Thursday Shutter Clicks

  • Woo Hoo! Another Thursday evening shutter click get together. This evening we did re-shoots for a couple of the girls from last weeks session. While the girls were busy with make-up, I warmed up by taking some shots of Daiana. One word to describe them BEAUTIFUL! Daiana is quite comfortable in front of, or behind the camera. She understands what a photographer is looking for, and how to project into the lens. This makes her a great inspiration for the photographer she is working with. She is very easy to photograph and extremely photogenic. . . lucky girl!

    I like the over all composition of each of the images, and I felt Daiana’s personality was reflected in every shot. I am most pleased with the ways I photographed her eyes. The only edits I did to the images was to crop, desaturate, and add a little softening. Images shot with high ISO settings, were adjusted to make them less grainy. I did nothing to enhance her eyes in any of these images. Yet, her eyes pop! They look alive and on fire in every shot.
    “Nailed it,” she says with smug self-satisfaction!

    What I like least about some of the images is that they are a bit grainy, and a few are not as sharp as I like, but those are minor details and in my opinion add effect to the final photographs.

    Daiana by Mo Garcia

    These shots were all taken with my Nikon D7K, here are my favorites:

    MOT_0594 MOT_0593 MOT_0589 MOT_0586 MOT_0587 MOT_0576 MOT_0568 MOT_0574 MOT_0554 Daiana

     

    Enjoy the Gallery

  • It’s a Wrap! or a Rap as in Rewind and Print!

    Wow! I am humbled and grateful to the ladies who volunteered and participated in my 1940’s Noir Photo Shoot last Thursday! What a fun night! I got some amazing photos of all the girls. They are beautiful ladies in and out! I am indebted to Daiana Adams, of http://daianaadams.wordpress.com/, my friend, coworker, and fellow shutter bug. Daiana volunteered to be the second shooter. Daiana shoots Canon, and I shoot Nikon. I can’t wait to see the shots she got. I especially want to give a big shout out to Amanda Trigleth of Mary Kay for doing everybody’s makeup. Great job. Please, please visit Amanda’s page on the offical Mary Kay website: http://www.marykay.com/adtrigleth/en-US/Pages/default.aspx. Buy something folks! Amanda is having a Mary Kay event on 1/18 at St. Lawrence’s Church. Countact her for details if you’d like to attend. It sounds like a fun event.

    Amanda T.
    Amanda Trigleth our Mary Kay Representative, and make-up artist extraordinare!

    I’ve already private posted the images I took and have gotten some very positive feedback from the ladies. I’m happy to see  several of the images being used as profile pictures on facebook. Beautiful! I’ll leave the posts up for the week. I have to bring them down because I don’t have unlimited storage on this sight. You’ll notice I didn’t watermark any of the images, that’s because my camera embeds my artistic signature and copyright information in the image’s metadata file. It goes with the image for protection. The pictures will come down by next Thursday, so everyone needs to pick the pictures they want before then. If you miss the dead line, don’t worry, the pics are posted privately on my flickr sight. You will be able to view, and access them there just message me for a link.

    I had many favorites shots from the shoot, here are a couple of my soft-favorites, enjoy!

    If you liked your pictures, and even if you didn’t, please help me drive traffic and interest to my blog by getting people to like pixlexia on facebook, and visiting my blog, liking it AND LEAVING COMMENTS! This helps my blog grow in traffic. Thank you.

    So the girls got a fun night and some spicy pictures for themselves, or their significant others. What I got out of this session was priceless! I learned so much from this shoot about lighting (need another soft box), I’m going to acquire a posing guide for the girls to look at before we get started shooting, so we can get ideas. I can direct them from their comfort zones. I learned it’s very important to coordinate ahead of time with the second shooter to avoid having subjects looking away from you when you are shooting. And it helps keep you from overwhelming your subjects with directions coming from two people. The two shooters have to coordinate when one will shoot, and the other spot and direct.

