Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Making of a Picture: Waiting Room

Most professional fashion, portrait and glamor photographers (as well as other types of creative photographers) go through several stages or steps in the image-making process.

First, they get a vision or an idea in their mind's eye.

Second, they find a location and a model for the shoot - choosing the most appropriate setting and the best model.

Third, they execute their ideas in-camera, carefully selecting the camera angle and the position of the model - paying careful attention to the balance of the scene.

Fourth, they expertly choose the right lens, camera settings, and accessories that will capture the scene - keeping in mind the effects that they want to apply in the digital darkroom.

Finally, they post process their work in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.

I went through those steps in the making of this picture, my current favorite HDR image, which I entitle, "Waiting Room."

One of the important elements in this pictures was the sunlight. I wanted to shoot on a sunny day to capture those light patterns on the floor. As far as composition goes, I framed the upper part of the model's body within the frame on the rear wall. Including the ceiling fan in the frame was a must. To get the entire room in focus, I set my Canon 24-105mm lens on the 24mm setting, set the aperture at f/11 and focused 1/3 into the scene.

It is an HDR image that I created from a series of three bracketed pictures processed in Photomatix. The cool texture and color effect was added in Topaz Adjust - a plug-in that works magic on an image. Try the Spicify filter and Portrait Drama in Topaz Adjust - two of my favorites effects. Portrait Drama was used here.

I added the frame with onOneSoftware's PhotoFrame 4.

Interested in this print? Click here.

I am thinking of producing a book or 1-hour, how-to DVD on HDR, Photomatix and Topaz Adjust. Any interest out there?

Explor the Light,
P.S. You can get a discount on Photomatix and onOneSoftware here.


Mark Coons said...

I've been considering purchasing Photomatrix, Rick - so if I knew there was an instructional DVD on the subject I'd probably get it.

Stevo said...

A DVD would be great. So much of Photomatrix is trial and error.

Carolyn Fox said...

A DVD containing the info you shared with me and Bruce would help people tremendously in their efforts to learn how to use Photomatix and Topaz Adjust. I'd say go for it. By the way, I really like this picture!

Anonymous said...

Along with your camera settings I would be interested in knowing how many shots you took in the bracket and how many steps apart they were.

Rick Sammon said...

Anon...3 pictures. 0, -2 and +2


Gayle said...

Hi Rick, In the last few weeks I have been using both Photomatix and Topaz Adjust and having an awful lot of fun with them. I would love to know how you work with Topaz adjust. BTW, love your photo.

robert said...

I would be interested in an instructional video on hdr Rick. Your hdr's are beautiful

ricosuave said...

Absolutely Rick. I recently purchased Topaz per your recommendation/photos. Need to play around with it some more, it is awesome so far. Photomatix is next and I would definitely be interested in an instructional DVD.

Gassy Jack said...

Rick, I love the Photomatix/Topaz Adjust pictures that you've been posting lately. Keep 'em coming. I have both of those products, and I would VERY much appreciate a tutorial on how to achieve the "look" that you produce. PLEASE!


Anonymous said...

Yes would love to see a dvd about Photomatix...such a great program to work with!

Balliolman said...

This is a beautiful image, Rick, one of your very best using Photomatix and Topaz Adjust in my opinion.

Instructional technique is plentiful for Photomatix but not so for T.A.; a tutorial on the subtler use of the latter would be interesting.


Jack said...

Rick, beautiful image. Thanks for all your great tips. I love my 24-105 but on a shot like this would expect significant barrel distortion at 24. Did you encounter any, and if so, how did you correct it?

Howard J said...

Absolutely interested in a video! I'm always looking for tips and tricks to better my HDR, I use Topaz and Photomatix religiously!

Digital Journey said...

Can you explain what youi mean by "... and focused 1/3 into the scene". Do you select the bottom focus point or manually focus?

Emran said...

absolutely interested in a video!

besides, since I'm an amateur, pardon me if I ask a silly question about the meaning of this part "focused 1/3 into the scene."

Thank you for your inspiring photos and blog :-)

Carolyn said...

I am very interested . .. how about a discount on the cd if you already have both programs!!!!????

Rick Sammon said...

re focus 1/3 into the scene: just the distance that is 1/3 into the scene and set the focus there.

Gexbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gexbert said...

I'll also weigh in and say that I'd be interested in an HDR DVD.

Love the discussion on how you implemented your vision for this picture.

Syd said...

Yes - I would love to have this information. Just got the Topaz plug in and am going to get Photomatix. I also got the Details plug in and it give a lot of interesting results too.

Francie said...

Rick, I just added your blog to my "must read daily" list after watching several of your tutorials on Kelby Training. On your recommendation, I am seriously considering adding Topaz Adjust and Photomatix plugins to my workflow. A book or DVD or Kelby Training tutorial would be awesome.
Thanks for sharing your joy of photography and your talent and skills in such a generous way. I hope to meet you at one of your Florida workshops some day!

jparkerboy said...

Rick, I keep coming back to this image, and I point others to it as well. I appreciate the caseful use of HDR and the elegant way you posed the model, especially her fingers.

I was in the audience in Holland this summer, and if you bring that same enthusiasm to a DVD, I'd buy it and I'm sure many others would too.

A quick question.... Do you have an idea of how much time you spent in post on this image? I sometims spend hours on a single image and if professionals like yourself do the same.