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Currently showing posts tagged behind the scenes

  • Workflow Tips: Vision

    All too often I find photographer's flying by the seat of their pants both on the job and behind the computer. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. I will admit that in my free time, my fine art photography often comes to me in a serendipitous way.

    However, when it comes to my commercial work, I always like to walk into a scenario with a vision about the final product.

    Here is an example of the before and after of an image taken last year of an old helmet on the beach. I wanted to depict a more dramatically lit scenario, which I achieved mostly with mutliple exposures and precise masking.

    While most of my magic happens behind a computer screen, I still pay very close attention to lighting and on location techniques. However, sometimes it is not always possible to capture a subject lit the way you had hoped to, whether it be due to size, space, or limited access.

    This image of the inside of the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel was also achieved with mutliple exposures and precise masking.

    My vision for the wind tunnel images was for them to look very sleek and clean, almost in a futuristic sort of way. In post, I emphasized the edgy qualities and created a cinematic feel. My inspiration was Stanley Kubrick's film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Using layering with mutilple exposures, I created this dramatically lit scenario that made the observation window of the wind tunnel almost glow.

    Here is an aircraft image I am in the process of working on. This image was lit solely by sunlight. I have been sculpting the light with HDR and masking techiniques for a sleek and dramatic look.

    Having a solid vision is extremely important to the overall outcome of my photography. It has effectively portrayed the conceptual and narrative side to my seemingly drab comemrcial work. It is crucial to find ways to carry out your vision in your work, even if circumstances prevent you from doing so on location. Through creative and conceptual HDR techniques, my work has blossomed into something between commercial and fine art.

  • Behind the Scenes at Helicopter Big Bear

    For the Fourth of July weekend, my friend Rachel (who is a fellow photographer/filmmaker) and I decided to relax up at Big Bear Lake with a cozy little mountain cabin. Of course, there is no rest for the aviation enthusiast, though. I managed to set up a photo shoot with Helicopter Big Bear, located at the Big Bear City Airport. This company offers an assortment of scenic tours in both their helicopter and airplane. They also offer flights for photographers, which I will have to do next time!

    Photos by Rachel Marie Smith.

    Rachel took some Polaroid images of me working on the tarmac. Although most of my magic happens behind the computer, angle, lens, and light are really key to a dynamic aircraft image. I love the vintage effect on the expired film from The Impossible Project too.

    Photos by Rachel Marie Smith.

    Here are a few of the finished photographs. Other photos from this shoot will be posted into my Aviation gallery soon.

    Jennifer and the pilot, Roy, were great to work with and very accommodating. It's great to meet people as passionate and excited about aviation as I am!

    A big thank you to Helicopter Big Bear for letting me work with their beautiful helicopter and aircraft as well as Rachel for the behind the scenes photos.