Neil Snape on making timeless fine art images My friend image makers both stills and video, BenQ invited me to make a webinar (free, just sign up) on image creation for fine art and portraits, real time retouching and crafting with post production and workflow advantages of having an excellent colour managed monitor. There are some lighting tips, post production, and display image advice. Sign up and watch it now as there is a surprise for you waiting in the webinar. Share this with others you know will want to gather some essential great tips for imaging. Webinar by Neil Snape for BenQ Webinar recording Here is what is in the Webinar by Neil Snape for BenQ: Neil Snape is a Paris-based photographer who produces images for luxury brands and fine art expositions, embracing new technologies along the way. Following the path from amateur to professional, Neil winded up in Paris where he is concentrating on beauty photography, portraits, and fine art photography. “Light, what it best brings to the subject” is what Neil Snape always aims for in all his photography domains, be it still life, portrait, fashion, and beauty In this webinar, Neil will discuss Creating Timeless Fine Art Photography with […]
Portrait Fashion Beauty Photography without Photoshop There is a lot to be said about getting it right in camera. Daring it is, to shoot pictures without thinking that what ever is wrong while shooting can be fixed in Photoshop. It does make editing a lot easier as one can concentrate on the content of the series of images with less distraction of what has to be fixed later. The images will be naturally easier to look at as they can have all the power of the intention of visual impact at the time of creation. Portrait, fashion, and beauty photography without Photoshop is not new yet a way of creating images. Digital has changed so much in getting here, yet hasn’t created best practises for post digital era photographers. There are many many ways to make images. Signature added to your images is often the post production element. Cameras are made to record with an approximation of what you think you saw. Post production before Photoshop lets you add that valuable personalisation bringing back a style to what you made. While getting it right in camera keeps the aesthetic in check, the post production on raw images gives the technical stamp […]
The question of which is better Capture One or Lightroom is one of the most important decisions a photographer can make. Workflow and catalogue questions are a world apart, and this post is only about image appearance. There are both notions of subjective and objective and a mix of both. As with all image appearance your monitor state and ability to properly display colour is the key element in comparing any imagery. The best monitor I feel for price and quality is the BenQ SW2700. Mine is the ideal tool for image editing, maintained by calibrating with an X-Rite i1 Pro and Palette Master which is included with the monitor. I have about the BenQ SW2700 here and a post about this gem on my blog. Building images from raw exactly the same is quite complicated. Form the same raw image each application Capture One and Lightroom will process the image with a default that will be very different. Good news, both have controls to bring the look to a similar point, yet it will never be exactly the same no matter how hard you try. That is the mix of objective with what is pleasing colour ( subjective) into a seemingly similar […]
More new studio rentals equipment Trends change the way we light! To keep up to date here are the latest additions to the studio rentals. Firstly a deep octa parabolic soft light 120cm ø with a grid. It can be used without the front diffuser for a brighter light, and without any diffusor for a sharp specular light. The grid surprisingly does make a huge difference with the soft pool of light only in the centre, the side light is cut off making it ideal for portraits or fashion where soft light is desired but not filling the entire room. If you wanted a bigger source, there is still the 150cm ø octa which fills the studio with soft even light. Second major update is the battery operated Godox AD600BM flash. It is a portable 600w/s, yet doubles well for studio light. Often when mixing sun direct in the studio the contrast is higher than 11 stops. To add normal flash you need to reduce the speed to maximum sync usually 1/200th of a second. When doing so in direct sun your aperture goes way up to f16 or more making images apparently to much overall depth or sharpness. With […]
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport review for fashion photography Are you here looking for some good reasons for excellent efficient color corrections techniques for fashion photography? The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport review for fashion photography will tell you why! Since its inception, I have been part of the development path as a background consultant for the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and other devices for color management. X-Rite ColorChecker Passport review for fashion photography will give you real reasons to use it. Last month the new X-Rite colorchecker video was announced, as well as the X-Rite colorchecker passport video of which a copy is here in testing as I write. This is about the regular X-Rite ColorChecker Passport which can be used for photo and white balance for video. This review will be quite short as almost everything you’d want to know is covered on the X-Rite web site . The construction is top notch, durable and practical. It opens two volets the first being the color checker 24 patch set standard to many applications, and the new custom personalisation chart where you can pick a white balance to warm or cool skin tones or landscape. Skin tones play in the subtle reds landscape plays into blues and greens. […]
Even more equipment for your studio rentals. This new studio rental equipment adds to the already impressive list of high end equipment included in your rentals. A kit consisting of multi voltage flash, the light and efficient Topas A2, a Unilite to go along with it, and an optical spot light for creating hard and theatrical lighting effects.
