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Famous Photography Quotes

Here are some photography quotes by some famous and perhaps not so famous photographers.

Notable quotes by some of the world’s best and most famous photographers.

“All photos are accurate. None of them is the truth.” ~ Richard Avedon

“I really do not dislike anything about women. There are some women I do not like but it is like saying: ‘I don’t like all the Chinese because there are a few Chinese I don’t like.’ I adore women and my answer to them is that I wouldn’t have spent all my life photographing women and making them look good if I didn’t like the subject matter” ~ Helmut Newton

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” ~ Annie Leibovitz

“The main thing for me is that I’m happy that I’ve been able to work as a professional photographer. What is at the core of my work is, in essence, a mediation on being a human being.” ~ Eli Reed

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” ~ Helmut Newton

“All photos are accurate. None of them is the truth.” ~ Richard Avedon

“Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.” ~ Ernst Haas

“Women especially ask me to take their pictures, because they think I’ll make them beautiful.” ~ Bert Stern

“When I photograph women or fashion, my philosophy is that a woman doesn’t live against a white paper studio background, she has a world of her own that is either in her house, in the street, in a car, by the sea or wherever I fancy to put her. Basically Monte-Carlo and it’s surroundings are my studio.” ~ Helmut Newton

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” ~ Ansel Adams

“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
~ Ernst Haas

“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.” ~ Ernst Haas

“Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer’s ability to understand his fellow man.” ~ Edward Weston

“Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar.” ~ Helmut Newton

“It’s not the photographer who makes the picture, but the person being photographed.” ~ Sebastiao Salgado

“I’ve worked out of a series of no’s. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no’s force me to the “yes.” I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us.” ~ Richard Avedon

“If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.” ~ Richard Avedon

“The photographs don’t arouse me. All I can think about is the hard work it took to make them.” ~ Helmut Newton

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” ~ Edward Weston

“For me a photograph is most successful when it doesn’t answer all the questions and it leaves something to be desired. I like each picture that I take to be a testament to the individual character of my subject.” ~ Greg Gorman

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” ~ Yousuf Karsh

“I don’t want anyone to appreciate the light or the palette of tones. I want my pictures to inform, to provoke discussion – and to raise money.” ~ Sebastiao Salgado,

Rolando’s Wisdom

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom people have either heard at my photography workshops, heard me say at seminars and lectures, or read in my photography books. Enjoy!

Words of wisdom by photographer and author, Rolando Gomez

It takes a real man to admit his mistakes, Lord knows I’ve made many.

Send her flowers when she least expects it.

It’s about flexibility and adaptability, not inability.

Don’t solve her problems, capture her needs.

When you stop dreaming, you die.

If you are confident and prepared, you’ll be able to overcome any obstacles.

Smiling is healthy, laughing is dangerous, unless you’re smiling.

to be continued when the brain neurons start flowing again….

Rolando’s Photography Quotes

Here are some of my favorite photography quotesmany have either heard at my photography workshops or read in my photography books.  Enjoy!

Photography quotes by Rolando Gomez

Light is the life blood of the image.

Trying to take the passion from a photographer is like trying to take a bone away from a hungry dog, you’re going to get bit, it’s going to hurt like hell and you’re going to wish you never tried.

When I take a “photograph,” it’s not just about the subject being captured in time, it’s about the intended audience with the interjection of my soul; when I take “pictures,” it’s just plain fun!

A perfect smile is when the corners of the eyes are in perfect harmony with the corners of the lips.

[Read more…]

iPad, iPhone, i’M an iReady Photographer

liveBooks--Build Your Business

liveBooks Built www.rolandogomez.com

As digital photography went from a revolution to an evolution, so has many things in life, from reading books on an Amzon.com Kindle to using a GPS app on your iPhone—and technology isn’t slowing down. You can order pizzas online and even find long, lost friends on Facebook, and if you’re really into technology, you can tweet your whereabouts and let the public inside your head in 140 characters or less. But for photographers, the evolution hasn’t stopped with cameras, technology has changed the way we present our talents, from multiple photography communities to our own personal, talent portfolios.

The New York Times recently ran an article, “For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path,” on how photographers are trying to survive in a world where the commercial assignments are shrinking as publishers and advertisers license online photos from soccer moms, thanks to Flickr and their partnership with Getty Images. As photographers see commercial sales dwindle, they are scrambling for new ways to pay their bills. Digital diversity is one of those tools, though it’s often overlooked. The photographers that will survive the digital trend are those that have learned to understand the power of the great equalizer, the Internet, not just through social media networks, but through their own personal, professional website.

