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Photographing Men

Photographing Men

I find there is quite a difference photographing men to photographing portraits of women.  The way I shoot and approach my subjects anyway.  Perhaps I’ve changed over the years and become a bit seasoned with age.  Don’t know for sure. 

Posing, editing, lighting, all these I do a little differently.  It has been said that one should first learn the rules extremely well, and only then one can or should be able, if one wants, to break them.

Shoot one style to the point there is no ‘thinking’ involved.  Then test the boundaries. 

It all goes back to what the photo, or you and the model, are communicating.  For example, having the shoulders of the model square on to the camera is normally a pose for a man or boy.  Women often, one might pose with one shoulder back and the other forward.  One pose is more aggressive than the other.  One might be interpreted to invite you in whereas the other might be telling you to piss off. 

One of the aspects of photographing men I’ve come to like is being able to play more with textures and contrasts in the editing.  Generally, it is frowned upon to show a woman’s ‘flaws’.  Again, it’s all about how and what you are trying to communicate.  A bit of what is accepted and what people want to view. 

That said, check out these few photos of Jordan.  He should likely be modelling but that’s up to him. 

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Lightroom Workflow

Lightroom Workflow

Lightroom

This is my workflow for portraits/headshots. I’m sure that I do other stuff than this but here is a general outline:

  1. If needed, lighten exposure to see enough detail
  2. Crop to desired shape.  Use Golden Rectangle.  Use Command-O  to change overlay.  Place a key element at ‘cross lines’.  Or have one of the vertical lines go up through centre of face, for example in a portrait.
  3. Overall: I play with Exposure/Contrast/Clarity/Saturation to get the balance the way I like.  If I up the Clarity and Contrast almost always drop the Saturation. 
  4. I’ll also play with the Highlights/Shadows/Whites/Blacks.  This can open up shadows and tone down the highlights if necessary. 
  5. Eyes: Adjustment Brush (I bought Sean Archer’s Lens Lab add ons  for the Adjustment Brush.  They are really handy.  https://lenslab.com/products/sean-archer-collection)
  6. Iris enhancement: If the eyes are pretty much evenly lit, I do both with same overlay.  If they have different amounts of light, I click ‘new’ for each iris.  Don’t overdo them but bring them up so that they can be seen.  If you are shooting outside and there is no ‘glint’ in the eye from a reflector, this will help with that. 
  7. Dark edge of iris: Click ‘New’ on Adjustment Brush and go to ‘Darken’.  Use your mouse to make circle small.  (You can also use the square brackets for this [ ] to make bigger or smaller.  Sometimes better control of the size this way.) Go around the very edge of the iris, not going onto the white of the eye. 
  8. Whiten eyes: Click ‘New’ on Adjustment Brush and click on ‘Lighten’.  Go over the white parts of the eyes.
  9. Click ‘New’ again and use ‘Lash and Brow Sharpen’ 
  10. Now but often later when I have done some other stuff, I may use ‘Lighten’, ‘Sharpen’ or ‘Clarity’ or a combination of more than on using a larger ‘circle’ over the whole eye/lid/brow area. 
  11. Whiten Teeth with Adjustment Brush.  You can customize.
  12. Lips: Use the LensLab colour of your choice.  Or just use Sharpen or Clarity
  13. Spot removal brush to get rid of blemishes.  This can be done in PS as well but pretty easy to do in LR
  14. Adjustment Brush: Soften skin or Soften Skin (light).  Depends on the skin.  Often ‘light’ is plenty.
  15. Adjustment brush: Lighten - use this to highlight/accent hair.  Don’t over do.
  16. Adjustment brush: Darken - Usually darken the background on portraits. Gradiently darker as it gets to the edges.  Do the whole background then hit ‘new’ leaving it on Darken and do further out in steps toward the edge.  You can also use Post-Crop Vignetting but using Darken Bruch gives you more control.
  17. Detail: For sharpening the image.  Hold the Option button down on your Mac keyboard.  Then slide the ‘Masking’ slider to the right.  This will sharpen just the edges.  Once you have got that over to 60-70 or so, you can slide the ‘Amount’ over to the right.  You may not want to use this on all photos but it’s a good tool to have.
  18. Make any other adjustments to Exposure/Clarity/etc like you did in step #3 and #4.
  19. I will then sometimes use Clarity/Sharpen/Lighten in Adjustment Brush for some piece of clothing or something in the background I may want to bring out a bit. 
  20. Photoshop: Go from LR to PS.  Use Liquify Tool to billow out the hair a bit on some of the ladies photos.
  21. PhotoShop: Get rid of any background items that are distracting.
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Portrait of Gerry

Portrait of Gerry

Black and White Portrait

My Friend Gerry

I asked my friend Gerry a while back if I could do some photos with him.  He has a great look.  Setting it up last week, he said that we’d better hurry up; who knows how long he will be around. 

