5.12.2018

Join me in late October for a really cool (literally and figuratively) 9 day workshop in Iceland. Pretty amazing stuff. Photography, travel and food. What else can you ask for?

http://www.crafttours.com/trips/?page=iceland_photography_1018

I'm ready.



All photos ©ODL Design. All ©ODL Design. 


After shooting through a winter storm in Canada, in February, I've learned how to dress for the cold. I'm practicing eating Icelandic fare and I'm looking forward to exploring all the nooks and crannies of photography with like minded shooters. Come along for the ride and we'll have a great time.


A Giant Chicken got into my Studio this Afternoon. I chased it around and cornered it on the white seamless. Then I photographed it....

So, there I was in the studio when I heard a bunch of squawking and opened the door. In rushed a giant chicken with balloons tied to its wings. "What the hell?" was my first response but soon I was able to corner the chicken and corral him onto the white seamless background I'd set up this morning for no particular reason. Just opposite the lights I also set up for no discernible reason at all.

Actually, this is world famous actor and playwright, Jaston Williams, who co-wrote, co-produced and co-starred in TUNA TEXAS and A TUNA CHRISTMAS; two hilarious plays that have toured almost every major city in the United States. He called yesterday to see if we could do a quick shoot for a play he'll be opening in San Antonio in the next few weeks. I have no idea why there is a chicken suit but, anything Jaston is in I'll go see. He oozes comedy.

I need to see if he'll make me a pair of those incredible "fins", they may be just what I need for the next swim practice.

This is what I do on Saturdays when I am taking time off and relaxing. Kinda.

Weird gear brief: Neewer Vision 4 lights, Nikon D800e camera, crusty, old Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 zoom lens. Not much post. GIRIC (get is right in camera!).

Keeping Austin Weird. One Photo Assignment at a Time.

Big, soft lights mean big catch lights. Do we retouch them? Do we blot the catchlights out in PhotoShop? What's a photographer to do?


This is an image of Heidi that we did for my second book; the one about studio lighting. The image is an example of the look you get when you use a very large lighting modifier close in to your subject. There is a beautiful light playing across her face and it falls off as you go from the left to the right of the image. By putting up a black velvet light subtractor to the left of frame (the right side as you look at it here) I was able to get a nice and dramatic shadow on the left side of her face, in spite of the inclusive nature of the light source.

The only thing that might give a viewer pause would be the size and brightness of the catchlights (the reflection of the big lighting modifier (a six foot umbrella) or any light source in the eyes). It's an ongoing issue because the catchlights will be there unless you go in and retouch the image. With a natural light source I am almost always inclined to leave the catchlights as they are. It's only in studio lit portraits that I waffle. I like to leave them but some clients expect them to be gone. It's worth a discussion with the people commissioning the work.

Here's the image, edited quickly, who NO catchlights:


Finally, here's an image (just below), edited even more quickly, that shows a compromise between the two extremes. There is no "right" way and I chaff at most retouching of things that occur in the actual shooting, but I'm curious to hear what others think. Not that I'll change the way I do stuff but......

I have switched to back button AF, so there is that....