Crash Taylor has launched a site and series called "The Still Image with Crash Taylor" where he features an indivual image from a photographer, then ask the photographer the story behind the photo (how it lit, which equipment was used, how it was post processed, etc.). There are a lot of very cool images there already, and I love reading about the "back story" on them. Crash invited me to talk about the image you see above on this new site, and share the story behind the photo, and you can read it right here. Congrats to Crash on launching this inspiring new site, and thanks Crash for the honor of being a very small part of something very cool.
Last Thursday I flew down to a very cool photo studio complex in Miami, near South Beach, for a photography training project I'm working on. Brad and I spent two days on location with a video crew filming behind the scenes footage of a bigger, more ambitious "Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it" project (that's one of our models---Jerrid shown above---click on him for a much larger view). Above: Stevie during a one light shoot with a very powerful turbo fan, run by Brad. We actually did 19 different photo shoots, setting up---and taping---each lighting set-up from scratch over a two day period, and we filmed segments in three different studios and on location on Miami's South Beach. We used everything from one light, two lights, to three lights, and quite a bit of off-camera wireless flash, too. We did shoots with scrims, diffusers,…
Thanks to everybody who shared their views on the HDR issue last Friday (link). When it comes to HDR, it seems like most folks are on one side or the other, with very little middle ground----you either like it or you really, really hate it. One comment posted by a reader named Cory really stuck out to me. It's short and sweet, but says volumes. The biggest trigger point for most commenters seemed to be the amount or style of HDR tonemapping applied to a photo, and they seemed to feel that the over-processing was strictly to hide bad photographic technique. So, if a photographer creates an HDR photo, and even if they over-process it, does that somehow instantly mean that they're now a bad photographer? Not everybody that uses over-the-top HDR effects uses them as a crutch. They may just like they way…
A week or so ago, by buddy Dave Cross had a great post called "The Debate about HDR", which talked about the strong feelings photographers have about HDR, both pro and con (here's the link). But what really caught my attention was a comment posted by one of his readers, because I’ve heard other photographers say the same thing, but none as succinctly as this reader’s comment: “I too use to love it...now, not so much...and for some reason, once I quickly identify the HDR effect, my opinion of the picture drops a notch." This reminds me of something my teenage son does. If it hears a song on the radio from one of his favorite new bands, and I tell him, "Oh, that's a remake of an old song from the 70s or 80s---no matter how much he liked that song---it now drops…
Hi Gang: We had so many questions yesterday about my new Flash-based portfolio that RC Concepcion put together for me, that we thought he might be helpful if he did a Q&A for you guys, and RC being RC, he was more than happy to. Here’s a quick Q&A from RC himself:
Q. Great Job with Scott’s Portfolio! I love it!
A. That’s not really a question, but an awesome statement. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!
Q. I’m having a hard time figuring out the navigation. It took me a little bit to figure out how to advance the pictures/see the arrows/move around
A. In the portfolio, all you really need to do is move the mouse slightly and you can see the navigation icons. From there, I would think the next impulse you’d have would be to click.. it’s what I do.
Q. I miss the Thumbnails
A. This is one version of a component that doesn’t include thumbnails, and I have to say – I really prefer it over having them online. The best way that I can equate it is like this: When someone handed you a physical portfolio, how anti-climactic would it have been to see all of the pictures on a small contact sheet before you even began. Part of the portfolio process (hard cover) was to turn that page and “Ahhhh..” See the next image in the series. If you really spent time looking at the portfolio, you used those images to carry a theme along and move the ‘energy’ of your work up, up, up. All of that just becomes “Photo Collecting” when its on a thumbnail list. Does this mean that this is wrong? Not at all.. there are components that -have- thumbnails. Just means that this one is different.
Q. Did you design this component?
A. Absolutely not! That honor goes to Tomuta Tiberiu from Flash Web Design in Romania. Tibi just knocked it out of the park on this one by providing something that is modular, engaging, AND cheap! All of that code cost 50 bucks to use. Think of that next time a web design service wants to charge you 2 grand for a site! When my class comes online – I’ll show you how to take pieces like this and put it together with a strategy.
Q. Hey, no fair! You didn’t even build this!
A. Hey! Not a question! But I will address it this way. I had a conversation with Scott in NY some time ago that set me on this course.. so I invariably owe it to him. As a photographer, your job is to develop the best Pictures. The website is a means to an end. You’re not trying to win a website design award with your site, but you want it to look clean, sharp, engaging, and stylish. I’d argue you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing so AND you don’t want to go back to college to do this. In this, components can help.
If I design a site to sell pocketbooks.. would it be cheating if I bought a shopping cart solution and didn’t hand program one from scratch? Nope. I don’t write my email program from scratch either – I use Outlook. Look at these components as what they are – Tools- and you’ll realize you can be better spending your time taking pictures than sweating the technology.
My buddy, and photography Web wizard, RC Concepcion set me up with a totally new online portfolio layout, and what I really like about it is that is kind of takes up the full size of your Browser, giving you a much larger view of each image (which was the most common complaint about my old online portfolio). You can click the Portfolio link on the left side of this page, or what the heck---just click here. The way I wound up with having RC do this in the first place is, he's working on an online class on how to find inexpensive Flash components and use them for things like custom portfolios which you can easily maintain yourself without having to know Flash at all. They're all XML-based, and even though his class isn't up live yet, he was kind enough to let…