The Power of the Edit

24 02 2013

Avast matey. Yer back perusing my lovely drivel and coloured rectangles, I see. Today I’m showing off the importance of a little brushing up to your images. Or in this case, a good brush up.

Right so, one thing I always notice that new photographers tend to forget is the importance of the edit. So many go to all the effort of getting the lighting spot on, the model looking spectacular and then they upload the very basic file from the camera. I’ll say it now – every photo needs some sort of photo-manipulation. There’s no difference between editing a photograph in a darkroom, or in a bright room at a computer. Except maybe the speed. Oh and cost. I can’t stand photo-manipulation snobs. You don’t get un-produced tracks on great albums, why put your name to unedited images?

I’ve been known to do the very least amount required in my early work, but I find I enjoy editing as much as the actual shoot these days. People go mental when other photographers say ‘I can fix it in the edit’, but to be perfectly honest I sometimes shoot with the post-process in mind.

For example, the recent DollyFrocks shoot is for their summer line. I forgot that with the initial edit, mind you, but I went back and put about 40 minutes into this one:

I changed almost everything – the colour of the sky, the models hair, the manke-up tones – the whole shebang. Truth be told, these are things I couldn’t have controlled. The hair was victim to the wind, the make up was slightly flat and as hard as I tried, the sky refused to go golden at 2pm. I probably could have done the whole thing in less than 40 minutes, but there was a semi-interesting Liam Nesson film on in the background.

Anyway, here’s a before and after.

Having seen them like this (I’ve never put the before and after beside each other before) I think I’ll start keeping a record of my best ones.
While this one might be a tad overcooked, I really like it, so screw you. If anyone wants the process, just leave a comment and I’ll point you in the right direction.





DollyFrocks

12 02 2013

Here’s a shoot I had with DollyFrocks last weekend. Before I dive back into music photography, I gave one last go to something outside my comfort zone. Fashion confuses me, but photography I can do. With stylists on board, I’m free to shoot the way I like without having to worry about things I know little about (clothes, to be specific. I’m a jeans and tee shirt kinda guy). We headed to Bull Island and avoided the crowds by heading off the beaten track. It was pretty chilly and exposed (not to mention all the dog doo we had to avoid), but it made for some cool backgrounds.

I’d planned to head to the long grass there, and use the Anne Liebowitz ‘Rhianna’ shoot as my basis for the shoot. Unfortunately the weather didn’t break as well as I’d planned and the sky was pretty overcast, but I think I got something acceptable.

All shots were shot with two lights, excluding the ambient light.
I exposed for the background first as always, introduced my first light, then based on the ambient light reading. With a shutter speed of 1/200 and an aperture of f/14 (ISO always at 200 for shoots like this), I brought in the large softbox first. I wanted to get close with the softbox, to retain lots of softness. This was great as I needed the flash at 1/2 at about 4 feet away for most shots. I added a rim light too. To be perfectly honest I’m not that specific with my rim lights. If it defines my model and isn’t massively over-exposed, I’m not going to tweak it too much.

 

I brought some smoke bombs with me, but as they burn for about 30 seconds max, you really have little room for flash misfires, model blinks, dropped poses etc. I’m sure I’ve one, but none presentable at present. In the meantime hopefully these are pleasing to your eye. I’ve a few more ideas for shoots later on in the year, but for now, I think I’ll concentrate on bands.

Models: Chelsea Byrne, Jade Stapleton & Paul Lyons 
MUA: Julia Babahina 
Style: DollyFrocks Clothing, Dublin 
Assistant: Yan Bourke





Free photoshoots for Unsigned Bands

5 02 2013


As some of you avid Deadl.ie readers may know, I offer free photoshoots to unsigned Dublin bands. Not always or to anyone, mind you, but to those bands who catch my eyes and ears. If I take a shine to a band – I want to take their photograph. The Cast of Cheers, No Monster Club, Alarmist, Dott, Nella Dwyer, Friend?, P/I/G/S, Tuner, EatenByBears and more have all benefitted from this project of mine and your band could now too.

So if you’re interested in having your photos taken by the most handsome man in the country on the wrong side of the camera – leave a link to your music in the comments below and if I likes what I hear, I’ll be in contact.

P/I/G/S

You might ask, what’s in it for me as a photographer? Fair cop, but it’s simple – I don’t make any money off these images unless you’re any good. I will retain copyright information to the images, but you can use them on social networking sites. You can stick them on your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (it’s back, y’know) and band website, but if they are being sent into the press you have to let them know that I own copyright. I get paid when they get published in any major publication. That way you get high quality images published and I get paid. Win-win.

Now go out there good fellows and spread the word – the Deadl.ie photographer just got deadlier.