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Thread: First gig!

  1. #1
    Hans's Avatar
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    First gig!

    Hi people,

    Elke from Calamity Bolt asked me to do a few marketing shots for her handcraft business. She makes hobby horses and hair accessories from vintage material. I've been shooting her product photos for a year or so already. She chose me because of my unsurpassed creative expression and technical prowess with a camera...it had NOTHING to do with the fact that I am her husband, can't justify the expense of a real photographer and that I can be paid off with love! Honestly, nothing at all to do with it

    Here are a few shots I managed to come up with. It was arsnic hour, kids (5yrs and 3yrs) were tired, hungry and it was a scorching hot day so I am so proud of them for doing so well as my models . Pretty tough gig all things considered and when working with littlies one really needs to be quick on one's feet

    All natural light and post processed according to "client's" taste which was for cross-processed effect. I tried not to make it too obvious, though.

    Any comments welcome as I know I am a long journey from perfection! I am certainly no photographic technician and am always willing to learn. Here goes...

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!

    First gig!
    Last edited by Hans; 31st January 2011 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: First gig!

    Very nice set of images, Hans. Even your post-processing effect applied is unique. I believe you'll do great as a child portrait photographer. Well done!

  3. #3

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    Brian

    Re: First gig!

    They are all good pictures with the last one really striking a chord. Your daughter looks as if she is using the hobby horse as a comfort blanket. The others dont seem to have the same connection between the models and the product except #3

  4. #4
    Hans's Avatar
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    Re: First gig!

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Appreciate your feedback
    RE the connection, I see what you mean. I think they are so familiar with them that they hold no fascination anymore. Would be interesting to see how that would develop with kids who have never seen them before.

    Jiro, I noticed your signature quote:

    Spring comes and the grass grows by itself
    That's quite profound really. Love that quote

    Thanks again and happy snapping!

  5. #5
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: First gig!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    ...Love that quote

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    Re: First gig!

    I would like to know, at least in general terms, how you get the destaurated look but still hold good color in other parts.

  7. #7
    Hans's Avatar
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    Re: First gig!

    I would like to know, at least in general terms, how you get the destaurated look but still hold good color in other parts.
    Thanks Chris,

    I mostly use Capture NX2 for post processing simply because it is easier to use than Photoshop (for me) when doing small quantities of images. You just choose your adjustment type and paint it in where you want it (though the sepia pic was done in Photoshop). I don't usually touch the saturation at all, but I think you may be referring to the last photo of the girl looking back over her shoulder with the sunset behind. I can't say for sure (as I am not on my home computer) but I think I may have put a very slight desaturation vignette around the edges. I don't like doing a lot of that kind of stuff in general, but it is always fun to play around.

    Some of the shots were taken into the sun (backlit) so the contrast is lower than it might otherwise have been, this might give the desaturated look you are referring to. Most were taken with a little +EV compensation too (exposeing to the right). I think that helps at times to collect more information to process later, can add a smoothness to skin tones and give a little more light in available light shots. I am not anti-speedlight, just poor

    Other than that, I usually use a quick levels adjustment (or black and white point), then a minor local contrast enhancement as that seems to help with creative sharpening later, especially when I then load them to the web. I may then tweak the curves a bit before creative sharpening.

    In the case of these photos I have adjusted curves in the individual RGB colour channels to give a mild (not so mild in the second last pic) cross-processed look. To do it, if you are interested in fooling around, click into the red channel and apply a slight S curve, then open the green channel and click just above the line and half way along creating a slight upward curve, then in the blue channel, grab the top triangle and slide it down and then the bottom triangle and slide it up. That's it. Use sparingly!

    In one or two of them I think I applied a light caramel colour on a colorized layer (not sure what that is called in photoshop) and reduced the opacity to about 4 or 5 and then brushed it away from the centre with varied opacity brush. This give a little bit of a lowered contrast which may appear as desaturation.

    Someone else may have more of an idea of what I am actually doing to the image than I do in technical terms. Thanks for the comment.
    Last edited by Hans; 1st February 2011 at 01:40 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: First gig!

    I am going to give it a go later..thanks for the info share.

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    Sahil Jain

    Re: First gig!

    A lovely set of pictures, Hans.
    I love the tones in it. I have always wondered how those tones are done.

  10. #10
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    Re: First gig!

    Very nice work. I would not be surprised to hear the buyers of the Hobby Horses wanted a print to go along with them. I must add...I am impressed with your skill in directing the models. They did a great job.

  11. #11
    rob marshall

    Re: First gig!

    A great set of unusual portraits, Hans. The post-processing is very interesting and does give a different look. I like it. I love that word of your wife's (on her web site) - 'upcycling'.

  12. #12
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    Re: First gig!

    Lovely set Hans - and as others have said the post processing gives them an 'olde worlde' feel ...very nice.

  13. #13
    Hans's Avatar
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    Re: First gig!

    Thanks Sahil, Paul, Rob and Kay,

    After a pretty gruelling and depressing 13.5hr shift it was really uplifting to come home to your generous and supportive comments. I am re-energised and motivated to go out and keep practising. Thanks again

    I love that word of your wife's (on her web site) - 'upcycling'.
    Rob, she does have a way with words

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