Shooting Soccer Games

Summer Soccer Shooting

Most folks that I shoot with know that I will use my iPhone for any number of photography tasks. Even at a wedding because the iPhone excels at macro shots like shooting the wedding rings very close to show off the details. But, there are times that you really need to use the proper camera and lens to get the best picture. Much like a carpenter who has five different hammers, a good photographer will have a few different cameras and knows when it is time to switch it up and change the camera to get the best picture they can. And it IS all about the picture, not what hardware you shot it with.

 Goalie Megan Blocking Ball

This summer, I’ve been shooting soccer games on the weekends. I have to say I really enjoy watching the kids mix it up and a few times, some of the more adventurous will try moves they saw used in the World Cup games. Shooting soccer games, even in daylight has some interesting challenges to work around. You have a very fast paced game, you normally have harsh light which is also directional and you need to be able to stand at one end and still get the shot at the other end of the pitch (field).

To be successful at this type of shooting, you need to balance several competing settings. You need to shoot with a long lens and and after shooting with a micro four thirds and my DSLR, I would only recommend the DSLR in combination with 70-200 mm lens at the minimum. And not any DSLR will do, you need to have a fast focusing system that can track and focus continuously.  My system is a Nikon D700 using a Nikon 70-200 F2.8 lens. Yes, it is heavy but it has the reach along with just enough zoom to track 90% of the action.  The Nikon also has a decent high speed frame rate which can be as high as 8 frames per second with the right grip and battery pack. And yes, you will need this burst mode to really catch the fast action on the field. Also, you will need high capacity cards since burst shooting chews through megabytes of card space in a  hurry. I typically shoot through one 16 Mb CF card per game which is roughly 500 images.

Olivia Chasing the Ball

The lighting will be your curse because most of the time, these games are outside in harsh directional light of morning or afternoon sun. You will need to move to one side or the other to get the best light so the kid’s faces are not in heavy shadow. This means you will be moving around a fair amount so forget the big camera bag. I never change lenses or use a flash during these games so I have a “man-purse” which is a shoulder slung belly pack which has spare memory cards, spare batteries, lens cloth and some gaffers tape. I also keep my light meter in it. And yes, I use a light meter to get my first settings of the day. I shoot the games on full manual mode. Why? Why not use aperture priority (Av)? Because with consistent exposure, my post processing is much faster. If I find that for 20 mins, the lighting was one way, I can set all the images during that window to the same adjustment. My ISO is locked down to 400 and my shutter is locked to anywhere from 1/1000 to 1/4000 of second. As much as I like a bit of blur to show motion, I want the kid’s faces sharp so its a delicate balance. I normally just live with the lack of blur in exchange for a crisp image that will print well for the parents.

I also use a lens hood but not that hard plastic disaster that Nikon gives me. I have a nice rubber Mamiya lens hood that originally was for a medium format lens. It’s black and folds back on itself if I need it out-of-the-way. More importantly is that when something hits it, the rubber bends and absorbs the impact. Think about a spectator on the line not paying attention to where my lens is as they get overly excited. I’ve saved many a head with this rubber lens hood.

When you shot, always try to think ahead of where the action is going. Constantly be aware of where the ball is, where it’s going and who might be kicking it. Use your fastest burst mode and learn to shoot with a gentle touch on the trigger. If you see the player getting close to the goal, start burst shooting to have a chance getting  the actual goal shot. This is ALWAYS a hero shot as the player pushes the ball past the goalkeeper. Conversely, a save of the attempted goal is also a hero shot that is often times overlooked by the photographer.

Attempted Goal

At the end of the day, you will need to sort through hundreds of images but there will be some real gems along with the out of focus shots, just missed shots and accidental shots. There will always be one or two shots that sum up the game’s action for the day. I make up faux magazine covers to showcase a player who has an exceptional image.

Magazine Cover Soccer Olivia

I also give parents a custom app on their mobil devices with images of their child when they purchase a package from me. These images will be downloaded to the mobile device and can easily be shared with various social media sites right from the phone or tablet. For a live demo of the custom app, click here.

Smartphone Album

Posted in commercial photography, equipment, event photography, lenses, technique, training Tagged , , , , , , |

Recovering iOS iPhoto Albums and Journals from iOS 8 Upgrades

So Apple says they will not support iPhoto anymore under Yosemite or iOS 8. Now, for the desktop world, people are scrambling to export out images, edits, books and other projects. But on the iPhone, Apple was strangely quiet about this. Oh, they gave you a way to “migrate” your edited images from iPhoto to the camera roll but you lost ALL of your book projects, Web Journals and meta data.  While iPhoto was a average editor, the DAM (digital asset management) side was excellent and I used it to manage over 5,000 images on my iPhone.

