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The REVEAL: These are the moments we LIVE for as photographers

Jared Polin April 16, 2015 Comments Off

What can I say about the “Reveal” other than it’s one of the scariest but most rewarding parts about being a photographer. For those who don’t understand what I mean by the “reveal” I mean when you deliver the final photos to your client and get their initial reaction.

For this first reveal I went back to Joe Beddia from this “5 Min Portrait” to give him his first look at the the photos from his photo shoot.

The reveal can be scary since you never know how the customer will react. In this case I took Joe over a few AdoramaPIX photo books that I had made up to help tell the story. You can see from Joe’s reaction that he was just slightly happy with how the images turned out.

I didn’t expect his reaction since he generally is a reserved guy. I loved that he said he wasn’t sure what to expect since people generally tell you they are going to show you photos and they are always in a terribly laid out book or lack quality.

For me one of the greatest feelings is hearing that my work stands high and above what he expected. I say it all the time, quality work above everything else trumps all. When your clients notice it and say it, you know you’re dong something right.

To flip through the AdoramaPIX book I created for Joe Click Here.

http://froknowsphoto.com/the-reveal-5-min-portrait-pizza/

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How to get Professional Photos with a Kit Lens: “Nikon D5500″ 5 Min Portrait

Jared Polin April 2, 2015 Comments Off

The Challenge – Use the Nikon D5500 and Kit 18-140 lens for a “Real World Review” and “5 Min Portrait”. The catch, I have never used this camera or lens before. The subject was Joe Beddia of “Pizzeria Beddia” who let me photograph his dough preparation for the evenings pizza.

Being that I had never used this camera before I had to get in the mindset that I can only use the Nikon D5500 and the 18-140 F3.5 to F5.6 kit lens. There is a misconception that you can only get great results with better glass. There is also a misconception that I can only get good photos with the most expensive gear in the world. I know once you watch this video and see the results that will never be a question or concern again.

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I have uploaded every single image I captured during this photo shoot (Click Here for the gallery of images). That means you get to see the good the bad the ugly, everything. I fully processed and edited each image because I want people to see the best possible image even if it’s not the best show.

Keep in mind when I deliver images to a client I am only giving them the best of the best. I would never deliver images that I did not deem keepers.

Here’s the thing about kit lenses and why I have been so vocal about not using them, they are variable aperture. This means as you zoom out from 18 to 140 the f stop is going to automatically close down and cut back on the amount of light being let in. So unless you have a handle on the exposure triangle and know how to compensate for these changes on the fly you may end up with less than ideal results.

So the challenge to use this lens was for me to understand what will happen as I zoom out. I know as I zoom out the f stop will close down meaning I am losing light. Because I am losing light I need to do something to compensate for that. The options we have to work with in the exposure triangle are the shutter speed and ISO. I can slow my shutter down to compensate for the loss of light or I could bump my ISO higher to do the same thing. This is where many people see issues with their photos. They crank the ISO as high as they can and wonder why do their images look so grainy and terrible.

This is the mindset I got into during this shoot. I am going to start with an ISO that I think the camera can handle that gives me a fast enough shutter speed to compensate for when I zoom out. This means a starting shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or more. With entry level cameras like the D5500 you only have one dial to control the shutter speed and F-stop. In order to change the F-stop you have to press another button while turning the back dial which takes time and will result in missed shots.
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Fuji X100T Review!

Adam Lerner December 16, 2014 Comments Off

In this video, I go back to Tim Harney’s motorcycle shop in Brooklyn to do a 5-minute portrait demonstrating the amazing new Fuji X100T. I share all of my unedited photos with you on screen and talk about settings and mentality. At the end of the shoot, Tim picks his favorite photo and we print it directly from the camera to the Fuji Instax Share printer.

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5 Min Portrait – Photographing Fighter Jets at an Air show “Thunderbirds”

Jared Polin December 6, 2014 Comments Off

How many of you have ever gone to an Air Show? I personally had never been to an Air Show before Stephen set up a few photo passes to shoot “Thunder” over the boardwalk this summer in Atlantic City.

Any time I go into a situation where I am shooting something I have never shot before I like to do as much research as possible. In this case I have a longtime friend Matt Ciao who grew up shooting fighter jets and air shows.

CLICK HERE to download two RAW Files from this shoot.

Click Here to view the FULL RES Exported Files.

