Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shannon Maternity Shoot on the Bayou #2

Here's another image of Shannon along Armand Bayou. I really liked the green dress she had on at the time and wanted to play that up along the grasses and along a very small break in the brush. With the rain we've had this summer, the edges of the bayou are pretty much totally overgrown, so this was one of the few places you could even get a glimpse of the water from the banks. This image started out very green and blue, but I added some warmer tones in post, including a very subtle texture that brought in some auburn tones into the shadows. On my initial work on the image I brought the exposure of the sky down ... like I tend to do, but after working in the warmer tones and backlight ended up taking away that sky detail in the upper right and simulating a warm ambient backlight, even though there wasn't much really there. Off camera flash was from the right front, so I think visually it still makes sense to have the backlight, and with some work with masks and blend modes seems to look fairly realistic. Although feel free to comment if you think it's too forced. Sometimes we go down these paths as photographers and retouchers and at times it's hard to differentiate between impact and over-processing.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shannon Maternity Shoot on the Bayou

Last weekend I did a photo shoot with Shannon, a coworker who's about 6-7 months pregnant. The photo above was taken along Armand Bayou in the late afternoon last Sunday. Somehow the tulle fabric seems to make an appearance on many of my shoots lately. Little wind that day so we draped it over some brush along the bayou. It worked well with Shannon's dress here. My editing on this was a bit different. As a finishing touch I tend to lean pretty heavily on Nik Color Efex, but in the past I've applied it to a final layer and used it pretty much as is. This time I applied multiple effects to the image with masked layers. So in the end, I think you have three distinct layers -- foreground with Shannon and an Indian Summer effect to color shift the green grass to more of a brown/red, the middle ground of the trees across the bayou with a fog effect, and the background sky with a pinkish gradient color added to give the sky some color. All these layers were masked pretty heavily to selectively apply. Base image was shot at 1/125 sec at f/5.6, ISO200, 55mm; light from a Nikon SB800 in a Lastolite EZbox from camera left.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

High Key Composite

I was in New Orleans in August and took some photos of the interior of St. Louis Cathedral. I've been in there before with and without a tripod, and found the white balance really difficult to nail down. I decided to work on some black and white variations recently, then remembered some photos of Alyssa I took back in December with her in a white dress. I thought compositing the images together might be interesting -- both pretty high key with some atmospheric effects between the groups of layers.