But getting back to the task at hand which is getting back my book projects that Apple so kindly refused to manage a export function for. They could have easily exported it out to the desktop iPhoto for now but no, Apple being Apple said we are done.. period.  That didn’t settle well with me and I set out to find a way to recover them. The first road block I hit was under iOS 8 it appears that Apple has changed the back up strategy of iTunes backing up iOS. You used to have versions and versions of your backups. This was pretty stupid since it chewed through a lot of disk space but it was nice to be able to back up a few months or even longer. Now, with IOS 8, I see ONE back up even though I had done it several times manually. Thank you God (Apple) for Time Machine. I was able to recover my iOS 7 backup from TM and copy it to the folder and rename it.

~/Library/Application Support/Mobilesync/Backup

You do need to identify which file is the one you want. If you have a single device, you can easily go by date. In my case, I have several devices attached to iTunes so go to iTunes/preferences and the select devices. Find the backup you want and then right click and choose “show in finder“. Just like magic you will be taken to the backup you need.

Make a note of this file or better yet, copy it out to a folder so you can easily find it.

I ended up using a couple of applications what was critical to recovery of my iPhoto files from my iPhone. The first one is called “iPhone Backup Extractor” and while it will cost you some money, it’s worth it for several reasons beyond this exercise. The biggest reason to use this application is that it can looks ANYWHERE for a backup file. Most will only use iCloud or the default locations of iTunes without any other choices. I had moved my user account/files off my SSD to cheaper storage so I needed an app that would let me tell it where to go to get the backup.

In this screen shot, I have selected my backup and files I want recovered. You need to use “expert mode” to be able to select the application data files.
iPhone Backup Extractor Expert Mode

Now you can select the iPhoto app data files.
iPhone Backup Extractor Selecting iPhoto files

Now iPhone Backup Extractor is extracting my files.
iPhone Backup Extractor

Now the hard part it done. I have all my data files but iPhoto uses a database and so the book files are pretty useless right now. The web journal is all HTML and easily reused now however you want.
iOS iPhoto data files

But I need to get these files onto my iOS 7 iPhone or iPad. And this is key, you have to have a second iPhone or iPad that still has iOS 7 on it. In my case, I had both and I did restore the files to both just to see if I could.

I used a second application called “iExplorer” which lets you treat the iPhone as a data drive. In this image, I have my 2nd iPhone plugged in and loaded into iExplorer. I need to click on the ALL button to see the apps.
iExplorer Start

This is what you get when you select All. I need to click on apps and find my iPhoto and then copy over the directories with the red arrows

iExplorer Apps

Files in iPhoto to Copy

The copy works just like any other copy. Go to the restored copies on your computer then drag the directories one at a time over to the root of the iPhoto app. It will ask if you want to overwrite the folder and say yes. It will take a few minutes to finish the copy. Once done, open up iPhoto and it will start rebuilding the database.

Now I have my files back

Restored iPhoto files

Posted in Articles, iPhone, musings Tagged , , , |

Moment Lens for the iPhone

Moment Lenses for the your iPhone!! The kickstarter project delivered my set just the other day and man am I excited about it.

Moment Lenses

These new Moment iPhone lenses really do work as advertised. One lens is a 18mm wide angle that is wide and shoots pretty flat rather than normal bubbled or fisheye look. And there is a 60mm telephoto lens that really works well and is sharp. The 60mm even provides decent blurred background when you use it as a portrait lens. In the following image, I used the 60mm telephoto lens as a portrait lens with nice results including a pleasant softening of the background.

60mm telephoto portrait

You really need to use a camera app like ProCamera 7 to keep the focus point where it needs to be. With the telephoto, the iPhone will hunt a bit for focus so you need to be able to lock it down for the best results.

The wide-angle lens is a thing of beauty to use. It has nice heft to it and it does not have very much distortion at the edges or the “bubble” effect of many “wide-angle” iPhone lenses. It does have a bit of fringing when you shoot into high contrast light.
18mm Wide angle

With the telephoto, you can now get the “zoom” you want and still have the ability to crop it down 50% without destroying the image which is what I did with this image. This beats “pinch zooming” which just ruins your images due to the heavy cropping that the “zoom” really does.

