Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Jacqui Daniels Cosplays Poison Ivy: Set Editing

To try and find some new means of creating content I decided I would start making these videos that show off my process of editing in Adobe Lightroom. This set with Jacqui Daniels was something I did a few Months ago but figured it would act as a good test run. In this set you will notice one big thing that needs adjusted and that is white balance. All the images were taken in shade and came out a very cool color. Ivy is a much warmer feeling character so I needed to move the white balance to reflect that. Another thing you will notice is that I didn’t have to do much correction on Jacqui’s skin. She is a very talented Make Up Artist and know what she’s doing with makeup and skincare making my job as a photographer easier in post. If I don’t have to do a lot of skin retouching I’m not going to.  You can check Jacqui’s stuff out here as well as her instagram and her Make Up Page. Bellow you find the original gallery I have posted.

When color works, It works well

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In previsous photography misadventure I talked about my tendency to edit in black and white in certain situations. The main factor in deciding between black and white and color is what is working better for the individual photo.AJA_0154

Not too long after shooting our cafe shoot Sam Arellano hit me up for an impromptu  shoot that we did after I got out of my political science class at the University of New Mexico.AJA_0143

I love shooting on the fly because it allows me to just play around with different ideas in terms of what I want to do at a photoshoot. In the case of this shoot I wanted to see what I can find around the campus. AJA_0096
Now what made the photos so good for color. Well the main thing was the light. It was a late afternoon with slight overcast providing us with nice soft lighting that also came out incredibly warm.
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With having everything shot in broad daylight all the images were shot between 100-400 ISO providing optimal color detail so making it a lot easier to work with on post.
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Now I did edit some black and whites from this shoot but those cam down to that feel that I previously mentioned. The place I normally look at to see if a color process is working or not is in the skin tones. If skin tones aren’t behaving in the way I want a switch to black and white ends up solving the issue.
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Photography continues to come down to preferences and styles. What works for me doesn’t always work for everyone and some times I can be indecisive. But my main goal when editing images is to make them look the way I want them to.
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Gothic Shoot with a Piercing Twist

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Tara (aka Ravensnow as she’s known on her new modeling page) has long been one of my favorite people to work with since we both started almost 2 years ago. Recently she’s been blowing up working with photographers from all over the state, making friends with a stellar makeup artist known as Stormie Steen and getting spoiled in the process by photographers and re-touchers.

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Even though Tara has been making her way up the modeling ladder she still keeps in mind why does it in the first place, for the fun of it. Whenever anyone at our shoots (Me, Tara, my girlfriend Emilie ect.) comes up with an idea whether it be a pose, a prop or even a location or theme, the general consensus is always “fucking go for it.” That’s the kind of attitude that I love when it comes to shooting with Tara.

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Everything in the shoot just happened to tie together almost perfectly. Tara’s hair and makeup (Done by Stormie Steen), her wardrobe choices, the location (just a stairwell behind the Albuquerque Convention Center), the prop machete and the corset piercing (Done by Scott Self) all blended together in a very horror-esque Gothic way that also somehow accidentally  had a bit of Harley Quinn influences in there (don’t know how it happened but it did.)

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On thing that I wasn’t expecting out of the shoot was how well the location worked out. Location scouting is always difficult and there is always a level of exploration that goes into finding the perfect area. When I was having the conversation with Tara about where we would do the shoot she said she wanted something that looked very dark and abandoned. I remembered the stairwell at the back of the convention center and how it fit that mold perfectly for what she wanted. The climate was very controlled, nobody was ever really around and there was a nearby outlet that I could hook extension cables to in to order to get my lighting kit set up.

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What was also perfect was the location outside the stairwell. This was the part that took a little exploration. Right outside the stairwell was a well shaded are with lots of space, Some concrete and even some nature which allowed us to get some other aesthetics in with the set.

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The best thing that came out of the exploration was this sort of tunnel are that ran along the street with it’s own walkway. The lighting that it gave off was unique and perfect for portrait shooting. Of course a lot of it ended up getting blown out in the highlights but in the case of these images it worked extremely well and it’s ads more of an ethereal feel to the images that the stairwell didn’t have. I intend on using this location again in the future, I just need to figure out what that will be.

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Editing wise everything was very simple. Stormie’s makeup was so well done that there wasn’t much for me to correct and everything else was my standard contrast and color correcting. Tara of course had some input on the edits this time around. She probably has a more critical eye than I do. I tend to be very conservative with my edits and I’m trying to take in the models input more and more. I need to remember that I don’t necessarily have to follow the same rules for Photojournalism as I do for portraiture.

 

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It was great to be able to work with Tara again and hopefully we both continue to do awesome things, together and separately+, well into the future.

Photo Shoot at the Bosque

To kick off this holiday weekend I ended up doing a photo shoot. This time it was with a friend of mine who goes buy the name of Kenya who I’ve done work with in the past, specifically on the cosplay side but this time we ended up doing a more casual kind of shoot at the bosque down in Albuquerque.

Kenya Chan on a log in the Albuquerque Bosque

Kenya Chan on a log in the Albuquerque Bosque

I’ve used the Bosque before on several occasions in the past specifically for the nature element of it which is a nice change of scenery from the often gritty city environments you find around albuquerque. Don’t get me wrong I like gritty but you got to change it up every once in a while. In fact there was an overpass bridge that went over the Rio Grande which gave a good urban piece with some juxtaposition next to nature. To add to that there was a bridge under that bridge which I really got a kick out of.

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One thing that I love about shooting outside of a studio environment is  the opportunity to capture something organic. I’ve done some studio photography in the past and though I did enjoy it, I felt limited in what I could capture in such a small place. Granted studios have their advantages such as being a controlled environment where you know what you can expect and they afford you the ability to get away from prying eyes for the more risque photo shoots. But being that I come from a more journalistic side of photography when I do the more commercial work I like to be able to move around and use scenery to my advantage.

Kenya by the Rio Grand

Kenya by the Rio Grand

Now shooting at a location as opposed to a studio does have it’s share of difficulties. Specifically with lighting. Sometimes there’s not enough, Sometimes it’s too harsh and sometimes something is casting some kind of shadow making the light uneven. There are several things can do about this, 1) is be aware of the light you have and where it’s coming from and 2) is editing the RAW Files in Lightroom. You shouldn’t rely on editing to fix your exposures but there is no harm in tweeking your files in post to get then to look the way you want. There are times where an image can look lost but some simple edits can bring it back. There are other things you can do with reflectors and supplemental lighting but that wasn’t readily available to me for this shoot (Once again a benefit to studio and haveing an assistant.).

Kenya and light through the trees.

Kenya and light through the trees.

Overall this was a really fun shoot and I’m looking forward to hopefully having some more over the holiday break since i will have more time on my hands than I will know what to do with.

If you want to see more of Kenya (Specifically in cosplay) You can like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KenyaChanCosplay

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