June 14, 2024

Today’s tips go beyond simple light and shadow. This is how to think like a photographer. There’s a new update to my Pictorialist 1.1 Actions and I promised a video. But, I decided to showcase the process of this week’s session with my model Mayumi, and go deeper.

You can Get Pictalost here while it’s on Launch Sale and also check out Filmist and Elegance for those RAW edits. You can also Log-In here for your updates.

And if you’ve ever been to one of my Shadow Hacker live workshops you know that shadows make the photo. Low light photography does not mean low quality and in today’s portrait session, we’ll test that.

In last week’s video, we talked about magic glowing hour light. There’s nothing like it. But today we see that you don’t have to stop just because that is gone! If you are thinking about feeling, emotion, and connected with your project. Darkness can be magical too.

This takes practice. But the more you detach from overthinking and start creating while at the same time learning what works and what does not, everything will change.

Today I was using pictorialist actions for the deep edits and it works amazing to quickly bring the drama to the photo you shot in dramatic light. Honestly, it’s amazing for low light photography or dramatic day scenes.

But don’t get so stuck on any tool or plugin that’s doing all the world. Notice how even the dark photos in this session had lots of moodiness in the camera. Feel everything about the scene you are creating, slow down and take fewer photos and you’ll get more.

This is a term you may have heard in self-improvement and tips to stop stressing about life. But it also works in your photos.

But it also works in photos. It does not mean not paying attention or not trying to de a great job. But when you stop stressing over every detail and look for the feeling in your photos it is transformative.

We’re in the high-res, super-sharp ultra Ai era. It’s sterile and people are bored because we’ve started leaving behind creativity and emotion. Ultra-low light photography is a great way to understand these concepts better.

But having a good plan, practicing often and just letting loose a bit. You will find photos you never dreamed you could have taken.

Try everything in today’s video and see what I mean.\

Gavin Seim

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June 12, 2024

Adobe Cloud was a trap from day one, even if it is a great deal compared to the alternatives. But there are issues with having one big dog and this week they got worse. Today we talk about how that affects us as photographers.

You decide. If you use my presets and decide to switch, all current packs include LR6 and Capture One files. Have Street’ist or Power Workflow for example. Just go access your downloads here and get the latest files.

Preset packs like Filmist and Natural HDR also include LUTS and those can be used in many apps like Affinity, DaVinci Resolve etc. In fact I edit nearly all my videos with FIlmist LUTS.

Also, all my Action packs, even the new Pictorialist work in CC and CS6 as well. So if you want to go subscription you can still get the iconic looks you’ve been getting for years.

Lots of people are dancing Adobe. But it’s not like the other options are all roses. Phase One scrwed over long-term perpetual license holders last year and Capture One cost more than LR and PS combined. Luminar is woefully lacking in processing quality and Affinity is not the best workflow system.

You don’t have to switch or cancel just because people are mad. Negativity is now always a good response. But it’s good Adobe is feeling the heat. This makes more room for competition and improvement and they should no that their actions are not OK!

As I talk about in the video this goes way beyond Adobe. There’s a trend of large companies who have us locked in switching up the rules and taking us to the cleaners. Netflix, Amazon, Adobe, the list is long.

My theory on this is depending on where you are, one service or another may be worth canceling. When companies abuse customers like Adobe is trying to do, then gaslight them, acting like nothing is wrong and they are crazy for being upset it’s right for people to respond.

But it’s not worth stressing about either. Don’t throw your summer wedding season into chaos just because everyone says we need to cancel. You decide!

I go more into the video. Adobe is indeed the most complete suite of tools for creatives.

But as I mentioned above, I work hard to make sure you have options and we are not totally locked in and I’m sure other developers are doing the same.

An established workshop is hard to charge. While Adobe is king, I am always trying to make sure we are not stuck. So for example I could switch to C1 as my main editor and all my tools still work. Even my Elegance Speed masks now work in Capture One.

I long ago switched to Resolve for video editing. There are Capture One, DXO, and others that may be possibilities for you. And for many older versions of Adobe tools works just fine.

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June 8, 2024

The glow is something that happens when you nail a photo. Your lights are set just right and everything is magical. It’s what you look for in every photo and I had in in this week’s session.

In post, I mostly used Filmist 2, Elegance 4 to balance glowing skies and Pictorialist actions to add dramatic finishes.

Yes, the tools I’m editing with help bring out that softness and you can even create a glow-like look as we often do in pictorialist-style edits. I’ve been showing a lot of these lately. But The Glow is not limited to Pictorialism.

