As a creative person, we are often pushed to do what the client is wanting us to do. I believe that we should always give them exactly what they want, plus a lot more, but at times we are limited to shooting on simple backgrounds, boring locations or just not enough time. Once in a while, you must cross the line and do something for yourself! It’s your job to express your feelings on an image or video, but other wise you are just a button pusher. Sure it takes time, plus some money to make it happen, but it is always worth the cost in the end. Just think if you never did one thing for yourself where would you be now?
All creatives should cross the line at least once everyday to make sure we are still alive. Keep crossing the line!
We don’t get many of these days down in the south, but when they do arrive, it makes for some interesting times. I couldn’t think of too many things that I would want to shoot in the snow other than people, so I decided to take my family out and play around in the white stuff with them.
So if your thinking of shooting in the snow, I would think about two things. The number one thing is to protect your camera from all the elements. Ice and Snow which will turn into water are some of the most dangerous things you will ever run into. The second most important thing is to turn off that automatic mode. Now, I know you can shoot raw files and do it in post, but why when you don’t have too.
There are a ton of different things on the market that can protect your camera from all the weather. The difference is that you don’t have time to order something or time to run down to the local camera store, which I highly recommend. (You want them to stay in business, right.) If this is not an option, then turn to your good old fashion trash bags. I have even used them on professional shoots when we didn’t pack our Aquatech gear. It may not be a fashion statement, but it will protect your investment in your gear.
Now for the automatic mode on your camera, I know you do it. Sometimes it is just easy to turn it to the automatic mode. Easy is good in most cases, but you might want a little more control of the camera. The problem with this is that the lovely white snow that is everyplace with throw off your meter on your camera. That meter is what is determining your exposures on your automatic camera settings. I saw a few people out shooting today with their cameras. I noticed that most of them kept chipping on the back of the camera, of course we all do it, but in this case they couldn’t get the exposures they wanted. Most of them would just give up and keep shooting, but when they got back home they will notice that they are under exposed. I like to shoot in manual mode when possible, so that I can control the aperture and shutter so that I can do what ever I want with the camera. When shooting on these lovely snow days, I will actually open up the exposure so that I am between one stop and sometime two stops brighter than what the camera is telling me. This will help off set what is happening with the extra light that is bouncing back at the camera sensor.
So get back out there and make some more images, but let’s try it on the manual mode or adjust the exposure compensation on the other modes to make sure you get the perfect picture. Remember: HAPPY SNAPPING!
Make sure to visit the new website: www.kentsmithphoto.com
Was the reason that I became involved in photography at an early age because of this picture taken of me? I am not sure about that one, but I do know that photography was something that I enjoyed doing when I was very young.
Let’s face it, even small kids love the fact of seeing an image that they have taken pop up on the back of our cell phones now. The difference then was that it took days, weeks, or even sometimes months to get those pictures back and look at them. So maybe, it’s the sound of the camera clicking off frame by frame that gets us excited.
I like to think that it’s that moment that we stop in time. Our lives are so fast paced now, that it is really cool to stop that one frame in life. This allows us to look at it over and over, so we can remember the past and look forward to the next shot in the future.
Happy clicking with the camera and people in front of them!!!
Make sure to visit some of my new images on the website at www.kentsmithphoto.com
It’s very often that as photographers, we forget to make adjustments since we move so fast and our time is limited when you have a professional star in front of you even if it’s a rock star, NFL star, or a movie star. Most shoots with famous people can usually last between one minute up to on average 20 minutes since their time is so limited. So with all the pressure of the world on your backs, you only get a few moments to make one look with usually a list of looks that your art director, boss, creative team, or magazine editor is looking at for the ad or story.
The same is the case when it comes to sports media days. You have a full list of items to carry out, so it is really hard to come up with something creative in your short about of time. In the case with this years, Charlotte Bobcats Media Day, we had about 15 minutes with each player rolling through, plus a little time to make some group shots. We had 18 different players rolling through with a shot list of images needed for all the different outlets including the head shots. In some years, we have done extra set ups, but we had too many shots this year to try to pull it off without adding extra photographers.
