Check out my latest High school Senior Portrait session. We were able to do this right on his property. It was fast, easy, and we had some good laughs. All in all, I call it a win.
So now that 2012 has come and passed, and I have had the chance to do a number of weddings this past year. 2012 was exciting and at times very busy. Now that we are in the final throws of winter and coming up fast on another wedding season I have had some time to reflect on the past year and look over most of my work. I wanted to share with you the photograph that I selected from last year. I have a few reasons why this was a favorite. One being that it almost never happened. I was walking down these gigantic concrete steps coming from the wedding party group photo’s and talking to the bride and groom, when I quickly glanced back to make eye contact with them while speaking. And this was what I saw. Of course I imagined it to a degree, but the lighting and composition immediately caught my eye. I yelled “STOP!”. I think I scared them, heck I scared myself. haha. Jolene and I efficiently set up the lighting and composed the shot, “alright lay it on guys, kissy kissy” I excitedly directed. Here you go. Now you have a little insight into my madness. Hope you like the image as much as I do.
Funny short story about this image. First I didn’t realize Jolene had taken this shot of us, lol. Thanks babe. The image in the bottom right is one of a few in a series of actions shots I had just taken of these two that I was showing them. What makes the story funny is the fact that about 3 seconds after I took this picture Sarah & Ryan almost ran me over. If it wasn’t for my ninja like reflexes with awesome rolling ability a near miss could have been something much more funny and perhaps a little dangerous. But I got a great shot and learned to use a bigger hill next time.
I am not sure how many people out there in the industry use this. When I first learned this trick it really struck a chord with me. Have you ever had an image that just was destined for black and white, but when you converted it to B&W it was just a little off? Perhaps it had too many low key tones or there was a section that was too dark and automatic conversion just wont cut the mustard or maybe you just want more creative control over your B&W images. Let me share my secret with you. Actually how much of this is a secret I really cant say. It just sounds better when I use the word secret…
The name of the game is splitting channels. The program, Photoshop.
Step 1: Splitting the channels of a RGB file. You do this by selecting the the channel tab in the Layers Panel. You then click the carrot in the panel. A drop down will appear. The option to separate channels will be available. Select this option.
Step 2: At this point you will see three separate canvases open up each on is a different gray scale file.
Step 3: You then compare the RGB files against a separate desaturated RGB file.
The red channel is loaded with highlights – notice them predominantly in your Red Channel image? Green Channel has more middle tones and finally the Blue Channel holds the darkest values. A lot of times you may not even need this channel. In some cases, you can chose to use it as a layer mask for extra depth in your image. The Blue Channel also seems to the be channel holding the most noise if you’re shooting at a higher ISO. eliminating or minimizing the use of the channel can clean up you B&W file quite a bit.
Step 4: loading the channels. Simply copy and paste the green and blue channels into the red channel file. Or the Red and Blue Channels into the Green file. It doesn’t matter as long as you have all three channels layered in one file.
a.) I sometimes place the green channel over the red channel, and change the layer properties of the green channel to “soft light” to blend the two layers together. This deepend some of the shadows and softened some highlights. Play with the opacity until you like it. …you can also mask off some areas as well. It’s wide open to how you want to work it.
b.) I then place the Blue Channel mask on the top layer and airbrush at 20% just to bring back some details in the shadows adding some extra depth and a bit more tonality. Again, sometimes this layer isn’t even necessary.
Lastly: My final 3-minute B&W Conversion. Its a different way to control your digital B&W conversions.
One of my 2013 brides told me she wanted a winter Engagement Session. Its something I had done once before. I was hoping to provide her and Ryan with just what they wanted. Rochester winters can be unpredictable, and this year has been just that. We were hoping for lots of snow but the day we scheduled we received more than we wished for, which included freezing temps and high winds (i.e. a bonafide full on winter advisory snow storm, ha ha not what we wanted exactly) so we decided to reschedule. On the rescheduled day of her Engagement session it was still very cold, but we managed to keep from freezing and got some great images for them.
In an Engagement session I like my couples to show themselves being who they are, not plastic and fake with cheesy poses. We had fun I think, and oh yeah, lots of kissing! Come’on people they are in love!!! Hope you like the latest from Essence Photography. If so leave a comment in the post below. Please, and thanks so much!