chantal stone photography: the blog

October 31, 2007

Thoughts On Post-processing

Filed under: Photography,Process/Learning — chantal @ 10:01 am

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin.jpg

I carved that pumpkin last night….I’ll post a pic later today or this evening.

I wanted to get a head start on my blogging today, I have a busy day planned: I have about 798652314 photos to process, then a Halloween party at my daughter’s school, then carve one more pumpkin, make dinner, then trick or treating!

Today’s topic was easy for me to think of… I was asked a question in the previous post so I decided to answer here. Jen asked: “I’m very curious about the b/w horse one – was the light effects (and the arc) achieved in editing, or did you just luck out with natural lighting?” And on her blog she wrote: “Her photos are stunning. I’m going to have to spend some time figuring out how she got these shots. Photoshop or camera?” (thanks Jen!!)

In that particular horse photo, that lighting was achieved in Photoshop. The original image was a hot mess, but I loved the composition. Like a dummy, I forgot to change the white balance on my camera (I shot this jpeg) so this was the result:

first.jpg

I played with it a little, and tried to fix the color, but I wasn’t happy with the result. Color just wasn’t working for me, so I turned it b&w and added the vignette since the sky was so blah:

2nd.jpg

I liked that, but I wanted to play a little with some textures. There are some great things being done lately, using textures to create mood, particularly in wedding photography. Wedding photographer Jesh De Rox has been a big influence for a lot of people, and he has sets of actions that can be applied to create mood and feeling in photographs. But before I invest in anything like that I just wanted to play around a little, and see what I could come up with on my own. I like the textures, but it’s only something I would want to use in moderation. And the result was this:

horses.jpg

It’s a little more processing that what I normally like to do, but I was still pleased with the result.

To answer the second part of Jen’s question–she basically just wanted to know how much PP I do. The answer is pretty simple: Aside from the occasional image like the horses, I don’t do much. I learned photography on film, I shot film for about a hundred years, and I only began started shooting digitally earlier this year, when I decided I wanted to go pro. When shooting film, you quickly learn to get it right in as few shots as possible, and you learn to create the image IN camera. Back in the day, unless you wanted to spend hours in the darkroom (I never had the attention span for that) you really had to know how you wanted your final print to look beforehand and take that into consideration before clicking the shutter. There are about 10 billion debates on film vs digital on the web, and I’m so not interested in getting into that here, but I really do believe that film is the best way to learn the fundamentals of photography.

Now that I shoot primarily digital, I still try to apply those same principles to my approach: consideration of the final print, trying to create IN camera. I love bright, punchy color, and I use different camera settings to achieve the look I want more consistently. When I post process, I usually only touch levels, a boost in contrast here and there, since I have the habit, albeit purposeful, to over-expose by a half stop or so. I will also sharpen a bit, then perhaps add the vignette. I don’t know why, I just love that. And that’s pretty much it. There are a number of great Photoshop Actions out there too. I haven’t used any yet, but I’ll definitely be purchasing some before the next wedding season begins.

Obviously, there are images that require a bit more, maybe a warming filter, a color adjustment or whatever, and I’ll do that when necessary. But as a wedding photographer, when I’m facing 1500-2000 images to process, I have quickly learned to come up with the most effective and efficient method of enhancing my images. And creating the best possible image IN camera has been the most effective way for me to minimize my time correcting or enhancing images on the computer.

I hope that answers your question, Jen!

October 30, 2007

Ughhh!

Filed under: internet,Personal,Photography,Process/Learning — chantal @ 11:35 pm

So I missed my Tuesday blog entry by just 20 minutes….it’s 12:20am as I am posting this…BUT if I were in a different time zone, it’d still be Tuesday, so technically, I’m still good. It’s Tuesday SOMEWHERE. 🙂

Anyway… I’m late because instead of blogging earlier this evening, I was watching a live Q&A given by David Jay through his Freedom Club. It was so awesome, DJ rocks….not only is he an amazingly talented photographer, but he is so generous with what he knows. He plans to do it again in another couple of weeks, so if you haven’t signed up for the Freedom Club, do so now!