But as I mentioned in the video. Your edit is only a measure better than your starting photo. Listen to the tips especially at the end of the video because you will train yourself to see the Glow just like you train yourself to see shadow as we talk about in my Shadow Hackers live workshop.

The Glow is not just for portraits. It’s about how light meets shadow in perfect form. Here we see a great example of the glow in this sunrise landscape in Tamasopo Mexico.

People often think they need to light the face or landscape subject and the brightest part of a photo. In truth you just need to draw attention two and having your subject in shadow can be powerful.

With the glow use Shadow hacking and don’t get stuck in the rut of always lighting the same. The glow comes in various ways and all can have that magical shimmer. Front, back, and rim light enhanced of created by strobes.

Now that you know how to look for the glow. The main thing is don’t wait. If it’s the streets, a landscape, a portrait. Whatever you are shooting when you see it take the shot. The glow is a fleeting atmospheric moment in your photos. It creates a feeling and gives you amazing results nearly every time.

Location will matter. Even moving a few inches to the left to make the lens flare just right. The time window is usually short unless you are using strobes to create a glow with your lights. Youb can also mix the two, but you have to be prepared.

Go put what I showed in this week’s video to work. See shadow, see light, and combine the two for THE GLOW! It will take you to the next level with Ai fakery.

Gavin Seim

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May 26, 2024

Yes, it’s a basic question. How to charge for photos? How many should I give, how many outfits, hours, etc. New photographers and sometimes veterans love to colocate their lives because they don’t understand customer service.

I edited all my broll here with Filmist LUTS, it’s not just for Lightroom and C1. Also make sure you start listeb to Pro Photography podcast for more topics like this.

That’s what you need to understand in this crazy competitive world. The truth is that unless you are experienced, confident and know how to serve. They don’t need you. They might as well use their phone.

I don’t mean this to make you feel bad. Only to be real. We have to have high standards. People don’t need McDonald’s style photographers anymore. And if you don’t make them feel good, they won’t come back.

So in general charging for an image screams amateur. Now selling stock photos, fine art prints, etc is a bit different. But if your client feels like you are holding back, you lose credibility instantly.

Here’s that book I mentioned. You can read it in data but all these years later it’s still a great reminder when you run a photo business, make workshops, or are in charge of a cafe in Mexico.

To be great in a craft business. You have to understand how to be a servant. How to make people feel good. How to give them experience and quality. How many photos in a session and how many you give the client can vary. Your skill and confidence should be a constant, however.

So the topic today is whether you should charge per photo and how to charge for photos. The real answer is that you you charge in a way that is the simple simple and makes the client feel loved regardless of whether you price high or low compared to the market.

That says. The lower your price, the lower the quality of clients you get.

Let me know what you think… Gavin Seim

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May 16, 2024

Most viral photos you see now are Ai AI-generated FAKES. And the more you comment and say it’s fake, the more the algorithm rewards them. There’s no point in pretending. So how does Cinematic Technique help us win?

Get more cinematic faster with my Pictorialist action kit or tools like Alchemist.

Studying pictorialism helped me see that all this fake Ai photography has no emotion. We win when we stop thinking sterile and boring. If we to discover cinematic techniques with true feeling.

Cinematic photography. Feeling and emotions. Think about when you watch a great movie or see a show. You don’t want perfect sterile blandness. You want to feel emotion and life!

The feeds are full of Ai fakery because compared to plain boring photos they seem incredible and people don’t know. How do we complete impossible scenes that blow people’s minds? But creating more emotional photos in camera and in post.

I would love to say. hey use my Pictrialist actions, my Filmist presets, Emulsion etc and you will always have amazing cinematic photography.

But I don’t make these tools to fake it. As I showed you in the video by re-wiring your editing process you will discover the emotion you already felt taking a photo. And you should feel something.

This starts in the camera. You can go back and edit with pictorialism and cinematic photography in mind and vastly improve past photos. But when you start planning for it in Camera, everything goes to 110%

A dramatic photo means in the camera and in the edit. Cinematic Technique give you that.

Even if you have a strong style, it will get stronger as you edit for cinematic photography and emotion. You still need to experiment and feel what’s inside each photo.

I’m a photographer who makes large prints. So details matter. But it’s not always about the max megapixels or sharpest lens. Pictalism has taught me that emotion is first. yes, I maintain detail, but the blur is not always what it seems, and mixing detail with less detail creates atmosphere, emotion, and focus.

Pictorialism gives you a Cinematic Technique and is the essence of conveying real feelings in your photos. Because of that, it’s the opposite of what fake Ai based images create. You may not approach every photo as a pictorial. But once you know how, you see everything in a new way.

Gavin Seim

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