Posts Tagged ‘how to’

Aundraya: {2 weeks new}

October 28th, 2018

Look at the hair and gorgeous skin tone on this little sweet pea! I rarely get the opportunity to photograph babies or people of other ethnicities or mixed races, which saddens me because I think they are utterly beautiful! More recently I was attending a newborn photography class where they discussed why white photographers rarely […]

 

Look at the hair and gorgeous skin tone on this little sweet pea! I rarely get the opportunity to photograph babies or people of other ethnicities or mixed races, which saddens me because I think they are utterly beautiful! More recently I was attending a newborn photography class where they discussed why white photographers rarely get requests from other races (but there are acceptions) and it was very eye-opening. Two things were mentioned.

Kristen Herber Photography

1. There are too many photographers out there that rely on the back of their screen for exposure versus using a handheld meter to ensure accuracy. When you rely on your in camera meter, all the meter understands is how dark the subject is so for someone who is used to photographing pale skin in auto modes, the auto mode will produce blown out and over exposed skin tones. Due to this, so many darker skin clients have experience very poor blown-out images. So, then why wouldn’t you naturally gravitate to a photographer who either has a portfolio filled with similar skin tones to your own or who is personally of a similar skin tone? Which is reason #2

2. Many potential clients won’t even look into hiring a photographer who doesn’t have a portfolio showcasing similar skin tones and ethnicities to their own. So this begs the question; how does one begin building their portfolio then?

Kristen Herber Photography

With that in mind, let me take this opportunty to address a sensitive subject and tell you why I’m the perfect photographer for you, no matter your skin tone and ethnicity. First off, I totally understand these clients fears – I’ve seen it first hand. I’ve photographed two black couple’s weddings and each time prior to hiring they asked me my experience with photographing darker skin and wanted to know how I could assure them I’d produce accurate skin tones for them. The reason both couples inquired my services was based off recommendation. I haven’t ever had a darker skin toned couple approach me organically. The first time I was asked this, I was taken back. It was a time when digital SLR’s had just recently become popular and we were starting to see an increase in amature photographers taking on what was usually left to high-end professionals. Fast forward 10 or more years and interestingly enough, I now rarely meet a photographer who understands the fundamentals of metered lighting, let alone aperture, shutter speed, and film speed. As a highly educated professional – here is my secret. I NEVER guess my exposure! I never let the camera guess my exposure! Crazy right? I use this handy little handheld device that meters the light hitting my subject and then manually plug in the recommended settings to my camera. This assures me that no matter what, my client’s skin tones will be nearly 100% accurate every time. Is sounds like more work but the extra few seconds it takes can save several hours of editing in post process – which also is unable to produce as good of a result as an image that was taken correctly the first time.

Kristen Herber Photography

Matter-of-fact, something that surprises a lot of people is that my in-camera images versus my edited images don’t look very different. Most of my time is spent removing baby acne and peeling skin and correcting their commonly blotchy red or purple skin. Exposure and coloring rarely need any adjustment since I also use a device called an ExpoDisc to measure the exact color temperture.

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

The motivating factor behind this post is my desire to photograph more babies of other ethnicities. If you made it to the end of my post and that describes your little one, 1-year or under, mention this post prior to booking your appointment with me and I’ll take 50% off your sitting fee – through July 2019!  Contact me today to book your session!  kristen@herber.com

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Reese: {2 weeks new}

June 20th, 2018

Today, let’s talk about the importance of editing on a high-end graphic design monitor that is calibrated, as well as running test prints. Recently, I did a newborn photo session for a good friend of mine’s daughter, Sweet Ms. Reese. Prior to this session, my trusty monitor went out. We’d had a good run, over […]

 

Today, let’s talk about the importance of editing on a high-end graphic design monitor that is calibrated, as well as running test prints. Recently, I did a newborn photo session for a good friend of mine’s daughter, Sweet Ms. Reese. Prior to this session, my trusty monitor went out. We’d had a good run, over 10 years in the making. But then one day the screen went black, never to be turned on again. When it comes to electronics and spending money, I spend a great deal of time researching the best possible option for the lowest possible price. You could probably call researching a pastime of mine because I’m so obsessed with making perfect choices. So, my monitor went out and I knew it was going to take me some time to research, order, receive, and set up a new monitor but I had this current session due in a week. I turned to my little brother in desperation who was about to be deployed for a year. He’s a bit of a gamer and when hanging out at his place, I had taken note that his monitors looked really nice. So I set one up, ran my calibrator, and went to work. All the images I looked at on my computer looked pretty great so I figured I was good to go.

