May 30, 2024

Pro Photography Podcast
Pro Photography Podcast
Clone of Pro Photography Podcast #210 | Your Photos should have FEELING

Photography Podcast Host: Gavin Seim.

In today’s podcast we have to face more Ai reality and my counter to it is quickly becoming pictorialism and learning from it for a digital Ai era.

Leave a comment below, or talk about this week’s episode here on the Shadow Hunter Facebook group. Also, don’t miss the next Shadow Hackers Online Workshop for Free.

What Pictorialism is teaching me about feeling photos!

See my pictorialist actions and the video.

More detail is not better but shadow and emotion always win. That is not to say our photo should be blurry ar least for now reason.

We looked at some pictorialism style and did some edits in last week’s workshop I did on creating pictorial photography.

Watch the Pictorialism workshop I just hosted.

See my latest video. How much do you charge per photo?

I also mentioned Filmist and Elegance 4 Speed Masks.

Skit fo what Facebook is like in 2024

Model dies after being sucked into train.

Instagram marking real photo as Ai

ASMP Calls out Adobe

Pro Photography Podcast Picks of the Week

Buy a vintage 50mm 1.4 lens and an adapter

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May 21, 2024

When you change how you see photos you stop taking snapshots and start creating art. That’s what you’ll learn in today’s class. You can get Pictorialist actions here.

Watch more hands-on videos using this process on the Pictorialist page here.

If you’ve ever been to my Shadow Hackers class you know you realize the way we see changes everything. I’ve learned pictorialism is an extension of that because it connects shadow and light to atmosphere and that conveys emotion.

When I use and create Pictorialist actions I’m making building blocks that stack, creating effects and mixes that would never happen if I was editing manually every time, and those affect every photo in a new way. So even if you don’t use mine, make your own actions that record your most indicated processes.

You need to really feel it. Not just slap stuff on needless, unsure what you are making. If you think a photo is missing something but you know it’s special, work on it more. That’s what a pictorialist creates feeling, emotion, and drama from the shadows.

If you do use my Pictalistic Actions. Don’t worry about all of us getting the same look. It’s like saying if we all use legos we all make the same thing. Well-made tools are not like Ai fakery. they ley us breathe creativity and try things in every photo and each time we do we get more creative ideas in an endless loop.

Gavin Seim

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September 16, 2022

I’ve been thinking for a while about how to make today’s video. People keep asking me for an overview of my tools but I’ve wanted a way to make that video useful, even for those who don’t have any of my tools or who just use my free tools.

What is Native editing?

This is when you use the tools already in your app like Lightroom instead of plugins. It can mean presets, actions, or all manual. And usually, it’s better because it uses all the engineering built into your favorite app.

Today I’ll show you why native editing in Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, and the rest is usually better than a plug-in and how to decide what kind of edit to do.

But I’m also going to show when you need to go beyond LIghtroom and a RAW edit and go to Photoshop.

There’s a lot of confusion on this and I get questions all the time about what native tool to use, why Silver 4 presets or when to Use Blackroom, Filmist, Lumist etc.

So Why do you need Photoshop?

I’m covering this more in the video. But where LIghtroom and apps like it are RAW converters. They are fast, you can copy and paste settings. You can batch edit. That’s great

You really can’t do that in Photoshop. Actions speed things up rapidly, but you can’t just apply settings from one photo to another or import a batch and edit on import. The difference is that in Photoshop you can do high-level refinement on your best photos. The keep is knowing how to use your RAW converter and your pixel level; editor like I show in the video.

There are a lot of ways to achieve your goal in photography.

I think the best way to get there is to know your options and most importantly to start making your editing plan. You need a system in place that guides you thru your own process each time.

I hope you found today’s video useful because I want this editing approach to make sense. If you have feedback just leave me a comment and I’ll see you next time.

Gavin Seim

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September 10, 2022

Platinum, Cyanotype, Colldoain, and Seleneum are all inside the Emulsion 4 darkroom actions pack.

Emulsion 4 has been out for a week making dakroom actions easier than ever. Now I made a complete series on how it works and how to create amazing effects with them. And I finished the Emulsion 4.1 update which brought even more refinements including my new favorite Platinum mix based on very finely made soft platinum prints from the darkroom.

