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  • 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.