Gerry is in his mid eighties.  In season he works at the campground.  He has no real need to work from a financial aspect.  He has done well enough in life that he doesn’t have to worry about money.  But he is aware that work is more than that.  It’s good for the soul.

In a day when it is hard to get people to work because the government is constantly throwing money at them to keep them home, Gerry keeps on truckin’.   He likes it here and feels part of the group

It is too bad that more young people these days don’t understand that part of the joy of working is the joy of working.  Exchange for that is not always money. 

I got him to take a 10 minute break from work and with my Smithbilt cowboy hat and his truck as props we took 15-20 photos.  Below you will see four of the best from that shoot. 

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Some ‘Dark’ Photos with Owen

Some ‘Dark’ Photos with Owen

The world, if not exactly getting back to normal, is at least to the point where one can function more naturally.  With that I’m taking portraits again. 

My happy place.

Perfect lighting here most evenings and lots of space.  Last couple of photo shoots, I’ve been using an old Nikon 50mm 1.8 ‘E’ series lens.  This lens is likely about 50 years old.  I’ve had it for years and often when shooting I default to zoom lenses, even for portraits.  Zoom lenses are so easy.  Definitely great for candid shots but one does lose some quality/sharpness. 

So… I’m forcing myself to use a prime lens for these portraits.  This old ‘E’ series lens, in my Nikon D7500 acts as about a 75MM.  In a couple of days I will be able to compare these photos to some taken with a Nikon Z6 with the new ’S’ series 50MM.

I’m taking about fifteen minutes with each of these recent photo shoots.  I do about 30 photos.  Similar to film when one was limited to 24 or 36 exposures per roll.  Pretty sure newer photographers have no appreciation how inexpensive photography is in this current day and age. 

Hopefully, I will be shooting enough to post some new photos once or twice a week.  Subscribe to the newsletter or check back often.  If you subscribe to my ‘portrait’ Instagram account, you will get notification when there is new material.  IG: @portraits.by.martin

Call me now to set up your portrait session! (Contact)

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“Succulents” Photo Print

“Succulents” Photo Print

Photo print for sale: Print Only

"Succulents"  

On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag

  • Printed using the giclee (inkjet) method for a gorgeous continuous tone look
  • Vibrant colours with original HP Vivera Inks
  • 308 GSM cotton fine-art photo rag manufactured in Germany
  • Excellent print longevity, rated for 200 plus years fade resistance
  • Shipped in a protective tube (Print)

Pricing for 16"x20":
Print Only: $95.00 (plus Shipping)

"Succulents"
16"x20" (Print Only) on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Fine Art paper
Available Qty: 50
Price: $95.00

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The Dock

The Dock

Photo print for sale: Print Only

"The Dock"  

Three photos, each priced separately.

On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag

  • Printed using the giclee (inkjet) method for a gorgeous continuous tone look
  • Vibrant colours with original HP Vivera Inks
  • 308 GSM cotton fine-art photo rag manufactured in Germany
  • Excellent print longevity, rated for 200 plus years fade resistance
  • Shipped in a protective tube (Print)

Pricing for 11"x17":
Print Only: $65.00 (plus Shipping)

Buy Now:

The Dock 01
The Dock 01
Print Only: 11"x17" On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag
Price: $65.00

The Dock 02
The Dock 02
Print Only: 11"x17" On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag
Price: $65.00

The Dock 03
The Dock 03
Print Only: 11"x17" On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag
Price: $65.00

More Sizes

Please contact me for more sizes.  Larger or smaller.  

martin @ photo - photo.com (you have to take the spaces out for it to email properly...)

Muskoka Mornings

Early mornings in cottage country in Ontario are varied and beautiful.  From dark and stormy to serene.  I’m not a morning person, usually,  but have managed to drag myself out, on occasion, to the shore resulting in some wonderful photos.  It really is a magical time of day.  Actually, it is a magical place.  And we are in a somewhat out of the way spot, so it can be pretty peaceful in even the busiest parts of the summer. 

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Pleasant Beach Canvas Print

Pleasant Beach Canvas Print

Winter Beach Canvas Print

Lake Erie late Winter

A couple of different shapes and sizes.

