In light of the massive number of gear reviews and how-tos on YouTube, I felt like making a short vlog focusing on developing a personal vision. In Part 1, I tell you about some of my own photographic heroes – Sebastio Salgado and Ralph Eugene Meatyard- and how they influenced some of my own work.
I’ve always had a problem: I live in the Southwest- surrounded by exotic, beautiful environments like the Painted Desert- but it’s just far enough away that it’s not feasible to take a pro stylized model with me to shoot out there. Enter my daughter Maggie, who at age 8 has been in enough of Daddy’s shoots in her lifetime to finally get styled and shot way out amongst the petrified wood. Hair and makeup done by her mom/ my wife Vesna Miller. We’re going to make this a routine thing- once a month- with the goal of building up a youngster to be an ultra stylized look.
All images done with Fuji X-T2 and either the 35mm 1.4 lens or 23mm 2.0 lens.
One of the imaging techniques I’ve used for my surreal portraits is scenography- shoving people on a scanner and taking advantage of the unique depth of field properties, as well as having the subject shift around while the scanner bed is in transit. Scanners are wonderful for high definition imaging and getting the weird, artsy look so many photo artists strive for.
We have been having a pretty dramatic winter around Phoenix, meaning it’s a bit more grey and rainy than usual; the day after a storm you are guaranteed the sun will punch through and give you some amazing shots if you’re in the right place at the right time. I went hiking with my family around 3 pm by the Peralta trail on the east side of the Superstition Mountains, and my daughter Maggie decided to get “experimental” with some of her posing. All images shot on the Fuji X-T2, lenses were the 35mm 1.4 and 18-55mm 2.8-4.
In any portrait photography, it’s a give that there will be some facial retouching to make your subjects look their best. This Skillshare course cover the basics of both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for retouching skin, enhancing eyes, color correction and more!
It’s been close to a year since I started my Skillshare channel and at the time of this writing I’m offering 17 classes, from Photography to Video Editing to Sound Mixing to Ceramics to Illustration. It seems like a variety of things but to me it’s all art, mostly involving pixels and waveforms. When you’ve been doing stuff for a long time, you pick up a number of useful skills, and that’s the overall premise of Skillshare.
The Skillshare site itself encourages people to create bite-sized, project oriented classes that are complete in themselves, which is understandable- I myself check the run time of a class, and if it’s over 45 minutes, no matter how interested I am in the topic, I’ll probably skip it.
I was able to get 5 tutorials up in September, and my goal for the rest of the year is to continue with 1 new class a week. Some classes have been very broad and beginner-level, others- like my Motion Comics series or Design A Character Based On An Ancient Culture– have been very targeted and based on personal projects I’ve been working on.
At this point I want to ask anyone out there: what would you like to see a tutorial on? Basic stuff, m0re photography, more video, sound editing, process videos of someone creating a piece of art? Let me know in the comments below!
October 16 sees the release of my first Kindle e-book, “Capturing The Face – A Guide To Creative Portrait Photography”, via Amazon. It’s structured around the 10 components that I believe are key to making artistic images of people:
Image capturing method
Formal visual art considerations
The X factor
These elements are all vital pieces to making something magical and I’ve found each worthy of deep exploration in Capturing the Face. I know what it’s like to do a shoot and end up with one or more of these elements overlooked, and as years have gone on, I’ve learned how to make sure each one is addressed so I get personally satisfying results. In the coming weeks I’ll put up some snippets of these chapters. Capturing the Face: A Guide To Creative Photographic Portraiture is 44 pages, $2.99, and available for pre-order right now.