Posts By Brad Moore

“Have Blimp, Will Travel”

That used to be the “shout out” to all the publicists and producers who hire set photographers for their feature films and TV series produced in Ontario, both Northern and Southern. I say, “used to,” as with the advent of mirrorless cameras and the electronic shutter, the SLR silenced by the blimp is becoming both redundant and anachronistic. 

I divide the Province in two as Northern Ontario, most notably Sudbury and North Bay, as they have become mecca for producers due to the tax credits available for labour costs.

And in the film and TV business, every nickel and dime is counted and watched by a number of levels within a production.

Hence this past March I worked up in North Bay on a show called “Cardinal” for CTV, in a frozen park full of little lakes, and came home with frostbite on my nose! Of all places… Did I think of greasing up that part of my body… nooooo. Call it a war wound… in -20 C. We had tents with heaters going for warmth between takes.

More than likely you’ll see me looking like the photo next to the wagon wheel as winter productions are not the norm. Cameras are rolling more likely from April – December in Ontario. 

Last year I worked on two productions in Northern Ontario, Honey Bee (see photo by the 24 hr. neon sign) and Bad Blood Season 2, both of which I was hired for the duration of each production, which simply means I got the job and shot all required photographic elements of and for the production.

These elements include: a) Set Stills on the days required by production for the publicity department, and that entails positioning myself as close to the A or B camera while they shoot the action, so I can get photos of the action.

An important aspect of set stills is rendering myself with “invisibility.” I use that word in an artistic sense, as it is a learned skill, just as a musician learns to play an instrument. Timelines and meshing with the crew are learned and practiced over the years. It makes life easier for the stills photographer, and also the actors. Typically the actor will never look directly at camera when shooting a scene.

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Demystifying Milky Way Landscape Photography with Erik Kuna

Learn how to capture breathtaking photos of the Milky Way with Erik Kuna! In this class Erik gets you up to speed on the gear you’ll need, the settings you’ll use, tools to help you plan your shoot, essential information about the Milky Way, and techniques to get tack sharp stars, all before heading out to some dark sky locations in the American Southwest. Erik wraps up the class with a review of some of the photos captured and some tips to help you move forward.



In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars

Join Dave Black for some lightpainting under the stars in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town. Dave starts off with a walk through of all the gear needed for lightpainting before taking us through the importance of a site survey. Over the course of six different shoots in a variety of locations Dave shares all of the steps and settings needed to create stunning lightpainted starscapes. Each lesson is packed with tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Dave’s decades of experience. Dave is a master teacher, and his love for creating these photographs is truly infectious.

The Importance of Play

Being a creative in 2019 can be tough sometimes. There is this expectation of perfection everywhere you look. There is the need to outdo your last piece of work. There is the race for more follows and likes. There is a constant fight for attention and affirmation that didn’t exist before.

Technology has changed the way we view and present work: We post our work online to social media instead of as prints in homes or galleries. It has changed the way people respond to work: A constant barrage of imagery and content online has desensitized viewers and has made them less likely to react to anything in a meaningful way. Technology has changed the way our work receives attention and praise: We get double taps, tags, and “likes” instead of clients and gallery print sales.

I actually recently found an Instagram account called @insta_repeat, that displays this idea all too well. Everyone is so busy fighting for attention, that they’re more willing to recycle and blatantly imitate something they’ve already seen get a good reaction, rather than try to invent compelling imagery for themselves. Why bother putting in the effort to make something that might not get as many likes as a “behind the model, holding hat, staring at beautiful landscape shot?”

The pressure to be consistently great is exhausting, at best, and crippling at worst. It makes us (at least me), not want to create anything that isn’t meticulously thought out. I found myself not wanting to shoot anything unless I had the session completely mapped out in my brain, from what hair and makeup was going to look like, what every piece of our wardrobe was going to be, to exact lighting, and what the set was going to look like. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important to keep in mind and plan for, but there was a certain, unyielding rigidity to the way I went about doing it.

I didn’t like having to be flexible if there was a change in plans for a certain look or shot. I didn’t push myself to venture outside of the box of static images I had already pre-planned in my head. And the worse part is, if I didn’t nail something exactly the way I saw it in my head, I felt like the entire shoot was ruined and like I was the worst photographer in the world.

Then, something happened a few months ago: It was my birthday and my plan was to spend a quiet day in my pajamas playing video games and drinking wine. However, instead of doing that, I ended up spending 13 hours in front of my computer racing to meet a retouching deadline.

By the time I was done with that work, the LAST thing I wanted to do was spend MORE time in front of the computer, home alone, on my birthday. So instead, I got dressed, grabbed my camera, and went downtown to the venue where my husband’s band was playing.

My only motivation that night was to go out and have some fun. I people watched, I took some photos of the band, of new friends I had made, of the dancing crowd, and around downtown at night. There were zero expectations of me from clients or otherwise. I was shooting because I wanted to, not because I had to.

That night I had the most genuine fun with my camera that I have had in a long time.

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Breaking Through Sports Composite AND Design A High-Impact Sports Graphic with Corey Barker

In the first part of this exclusive design bundle by Corey Barker you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process of creating a composite image of a soccer player appearing to kick a ball through a glass window. One of the greatest aspects of a composite image is that it allows us to create scenes that would be too dangerous or impossible to do in real life. Download the practice files and follow along as Corey demonstrates how to blend each element of the final composite into a dynamic sports graphic. You’ll learn techniques using masking, 3D, layer styles, and more along the way.