While many photographers join free photography communities to post their web portfolios, this is only one method of exposure and not necessarily the best method to target “the client” markets that professional photographers seek to survive. These are photographer communities, rarely client communities and whether you’re a wedding, architectural, editorial, fashion or portrait photographer, it’s important to maintain a professional website that targets clients specifically.

A website that showcases your talent. A website that isn’t about smoke and mirrors that overshadow your talent. It’s important that your website showcases your skills, crisply, cleanly, and beautifully—to help you build your business. This is why I trust liveBooks.com for both my professional photography and free photography books websites.

And from me to you, start a free trial now and receive 10% off a liveBooks website through 6/1/10 by using the promo code lbrolando.

Unlike the analog world of mail-in and hand carry portfolios, which still exists, photographers have to project professionalism in an up-to-date fashion—a digital fashion. One that delivers not only the photographer’s portfolio, but provides an easy navigation experience for the potential client plus an easy and reliable user interface for the photographer. In addition, to a simple user and client interface, a professional photographer’s website must be up-to-date so it adapts on-the-fly to the viewer’s choice of viewing device, whether it be their home computer, laptop, smart phone or digital tablet. LiveBooks.com provides professional photographer websites that do all the above, regardless if the viewer is utilizing an iPhone, iPad, or iMac.

My professional photography website, www.rolandogomez.com is digitally diverse and compatible—thanks to liveBooks—it’s up-to-date, it adapts to the viewer’s viewing device on-the-fly,  which means my clients know I’m up-to-speed. Well it’s time to hit some social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, all part of the surviving in today’s digital evolution, so please remember, don’t forget our military members, their families and friends, God Bless! Rolando.

Arizona Immigration Law, The New INS

I rarely publicly get into politics, it’s just not good business when you work for yourself to take a political side, but I’ve got to chime on this controversial Arizona immigration law—at least from an American of Latin descent observation of things. There is so much information, misinformation, debates, etc., out there where everyone is split over this new law, and that’s what bothers me the most.  If millions of people can’t come to agreement on how to interpret the law, how can an Arizona lawman be smarter than the rest of the world? And I’m just curious if all law enforcement types in Arizona have undergone specialized immigration training in how to define “reasonable suspicion” when it comes to determining if someone is an illegal alien?

According to this new state immigration law, law-enforcement officials in Arizona have the right to determine the immigration status of a person “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.” And if that person can’t prove their status, then they “could be arrested and jailed for six months and fined $2,500.”  (Note: It’s been rumored that TMZ hopes to catch Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County at Home Depot—you know, buying saws, hammers and two-by-fours for his new expansion project.)

Now this is where I have a problem, and I’ll explain from my 47-years of being a Texan born in the good ole US of A with Latin descent.  Growing up as a kid, even with my Spanish heritage, European white-skin looks, I was often called a wetback, spick and all those racial names—in Texas. The darker-skinned Latinos would call me a Gringo and once I told them my last name, I was called a Güero. So most people when they see me don’t think I’m Latino until I introduce myself.

Then I’m asked, are you Hispanic? My first response is, “Where is the country Hispain? No, I’m of Latin descent, born in Texas, and served patriotically for over 8-years active-duty in the U.S. Army plus 8-years more as a civil service employee in the U.S. Air Force. So I tell them, “I’m an American and Texan of Latin descent.”

Right after I provide that answer, not surprisingly, I get the next dumb question, “Are you Mexican-American?” My response, “Nope, I’m an American of Latin descent.” Then I ask them, what descent are you from? Usually I’ll get German, Italian, Polish, etc., you get the picture, so then I say (matching the right descent to the person), “Are you German-American, Italian-American, Polish-American?” Get the picture?  And somehow Arizona law enforcement officers are supposed to be smarter than the Texas Rangers and the rest of the world? Don’t get me wrong, I support law enforcement but feel interpretation of the law, especially immigration law, should be left to those trained and specialized in it.  Heck, in Texas we have board certified lawyers in immigration and Spanish Land Grants.

