Archive for My Love of Photography

The process of creating custom imagery and art for you is a very personal process.  It is a combination of my artistic vision and techniques and your own personal story.  This is not simply a business of “come to me and I’ll take pictures with you in them.”  It is a very special and intimate process in which we communicate ahead of time so that we can learn who you are and what makes you You.  What is your personality, your favorite things to do, what do you think about, what drives you or holds you back, what is your story?  Once we know these details, then it’s our job to work with you on how to best capture and showcase your story.  Pictures of you should not just look like you, but should be representations of who you are?

 

female yoga pose outdoors

 

 

 

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Sometimes it’s interesting to go back and look at the photo work that you’ve done in the past.  I was just recently going through some old things to clear out stuff that is unnecessarily using up space and I found some pictures of Mandy, a friend of mine.  It was a personal session for me in which Mandy was my model, and my friend, Kim Taylor, provided the makeup artistry.  I also had another friend, Jessica Sager, come and provide some hair styling support for a few images as well.

I didn’t necessarily have a distinct direction for this shoot other than I wanted everyone to experiment and have fun, plus I wanted some images for the sole purpose of playing with in Photoshop.  I obviously didn’t play with every image, but I did play with a few.

I’m one of those that loves to see the before and after images of someone’s work so I can see what was actually captured and what kind of work was done in post production.  Like everyone else, I see tons of amazing images, but then wonder what it really looked like straight out of the camera before it was touched in Photoshop.  I think it’s encouraging and educational for people to see before and after imagery so as to better understand that images don’t always look so perfect straight out of capture, and also to appreciate the level of skill and work put into producing the final image that is so amazing.

I’ve included screen shots of my Layers Palette in my Before shots, but if you have any specific questions about what any of them are, feel free to let me know.  Most of what I do is minor skin retouching, hair clean up, color and contrast, and maybe a special effect of some kind.  I do also make use of effects filters at times as well for the sake of efficiency.  Again, let me know if you have any questions about anything you see or anything else in general that I can help with possibly.Blond Model Studio Portrait with purple butterfly makeup

Blond Model Studio Portrait

Blond Model Studio Portrait on a black background

Blond Model Studio Portrait

Blond Model Studio Portrait on white plexi-glass

Blond Model Studio Portrait

Blond Model Studio Portrait in cowgirl hat

Blond Model Studio Portrait

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Ok, so, I’ve said that I wanted to start working on adding video into my products and session experiences.  Being busy working on so many other things, I haven’t been real good at doing this.  In fact, the main reason I decided to invest in the Nikon D800 camera body is for its video capabilities.  Granted it’s not the only reason, just an important one.  I really need to start working on making it work for me.

We recently decided to take advantage of a beautiful day to take our new mini-pony, Lightening, out with his cart.  So Amanda and Zachariah would ride in the cart and I’d right my horse, King (good ‘ol trusty).  I also figured it’d be a good excuse to take my new toy (I mean “tool”) with me to capture a variety of pictures and video so I can also have something to play with later as well.  Let’s just say it was a good reminder as to why you need to practice things till they’re second nature, as well as why you don’t practice on clients.

There are some features that I do find really handy with the D800, but they can also bite you if you forget about them.  The biggest one being the two sets of camera settings.  With the Live View button on the back of the camera, there’s a switch for either photo or video.  You can independently set ISO, White Balance, Shutter, and Aperture for each of the two.  I love this feature, especially indoors because I can switch from taking studio shots to video capture just by flipping the switch instead of constantly changing all of those settings every time.

I all sounds so cool, and it is, but you have to remember two settings instead of the brain default of one.  Example: you’re in photo mode and you create a custom white balance and set your exposure settings, then you switch to video and set your exposure settings there as well.  You capture the session in both video and photo, then get home and can’t figure out why the video color balance seems off.  It’s because you did your custom white balance for photo and not video.  So you really have to remember to take your time in the beginning and set EVERYTHING up independently and remember that if you’re switching between photo and video, that you’ll be switching settings as well.  If you don’t remember this, then you may become tuned to capturing with one set of exposure settings, then change modes for a quick capture only to be suddenly reminded that you haven’t yet set up your exposure settings for it first when your exposure is beyond usable.

So back to our pony and buggy ride.  I didn’t plan for any audio, only video and some pictures.  I was guilty of the white balance incident previously mentioned of course, but my pictures came out beautiful.  One of the things I brought was a video monopod setup from Manfrotto so I could have solid stability.  I used it with the first few clips I did before heading out, but then I had Amanda hold it in the foot of the cart while we rode.  I figured I’d have her hand it to me and when we can get a few seconds here or there, and then I’d keep the camera with me.  Again, things didn’t quit go as planned.

Once we got going, there was no getting my monopod back till we were back at the trailer.  So everything was handheld during the ride.  Sometimes I was on King (sometimes while moving), other times I was off and used either my knee or a jump obstacle.  None of which proved to be professionally acceptable substitutes for my quality monopod with a fluid head.  But it did make for some bad examples to share for lessons learned.  If the purpose had been for capture instead of riding pleasure, then it would have been different.  Instead I have crazy amateur video clips worth laughing at.  Hopefully you can learn from my lesson, or make sure I don’t repeat it if I video you.  If you check out the clips and photos below, you’ll see what I’ve been talking about.

 

Pony Buggy ride in Roseryville State Park

Pony Buggy ride in Roseryville State Park

Pony Buggy ride in Roseryville State Park

Pony Buggy ride in Roseryville State Park

Pony Buggy ride in Roseryville State Park

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Plus I appreciate Likes and Shares when I can get them.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com