When a Photo Speaks to You


Allrighty then…. Last week I talked about HDR photos and how I was in the process of coming up with a workflow that portrayed HDR shots in a way that was not overdone as so many are these days.. Well I think we have a system that will work… I also spoke of a photograph that spoke to me and promised that I would share it here with readers of this blog.

So let me lay this out. Recently a young lady that I have a great deal of respect for as a photographer, had the opportunity to snap some newborn shots. I saw this photo and right away went on a wild rant about it. Personally, I felt the power of this image, as it truly spoke to me. In addition, I would like to ask for your help and suggestions cause I feel this image is worthy of national publication. It is that damn good. The photographer is Erin Townsend and she simply kills it every time she steps behind the lens.. You can see more of her work  on her Facebook page, and please if any of you know how to get a shot published, please contact either her or myself. Erin’s work is incredible, and it’s about time people know about her and what she can do. So without any further ranting on my part, please allow me to present to you an image that I feel is breathtaking.

HOLDING HONOR

HOLDING HONOR

HOLDING HONOR

Please checkout Erin’s work, and give her a like if you are on Facebook. Let her know what you think of this shot. I have.

My best,

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

HDR Done Right or So I am Told


Last post, we visited the topic of bad editing or over editing. Today I want to discuss taking a series of pictures that maybe did not turn out as expected. The shot and topic today is a bracketed series of photos that were taken with the intent of creating a HDR composition. While setting up, I relied on my light meter to give me the suggested exposure time for a properly exposed initial image. My first mistake or so I thought. The images seemed to be a little dull and underexposed when I viewed them on the LCD. Deciding to keep the shots, I would revisit them after my edits were complete for my client.( Business first..Play later) Having a few minutes, I did in fact revisit these shots, and merged them to HDR. Although underexposed I played with the settings until I had the image adjusted to the point were it started to appeal to my eye. Once satisfied, I re-imported into Lightroom and finished the final touches. Having some thoughts on HDR compositions, I began to do a little research, and found that I could easy make some adjustments to my camera setup to enhance the original bracketed photos. In the future I will from time to time begin to display some of these images with the modified camera settings. As I do so I will share with you the modifications and the process I use to create my HDR Photography.

My final Shot:

HDR LAKESHORE

HDR LAKESHORE

Also in my next post, and this is purposely being placed here to see just how many are actually reading. Those that do, I know who you are and I thank you for your continued support, But I am going to share an image, taken by a very special young lady, whom I have a growing affection for her style of photography. Long admired for her work ethic and her commitment to photography, I have taken a special interest in an image she recently captured. Although I am no big name in this ever-expanding industry, I personally feel that this image is truly a work of art, and is so deserving of national publication. Now a few will ask, “Mike why would you promote someone who is in competition with you?” My answer to that is real simple. For me this picture taken stuff goes way beyond the money you can potentially earn. Learning techniques, and having a detailed understanding of just how a camera sees light is the key to creating a piece of art, that touches a person. When this is accomplished, it inspires  and creates a real understanding of what a pure photographer is all about. I have refered to this as feeling the bang and in may ways that is not a great description of how I feel about incredible photography. I do however take note of inspirational photography, and the image I will be sharing here on WordPress is a photo that I am inspired by. I feel many others will share my enthusiasm once we display it here.

Thank you for reading

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

Sun of a Beach


Ok yeah the title. Kind of a play on words, but the factors.. Partly sunny day, and on a beach so i figured what the heck.

I followed up yesterday doing some photos for friend and her very pregnant daughter, and while on this shoot I took notice of the contrast in light on the beach. When I finished with my friends, I took a closer look on the beach and before  you know it, I was flat on a cold stone riddled sandy beach snapping some shots.

SO far my favorite:

Stoned on a beach

Stoned on a beach

Once again in use, was my trusty and loved 7d. I used the Tamron 18-270 set an F-8 with the shutter at 1/500th of a sec. I also used ISO 400 and a partial metering mode to create the raw image. Using Lightroom for my edit, I sharpened it slightly and brought up the vibrance. I thought of cropping the photo to remove part of pier and water but decided to just leave it as it sort of offset the beach and gives the photo some depth and contrast.

Hope you like

My best

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

One Stop Several Shots


Bald eagles. The symbol of America. Could they be anymore majestic?

With a January thaw in progress, I took a few minutes yesterday to simply stop at an overlook near my home, and was treated to a rare show. Several immature bald eagles were doing a little fishing as the mature raptors looked on. A great day for pictures indeed, and although my vantage point was almost a mile away from the activity, I was able to catch the following. _MG_0060 _MG_0070

 

_MG_0071

_MG_0074-Edit

All for now..