Let me give you a better analogy, would you let a plastic surgeon do your heart transplant because both are doctors and surgeons?  Would you let a divorce lawyer represent you in a murder trial? Maybe if you were Tiger Woods or Jesse James. And you wonder why Sandra Bullock filed for divorce in Texas. Meanwhile back to the ranch.

In my opinion it seems that the Arizona legislators are targeting the “Mexicans” which sounds like racial profiling. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck!  If they are not racial profiling one specific group, then will they stop someone because they look Asian?  I’m willing to bet money, that Officer Brewer, no relation to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, since she is Caucasian (I bet some of you thought Officer Brewer was a man), will never ask a “Caucasian” person in Scottsdale for their proof of U.S. citizenship, though that same officer would ask Juan Valdez immediately when they spot him at Starbucks ordering Columbian coffee. Though I’m wondering how many law enforcement officers in the United States realize that the term Caucasian refers to white-skinned Europeans? (Source, Wikipedia.com)

Maybe as part of the training of law enforcement in Arizona we should include something like a Coke verses Pepsi taste-test trial and place an Caucasian next to an American of Latin descent (dark-skinned) and see how many officers would pick the Caucasian out of the line-up?  God forbid if the surrounding states of Arizona pass the same law. New Mexico will have some serious problems trying to distinguish real Mexicans from new Mexicans—somehow I picture a lot of their lawmen drinking margaritas after work.  Nevada shouldn’t have any problems though if public perception is correct and Area 51 comes to life, just look for green colored skin—now that would be an irony if those green illegal aliens got pass the Arizona police and crossed into New Mexico.  Then you’d have a New Mexican Caucasian police officer calling aliens Greengos.

Going back to my military days, it’s against the law for the U.S. Military to act as “civilian” law enforcement–yes, I spent 26-months in the Latin American drug war during my soldier time in the early 90’s, so I know that law well as it was never left up to our interpretation. So if it’s against the law for a U.S. Army soldier to act as civilian law enforcement, especially immigration law, why then under Arizona law, are they allowing the local yokals–the type that can “flash their tin” to break speeding laws when off-duty, to question anyone “reasonably suspicious” when it comes to citizenship status?

Does suspicious mean the same to Officer Felipe Calderon as it would to Officer Jan Brewer? Would Officer Calderon always pick out a Caucasian and Officer Brewer a Hispanic or Asian?  Get the picture? Just like the Federal government requires it’s workforce to undergo sexual harassment and suicide prevention training, why shouldn’t Arizona require all it’s peace officers, for the sake of peace, to undergo racial profiling training? Just what does an illegal alien look like that makes them suspicious?

Bottom line–let INS do their job. Local police are already overworked and now you’re giving them immigration duties? Doesn’t make sense. The next Arizona law will give police officers the right to question anyone with a cigarette lighter because they could be an arsonist. Even President Barack Obama strongly criticized the law and is calling for Federal immigration reform—our President people.  I wonder where Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa weighs in on this, at least he had the sense to make prisoners pedal to generate electricity to power TV sets in jail.  I’m willing to bet, “America’s toughest Sheriff,” as he’s commonly referred too, is building a whole new tent city in anticipation that he’ll run out of room and the dinner menu I can assure you is not Kung Pao Chicken or enchiladas.

Well I’m in Arizona next month to conduct a photography workshop, guess I’m going to take my U.S. Passport and put it in my briefcase because if my wallet gets stolen, I could be locked up since my last name is Gomez and not McCain, thus suspicious to someone that is not Latino and doesn’t understand the Latin culture. Like Carlos Mancia would say, if you’re drinking a beer or standing outside Home Depot you have provided enough reasonable cause to look suspicious so thank goodness I drink Canadian, Crown Royal Reserve and not beer and I prefer Lowes hardware stores. Speaking of Canadians, I hope Phoenix Suns player Steve Nash (Canadian) gets pulled over (and is not carrying any identification) on the way to the U.S. Airways center tonight when they meet the San Antonio Spurs for round two of the NBA Playoffs—though I wouldn’t wish the same for Tony Parker or Manu Ginoboli.

