Tag Archives: portrait

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My Ed Kowalczyk Album Cover Is Now Out!

The distortion was caused by holding a magnifying glass in front of my camera’s lens and shooting through it

Check out the album cover I shot for Ed Kowalczyk, formerly of the band Live, in Los Angeles this past summer. Ed’s new EP is available on iTunes now!

(Ed K.) The Garden EP is available now on ITunes and Amazon.com in North America! For my international fans, you can head on over to my webstore and download it now! Here is the link https://edkowalczyk.com/store/garden-ep

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New Phase One IQ160 Test Shoot – Pretty Girl In The Spooky Woods

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Did another quick shoot in the Virginia woods with the 60 megapixel Phase One IQ160. Practiced shooting shallow depth of field with the camera, which is a challenge getting the right things in focus, especially when the sun is setting. Would have definitely helped shooting tethered with Capture One to check my focus in careful detail, despite the cameras pretty sweet retna touch screen.

Shot these with a single White Lightning strobe and a large reflector for fill. Love how using a single light created such drama in the woods.

Color and black and white conversions were created with Nik Software plugins through Capture One software.

Hair/makeup/styling done by my friend Lauren Clark, who works at Immortal Beloved in DC. This is one of those shoots where my buddy Lauren and I just kind of threw something together last minute because we just wanted to do something fun and creative on our Sunday afternoons and Alex was a willing victim participant.

Model is Alex Miller of the DC area.

She looks like Supergirl from the 80′s film – click to see larger
Against a white barn wall. So crisp!
Setting up a single gridded beauty dish
Lauren Clark doing some grooming

We celebrated a successful shoot by taking part in national ice cream day at Ben & Jerry’s
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Boston Home Magazine – Proof My Old Personal Photoshoot Has Legs… Still

You may recall this old post, where I discussed how one of my personal photoshoots from 2008 has continued to be used in various forms even until this day. The shoot has seen various magazine spreads, covers, and even a museum display in New York City. Most recently, one of my Dava Newman / Biosuit portraits can be seen in the new issue of Boston Home Magazine (Spring 2012). I reprocessed the raw Canon cR2 file from 2008 from scratch for the magazine. I used Nik Software’s Viveza and Color Efex Pro software to tweak the color and contrast.

Just further proof that shooting personal projects for yourself can actually pay for themselves in the end and then some! Go back to the old post to read more information about the shoot’s backstory.

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My Portrait of Trans-Siberian Orchestra Founder Paul O’Neill

I recently had the opportunity to shoot a portrait of the amazing and interesting Paul O’Neill, who founded the extremely profitable and unique Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This particular shot was taken with a strobe that lit his face using a 7″ reflector with a 30 degree grid installed. I used a beauty dish with a grid installed pulled back to create that spotlight on the wall and add a little fill to the image. Now, that background is pretty cool. I wish I could take responsibility for it, but it was merely a wall they used to paint piano parts against, leaving those interesting shapes. I thought it would be great to shoot in front of.

Paul was a really cool guy. The kind of person I wish I would have had the chance to talk to for awhile to hear his great stories from his times managing and producing Aerosmith, Humble Pie, AC/DC, Joan Jett, and Scorpions. At the conclusion of our shoot, he gave me an 1883 silver dollar to say thank you. A pretty awesome gift indeed.

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One Of My Old Photoshoots Still Has Legs… MIT / NASA Mars Biosuit Portrait

Tumblr today. 3181 notes / reposts so far in about 12 hours

Thanks to a tip from my buddy Elliot O’Donovan today, I discovered that one of my photographs is making its rounds on the internet today after appearing in Wired. In about 12 hours, the image has nearly 3200 notes/reblogs on tumblr alone. Want to know the crazy part? I did this photoshoot 4 years ago. You see, this came from a personal shoot I did for my portfolio. I learned about the prototype Biosuit in some online article and I was so passionate about shooting it that I chased down the designers, Dava Newman and Gui Trotti at MIT, to beg them to let me photograph it. I scoured the internet for their contact information and hit them up. After some persuasion and showing them my website, I convinced them to let me fly down (on my own dime) to NASA’s Cape Canaveral location on my own dime and photograph the suit (modeled by the suit’s inventor, Dava) while it was on display at some space expo.

I had no plans on what I would do with these photos after I was done other than put them in my portfolio and possibly do a promo piece or two with it.  I was just so passionate about photographing the Biosuit, I just knew I had to do it. About 6 months after the photos sat in my portfolio I decided to do an email promo with 1 of the images. Within 10 minutes of the email blast going out, National Geographic called me asking to run the photo in an upcoming article. Last year, I got an email from Discovery Channel Magazine about doing a cover with one of my Biosuit portraits. Last month, I was contacted by the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. They commissioned one of my Biosuit shots for a long term exhibit on space exploration. Yesterday, Wired posted one of my Biosuit images, and it is make its way virally across the web.

I think the bigger lesson to be shared here is that you should shoot content that you truly are passionate about… subjects that drive you. In this case, a personal shoot may have cost me time and money but paid off in stock sales and many thousands (possibly many tens of thousands?) of views on the web and newsstands over the years. Shoot for you. Shoot what you think is cool. The rest will follow.

Here is another example of a shoot I pursued out of passion that has been published many times over since

National Geographic Adventure (old scan)
April 2010 issue
Up on the WIRED Magazine site this week
Boston Home Magazine

Take A Lot Of iPhone Photos? You May Enjoy My “Photo Stats” iPhone App Review

I take A LOT of photos on my iPhone, especially when I travel for shoots. Photo Stats is a cool application for your iPhone that analyzes your shooting habits. It lists everything from where you’ve taken photos to your most productive time of day, what percentage you shoot landscape vs horizontal, etc.

“If an image is worth thousand words how much is an infographic about all your photos in the camera roll?” – Photo Stats Website

If you click to see the rest of the post below, you can see some of my most recent iPhone photography stats. Unfortunately, I just downloaded about 900 photos from my recent travels onto my computer so it won’t reflect the bulk of my recent shooting stats, but this should give you an idea about how the application works.

One error I noticed is that it says I use flash 100% of the time, which is untrue. I would estimate that less than 10% of my photos are taken with the iPhone flash. Also, it says I use the camera 100% of the time to take the photos… really?

For .99 cents I think it is a pretty cool app. I plan on running an analysis on myself every couple of weeks to track my shooting habits since I do so much iPhone photography. I wish my DSLRs had this kind of tracking/analysis software!

Learn more about the Photo Stats app here: www.photostatsapp.com

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Video Tutorial Of My Post Production Process (Beard Portrait Series Edition)


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In case you were wondering, here is an 8-minute screen capture video of my post-production process for my new beard portrait series. See how I get that great extra texture and contrast in photoshop. I will be doing more tutorials of my process as time progresses. Now remember, great photos can not be captured with just retouching alone, you need to start with good well-shot material! I will discuss the details of my light setup soon.

Retouching is a tool, not a crutch. :)

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