This is a 60mm telephoto shot that is uncropped width wise.
60mm Telephoto uncropped

And this image is the same framing but cut down 50%

50% crop of same framing

These wonders come from Moment Lens which was a Kickstarter project that I bought into several months ago. The lens we’re designed from the ground up to be a top multi element lens design to work with the iPhone lens as an element. They are big and heavy due to real glass and a lot of it in front of the iPhone lens. They use a twist lock mount that is pretty solid.

Moment certainly understands their market with a very sexy black box and high quality packaging. The feel of the lens itself is one of heft and solidness. The mounting ring is a stick-on plate and I was a bit concerned as to the weight of the lens pulling the mounting plate away from the camera body but with two full days of leaving one of the two lenses on the camera while going around Disneyland has not loosened it up that I can tell.

The downside to all this metal goodness is that the lenses are not cheap. But then these lenses are not for the casual iPhone photographer. These are for the enthusiast iPhoneographer who loves to push the limit of what the iPhone can do with photography. Even as heavy as they are, the lenses are considerably lighter than a DSLR lens and they still fit into a shirt pocket though it is a bit chunky. When I shoot with them, I naturally cup the lens with a finger to help keep all the weight from pulling down on the mounting plate.

Here is the 18mm mounted on an iPhone 5S with the olloclip case. The case still works with the mounting plate and provides a way to keep from bashing the Moment mount and still swing out-of-the-way when you go to use it.

18mm Moment Lens mounted on iPhone

Posted in equipment, iPhone, lenses Tagged , , , |

IF then DO something

Ah, memories, learning about IF trigger then DO something programming logic. No, I’m going to start talking about programming here but, there is a cool web service called IFTTT which lets you use “recipes” to accomplish stuff on the internet. For this post, I will talk about how IFTTT watches my Instagram stream every 15 minutes and IF it sees a new picture, it will copy the image to my dropbox account for safekeeping.
instagram
You could also post to Flickr and do quite a bit else. There is an app available for the iPhone here or for Android. You can do things like “if my phone goes to this geo-location” send text to my wife that I’m on my way home. Or send a text message to the caller that you will call them back later. And much more.

To get started, you need to set up an account at IFTTT.

Then you can start creating recipes here like this:
create recipe

Even though you don’t see the rest of the choices, there are many more below the four shown here such as triggers for Gmail, Evernote, Facebook, IOS location, Digg, ESPN, eBay and tons more. You take a trigger which is the “IF” and then you add the “DO THIS”. So in the case of mine recipe, I want to trigger on new pictures in my Instagram stream and then I want to copy them to my dropbox. The recipe looks like something like this

if then dropbox

 

This will run every 15 mins and check my Instagram stream and make a copy if it’s new. That is a pretty painless way to make sure I have a backup of my Instagram images.  You can sign up for a daily recipe which is cool way to see how and what other folks have come up with.

 

Posted in musings

Lightroom for iOS

Adobe has released Lightroom for iOS devices and I have to say it’s pretty cool. I was surprised with Lightroom on the iPad but the iPhone with its smaller screen was going to be “interesting. But the Adobe engineers really pulled off a coup with their release.

I’ve tried the major features and also the file syncing between the iPhone and my desktop version of Lightroom. Pretty slick!  I took a dozen shots today in a photography class and added them to Lightroom. Later I opened up Lightroom 5.5 on my Mac at home and like magic, the new images appeared in Lightroom.

In the coming days I plan to use it and abuse it then decide if I like enough to keep it on my phone. But, on the surface it’s impressive.  Everything works smoothly and so far I have not had any crashes of the app. I am using this on iOS 7 with an iPhone 5S so I do have top flight equipment. All bets are off with this working as smoothly on an iPhone 4S for example. You are going from 64 bit processor to 32 bit and you will take a hit. But I will be testing that also just to see. While iOS 7 runs on the iPhone 4S, it is not at it’s best. I suspect the same will be true for Lightroom Mobile.

You also need to have a Creative Cloud account such as the Photoshop Photography Program at 10 bucks a month. Any of the more expensive programs work too but I think many are using the 10 dollar program.  You will need to  have at least the 5.4 Lightroom update on your desktop/laptop version of Lightroom.

Lightroom Mobile is based on “Smart Previews” where the images are:

  • Built on the DNG format
  • 2560 pixels on the long side
  • You can make adjustments even without the original image available locally
  • These adjustments are applied when the original file is available

Here are screen shots for the iPhone 5S using Lightroom mobile

LIghtroom Mobile File Sync

No mess and no fuss. This is awesomeness at it’s best. You can see on the left the smart collection Lr mobile Adobe made and then created the iPhone  Photos folder.