I close by saying, let’s not go back to WWII where in Europe you had to carry papers. The Arizona immigration law is just another “persecution” of another ethnic group, which is worse than racial profiling. So I’ll agree with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, it’s not racial profiling—it’s persecution. If there is any good news in this for Arizona, the Diamondbacks aren’t changing their name to the Yankees, probably because they got more baseballs than Arizona Tea, which is scrambling to tell the world it’s brewed and based out of New York—seriously. Just my two centavos for what it’s worth.  Thanks to reading my rambles and as I always say, let’s not forget the men and women in the military and their families as they sacrifice more to protect our freedoms than anyone in this great nation.  God Bless, Rolando

The Triangles of Photography

Often when you hear a photographer talk about a triangle in photography, they are referencing the correlation of exposure, or how the ISO, lens aperture and camera shutter-speed affect one another to create the correct exposure in a photograph. However, the word “triangle” in photography also applies to posing, specifically the great “three triangle” pose for a single subject, and the triangles formed in posing groups of people.

When posing a single model, three triangles are often seen when a model is standing tall, her body facing the camera, and the legs are close together forming a triangle from the base of the feet to where the knees meet, then from where the knees meet to mid-thigh, then mid-thigh to the bottom of the torso. This is often seen when a beauty pageant contestant stops and faces the judges on the runway too. However as in this photograph of Tess, you can use the arms and legs to form three triangles in the sitting position. (Note: If you look closely, the body itself forms one large triangle and the points of the triangle touch the points formed by the “rule of thirds” used for proper composition and framing.)

Tess uses her arms and legs to form three triangles in the sitting pose resulting in a visually pleasing image.

Tess uses her arms and legs to form three triangles in the sitting pose resulting in a visually pleasing image.

When photographing groups of people, great wedding photographers tend to space the front row so the people in the back row are directly behind each side of the person’s shoulder joint in front of them, thus ensuring that each person’s head forms, from each row, points in the triangle in groups of two or more rows of people. Portrait photographers also utilize this technique when photographing families of three or more.

When posing groups of people, form two rows and position your subjects so they form imaginary triangles with their head position.

When posing groups of people, form two rows and position your subjects so they form imaginary triangles with their head position.

Bill Hurter, editor of Rangefinder magazine states it best in his book, The Portrait Photographer’s Guide To Posing (Amherst 20004), “The triangle is one of the most pleasing and dynamic forms in all of photography. Because the triangle is a series of three lines, two of which are diagonal, it has the result of providing direction and visual movement in a portrait. Creating triangles and exploiting natural triangles in posing is one of the most basic skills of a good composition.”

Triangles in art composition was often practiced by some of the great painters, including Rembrandt, and as photographers, we all know Rembrandt lighting is one of the most popular forms of lighting in which a triangle of light forms below the eye. As a general rule in Rembrandt lighting, the triangle of light should be as long as the nose, but no wider than the eye.

While the triangle is easier to spot when replicating Rembrandt lighting, as it’s visually there surrounded by shadows on all three sides, in posing, it tends to be more perceptual and created by the arms and legs of the body when photographing one subject, or by the heads of bodies when photographing groups of two rows or more. Rembrandt lighting itself obviously is one of the elements in the triangle of exposure, and the triangle of exposure is evident in every correctly exposed photograph.

Finding and capturing triangles in posing is more difficult for photographers because we must direct our subjects in posing, however if we can focus on that direction through proper communication, it gives us the ability to move one step higher toward the top of the pyramid of photographers and our subjects will be pleased with the results.  Well that’s it for today, please don’t forget our men and women in uniform that defend our great nation, along with the sacrifices of their friends and family, God Bless! Rolando

Bring Out the Detail, The Black & White About It

Black cards were used to bring out the detail in Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough's hair.  Black cards were used to bring out the detail in Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough’s hair.

Often photographers are challenged to bring out detail in the clothing their model is wearing, especially black or white fabrics. The solution is to understand the 90-percent physics rule of light and reflection when it comes to black and white tones in digital and conventional photography.

The 90-percent rule simply means, whatever is pure white will reflect 90-percent of the light that hits it, whatever is pure black will absorb the light that hits it—the key word here is “pure,” as blacks and whites come in many shades.  Keeping this concept in mind, we can judge how fabrics and even skin tones reflect light, and since we normally expose for our subject’s skin tone, the camera exposure settings will directly impact our subject’s garments if they lean toward black (underexposed) or white (overexposed) tones.

