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The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

If I were given absolute financial freedom, travelling around the world and taking portraits of beautiful people from all different countries would certainly be right up there on my to-do list.

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc has done just that and set herself the quest of photographing beautiful people of all different ethnicities. Her project – The Atlas of Beauty – might be simple in aim, but it is captivating.

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Mario Testino’s Shoot of Kendall Jenner

Photoshoots of Kendall Jenner who has started the ‘Social Media Modelling’ movement as Harper’s Bazaar have labelled it is doing shoots left, right and centre at present. Despite her rise to prominence as a fashion model being noteworthy, the video above is interesting for a different reason.

Photographer Mario Testino has a — frankly put — monstrous portfolio. It has A-listers, Vogue covers galore and a wealth of beautiful and unique images. He appears to be at the forefront of shooting the new era of models active on Instagram and his BTS video of his shoot with Kendall Jenner is just the most recent leaf in that book.

What is particularly interesting about this photoshoot is that despite having a dream location, an army of wardrobe, hairstylists and makeup artists, the photography side is refreshingly simple. There appear to be few artificial lights and instead the brightly (and naturally) lit house works as the key light source. As one would expect with a photographer of Mario’s calibre, the resulting images are stunning.

Mario Testino’s Portfolio

How to: Cinematic Colour Grading in Photoshop

My fetish in portraiture would have to be cinematic images. If a portrait looks as if it could be a still from a film with good cinematography the chances are I will be a fan. Recently two photographers I know were discussing one of their images. The car photographer of the two of them had applied colour grading to the image and the landscape photographer wasn’t familiar with what that meant.

Colour grading is a technique that has been used in still and moving imagery almost since its conception. It is most famously associated with films in the modern day. A very popular TV show that uses colour grading and colour casts in the extreme is Breaking Bad. Any fan of the show could be presented with a still of the series with no characters or obvious locations in it and will probably have and inkling that it’s Breaking Bad – perhaps without knowing why. Another way of describing colour grading would be the look of a show.

This tutorial is one of my favourites for explaining exactly what is happening and how to achieve it. I have plugged these guys every few months for nearly 2 years but if you aren’t familiar with them, please check out Phlearn for a plethora of tutorials.

A Photoshoot in the Austrian Alps

I thought shooting in a marsh early in the morning on a very cold and damp winter’s morning was testing. I have been unambiguously corrected on the belief by photographer David Trood who recently embarked on a photoshoot in the Austrian Alps for Getty Images.

Outdoor photography can produce very strong and interesting images but the risk versus reward factor is what would put a lot of photographers off this more extreme example. The element of the shoot that would make most photographers’ toes curl is not the risk; it’s not even the adverse weather conditions. It’s — as is often the case — keeping your gear safe. Even if you’re careful enough not to have lenses and lights tumble off in to the distance in a desperate bid for freedom down the nearest steep drop, there’s the worry of keeping it all dry and not-frozen. I’d be happy to risk my life hanging off the edge of a mountain to get the shot I am after, but perching my equipment on the same edge is a risk too far!

You can see all of the images from this set on David’s portfolio by clicking here.

American Horror Story – the Cover by Matthias Clamer

matthias clamer

When I saw this poster advertising American Horror Story I thought it would be almost entirely photo manipulation; I imagined that almost every element of the image was a composite from a different frame. However, Matthias Clamer has released a brief BTS video which shows it isn’t. Obviously there is a lot of Photoshop work done to the background and final image, but the technique for capturing the dress/tent is very interesting and I can imagine some incredible fashion images could be created with the same method.

How to Achieve Multiple Exposure Portraits

Multiple exposures is one of many techniques that has carried over from the days of film and dark rooms where one frame is superimposed on to another frame. The difficulty of this technique is not so much how to do it, but how to do it effectively. Finding two scenes that complement each other in both style, lighting, interest and composition is exceptionally difficult but ultimately rewarding if successful.