    Staging is important and saves time. I was going for a studio type shoot where my goal was to use lights for effect, and a camera on a tripod for most of the shots. All the post processing I wanted to do afterwards was cropping and applying black and white filters. And for the majority of the images, that is all that was need. I only had to touch up one or two images, but beyond this it was crop and desaturate! A seasoned photographer that reads this will probably think it obvious, but for me, who am just exploring how to work with lighting, I am amazed. Specific lighting will do away with 90% of post-processing. Love it! 20130117_393

    I wanted everyone to mix up their poses within a predefined space so that I wouldn’t have too much camera adjusting to do. This didn’t always work out and several images were difficult to crop because the models’ bodies extended beyond the frame. I didn’t prepare for that, or the comfort of the models in holding some of the poses. I had to readjust my camera to focus on eyes quite frequently. Next time I would add draped stools for the models to prop their feet on and mark the perimeters so they will know to keep arms and legs inside a certain area. Or set my camera on a tripod with a wider angle lens, like I did on this shot of Cherie.

    20130117_253

    Every one of these elements will make or break the shoot. Although, the makeup was very professionally done, one girl’s make-up did not photograph well. Some of the poses did not work for everyone, and I would change one girl’s hair style. The number of girls for one evening’s shoot, should be cut in half. One or two girls at a time is ideal so you can really take your time to work with the girls. This evening there were 7 girls to shoot in approximately 3 hours. The evening started at 6 p.m. and we wrapped up by 11 p.m. We all had to go to work the next morning… this made for a Longgggg night! But I can’t wait to do it again!

    Smoking . . .
    Smoking . . .
    Posing . . .
    Posing . . .
    Girls (1 of 1)-6
    Spot Light!
    Spicy . . .
    Spicy . . .
    Classic . . .
    Classic . . .
    Hollywood . . .
    Hollywood . . .
    Lovely . . .
    Lovely . . .
    Rita
    Thank you Rita for the moral support and potty training the baby . . .

    Noir Girls Night Photo Shoot Out Takes

    Thursday, January 10th, after work Amanda, Melissa, Sofia, Cherie, Rita, Suzan, Amy, Daiana, and me, had a Girls Night Evening Noir Photo Shoot! What fun! Everyone enjoyed the evening. Our lovely Mary Kay Representative and Co-Worker, Amanda Trigleth, volunteered to do make-up for everyone. Daiana volunteered to come over and be the second shooter, spotter, co-director, etc. She is awesome! I want to convince her to co-launch a photography business with me because individually we are very good photographers, together we RULE!

    Girls (2 of 5) Girls (3 of 5) Girls (4 of 5) Girls (5 of 5)

     

    The girls were treated to make up, healthy snacks, cheese, fruit, veggies, and flat breads from Pane Rustica. There was wine, water, and a couple of Frozen Tequila Shots were had by some. No drinking for me because I am On Weight Watchers!

    The evening ended by 11:30 p.m. and a good time was had by all.

    MOT_4924 Girls (1 of 1) MOT_4919 MOT_4923

    Here are a few out takes:

    Lake Agnes

    MOT_4888-001About 45 minutes just east of Tampa is Polk City. A small rural Florida City that is about 512 acres in size. Wikipedia describes Polk City this way: Polk City is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,516 at the 2000 census. The image above is a view of Lake Agnes, which is one of many lakes in this area. This image was taken Saturday, January 5, 2013 from Tom’s back yard. It is a view of Tom’s dock taken with my Nikon D300, 50 mm, with my fisheye lens attached.

    MOT_4890-002

    As of 2004, the population of Polk City recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,515 (the population dropped by 1– LOL). It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. Wikipedia.

    MOT_4862-005

    This is Tom’s back yard as viewed from his dock.

    MOT_4886-003

    In this gallery you can see how post processing can make the same image appear very different.

    More Noir Practice

    Classic Black and White
    Classic Black and White d7k, f5, 400 iso, auto wb, nikkor 18-200mm, shot in low light, softbox and umbrella lights used, Post processed in picasa, applied light hogla-ish, adjusted infra-red, applied pinkish filter.

