Posts By Brad Moore

Everything Else In Lightroom: Part Two with Scott Kelby
Building on Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 1, Scott Kelby has assembled a new set of skills every Lightroom user should know into Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 2. This series is designed to teach you a wide range of Lightroom topics, and serve as a reference for those times when you just want to dive into a specific topic, or come back and review. In this class you can master custom file name templates, learn how to use the Map module, become more efficient with export actions, customize your default settings for raw photos, develop a smart object workflow, and a host of other killer Lightroom techniques. You’ll be amazed at how many things Lightroom can do!

In Case You Missed It
Time for some Lightroom killer tips! Join Scott Kelby as he digs deep and shares dozens of tips, tricks, and workarounds to help you work faster, more efficiently, and have more fun while using Lightroom. From little known features to time-saving techniques, Scott will help you get more out of Lightroom than you knew was possible. Feel free to jump in with any lesson that catches your eye, or take it from the top. These killer tips can be found almost every corner of Lightroom and can be applied to any workflow.

Photo by John Schell

My 5 Essentials For An Outdoor Location Shoot
Spring is officially underway and with it, a flurry of photoshoots among the beautiful flowering nature. It’s that time of year when shooting outside is comfortable, and the evening light has the last of winter’s lingering softness. A vast majority of my shoots take place on location, and over the years I’ve learned to bring along a few things that make shooting outdoors that little bit less stressful.

1) Scissors
I have a pair of strong scissors I bring to “tidy” up a scene (i.e. get rid of leaves, small branches, brambles, etc). They also come in very useful if labels are left on clothes, and any of the multitude of reasons you’d need scissors for!

2) Rose Clippers
On the subject of “tidying” up a location, some foliage is a little too thick and this is when my rose clippers would come out. They’ve saved me lots of Photoshop time across many a shoot.

3) Fabric (thick or thin)
Sometimes it’s not so easy to predict whether an outdoor location would be muddy or not. I always bring fabric along to protect the garments from getting dirty. If the dress the model is wearing is full length I would make sure to always have fabric tucked underneath so as to protect it from dirt. Ideally using a fabric that’s a similar colour to the dress makes life easier.

4) Reflector
If you’re a natural light shooter then bringing a reflector along is always a good idea. It’s a great tool to manipulate light as well as doubling up as a scrim, providing some shade where there isn’t any available. It’s also super versatile as it comes in handy on occasions where I forget to bring fabric and needed to protect the garments.

5) Safety Pins and Hair Grips
Two things that are a staple in my camera bag! If you’re working with an experienced hair or makeup artist they would bring these along with them. I, however, can always count on something going wrong on location shoots such as, zips breaking, hairstyle needing tweaking, pinning the dress so it fits better, etc!

We all know that the more you can capture in camera the better, and that’s why it’s worth going the extra step in preparation.

Here are a few more suggestions for a comfortable location shoot!

Water: Hydration is always a good idea!

Hand warmers, hot water bottles and heaters: Great if you’re shooting in the winter.

Umbrella: Have one for the model if you’re shooting in the summer.

Food and snacks: Because food puts everyone in a good mood!

Music and a bluetooth speaker: To help set the mood and vibe

Ladder: Useful as a prop or to capture a new perspective/angle.

Battery bank: You never know when people’s phones or other things need to be charged. It’s always good to have something in this situation to keep you covered.

Shower Cap: If it were to rain, you can protect your camera with it and it also allows you to still work with it.

I would love to know, what are your location shoot essentials? It’s always interesting to see what other photographers bring along to shoots!

You can see more of Bella’s work at BellaKotak.com, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Electrifying Eyes – Retouching Eyes in Photoshop with Kristina Sherk
Join Kristina Sherk from Shark Pixel for an entire class dedicated to teaching you the best methods for retouching eyes using Photoshop. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the first things viewers connect with when looking at your photographs. Correctly retouching eyes, without going overboard, is one of the most crucial aspects of portrait retouching, and can make or break a photo. In this class you’ll learn all aspects of eye retouching, including under the eyes, opening the eyes, whitening, adding lashes, exaggerating color, improving catchlights, and more. By the end of the class you’ll have a new bundle of tools, tips, and techniques for improving your retouching skills, as well as a free set of brushes you can download and use.

