Working on my look

I’ve focused the last few weeks on editing my shots. Taking the photos I didn’t like in the past and putting new life into them. I seem to favour popular vintage looks as opposed to sharp modern images. My end results seem to mimic analogue film in tonality and presence. I’m also learning how there are different ways to edit the same image. Once you discard the notion that there is a right and wrong way to edit the whole process becomes more enjoyable.

Film Hannah 1 (1 of 1)

I hope over the next few weeks to squeeze in a couple of photoshoots to really explore this analogue vibe that I’m feeling. Perhaps do a shoot in both Digital and Film to see how the same shots look from different mediums.

The majority of my edits recently have been black and white. This is new territory for me as I’ve only shot in colour until recently. I’m ashamed to say I used to find Black and White understimulating to look at but I’m valuing it more and more as I progress.

 

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Collaboration with Katie

I finally decided to get my act together and start taking my photography to the next level. Since I fell in love with Portrait Photography I organized a photo shoot with a friend and aspiring model Katie. She did a wonderful job and made the whole experience smooth and great fun. Kudos to her for being patient with me while I fiddled with the lighting set up multiple times. All in all I’m super happy with the results and can’t wait to set up another shoot.

My set up consisted of two remote flashes which I used in a magnitude of different set ups (trial and error mostly). I found one flash lighting the background and one directly on Katie seemed to work best for that environment. The vast majority of the shoot was done with my 50mm prime lens as I feel most comfortable using this lens and it gives a crisp image.

Working on multiple shots of the same subject in the same environment really helped me find my style of post production. I found myself returning to similar settings completely coincidently. 100% of editing happened in Lightroom.

As I said I’m excited to partake in another shoot asap. I feel my second shoot will be even smoother than the first. With the knowledge of how my gear handles and a basic understanding of different lighting set ups, I can see it happening much quicker.

 

Festival Season

I’ve been making the most of the good weather and local festivities this summer. These are some snaps from my travels over the last few weeks. Doing event photography is great fun and I will definitely try to do more. I felt as though I was pushing my camera to its limits. Shooting RAW seems to clog up its processing power. I could take a burst of 4-5 shots then the camera would grind to a halt while it processed the images. This means I missed some great opportunities while the camera ‘loads’ its current images. I’m absolutely looking to upgrade as soon as possible when my finances allow.

Another thing highlighted while out shooting was the flaws of my cheap 70-300mm zoom lens. Having thought I had taken some great images of performers I loaded them up on my PC to find they were grainy and not sharp. This could be down to the ISO capabilities of my current camera and the maximum aperture of the lens itself. Either way, it made for a bad combination.

Update June 17

A few images I’ve been working on recently. Starting to get to grips with Adobe Lightroom. It’s quickly becoming an invaluable tool and part of my process. I’ve been winning awards through peer review on other websites with my manipulations, this really helps build my confidence as a Photographer. Below are a few of my favourites from the last two weeks.

Taking shape

These blog posts are becoming less frequent. Recently I use them to remind myself how much I’ve progressed since starting out. Looking back to when I used Auto settings to capture subjects in interesting perspectives. Slowly starting to understand some of the camera’s controls using Shutter Priority then finally going full manual mode. Getting accustomed to using different lenses, how, why and when to use them. Recently I’ve bought a film camera to make me think before firing, concentrating again on my compositions. I have now subscribed to Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom to add an additional creative step in my process.

I think every once in a while It’s useful, no, important that you look back to see how far you’ve come. I’m not claiming to be a master looking back on his journey, far from it. I look back and I’ve barely made it down the garden path. I’ve acquired all the tools and basic knowledge I need to take those first steps into the photography world.

Recently I’ve been approached to do some professional shoots, this fills me with anxiety and dread but at the same time hope and excitement. I’m faced with a choice; do I turn around and walk back towards the house to keep honing my skills and becoming more familiar with my equipment? or do I take these first steps into the world of professional photography and off my garden path?

I’m opting for the latter. That being said, I need to be careful. I need to know what’s expected of me and my equipment when I take that step. I’ll need to upgrade my equipment which will cost money, more than I can currently afford. I do have the option of getting a loan but loans need to be paid back. I’ll need a steady income to justify taking that initial loan.

This brings us to now. I’m looking at my options for regular Photography work, there are a couple of choices…

I still have a whole bunch of learning to do, and I want to ensure that my creative zeal isn’t smothered by my need to make income.