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30 November 2011 - 6:02Creative beauty shot – Teal

This creative was with Colleen Napier.   I let her loose on Teal to do any look she liked and this was the result.

I had some nice pieces of jewellery from Carola Bun from a previous shoot, so I thought i would put the choker to good use again.  Both images were shot against a white background with the add’l effects added in Photoshop.  I’ve been on a trend lately of desaturating my images and dialing the color temperatures down.  The top image has a bit more green in the undertone… I wanted this look to approach an ‘old photograph’ with fogged highlights, but with a modern look.  Traditionally aged images have bluer blacks and yellowed highlights… which is why i went green/yellow.

I tried a couple composite images with this next shot, but since i did not originally plan on changing the background, it was hard to  separate her hair from the similar toned background (would of normally shot this high key).  I saw a neat filter once on a website: Auto FX Mystical2 … although the program is a bit pricey ($200),  and you can certainly achieve the effect in Photoshop manually,  you will be getting to your results much faster.

No Comments | Tags: Makeup Techniques, Photography Tech, Photoshoots

7 November 2011 - 23:41Orchid Creative

Brianna Errelat, my makeup artist wanted to do an image that was inspired by Kevyn Aucoin.   The amount of creatives I have done can liteally be counted on one hand… after all when everyone is paying you and with so much creative freedom there is no need… right?   Well I’m starting to think different about that… cutting the strings and doing just what I want purely without any clients needs in mind… that is always a factor in a hired shoot.

Meet Shazmin!  we’ve been FB friends for almost two years now and I figured it was finally time to meet in person for a creative.  I thought that she had the eyes and range of expression to create an enticing beauty shot.

We originally tried the orchids bunched around the neck like Acoin’s image but it just did not feel right.  Getting that vision from the mind to reality can sometimes be a nightmare.  We tried wire, clamps and floral tape but the flowers were just not cooperating.   If this had been a high key shoot with pale makeup concept, this style may have worked… I just thought they were too stark around her neck.

For the above  image,  I pulled out the Super 77 spray glue and literally attached petal to petal in a lei style.  This was delicate work and limited Shaz’s mobility but I was happy with the net result.

This image was combined with a shot I took in Maui years ago in the bamboo forest.  The lighting naturally fit the highlight on her shoulder and lens flare was added to emphasize  it further.    I’m looking forward to see what we can come up with next.

No Comments | Tags: Makeup Techniques, Photoshoots

7 October 2011 - 2:22Splashtop App… Big thumbs up!!!

Every now and then something comes across your desk that changes the way you work; the brick phone,  dial up internet,  facebook,  angry birds, etc.    I’m gonna put this app in that group… it feels like the edge of change!  Right now the current version is about three bucks at the app store (their competitors are charging $30!!).   The nice thing is it’s universal for PC’s and Mac’s alike… and even android users.   I have to say however that my Mac experience linking it to the Ipad and Iphone was seamless.

After you download the software online and install onto your device, there is one more download to the computer you want to sync to.  You are able to sync to as many computers (Mac and PC) as you like and access them all through this interface.

The nice thing about the computer install program, is that they also include an uninstall script.  This program is downloaded from their website.

Click on the computer you wish to access ( I only have one set up at the moment), and you are taken to this window asking for your access code which you set up on you computer.   This can be auto filled or entered each time you access, but I highly suggest manually entering an intricate password  each time… it is the internet after all.

Voila!  you are now remotely controlling your computer (this take your system out of sleep/screensaver mode… keep this in mind as your system is now unlocked wherever it is)  What I find amazing is that you can operate any of your programs as if you were there… even ram hogs like photoshop and lightroom on your ipad(android, iphone, etc)

This is the window that shows up with a three finger tap.  My screen is set to native resolution which displays my entire (home) monitor, and can be switched between monitors (I have 2).   You can also choose  between ipad resolution and a fixed resolution.   The desktop can be scaled and moved between two fingers so you don’t need a magnifying glass.

So why do this anyway?    If you have ever had to help your parents or anyone over the phone  for ‘tech’ help?  Now they can watch live (and there is live voice too) while you navigate around the computer from another location.   Personally, I think back to my last trip to Mexico when I had a magazine call for some images and  could not get to my raid array to send them.   Now it’s as easy as signing in, accessing my files and remotely sending them from my home email.

So far Wifi has worked very well.  Now i need to experiment with my phone on the G3 network.   It would also be worthwhile to have a mouse with the ipad which would make this program so much more functional, but currently that is only available through a jailbreak.

