Monthly Archives: September 2009

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FAQ – Anatomy of a shot

Some of you, faithful readers, sometime ask me how I get to achieve a particular shot, so I decided that I would start showing some behind the scenes and talk a bit about some of the techniques I use. So Internet, here we are, the first installment of the anatomy of a shot series.

So let’s start with a simple shot I posted a few weeks ago.

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This shot was taken in a park at the end of the day. I decided to setup the photoshoot during the last hour of sunlight which is also known as the Magic Hour. This is the time of the day where you have the most gorgeous light and I definitely wanted to take advantage of this.

At first, I wanted to catch the sun as it was setting but we arrived a bit late on the location and as we were surrounded by tall buildings, I immediately saw that it was no way I could capture the sun on the pics.

So I decided to have the gorgeous blue sky as my background.

In terms of lightning setup, I used a speedlite reflected in an umbrella on my camera right and I exposed for the sky in order to have a deep blue by under exposing by one stop and a half.

Here is a test shot I took without the flash so that I could check my ambient. After checking on the histogram, I modified some of my settings to get a more vivid sky and when I was satisfied, I dialed the correct settings on the flash to light my subject.

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And here is the result straight from the camera. Pas de post processing à part la conversion du RAW vers le JPEG.

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This shot, as it is, is already quite good in my opinion, but I wanted to boost it a bit by adding more contrast, tweaking some levels and removing some minor skin injuries. After using some Photoshop Magic Dust, I achieved the final result. Et Voilà!

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Malgorzata & Arnaud – Wedding

When they walked up the aisle you could immediately see that they were at ease. They were smiling truthfully and nobody could misinterpret the way they were looking at each other. They were simply really happy to tie the knot. Malgorzata and Arnaud wanted to have a simple wedding with close friends and familly.

And It was really intimate and sweet.

It seemed like nothing could ruin their special day and certainly nothing did. They were sweet and in love and I couldn’t wish for a happier start for them.

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Protect your data

As you may have noticed, my post frequency on the blog has been erratic for the past few weeks. I really want to apologize for this. If you are wondering, I am not dead! It’s just that I had a lot to deal with recently. Nothing too serious or life threatening but problems nonetheless…

to summarize what happened, you have to know that in order to secure all my data and all my photos, I decided from the beginning to invest in a serious networked storage unit. I set up the best solution for my needs and within my budget but I knew that I would have to upgrade it in the not so far future when I would be shooting more and more.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago where the system started to give me trouble, just as I was about to migrate it to a more robust solution which would be tailored to my shooting rythm.

To make it simple, my network system crashed and the redundancy I implemented crashed at the same time nearly wiping out every data I own.

I banged my head against my desk an incredible amount of time and immediately contacted a data recovery company to help me on the matter, while also trying things on my own.

In the end I did lose data… But I managed to get back every photo for every clients I had yet to deliver to.

The lesson here is simple. Protect your data at all cost! My business is based on my photos and if I lose them, I lose it all. Never underestimate a failure in your whole production workflow. Always invest in the best solution for you needs. If you are a fellow photographer, I can’t stress it enough: Sh*t happens and you have to be prepared for this. I always have backup shooting equipment, have an insurrance, and did setup a secure and redundant workstation for my editing, but even with this level of precaution, I nearly lost it all… Simply because I pushed back a simple upgrade operation in my system.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and I am thankful that my clients were so great, understanding and patient.

Now my desk and office space is a serious mess, I still have to setup a new storage solution again and then I’ll be up and running. In the meanwhile, thank to you Internet for your patience, the blog is coming back soon!

As you may know I am working on some personnal project, if you are interested in participating, please check out this link and let me know.