the lens flare.
There are two different types of hard drives on the market. One is a spindle hard drive and the other is an SSD or solid-state drive. The spindle drive has been around for a long time. These drives are found in 2.5 inch and 3.5-inch drives. 3.5-inch drives usually need auxiliary power. 2.5-inch drives usually run on bus power(gets power through data connection). These drives are electro-mechanical data storage devices. The platters rotate between 5400-7900 rpm and a magnetic arm moves across the platter to read and write data. The read/write speeds of these drives are around 115-250 MB per second. The downfall of a spindle drive is that the read/write speeds are slow and they can easily break because they have moving parts. The pros are they hold large amounts of data and are the most cost-effective.
The 2.5-inch drive is usually a portable drive that runs at 5400 rpm on bus power. They are most common in laptops, but most new computers use solid-state drives and portable external hard drives. It is one of the more common drives found in box stores and it is most likely a consumer drive. The 3.5-inch drives run at 5900-7900 rpm. Usually, the faster the rotation the faster the read/write speeds. They offer the most bang for the buck but usually require separate power. These drives can be found as desktop internal drives(mostly replaced by SSD’S), NAS drives, or external non-portable drives. Spindle drives come in consumer and enterprise variants.
Enterprise drives are usually made for NAS(network-attached storage) or servers and are much more reliable, rated for around 1 million hours, and have better warranties. The main spindle drive brands are Western Digital and Seagate. Toshiba is also in the market. Hitachi or HGST used to make spindle drives but Western Digital bought the company. Examples of Enterprise drives are Western Digital Red Pro and Seagate IronWolf Pro. You can get enterprise hard drives in external drives. I use one by Glyph, Glyph does not make drives. Most likely it uses Western Digital or Seagate. I usually just call the manufacture and they will tell you the exact specifications.
If you are ever wondering which drives are the best, a company called Backblaze publishes the failure rates of the drives they use. Backblaze is a personal and business backup service. I use and love this company. They backup your computer and all hard drives for $6 a month but you can get a discount if you pay for the year. This is not an offsite cloud-like google drive but a backup solution. The process is automated in works in the background.
SSD or Solid State Drive
The SSD is a flash memory drive that has no moving parts and works with semiconductors and NAND-style chips. They are lighter and more portable, require less power, and are crazy fast. SSD’s are found as internal hard drives as well as external drives. SSD’s two most common form factors are 2.5 inches and M.2. Most 2.5″ SSD’s run a SATA which was developed around 2000. M.2 drives run on both SATA and PCI Express. Some M.2 drives running PCI Express also support NVMe. Most computers these days are using SSD’s are the main hard drive. The speed of the drives lets your computer boot up and work at much faster speeds. The downside is they are more expensive(but prices are dropping) and they don’t hold as much data. It is typical these days to see smaller SSD’s in a laptop to run your OS and all other data saved on external drives instead of the internal SSD. This is the way I have been working for the last 6 or 7 years. I actually made on old 2010 MacBook Pro useable by replacing the spindle drive with an SSD. SSD speeds vary on a variety of factors but read/write speeds are around 450-3000 MB per second. Just like any drive they do have a limited life and will slow down when they reach the number of times they can read/write data.
I presently use an internal SSD in my laptop, an external SSD as my working drive, two external spindle drives one enterprise and one consumer, and four Western Digital NAS Red drives in a Qnap Network Attached Storage running Raid 5. I would suggest that anyone buying a new computer of any kind do not buy one with a spindle drive.
If you would like to learn about the differences in SD cards check out this blog I wrote https://www.jcwphoto.com/sd-cards-are-not-created-equal/
Are you looking for a studio portrait? I am completely mobile. I can work at home or on location. Hey and you can always do a combination of studio and location work. I do prefer to photograph outside but indoor studio portraits is a great option in the colder months. This image was toned with the matte look and gradient map to give it that color graded effect. The lights used in this image were simple, just a hair light and beauty dish. It was taken with a shallow depth of field so it would quickly fall out of focus. Feel free to take a look at my other portraits on contact me for more information. Hey don’t forget about photos when it is snowing. It is a great time for portraits. If you are not available when it is snowing I can ad falling snow to any image.
I have added a new section on portrait retouching for those interested in retouching. I use high frequency retouching which is a professional retouching technique. This technique lets me retouch but retain the detail in the subject. This helps get rid of the that fake air-brushed look. Retouching is always up to the individual. How much is up to the client. My retouching is done in layers so it is easy to turn something off, lower the amount or change. This page includes a YouTube video in which I walk you through the process. It should give you a better understanding of what can be done and how easy it is to make alterations. Retouching is free and included with every portrait.
This example is a little more extreme. I was after the fashion magazine look in this example. It was part of a YouTube retouching video I made.
This is the first video in a new series called Photoshop for Photographers. I will be making a series of 10-15 minute videos to teach you the process of using Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is used for photography, graphic design, video, web development, painting, and other mediums. I will cover the non-destructive use of Adobe Photoshop for a Photographer. Videos will contain free links to download images and work along. Best of all everything is totally free. You can follow the series on my webpage or on my YouTube page. I hope you enjoy the content. If you have any suggestions for videos feel free to comment below.
Photoshop for Photographers Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmpKZFKAjAEQQ_DDqnXMBOB1vTrBrzoIl
I purchased a pack of unopened Sunflowers this weekend. This is my third photo of this series. Today, I have three different versions of the same image. Let me know which one you like in the comments below. This image is one straight image not stacked like the last one. I