jackie venson at sound bites

jackie venson at sound bites

Jackie Venson at Sound Bites Grill

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.

jackie venson artHere are Jackie Venson and her band in art form.

jackie venson and band at sound bites grillHere’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.

elements for the final imageHere 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

band portrait with fine art technique

Sound Bites Grill brought in the Steph Johnson Trio to entertain last week on Sunday night. Wow! It was wonderful. Steph has a really low smoky sounding voice and plays a silky smooth jazz guitar. Rob Thorsen was on upright bass and he was making beautiful sounds that I had never heard a bass make before. On drums Fernando Gomez showed skills mastered because he started drumming before the age of ten. All in all lots of good sounds. The Steph Johnson Trio will be right at home on the ‘Sound Bites Grill Wall of Fame’. I created a single image of Steph and one for the Trio. I used the *Lumix GX7. I’ve found this camera to have a great dynamic range which is extremely helpful in capturing the variety of mixed color stage lighting.

musician photographSteph Johnson live on stage at Sound Bites Grill.
See below for some ideas on the techniques used to create this look.

 The technique I am using is one I call ‘Photo-Synthesis’. It starts with a base image, or in this case multiple images of the band members. They are all cut out, even if they are going to stay in the same position and placed on their own layer. After the musicians have been put together into the composition texture layers are added by placing images of metal, rock, walls or grasses or – you get the idea – almost anything will give a different look and feel as the various blend modes of each layer are adjusted. The blend modes allow the layers to interact with the layers below in different mathematical ways. The old ‘if this, then that will happen’. Shuffling layers, changing blend modes, and adding masks tweak the look. Where the individuals were placed on their own layers makes it possible to add drop shadows and lighting effects to enhance the depth selectively.

steph Johson trio photoThe Steph Johnson Trio at Sound Bites Grill in Sedona, Arizona by Bob Coates Photogrpahy

One last tip is adding the autograph messages from the band. Because it would be difficult to track down the individuals after the photographic art work is completed I have the musicians sign a blank white piece of paper with a black Sharpie marker just as if they were signing their autograph. This is scanned and brought into the final composition as a layer. The image is inverted turning black to white. Blend mode is set to screen and the signature magically blends into the image with no muss no fuss.

If you would like to learn more about how I work with Adobe Photoshop in creating this type of imagery I am available for personal coaching or if you have a photo group I can present a program. As a *Panasonic Lumix Luminary I could be sponsored for your event. Give me a shout to get details.