Photoshop World – Las Vegas 2013

Photoshop World Vegas 2013_Talke

Just arrived back from my one day visit to Photoshop World in Las Vegas. It is going on until Friday…so attend if you can! I did not have time to take any classes this year, so I just went out for the exhibit. I love the PSW Exhibits….booths from lots of companies, speakers non-stop at various locations, meet and chat with some of the best photogs in the business and see some good friends.

My favorite part of the exhibit is the Westcott booth. The have two models that pose all day! Whew…feel for them. Ever pose for 20 mins? 1-6 PM would be tough!!! They are pre-lit and pose non-stop for you! Lighting styles vary and they are using Westcott products. Last year I shot Frankenstein and his bride. This year, this cool model was done up in a jungle style. Love that head dress. You get to photograph as much as you want and get that paparazzi feeling. Afterwards you can enter the “Shootout Contest” by Westcott and may win some great prizes! Winners may be featured in future Westcoot catalogs, print material and on the web with name recognition and a website link. Great stuff!

The shot was my fav of the day…I took hundreds…and post processed it in Photoshop. I shot this with my D800 + 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I must say the D800 for portraits in unreal!! Have fun!

HDR Composite


HDR’ing is now a favorite of many photographers…me included! I love also taking portraits and with the growing popularity of compositing…the two combined is awesome!! Now the tough part is to get it to work. I unfortunately do not have tons of time on my hands but gave this a try recently. My processing is trial and error. I am not a Photoshop Guy like Scott Kelby or Matt Kloskowski, but can do some above basic photoshop work.

I had seen some HDR Composites from the amazing Joel Grimes in the past and his work blew me away like the first time I saw an HDR. Compositing was omething I always wanted to attempt! Then recently, Matt Kloskowski released my favorite book of all time… “Photoshop Compositing Secrets“. Matt’s book is not only inspirational, but detailed and teaches you everything! Thanks Matt!!! You rock!

Now with my Photoshop skill limitations, above you will see my second attempt ever that combines a std photo and an HDR…an HDR Composite! Not perfect, but maybe with more practice and knowledge, I can get better. I asked my FB fans yesterday how to improve the shot from one version I posted online. Based upon their comments, I have since made slight changes and now the finished product is above. Here you can see what I used to get the final picture…

Wall: Bracket “0” of the 7 exposures used to create the HDR…

Wall HDR’d: 7 Exposures, HDR Efex Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro & then Topaz Adjust…cranked Saturation up a bit as well…

Model Shot: Taken with 2 Westcott Shoot-thru Umbrellas, 2 SB-700’s, Pocket Wizard’s…same location as the HDR, but shot different days!

Diagram for Model Shot…

Now I am far from an expert…but hopefully my second attempt looks good enough? I truly love all the options photography has to offer! Challenges make our ability grow!! The model is the lovely Roshni…she was great!! Thanks Roshni!!

Austin, Texas – Photowalk

Yesterday we had a photowalk downtown in Austin with a different style….using models.  This was set up by my friends Alex Suarez and Steve Wampler.  At this time of year it is fun in Austin…SXSW is going on.  Even last nite..Apple opened a spot store and was selling IPad 2’s for it new release.   We had about 11 photographers and 2 models.  We split up into two groups…Canon shooters and Nikon shooters….due to using flash equipment.  We basically used one flash.  Our Nikon setup was using either a pocket wizard that we shared or shot commander mode using a mounted flash on a monopod shooting through a Westcott umbrella.

We walked around and shot all around the 6th street area from 5:30 until 8:30 PM.  We all had a blast.  The model above is named Eight.  She was incredible.  She posed and had no problem working with us for the whole time.  Kudos Eight!   We walked in this back alley and I thought it might be cool to get the Frost Bank Tower Building in the back of the shot.  We all sat on the ground looking up and snapped away!  Might be my fav shot of the nite!

Thanks to Alex and Steve…that was awesome!  Such a fantastic photowalk!  As you may have read from me in previous posts…the future of Talke Photography is portraits. A photowalk like this is key to experience.  Priceless indeed!  I had a blast.  It is amazing how much work a photo shoot is.  Carrying all your gear and being wary of people.  But all fun!!!

Pflugerville, TX – Centerra Homes in HDR

HDR for use for commercial purposes??  Yes indeed!  Our good friend Tommy Grant runs a wonderful home building business here in central Texas called Centerra Homes.   If you are looking for a new home in the Austin area….stop on by the website and check out the details!    Some info from the site:  Centerra Homes is a premier homebuilding company founded in Austin, Texas. With over forty years of combined home building experience, we are committed to building relationships, one customer and one home at a time. Our mission is to build each and every home as if we are building it for our own family.

Last week a new model was completed and ready to go and Tommy asked me to photograph it for their website. I was eager to give commercial photography a shot!  I spent the morning taking lots of photos.  Beforehand I told Tommy that I would shoot both standard and HDR. We then could compare them and see what version looks better.  I returned home in the afternoon and processed the pictures.  The HDR’s looked fantastic!!!  Above is the family room using a wide angle lens.   I used a wide angle (Nikon 12-24 f/4) for the whole shoot along with a tripod and cable release….5 exposures on each shot.

I gave Tommy all the photos and suggested that maybe consider using the HDR’s for his website….except the kitchen which had wood grain cabinets and a wood floor….a bit too much texture going on!   I can assume the amount of HDRs used for commercial photographs is a very very small percentage.  Why?  Because most HDR photographers are all shooting landscape shots!   LOL     I’d give a thumbs up for commercial use of HDR’s!  Here is another…

The HDR creates a nice warm feeling to each photo.  The standard versions were solid, but I am happy he chose to use the HDR’s on his website.   Here is the link to all the photos. Centerra Homes – Falcon Pointe Thanks Tommy for thinking outside the box!  One last shot…

I know the NY Times was thinking about using HDR’s in their newspaper….soon HDR’ing will become a normal way of photography.  It is the fastest growing photographic style in the world today.   Enjoy the photos!   Good luck Centerra Homes!   Sell lots of houses!!