Basically, normal human skin-tone rests closer to an 18-percent gray tone reflectance and when we expose for the skin tone, darker fabrics will photograph darker and lighter fabrics will photograph lighter when it comes to the final image if the photographer doesn’t take corrective measures. A simple corrective measure is to use V-flats.  V-flats are easily made for studio use by taking two 4- by 8-foot foam core boards and taping them together on their longest side.  The best foam core boards are the ones that come black on one side and white on the other side, thus making them reversible for more efficient use.  These gaffer-taped boards are called “V-flats” because they can be placed and adjusted to form a “V” that allows them to stand up without additional light stands or supports.  The V-flat is placed as close as to the subject as possible, but outside the camera frame.

For example, if a photographer had to photograph a bride in her white-gown, the V-flats, with the black surface facing the subject, would be placed on each side of the bride, thus the photographer would have two sets (four foam core boards total) two on each side of V-flats for the subject.  The black adds black tone into the wedding dress by reflecting at least 10-percent black onto the dress.  Some photographers will call this subtractive lighting.  California Sunbounce makes black on one side and white on the other side fabrics for their Sunbounce Pro (4- by 6-foot) frame, which makes for greater portability than a sturdy foam core board and the Sunbounces can be mounted on C-stands easily.  This is a great solution for on-location photography, especially when working on the beach where sand and water act as an additional reflector and foam core boards will deteriorate with moisture.

If a photographer has to deal with a subject, such as the groom, wearing black, especially when the background is black, then either by using a California Sunbounce Pro, white-side out, or V-flats, white-side out, the white surface would reflect light back into the black garments, thus bringing out more detail in the darker fabric.  While this technique is great for bringing out detail in your subject’s clothes, you can also use this technique when photographing dark or light colored animals, such as dogs or cats, or perhaps even a white rabbit.

This technique, though using smaller foam-core boards, is very helpful when trying to bring out detail in a subject’s hair, like the blonde hair of Playboy Playmate Holley Dorrough on my first book cover, “Garage Glamour: Digital Nude and Beauty Photography Made Simple.”  Basically, small black cards were placed around her hair to form a tent of black reflectors to put detail in her much lighter hair since we exposed for her darker skin.  Another concept for using black cards is in jewelry photography.  While most photographers will use a “white tent” to illuminate their diamonds, adding small black cards close to the jewelry will help bring out the diamond facets, thought this is tricky as the photographer must still bring light around the diamond while keeping the miniature black cards out of camera frame.

The key to all these types of photography, bridals, glamour, pet or jewelry is to place your black or white cards as close to your subject as possible, but out of camera frame.  It’s all about the 90-percent rule of reflectance reminding you about what you’re photographing and that the human mind uses brain and psychology perception to help us see differently than a digital camera, as digital cameras capture detail based on physic rules that pertain to light and reflectance, thus the mind compensates while the camera does not.  Well that’s it for now, but please don’t forget our troops, their families and friends as they make the ultimate sacrifices so we can enjoy our freedoms.  God Bless!  Rolando

Follow Your Heart

My son Nickolas during a heart examination, he's so brave. My son Nickolas during a heart test, he’s so brave.

Almost four years ago, when my only son had his two-year check-up, our pediatrician detected a slight, “heart click.”  In fact it was so faint, a cardiologist who would later give my son a more thorough examination, declared that the average doctor would have missed it.  The cardiologist went on to diagnose my son with a “bicuspid, heart valve defect.” This condition is predominate in males, and hereditary, and besides my younger brother who also has it, we have no family history of it.   The history our family does have, is that we  follow our hearts.

In fact, my younger brother was first diagnosed with this defect before my son was even born, and with this condition, other males in the family were encouraged to get themselves tested as this heart defect, when severe, can cause the blood to back-flow and the aorta will enlarge and can eventually burst.  When my brother was diagnosed with it, I chose not to be tested initially, regardless what friends and relatives would say, as my heart told me I was ok.  It wasn’t until my son’s prognosis that I decided it was time to follow the doctor’s orders.

That’s me.  I’m  sometimes a stubborn, Leo, Latin, male who doesn’t always listen to what might be good for me, but I was right, as the same cardiologist who tested my son, Nickolas, told me, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing as you have a heart of a 20-year old.”  While my son has the condition mildly, as any father would feel, I’d rather it be me then him. According to the “doc,” he’ll be fine, as on a scale of 1-10, ten being the worst condition, my son is about a one—though he’ll have to take antibiotics anytime a dental or medical situation exists that exposes the circulatory system, due to the higher risk of heart infection. Otherwise, he should live a normal life and could even be a professional athlete with no problems.

