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Is Close Good Enough For These Photos, I Think So? Rapid Fire Critique

Jared Polin April 16, 2014 Comments Off

Yes these photos are close, in fact they are very very close to being spot on. With a few small corrections this photographers future images have a better chance at being spot on.

I really liked the angle they were going for in their images. The Disneyland photos were so very close. The first one was just to far away from the main scene but I totally understand where they were going with it. I would love to see the fireworks in color but I will have to go with the photographers gut that the black and white looked better. I loved the way the fireworks lit up the front of the people standing around. The image is really right on, not much to change about it.

The food images on the other hand I think needed some softer light. It came across to me at least that it was way to harsh. That harshness became a distraction that lead my eyes away from the focus of the image.

What can we all learn from these critiques? I can tell you these critiques help me in my every day photos. You never can see to many images and that’s why you should consider following other peoples work. The more you see, the more you experiment, the better you will become.

If you would like to submit your images for a rapid fire critique please click the submit photos button above.

Click Here to see the photographers entire set on Flickr.

Print Your Photos!

Adam Lerner April 15, 2014 Comments Off

We shoot tons of digital images. Mostly posting them on our websites, facebook, and instagram. Taking the time to make actual prints is so gratifying. There’s something about seeing your work printed. The color, the depth, the details. So much that you may disregard when glancing on screen.

I thought a lot about how I wanted to make these prints. You see, I spent an amazing week in Cuba last year and made a lot of images that I feel really connected to. Something really clicked in my brain about slowing down, and taking more time with my photos.

To resist the compulsion to shoot a ton of images in a new place and really think about the images, subjects, time of day, composition and common threads.

I’ve only ever printed on paper. In college while studying photography, I had my own darkroom where I processed and printed all my black and whites. There was something so amazing about being connected to the photos in a way that we take for granted today. However aside from seeing the processed negatives, making actual prints was where the magic happened. The way the tones appeared on the paper and all the subtleties.

I’d been toying with the idea of doing the aluminum prints. The few times I’ve seen other peoples aluminized prints, I thought they looked good, not great, however, it’s clear the technology has gotten way more refined over the years. I started the process by having Adoramapix print me a test print. Well, I ordered a small version of an image, 12” x 8”. I was stunned. I chose the white satin coating which gives beautiful color rendition on a matte finish. I love the look of matte and chose the white coating rather than silver because I wanted to be sure keep things from going too contrasty.

Being that I loved the look of that print, I ordered a bunch more. Two 24” x 36” and two 16” x 24”. The results are awesome. Know that I am not sponsored or endorsed by Adoramapix, but can say that they do a fine job and their pricing is very fair. I should also mention that not only did they print and ship quickly, but my prints were beautifully packed.

My message is that if you’ve been toying with the idea of making prints, do it. I’m not suggesting you do aluminized prints necessarily, but can say that the quality has gotten great. And the prints come with mounting already installed so they’re stand-alone prints that require no framing. I love the look of framed photos, but these aluminum prints look great on their own.

Please subscribe and leave your questions and comments below.

Arcade Fire First Person Shooter with Nikon D4s, Nikon 200-400 VR II and GoPro

Jared Polin April 14, 2014 Comments Off

Using a Nikon 200-400 F4 VR II generally is not recommended for shooting from the photo pit of a concert where the pit has 15 photographers and no room. The original idea was that I would order the 200-400 in from BorrowLenses since I would be shooting from the soundboard. Well, that ended up not being the case and I still wanted to use this lens to shoot a concert.

I prefer shooting small to medium sized bands at smaller venues because there tends to be a lot less bs when it comes to shooting. This show was a pretty big band at one of the large venues you can play in Philly. This means a different protocol then normal.

Let me paint the picture for how a night shooting at one of these venues goes. You show up plenty early and head down to the media entrance of the stadium. You walk downstairs and you are held like cattle in a waiting area to get into the downstairs part of the stadium. Now this generally isn’t to bad but with 15 photographers filling up the entire space it can get a little close.

13849080133 786ed9bdfa Arcade Fire First Person Shooter with Nikon D4s, Nikon 200 400 VR II and GoPro

On the flip side it’s always nice to meet and converse with fellow photographers before a show. You trade war stories, talk about gear, talk about the industry and pretty much just shoot the shit.

After waiting for an hour or so a PR person and a PR intern gather you up to take you out to photograph the opening act. It’s kind of like lining up in school to be walked to an assembly. There always is a new intern, these companies love hiring people that they don’t have to pay.
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Adobe Lightroom VS Photoshop Portrait Editing

Jared Polin April 12, 2014 Comments Off

When it comes to processing and editing my images I spend 99.9999% of my time in Adobe Lightroom. My style of editing does not call for a lot of extra touching up beyond my original edits. This of course is personal preference but I can tell you that the more Lightroom advances the more it starts to gain key features from Photoshop.

As some of you know I asked my friend Nathaniel from Tutvid to retouch one of my Matisyahu portraits. You can click here to check out his entire process step by step in Photoshop.

My personal opinion on his edit is I am not the biggest fan but part of that is my fault. I can not expect someone to start from scratch and end up with something that will be close to how I process my files. On the flip side what I could do now is send my final edit over and have him retouch that. That way he has a starting point and a clear cut direction to work with. It is all about communication and discussions.

With that said I know a lot of people like the edit. Isn’t that the great thing about Art? The fact that some people will like some things and others just wont. I think the process he took to get to the final image was fascinating. That may not be my style of editing but there is so much you can learn from what Nathaniel showed us all.
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Gritty Photoshop Portrait Retouching Tutorial

Jared Polin April 10, 2014 Comments Off

As many of you know I spend almost no time in Photoshop retouching any of my photos. I primarily do all my tweaking inside of lightroom and leave it at that.

Just because that is how I handle editing my own portraits does not mean that is the only way. I reached out to my friend Nathaniel Dodson who runs Tutvid.com to see what he could do with one of my files. I sent him over a headshot I took of Matisyahu while in my loft just to see what direction he would take it.

Click Here to see my Edit of this image done in Adobe Lightroom.

I am so amazed at all of the different actions and changes you can put one image through. I guarantee if you were to attempt to edit this RAW file you would come out with a different result. What one person thinks is a killer edit someone else may not agree. But, in the end you will not please everyone, some people will like it others may not.

The great thing about art is it is subjective, it’s in the eye of the beholder. I think there is so much to learn in this video, so many things I have never considered myself when it comes to editing portraits.

Below you will find the step by step process that Nathaniel took to get to his final image.

Welcome folks! I’m Nathaniel from over at tutvid.com Today in this tutorial we’ll use
a bunch of Photoshop’s features to transform a simply lit portrait headshot into a gritty
photograph with beautiful tones and edges sharper than a double-edged
sword.

We’ll touch up the skin and build a gritty tone using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. I am using Photoshop
CS6, but you should be able to use much older versions of Photoshop as well.

13770900514 a6208c1782 z Gritty Photoshop Portrait Retouching Tutorial

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