What Happend to Virgil?

What happened to me? Its been like 3 weeks since my last post. I want to assure you I’m alive and well. I took a sabbatical for yet another retooling of of my Photography. The good news is I’m much better off for it and making tremendous progress. Like anything in photography the real proof is in the photos and you will instantly be able to judge my progress. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what you think.

Kat McGivern (MM2449061) - D7000 1/125th f11 iso200 24mm (Nikon 24-70)
Kat McGivern (MM2449061) – D7000 1/125th f11 iso200 24mm (Nikon 24-70)

Over the last three weeks I did another shoot with Jlynne, probably over-delivered on the photos, but my lighting was just right and she was just so perfect. BTW all the Jlynne photos were Lightroom only. In addition to that I did a lighting class at SOPHA where I got to fill in a bunch of gaps in my lighting skills.

My big progress has been integrating Photoshop into my Lightroom workflow. There is no question in my mind that 70% of my quality comes from good input stock (jlynne is a great example of that), but the remaining 30% you really need Photoshop. Lightroom is not a replacement for Photoshop. My first real Photoshop photo took me days to complete as I was busy reading two books and learning as much as I could:

Adobe Photoshop for Photographers
Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers

The first book is huge and is a good book. It taught me a lot of fundamentals, but about 2/3rd of the way through I realized I wasn’t going to be able to actually retouch anything with what I was getting out of it. The second book on Portrait Retouching was exactly spot on for me – exactly what I needed. With that I was able to do actually retouching. I think I still needed the first book, but it wasn’t a practical guide.

Jess Akara (MM2194124) - D7000 1/125th f8 iso200 48mm (Nikon 24-70)
Jess Akara (MM2194124) – D7000 1/125th f8 iso200 48mm (Nikon 24-70)

The above two photos were heavily Photoshopped and there are a few things I know right up that I still need to work on. There are no before photos, a models image is her brand and my goal is always to show the best possible images of a model that I can produce. Plus it’s good for me. There are plenty of tutorials on Photoshop.

Kat I over-smoothed the skin and over whitened the eyes. My bad. I’ll fix that when I have time. Her lighting was 4 lights (I did not do the setup), two softboxes left and right, a beauty dish (key) and the huge 5 foot octodome as fill from on center. You literally sit in the middle of the light on a stool when you take the photos.

Jess has an over exposure problem on her face and that comes from the lighting setup, but believe it or not her entire exposure was a single beauty dish with a honeycomb and bonnet for softness coming from the upper right. The key with this setup was to make sure she was positioned perfectly.

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