Re-learning to Light

StephDuring a winter workshop      I attended in 2012.         The instructor pointed out that my studio work was flat. It was an observation that, at the time, I really did not understand what she meant but took it as a negative critique of my work. A few moments later I was asked about the editing software I used. When I replied “Aperture” a gasp of shock and shame seemed to fill the room. Looking back, it was it if I was cast aside, exiled and destined to wear carry the Scarlet “A” (A for Aperture) around with me for life. Later that day a fellow attendee took me aside and suggested I move up to Lightroom 4. He used some easy to understand comparisons for me to understand. “It’s like going from Atari to Xbox. He also took the time to explain lighting techniques a little deeper. Though I was a bit embarrassed by my shortcomings at the time. I was more grateful for the knowledge and learning experience.

Steph IIAlmost as soon as the workshop let out the day.     I was off to purchase Lightroom 4 and book a few sessions in order to test my new knowledge out. I could immediately see the difference in the images I was editing in Lightroom 4, especially by making minor adjustments with the black and white levels. (not available with Aperture) Simple tweeks that made a world of difference in the images I had taken. Minor adjustments in highlights can also be noted. I could already see the depth to my older work. When my model stopped by I changed the lighting angles and worked with less light. Something that also added depth and character. I really got to understand what she meant about flat images and flat lighting.     I was no longer flooding the room with light. I was using it to to highlight areas, not overwhelm them. Since learning this, I’m really seeing the light, shadows and detail of the image before I even take it. It’s given me more confidence. I find myself working faster and taking fewer wasted shots. It’s been a real revelation to me. One that I know will help me continue to enhance my skill and build on what I’ve already learned. Like Yoda said “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”

You Can’t Tame My Monkey Style

Yesterday Jessica stopped by to shoot some edgy fitness and martial arts inspired images. Jessica is an absolute joy to work with. An actress, stunt woman and martial arts expert, she packs a lot of strength and character into her small frame. In the weeks leading up to the shoot I was hoping to include some of my friends custom combat knives into the shoot to add another level of intensity to the shoot. Unfortunately for us he was backed up on orders and had no back stock to send us. Lucky for me, Jess brought enough weaponry to scare the bajeezus out of me. During the session Jessica updated me with what she’s been up to since we last worked together and introduced me to the art of Monkey Kung Fu. Here are some favorites from that part of the session.In the future I’d like to add more fitness work to my portfolio while continuing to expand my body of work. Only time will tell.

Get Fit!!!

2010 has been a year when I left my comfort zone and tried a lot of new things. Fitness is something that interests me on a number of levels. By combinig my love for lighting with tone, the peaks and valleys that muscle create. There’s so much you can really do artisticaly. Jess and I had been planning to get together for weeks with no concrete plan or script for what we were doing. I wanted to do something but I wasn’t quite sure of my approach and tecnique. As the day approached Jess and I stayed in contact through email and the thing that inspired the most was her energy and  excitement about getting together. Jess is pretty small in size. Standing only five feet, one inch high.  But she more than makes up for it in personality and overall presence. Jessicas specialties include Fight Coreography, Stage Combat, Stunt Work and Par Kour. She’s also an Actress, Make Up Artist and Writer. I had a great time working with her. I only hope ashe had as much fun as I did.