If you don’t want to read this… Go watch the complete playlist on my channel.

A lot of people avoid actions because they don’t want to use Photoshop even though they have it. There missing out because there is no easier way to use Photoshop. The experienced user is more creative and saves countless hours while the new user gets advanced effects simply and learns more along the way.

Emulsion takes completed layer mixes in Photoshop and makes them easy regardless of Photoshop experience level. But I’ve been listening. People have been saying, Gavin, we want more detailed videos So for Emulsion 4, I just finished a complete training series and uploaded it as a playlist on YouTube.

This is basic training, but you can watch the complete playlist here.

There are videos on installing Emulsion 4 all the way to advanced user guides that show you how I like to each use of the chemical emulsion in the action pack.

There is a separate video for how to create Cyanotype, how to manage all the PLatainum Palldidum effects, how to use Selenium toning for digital, and how the Wet Colldoain effects can be mixed in many ways.

The main thing to remember as you use EMulsion or any of my other actions like Blackroom, Lumist, Naked Darkroom etc. Is that I develop these to make complex tasks easy, not take away control like so often happening in plugins.

After every action, you have all the layers and all the control. If you are not very experienced in Photoshop it’s fine, just use the look as you see it and gradually start playing with layers. If you are experienced, the sky is the limit and you can tinker more. Either way, you’ll save a ton of time because Emulsion 4 is doing the hard work for us.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of Emulsion and this training format. Or tell me what videos I need to make to add to this playlist. Either way I’m here tp help you with Emulsion 4 so you can creat amazing chemical tones photographs.

Gavin Seim

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September 2, 2022

Selenium toning was an important part of the darkroom that nearly every photographer had used. It also translates well to digital and that’s what I’ll show you today. It’s great because it’s easy to make understated. So I created it as part of Emulsion 4, next to Platinum, Wet, and Cyanotype.

Even if you don’t use my Emulsion actions you can recreate this yourself using tone layers. First let’s talk about you should discover this magical chemical. I’ll add a bonus Emulsion 4 video at the bottom of this post to show more about how I’m doing these advanced tones that shift with tone value as they did in the darkroom.

The magical Selenium chemical on digital…

For topdays examples I used Emulsion 4 actions. You can get Emulsion 4 actions here. This look also works well with the borders and textures of Naked Darkroom.

Selenium was one of the most popular chemical baths for a darkroom. But it’s little known to the digital world.

Unlike early-era processes, such as Collodion Wet Plate or Platinum. Darkroom Selenium toning is a little more subtle. Of course, you can push it harder. But in a low state, it tends to make black-and-white photos seem more black-and-white with a natural coolness that feels less like an effect and like like a perfect print.

When to use Selenium on digital

In Selenium Toning you bathe a black and white print in a Selenium bath after the main print is made to balance color casts and make it richer. A chemical print often has a slight cast depending on how it’s processed. That’s often balanced out with Selenium.

Yes, we can use true neutral monochrome prints on digital prints. But adding light selenium can actually make your digital prints feel more like a darkroom print because it’s such a classic look from the darkroom.

Selenium works great in artsy kind of projects as well as in classic clean black and white prints. This is a mild application with a slight warm shift selected from the options in the Emulsion 4 easy layer stack.

Make your own selenium look.

My Emulsion actions make an easy-to-mix layer stack that makes it easy, But you can make your own too. Study what color tones you want to use like I did in my actions and use a tone-limited layer or a gradient map so you are getting a gradual application of color tints that changes acres your tonal range like it did in the darkroom.

Bear in mind that the color grading tools of a raw processor like Lightroom can get this general look. I included a Selenium tone for example in my Silver 5 presets. But what I’m showing you here with layers in Photoshop gives a more refined and rich result.

I’ll show you various examples here of harder and softer applications of selenium toning on digital files. Don’t be afraid to add your tones AFTER you add the border, as I did above in the bird’s photo. Since we print on pure white paper most of the time, this can add a more authentic, classic feel to the final image as in the darkroom bath the entire paper is involved.

Here I pushed harder in the master tint, with the Gold Bath option is added to simulate adding real gold to the process in the darkroom.

