I’ve probably mentioned this before, but using an infrared converted camera increases your chances of coming home with a solid image when shooting in the middle of the day. I upgraded my infrared camera from a Lumix G6 to a Lumix GH4. If you have a camera languishing on the shelf not being used I recommend sending it off to LifePixel Infrared for a conversion. I know I was glad I did!
Those hours between 10AM and 3PM can be brutal on your images due to the high contrast. Infrared images thrive in that environment. I quite enjoy extending my keeper rate by working with infrared imaging.
From Sedona, Arizona, Cathedral Rock during midday. Renders in an interesting way using an infrared converted camera.
Another tool I find helpful is being able to easily have my camera low-to-the-ground in the Platypod camera support. I can hang the Platypod from my camera bag and since it is very light I hardly notice it’s there until I see a need for it. The Platypod is extremely helpful, especially if you have a flip screen on your camera. The flip screen allows you to be able to frame and focus the scene without having to get down on your belly. Bonus!
Panasonic is working toward serving the professional photography market in an exceptional way. As you probably know they have come out with two full frame mirrorless cameras (shipping in April) adding to their micro 4/3rds line. If you pre-order a full frame camera from Hunt’s Photo Video before April 4th you’ll get an extra battery and battery grip at no extra charge. (tell ’em I sent you if you would be so kind)
Just received my Lumix Pro Services welcome packet. It includes all the deals, contact information and membership card. They started this program last year and I used it for the first time myself just this week.
Service was as advertised. I received a Fed-Ex label for overnight shipping. Contact immediately when they received the camera and verified the problem. (the rubber from the SD card door was coming up) They again contacted me right away to let me know it was a warranty repair. The door was replaced and the camera was returned via Fed-Ex overnight.
Lumix Pro Services Welcome Packet * Note does not come with GH5 camera!
Here’s most of the skinny on what’s included:
• 2 day turn-around on repairs
• Free next day shipping both ways
• Twenty percent discount on Out-of-Warranty Repairs
• Online order tracking
• Loaner gear
• Free clean and check for two bodies and lenses per year
• As a bonus in the welcome packet, here’s my favorite, a Lumix pro camera strap. One of the reasons the camera strap is my favorite is because Panasonic has partnered with Peak Design. Peak Design makes straps that have a quick release that is extremely handy. I’ll do another post on my Peak Design straps as I could be considered a fan-boy for their product. The post will show you why
BJ’s Brewhouse Art Piece – ColoadoSprings, Colorado
Had a great time sharing Adobe Photoshop techniques from my PhotoSynthesis program for the Professional Photographers Guild of Colorado Springs. During my All Day hands-on class, I was charged with creating artwork from scratch live in front of the attendees including making selections and sharing the thought process as I created the image.
Here’s the image I made for the class with a few elements cleaned up for clarity
This technique was one I created for art application but I keep finding that it is working its way into my commercial work as well. You can see the original photo below. The textures I used were images that we had gathered on-site that morning. The idea is you can create a significantly different image using many different techniques, textures, masks and blend modes.
Here’s the Photoshop Layers Palette in a screen grab illustrating some of the techniques used.
The text was created using the fx palette. A large font was used for the name to attract attention. It was ‘dressed’ with bright color, an inner glow with a bright edge and a drop shadow. All of the text effects were chosen to help make the name stand out. The text for the address was more informational and was rendered white to be in high contrast with the rest of the image.
Here is the original capture SOOC ( straight out of camera) when my beer was delivered at the bar. Made with the LumixGH4 and the 35-100mm f2.8 G Vario lens
Sound Bites Grill has a new addition to the ‘Wall of Fame.’
Jackie Venson and her band were enshrined at the SBG Wall last night.
Here are Jackie Venson and her band in art form.
Here’s how it looks on the Wall. The autographs are done in advance on a white piece of paper with black Sharpie pen. I’ll show you all the elements used to create the final image below.
The ‘Wall of Fame’ image is created with photos captured during the live stage performance in the Sound Bites Show Lounge. Each performer is tracked on stage individually. Then they are extracted from the background and placed into a new environment. Texture, shadows, glows along with sharpening, blurring parts of the combined images are all combined in Adobe Photoshop to create the final art piece. Capturing the musicians during the live performance gives the final art image a stronger feeling of emotion created during the performance that a static image just doesn’t have.
Here are the elements for the final image. Layers and Masks along with Blend Modes were utilized in creating the painterly look.
Images are currently being captured with the Lumix GH4 or Lumix GX8 cameras. I enjoy that the sensors have enough density range to allow a single capture of the harsh LED lighted scene. A slight adjustment in post production using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) of bringing down the highlights and opening up the shadows makes for a well-exposed photo. In previous cameras due to the extreme light variations, there was a need to capture three images and blend them together to achieve the same result.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
PS – Can’t wait until Jackie, Alán Uribe on bass/backvox and Rodney Hyder on drums come back for their next show at Sound Bites Grill
Mike and I chat about the world of technology as it relates to getting the best images from your camera. As a Lumix Luminary, I get access to new cameras and the opportunity to try out lots of new gear. The beginning of the show we talk about Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC). I was an entrant and didn’t do too bad. (recent IPC posts on Successful-Photographer here)
Tech Talk – There is International Photographic Competition chat until about 10:45 then we move on to Lumix Cameras and quality along with new tech moving into the world of Micro 4/3rds cameras.
Solid entertainer. Stage presence. Beautiful voice. Guitar licks that take you down with the blues our make you soar with riffs that just kicks a**! Add to that two super-pro backup musicians on bass and drums and the evening is made!
I normally don’t post images of performers from Sounds Bites Grill shows until I have the artwork completed for the ‘Wall of Fame.’ But, add to the fact I so enjoyed Jackie’s performance and she is so photogenic I had to slip a couple in for a ‘sneak peek.’
Jackie Venson – Captured with Lumix GH4 and 35-100mm f2.8 Lumix Vario lens SOOC
Jackie with Alán Uribe on bass/backvox and Rodney Hyder on drums. Captured with the Lumix GX8 and the 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix Vario lens
Jackie breakin’ out of the blues.
If you want some more info on this talented artist check out Jackie’ website. Stand by for the art image coming soon.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
PS – Can’t wait ’til Jackie comes back to Sedona! I wanna be in the house for that!
Occasionally I'll send out a digest version of the blog posts on Successful-Photographer. I'm not a fan of Spam and I'm sure you are not. Your Email address is safe with me. Bob
For infrared conversion of my cameras I use LifePixel. Infrared allows you to put an older camera to use and opens up a new time time of day for productive image creation.
Learn Photoshop in a fun environment. Aaron Nace applies the right amount of fun with easy to understand and follow tutorials. Actions and brushes are included with lessons!
Luminar 4 and LuminarAI software from Skylum are creative tools. In addition to being a stand-alone program, I often use it as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. Full of creative possibilities! Find all of the Skylum products by clicking on this link.
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Luminar 4 and LuminarAI
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Lightning, waterdroplets, sound, time-lapse, HDR sequences, smiles and much more control for your camera!
Cameras Get Smarter -
A High Speed Smart Camera Remote