Downsides:

  • I am not able to activate my screen saver and lock the computer remotely (takes 15 min to fall in to sleep mode) because the screen does not let me put it all the way into the corner to activate the hot button… it may work in other screen resolutions.
  • It’s challenging to get use to tapping instead of ‘clicking’… prefer a mouse option!

Upsides:

  • everything else!

You can read more at http://www.splashtop.com/

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech

27 September 2011 - 2:13Retro Rollerskate

Retro seems to be a word thrown around alot these days, so I looked it up:  Retro is a culturally outdated or aged style, trend, mode, or fashion, from the overall postmodern past, that has since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again… It generally implies a vintage of at least 15 or 20 years.”

I just hope corduroy does not become the fashion again!  It seemed like forever ago my friends and I were going down to RollerRoyce rollerdrome to play Galaga and Pacman and strap these clunky wheels on our feet.  The only way they are going to be remotely  in my life again however will be in a photoshoot on a stellar (retro phrase!)  model like Katya.

The disco ball brings it all home… after all,  it was the John Travolta Flashdance era.   I really love shoots with themed colors… makes them look planned.   In reality the socks actually had blue stripes, but you can spend a day looking for matching socks or a few minutes in photoshop solving that problem.

If these shots look familiar,  it’s probably because they are from the banner of the front page of my website… If you guessed correctly,  come collect your free photoshoot at Bryan Ward Ph0tography Ltd… Just kidding!

The headshot was a reversed closeup of this shot,  did you catch that?   My backgrounds came from  vector art  of two wallpaper styles from Istockphoto.com…  I should probably revisit the last shot and add it in.

No Comments | Tags: Photoshoots

2 September 2011 - 1:08Data Backup !!!!!

I sure hope you are regularly backing up your data!  For years i had thought CD’s were a safe choice to keep my important files.  Back then we were led on that this was the best choice.   Not until years later after backing up data to a raid array did I discover that certain brands of CD (Ridata for one) had high failure rates (5 discs / 100) starting to show up after 4 years.  Two more years later it was 7/100.

Now everything is safely backed up on a Raid array… or so I thought!  One day when two computers simultaneously accessed the same file… Boom!… Lost the Raid.  It took three months and two data recovery companies (Was going to cost me $3K) before i realized it was unrecoverable.    I though using a raid with a hot spare drive kept me safe with an archive of dvd’s as backup.    Now there are three raids on premise all mirroring each other… maybe overkill but better than then lose all those years of hard work… keeping my fingers crossed we don’t get that big solar flare but we’d all be screwed at that point anyway.

I have never been comfortable with shipping my info into cyberspace to backup companies (icloud)  and i did not like how Time machine kept filling up my entire hard drives.  I have tried so many backup programs that have fallen short.   At a recent seminar i was turned on to Chronosync… I tried the demo software and was impressed enough to buy it… and write about it!

It’s really impressive how much control this backup software give you.  One really great feature could be backing up your data to a laptop from your tower,  taking the laptop home and working on files, then the next day ChronoSync will update your laptop files back onto the tower, keeping everything current.

For my own situation with Raids topping 3 TB of data,  doing a full backup literally takes 6-12 hours.  ChronoSync intelligently looks for ‘Changes’ between files update and can  delete them from your backup drive to mirror you master drive.   The first time pressing the ‘sync’ button was scary and I tried to call the company to make sure all the settings were right… sadly they have no phone support.  I diligently  read the manual a few times… not that this was a difficult process, but when it comes to this much digital info, you really don’t want to make a mistake.  In the end it was easy and I was impressed that it could scan  two 3TB raids,  disseminate file differences and do a  50 GB backup all under 30 minutes.

The program is $40… heres’ the link:

http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_overview.html

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech

18 August 2011 - 16:03LightTrac…iphone/ipad app

What an amazing app for the phone and Ipad.  So many times i have had to work with existing lighting that was not quite where i wanted it.  You start by either finding your current location (GPS) or searching for a specific location.  The one downfall i have noticed is when you move locations on the map by scrolling manually,  you must remember to hit the ‘update’ icon or your values will not be correct… hopefully that will be fixed in an update.

The Yellow line is the angle the sun rises in the morning, the red is the current sun angle/elevation and the blue is where the sun sets.   You can manually scroll the sun throughout the day to see where the elevation and angle is at for specific times of the day.  In the example below i was trying to figure out what time to shoot on the roof of the building below  (along the linear skylights)  for the sun to be at my models back…  approx 8:40 pm which was very close to sunset.

You can also move the calendar ahead days, months and years (if you do lots of scrolling).  It’s a simple app, only a few $ and for those times you need it totally useful.

