Notice something different? Yep, I’ve updated the blog with a new theme that fits my upcoming website design. Look forward to a matching website, as well as (hopefully) consistent updates to DeviantArt and Cafepress. Also, a facebook page will be in the works for special promotions and sneak peaks at upcoming illustrations and deals.
Coming soon! 😀
This semester I’m enrolled in both Business Management for Photography and Digital Portfolio, which is essentially a web design class. The important part is that I’m in the process of forming a business plan (both for illustration and for portrait), and I’m developing a website that will eventually be the hub of this process.
However, I’m also looking into other marketing strategies. I plan to use this wordpress blog to reveal behind the scenes info, I intend to make a business page on facebook to do both promotions and sneak peaks of upcoming illustrations, and I intend to continue using Flickr to showcase a large variety of photography, since my main website will act as a portfolio.
One thing in this process I’ve started is to create a Cafepress shop to sell my personal illustrations as posters, t-shirts, journals, tote bags, and other miscellaneous items. Problem is, I’ve got to figure out how to market it. I’ve considered using Google’s Adwords, but I’m not quite sure that’s the method I want to use. For now, have a look:
The color themes temporarily match the upcoming website theme, and hopefully I’ve got it nicely categorized for customers to search through. In the meantime, I’m trying out Google’s Analytics tool to see if I can see any trends in traffic.
Considering the weather hasn’t been particularly favorable for taking studio lights outside, and I don’t particularly like lugging around a twenty pound Vagabond, I decided to do my alien bees photoshoot indoors. And to do something different than I normally do for portrait class, I rounded up my friends and asked them to be part of a group photoshoot- one where we played to the idea of “If our life was a movie.”
You can see all the fun and games on the Flickr Slideshow, but here are the best seven, each with its own star of the show.
Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157626471144669/show/
In Advance Studio we learned a trick to create a daylight appearance inside a studio setting. The trick is to use hot lights (continuous lighting) in conjunction with the daylight setting of white balance in your camera. To add some blue to the shadows, you can put a CTB (Color Temperature Blue gel) on the inside of a flash softbox (make sure it’s not too close to the bulb, though, to avoid damage). In the product shot I tried to bounce the flash off blue paper to get a sky effect, and my professor suggested lighting from beneath the table to get the rising sun gradient effect in the background. In the picture with peeps, I used the CTB method.
Sometime a light doesn’t work. Or it comes with a missing screw when you go to attach it to the backstand. Or the chord’s too short, and you switch that chord out for the one in the bag with the non-working light. Either way, backups are useful, and when you don’t have two lights, it gets time to be creative with one light.
During class we worked in groups to take pictures of each other for a couple hours. We were supposed to use a hair light, but seeing as we didn’t have the second light, we tried positioning each other on ambient light and against windows and reflections.
I had a large part of my fun in the editing process– playing with harsh light versus soft light can have very different results.
Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157626415138428/show/
Chelcy’s pictures were the second shoot I did of my free senior pictures shoot for examples over Spring Break. This time it was easier to get everything set up, and my Canon Rebel XS cooperated with me this time. I set up in the large room downstairs in the library, and the size difference made a great deal of help. It kept me from fumbling into things or hitting the background stands against the ceiling, a major help in trying to get everything set up quickly. It still took a little time to sit up, but I was able to leave it there for my next shoot with Lisa and Heather afterwards.
Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157626244371747/show/
For Advanced Color Portrait class, we were supposed to create hollywood lighting using butterfly lighting and Rembrandt lighting. I sided with doing two sets of people (though I did pull in Isaac for a couple shots after Katie’s shoot) and going from there.
Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157625881521301/show/
In my materials and processing class, our last assignment was refraction- showing bending light waves and such. I wound up shooting dice in a champagne glass filled with water for the assignment, then made it into an advertisment/public service announcement.
After hearing a couple of friends talking about how much money they spent getting drunk and partying (and basically acting stupid), I decided it was time to create an anti-drinking poster. This was the result.
It started out with a class assignment to create refraction- the bending of light. Notice how the bottom dice looks bigger and in strange proportion to the others? They are actually all the same size, sitting in a glass of water with sunlight shining on them. Note, aside from basic levels adjustments and sharping, I only edited the text. The dice have not been digitally edited.
Recently I was asked for examples of my photography related to interior architectural type photography. While I didn’t have any recent examples, I remembered taking a lot of architecturally based photography last spring break in Dallas, Texas. So I pulled out the earlier external harddrive and went through the photos to find the ones I felt best represented the potential client. Then I used what I knew about levels and masking with layers to improve them with my current skill level. I sent them the slideshow of photos along with five other relevant photos for thier review.
I don’t know if I’ll get the job or not, but it did help illustrate the importance of being visible in the community (the client found me while I was selling posters at the Holiday Market), and of working quickly to provide a portfolio.
After much trouble trying to get a texture accepted onto Texturevault, and nearly giving up on it, I finally went into their forums to ask why my photos weren’t being accepted. I had sent in roughly ten photos over the past couple months, with everything being rejected based on too much noise or not being sharp enough. When I looked at my photos, I found that all of them seemed to have the same amount of noise, same slight blur, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it any sharper. The support on Texturevault forum suggested I try an ISO of 100, and I decided to finally look up how to test for lens sharpness (which I had been meaning to do for the past month).
I found this review (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/lens-sharpness.htm), which seemed rather harsh to me, but I came out of it with one very particularly piece of information in mind- that lenses have a sweet spot where they will be at thier sharpest, not necessarily at the wide open apertures (which I typically like to shoot), and other apertures won’t be as sharp. Pushing a lens to its extreme will result in photos that “test the limits” and aren’t as sharp.
Keeping that in mind, I went out into the afternoon light and took a few pictures- all at ISO 100, but at 1.8, 10, and 22 apertures. Immeadietly afterwards I loaded the pictures onto my computer and looked at them at 100%. The results were surprising- I finally saw what my teachers and books have meant by Chromatic aberrations (1.8), my pictures seemed to be hopelessly blurred at 1.8 and 22, but at 10- they sharp. Not extraordinarily sharp, but definatly sharper. And there was no noise.
I chose the two pictures that were the best and submitted them to TextureVault. This time they were accepted. I am happy to say I now have a way to test for lens sharpness, and in the meantime, I’ve just got to take more texture photos and figure out how to make sales.
View My TextureVault Portfolio Here: http://www.texturevault.net/view_photog.php?photogid=1067