OK.. thats cool but what does the interface actually look like? Exactly what you would expect if you have seen the iPad version. Just smaller :)

Settings for iOS Lightroom IMG_6882 IMG_6881 IMG_6883 IMG_6880 IMG_6876
IMG_6877 Photo Details in iOS Lightroom

Posted in iPhone, lightroom, photography Tagged , , |

Why use a real editor for smartphone images?

We all have heard the myth of why iPhone (or any smartphone) cannot take a good picture. By now you have seen in this blog, many images that are very respectable and if I had not said they were from an iPhone, you would have thought they were from a “real” camera. But, to really get the best out of your smartphone picture, you need a real desktop editor. Not an app on a very small screen. I use Lightroom and Photoshop by Adobe for a few reasons. One is that Lightroom is an asset management system and will let me keep track of ALL 80,000 of my images. It is also a kick butt editor that is very easy to get fast and smart results from. A bit of icing on the cake is you can buy it outright for about 150.00 dollars or you can pay 9.99 a month for it AND Photoshop CC. That’s right!! For about 2 dollars a week, you can have the defacto standard for editing and management. For this post, I will be showing what can be done with Photoshop since it does things like skin retouching better than Lightroom. Photoshop works really well at what I call “Heavy Lifting” editing. Lightroom does amazing work for very fast and general edits but when I need to replaces parts or have very fine control over the editing, I use Photoshop.

When I say all of this in my iPhone class, the next question is “Why”? Why do I need this? If you are just posting to Facebook or other social media, then you don’t. But, if the iPhone has turned into your main camera and you want some really nice pictures to print and hang, then you want to use the right tools to get there.

Here is a typical iPhone shot taken on the fly just before the Disneyland “Big Thunder” ride takes off. I liked the overall expression but I didn’t like the splash of bright light on her face or the background. I used PureShot on the MAX quality JPEG setting. This setting gives me over 3x the data to work with. The normal iOS image is about 1.5 Mb and the MAX is a bit over 5Mb in size.

Iphone image before Photoshop Editing

Here is the Photoshop edited version where I’ve used normal glamour retouching techniques to clean up the bright light, smoothed out skin tones, cropped it and tilted it slightly. I also used a slight blur on the overall image. I even removed myself from one of the sunglass lenses.
Edited iPhone Image using Photoshop

You can see that the iPhone image edits just as well as any other image from a “real” camera when using a real editor. The tips and tricks you know work the same. And just like any other JPEG, you need to edit with a gentle hand to avoid artifacts. For this edit, I use many layers and my Wacom tablet.

All this extra data really comes in handy when you want to pull down highlights or bring up shadows on an iPhone JPEG. Normally you cannot do either very well but with the MAX quality JPEG, it works pretty well.

None of this editing could have been done on the iPhone using an “app”. We do not have the apps and we do not have the fine control of a stylus needed on such a small screen. Even on the iPad, it would have been difficult at best.

Ultimately it is all about control and flexibility as to why use a real editor on your smartphone image. Again, this is wasted effort if all you are going to do is post to Facebook which destroys image quality anyways. But if you want really nice images, this is why.

Posted in editing, editing software, iPhone Tagged , , |

Pushing the iPhone Post Processing

The iPhone is really the most widely used “smartphone” on the planet. They are everywhere and some of us revel in pushing them far beyond what the Apple engineers dreamed we could do with them. One of the strongest features of the iPhone is also one of it’s weakest. Everyone loves the camera and apps of the iPhone. Those of us that know enough hate the JPEG processing currently used on the iPhone and iOS7. With iOS 6.x, the JPEG was somewhat loose on it’s processing and could easily handle being manipulated by apps and external software like Lightroom or Photoshop. But, with iOS 7, the processing of the JPEG was changed to a more highly compressed version and the end result is that the OEM JPEG cannot withstand nearly as much editing as it used to be able to.

This has lead me to work more with third party apps like ProCamera 7and PureShot. Both of these have excellent choices for saving files with uncompressed TIFF as an option. A difference is that PureShot offers a MAX JPEG that is very, very good with not too much post processing and quite a bit of data to work with. How much more? Well, the default Apple iOS camera app saves the 8 megapixel image as a 1-2 Mb JPEG file at 72 dpi. Pure on the other hand in MAX JPEG mode, saves about a 5Mb file at 300 dpi. The image dimensions have not changed, they are still 3264×2172 but the AMOUNT of data is significantly more going from 2 megs to 5 megs. This means you can really push the image around in post processing much more than with the standard Apple image. An added feature is you can embed your own copyright info into the metadata when the image is taken.

