Last night I had the pleasure of having a group of creative folks in my living room. We were there to do a project for another local photographer and I will share more of our night and photos of that project later. Rick Rooster Garza and I were chatting about how we shoot and how our images come straight from the camera.
I break a lot of the traditional rules of photography sometimes and my white balance settings are not what most photographers would probably choose. I was explaining to Rick that because I know what my editing style is, I set my white balance to work with what I know I’ll do later. I love the play on colors and light in photography. I like to manipulate it to look as “I” see it and not necessarily as it appears in real life. I like being able to get the image I want straight from the camera so I don’t have as much post processing to do.
I also don’t mind sharing. I get a lot of questions at times about my settings/lenses/shoot style. Below is an example of a few shots I took of the lovely Lacie Dawn while I was helping with production of Rich O’Toole’s music video shoot. Lacie is a local Bad-A makeup artist who was working on the shoot as well. She’s so pretty and her makeup always looks great so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to get some shots of her.
Here are the images SOOC (straight out of the camera) and my camera settings for both. I normally shoot in raw but I was low on card space:
I shot each of these photos with a white balance of 3600 Kelvin. It was noon and the lighting was extremely bright/orange. I loved Lacie’s makeup so I didn’t want to mess with what she had done. I shot a little brighter on the photo of her close up because I loved the softer feel. I also shot with my portrait setting a little less saturated so she would stand out in front of the bright greenery.
I then pulled them both into raw and corrected some of the lighting, used the unsharp mask tool to add some clarity and used photoshop to run some of my own actions. I also cleaned up some of the distracting elements in the b&w photo.
I’m not saying that this style works for every photog’s style. But after chatting with Rick last night and getting his insight on his own techniques, I thought it would be good to share some of my own. I really don’t understand that old school way of thinking where we must keep secrets and be so competitive as photographers and artists. It’s unnecessary because you can find out pretty much anything you want to on the internet. I hope I can continue to work with people like Rick who are not afraid (or intimidated) to share.
We are all in the same boat. Learning, perfecting our craft and running businesses to support our families. I think we can help one another get to the place we really want to be; to be the artists we know are within us.
I’d also like to share a sneak of my last two engagement sessions…