In Case You Missed It
Learn the core fundamentals of retouching hair! Join Kristina Sherk as she teaches you how to retouch hair smarter, not harder. From removing stray hairs to changing your subject’s hair color, and from creating custom hair brushes to adding dimension and shine, Kristina will show you how to do the best things possible in the fastest amount of time. Every photographer working with people can benefit from adding these hair retouching techniques to their set of skills, so that you can deliver outstanding work to your clients and get back behind the camera. By the end of the class you’ll know how to make your clients look red-carpet ready and how to do it faster than ever.

Photo by Jason Menon

Wet Plate A Hundred And Sixty Six Year Old Photo Process

Number one question I get on a weekly basis.. What goes into a typical wet plate shoot? Well, I’m about to walk you through what wet plate collodion is, and what I do when I setup to shoot on location.

Photo by Luis Velez

To create an image, I hand pour the emulsion (collodion) into a pool on a glass or black aluminum plate, then carefully move it around until its evenly coated. The excess is drained back into the bottle. Next, I lower the plate into a silver nitrate tank and let it sit in there for three minutes while the chemical reaction takes place. Once it is time to take the plate out of the tank, it has essentially turned into a sheet of extremely slow film.. In my mobile darkroom I place the plate into a custom holder so that it can then be loaded into a view camera and exposed.

After the plate is exposed, it is taken back to my darkroom where it is immediately developed and stopped with water. Once developed and stopped the image is no longer light sensitive and can be taken out of the darkroom into white light. The image now looks like a blue negative. The final chemical step is fixing the plate. This turns the image from a negative into the final positive form. Later on the plate is washed with water, dried, and varnished with shellac.

Photo by Justin Conant
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon

Okay, so now that I have filled you in on some of the technical aspects of how each plate is made, I will go through my setup for an on location shoot.

My most recent project, called “Stillwater,” is a documentary project that explores the heavy rock community through wet plate portraiture. Most of the time bands have very limited time when it comes to their schedule. So to create work for this project I meet bands at the venue to make their portraits. My car is loaded to the brim with strobes, stands, power packs, 11×14 view camera, beauty dishes, and some other miscellaneous equipment. I unload all of my equipment, and set it up in the venue.

Once it is set up I will go out to my car and then set up my mobile darkroom in the trunk of my car. This whole process usually takes me an hour and a half to two hours… After both of these are set up I can start to shoot. Each portrait takes me about 20 minutes per shot which includes the plate prep time. So there is no room for error… I only have time for one shot per person, so I have to be very mindful in each aspect of the process.

Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Dave Bichard

The number one issue that I ran into when I started this project was trying to figure out how to make these images without available light. I learned how to shoot wet plate with using the sun as my light source. However, most bands arrive later in the day and by the time I get set up, it’s dark outside. So, I implemented the use of strobes to make my exposure.

Wet plate is not that light sensitive; the working ISO is around .5 to 1, therefore you need A LOT of light. About 12,000ws for 11×14 plates, and 7,200ws For 8×10 plates. So my favorite tool to increase my output is the Profoto twin tube heads. This allows me to combine my 2,400ws Acute packs into one head with an output of 4,800ws. I am constantly changing my lighting setup. However, my most recent setup has been implementing two Profoto soft light silver beauty dishes for my key light, above and below my subject. As for the rim light I use a Profoto magnum reflector. These tools help me achieve the maximum power output that I need for my images.

Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Jason Menon
Photo by Dave Bichard
Photo by Dave Bichard
Photo by Dave Bichard

It has been a long journey from when I first started working in this medium to where I am now. I encourage people to try out wet plate for themselves. However, it is a long learning curve that requires patience… Just be prepared to make a lot of bummer plates before you make any good ones. That’s part of the fun of the process, and it’s that much more rewarding once you make a plate that you are proud of.