Pure Home iPhone 5S

Pure MaxJPEG screen iPhone5S

This image was taken in very bad conditions for the iPhone. In other words, extreme contrast in light going from very dark shadow to very bright light. Normally speaking, the iPhone (and most smartphones) doesnt have a prayer of getting a good shot. They just do not have the exposure latitude needed. But with PureShot, I knew if I got the highlights right and not blowout, I could pull up the shadows in post since I had so much data. Not only did I do that, I also applied a 25% crop which didn’t bother the image at all.

Sara dueling Darth Maul Disneyland Jedi School

With the standard iPhone app, you would get blocked out shadows and no hope to get them back or you would blow the highlights. I did the processing on Snapseed but in Lightroom, I could push it even harder. Lightroom excels at highlight recovery even if you cannot see them on the iPhone and has excellent shadow enhancement tools.

Here is the original image from Pure without any post processing
Sara vs Darth Maul Disneyland Jedi  untouched

And here is the same image cropped and retouched in Lightroom. You can see I could crop tighter, there is now details on Darth Maul’s outfit that didn’t show up in the Snapseed image and the Jedi sign is not looking like it melted. The post processing tool you use, makes a HUGE difference in the final outcome of your image. Don’t be married to the idea “I’m only going to use my iPhone”. You are cheating yourself doing that. The iPhone works very well but a real editor makes a difference.

Since I’m working with PureShot, even cropped as it is, I can still print an 8×10 without any issues if I wanted to. I was able to export out at 2500 pixels and 240 DPI without any issues

Sara vs Darth Maul Disneyland Jedi  Lightroom

This image shows that you can really push an iPhone image as long as you use the right tool to shoot with and the right tool to process with. I could push this image more to bring up some of the trooper’s white armor but I spent only 30 seconds in Lightroom to make a point.

I shot with PureShot but ProCamera 7 can produce the same results but using uncompressed TIFF files. Their JPEG is not quite as robust as Pure’s. I love the split focus and exposure of ProCamera but Pure shoots faster. So you decide which is more important to you and your style of shooting. I use both depending the situation.

*** edited 6-2-2014 to Pure screenshots ***

Posted in editing, editing software, iPhone, musings Tagged , |

Disney on Ice, How to shoot low light with an iPhone

Most photographers panic when they have to shoot low light with fast motion. They start to blubber on about needing uber-high ISO and uber-expensive glass. For those with smartphones like the iPhone, the common thought is “Don’t even bother, it won’t work”. And truly, for most photographers and most common users of the iPhone, that is true. And it’s true because they keep banging their head against the problem instead of thinking smart and letting that smartphone do it’s job.

First, let me show you what you can do with an iPhone when it’s in a dark place with a very bright spot light and something moving fast like the “Disney on Ice” show.

 

Disney on ice,  Beauty and the Beast

So the first thought is “Whoahhh”.. that’s an iPhone picture? You must have special access, special software, special lens blah, blah.. There is NO way I could do that. And you would be completely wrong about your assumptions. I shot this with an iPhone 5S and using an app called ProCamera for a couple of reasons. The app lets me set my exposure and focus points in two different places and it lets me save a TIFF file so I can really work with the image after the fact in something like Lightroom.

ProCamera is a replacement camera app for the iPhone that just rocks it. You get TIFF format, Fullscreen triggering, antishake and more like the separated focus and exposure points. At 99 cents, you cannot go wrong with it

I also use a desktop editor to get the best out of the TIFF files but for fast posting to Facebook, I will use Snapseed then re-edit later on when I get home. That editing with Lightroom or other desktop editor is the magic secret sauce to get the very best out of smartphone image. The TIFF gives you the latitude to work the shadows and highlights to recover details without ruining the image.

A very important trick is to learn to anticipate a slowing in the action to mimize the blurring OR to use the blurring to help tell the story. If you cannot fix a liability then embrace it and make it your own. In this image, I knew there would be tons of movement but I also knew some of the skaters would be pausing so I had the best of both worlds. I had the grand finale with the fireworks which I had set my exposure to and I had motion that made the image dynamic.
Disney on Ice finale

This is the trick, use a liability and turn it into a positive which in this case is the inherent blurring.

