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Expression in a Photograph, what’s its purpose? How do we do it?

Whatever the kind of photography, be it glamour, boudoir, fashion, product, nude, editorial, etc., if it involves photographs of people, the range, depth,  context and sincerity of expressions are vitally important to the final images.

As a model, it is thus imperative to be able to supply a range of appropriate and sincere facial expressions.

To be useful,  expressions must be directly suitable to the contexts of the projects in which we are or plan to be involved.

Maybe you have noticed, some new or inexperienced models who have a limited repertoire of expressions?

Perhaps they still feel that modeling is all about looking angry… while other newbie models believe it’s all about smiling, smiling, smiling.    These models still need to do the work of finding different angles.

Continue reading Expression in a Photograph, what’s its purpose? How do we do it?

Having taken photos… how and where to display, distribute, store, sell and or print them?

Where to house our portfolios?  How to handle printing?  How to provide ease of access to our clients and friends of our photographs?

These are questions all photographers must grapple and come to terms with.

As with most electronic technology, the world of digital photography is undergoing rapid evolutions.

My shooting is strictly digital these days.

While shooting predominantly photography, I plan to branch into videos fairly soon.  Any acceptable solution therefore necessarily must work reliably for digital media, including photographic images and video clips, and must do so reliably for some years to come.

Image & Video Management, Display & Distribution Criteria:  Continue reading Having taken photos… how and where to display, distribute, store, sell and or print them?

Stopped Up or Down? Depth of Field, Sensor Size, Aperture, Sharpness and Publication size, how do these interact in Photographs?

What are some real life practical examples of how lens aperture affects Depth of Field (DOF) and various forms of apparent sharpness?

Changing apertures, sensors sizes or lens focal lengths have real world implications for several forms of distortion effects related to perceived visual sharpness.

For many years of shooting, I had just stopped down to increase DOF or opened up to increase Bokeh while throwing my backgrounds out of focus. These, it turns out, are not without significant repercussions.

Nikon F2.8 105mm Macro Demonstrating DOF, Chromatic Aberration, Diffusion, As shot through its aperture range.
Nikon 105mm F2.8 Macro Lens, Enlargement details of In Focus Area. Demonstrates Softness & Chromatic Aberration at large apertures & shallow DOF transitioning to softening of diffusion distortion at narrow apertures & larger DOFs. Note excellent sharpness & contrast @ F8.

As the technical aspects and math are covered in brain numbing detail elsewhere, let’s keep it simple and see what the factors are and how we can use them for our photography. Continue reading Stopped Up or Down? Depth of Field, Sensor Size, Aperture, Sharpness and Publication size, how do these interact in Photographs?

Rear Curtain Flash Sync and Slow Shutter Speed To Catch Ambient Light Ambiance

AZ State Fair, 1/10s, F8, 22mm Nikon D90
Very Slow Shutter Speed Used with Rear Curtain Flash Sync. Note the pleasant overall rendering. Subject frozen and sharp. Background ambiance retained tastefully. AZ State Fair, 1/10s, F8, 22mm, Nikon D90, Nikon SB600 Flash set to TTL. View FULL size, CLICK image.

More light may be captured in cameras as a function of primarily four things:   larger apertures, more sensitive recording medias, slower shutter speeds and more available lights.

It was surprisingly elucidating to observe Phoenix, Arizona area wedding photographer Kenneth Robert’s methods for capturing and maintaining ambiance and moods inherent with existing light night and indoor settings.

Kenneth’s techniques utilized a rear curtain flash sync mode in combination with ultra slow shutter speeds. Continue reading Rear Curtain Flash Sync and Slow Shutter Speed To Catch Ambient Light Ambiance

All Women are Beautiful – Before and After Make Over

As styling and photographic specialists, it is part of our gift and privilege to brighten the shine of and capture with images the beauty innate in all women.  We generally accomplish this one woman at a time.  It is very rewarding indeed to see these ladies glow brightly for the camera and brighter still as they see how gorgeously they are photographing during our sessions.

An abundance of high quality professionally created images in today’s media has resulted in a very high bar for beauty self expectations among many women.

All women are beautiful.   Yet many women are able to realise their best feelings regarding their wondrously good looks only through the aid of some professional glamour photo therapy of their own.

Today’s profusion of professional media images have set and are the defacto standards of photographic beauty in women’s minds.

Look below for example at the pictures of beautiful women, before and after make overs.  Notice how each woman is an individual study in glamorous beauty.   Clearly, these are all gorgeous women.   After the confidence boost of a glamour treatment, every woman is a stunner.

Make Over Glamour Photos Beautiful Women
Make Over Glamour Shots of 9 Beautiful Women

Have they had some glamour photo therapy or what?

Here is the text that accompanied the photo: Continue reading All Women are Beautiful – Before and After Make Over

How To Apply Makeup for Glamour Photography – 12 Video Tutorials For Men and Women

12 great how to video tutorials, on Glamour Photography Makeup for Men and Women.