These photos can be silent or bold depending on you!

What’s cool is that the tone from it can be so light that it may not even be seen as a color effect, like in the photo below. You know it’s there only because it’s side by side. Selenium can be used as a color effect, or as a simple final process like this that still feels like a monochrome process.

Cooler, warmer, neutral. It’s all there with Selenium.

The top image seems slightly toned, but it is monochrome. The bottom is a light application of Selenium tone from Emulsion 4 emulating around a 1:20 bath ratio. The slight natural blue almost makes it feel more like a true B&W.
Surgery room, Mexico. The warmer selenium 1:5 option provides a more noticeable tint without being overpowering. You can see here I added the tint after the border was applied from Naked Darkroom

It can make your black and white feel more real.

Some darkroom photographers use Selenium on every print as aside from its toning benefits it gives longevity to the print when used in the darkroom. It’s common in the darkroom, so when you see a Selenium black and white print, it might feel more like a real black and white because for many years it’s been a staple in the finishing process.

At a glance, the bath in Emulsion 4 may just seem like a light blue tone. In reality, it goes much deeper. That’s why I thought it deserved its own post here. I wanted to show why the Selenium bath is so useful to improve your black-and-white photography.

The same photo from the Surgery but with a classic process that does not warm. It’s just there and you don’t really think about why.

How I do Selenium tone edits with Emulsion like I show in the video.

The ability to print a true monochrome from a digital file is great. It can also be a little sterile. So when I had users of my products asking about Selenium Toning in Emulsion, I did my research to get it right for Version 4. It’s a process that changes based on the type of bath, and the ratio, and that has options often used in the darkroom like mixing the Selenium with other chemicals to get different hues and looks.

Selenium affects the shadows first and less in the highlights but these things can vary depending on how you process the print. So in Emulsion 4, I tried to stay true to that. The ability to quickly alter settings of the Selenium digital effect allows us to replicate that look and adjust it as low or high as we need using the master tinting tool in Emulsion 4 actions.

Here I used the 1:5% ratio mod. You see this brings tones more into highlights as it represents a stronger bath. I added a natural border from the Naked Darkroom texture to finish the presentation.
A light clean bath in this portrait with the main tone layer at about 40% and the paper softness option turned up a little giving a natural Selenium tone that still feels black and white. Many love Selenium for this reason.

Selenium toning can also be a tinting effect in its own right.

Selenium is also popular in adding contrast. In EMuslion 4 actions you can even add a tone thinner which adds contrast and pushed highlights more as we get in a darkroom.

The layers in the main Selenium effect of Emulsion 4

Using the tone tool can quickly adjust the layers to like in other effects make the Selenium process lighter or heavier, emulating darkroom mixes and times. Paper softness lets me emulate a more matte vs contrasty process to infer an older paper.

I can also run the texture action to get paper-type looks. Of course, I can disable these for a more neutral print and retain a pure tone if I want to use a specific digital pepper for a certain look.

At times Selenium effects can be almost imperceptible, only used for the smallest tone or to add contrast while maintaining a pure black-and-white feel. Like in the darkroom, you can push in up or down using the options and mods in Emilsuon 3 and quickly get anything from a tiny adjustment to a bold Selenium that’s bluer or even mixed with other hues that replicate for example a stronger ratio or even gold mixed with the print during the process.

Don’t skip the toning that most people don’t even know is there.

Another light process of the base tone. It just looks black and white but the natural cool tone brings out the contrast.

As always the goal of Emulsion 4 actions is not to forget about the rich darkroom processes but to learn from them in how we create digital prints and images and honor the legacy that we have from the darkroom.

I hope you enjoy the new Selenium process and please let me know if you think it’s lacking in any way. Like all the looks in Emulsion from Platinum to Wet plate, I am always improving the tool. There’s a good article on Darkroom selenium tone prints and some of their variations here.

However you apply selenium whether it’s the slightest touch or a heavier warm tone, I think you’ll find this addiction to be not only authentic but very versatile for our black-and-white photography.

Keep making stuff and here’s another video of how I use Emulsion 4 to get various platinum and darkroom chemical looks. You can get my Emulsion pack here for Photoshop.

Gavin Seim

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