End Stage Creativity (once back to Lightroom that is where I find it easy and fun to play)

1/125 sec at f/10 ISO 50 50mm

1/125 sec at f/10 ISO 50 50mm

Can Adobe Lightroom be a creative tool? While “hardcore” Photoshop users will beg to differ, I find for me personally Adobe Lightroom can be what I call a great “end stage creative editor.” I say this because I will always start my edit in Lightroom with basic prep adjustments preparing the image for Photoshop. Then after Photoshop the image always comes back to Lightroom and while it may be finished and ready for output with a watermark I will spend time playing around doing some creative editing. It fun and it is easy, and sometimes this is where I will create something I had no idea I would do to that particular image. Best part is that if I find something I really like I can save it as a preset and use it again and again.
This image of LaydeeFly is a perfect example. The image that went to Photoshop had a color cast removed and some hair fixes as well as a few blemishes taken away. These are all standard fixes that would be done to any image I work on. But once back to Lightroom that is where I find it easy and fun to play with what the end view of the image will look like.
With this image of LaydeeFly I ended with a look I rarely ever use, although for this image the intense split toning, curves, HSL and adjustments proved to be amazing.

Studio Lighting Outdoors ( I fired 174 shots and it worked flawlessly. )

1/100 sec at f/7.1 ISO 160 70mm with flash from PCB Einstein.

1/100 sec at f/7.1 ISO 160 70mm with flash from PCB Einstein.

I just wrapped up an outdoor shoot with male model and motocross racer Greg Sampson. I really had a chance to put the Paul C Buff Einstein strobes and the Vagabond Lithium Extreme battery pack through some testing. Although I used one of the PCB’s yesterday for an outdoor shoot, it was very minimal. But today I fired 174 shots and it worked flawlessly. I didn’t even once think about recharge time. I am not a fast shooter any way so it was not a problem at all. I used one Einstein strobe in a 7 foot Westcott umbrella with no diffusion. The shoot started very late in the day and light was fading as cloud cover came in. I started with some available light shots and they looked good, but I wanted to stay “clean” with the ISO so I brought out the newly acquired PCB system. Because it was late in the day there was no wind at all, zero. So I was able to use a 7 foot umbrella and that too was amazing. Most times it would be virtually impossible to use a large umbrella outside. In fact, I don’t think I have ever used a large umbrella anywhere but in the studio.

I really can’t say enough at this point about the PCB system. I really need to use the lights more before I could give a full review. However I can tell you the one thing I have noticed is that I had no white balance issues. I use an X-Rite Passport color checker for all my shoots, because I make a camera profile/s for each location and I use the X-Rite for setting white balance. Moving up & down through the power range of the PCB I still had very close white balance readings.

The Vagabond Lithium Extreme battery is amazingly light in weight and so easy to work with. Just clamp to a light stand, plug in and turn it on, that’s it.

Mostly I have used Speedlites when shooting on location and I loved my Speedlites, but to be able to take studio lighting on location… It was incredible!

Greg was amazing; he is a great model and so easy to work with. He takes direction so well. Today was a relaxed shoot and we were going for a rather natural look. I wanted to capture Greg in normal clothing as if he were just hanging out with friends. In fact to make the shoot very relaxed Greg chose a location that was very peaceful and it is a place he is very comfortable with. It was the location where he very first learned to ride a dirt bike as a young boy, so not only was it peaceful the location had meaning and a sense of value. In the past I have found that when capturing a person as they truly are, doing it in a place they love really makes it easier.

Motocross is just one side of Greg’s life so we have a shoot planned that will expose another side of Greg. You’ll have to wait and see.