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The Essential Elements of Retouching with Viktor Fejes
Learn the essential elements of retouching. Join Viktor Fejes as he provides you with a solid a foundation for how to approach retouching. This is not a class on how to use the basic tools of retouching, but rather how to think about retouching in a logical and methodical fashion, so that you can develop a workflow to properly retouch a photo from start to finish. You’ll learn how to evaluate an image, how to start in Camera Raw, how to structure your layers in Photoshop, how to use techniques involving false colors to fine tune texture, tones, and color, and all the while gaining a firm understanding for why you would approach retouching in this way.

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.

Not every photographer wants or can afford to hire a retoucher. That said, I hate seeing photos with all the potential of becoming something amazing being ruined by bad retouching. I am not even talking about those mistakes that only a specialist would catch – it is about the ones that make everyone say, well, it has been photoshopped.

To get around this issue, and to hopefully help those who retouch their own photos I compiled this list of tidbits to help you produce better results when it comes to post-production. Even though a couple of these are no-brainers, it is good to remind ourselves that sometimes seemingly simple notions are the hardest to truly understand.

1. You Have to Learn Photography First
Post-production should come after pre-production, and production. Never has been a more evident truth written. It is important to keep this in mind because sometimes beginner photographers start with a bit of photography knowledge, and immediately after that they jump into Photoshop. This is usually wrong as it produces subpar results. When your base is lacking, it is better to work on that rather than trying to polish it.

Here is my advice to you: learn photography, then learn a bit more photography and only then start with a very small amount of retouching; just barely using the healing brush here and there. Once you are confident with that and are producing great results, move on to more photography and more retouching etc. This way you will not get into the habit of making your photos ‘interesting’ only because you applied some random colour to it.

2. Do Not Buy into Techniques
A technique is a technique is a technique. I am 99% sure that you have heard about ‘frequency separation.’ It is being advertised by ‘gurus’ as the tool high-end retouchers use – it seems to be the magic technique everyone wants to learn or perfect. I know many people who retouch whole photos with it; which is possible, but ill advised. I cannot even remember the last time I used it. It is only a technique and should be used as so, not the be all end all tool of skin-hair-whatever retouching.

I know someone who used frequency separation on a group photo. That is not when it should be used. Whenever you encounter new techniques be sceptical, learn it, and only use it when it is necessary. The main ideas behind retouching can be applied using any techniques. Sit down, study your tools and you will be able to skin that cat in a hundred different ways.

Instead of learning techniques, learn the principles of a good image.

Photo by Greg Swales

3. Zoom Out
I remember a photographer a couple of years ago boasting about how he zooms in to 400% magnification whenever he is retouching. Do you know how his photos looked? Blurred. When you work on an image really zoomed in you are basically eradicating the detail in that photo, and that will result in a blurred look, much like you used Gaussian blur.

So here is a question for you: when you look at the cover of a magazine do you put your nose to the glossy finish to peep at the dots of the image? Probably not. Hence, try to retouch your photos as the intended use. Will people see it zoomed in, from a distance, on a billboard, on the cover of a magazine, on canvas? Factor this all in, and this will help you understand how far you should take each of your images.

4. There Is More to Retouching Than Skin
In people’s minds, most of the times retouching equals to making a person’s skin look beautiful (especially the face). This usually results in a contrast between the main subject and everything else. Aim to be equal in your retouch – try to balance everything out, not just colour and contrast but the degree of retouching, too.

If I am hired to work on an image, I try to be all over the place and retouch everything to the same degree. That way, if I run out of time because the client needs to take a look at the photo sooner than planned, they will still see it as a perfect unit without parts being out of place.

Photo by Zoe Rain

5. Mimic Movies
The people who make movies look good on the post-production end are called colourists. They will make sure that scenes look natural while maintaining the same aesthetic throughout. The thing is that they cannot be as precise as retouchers because they work on moving images that usually contain 24 frames in a second. That is a lot of images. However, I dare you to take a screencap of any movie and find every little detail these colourists worked on. It would be almost impossible as they work so well.

