Photography: Portraits and Textures, an Amazing Combination

Whew! It has been crazy busy around here. So much to do, so little time. I cannot remember the last time I’ve been this busy. I am dying to go away for some needed R&R, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen anytime soon.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a couple more of the images from a recent shoot. I have been playing around with textures again, and rediscovering the joy of using them to enhance my images.

girl_black_and_white_glamourIf you haven’t tried textures yet, you might be missing out ;) They are wonderful! Textures provide a whole new feel to images. I just love them! The textures I used on these images were from Kim Klassen’s collection. Check her out here, she offers classes and frequently sends out texture freebies if you subscribe to her newsletter.

glamour_girl

I do apologize for slow/lack of responses these days. I am trying to catch up with my work slowly, so hopefully I can get back to enjoying everyone’s posts very soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all having an amazing summer!

 

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Portraits: Less Glitz, More Glamour

I am going to be a bit busy again for maybe a couple of weeks. I have hundreds of photographs to go through before July rolls around, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the personal project that I am currently working on. I am looking into updating my current portrait portfolio so I have been trying to execute some of the ideas that are floating in my head.

Portrait

I really enjoy shooting portraits, it is something that I want to continue focusing on. I have struggled for a while, but I’d like to think I am starting to really get the hang of it. These images were shot yesterday. I am learning to balance my lighting (window + flash). I love working with natural light, but sometimes it is just not available.

I have incorporated 2 sets of textures on the first image, and a single texture on the second image. I wanted to experiment and to create something different.  I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, but I kinda like how they look like canvas.

Portrait_of_a_lady

Initial adjustments were done in Lightroom 5. The skin retouching was done in Photoshop. I gotta tell you, this frequency separation technique is just pure magic! If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest that you give it a go. Now.

 

 

Photography: I Will Never Stop Learning

One of the few things that I enjoy doing aside from actually shooting is re-processing images I took awhile back. It is not only therapeutic but it somehow allows me to see how much I have grown over the years.

Betty

A few of the lessons I’ve learned on and offline:

      • When you can, shoot in raw, you want to give yourself enough data to work with.
      • Learn to read the Histogram, extremely helpful for proper exposure.
      • Learn the colour wheel, invaluable when doing colour correction in post.
      • In Photoshop, use Curves to make the adjustments to exposure and contrast, better control this way.
      • In Photoshop, moderation is the key.

Betty_web

We all want to improve, but I believe that we deserve to recognize what we have accomplished over the years, however big or small that is. Looking back and identifying what I have learned so far gives me a boost and reinforces the fact that all those times spent reading photo blogs and practicing my skills have not been wasted.

No Harm In Perfecting Your Craft

Practice makes perfect they say, so every down time that I have is a chance to practice photoshop. I still have a long way to go, but this business of getting better at skin retouching is something that I want drilled in my subconscious. Portraiture is the genre that I plan on focusing on and I realize that not only do I need to be great behind the lens, but I also need to be much better behind the computer.

BettyI have been working hard on mastering the frequency separation technique to retouch skin blemishes. I want this to become second nature that I can do it with my eyes closed (ok, not really, but you get the point ;P)

For those of you who are curious, the image below is what I started with. It was a little bit underexposed so that was fixed using curves in photoshop as well.

original

 

Reprocessing My Process – If That Even Makes Sense

If I am not busy shooting, I am constantly perusing portfolios and blogs of photographers that I admire. I have noticed that I am drawn to images that are processed a certain way and I find myself incorporating these effects in my own post processing. My portraits are usually processed and printed on matte paper. There is just something special about this effect, it gives me the feeling of nostalgia.

Leanne

This is a portrait which I took not too long ago. You will have to forgive me if you’ve seen it before. I went back to it last night to see if I can process it differently. I know the look that I want to achieve so it was simply a matter of putting the effort and time to achieve it.  The image below is what I started with (slightly processed). I desaturated the colors and added a layer of light pink to produce the softness that you see. Overall, I think the resulting image is so much better than my original version. Don’t you agree?

original edit

Original Edit