You can see more of Matthew’s work at MatthewDeFeo.com, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Landscape Photography: Preplanning and Post-Processing with Richard Bernabe
Take your landscape photography to the next level with Richard Bernabe! Join Richard in Cape Hatteras as he photographs the beautiful Outer Banks while demonstrating how the decisions you make in the field will impact the tools and techniques you can use in your post processing. This class is all about how you can bring your field work together with your post processing, so that you are capturing photographs that allow you to get the most out of your workflow. Over the course of several days of shooting Richard teaches you how to capture and process images involving exposure blending, correcting perspective distortion, removing lens flare, increasing depth of field with focus stacking, and much more. Each lesson on a specific capture technique is paired with a lesson on how to process those photographs using Lightroom and Photoshop.

In Case You Missed It
Take a photographic road tour through the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway with Richard Bernabe and learn how to master an array of compositional tools for creating more dynamic landscape photographs. In this class Richard uses the stunning mountain scenery of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway to share his landscape photography thought processes and show you how to create more compelling landscape images. From sunrise to sunset, and grand landscapes to cascading waterfalls, Richard demonstrates techniques and tools that you can start using immediately in your work, as well as the gear and camera settings he uses in each of these situations.

Follow Your Intuition

How many times in a day are you faced with having to make a choice? What time do I need to wake up? What should I wear? What should I eat for breakfast, etc…. That’s within the first hour of the day. Everyday we have to make hundreds if not thousands of decisions. How do we know what to do, which path to take?

As an Artist, the decision making process is amplified. As we walk through the creative process we often second guess ourselves. What lens should I use? What background do I put my subjects in? White or black dress, hat or no hat, etc… The list of creative options goes on and on. Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed?

On one hand the creative process can be the most exhausting, nerve racking experience an Artist has to go through. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could make a creative decision knowing that you are 100% right every time? I’m going to let you in on a secret that will revolutionize your photography.

First, have you ever watched American Idol, the X Factor, or one of those types of shows where the judges give advice? What do they say over and over. “Take a risk and be yourself.” “Do what feels right, and let it all hang out.” You see, originality will always trump those who copy. When you copy someone’s artistic vision, you will always blend with the masses because there is a line out the door of copiers. If you be yourself, you will stand out from the crowd.

So, how does the creative process work in the real world? For starters, there is this annoying voice that seems to chatter over our shoulder as we come to a crossroad and have to make a creative decision. It goes something like this, ”Are you sure you doing it right? Someone’s not going to like what you’re doing,” and it goes on and on. You start to think about your photography teacher and what he or she would say. And of course there are your friends, colleagues, not to mention the social media crowd. All this chatter is playing inside your head as you are trying to figure out which modifier you should put on your strobe.

Since you were born you have been practicing one thing over and over. From what shoes to wear to what music you listen to, you have been formulating what you like and dislike. It turns out, you are pretty good at it. You have a personality, temperament, history of years on this planet, that all play a factor in your decision making process. It all feeds into your intuition and is the culmination of who you are. It’s your uniqueness.

I have a quote that I repeat over and over to my workshop attendees, “You are unique, one of a kind, there is no one on the planet just like you.” This thing called your intuition is the ticket to you being a creative force. If you are in sync with your intuition, it will never lead you astray. NEVER! How do I know that? Because Art is the manifestation of self-expression. The creative process should be driven by the very core of who you are. No one should be able to tell you you’re off track.

The problem with most Artist/Photographers, is we never really trust our intuition and are constantly being swayed by other’s opinions. Often our creative process lacks the skill-set to compete in the marketplace. If you want to be a world class violinist you have to practice your craft six to eight hours a day. Just ask one. It’s no different in photography. The best photographers in the world out practice 99.9 percent of all other photographers on the planet. They take a risk by following what comes natural, their intuition.

When I set up my lights and build a portrait, how do I know I am on the right track? When it feels right! That’s right, when my intuition, my feeling and my emotions tell me it is right, I can’t go wrong. Because I end up with something that is unique that fits me to a T. A flash meter will never tell you where to put your lights, or what modifier to use, or how far you place it from your subject. This is reserved for the creative mind and falls on the shoulders of your intuition. Stop listening to the chatter of other’s opinions and follow the single greatest asset you posses as an Artist, your very own intuition.

You can see more of Joel’s work at JoelGrimes.com, and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Close