Based on this, my advice is to try and work like they do. First, try to utilise feathered, broader selections and use those to guide the viewer’s eyes with colour and contrast. Set a nice tone, and make artistic choices while still keeping the basic principles in mind. Once you have all of these worked in seamlessly and you still think you need to go in and retouch more in detail, only then do that. This way, you will keep things fairly natural and will not overwork the image unnecessarily.

Photo by Carlos J. Matos

As you can see it does not take much to improve your retouching – all you have to do is to study others’ work and try to do less. When you start small and apply basic principles, even the hardest tasks can be easily handled. Where people fail most of the times is that they either do not have a strong enough base or they try to do too much right off the bat. It is OK to learn one step at a time, and you do not even need to remember a library of techniques to succeed in the end when it comes to retouching.

You can see more of Viktor’s work at GildStudios.com, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Hello, everybody! It’s that time of the week again, right here on ScottKelby.com, where the blog moves across the pond to London, UK, where I will share with you another of my pearls of wisdom from the world of travel photography. Thank you all for your comments and feedback from my previous posts, I really appreciate it and love to hear from you on #HybridDaveTuesdays. Today, I’m actually in Germany’s Black Forest looking for castles to shoot—you can keep up with my progress through my social links down at the bottom of the page.

This week’s post draws from a nifty trick I like to use in landscapes, and it’s all because when I travel I often find myself with too many scenes I want to shoot and not enough golden hours to shoot them all! The suggestion of landscape photography casts fear into the minds of a whole host of photographers. The art of landscape photography requires skill, patience, dedication, and usually long and unsocial hours. Composing, selecting the scene, the time of day, the lighting conditions, it can all seem a little too much of an overload for some, but you can improve almost any scene with this little hack.

I like to portray my photos as my vision of what I see at the time in my mind’s eye. The phrase I match to this, which I think represents the idea quite well is “lend me your eyes and I’ll show you what I see.” Essentially, I want people to see my memory of the scene, and I want that memory to be epic! If I see highlights or spots of light in the scene, I want to portray that in the final image.

This quick tip will arm you with the skills to draw the viewer’s eye to exactly the parts of the image you want them to be drawn to, it will add a depth to your image, and it will add somewhat of a romantic element to the lighting in most cases, as well. It’s a technique I use a lot, and it can be applied in Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Lightroom alike.

When you process your photo, consider painting in some extra light with the Adjustment Brush. It’s as simple as selecting the Adjustment Brush, pumping the Exposure slider up from anywhere between 0.5 and 2 over, depending on what fits your shot, and drawing over selective areas of your image. When I use it, I quite often use the Clarity slider, as well, to add a little edge to the retouched areas, drawing the viewer’s eye in further. It’s a technique I use all the time, and if you don’t already, I strongly implore you to consider it and try it out!

Here’s a relatively plain shot, from somewhere in the middle of Arizona, to show the results of just a little tweak with this method in Adobe Camera Raw.

1before
This is straight out of my camera.

2firstpp
This is after the first retouch with sliders.

3final
This is after painting in some light on the cactus and dotting around in the foreground.

For this edit, I had my Adjustment Brush set to +0.95 Exposure and +44 Clarity.

I hope this tip is valuable to you—I posted about it because it’s such a valuable element of my process. Let me know how you get on!

Much love,

Dave

It’s here, and you’re invited to join us at my 10th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ brought to you by our friends at Canon, and produced by KelbyOne. This photo walk is a worldwide phenomenon with nearly 1,100 cities around the globe hosting walks last year. Best of all, it’s all to benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya.

Above: That’s the group shot of the local photo walk I led in Venice, Italy last year — we’re posed in Venice’s famous St. Mark’s Square, where we started our walked (and we ended at a cafe nearby). Such a great group to walk with. 

Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details:

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A.The official date is Saturday, October 7, 2017 – two months from today! (here’s a link to the official site)

Q. So Scott, are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A. 
Absolutely! I’m leading a local photo walk in Lisbon, Portugal (I’ve already posted the details for my Lisbon walk  — I hope if you live in the Lisbon area, or like me, you’ve dreamed of going to Portugal, you can join me). Here’s a link to my walk. :)

Q. What do you do on a Photo Walk?
A. You start by meeting with up to 50 other photographers at a central meeting point. Then a Photo Walk Leader leads the group on a leisurely paced stroll through an area that is photographically interesting; you take lots pictures; you can chat with other folks (photo walkers are very friendly by nature); you laugh, you enjoy being outside with a group of like-minded folks.  Then, after around 2-hours, you wind up at a local restaurant, pub, cafe, etc. (chosen in advance by the walk leader), where you can have a meal, some drinks, and make some new friends.

It’s a social event, and it’s really a blast (and you get to make some cool pictures, which is always good).

Q. Where do I sign up to join a walk in my city?
A. Visit the official Worldwide Photo Walk Website, and click the “Find a Walk” button to see if there’s a walk set-up in a city near you. If there is, and there are spots still available, you can sign up right there for free and join that walk. If there isn’t a walk in your city, maybe you can start one and lead it yourself (more on that in a moment). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because new walks in new cities are being added every day.

Q. Why isn’t there a walk in my city?
A. We don’t choose the cities. Photo walks take a place in a city because a volunteer in that city contacts us and says they are willing to form and lead a walk. Any city can have a walk — it just takes the right person in that city to volunteer to organize a walk. They can apply to lead a walk on the official site.

Q. Is there a fee to participate?
A. There is no fee — it’s totally free. However, each year we do

Q. Does the walk have a social mission?
A. Absolutely. Each year we “Walk with a Purpose” to benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya. Walkers from around the world raise funds to help the orphanage feed, clothe and care for some very wonderful children who need our help. We do it from simple one-dollar donations. When you sign up for a walk, you’ll have the option (the donation is totally optional), to donate just $1 to the orphanage via Paypal. 100% of your donation goes directly to the orphanage, and last year we were able to raise more than $24,000. This year we’re trying to hit $30,000, and with your help, we can do it! You cannot imagine what a difference this makes to the orphanage (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. :)

So, if you could donate just $1 when you’re on the site that would be awesome (and you’ll be helping more than you know), but again, it’s totally optional. By the way, you can give more than a buck if you’d like — some folks give a $hundred — we’ve had folks donate a $thousand, which of course, just makes our head explode with joy!

tamgr

Above: Here’s the group shot from the walk I led in 2011 in Tampa, Florida. It was fairly warm, but the people were hot (and I mean that in the nicest non-naughty way possible). Kathy and Barb were there. What could go wrong? ;-)

Q. What happens when a local walk fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Each Photo Walk is limited to a maximum of 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Click here for the explanation.

romegroupshot

Above: That’s a group shot from the walk I led in 2013 in Rome. It was kinda chilly, kinda rainy, but we had so much fun (and some amazing food) and the weather sure didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. 

Q. If I led a walk last year, can I lead a walk again this year?
A. We would love that! Check your email inbox — we sent out invitations already to last year’s leaders (the email comes from us at “KelbyOne: World Wide Photo Walk” and it was sent last week). The subject line reads “Worldwide Photo Walk needs you to lead a walk again this year!”

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader) will get a digital copy of my book, “Photoshop CC for Digital Photographers,” and their winning image is also then entered into the main photo competition vying for even bigger prizes. From those local walk winners I will choose 10-finalists, who all get great prizes, and then I choose a single Grand Prize winner, who just gets an insane amount of stuff.