When you shoot something like this, don’t be afraid to try a few techniques like using the OEM HDR or alternative camera apps. Also, use techniques like panning to help lock focus on your subject, just don’t whack your neighbor. The flash off the iPhone in an event like this is useless and obnoxious to your neighbors so don’t forget to turn it off. Most of these images were cropped down some since I was not what you would call “close to the action” so keep your subjects away from the edge of the frame as you shoot.

Posted in composites, editing, event photography, iPhone

Have iPhone, Will Travel

 

[dropcap_1]L[/dropcap_1]et’s see a show of hands, who has used their iPhone to shoot travel pictures? Yep.. it is soooo much easier to have an iPhone with you (or any smartphone) vs carrying around a DSLR with a couple of lens, a flash, spares and more. The iPhone slips right into the pocket which leaves your hands free for holding, swinging, looking, touching and more without the fear of the 10lbs of camera slamming into some child’s head or into that very expensive glass case in the gift shop.

You can get the iPhone camera lens right up to a glass case and lose the reflections that plague a normal DSLR trying to shoot through glass. The DOF is so wide that you can be be just inches away and still get everything in focus. In this shot, I was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and shooting through a glass fish tank with really dim light. By placing the iPhone right up onto the tank, I was able to lose reflections AND stabilize the camera for the the sharpest image with the slow shutter speed needed. I did try it with my DSLR and the results were less than satisfactory. Not to mention I really could not do anything with the image till I got back to my room while I was able to work with the iPhone shot and post it to social media while having a snack at the aquarium.

Flower of the Sea

In this shot, it’s myself with my FILM camera and the family at 8,000 feet in Bryce Canyon. I could and did hand the iPhone to a non-camera geek and just told her to tap the screen where I was standing then tap the button. Done. One nice picture without any mess or fuss. We even got “Flat Stanley” in the shot :) When we went for our hike, I was not carrying eight pounds of gear. I had my iPhone and I was then able to carry my medium format film camera for some truly amazing images that only come with a negative that is over two inches square. In an interesting twist of the times, I used an app on my iPhone as a light meter to set up the exposure for the older film camera.

Family at Bryce Canyon High Point

Is an iPhone a perfect replacement for a DSLR or micro four thirds rig? No, but it IS an acceptable substitute perfectly capable of awesome pictures. In some cases, it is even easier than the DSLR because of the smarts built into it and the apps the iPhone can run right away while taking the shot.

[content_box color=”#000000″] The iPhone can produce some amazing pictures but to get the full quality, you need to use a real editor like Lightroom or Photoshop. Apps like Pixlr and Photoshop Touch can work wonders  but the big boys can pull out the very the best quality [/content_box]




The built in HDR app is OK, but the cool app is called HDR Pro. It’s one failing is that it over sharpens the image when it saves. I wish it would just blend and stop. But it is not bad for what it can do. Snapseed is still my “go to” app but Pixlr is fast becoming a good friend. PhotoFX does awesome black and white conversions. None of this is really possible on the normal pocket camera or DSLR. So you end up with the camera, a laptop, software and sitting in the hotel room processing images then uploading them. While with the iPhone, I can shoot, process and upload while drinking a cup of coffee or even sitting on a bus heading back to the hotel.

Posted in editing, equipment, iPhone, musings, Travel

iPhone Rocky

Olivia as a boxer gritty light

This was taken with a handheld iPhone 4S. I used a 60 dollar 300LED video light that also was handheld by the 6 year old sister on camera left and just a bit higher than eyeliner. You can see it in the catchlight. The LED light was about two feet away and bare. The background is about one foot away and is a piece of black polar plus I bought as surplus from the local sewing shop. The polar plus does not reflect light very much, in fact it works almost as good as felt curtains but lighter and cheaper.

My post processing was Lightroom 5 with the clarity way up to get that gritty look and I also over sharpened it some. I did some basic adjustments for color and then faded out the yellows and oranges by lower the saturation a bit. There was a hot spot on the forehead from the light being bare and so close so I used CS6 and my Wacom to “paint” in that hot spot with color sampled from the nearby skin.

This image was not an accident. I had thought about it all the way home from the office, pre visualizing the positions, the lighting, the look I wanted. So my set up and taking of the image took less than 10 mins. Post was about 10 more mins. Smartphones are VERY capable cameras when you work within and push the limits carefully.

Posted in editing, iPhone, lightroom, portraits