Creative Cloud

When Adobe first announced their subscription plans for Lightroom and Photoshop, I quickly joined the torch holders and stick wavers. How dare they come up with such a thing, right? Who are these fools willing to pay a monthly fee for access to their beloved software? And, of course, I am not talking about you Mr. Hook.

Well, count me in as one of these fools.

So what got me hooked up (no pun intended Matey!). Shockingly to most torch burners: price. Let’s get out our solar-powered Casio calculators for a minute. Adobe charges $9.99 monthly for the Photography subscription. Let’s leave aside the fact that this amounts to a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant from your local Starbucks. In a year, you would be forking out $119.88. Yeah this sounds a bit steep right? Well, let’s dig in. Photoshop CS6 currently has a price tag of $420 big ones. Lightroom 5 is a little easier on your pockets at a nicely priced $80. That is a hefty $500 you have to drop like it’s hot a the time you get them both. Well, I’m thinking I can hold off to that cup and french pastry every month.  But it get’s better. Even for the amateur, if you like photography, you already have these two software or at least they are under your radar. And you want the most up to date, without of course breaking the bank so you (and me before subscribing) only update every two years. During that time, you just check magazines to see what is new with the new releases and patiently wait for the next one after to pull out your wallet. In this scenario, your $500 would equal to $20.83 per month. That is $500 over a period of 24 months.  Hmmm, right? That is more than twice the price of the monthly subscription.

Signing up for Creative Cloud and one enjoys the benefits of always staying up to date and having the latest shenanigans that keeps our souls full of joy. So it is all joy  and happiness, right? Wrong! Here is the fine print kick in the butt… If you decide to cancel your membership, you will lose the software after 30 days. That’s right, even if you have already paid 10, 15 months.  On the other hand, if you opt for purchasing your software, you will keep it yours forever and ever, even if it’s 200 years old.

So, should one go with purchasing or membership? Well, I went for the last one. I know I will want to upgrade after a couple years, so why not pay less and be up to date all the time. Of course, this marriage will last until I decide that I do need that extra cup of coffee and chocolate croissant every month. Until then, I am as happy as muddy mudskipper.

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Rubi Fitnes – B&W

Image

Just a simple single-light setup and a silver reflector.

The picture was shot indoors in my home studio. The only real trick to get the shot just the way I wanted was balancing the ambient light and strobe light to generate a dramatic light effect on the model while keeping the surroundings dark.

The shot was taken during the day with lots of lights coming through the windows and bouncing and getting diffused by the white studio walls. The light balance is achieved by selecting an appropriate f-stop that will get you a complete dark image when a picture of the model is taken in just ambient light. So set the speed at the camera’s flash sync speed, which for the X-E1 is 1/160th, and start taking pictures changing the aperture nay until you get a complete dark image. So, once this is achieved, then one starts playing with the power of the strobe, painting the model with light while keeping the background in the “dark.” This is achieved by using a rectangular soft box with a honeycomb grid to direct the light exactly where you want it. Once the light is set and the pose is placed, then one can make the final few slight adjustments to the aperture and power setting to get the finished shot.

LR and CS used to achieved mono and retouches.

The hardware: X-E1, 35mm XF, Alien Bees 800, Rectangular grid softbox, Silver reflector, and a couple Wireless triggers.

 

Grace

With just a little bit of planning, a levitation effect can easily be done 🙂 Adding a few effects to the picture and you get a very nice result.

The day was a little cloudy which made it challenging to capture the background image and the perfect pose with the same lighting. A little bit of work had to be done to the selected images to balance them correctly for the final composition. This is where RAW format shines.

What went into this shot? My X-E1, my not-so great Manfrotto tripod, my Macbook with CC, and what you see in the picture.

Brunette in the Snow

Brunette in the Snow

Heading out to the woods at 10 Fahrenheit for a photo shoot isn’t always a pleasant stroll. But this time it turned out to be just that. Being prepared and planning your shot ahead meant that we only had to spend a few minutes out before heading back to the car, coffee and heather-on waiting for us. The shot was taken at a park in Plainfield, IL. The camera, the mighty Fujifilm X-E1 fitted with the powerful, sharp 60mm XF prime lens.

Tino Schwanemann

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