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I asked him to give me his Top Tips for shooting photos at an air show. One of the main tips is don’t freeze the props. What he said is when you are shooting air planes one of the biggest mistakes is freezing the propellers. I would have thought I set my shutter speed high and just let it rip and freeze the action. It’s a good thing I spoke to Matt before hand to get a better understand about what I should be looking to capture.
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Natural Light Portrait BTS!

Adam Lerner September 2, 2014 Comments Off

In this video, I take you behind the scenes for an outdoor natural light portrait session. I talk about all my settings and share my thought process along the way. This shoot deals with a multitude of different lighting scenarios and I demonstrate how by using a 5 in 1 reflector to help mitigate the light as well as use the light to my advantage you can get stunning results.

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Who Needs 10 FPS when you can have 1 Frame Every 10 Minutes? 5 Min Portrait 1850’s Edition

Jared Polin August 23, 2014 Comments Off

If you think your camera is slow, try this one, it shoots one frame every 10 minutes! That’s because this is a 5 Min Portrait 1850’s Style with Giles Clement.

Giles is a skilled tin-type / wet plate photographer who has honed his skills over many, many years.

I invited Giles over to the loft to photograph me with his 8×10 View Camera to create an 8×10 one-of-a-kind image.

With my prompting, Giles walks us through the entire process start to finish. You get to hear the history of Tin-Type Photography as well as how he acquired and built his 8×10 view camera.

We take you inside the darkroom to see a plate being sensitized to light. Once the image is exposed, we take you right back into the darkroom to watch as the exposed plate is turned into the final image.

This entire process is fascinating and you get to see it all unfold in this 5 Min Portrait, 1850’s edition!

Click Here for the FULL RES 8×10 Final Image.

To see Giles’s work please check out his website. http://www.gilesclement.com/

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5 Min Portrait – How to take LOW LIGHT Action Photos and Portraits

Jared Polin August 1, 2014 Comments Off

Follow along as I give you a first person perspective on photographing Maria as she works out at the gym. My goal for this 5 Min Portrait is to show you exactly how I handle a real world photo shoot. I make sure to stop and explain as much as possible throughout so you have a full understanding on how and why I made the changes I made. Click Here to see the full res exports from the shoot.

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Click here to see all the full res images from this 5 Min Portrait

If you want to fast track your photography learning and start to get killer photos in any situation I highly recommend you check out the FroKnowsPhoto Beginner Guide to Getting Out Of Auto. Please click the link

This time around I broke out the Nikon D4s with four different lenses to make sure I gave myself plenty of different angles and looks. I used the Nikon 14-24 2.8, Nikon 24-70 2.8, Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRII and the Nikon 200-400 F4 VRII that I borrowed from BorrowedLenses.com.

I know some people like to keep one lens on their camera for an entire shoot and others worry about dust in the camera when they change lenses in the field. I am actually curious how many times I switched lenses during this shoot if anyone cares to count.
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5 Min Portrait How To Become A Better Photographer: Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Jared Polin June 28, 2014 Comments Off

One of the most important ways to become a better photographer is to step outside of your comfort zone. Now this is much easier said then done but it is something I am personally working on.

The type of photos I capture generally revolve around candid images. In this case I set up a continuos light studio inside my loft to take portraits of my model. This is the furthest thing away from candid and totally out of my every day comfort zone.

CLICK HERE to see all of the full res images from this photo shoot.

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Click Here to view all of the FULL RES Images from this photo shoot.

As scary as it may seem to veer out of your normal zone it’s something every photographer should be doing. Sure you may be good at one thing or another but the only way to get better is to experiment. You are shooting digital, you have no film to waste, processing to have done or prints to make. You can simply get out there, shoot, review and shoot some more. That is the leg up you have today over 20 years ago.

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Click Here to view all of the FULL RES Images from this photo shoot.

When I set up this 5 Min Portrait is Jenna I knew I wanted to do something different than I normally did. I decided I wanted to shoot continuous light portraits using my keno flows. I set them up in a simple pattern which is very similar to what Peter Hurley does for his head-shots.

One thing you have to keep in mind is you can have the exact same lighting set up as Peter or I, the same camera and settings and not get the same results. I wont get the same results as Peter because I don’t talk to the subject the same way he does as well as seeing the world different. This doesn’t mean I wont capture something that is still amazing. You have to remember that we all see the world different, we interact different and pull out different emotions from our subjects. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just some people do it better than others.