Heres an image from that rooftop pictured in LightTrac:

No Comments | Tags: Photography Tech

31 July 2011 - 16:40Walk on the wild side

I don’t even begin to know which portfolio to post this shot… maybe it’s time to start a new category.  What was interesting about this particular image was that between the angle of her body and the fact that she was looking head on at the camera,  I was able to mirror the image exactly.

My father once told me that there was a series of images shot of Marilyn Monroe that were then mirrored using the left side and right side of her face.  Apparently one side mirrored appeared much more beautiful over the other… relating to right and left brain influence.  This may be one of my next concept series for fun.

Genetically speaking,  symmetry is the truest definition of beauty… something to think about.

No Comments | Tags: Photoshoots, quirky and unrelated

25 June 2011 - 3:39Rock Bottom

I have not worked on many personal creatives lately.  On this day I had a last minute cancellation leaving my makeup artist and myself to some dark imaginings.  With Teal as a willing subject we were able to explore a concept that I have long wanted to do.  Brieanne Zellinsky  did a great job with bringing my ‘pale face’ bloody nosed concept to life.   An authentic top hat from nearly 100 years back made of the fine fur of Canada’s emblem… the beaver complimented my evil creation.  Faux fur would not have readily added equally to the horror.

At Bazaar Novelty in Vancouver I  discovered fake blood that coagulates .  It’s about 4 times more expensive than standard fake blood, but for a nosebleed is perfect.  Teal’s natural fair complexion was further paled using hue/saturation in photoshop and pulling the saturation down (95%) in all colors but red (reduced 45%)  The natural Catch lights in the eyes are created by a large disc reflector  reflecting light from my downward aimed 10′ octobank set high and behind me … I love how the lover catch lights make her stare more evil.

This shoot has peaked so much interest that i have decided to explore a ‘dark series’  stay tuned for more to follow!  It’s very subtle but did you notice the coke on her nose?   {no it’s not real}

No Comments | Tags: Makeup Techniques, Photoshoots

1 November 2010 - 22:18Pinky Tang – Novembers Rosebud

Here is my most recent photoshoot for Rosebud magazine taken at ‘Granville Tattoo’ downtown Vancouver.  I was having a heck of a time finding just the right location for this shoot.   My original pick was ‘Next’ tattoo, but their bad attitudes and simple lack of professionalism kept that from being a possibility.  Granville Tattoo ended up being a great locale for the shoot and they are simply a great bunch of guys.

For fun I added another tattoo to Pinky (digitally) with the impression that she did it to herself.  If you’re not familiar with the process… no, the tattoo guns don’t smoke in real life.   BTW, the chair she is sitting on is 300 lb!!!!!  I’m not kidding.  I saw the chair when i first scoped the shop and thought it would be great to shoot on.  Come the day of,  I seriously thought it was bolted to the floor it was so heavy.  It had to be moved clear across the room.

photoshoots are always full of surprises!

It was a challenge lighting the room.  I was hoping to get some daylight through the front windows for a brighter background, but it turned out into a dreary typical Vancouver fall day.  I went the opposite direction (low key) and focused all the light on Pinky .  An ambient  light bounced off a wall in the background but this did not seem special enough…  I added a blue gel to create separation of her from the background and that gave me the look i was after.

I love mirror shots, I just don’t like the extra retouching

Sheena Marie did most of the styling on this photoshoot.  I made her push the limits into ‘sexy’ from what she normally works with. When we went back to the studio I was aiming for a decidedly ‘sexy fashion’ look.  Props to her stylish ostrich dress on the final shot, and a special thanks to Sylvery Grey for fashioning the sexy red bikini.

The following image was a 2 part overlay.  This image was first first converted to a standard B&W…  The layer was duplicated and set again to B&W but with ‘maximum blacks’ set.  This gave the ‘tanned’ and shiny appeal to the skin but made the cape too dark.  The top layer was set to 70% and masking was done with the airbrush tool around the cape and some darker areas of the skin which created this alluring image.

Yup,  can’t do a studio shoot with at least one of my signature shots

I’d like to send a special Thanks to Granville tattoo for being so helpful, friendly and generous with their space and time.  Thanks Steve for getting up so early and letting us in the shop.

If you walk through their doors,  remember to say ‘Bryan sent you’.

No Comments | Tags: Photoshoots

9 October 2010 - 20:06Precious- Behind the scenes

In my earlier ‘Precious’ post was the complete Music video filmed at at the studio.  I filmed some behind the scenes on my own camera and finally found some time to piece them together.  The quality does not come close to the Red Cam original, but you still get a good idea of what went on off camera.  One additional note,  The audio represents the studio before all the sound baffles were installed.

No Comments | Tags: Uncategorized