In the second segment of this exclusive sports design bundle, you’ll be guided, step-by-step, through the completion of a high-impact sports design graphic. The creation of this composite image involves a wide array of Photoshop tricks and techniques that you can apply to many different projects. In this class you’ll use layer styles, custom brushes, 3D design, lighting effects, extractions, selections, and more. Be sure to download the practice files and follow along as Corey teaches you what’s possible when you experiment, create, and have fun in Photoshop.



In Case You Missed It: Advanced Compositing in Adobe Photoshop

Get ready to take your compositing skills to the next level! Join Corey Barker as he steps you through the creation of a fantasy composite image, from extracting the subject though the final touches. Whether you are using an older version of Photoshop or the latest, you’ll learn how to cleanly extract your subject from the source image, how to build a background environment around your subject, and how to blend all of the elements together using lighting and atmospheric effects to create a believable composite image with impact. Corey will show you ways to use Photoshop that you’ve never thought of before, and he wraps up the class with cool tips for adding text and blending non-human objects into your composite.

First, I’d like to thank Scott and Brad for having me back on Photoshop Insider. It’s always an honor – and a lot of fun to be here!  Second, I’d like to thank YOU for stopping by today. Third, whew! I feel much better getting 40 books out of my head!!

So here’s the deal: A new filter, camera, lens, tripod and speedlite can surely help you make better photographs – but they can’t necessarily make you a better photographer.

That’s where my 40th book, Photo Therapy Motivation and Wisdom – Discovering the power of pictures, comes in. Understanding why and how we are motivated to make pictures – and what your photography means to you – is of the utmost importance. So is learning about emotional intelligence for photographers, how to steal like an artist, realizing that it’s never to late to be who you might have been, and understanding the difference between looking at seeing. Exploring light and color therapy also helps.

All those topics and much more – including my 40 quick-tip “Sammonisms” and 20 “missions” (self assignments) – are covered in my latest book.

Click here to order the Kindle version ($9.95).
Click here to order the paperback version ($15.99).

Unlike my other 39 photo-rich books, Photo Therapy Motivation and Wisdom – Discovering the power of pictures has no photographs between the covers. Yet, I feel as though it is my most important work. I trust this book will make you think – hard – about your photography, and about how using your brain, the best photo “accessory,” will help you become a better photographer. Or as stated by black-and-white landscape photographer Ansel Adams, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” 

Famed photographer Lewis Hien said, “If I could say in words what I say with my pictures, I would not have to lug around a camera.”

It’s not that I am tired of lugging around a camera. It’s just that I think the motivational and inspirational message of this book is better expressed without showing my own pictures. Rather, in reading the 35,000-word text, I’d like you to imagine your own pictures – and potential pictures – while I am describing a situation, process, technique, feeling or emotion.

Well-known photo educators, who also believe in the power photo therapy, contributed to my latest work. They include: Art Wolfe, Trey Ratcliff, Scott Bourne, Skip Cohen, Richard Bernabe, Randy Hanna, Ron Clifford, Denise Ippolito, Derrick Story, Jonathan Scott (The Big Cat Man), and Steve Brazill.

Before I get going here, this is how I looked while writing 35K words… and after!

Here are a few chapter excerpts from the text-only book. Enjoy!

Chapter 3: Photography Can Improve Your Health and Sense of Wellbeing

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angles whisper to a man who goes for a walk.

Raymond Inmon

Photography, for the most part, involves exercise – walking around a bustling city, hiking a wooded trail, hiking up a mountain path, making footprints on a sandy beach and so on. 

Those activities can help us burn calories and build muscles – if we walk as if we are going somewhere, as opposed to just strolling along. Add a camera backpack filled with gear, a tripod and a bottle of water, and that extra weight causes us to exercise a bit more strenuously which can be a good thing if we want to keep in shape.

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Black & White Fine Art Architectural Photography with Scott Kelby

Learn a fun technique for creating B&W fine art architectural photographs with Scott Kelby! In this class Scott goes through the essential gear you’ll need and the shooting setup to capture the starting photos, but the key to this technique is in the post processing you’ll do in Photoshop to create this dynamic look.

There are only four basic steps, and Scott gives you everything you’ll need to get started doing this right away. From converting to B&W to a variety of techniques for making selections, Scott gives you the foundational skills you need, then he wraps up the class with a start to finish project to help you see how it all comes together. He even provides practice files you can download and follow along.



In Case You Missed It – Fine Art Photography: Creating Large Format Prints

Make your fine art prints stand out from the pack! Join Steve Hansen for an in-depth look at all of the steps involved in creating a large format fine art print. In this class you’ll learn what makes a print a fine art print, how Steve takes a photo from capture to post production to print, the importance of a test print, and how to decide what type of paper, ink, and printer is best for your type of photographs.

Throughout the class Steve shares tips, tricks, and techniques for working in Lightroom, Photoshop, and with all of the materials used in creating the final print. Creating a fine art print is all about bringing your vision to life in a print, and by exploring a variety of finishing options that fit your style you can add value to your work and make it stand out from all of the rest. The second course in this series that deals with marketing your prints is coming soon!

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