To help with adding a more dramatic look and still take all the images on a white seamless, we decided to have a different setup on the same background to help with this look. This is where the Pocket Wizards Multi Max Transceivers really came into effect. I just programmed one side of the lights to work in one formula, and then I could make quick adjustments to the lights according to the location of the athlete, plus add some other stuff about lighting without having to move more than two feet away from the subject. Time is your most important asset at these types of shoots, so adding this to the mix really gives you a great extra look.
Here is one of the images from the shoot.
Make sure to check out the website for the Charlotte Bobcats for more images.
Visit Kent Smith Photography for more information.
Every once in a while, I will actually get the camera out to look for fun things. It’s super exciting when you are lucky enough to find cool things that make you look at the object twice. Making art out of the most normal things is a lot of fun, plus most people don’t even see them when you are standing next to it. Go make an image today!
Check out a few more images from this great show that I have really enjoyed working on.
What’s an image worth? Why does an experienced photographer cost more than an inexperienced photographer? There are so many questions that art directors and buyers of photographer’s services must ask when acquiring a photographer. So how do you know the difference between one photographer or another?
The major difference between great photographers and good ones are the images. It has been said for years that a great image is worth a thousand words; it can tell a story before you even had time to read 10 words. So it makes complete sense, that a great photographer will make that happen with even more impact than an average one. Let’s face it, it has gotten easier to take images with the advances of still cameras in the digital world, but it still comes down to the basic knowledge of how to light an image for the still world. It also takes an eye for the unusual that will push other people’s eyes to the page or website.
If you look around you everyday, you will be inundated with images every place you go. You can’t go down the street without seeing an image on a billboard or a poster at your local Starbucks. These images are done for a reason. You have less than a second to take your eye off the road to look at a billboard on the side of the road. During that time, you will need to understand exactly what the advertising company wants you to know. This is called impact.
Great photographers (visionary people) have many years of experience on sets acquiring more skills than they guy that just picked up his camera. He/She will understand how to light an image that will stand out from the others. He/She will have many years of experience handling all the problems that can go with photography in case something does happen on set. These are the things that will make them stand out from the rest, in addition to making your company money in the long run.
Over the years, we have seen many different things happen on set. We have worked with many different art directors. We have created different successful campaigns for many different companies around the world. The one thing we always hear from our clients is: “It’s nice to work with someone who knows how to work fast, but accomplish the perfect results.” The proof is on the Billboard. Look for it next time you are rolling down the road.
For more images from Kent Smith Photography
To take your editing skills to the next level, you need to learn how to make local adjustments.
There are many reasons why you may want do use local adjustments, but before we give you reasons we will have to explain what local adjustments are. As you can figure it out from the title, they are adjustments applied to specific areas of the image, rather than global adjustments that effect the whole image.
Local adjustments come handy in situations where you want to bring an emphasis to specific parts of the photo. For example, when you want to focus more attention on your athlete. Shooting outdoors often exceeds the dynamic range of your camera, and in these situations you can use local adjustments to brighten the shadows or darken the highlights.. or both. Sharpening could also be used as a local adjustment when you want to make your athlete stand out even more, without over-sharpening the whole image. A similar effect can be applied when you want to bring out a lot of detail form the sky or clothing, but you don’t want your shot to look overdone. Or may be you want to change the color of someone’s jacket, then you need to apply local adjustment to the jacket itself. You can always apply any of these adjustments to the whole image, but you will either ruin the rest of the image or it is going to look ridiculously over-done. Local adjustments are really important, and can easily change the overall look and feel of your photos for the better.
Many of the most popular photo editing programs have added local adjustments in their latest versions. Now you don’t have to be a Photoshop guru to apply these. Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw now have the Adjustment Brush and the Gradient Tool, Capture One has a whole Local Adjustments tab, as do most popular photo editing programs. Of course, since the beginning of time Photoshop has had Layers and Masks that allow you to apply local adjustments.
The next time you start editing your photo, try to focus on specific areas of the image and apply local adjustments rather than global. After you get the hang of it, we can guarantee you there is no going back. Just like the example above, try to fix problems in specific areas. Use the gradient tool in Lightroom to darken/recover the sky. Mess with the Adjustment Brush and apply more sharpening to your subject. You should be able to see the difference right away. Overusing the Clarity slider for example, makes the your images look really over-done. Try using the brush and apply it only to the clothing of your athletes to give them a nice 3D look without ruining the rest of the photo.
Article Reposted from ActionPhotoSchool.com: