Printing your images — how to prepare and print successfully

Printing your images -- successfully prepare for printing

Printing your images — how to properly prepare and print your images

Printing an image requires more thought and preparation than printing a document. It’s not difficult, you just need to be aware of a couple of extra steps…

  1. Sizing for print
  2. Setting the correct colour profile
  3. Final sharpening

Continue reading Printing your images — how to prepare and print successfully »

High end beauty retouching in less than 15 minutes?

High End Beauty Retouch - Amy

High end beauty retouching in less than 15 minutes?

Last weekend I was in the studio shooting senior portraits**. We had six young ladies in on Saturday and with 2 looks each I’m sure you can imagine that adds up to a lot of images. Just over 80 final images that needing to go through my beauty retouching cycle. What’s more, every image needed to be magazine quality and available for the client by Tuesday evening.

Time was not on my side, especially as I hand retouch every image personally.

Yes — I could automate it but to be honest I don’t like the overprocessed, same-old same-old look that many of my coleagues produce. Plus, I charge a premium price because I hand finish the images so automating and outsourcing aren’t really avenues that I want to pursue for strategic reasons. To me, beauty retouching is just as much a part of the creative process as the lighting, styling, directing and making the images. It’s ingrained in my very style.

Thankfully I had a few tricks up my sleeve. In an earlier post I wrote about the benefits of having a defined process to improve client experience. That same rationale is as equally applicable to retouching as it is to running the ops side of your business. In essence, I use a defined workflow for retouching — it gives me consistency, I don’t need to ‘think’ or re-invent the wheel every time and more importantly, it gives me a massive productivity boost when it comes to retouching. Continue reading High end beauty retouching in less than 15 minutes? »

Darkness visible? Very Low Light Photography

Very Low Light Photography on the Canon 5DmkII

5DmkII ISO25600 Pre Noise Reduction
5DmkII ISO25600 Pre Noise Reduction

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of photographing a really cool jazz band at the Electric Theatre in Guildford. During the shoot I spotted (or rather almost spotted) one of the band members sitting in one of the seats in the auditorium. I say almost spotted because with only the stage lights on the auditorium was very dark, only being lit by the reflected lit from the stage. It was such a low light that I could hardly see him with the naked eye. This was a great opportunity to see what the 5DmkII could really do at it’s highest ISO setting. In most situations I photograph in I don’t normally take the ISO much above 1600. Every now and then the environment calls for something different and the extreme low light of the auditorium at the Electric Theatre was a good example.

With the camera on manual mode I metered the scene and dialed in an exposure of 1/50th, f/3.5, ISO25600. Apart from a very slight white balance tweak the image above is straight off the camera. Continue reading Darkness visible? Very Low Light Photography »

How a Non-Destructive Workflow Can Lead to a Happy Client

A long time ago I adopted the policy of making all my edits in Photoshop non-destructive fo rthe simple reason that I could easily go back and change something if I needed to. This slowed me down at first but as I became more adept at wielding a stylus and graphics tablet, and through the benefit of actions, experience and perseverance it is no longer true. Using the right tool for the job is also a huge help and my workflow consists of a mixture of Lightroom and Photoshop.

Earlier today I embarked on a retouch session. Nothing spectacular about that as it happens all the while. What mad this one all the more important though was that my client was off on holiday this afternoon and needed the images before she went. Continue reading How a Non-Destructive Workflow Can Lead to a Happy Client »