High quality video, how to create a glamourous green smokey look on the eyes.

Several Before and After Makeup shots demonstrate how anyone with great makeup may look glamourous and sexy. Check it out. Continue reading How To Apply Makeup for Glamour Photography – 12 Video Tutorials For Men and Women

How to best pose a model’s hands?

Implied Nude Photography of Spider Woman
Implied nude of Spidery Woman with very careful and deliberate hand posing

The hands are the third most eye-catching element in photographs of people, after only eyes and mouths.  As you might thus imagine, the posing of the hands is a vital element of glamour photography.  So how do we do pose the hands to insure their adding to and more importantly not detracting from our photos? Continue reading How to best pose a model’s hands?

What draws attention in a glamour photograph?

Bodypaint Glamour Pinup Art Nude Phoenix
Effective use of Gaze Grabbing elements in Bodypaint Pinup Glamour Art Nude, Nikon D90, Tokina Zoom at 11mm

What draws eyes and grabs attention in photos? If you guessed eyes and faces, you are correct. However, this is a generalized starting point.

Composition is important. For example, much is written about the “Rule of Thirds” in visual composition. Continue reading What draws attention in a glamour photograph?

How to create a good pose for your photography session?

So, you wanna make pictures… how are you going to create a pose?  This is a common question for models and photographers alike.  Of course you need to be sure to work on expressions. We have talked separately about expressions and will continue to do so.

For this discussion, only keep in mind that expression will be critically important overall.  While your expressions should generally match the story of your pose, location and props, or should somehow be wildly, quirkily at odds with them, today we are focusing on the pose only. Continue reading How to create a good pose for your photography session?

Two Different Colored Eyes Before and After Post Processing with Photoshop

Yes, this woman actually does have two different colored eyes. We shot the photograph, near Scottsdale, Arizona in my Fountain Hills studios, using a Paul C. Buff ring flash for key lighting.

Two Color Eyes Before and After Photoshop, sectoral heterochromia
Two Color Eyes Before & After Post Processing

The version on the left is a small jpg of the original in camera capture.

Clearly present and visible in the original photo are the different eye colorations, iris patterns and other gross details.  This gorgeously bluish hazel eyed model, with the beautiful and rare reddish starburst colorations in her right eye, has what is termed in Latin “sectoral heterochromia.”

After learning a boat load of retouching skills recently by watching Lynda Photoshop training videos, I was able to create the post processed example on the right and thereby bring to life details which are dormant yet present in the original.

Whenever you are ready for a Lynda tour, either click one of the Lynda banners on this blog’s pages or use this link for your 7-day free trial to lynda.com.

Notice how the eyes hypnotically pop out and draw you in.  Continue reading Two Different Colored Eyes Before and After Post Processing with Photoshop

What difference does Photoshop make?

Since shooting strictly digital photography in Phoenix for over a year and a half now, there has been a great deal to learn versus the days of film.  One of these things to learn being post processing, aka retouching, much of it with Photoshop.

At first, Photoshop amazed me.

The stuff in my camera was great!  Especially when I compared it to the shots of my pears and what they had in their cameras.

Then I would see the results after Photoshop.  My stuff looked blah next to their stuff… yikes! Continue reading What difference does Photoshop make?

What makes a photo popular on Model Mayhem 100 Plus Lists

Sitting here in Phoenix putting together a Glamour Photography Studio, it is very interesting to me what makes a photograph popular. There are photographs many would consider great, and yet they are often not so popular… why? I wasn’t so sure and loved to know. So, I set about to learn a bit about what makes a photograph popular.

I consider lists on Model Mayhem (MM) to be indicative of how much people like a photo.  Why?

While comments are like sharing appreciation for how you look and sweet to be sure, listings are a “gimme your number and I’ll put it in my phone” kind of commitment.

Listing a picture on MM  is like linking to it, book marking it and advertizing it.  Lists are a way of saying, “I would like to see this again and will show the world this picture too.” Continue reading What makes a photo popular on Model Mayhem 100 Plus Lists

Paul C. Buff Cyber Commander CyberSync Initial Set Up

Flash Menu Screen Cyber Commander
Flash Menu Screen Cyber Commander with All lights Selected

While the Cyber Commander CyberSync System is proving easy in use once configured, initial setup out of the box for me here in Phoenix with Paul C. Buff’s Flash Trigger Transmitter and Receivers was not at all intuitive.  Having read the instruction manual, I turned the unit on and was baffled.     

Needing to get the units ready for a glamour photo shoot, I called the factory.  Lucky for me, the very pleasant gurus on Buff’s technical support staff were patient, clear and quite helpful over several phone calls.  While a lengthy setup process the first time through, I have broken down the learning into a fairly long yet simple recipe format.    

Here is how you go about setting up the unit once you have installed batteries… Continue reading Paul C. Buff Cyber Commander CyberSync Initial Set Up