Just a quick photo today folks. Sometimes when you have the sun to your back you have to make the best of it! 🙂
Dear diary, yesterday rocked. I got my kid off to school, took care of some work and headed out to frolic in the snow with my camera. Seriously, yesterday was wonderful here in Chicago. There’s nothing better than shooting fresh fallen snow in Chicago. I packed my camera and tripod into my beloved Streetwalker backpack, put my headphones on and headed toward the lake. Solitude! I passed a few other brave souls on the way to the lake. A simple exchange of a smile is all that took to bond with my fellow snow loving friends. I set up and moved, set up and moved, and repeated this cycle several times over the course of two hours. Loving every minute of it. I’m recognizing that I’m becoming dependent upon these moments to ignite my creative passion. I guess you could call it a much needed creative self-indulgence. I normally might feel guilty about these moments. I mean, I could be in meetings, cleaning my office, walking the dogs, the list goes on and on. It’s at these moments of great mental debate that I remember a lecture I had once received by good ole’ mom. “John, you’re much too intense. You need to learn all of this (referring to work) will always be here. You need to stop and smell the roses on occasion, otherwise you’re going to burn out.” So, the debate ends in my head and I indulge my creative soul. Thanks mom.
Some of you might be interested in how I took today’s fun self-portrait so here’s my recipe so to speak:
- I started with a nice snowy afternoon. I like to think of snow as a white backdrop in my own private outdoor studio.
- Be mindful of the surroundings. If you’re trying to create a high key shot then try to avoid filling the frame with dark objects such as trees.
- Set your camera up on the tripod. I recommend covering the camera with an oversized Ziploc or something that will keep it dry while you’re setting up.
- For this shot I set my ISO to 200, speed 1/125 at f/22 (I needed a darker exposure so I didn’t lose all the detail in the fence)
- I use a MicroSync radio control trigger to fire the camera. The camera’s self timer would work too.
- Find your place in the photo and fire away.
Here’s the sequence in which I worked my voodoo:
- Increased the exposure by +3
- I removed a ton of water spots using dust spot removal tool in Lightroom
- Used a bleach bypass preset
- Used the saturation brush on my jacket
- Isolated the red using a preset
- Removed all distracting objects using dust spot removal tool
- Did some minor straightening and called it good.
So there you have it…. presto. A fun shot, but the real reward, as always.. was in the journey.