Is grain or noise a bad thing? The other day when talking with Stefano Brunesci we were saying that too many photographers are thinking about noise, grain, and other defaults without seeing them as part of a process. Here is a picture that lives with terrible grain and lots of noise shot on a point and shoot Canon of a Rodin sculpture. I have often stressed to not be afraid of contrast, and Stefano says not to be afraid of noise or grain. How do you feel about grain/noise? We were discussing this while walking through the Paris Hotel de Ville Magnum exposition with many pictures From the trio founding members Magnum’s Henri Cartier-Bresson David “Chim” Seymour, and Robert Capa all shot for the moment, and most of the time had film grain due to the limits imposed. That is a beautiful thing. Just as noise and or added grain to digital images can be. Before going out and splurging on that latest camera with tighter specs, maybe go out and shoot with the intention of the opposite! Go find that noise and grain and make for some beautiful grainy images.
While looking for SEO solutions to bring my Paris photo studio rental up in visibility I came across a post from 2011 at The Paris Photography Meetup Group The poster was wondering about the problems of finding or even asking about cheap inexpensive or pas cher studios to rent while in Paris for time to time use. Since this post dates a bit, I’ll add a little information on the studio rentals in Paris. Firstly HT is hors taxes, meaning the going rate of TVA or VAT (Value added tax?) which is currently 20%. Most studios above say 300€ per day are pro studios that will have equipment, yet not necessarily included. Ones that are less per day will be mostly bring your own gear. Thing is, in Paris to rent equipment, it is often quite high, and a little complicated considering transporting heavy gear to and from. For example if the studio doesn’t have easy access or no elevator or an elevator that is tiny, you’ll have a struggle to get stands and heavy power packs to the studio. Traditionally French base their daily business on network, meaning if you are not already in their system, you are unknown. […]
Seminar/Workshop by Neil Snape Professional image and video workflow in Lightroom. Date : Sunday 22 June 2014 Time : 11am – 5pm 4 participants maximum. Paris 75015 Reserve your place today as places are limited. Please contact us by email. Click here to download the PDF. Level and cameras required: Open to all levels yet knowing some image editing applications and some basic notions of photography are helpful. A laptop (Mac or PC) is required with a late version of Lightroom installed If you have not yet acquired Lightroom, a trial version with full functionality is available for free from Adobe : Download a free trial of Photoshop Lightroom 5 Description From first look to final image, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes everything about digital photography easier, faster, and more organized. This workshop is targeted for the most common professional workflow practices. We will work through each of the fundamental modules, navigation around the application, setting the preferences, and customising your workspace. Going straight to the core of what makes one of the best possible worlds in digital imaging, and specific instruction of how to make it work for you and your images. Library : Importing images and video, working with catalogues, folders, […]
Seminar/Workshop by Neil Snape Photo Seminar June 21 2014, 10h-18h Paris Beauty photo seminar in a daylight studio. Reserve your place today as places are limited. Please contact us by email. Click here to download the PDF. Level and cameras required: Digital camera preferably a dSLR. Open to all levels yet knowing how to set your camera settings is a minimum, and some basic notions of photography are helpful. Description Daylight and flash in studio beauty seminar with individual one on one shooting times. Specialised course for learning beauty photography, professional agency model, and very talented make up artist will team up to provide an excellent portfolio building experience. I will go through every step of how to light, what to watch for, and what to avoid. What make these seminars unique is the very intimate experience with the model ( the other participants will be off set while you are shooting ) for each of your shooting sessions. The seminar will give you an opportunity to better understand and modify light specifically for women by shooting individually with the model in each scenario. Studio : the ideal location, an artists daylight studio with southwest exposure. Lights used will depend on […]
At first look, this picture seems easy and complicated at the same time. Make up is the key to the picture, it is about cosmetics, light only highlights this. To make a dramatic image and one that lives well on many supports including rather flat paper printed on rotary (helio) press, a hint of hard light keeps the contrast believable, and adds a dimension. Since the last time I was at Publicis, the agency that does most of the beauty/cosmetics advertising in Paris, the chief art buyer told me you must make your pictures appear that they could be shot with daylight rather than dark studio style pictures. Every time I shoot I remind myself of this, and have since shot more with daylight than studio clinical flash pictures. Last time in New York, most agents mentioned that the clients ( hint hint) appreciate photographers that can shoot both stills and video. This too is something I will work on, hence the raison d’être for this picture. Camera: Details first. This is shot hand held although it shouldn’t be. Why? Even when shooting with flash there is always some motion blur. Also learning to do video insists on more […]
