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  • Photo by Douglas Dubler

    A Tale of Two Photos

    Once a year, on the anniversary of Guest Blog Wednesday, Scott affords me the opportunity to share some thoughts. All I can say is that it is a good thing that he gives me a year between these guest blog posts. Once again, thank you, Scott, for your gracious generosity.

    Tale 1

     

    Of all of the images I have or will take in my life, I suspect “Paris in Snow” will be by far my most iconic. It is the cover of my book From Oz to Kansas, and Epson uses it as the image on their worldwide packaging of Cold Press Natural paper. So the image has received some airplay.

    This image is one of the best examples I have of how to capture “timelessness” in a photograph. There is no way to tell if the image was shot yesterday, one, 10, 50 or 100 years ago. This has to do with an observation I made several years back when photographing New York City: “modern” happens four stories and below, and “timeless” happens four stories and above. The shops at street level come and go, fashions change, cars change, and the banners that get hung for this or that special event all tend to be hung from the floor of the fourth story (or the ceiling of the third if you want to be picky) and below. But the truth of the city and the age of its creation all live four stories (from the floor up) and above. Case in point: in this image, I am nine stories up, and I am shooting down toward the fourth story of the buildings in the foreground.

    Note: This is also an ExDR image (Extended Dynamic Range). Not merely an HDR image (High Dynamic Range). For me, HDR images tend to be ones that scream “I AM AN HDR IMAGE!!!” and are an exercise in how to make a photograph look like a Harry Potter set. Just because something looks weird does not make it art. It just means it looks weird. In this image, the dynamic ranges of focus, time, and gesture have been extended. The goal of any technique is that when the image is completed you cannot see the technique in the image.

    But I digress…. Back to the tale of this image. 

    (Above) Here's a behind-the-scene shot from Friday's shoot.  This is a three-light shoot: Two 4-foot strip banks above (with Elinchrom strobes), and there's one additional softbox in front (you can see the light-stand right behind my laptop) that's putting some extra light on the engine --- it was a little dark in there with just the two strobe directly above the bike. I asked my Creative Director Felix Nelson if I could shoot his Harley, but he was doing some serious tinkering with it at home and it wouldn't be ready for days, so he suggested calling our guitar player (Felix is the bass player for Big Electric Cat), Tony Llanes since he builds custom choppers. He didn't have one available, but his cousin had this "Big Dog!" chopper and he came rolling up on it Friday and I was like, "Oh Yeah baby!" Only had…

    OK, if you already have the first edition of the book, DON'T BUY THIS ONE!!!! That's because it's a "refresh" and not a "rewrite." The original book was published back in 2006, so I brought the book up-to-date with a pretty significant refresh using today's latest cameras, updates and changes in gear; plus I added a short chapter with some advice I've learned since then; I went through and updated all the photos  (man, it's excruciating to look back at the images you were taking seven years ago), and techniques where needed throughout, and I re-wrote from scratch the most popular chapter, the "Photo Recipes" chapter with all new images and descriptions (because again, I hated those old photos from 2006). So, as much as I'd love you to rush out and buy a copy.... I want to keep you as a reader and that…

    This week we kicked off the new season of Photoshop User TV (the weekly Photoshop show) and I got the honor of introducing our viewers to our new co-host of Photoshop User TV, and the latest addition to "The Photoshop Guys", it's  Jessica Maldonado, our own "Photoshop Girl." (wild cheers ensue!). I know what you're thinking. About #$&% time! (I totally agree)  I also know what some of you are thinking, and just so you know, Jessica chose the nickname "Photoshop Girl" herself (though some suggested "Photoshop Gal" cause they thought it fit the whole "Guys & Gals" theme, but Photoshop Gal doesn't sound like a super-hero, and Jessica is definitely a Photoshop super-hero!) Jess has been working with us for years in our design dept. She's the main designer on all my books, and books like Joe McNally's "The Moment it Clicks," David…

    http://youtu.be/Iga6aEMPego Free 24-Hour Trial for National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)! Want to know what you're missing out on by not being a NAPP member? Try it out for FREE for 24 hours right here! Check out the full-length classes and quick tutorials from the top Photoshop instructors in the world for a full 24 hours. Whether you're a photographer looking for Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop tips or a designer looking for new techniques and getting in-depth with layers, blend modes, and type, you can find it at NAPP. Straight From My Camera with Zack Arias The newest addition to The Art of Photography line of classes at KelbyTraining.com is Straight From My Camera with Zack Arias! In this class, he sits down with Mia McCormick to discuss everything from getting started and developing a style to finding inspiration and getting out of…

    How to Create an Architectural Photo: Manhattan Style I’d first like to thank Scott and Brad for inviting me to be a guest blogger!  When I was asked to write a post, I was very excited and immediately began thinking about what to share.  I love when photographers show how they created one of their favorite images from start to finish, so that’s what I’m going to do for you. Although architecture is a relatively small niche of photography, there are many architectural photographers out there; each with their own style of shooting and retouching.  Some do very minimal retouching, if any, to their photographs, but I am not one of those.  I put just as much time, love and attention to detail in post as I do on set.  Every square inch is accounted for whether I’m behind the camera or behind the…

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