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

RE-DO….. Editing and Results


If you are a reader of my Humble Blog you will recognize the photo posted here today. The original photo was an HDR shot of a simple winter scene, and although I like the shot,I had felt that it was missing the detail in the HDR that I wanted to achieve. Taking a good hard look at this shot and making the decision to re edit was easy. I simply made adjustments to the detail and saturation settings to achieve these results. I reposted this shot on my face book page and WOW!!!To date this has been my all time active photo as far as likes and comments. Big thanks go out to my followers for taking the time to share and comment on the composition. This is the original shot after editing.

Creek Bed in HDR

THE ORIGINAL

The 2nd look edit. THOUGHTS

2nd Look edit

2nd Look edit

Some very light touches can be found when studied closely, but in all, the details and shadows that are present in this edit, made the difference between a nice shot, and what one friend called ” A Spectacular Shot”

Thanks for checking out the post, and if you are on FB please stop by and say hello. I am always looking to connect and network with other photo enthusiasts.You can find my page here. Thanks again.

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

 

 

The Shot to Final Composition.


The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and times spent with loved ones. Often times this is true, but lets face it. Times right now are tough for so many people. With the burdens we face because of the actions of our so-called leaders, I feel compelled to mention that although the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy they are often overshadowed with real life problems and tragedies. Over the last week, I played a small part with my circle of friends who have in fact suffered personal loss. Where am I going with this post? The title says , shots to final composition.  I am simply going to say that photography is not always glamorous, and from this photographers perspective, I have learned over the years that positives can come from the tragedies, if you simply stay true to your resolve.

To sum my opening up, This last week has been busy. I have been asked to scan images, blow them up, enhance them, so they could be used at events that are not photographer friendly. Taking on these tasks are worth it, when you are able to do something that brings just a smidgen of joy to people who you care about. Knowing that you were able to help is a reward in itself and although it does very little to ease the pain of those who are experiencing it, you know right away that your efforts are appreciated. Virtue is its own reward and I am pleased that I was asked to help. That is what friendship is about. As this post moves along, I now switch to the main purpose of this post.

In addition to photography, I am associated with a small but very good production studio. The owner of this studio has been a long time friend of mine, and in the past we have produced content that has been very well received by the viewing public. John who is the owner of Torquil Studio is a huge fan of music and he has been searching for local talent, in vocal arts. One of his prospects, Samantha, who happens to be a very talented young lady, was recently in studio and I had the opportunity to take some photographs of her in action. I am going to show you how I composed this image from start to finish.

After some initial test shots, I proceeded to set the stage and pose my model for images that I would use later for album covers or profile shots.

Step one :

Sam original shot

Sam original shot

You see this shot,and you think wow, really under exposed. This was intended. I used no flash, no tripod, and underexposed the image simply due to my understanding of my camera and the way it shoots photos. This is a key step in your final compositions, because shooting in raw gives you the ultimate control of how you want the final edits to look upon completion. I imported this shot into lightroom, and made adjustments to the exposure, the contrast, and the vibrance. I also use a healing brush to fix minor imperfections  and proceeded to isolate the subject of this photo. By  under exposing  this image it allowed me to put the focus on my model. This is the composition after my lightroom edits.

LR edit

LR edit

As you can see the subject is now brought into the foreground and as one person has put it, she looks soft and dreamy.  I don’s know about all that, but I do know that I like this image, and feel that it gives my model a very soft and feminine perspective.

However I did not stop at this point. My goal here was to further enhance and highlight aspects of this image to put a more detailed but softened look to this photo. I then exported this composition to a program I often use for portraits. ( I would tell you the name of this program, but I can’t give all my secrets away.)  Plus most of you who do portraits will already be aware of the software I use.

I first went through the steps of enhancing the facial features, and lining up the eyes,with the nose and mouth in contrast. I also put highlights on the subjects hair and smoothed out the skin tone to further give a soft look to the subject. And my final step and one that I feel is very important in almost every photograph I take. Enhancement of the eye’s. I learned a long time ago, that when photographing wildlife, the most important part of photography is detail on the subject eyes. They must be in focus even if parts of the photo are slightly distorted or not as in focus.  With my portrait enhancements completed, I then imported the image back into lightroom to adjust slightly the exposure and vibrance of the image.

My final composition.

Final Composition.

Final Composition

The equipment. I used my Canon 7d camera, in combination with the Tamron 18-270 lens. Shot with an iso of 800 I used the spot metering mode, and set my aperture at 5.6.  The shutter speed was 1/90 of a second and although the raw image was underexposed, through software and knowledge of my camera and how it shoots I was able to make this work.  I personally feel that this is a great composition and I am proud of it. I also feel that this young lady could very well be a talent that you will be hearing about in the future. Her voice is angelic and with hard work and dedication, she could easily earn her way to the spotlight. Yes I am proud of this image, and the fact that I was allowed to create it.

May 2013, be a blessed year.

Thank you.

Mike

www.xroo.com

www.mrsargent.com

www.msargentphotography.com