Friday, September 30, 2011

Love That High-Key!

I'm a studio shooter, and especially enjoy working with dark dramatic shadows and heavy tones. So naturally it makes sense that I'd make one of my first posts here about...high key lighting?  Sure, why not? It makes you approach the studio a little differently, mainly in popping additional light on the white seamless background (usually a couple stops over my target exposure) and flatten out the lighting on your model. I love the way colors pop out in a high-key shot, and you see a lot of fashion work done this way.

I really like this portrait sent to me by my friend Otto Durant; a guy who knows his way around the studio.  I like the dramatic shading, and the background value is brought down just enough to compliment it, rather than stay too bright. Neat shot!

I often work with layers in Photoshop to create a textured background when I have an appropriate high-key image, an action that is made easier with OnOne software plug-in.
So, yeah, I do like working in high-key more often than not. It takes a few extra strobes and a little practice to get that pure white, and enough room to shoot in order to avoid getting "flare". But it's worth the effort!

Are you shooting high-key? Drop a comment, or send a sample. Keep it nice and bright!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yes, that's me.......

Been at this a long time -- photography, that is. That's me back in 1970, my freshman year in college (notice the sweet Nikon F). Just three years later I would begin an apprenticeship at a wonderful old portrait studio, Fendley Studio, in Cheyenne Wyoming. Nothing could possibly have remained the same afterwards.

My first few months there were spent in learning the darkroom, and I mean really learning, from the ground up. I remember the chemicals and techniques we were using then: amidol developers, 5x7 Ektapan film, the whole range of Ektalure papers... it was a magnificent time. Then, later on, I received the best grounding in studio lighting that a person can get, and I've only built upon that ever since. Along the way I had the good fortune to work with some outstanding photographers in some incredible studios in California, Colorado, and Washington.

A lot of other great things got mixed in there as well: college and grad school, marriage and kids, and photo retail. Plus, I was able to work with some of the first wave of digital photographers, and honed my photoshop & shooting skills early on.  I'm afraid I don't know any other life. You see, my dad was an artist ( a watercolorist & art gallery owner) so most of my formative years were spent surrounded by painters and sculptors and the like. So it has been natural for me to indulge my passion for the photographic image.

So why the blog?  Because I'd like to share that passion with you, and hope you'll share yours with me. I'll post images I'm working on (mostly portrait and figure) and hope you'll comment on them. And then, email me a photo that I will post here, too -- not to critique or analyze, but to share and enjoy.  Anything: portraits, nudes, landscapes, still lifes, restorations, whatever you love. And camera talk. I love to talk shop.

Hey, I know you're out there. I can hear you breathing.

Toodles!       Dave