My goal with this shoot was to capture a nice little cross section of images of Jenna. Jenna is not a professional model but has posed for a few photographers in the past. I think she is great in front of the camera and takes direction very well.

With any photo shoot I like to come out with three to five solid keepers regardless of how many images I take or don’t take. Generally speaking you wont get to see the non keepers from most photographers but I chose to share every shot from this 5 Min Portrait. I do that so you can see not just the best shots but the ones that just missed or were so far off base that I never should have let them see the light of day.

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Click Here to view all of the FULL RES Images from this photo shoot.

This is all about learning and becoming a better photographer, the only way you get better is to step outside of your comfort zone and practice. There is not shame in not getting the best results when you are trying something new. The only shame is if you don’t try.

With this 5 Min Portrait I only filmed the first part of the shoot. After the initial head-shots were captured I changed up the lights and the scene to allow me to try some other scenarios before finally doing some natural light portraits around the loft. You can see those images in the editing video below.

Editing the 5 Min Portrait

As I have been doing more often after photo shoots like this, I am going to share with you the editing process I went through to get the final images. It is important to remember that this is my style for editing and not everyone will like what I come up with. It’s very important to formulate your style not only in the images you capture but in the way you process them. With that said, there is a lot of information you can take out of this section so please enjoy.

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Click Here to view all of the FULL RES Images from this photo shoot.

I also share with you images that I captured after the camera stopped rolling. We kept shooting for another hour or two, trying different lighting setups and poses. One thing I learned from this shoot is that I am not very good with directing the model when it comes to posing. This is something I am not terribly to used to doing. When I am shooting candids I let the model to what they do and capture it. In this setting, I have to tell the model what I am looking for in order to bring that out of them.

On the other hand when you work with a professional model they tend to know how to flow andmove which makes for less work giving direction. That is in no way a knock at Jenna as she did a fantastic job in front of the camera.

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Click Here to view all of the FULL RES Images from this photo shoot.

If you would like to view all the full res exports please CLICK HERE.

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5 Min Portrait: YouTube Thumbnail Photo Shoot

Jared Polin May 3, 2014 Comments Off

I am back with another 5 Minute Portrait and this time around my goal was to capture a YouTube Thumbnail for a fitness video with Maria.

Thumbnails on YouTube are very important and can be the difference between getting people to watch your video or not. But a lot of people tend to try and cheat their thumbnail by selecting it to be something that has nothing to do with the video itself.

In this case my goal was to capture a killer thumbnail for an ab workout video with Maria. Maria is looking to create A Fitness YouTube Channel so I helped out by filming a few videos for her. Since we already had her video shoot in the can it only made sense to take photos in the same situations for the thumbnail.

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The photo shoot went pretty smoothly as you will see from the photos in the video and below. But I ran into a major issue when I attempted to import the files from the CF card to the computer. Somehow the card ended up getting corrupted and could not be read by any computer. I would think this was mostly my fault for putting the card in the card reader and removing it a bunch of times without ever actually exporting the photos. I exported the video before but not the photos. And yes if you are wondering I did eject the card before removing it from the card reader.

I was pretty bummed that I lost the files but I figured I would try and recover them like I have heard many people have done. I first attempted using the Pro recovery software from Sandisk and that was not able to recover anything. I than found a different one online which I purchased and it had success in pulling hundred of files.

It found all of the photos from Maria’s photo shoot along with hundreds of other photos going back months. Now it did not find any RAW images but it did find jpegs which is better than nothing. If this was a professional shooting I would not have been totally SOL. Sure the files that it recovered would not be good enough for much more than an 8×10 they were perfectly usable for online use.
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Simple Product Photography Tips: 5 Min Portrait

Jared Polin February 16, 2014 Comments Off

The reason I use the word “simple” in the title of this post is because this is a very basic setup that just about anyone can do.

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Product photography does not have to be overwhelming. You don’t always need fourteen different lights, reflectors and assistants to capture a product shot. Of course in some situations where it is called for, you may need a more intense setup.

If your goal is to simply get a product shot captured and online to help you showcase a something than the tips in this video will come in handy.

When I am shooting photos of products on my kitchen table I like to use the natural light from outside and sometimes some continuos lights inside. In this case my main light was the daylight with a little bit of fill come from a continuous light that was meant to light me for the video.

My goal was to capture a product shot of the Canon lens that could be used for an article, a sales page or just for practice.
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