Q. If I bring my kids, can they enter the contest?
A. Yes! I’m happy to announce that this year we have a special Youth Contest just for walkers under 16-years of age (kids are more than welcome to join a photo walk (we love kids!) but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Q. I see on the site that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean the Grand Prize might include a camera and a lens?
A. Why, yes it does! Our friends (and official sponsors) at Canon are giving the Grand Prize Winner a Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless camera with an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS lens, and a Canon Pixma Pro color printer. Plus they win: a $250 B&H Gift Certificate

> $250 B&H Gift Certificate
> Drobo 5D3 5-bay storage solution
> Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Rolling Backpack camera bag
> $500 Westcott Gift Certificate
> Platypod Max, Ultra, and Multi Accessory Kit camera support system
> A one-year membership to the KelbyOne Online Educational Community

How sweet is that! There are other prizes, too!

Q. What do the 10 Finalists win?
A. Lots of fun stuff: 

> $50 B&H Photo Gift Certificate
> $50 Certificate Off Any Drobo On The Drobo Store
> Think Tank Photo Trifecta 10 DSLR Backpack
> $50 Westcott Gift Certificate
> Platypod Ultra camera support with Multi Accessory Kit
> 1-Year Membership to KelbyOne Online Educational Community

 

CanonVCK

Q. I see there is a category for video taken during the walk. What’s the prize?
A. Our friends from Canon are giving away a Canon Video Creator Kit (seen above), to the best video submitted from the walk. The kit includes a Canon EOS 80D Body; their new 18-135mm lens; a Canon Power Zoom Adapter; RODE VideoMic Go; a 32G SD Card, and all the other goodies (battery, charger, strap, etc.). 

sydneygroupshot

Above: That’s the group shot of the local photo walk I led in Sydney, Australia in 2015. We started our walk at the world famous Sydney Opera House. 

Q. Are any cities with Photo Walks organized yet?
A. Yes! We already have walks set-up all over the world, with more being added every day! From Cairo, Egypt, to Raleigh, North Carolina — from Newcastle upon Tyne, England to Woodland, Florida — from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands to Gig Harbor, Washington — from Acre, Israel; to Inveraray, Scotland, from Tabriz, Iran and Sioux City, South Dakota — there are walks all over the world who would love to have you join them!

tarpon

Above: That’s my group shot from my Tarpon Springs Photo Walk a few years back. My wife and I made a very dear friend on that photo walk.

lond

Above: That’s a group shot from my London Photo Walk two years ago. Hybrid Dave and Hybrid Peter are in there somewhere. Two top men. My friend Bryan is in there. So is Brad. Mike is there, too! Lots of cool folks.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk in my area?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website — just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, so you’re familiar with keep a group of up to 50 people happy, safe and healthy, etc., you’re likely to get accepted fast to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

ybor

Above: This is the group that I led in Ybor City, Florida back in 2009. I hated these people. Of course, I’m just kidding – they were awesome – I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Worked, didn’t it? ;-)

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not — it’s totally optional — you don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest).

Q. Do I get anything for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You get lots of love. And admiration from your walkers (and me). You also get the eBook edition of my bestselling “Photoshophsop CC book for Digital Photographers,” as our way of saying “thank you.” You also get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a copy of the same ebook as well (and judging a photo competition is a lot of fun. While it’s tough to narrow things down to just one winner, it’s also fun because you get to see lots of beautiful images in the process).

paris

Above: That’s my group shot from my Paris, France photo walk. Yes, that’s is our friend (and Photoshop World instructor) Serge Ramelli standing next to my wife Kalebra. You get extra points if you recognized Serge from my Rome walk group shot as well. 

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
We have that, too! It’s our way of honoring the photographic work of our dedicated and talented leaders. The best image submitted from a leader will win a prize package that includes a Canon Mirrorless camera and lens, plus a Pixma Pro lens and loads of other prizes. It’s our best leader prize package yet!

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for Walkers & Leaders?
A.You betcha! Here’s the link. (order yours right now so you can wear it during for the walk and look all cool and everything, like the model you see in the photo above — but even cooler).