Fast forward two weeks and my friend/client has received her edited photos in time, I’ve put an example up on social media and I’m super excited about how pretty they are. Win! Right? Well, I thought so until I navigated to my facebook business page from my phone to respond to a message and saw the most horrific image staring at me. My heart sank! The photo that looked so beautiful on my computer monitor was over contrasted and blown out on my phone. Everything else on my phone looked normal so I wondered if I had saved the image in the wrong format. Checked that and no, it was standard web RGB. Darn. So then I ran a test print on my pro printer: the Canon PRO9000 (which I highly recommend if you want to print large format at home. It’s kind of old but that means you can pick it up for real cheap!). Sure enough, the photo looked just like it did on my phone. Next, I contacted friends to look and take a screenshot on their phones. Same problem, which one friend stating she thought the photo looked funny but she didn’t want to insult me by saying anything. Finally, it popped into my head that I was working on a new monitor. Even though I had thought I had done my diligence by calibrating, maybe that wasn’t enough. So I borrowed a friends pro monitor and re-edited my photo and sure enough, the newly edited photo looked amazing. I ended up buying my dream monitor, the BenQ SW271 pro graphic design monitor because I mentally just couldn’t chance picking something cheaper that ended up not performing well. It’s a real beaut! But that isn’t enough. During my education, while working in the camera industry, I learned that monitors are often calibrated to be extra contrasty which makes images pop and videos look amazing but is not ideal for editing accurate photos. For several years I’ve been relying on the x-rite i1 display pro monitor calibrator. It’s so easy to use and the different it makes is unreal.

Moral of my story is that it truly is essential to invest in a pro monitor. The cost bites but your images will look a million times more professional. Second, always check your images by a secondary source before delivering to a client. Whether it’s making a cheap test print at home or loading the photos to your photo to check them on another screen, it’s always best to double check. For many years, I worked where there was a pro photo lab. After editing nearly every shoot I’d run off a test print in the lab just to check for accuracy. Sometimes when our profession becomes second nature, we forgot to step back to the basics and for me, it was also losing that convenience factor – no longer working where I had lab access and so many years of successful outcomes, I got too comfortable. So here is the before and after. Crazy, right?

Why you should buy a pro editing monitor and calebrate it

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Crashed Ice, 2015: St. Paul, MN

January 25th, 2015

It isn’t often enough that I get to venture away from the studio and have the opportunity to photograph an incredibly awesome event such as Crashed Ice. This is an event I’ve been wanting to shoot for the last few years. The weather was even fairly cooperative. A steaming 20 degrees above zero. Here are […]

 

It isn’t often enough that I get to venture away from the studio and have the opportunity to photograph an incredibly awesome event such as Crashed Ice. This is an event I’ve been wanting to shoot for the last few years. The weather was even fairly cooperative. A steaming 20 degrees above zero. Here are a few of the many great shots I captured. High speed skating is by far one of the most difficult to freeze the action when shooting- so- here is a bit of my personal advice. Now, there are a bunch of different ways one could go about capturing this type of event, everyone has something that works best for them.

Gear:

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 135mm F2Monopod

ISO: 1600
F-Stop: f2.8
Shutter: 1/640

Here are a few tips. First, yes, I went with a fixed lens instead of my 70-200mm because I knew that it wasn’t going to be possible to zoom in and out and get the camera to refocus on subjects during the 1 1/5 seconds they would be flying past me, therefore, I opted for my sharpest lens. My 135mm never lets me down! With that insanely sharp outcome, I knew that cropping ability was going to increase drastically. I also new that I wasn’t going to get multiple shots at shooting these guys. Many of the teams are a one and done kind of deal. Even though I understand the inner workings of the Canon 5D highly intricate focusing system designed for high speed action, I wasn’t going to take a risk of relying on it. Therefore, I chose to pick where in the jump or area of the frame I was most interested in freezing the skaters and locked my focus in on the one spot. The outcome was better than I could have hoped for. With the Canon’s 5D Mark III 6 fps in full resolution capability, I was able to capture multiple tack-sharp, mid-air skaters with each run. Also, PUSH that ISO! You can always use the Canon software, or Lightroom to help reduce noise, but you can’t undo a blurry subject. I do like how my images came out, but in hynes sight I would have pushed my ISO to 3200 and stopped down my lens so that I could get a little more in focus. But, there is always next year, right? Last tip, get there EARLY so you are right by the track and when you find a good spot, covet it. I made the mistake of thinking I could walk around and jump in at another area of track but boy was I wrong. Any other area I found was open for a reason, last pickings!

Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your comments and any tips you might like to share on how you were most successful in capturing crashed ice photos. I also LOVE learning new tips and tricks!

Love, Kristen

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Minnesota Zoo: Winter 2015

January 23rd, 2015

One of my favorite things to do? Go to the zoo and take my camera. I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals! This is one of my happy places. Over this last year, I have been blessed to befriend one of the zoo photographers, as well as his fiance, the tiger keeper. Yup, he gets to go […]

 

One of my favorite things to do? Go to the zoo and take my camera. I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals! This is one of my happy places. Over this last year, I have been blessed to befriend one of the zoo photographers, as well as his fiance, the tiger keeper. Yup, he gets to go photograph these fur-balls whenever he wants and she gets to hang out with tigers all day. Good friends to know! I learned something new this day, the zoo animals are most active in the morning when they get let outside, around 9 am, AND there are little to no visitors yet at this time of day. Win win!

GEAR:

Canon 5D Mark III
Tamron 150-600mm VC
Canon 135mm F2

 

Minnesota Zoo Wolf Minnesota Zoo lynx Minnesota Zoo Flamingos Minnesota Zoo Monkey in tree Minnesota Zoo Monkey in tree 2 Minnesota Zoo Tigers fighting

Meet Nadia and Dari, two gorgeous tiger sisters! I have a confession to make. When these two were kittens, I would spend an embarrassing amount of my time watching them on the zoo cam. I was even able to get my boss and coworkers on board with this and every day, maybe a few times a day, the staff would stand around the computer watching these two beauties! They were so much fun to photograph. Let me just say that it was like 40 below zero, my fingers and toes became frost bit, and I didn’t even notice! I could have watched them all day.

Gear note: this was my first time taking out my new Tamron 150-600mm VC (which I sold my Canon 100-400mm lens to buy). The sharpness and clarity of this lens is magnificent! I instantly fell in love with my new upgrade. *mind you, this statement is coming from a Canon snob! 🙂

Minnesota Zoo Tigers playing in snow Minnesota Zoo Tigers roar

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Snowflakes!

January 23rd, 2015

If you have read any of my winter time posts, then you know by now that winter is my FAVORITE season!!! Yup, I’m one of the few weirdos who lives in Minnesota because I love cold and snow. This was the first year that I tried to capture some snowflake pictures. The adventure started out, […]

 

minnesota snowflake 1If you have read any of my winter time posts, then you know by now that winter is my FAVORITE season!!! Yup, I’m one of the few weirdos who lives in Minnesota because I love cold and snow. This was the first year that I tried to capture some snowflake pictures. The adventure started out, like many do, due to a very snow snowy day spent working retail. When you just happen to spend some of your week at a store that specializes in camera gear, there is no reason one should ever get bored! So, my coworker friend and I ran out side and ran around the parking lot like idiots, trying to catch perfect snowflakes. We got a few pictures snapped before the storm kicked into high gear.

GEAR:

Canon 5D Mark III
Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC Macro- I don’t own this one, but I wanted to take it for a test drive, I have the Canon equivalent

SETTINGS:
F 2.8
1/800 Second
ISO 1600

Here are a few tips I discovered while photographing snowflakes. First, catch them on a dark background so that they really stand out. I chose to use my black gloves because that is what I had at the time. As you can see, there is a lot of detail in the woven gloves. In the future, I think I’d use black fabric instead because the knitting is a little too distracting for my taste. Trying to capture them on low branches and brush would be cool as well. Next, if you are going to hold the snowflakes in one hand and the camera in the other, make sure that your shutter speed is set high enough. I wouldn’t go below 1/500, personally. Lastly, I think that in this case, using the manual mode on the camera is going to give you the best possible outcome. The camera is going to go crazy trying to expose for black and translucent with a white sky. Once you have a good exposure, you will be set for the rest of your pictures. One more thing, if you can stop your lens down more than I did, do it (it was pretty dark out when I took these). I had to toss a lot of photos because when the depth of field is that shallow, even breathing is enough to move the cameras locked-in focus- out. Happy shooting!

minnesota snowflake 2 minnesota snowflake 3If you have any other tips, please share in the comments. I LOVE learning and trying new things!