    Between chores and a trip to Polk City for lunch, I managed to get in another self-portraiture session. These sessions are challenging because it is difficult to focus in low light. It is even more so when I am trying to focus on an imaginary spot where I will position myself, once I come out from behind the camera.  The slightest movement throws my focus off. In this series I am once again trying to achieve a certain photographic style. The images posted here have been edited by me simply using picasa. I cropped, desaturated, softened, and used infrared techniques, along with a few other photo effects to achieve the looks I was going for. Here they are:

    Dark Mystique

    Trying for a George Hurrell Style
    d7k, f5, 1/250th, 400 iso, auto wb, flash used, umbrella light, soft box, shoot in low light. I was going for a 1940’s dark mystique. I envision shadows of blinds angling across in the background, and cigarette smoke to make this shot “vintage detective magazine” worthy. I love the dark lips and the way the eyes and teeth pop! This was done using picasa’s infrared effect. I created another version of this with applied soft duotone filters. You can view that version in the gallery below.
    dk7, f5, 1/250th, 400 iso, auto wb, flash used, umbrella light, soft box, 18-200 mm nikkor. Edited in Picasa retro 1960 and cinemascope
    d7k, f5, 1/250th, 400 iso, auto wb, flash used, umbrella light, soft box, 18-200 mm nikkor.

    Edited in Picasa applied retro 1960’s effects, adjusted down and applied cinemascope, cropped for effect. This is an example of the difficulty I encountered in trying to maintain a continuous focus while trying to mix up the poses a bit. I went for a caught by the Paparazzi flash effect. Notice the blown out light from the soft box at the lower right corner.

    Duh – perhaps next time I’ll set the camera on continuous autofocus!

     

     

     

    Nailed it!

    dk7, f5,1/250th, 400 iso, auto wb, flash used, soft box and umbrella lights. Edited in Picasa . Desaturated, and cropped for effect.
    d7k, f5,1/250th, 400 iso, auto wb, flash used, soft box and umbrella lights. Edited in Picasa . Desaturated, and cropped for effect.

    All I had to do to the image above  was crop and desaturate it to black and white.  I nailed the light, the energy, and the feel of the George Hurrell style.  I  still need to work on the Noir dramatic shadow effect.  Notice the lights in the eyes. The eyes no longer look small and squinty. They are well proportioned and sparkle with light. I learned to avoid lifeless shark eyes by having my subject look into the light. This way the eyes will catch and reflect the light. The face has contour without harsh shadows, and the chin line is well-defined. The neck appears elongated. This was achieved simply by tilting the head to look up at the umbrella-light. This also lowers one shoulder which adds definition to the neck. The skin tone is smooth and even. The age spots are minimized.  This is the left side of my face — note to self —left is the more photogenic side of my faceLOL! This perspective hides the scar on the right side of my chin. You can just see the mole over my right eye, just under the eyebrow. It, along with my dimples, are my signature features. However, these features present a challenge when photographing my face because of the shadows and deep creases they create.  Looking up and into the light also maintained the detail in the hair  — all the way to the grey highlights framing the forehead. The hair separates the face from the background adding a layer of depth.  Although the background is not entirely grey or black, this shot works.

    My face is extremely difficult to photograph for the very reasons it is also a great test subject. I have the typical sagging and bloating effects of aging, especially under my eyes, and around my jowls, neck and chin line.  These present a challenge for lighting. If I light my under eye baggage, I may blow out the forehead, or lose the nose to too much light, making my face look large and flat. If I light for the jowls I may deepen the eye baggage and unintentionally accentuate an already prominent nose . . . I’m a challenge:)

    Conclusion: I was able to accomplish this great shot  merely by using proper posing  techniques and strategic lighting effects — the only post processing I used on this one was cropping, and desaturation. I could have just shot it in black and white by setting the camera control to monochrome, and cropped in camera by zooming but that is hard to do from in front of the camera:) In the end I shot it in color. My next challenges will be to recreate this effect before I get the girls in to pose for me, and introduce GOBOs for that noire effect. . . maybe even cigarette smoke . . .

    Yay me!  Enjoy the Gallery below.