One of the best pieces of advice I received when I was first starting my journey into photography was about the value of working hard consistently over time to improve. Much like preparing for a sport, it's not enough practice when you want to, when it's fun, or when it's convenient. To become really good at something, especially to the professional level, means working hard at it every day.
The person who gave me that advice knew that I had a history as a runner and was training for a marathon at the time, and told me to think about improving as a photographer like training for the race. No one expects a marathoner to train 'here and there' and then to be able to run the 26.2 mile race easily. Steady training, over weeks and months and years, is what lead to success in sports, and in photography.
I'll never forget that piece of advice, and this is my attempt to condense that advice into a single image. A runner, out on a lonely road, by herself, over a period of time, working to improve.
A few years ago I turned a rained out photo shoot into one of my favorite images when I taped a speedlight to the inside of an umbrella and sent the model out into the rain. I wanted to revisit that idea with more purpose and planning and thought that a photo with the theme of hope would be a good opportunity.
I wanted to create a unique image that combined photography, creative lighting, and a bit of Photoshop all in one. My theme was hope in the middle of darkness and fear, and the metaphor of an umbrella providing a small bit of shelter and respite from a storm was a great fit. In-between bouts of actual rain during the shoot, we were able to capture what you see here.
Using the speedlight inside the umbrella, I was able to expose separately for the model and the background to create the shadows I wanted on her and the clouds I needed in the sky. I used Photoshop to increase the contrast in the sky, create the rain, add texture, and adjust the colors of the final image.
July 2013 - Charlotesville VA
Model: Nell Gilliam
Music: Lee Rosevere (Pavane pour une infante défunte)
I've always had a lot of respect for dancers and I find that their combination of athletic ability and artistic motion can be quite beautiful. As a photographer who likes to capture movement and enjoys to work with other artists, I've always loved the sessions I have with my dancing models. Elizabeth and Allenjandro were no exception in this session, both during the takes and in-between takes (check out the behind the scenes video, you won't be disappointed).
Blur is the start of a a new project for me, where I'm going to focus on using photography, creative lighting, and a little bit of Photoshop to capture dancers doing what they do best. Some will be of the motion-blur variety as this image is, some will be on the more creative and fine art side, but all will feature and celebrate dance.
Track: Hot salsa trip
Running away is another image that came out of that time that I was a little lost and directionless in my work. The premise is simple, and maybe a little cliche, but often we are our own worst enemies, especially in the creative world. We find ourselves running away from something we don't quite understand, only to find in the end that we were running away from ourselves
Model: Deanna Marie Bennett
Video Footage: Lisa Jones
Photographer: Guillermo Ubilla
Music Artist: Neptune Massive
Track: Sick To The Back Teeth
Music Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Glass half empty
In this 5 minute Photoshop I talk about blending two images together smoothly using a gradient mask. Masking is a powerful photoshop tool to non-destructively hide and show parts of a layer. With masking, the key is to remember that white shows, black hides,and grey is somewhere in-between. Using the gradient tool is an easy way to make a smooth transition from black to white, which you can use this to creatively blend multiple photographs together.
*This post is part of a series of video tutorials where I share one tip, trick, or lesson about Photoshop in 5 minutes or less. If you have suggestions for future posts or have something you'd like to learn, please let me know at email@example.com.
I was accepted to the 2012 December 5x5x(5) show at the Torpedo Art Gallery in Alexandria Virginia. For this show, all work had to be 5 inches by 5 inches (by 5 inches for 3D work) or less. While it seems like a quirky concept at first, seeing all of the pieces together in work room at the Art Center was an interesting experience. At that size (inclusive of the frame) the work was to be a little different to stand out. That's not much room, so you have to be able to say something in your work in that limited space. This is an image of my two entries that were on display.
I brought my camera to the 2013 CLAW match. This is what I saw...
The brush tool is one of the more powerful tools in Photoshop, but because the more advanced settings different panels many beginner's don't take full advantage of all of its features. Understanding the range of options of the brush can go a long way to creating unique and creative edits in Photoshop.
One of the most powerful but under utilized tools in Adobe Photoshop is the ability to customize the Photoshop interface to fit your needs. Called workspaces, you can show and hide the tools and panels that you need to most effectively accomplish the your work and lay them out in the way that makes the most sense to you. You can save workspaces and have specific spaces for specific tasks. In this quick lesson, I show you how to see and hide the tools and the panels, how to create custom workspaces, and how to save them for future use.
*This post is part of a series of Photoshop video tutorials where I share one tip, trick, or lesson about Photoshop in 5 minutes or less. If you have suggestions for future posts or have something you'd like to learn, please leave them in the comments below.
In this 5 minute Photoshop, I do a quick overview of how to use blend modes to change how two layers interact with each other in different and creative ways. Many beginners to Photoshop are intimidated by the number, and sometimes confusing results when using, blend modes, but I'm a big believer in experimenting until you find the desired result. I'll show you how the different modes are organized to help you get the result you're going after, and go over two examples of how to incorporate blend modes in to your photography workflow.
I've always liked the creativity possible with in camera multiple exposure photographs. While it's easy to create this effect in Photoshop (and I do often), I enjoy the uniqueness and surprise I get when I attempt this in camera. Seeing the repeating of the mountains underneath incoming storm clouds, I thought this would make an ideal situation for a multiple exposure landscape.