Also, I noticed that today I received a TON of hits to both my website and my blog and I couldn’t figure out why—the blog stats weren’t giving me enough info. So after about 1500K+ unique visits (wow!!) I noticed the majority of them were coming from The Online Photographer. Mike Johnston gave me a friendly little shout-out….always appreciated! The comments are kind of funny though, one guy really liked my new website and my work (thanks Charlie D) but a couple other people seem to have issue with my Flash-based site. Oh well…can’t please everyone right?

I also spent a good part of the evening carving pumpkins for a contest I’m entering…I’ll show those off either Wednesday or Thursday.

Now I’m off to bed.

October 29, 2007

Apples, apples, more apples…and a few pumpkins!

Filed under: Personal,Photography — chantal @ 9:13 pm

Phew! I can just get this post in before Monday is officially over–I just may complete my goal of posting every day for a week after all!

Last weekend I took my kids to Lynd’s Fruit Farm in Pataskala, Ohio to pick apples. They have a huge and beautiful apple orchard, as well as a big pumpkin patch, a Farm Market, corn maze, and lots of fun, family-friendly stuff to do. We had a great time, and picked wayyyy too many apples. Of course I brought my camera, here are a few of my favorite shots from the day:

We saw these horses on the drive out to the orchard, so I had to stop and say hello…

horses.jpg

apples.jpg

Cherie hiding in an apple tree…

cherieinthetree.jpg

Way more apples than we need. If you want the world’s best apple pie, come on over!

toomanyapples.jpg

And of course, Pumpkins! I’ll be turning a few of these bad boys into some cool jack-o-lanterns…I’ll show those off in a few days.

pumpkins.jpg

October 28, 2007

October

Filed under: Music,Personal,Photography — chantal @ 12:52 pm

“O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour October’s bright blue weather.”
-Helen Hunt Jackson

october2707_dsc_0353_edited-2.jpg

October

October and the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear.
What do I care?

October and kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
And on.

I love that song by U2. And I love the month of October. It’s such a shame to me that my absolute favorite time of year is so incredibly short. Fall is 3 months long like any other season, but it’s only good for a few short weeks…the first month is still too hot, the last month, it already feels like winter. Once October ends, Autumn is just about over too. I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed. It seems like just yesterday the kids went back to school, and now we’re already making plans for Christmas.

Thankfully, it’s nice enough outside today to enjoy an outdoor photo shoot in the crisp fall air.

Listen to U2’s October here.


October 27, 2007

I’ve been so bad…

Filed under: Personal,Uncategorized — chantal @ 1:23 pm

…about blogging lately.  For a while I was doing really well with regular updates and posts, but these past few weeks have been so incredibly busy for me.  I’ve failed miserably at finding the time to post.   And I LOVE to blog, I really do.  When I first began blogging just under two years ago I had no idea where it would lead, but it has been an amazing ride.  So many doors have opened to me as a result of my blogging, but most importantly it has given me the confidence I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer.  I feel it’s important to keep this thing going.  And I totally admire those who make the time to blog everyday.  So it’s my goal to post everyday this week, starting tomorrow (well, today actually).  It’s a small goal, but it’s a start.  If I can do a week, then maybe a month, and then who knows!

Enjoy the weekend everyone 🙂

October 23, 2007

Cousins!

Filed under: Photography,Portraits — chantal @ 12:26 pm

Photographing kids is one thing I have TONS of experience doing…I have three ready-and-usually-willing models under my own roof. And as much as I love to photograph my own children, it’s always such a treat to be able to photograph someone else’s.

I recently had the privilege of spending a few hours with four fantastic kids: Sam, Michael, Alex, and Maddi! Their mom’s wanted to surprise Grandma with a portrait of all her grandkids together, so while Alex, Maddi, and their parents were visiting from New York, we got together behind Grandma’s back and had some fun! We started off at Sam and Michael’s house, then moved on to a nearby park. Even though it was unseasonably hot, I think everyone had a great time. Here are a few of my favorites:

blog113.jpg

Michael is clearly outnumbered, but I don’t think he minds too much:
bertolino-24_edited-2.jpg

Here we have Sam and Michael on top (Sam dances at the same dance studio as my daughter Chanel, and she is AMAZING), and Alex and Maddie are on the bottom:
collage_edited-1.jpg

Having a little fun at the park:
bertolino-739_edited-1.jpg

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.