My brother on the other hand is more like a seven, not so lucky—he’ll eventually need risky, corrective surgery. Many people go through life not even knowing they have this condition, and it’s deadly. Since there is no family history, some hypothesize there was some gene mutation from my father’s exposure back from his days with the Atomic Energy Commission, were he used to rebuild atomic bombs in the sixties.  No one really knows for sure, as my Dad has survived a long life and will soon reach his 81st birthday.  What we do know, he has a good heart.

While my soon to be, six-year-old son is lucky compared to my younger brother, I followed my heart at first, and my heart was right. I didn’t listen to anyone else, which sometimes gets me in trouble.  As I get older, knowing time is precious, I still follow my heart.  While there will be people that disagree with me about my past, present, and future decisions, I respect that, as our nation gives us the right to agree to disagree.  Regardless, in whatever I do in life, I’m following my heart, nothing more, so please believe in me when I say, right or wrong, it’s my heart that guides me at times.  Though I’ll admit, I’m not always right in my decisions.  

God Bless!  Don’t forget our military troops, their families and friends, without them, we’d have no heart in our nation.  Keep them in your prayers, Rolando.

RAW verses JPG is Not The Problem

Fourth photography book, available for order at Amazon.com. 

 

Fourth photography book, available for order at Amazon.com.

Like most photography forums, the questions always arises, “RAW or JPG?”  Problem is, many participating in the forum threads don’t understand the “RAW” concept itself—but the arguments follow like MAC verses Windows (Notice I didn’t say PC, PC stands for Personal Computer, every home computer is a PC).  If people would first familiarize themselves with what RAW really is, as there is no “single” or “standard” RAW format, (See Wiki def.) then they would understand, RAW has it’s pros and cons.  One of those cons is that there are hundreds of RAW formats, even within camera models made by the same camera company, not all RAW formats are created equal–most use compression, encryption and almost all are proprietary to the camera manufacturer.

I personally shoot what is appropriate for what I’m doing–it all goes back to using the right tool for the right job.  While I’ll shoot the RAW format on my Canon 5D Mark II, most of the time, I shoot JPG, unless the client needs RAW or I feel the image has “evergreen” value.  You only run into problems with JPG’s if you open the original file, make a change, then save it, then open it again, make a change then save it.  That is why workflow is so important.  So if you shoot JPG, it’s always best to open the file and save out as a TIFF original, make your back-ups, then make your working copy as a TIFF too, then you can final out into the format your client prefers. Heck, most people don’t even understand the difference between the “save as JPG” and “save for web JPG” in Adobe Photoshop.

Let’s not forget that the acronym JPEG means Joint Photographic “Experts” Group and it’s a “standard” format that has been around long before RAW. RAW has no standard format, though many have been trying to adopt the DNG (Digital Negative) RAW format, but most camera companies, since they like to sell their own RAW “converter” software ($$$), don’t want to adopt this standard. My advice, do not get caught up in the marketing hype when it comes to RAW.  JPG will be around, just like TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) for a long, long time, though RAW formats change everyday and some RAW formats, may not be supported in the future. I can name at least three camera companies long gone, Minolta, Contax, Bronica and I’m sure others will follow along with their “proprietary” RAW formats.  FYI–a few companies, like Leica, use DNG and DNG is what was started, supported and still pushed by Adobe.  Problem is, camera companies cannot make money off the DNG format anymore than the JPG or TIFF formats.  RAW formats are derivatives of the old workhorse TIFF format.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with private clients at Playboy Studio West this year with their top photographer Arny Freytag (Ken Marcus’s former assistant) and when Arny pulls out “perfect” 8×10 transparencies, not retouched, and shows them to our clients, that says it all.  (Read more here.)  And today, Arny shoots with the Canon 5D Mark II while the 1DS and the HD-39 sits on the shelf along with his wooden 8×10 camera. And for the record he shoots tethered and the files are dropped into Phase One, Capture One software instantly, for minimal post-production–because it’s done right with lighting! (Make-up, styling, posing, the angle of incidence to reflection and a great model help too!)

