Sleeklens presets and Brushes
I was approached by Sleeklens to try their Pre-sets and Brushes, I was given them free to give my honest and unbiased review of their product
I have to say I am very impressed, there are hundreds of pre-sets on the market, some good some bad this seems to be one of the better products, I was impressed with Sleeklens the image below is before and after only using Sleeklens pre-sets and brushes.
The image straight from camera with no edits
The after image I have used Preset SaP 5-Polish soften
also I have used the reduce shinny skin brush, Brighten eyes Brush and brighten Highlights brush
I have not done a massive amount to the image but the brushes i have used worked really well
I am very impressed with the range of brush that you get in this package they work really well and now save me a lot of time from doing skin alterations in photoshop,
check the prodcts out at the links below
How to Light headshots
I was asked to do some headshots for an actress so
I came up with this lighting setup that worked very well, check out the setup below. The session was only about 30 minutes with one change of cloths,
A four light setup a reflector and three different backdrops, were used 1 large softbox on the floor giving the backdrop some light but not blowing it out, 2 hair lights were used with grills on them making the light very direct.
The main light was a bowens with a beauty dish attached this lit the face and a reflector below gave a little light , the actress was thrilled with the end result and now makes up her headshot portfolio
Using an Image Retouching service
I can take pictures really well,
I can use cameras and set up lighting really well
I can retouch Images very average
So when I have taken the image and what that extra special finish I will use an Image retoucher who does the job everyday and can use photoshop to its full potential
On a recent shoot I had a few images that I had retouched but not totally happy, I asked
Rachael Woodhouse who runs Purple Princess Edits
to edit a few for me
I came across Rachael on Facebook a few months ago and her work is amazing after sending three images to her via a folder shared with her on dropbox I got back twelve images all edited with four different styles
I was very pleased with the results
So if you your a photographer and thinking why do I need an image retoucher think again because it is well worth using one
Check Rachael out on the link below
I often think the impotence of a make up artist is overlooked by many models on shoots. A lot of time models will say that they do there own makeup. but Professional Knowledge is key, MUA have the product knowledge to know what works on camera, the also know what works with different skin types.
The above picture shows a before and after from makeup the difference is staggering. This kind of makeup and the skill of the MUA will make the photographers editing and post process time a lot less
finished Image with professional makeup and little post process editing think you will have to agree the final image is stunning
Back Up strategy
I have been asked a few times do I keep all my images? well amazingly I do even though each image is 25 meg, I have a set procedure that is mostly automated A simple rule I've learnt over time, with backups
3 Backup copies of anything you want to keep.
2 different storage media.
1 offsite storage site.
photos are loaded onto my editing PC into lightroom this has 6tb of storage and one copy is kept on a external hard drive when editing is finished,
within 10 mins a copy of images are sent to 1 of 2 home-servers I run with a total of 24 TB of storage .
Two HP Proliant servers with 8 Hard drives in total
so two copies in two places now for the third on the servers I run some software called CrashPlan, this backs up to the cloud, a company in US called Code 42, I have unlimited space on the plan I have. so within 10 mins of me loading the images on my PC I have a copy elsewhere and a copy in the cloud that I can access anywhere in the world.
Crash plan offer lots of different plans for back up check them out here
So when I am asked do I still have them pictures from 2 years ago Yes I do :) If you have any questions on this drop me a line.
Sexy Santa Shoots
Well its been a while since my last post but I had two interesting shoots this weekend, Two girls wanting a festive sexy Santa shoot, turned out to be two very different shoots but both a lot of fun :)
We even moved from the studio to my lounge to get the tree shot with one studio light coming with us.
Think I need to be doing more Cos-play stuff soon, I did a wicked Tomb Raider style shoot a few months ago so if any budding model has any idea's just drop me a line :)
Any Comments feel free to post also hit the facebook like button helps me out
I purchased some new studio lights this week was going to buy some more Bowens but after doing a bit of research I came across Lencarta, I had not heard of this make before but after a bit or reading I was impressed. being as I am only using this set for overexposing a white background so I choose SmartFlash 400Ws Lighting kit. The kit contains 2 200 watt flash units 2 very nice air cushioned light stands and 2 reflective brolly s.
I must say I am very impressed with the kit, the flash units have built in fans not normal on budget range flash heads. I used them on a shoot Saturday and they performed brilliantly. they have 150 watts modeling lights built in, my only little criticism is I can not turn the modeling light down like I can on my Bowens but this is not a major issue. The heads incorporate the popular Bowens S-type fitting, making them compatible with a wide range of light modifiers too, at half the price of Bowens they are exceptional value for money.
Check them out at http://www.lencarta.com/
My rating is 9.5 out of 10
Emma Stevenson studio shoot
Last Saturday was a studio shoot with Emma, she contacted me via my Purple Port account looking to work with me on a TFP Basis,
She had 3 themes in mind plus I did my standard studio shots, we got on that well it turned into a 4 hour shoot and 1 hour going over the images I had taken, Emma picked over a hundred she liked, Emma is a Talented singer and has a youtube channel with some great content, the link is http://www.youtube.com/user/emmzy012/videos
she also has 7 songs at https://soundcloud.com/emma-stevenson-uk
and if you want to check her out on Facebook take a look at http://www.facebook.com/EmmaStevensonUk
I look forward to doing some more work with her in the future :)
Sunset 3 set Limited Edition
I have created a 3 set Limited Edition framed pictures the frames are 17" x 20" and the pictures are 12" x 16" email for details
Over past few weeks been doing some sunset shoots , I have really enjoyed them apart from being eaten alive by bugs and have a bad reaction needing antibiotics to clear it up :( I take a full studio set up when I go including 2 bowens gemini with travel Pak, 7.30 start last shot about 9.15, some example below