On Canvas

  • Thick poly-cotton canvas that won’t sag
  • Kiln-dried Canadian Basswood frames that won’t warp
  • Green certified HP inks that won’t fade for 200 years

Pricing

For Canadian Orders Only

20"x40" or 30"x60" Canvas Print

Pleasant Beach in Winter
Pleasant Beach in Winter
Black and White on Canvas: 30"x60"= $600/20"x40"=$400.00 Thick poly-cotton canvas that won’t sag Kiln-dried Canadian Basswood frames that won’t warp Green certified HP inks that won’t fade for 200 years
Price: $400.00
Size :

 

Or 24×35 and 12×18

Pleasant Beach in Winter
Pleasant Beach in Winter
Black and White on Canvas: 24"x36"= $140/24"x36""=$330.00 Thick poly-cotton canvas that won’t sag Kiln-dried Canadian Basswood frames that won’t warp Green certified HP inks that won’t fade for 200 years
Price: $140.00
Size :

Pleasant Beach

Pleasant Beach is a small beach, as they are all, on the east end of Lake Erie on the Canadian side of the lake. North.  A few miles/kilometres west of Fort Erie.  An excellent little pizza restaurant near where you park or if you get a pizza or some ice cream the owner will likely let you park in one of his spots. As long as it’s not too, too busy.  If you go during the summer, go early in the week.  Not real busy but very limited parking.  The ‘public’ section is very small but most will walk to the right which is owned by a private campground.  Off season, particularly, no one is going to say much.

The beaches on Lake Erie are great winter or summer.  Can be dark and moody in the winter and this and many others have beautiful, fine sand.  Sand dunes aplenty.  Great ‘kodak’ moments all year ‘round.

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“Bella”

“Bella”

Photo print for sale: Print or Framed

"Bella"

On Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag

  • Printed using the giclee (inkjet) method for a gorgeous continuous tone look
  • Vibrant colours with original HP Vivera Inks
  • 308 GSM cotton fine-art photo rag manufactured in Germany
  • Excellent print longevity, rated for 200 plus years fade resistance
  • Shipped in a protective tube (Print)
  • Shipped protective packaging (Framed)

Pricing for 12"x12 or 16"x16":
Print Only: $75/$95 (plus Shipping)

Framed and Matted Print: $210/$280 (Plus Shipping)

For Canadian Orders Only

16"x16" Print: 

"Bella" (16"x16")
Print Only 12"x12"= $75 or 16"x16"= $95 Printed on Fine Art Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Paper
Price: 75.00-95.00
Size :
"Bella" (Framed)
12"x12":$210.00 | 16"x216"= $280.00 Matte and Frame approximately 20"x20" or 24"x24" respectively. Use Dropdown menu below:
Price: 210.00 - 280.00
Size :
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Posts in Lake

Posts in Lake

Photo print for sale: Print Only

Old Posts in Lake

Black and White

20"x40" on Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag

  • Printed using the giclee (inkjet) method for a gorgeous continuous tone look
  • 308 GSM cotton fine-art photo rag manufactured in Germany
  • Excellent print longevity, rated for 200 plus years fade resistance
  • Shipped in a protective tube

Price: $190.00 Plus shipping

For Canadian Orders Only

Posts In Lake
Posts In Lake
Black and white photo of Lake Ontario in the Autumn
Price: $190.00

Lake Ontario

"Posts in the Lake"

The Great Lakes can be both moody and beautiful, often at the same time.  This shot was take near Ajax, Ontario where I grew up, back when God was a boy.

There is a stretch here along the northern coast of Lake Ontario that constantly beckons me with my camera.  I’ve been out here at -20˚C in nasty storms and captured some incredible shots.  Trudging back to the car, in what seemed like miles, with frozen fingers.  But entirely satisfied that “I got the shot!”

This photo was taken in somewhat milder weather. 

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Red and Pink Rose

Red and Pink Rose

Photo print for sale: Print Only

Red and Pink Rose

12"x24" on Fine Art paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Rag

  • Printed using the giclee (inkjet) method for a gorgeous continuous tone look
  • Vibrant colours with original HP Vivera Inks
  • 308 GSM cotton fine-art photo rag manufactured in Germany
  • Excellent print longevity, rated for 200 plus years fade resistance
  • Shipped in a protective tube

Price: $105 (plus shipping)

For Canadian Orders Only

Roses Red Pink 001
12"x24" on Fine Art Paper
Price: $105.00

Dead Flowers

A friend commented that beauty exhibits both on the ascension and the descension.  I thought this wildly appropriate for the photos I’ve been taking lately of dried roses.  I managed to give a couple of sets, one pink and one red, of Mother’s Day roses, a second ‘life’ in my mini home studio. 

Here is one red and one pink rose.  Each dries differently.  As they were drying, I tried to open up and few by gently prying the petals apart so the results were varied.  I’ll be drying more dead flowers, and varied, in the future.

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