100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts go directly to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya for the feeding, medical needs, clothing, education and care for these great kids. Last year, with our friend Rob Jone’s help, we raised nearly $6,000 just from these t-shirt sales alone (imagine how much $6,000 alone means to a small orphanage).

Here’s the link to the t-shirt store (they come in multiple styles and colors).

NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders —  we’ll be posting a link on your leader’s dashboard).

dunedin1

Above: OK, not exactly a posed group shot, but it is my group, seen here in a behind-the-scenes shot from the very FIRST Photo walk ever — back in 2008 – this one is in Dunedin, Florida.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing. Where do I go?
A. 
There’s a FAQ on the Website (here’s the link) but it’s a lot of the same stuff I have here, but there is some contact info if you need to get in touch with us directly.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. Stay up-to-date by following us on our Twitter page and Facebook Page (If you talk about the walk on social – we would love it if you would include the hashtag #wwpw2017).

Plus, I’ll shoot you an email once a week leading up to the walk with some photography tips, camera tips, post processing tips, and fun stuff to get you ready for the big walk on Saturday, October 7th.

I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose” to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. We want as many people to participate as possible, so anything you can do to help us spread the word about the walk would be greatly appreciated. Could you share it on forums, on social, with your camera clubs, and anywhere cool photographers hang out? Many thanks. :)

Using Light to Bring Emotion into Your Images with Moose Peterson
Follow the light! Join Moose Peterson for an inspiring look at how to use light as a means to tell a story with your photographs. In this class Moose draws on his 40 years of experience as a photographer to teach you how to see light, how to understand the way the human brain responds to photographs, and how to bring all of that information to bear to create more evocative and impactful photos. Chock full of examples, stories, and insight, you’ll end up with a deeper appreciation for the qualities of light that you can blend with your passion for image making.

In Case You Missed It
Join landscape and wildlife photographer Moose Peterson as he gets his first chance to shoot the beauty of Monument Valley. Moose talks about his preferences for camera gear and how he composes landscape shots. He shares some tips for predicting what the weather is going to do, and goes through the entire workflow for creating a time lapse video to share the experience of a changing landscape. Follow Moose as he photographs one of the most impressive landscapes in America.

Hey there! Tracy Sweeney here, owner/photographer of Elan Studio in the lovely seaside town of Bristol, Rhode Island. I’m delighted to accept the invitation to guest blog this week!

I’m a newborn, child and family photographer and get asked all the time about my lens choices for my consistent imagery. I’m a Canon girl and shoot mostly prime. I love shooting at wide apertures, which can be challenging, especially when capturing fast toddlers and exciting family interaction and movements. I want the little ones to be the primary focus in my work without competition from the setting. And while landscape is important for coloring and texture, I want my subjects to emerge from the composition, allowing my viewers to feel something; to actually hear the laughter I’m capturing and to feel the joy. And in this way, my setting is secondary.

I’m a toggler. I selectively focus each shot, moving around the points on my Canon 5D MK IV. This allows me to separate my focus and control my exposure. It takes a little practice to get used to this technique, but it is now second nature for me, and I am constantly moving my dial throughout a session. I am always focusing on the child in the photo (preferably the eyes). In sibling and family images, my focus is on the subject closest to me. Since I am shooting wide open, that focus becomes the story of my image. If I’m photographing children running toward me, away from their parents, that becomes the moment I’m capturing, and the parents, falling out of focus, add to that narrative.

I set my camera first according to the aperture at which I want to shoot, and adjust my ISO and exposure accordingly. I use spot metering and typically, when shooting outdoors, underexpose the entire image a tad so as not to blowout skies. I always shoot handheld, and often have moving subjects, and thus need fast shutter speeds which my wide apertures buttress.

I change a bit with each lens choice as I’ve discovered some of their sweet spots. But generally, I shoot between f/1.8 to f/2.8, except for when shooting with my fisheye, which I fix at f/4. I use these apertures even when shooting multiple subjects, attempting to pose and direct my subjects within the same plane. But my hope is always authenticity and organic connection, which I cultivate and support through instruction and articulated expectation to my clients, and so, as I am shooting, and the stories develop, and the subjects move, I make specific focus choices.

