Lean Into It – Photography / Modelling Tip

Thought I’d share a little insight should anyone be interested.

Here are two images I took of Zach, they were taken with a 24-70 lens at 24mm from a very low angle, almost from the ground.

In the first image you’ll note that Zach’s body appears to be leaning backwards, his head smaller than in the second and the lower parts of his torso and legs, closer to the camera appearing larger. In this image, Zach was actually standing upright.

Zach standing upright.
Zach standing upright.

In the second image I asked Zach to lean forward, to him it felt weird, and to onlookers probably looked like he was leaning like Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video ( see below ). But what I was doing was trying to get all of Zach’s body on the same focal plane, adjacent to the camera’s sensor so we’d not see the distortion in his body.

Zach leaning forward, into the shot.
Zach leaning forward, into the shot.

The result was a more natural looking image rather than one where Zach looks like he’s leaning backwards in the shot.

BillTheDoggin, Work, Photos, and Friends

BillTheDoggin taken with a prism.

Today is Bill’s birthday! Happy birthday BillTheDoggin, today he turned 8… where does the time go, seriously.

My day started out with work, I have a deadline looming for a new site and I am a little behind after some server issues we had at the end of last week and into this week, so I’m in high gear getting that done… more about that when it launches next week. But in short, I’ll be chained to my desk all day Sunday and into Monday… fun times.

I did get away from my desk for a time today. I recently purchased the best travel desk that I can carry around with me. A few weeks back I ran a promoted post on Instagram looking for local folks who wanted to model for us. I got a few responses, one hasn’t gotten back to me after initial contact, another cancelled on the morning of our shoot, but today one came through for us.

Today we met with Zach and his Dad at Carlton Gardens in Melbourne for a shoot. The day was threatening rain early in the morning, the winds were up and it was freezing, I was feeling sorry to be the one to drag Zach out into the cold for a shoot. But thankfully, the sun came out and we ended up with a pleasant 20°C and a mixture of sunshine and shadow throughout our shoot.

Zach is a 16 year old from Williamstown who has been getting into fitness over the last couple of years. His initial inspiration he says came from a comedy podcast he was listening to, something the comedians had to say sparked an interest and sent him on his journey. After a short while he says it became a passion.

His parents are supportive of his interests and it shows as his Dad came along today, at our request, to be around for the shoot. At 16 it was just preferable to have a parent along for the ride.

We made some great photos and I’ll be diving into the edits for those over the coming days but for now, a rushed edit from the day.

Portrait of Zach
Portrait of Zach taken at Carlton Gardens Melbourne.

Following the shoot we stopped in with Sue and Lana for a quick visit. Lana threw together some viennese hotdogs with onion, bacon, and cheese. I certainly left their place full to the gullet.

It was quite the busy day and a fun-filled day for sure, well after I stopped working, oh who am I kidding, I actually like what I’m working on at the moment. 

The Warp Tool

Man, I spend too much time looking at the crotches of people… as a photographer, it seems this is where a lot of things can go wrong. Mostly though, it’s with Zippers.

I have found the warp tool in Photoshop an invaluable tool to aid in tidying up things that go awry. As you can see in the sequence of images below we are protectors of modesty. And it really doesn’t take very long at all.

Zipper 1: Identify the problem
Identify the problem
Zipper 2: Make a selection greater than area you need to correct. Copy and paste in place.
Make a selection greater than area you need to correct. Copy and paste in place.
Zipper 3: Use the warp tool (Command+t srcset=
right click > Warp) with the top layer with some transparency and move around until it’s in place.” width=”525″ height=”416″> Use the warp tool (Command+t > right click > Warp) with the top layer with some transparency and move around until it’s in place.
Zipper 4: Return to 100% and mask off anything that looks wrong.
Return to 100% and mask off anything that looks wrong.

Nemanja Sekulic on YouTube for Awesome Photoshop Tutorials

How to select ANYTHING in Photoshop by Nemanja Sekulic

I’ve been watching videos by Nemanja on YouTube for about 6 months now, jumping back and watching older videos that seem interesting and to be honest, I’m watching a LOT, if not most of his videos. They are all interesting.

At time of writing Nemanja only has 86,298 subscribers and I don’t understand why that number is so small. When boofheads on YouTube have millions of subs why aren’t people following someone giving quality tutorials for Photoshop? His work is amazing.

I have a subscription to Creative Live and we’ve bought videos from RGG and other sources, and yet none of the retouching videos are as thorough or informative as Nemanja’s. Case in point, the How to Select ANYTHING in Photoshop video included below.

Nemanja literally goes through all the different ways to select objects in Photoshop using the marquee, the quick selection tool, the pen tool, color selection and all of their sub-tools. He even goes into the “Calculations” method which I have never even considered. And he gives a brief overview of the Blendif options which he has a dedicated tutorial for.

It’s a long video at around 36 minutes, but it’s also the ONLY video you’ll need to watch about selecting items in Photoshop.

Facebook Ad Fail

I’ve run my first-ever Facebook ad and it is a bit of a fail. The post crosses over to Instagram, as Facebook ads are want to do, but it doesn’t respect the crop of the images.