I recently conducted a glamour photography workshop in Las Vegas (Dec.) and in Los Angeles (Feb.) and Arny was our guest instructor and he demonstrated some great “over and under lighting” to keep the face clean, the eyes bright, but more important, in the LA workshop, we tethered the attendees camera into his assistant’s laptop.  Arny proved to the attendees how to get it right in the camera, RAW vs JPG was not the issue. Getting it right in the camera was the focal point. (Arny will join us at the Phoenix Mansion workshop if you want the experience.)

Bottom line–Get it done right at the shoot, capture it in the right format for your needs (right tool for the right job) with the right white balance, lighting, lens, pose, model, make-up, etc., but more important, it doesn’t matter how you capture it if you can’t capture it correctly the first time.  Don’t use formats, Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, or whatever as your crutch–get it right the first time and “spraying and praying” in RAW or JPG is not the answer. Well that’s it, don’t forget our military men and women, their families and friends–God Bless them all!  Thanks, Rolando

Adobe Photoshop Hits 20!

Rhonda, photographed almost 20 years ago!

Rhonda, photographed almost 20 years ago!

 

While many photographers of today were just infants in diapers twenty years ago when Adobe Photoshop version 1.0 was introduce, I still remember, back in my military days, when there were no bells and whistles with Photoshop,, it was merely a software tool targeted more for the graphics crowd.  Today however it’s evolved more toward photographers and with the advent of other Adobe products like Lightroom, and photographers are in hog heaven now that it’s synergized with the evolution of digital photography.

 

Knowing how to use Photoshop today is more of a skill then back in the simplistic days of mere cropping, dodging and burning than anything.  Now we have smart objects, layers, adjustment layers, masks, the magic wand and even the healing brush—but has that made some photographers become more than photographers?  Are we photographers or image makers?  While I’m a big fan of Photoshop and especially Lightroom and I enjoy my Nik Software filters for Photoshop, I’ve seen too many photographers, especially those that are about as old as Photoshop, use Photoshop as a crutch, when in fact, Photoshop for photographers should be more like the old days of a darkroom, which literally means a “room of corrections” in Latin.

Photoshop should be used to tweak an image, for photographers that is, not the ultimate savior, for a photo shoot gone wrong.  In the past six months I’ve been fortunate to work with Playboy’s number one photographer, Arny Freytag, whose resume records a Brooks Institute of Photography degree, former assistant to the famed Playboy photographer Ken Marcus, and 34 years at the big bunny studios amongst numerous other credits.

Eva, photographed 11 years ago, on slide film, no Photoshop!

Eva, photographed 11 years ago, on slide film, no Photoshop!

I’ve been fortunate to have Arny as our guest at the past glamour photography workshops held at the Palms Casino, Sky Villa Penthouse and the Los Angeles Hollywood Castle and there is always a recurring theme with Arny—do it right in the camera.  Use your wih lighting, intermixing of shadows, proper posing, great makeup and styling, and you’ll limit any Photoshop post-production to the bare minimum just like in the old days of Photoshop version 1.0.  It’s not that Arny doesn’t believe in digital photography, it’s just that he’s proven at my workshops and with recent private instruction clients that if a photographer knows what they’re doing, then it’ll be captured in the camera correctly.

I’ve been helping Arny with private instruction clients, for the first time ever offered, where we worked with his crew at Playboy Studio West and it’s an amazing experience. Arny pulls out old 8 x x10-inch transparencies and proves to the client that without retouching or airbrushing, perfection can be achieved in the camera.  There was no Photoshop back in the non-digital days and especially with large format slide film, if there were any imperfections, you’d surely see them but, Arny proves with the right photographic tools, little if any post-production needs to be applied after the shoot.

While some of those secrets, especially with lighting, I’ll reveal in my upcoming lighting book, you can still learn them hands-on, but you have to be at least two years younger than Adobe Photoshop or older.  If you’re ready to tackle this intense training, feel free to contact me for private instruction with Playboy’s top photographer.  While this is no cheap experience, if your budget can’t cope with the world’s finest photographer in glamour and nude photography, we’ll have Arny as our guest for the first part of the Phoenix Mansion workshop later this year. 

While Adobe Photoshop celebrates it’s 20th birthday, one can only tell what Adobe Lightroom will be like on it’s twentieth birthday as it’s beyond the diaper stage but still in it’s infancy as it looks at big brother Photoshop to help it mature for digital photographers today.  Thanks, and don’t forget our military service members, their families, and friends, without them, we’d have no freedom to manipulate any images in Adobe Photoshop.  God Bless, Rolando.