The above video is a guide on how to achieve multiple exposures both in camera and in Photoshop and is very helpful for anyone looking to try something new with their portraiture.

Lara Jade – Cheap Camera Challenge

DigitalRev’s Cheap Camera Challenge is a series I watch religiously. It seems to have got more and more extreme in its camera choices (I urge you to seek out Phillip Bloom’s episode). This particular episode saw Lara Jade – American based, England born fashion photographer – using an utterly ridiculous camera designed for children.

Before the big reveal at the end I was already impressed with how well Lara Jade had done in terms of directing and managing the models and locations in such a short time constraint and with no real equipment. In fact, when the first image she had processed flashed up, I found myself thinking ‘well, you can’t expect much more than that really…’ However, then she goes on to produce several images which despite their glaring lack of image quality, are fantastic. One example of which can be seen below:

lara jade cheap camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that had that been taken on a DSLR, it wouldn’t be out of place in a magazine. This episode will certainly reside in many people’s anti-gear envy arsenal.

DigitalRev

Lara Jade

McCullin: A Documentary on One of the Greatest War Photographers

Behind the Scenes of Mark Seliger’s Shoot with Lenny Kravitz

There are always myriad models I’d love to have a shoot with, but I find the subjects I most want to photograph are not models, or at least that’s not what they’re famous for. They’re talented and interesting people who excel at a profession. For me, Lenny Kravitz is right up there on that imaginary list.

When it comes to celebrity portraiture, the images that jump straight in to most people’s minds when given a name are usually the works of either Martin Schoeller or Mark Seliger. In the case of Lenny Kravitz, it’s the latter’s image that I think of since seeing it.

The video shows that for the shoot, Lenny and Mark go through a lot of different locations, lighting, outfits, poses and ideas, but it is such a simple concept that grabbed the spotlight. I am more inclined to elaborate photo shoots as opposed to studio work, but this image is undeniably iconic.

Mark Seliger’s Portfolio

Video by Profoto

Creating Realistic Lens Flare in Photoshop

For a long time I was completely against fake lens flares. The reason for this is that fake lens flares always looked fake. Then I saw behind the curtain on a few photographs that I thought had genuine lens flares that had actually been carefully added in post production and I changed my mind.

Photoshop has a wide array of lens flares and there are an abundance of action sets and plugins that can offer further variety. Despite this, no matter how many options you have, unless you take in to consideration how light behaves, it will very rarely look genuine and will often detract from your image.

Phlearn have created the above tutorial which creates believable and creative lens flares in Photoshop using only its default lens flare renders. This is achieved – above all – by approaching the image with careful regard for how the light sources would interact with the lens if it were to have created a flare in camera.

Joe McNally’s 30 Year Retrospective Exhibition

I’ve lost count of how many times I have featured Joe McNally or his work; he’s certainly a major name in photography and has been some time. As a photojournalist for the last thirty years he has produced a gargantuan body of work and some incredible portraiture.

There is currently an exhibition at the Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico and it is displaying some of his greatest images over the last three decades. Unfortunately it is a little far for me to go, but if you’re close it looks well worth your time.

http://www.monroegallery.com/

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Through a Glass Darkly: A photo series by Nick Turpin

There’s something about staring out of windows on a rainy night, particularly in cities; it almost forces one to become reflective. Whatever the reason for this is, the consequent moments are private and often quite solemn and quiet. As a result, some might say that Nick Turpin’s photo series is invasive, but I do not agree. That is, I do not agree that it is more invasive than the brand of street photographer that we’re all more familiar with.

Through a Glass Darkly is a very simple project yet intriguing. I don’t even believe it is a voyeuristic intrigue, but rather a kind of dark and moody glimpse in to a commonality between many commuters. The windows foggy with condensation, the reflections of lights in London and the surrounding darkness frame Delphian images.

Nick’s Website

Nick’s Flickr

Nick’s Twitter