Have you found your unique signature through development techniques? This article is written by a member of our expert community. It expresses that member’s views only. We welcome other perspectives. Here’s how to contribute to MM EDU. A proliferation of images has most of us asking whether or not we have found our voice amongst so many others. Here is the link to the article. ModelMayhem With digital photography, engineers and color scientists made the appearance model of digital imagery to try to emulate WYSISWYG. And they did a great job. The captors themselves don’t see an image even close to how it looks after being processed. What you see on screen is an abstraction as it passes through many steps, many states of image building, by running the document through a processor. The good news is that, for those who shoot raw, having a digital negative is an opportunity—a playground for you to find your unique vision and bring it to life. When film was the only support for photography for the masses, the film had an inherent bias to it in terms of color, density, grain character, etc. Even if shot and processed without straying from the recommended process, […]
Here is a simple image , easier to do than most others. I want to show you that with very little equipment you can produce excellent results. This setting is nothing more than large window light coming from behind the camera in a medium sized room with white walls. The light that day was grey, overcast, yet not raining. The windows were a walk through double door, and windows on both sides of the doors. The other light to add a sparkle and volume I set a large bowl on a flash head ( P65) with barn doors to be able to limit the lights coverage. The tungsten halogen bulb is 650w max although I adjusted down to what made for a WYSIWYG balance. The light is slightly high and to the left of camera but directly beside the camera . Distance not more than 1m or 3-4′.That is the joy of continuous and ambient light. The trick to this is filter the light , which is tungsten to become daylight. For this we use what we call full carat, or full correction blue filters often labelled as 80B. It has to be on the continuous light as the other […]
A fun picture revisited. Originally thought to be better in colour, yet is splendid in B&W. The carbon tones are all LightRoom settings on top of Canon CR2 raw files. Here’s how! This one involves two lights for the subject, and two lights for the background and two large poly boards between the background and subject. There is a main light is a Picolite Fresnel, about 1 metre from the subject high and to the right pointed down. This can clearly be seen in the screen capture for the relative placement, and height which is about 50º from the horizon. The second and fill , a bit mixed with the main light is a P65 (22cm bowl) with 4 way barn door and a Tough Rolux scrim mounted in the barn doors frame. It is just above centre and pretty much straight, also seen in the eyes. The mix of light in this case is really two main lights doing different things. Yet, one has to always consider one light to be “the sun” , so it is biased towards the hard light on the face. Background lights are my trusty huge strip lights 150x40cm both […]
As drab as it may seem the original was intentionally shot this way. Leaving headroom in the highlights avoids clipping the channels when you do extreme conversions from raw, and betters your chances for banding free edits in Photoshop or for production. Light: start off with a beauty dish. You can see by the shadows it was about 40º high and to her right. It was turned towards the camera as seen by the trailing shadow on her nose, and turned downwards to avoid a hot spot on her head. The reflection in the eye reveals the BD ( beauty dish) had two barn doors and a lot of black cinefoil around it. Why? As soon as you angle a BD down or towards the camera you’ll need to remove or reduce the changed centre of light. To reduce the light on the forehead is usually the easiest, just clip a barn door on the top and closest edge. Then for the rest you need to watch to see where the light is strongest, and try to cut that too. In this case black cinefoil crimped onto the BD extended to approx. 4” from the edge made the difference. […]
That is a while back. Looking at that I still see the image quality with the 5D superior than the 5DMKII. Since it was done, the improved process engine in LR would have made it better. The settings in LR are Temp 4447 K Tint +102 exposure +0.09 BW -64 red + 19 orange +23Y +4 Green 0 aqua 0 blue +2 Purple -100 magenta The sepia is done after retouching in LR on a virtual copy of the psd or tiff. Set to H 30 6 saturation highlight and H30 Saturation 14 shadow balance 0 , just use the saturation until it looks good. This one is so simple. There is almost no retouching, other than a few bumps on the skin, and a quick mask painted selection and an adjustment layer curve. You can do this with a DB layer too, whatever you like and whatever works. In any case be careful to apply any curves or D&B with luminosity mode as if it were sepia toned you’d color cast the image. Light: At first I thought it was a P70 close to the ceiling, what I often use but upon further inspection I see it is the big […]