As a photographer it’s not awesome to see my images cropped funny on Instagram, especially when you’re using them to promote yourself, the last thing you want is for people to think you’d do something so silly as to crop your images in such a weird way.

I’m still yet to sort our how it all works, but you can see what Facebook did to them below, I’ll look to run a new campaign once I have time to actually check out the formatting rules to make sure my posts don’t look so dodge.

Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram
Facebook ad as it appears on Instagram

Mathew Zeven 2018

Mathew Zeven 2018

It has become somewhat of a tradition to photograph Mathew each year just after he has competed and he’s in peak condition. Our third shoot with Mathew was just a couple of days ago and seeing the photos from our first and second you can see he’s come a long way year on year.

Mathew is a qualified personal trainer and has a background in nutrition ensuring he is well-informed when it comes to the exercise and diet one should be following for peak performance and enhancement.

Shooting along-side David, our models tend to get vastly different shots and different edits from their shoots. It’s basically like having two shoots in one.

You can see more of Mathew’s photos from the shoot over at my photography site, James Troi Photography.

BTS: Mathew Zeven 2018
BTS: Mathew Zeven 2018
Mathew Zeven at Urquharts Bluff Beach, April 1st, 2018.
Mathew Zeven at Urquharts Bluff Beach, April 1st, 2018.
Mathew Zeven at Urquharts Bluff Beach, April 1st, 2018.

Removing People from Pet Photos

A quick after and before from our recent Christmas photos at the vet.

The doggins don’t always behave and a little extra work is needed to get the best shot. In this case, Pablo decided to sit on his owners foot for a series of shots.

We tried to get him again without his human’s foot under his butt and he wasn’t giving us anything, so this is the shot I had to go with to make a happy customer.

So a bit of editing was required to move the human from the shot.

Canon Kid No More

Canon 5DsR

OMGoodness what have I done!

We head into the city today to get David a new lens. He had been busy in the weeks prior selling a bunch of stuff, including his old A-Mount lenses and an older laptop to afford his new lens.

As usual we hit all of the camera stores along Elizabeth Street in the city before arriving back at the JB Hi-Fi camera store. It really is our go-to store, I’m not sure how they do the prices they do, and maybe they only give those prices to us because we’ve been there so many times, but we have “saved” a bunch of money shopping there over the years and we’re usually served by the same guy. As an example: not long after the Canon 5DMKIII came out, while it was still shelf price of $4,200 I walked into the JB Hi-Fi store and got a price of $3,000, of course, I spent my money very quickly.

On this occasion, they not only gave us a great price on the Sony 70-200 G-Master lens we were after, they also (at David’s request) gave us a fantastic price on a Sony A9… the bastards! I couldn’t walk away from the price they gave us.

Of course, I’m not one to maintain multiple systems, and because I had to recoup my purchase if I wanted to eat, all my Canon gear is now on sale! I’m a switcher, not a hoarder.

Fortunately I’ve sold a couple of items already, and have a few interested parties in other items, so I’m well on the way to recouping my costs.

I’ve been a Canon shooter since I was 18, well more than half my life, and I’ve gathered a few things in that time, to change is a crazy expensive venture after already spending a small fortune on a multitude of lenses. Thankfully, David is a Sony shooter, so we already have a lot of the lenses I’m getting offloading, so I’m not having to replace my whole kit at once.

Why am I switching… well in part because as per the last paragraph, there’s a lower cost for me to do it, but also because the Sony A9 provides a bunch of features that the Canon doesn’t and won’t be providing any time soon. The big ones for me are:

  1. The focus points
    On the Sony A9 there are over 690 focus points that push right to the edge of the frame, with my Canon I’m very restricted to how far to the edge I can focus, and those about midway out from the centre are not awesome for focussing. The Sony is amazingly fast to focus, even on the edge points.
  2. Eye Focus and Follow Focus
    In addition to the amazing number of focus points, the A9 has incredible focus following. I haven’t tried it out too much myself yet, I was looking for some sport that might be on today to have a go, but nothing is on today in Melbourne, but I have seen many, many videos showing it’s ability to do this and I’m keen to give it a go. It even shows great promise with subjects that move towards you, something every other camera I have ever had has had issue with.
  3. What you see is what you get.
    On my A9 it has an electronic viewfinder. I’ve never liked them much, mostly because they suck the battery dry. Sadly the A9 is not immune to this issue, but I have grown to love the WYSIWYG nature of the shooting. Sure on my Canon I could literally for days shooting, but I also had to use the review button a lot to make sure I got the shot, now I know I’ve gotten the shot when I push the buttons, I don’t need to “chimp” it to see before making my next shot. So I’ll need to get myself another battery or two.
  4. It’s lighter
    Not a lot, but every little bit counts when it’s something you’re lugging around all day. I also hope it will handle well when on my Ronin M. Something I’m hoping to try out in the coming days.
  5. 4K Video 100fps
    I haven’t had a camera that will do 4K that will slide in nicely with the footage from my Phantom 4. Looking forward to give this a go and finally mixing my footage.

Well that’s just 5, I’m sure more will come along… let’s see.

Selling off and handing over my Canon gear has been hard, very hard, I had a little meltdown the day I bought the A9, but I’m getting used to it and learning to love it.