TOP 5 FAVORITE LENSES FOR CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY
And so, here are my top five lenses for child photography that allow me to accomplish the aforementioned. I shoot with only one body and change lenses throughout the session, again, making choices in consideration of the final image I want to achieve. In no specific order, here are my all time favorites.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L
This super hi-end telephoto lens allows me to capture amazing high quality, sharp images wide open of fast moving subjects. The bokeh is unbelievably dreamy. I get lots of looks when I’m shooting with this lens in the field because of its sheer size. The already super long lens is exacerbated additionally by its hood. And to boot, it’s super duper heavy, but I still handhold it, often laying on the ground or shooting from a low perspective complementary to the small stature of my primary subjects (little ones).

You can see me photographing behind the scenes with this lens in my Family Photography: The Art of Storytelling course on KelbyOne. One of the true benefits of this lens is that I can photograph as an observer, shooting from a distance and capturing children interacting within the setting in an organic state, without being right in front of their face with the expectation that they perform or react within my proximity. With this insanely high quality lens I can create magical, compelling imagery. This is the newest lens in my repertoire, and one I invested in after years of building my child photography business.

When shooting backlit images with this lens, I get very low to the ground positioning myself so that the subject is blocking the light. Harnessing the light in this way allows me to emphasize the childhood moment and connection.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II
I recently upgraded to the version II of this lens, and it is fast becoming a go to during all of my sessions (both in studio, outdoor, and underwater). The wide angle allows me to include more detail in my images, especially when I don’t have the real estate in which to back up, and or/to elevate any higher when shooting from above. I can capture a larger scene without significantly distorting my subjects.

The close perspective allows me to interact with children while shooting, engaging in conversation, making jokes, asking questions, etc. to capture natural expressions. It creates a more intimate shooting space for me, as I am obviously closer to my subjects, and in this way, is the antithesis to the time I spend behind my 200.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L
When I mentor photographers who want to invest in a quality lens to achieve the “dreamy look” for which my work is known, this is the number one lens I recommend they have in their arsenal for shooting children outdoors. This is the first “serious” lens in which I invested. The focal length is manageable for directing families while allowing enough space for natural interaction. The depth of field is crazy amazing at 1.2 which makes it a fabulous portrait lens. It’s super sharp and mostly fast, though not as fast as some of my other lenses. When I first began shooting with this lens, I rarely switched out, often shooting an entire session from start to finish with this 85.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L
This lens is essential for my newborn work, so that I can capture the tiny details: eyelashes, lips, nose, toes, and fingers. It allows me to craft images from a detailed perspective creating an image gallery for my clients that is varied, but doesn’t create additional set planning. I am able to craft a beautiful stylized newborn image and photograph it with a wider lens such as my 35, and then switch to the 100 mm macro lens and focus on specific elements, ultimately, creating multiple images in the same set. You can watch me employ this technique in my upcoming newborn course on KelbyOne.com. However, not only is this lens a fantastic macro lens, it’s gorgeous for portrait work too!

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L
This fisheye lens is such a fun creative lens that I whip out at the end of nearly every beach sunset session. It functions unbelievably in low light, allowing me to maintain sky texture while correctly exposing my subjects, or intentionally silhouetting. This is presently the only lens I shoot with that is not a prime lens, and I typically extend it to 15mm to reduce the already significant distortion. With this lens a quick tilt up or down will change the entire image. To avoid the bending in the horizon line created from he fisheye perspective, I shoot, again, very low to the ground, and often am submerged in water to get close to the action, taking in my entire setting.

Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what’s in my bag and how I use these lenses to achieve light filled joyful images of little ones.

You can see more of Tracy’s work at Elan-Studio.com. For additional conversation and musings, join her Facebook group “All Things Child Portraiture,” and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

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