AMA Supercross – Ryan Villopoto

Villopoto_Talke
From a race earlier this season in Anaheim…this is Ryan Villopoto. If you have read Places 2 Explore for a while…you know that I am a big Supercross/Motocross fan. I try to go to at least one race a year. Photography and SX/MX are meant for each other. I’ll give Ran Villopoto his due…not my favorite rider (that’s Dungey) …but he is tough to beat this year. Looks like another SX title in 2013 with only 2 races 2 go. Kudos RV2!

Porto, Portugal – Pestana Porto Hotel (HDR)

Pestana Hotel Porto Portugal
Porto, Portugal is a stunning old city. I am lucky enough to visit every couple years. My favorite hotel to stay at is the Pestana Porto Hotel. Some info from their website: Pestana Porto is one of the best hotels in Oporto, located in Praça da Ribeira in the heart of the historic core of Oporto, and standing on the city’s medieval walls, with a magnificent view of the river Douro.

This hotel in Oporto occupies part of a block of 16th, 17th and 18th century building, and has been classified World Heritage by Unesco. Its privileged location makes it possible to cruise down the river Douro, departing from the bank right in front of the hotel, and to take the historic tram to Foz do Douro or visit one of the Port wine cellars.

The shot above has a bit of a grunge look…I use onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6 to get this effect. My favorite setting is “Brian’s TKO”. Click and you get an instant grunge shot!

onOne recently released Perfect Photo Suite 7!!! I have been playing around with it and love it! I will write a review soon!! Get your copy today!!!

Perfect Photo Suite 7

Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA (HDR)


I had a little fun with this shot. As I dabble more and more with portraits…I have grown to love using “Actions” in Photoshop. You can find them all over the internet. These actions can create that dreamy colorful effect and basically produce anything you desire with the click of a button. My “City in the Sky” from the other day was done using an action called “Pewter”. I was processing this HDR and thought how often do you see an HDR with that colorful effect to it? Almost never. For the shot above I used an action called “Mulberry”..it gives a blueish tone to the shot. Hope it looks cool?? Have a great weekend!!

Basketball HDR Composite


Just like HDR’s for landscape photography…HDR Compositing in portraiture is growing! I am still a beginner and do not have all the gear the pro’s have, but make the best of what I have. The Pro’s use a pair of grid soft boxes on each side and a large octabank above the camera with super strobes. For my shots…I all used were 2 Nikon SB-700′s and 2 Westcott shoot thru white umbrellas on each side. I recently had a chance to meet and talk to the master of this style Joel Grimes and he liked my style and said that the harsh light for these composites is not nec on every shot. Compositing is art and you create it however you like! Wonderful guy! One day soon I will have the proper gear…I am getting close!

I am just about to announce a new product for sale…my next post will be the formal post…but if you are reading this today…you can get a first look…On Thursday, Jan 26th I will make available many of my HDR’s for sale as HDR Composite Backgrounds. Prices are 10 HDR’s for $99 and 15 HDR’s for $149!! For the full digital files! All purchasers must agree to my terms and then they can download the files from my site. You can take a look here…Talke Photography HDR Composite Backgrounds

For this shot of Logan I used on of my Warehouse backgrounds. Enjoy!!!

Perfect Photo Suite 6 has arrived!!!


My copy of Perfect Photo Suite 6 just arrived!! Download a trial for free or buy/upgrade a copy today!! Will give you a full review in a week!! It contains:
Perfect Portrait 1 – used it last nite….awesome!!!
Perfect Layers 2
Perfect Effect 3
Perfect Mask 5
Perfect Resize 7
Focal Point 2
Photo Frame 4

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!!

Coming Soon! : Perfect Photo Suite 6 from onOne Software!


For all photographers out there…I used to be a super big fan of NIK’s software. I still use it sometimes, but not as much as I use Perfect Photo Suite 5.5! Every one of my pics uses some form of plug in from onOne’s software. I was part of a recent Webinar for the upcoming Perfect Photo Suite 6! This new updated software will be released in Mid/End October. The best thing is that it works standalone….no need for Photoshop/Lightrooom or Aperture. I must admit to being pumped for its release! Here is what is included…

1) Perfect Portrait – New & WOW!!! Looks awesome! I used to use “Portrait Professional” by Anthropics software…I can delete it now…it doesn’t compare!
2) Perfect Layers 2
3) Perfect Effect 3 – new generation to my fav Photo Tools 2.6 – options look endless to create excellent pics!
4) Perfect Mask 5
5) Perfect Resize 7
6) Focal Point 2 – super cool for creating blur…make those miniature city shots!
7) Photo Frame 4

Click to pre-order today…Perfect Photo Suite 6. I want it the day it comes out!! I will update the street date again soon!

Roswell, New Mexico – Street Lamp


We recently drove through the famous Roswell, New Mexico…on our way back from SoCal to Austin. We stopped in just to grab a bite to eat at McDonalds and walked the Main Street just to grab a few shots, then we were on our way. I had seen these street lamps in a pic before and had to take one. Now do I believe we are not alone in this universe…yes. Do I believe aliens are visiting us and fly over our skies…hmmm, not sure. Did a UFO crash in 1947 in Roswell? Looks like a job for Mulder and Scully to prove or disprove. But this small town is cute and I must admit to loving the alien stuff all over. It gives Roswell character. I stopped and even bought a few knick knacks. I have 3 small bendable aliens on my desk right now! And in our fridge…a 4-pack of Alien Amber Ale! I’ll take a pic of it soon. Here are a few pics for now….will put up a few more in the future. Just streets shots for fun! I heard Aliens love Arby’s!!

Review: Photoshop Compositing Secrets – by Matt Kloskowski


This past week I picked up a copy of Matt Klowskowski’s “Photoshop Compositing Secrets” – Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites. I have been learning to shoot portraits more and more these days. I love composite sports portraits and in the past year found an artist/photographer called Joel Grimes. I truly love his work. I have been trying to accomplish such portraits, but have come up short without the proper tutorial. I picked up bits and pieces…more info was needed.

A month or ago I heard that Matt Kloskowski (@mattkloskowski) was coming out with a compositing book. I was excited to finally get some super inside scoops! I picked up the book and after reading through it was amazed! Wonderful book Matt!!! I would call this my favorite photo tutorial book to date!! The book contains 16 fantastic Chapters and a whopping total of 381 pages filled with tons of great secrets:

1. Selection Secrets
2. Basic Composite
3. Creating Motion
4. Senior Portrait
5. Professional Office
6. Family Group Portrait
7. Studio Sports Portrait
8. Live Concert
9. Multiple-Exposure Action Photo
10. Movie Poster
11. Ultra-Gungg/Edgy HDR Background
12. Sports Template
13. Single Photo Composite
14. One Person-Mulitple Poses
15. Adding Illustration
16. Advanced Commercial Compositing

Matt gives you all the details from lighting, photo set up and photoshop settings. All done in an easy and simple picture filled way…so you can create your own art and fantastic composites. Here you can see some of the shots used in the tutorials…great work!

Now my skill level for composites if very very low…I did a quick attempt after reading Matt’s Chapter 13 – Single Photo Composite I learned how to do this in 5 minutes!

If this style is of interest to you and you want to learn compositing…go pick up Matt’s book! I will give it 10 Selections out of 10 Selections! Kudos Matt!! You can also find lots of great photography tutorials over at Kelby Training