Paper-making

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Matt Thompson

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Matt Thompson graduated Graduate Diploma at LCC seven years ago. He is now a successful photographer in portrait and interior design. Here are some advices and lessons he shared during his talk this morning.

IN GENERAL

Shoot all the time, even with no reason

Assist photographers as much as possible, this is the best learning

NEVER GET YOUR COPYRIGHT AWAY, under any circumstance, for any reason

Keep looking at imagery (others photographers’ work)
Keep shooting.

A set of images always communicate a narrative and convey a story (moldboard behind)

COMMUNICATION

Photographers are super busy, they don’t have time to read email. Keep it short and clear. It’s all about speed (as well as for design of your website, reduce number of clicks)

-1st sentence : Flatter the person who will have a positive instinct feeling and like me immediately (and continue reading)
-2d : Tell why you are writing (“I would love to assist you if any opportunity arouse.’)
-3d : Tell about yourself and what you can do (“I’ve graduated at LCC, I’ve assisted a couple of photographers (names) and I’m prepared to help in any way.”)

+ you can attach some images if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for.
(!) Don’t forget to add your contact details at the end (at least email, telephone number)

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Christine Kreiselmaier’s talk on fashion photography

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Christine Kreiselmaier studied GDip Photography a few years ago and gave a lecture on fashion photography and her journey to be where she is and who she is now.

General thoughts on photography
Every year, sit down, go back to your yearly work and assest your journey.
Fashion is a hard world to be succesful, but keep continue and be persistent
Fashion is such a small world, never lie, everyone knows everything on everyone.
During an interview, the first questions are usually the following :
Who have you assisted?
For how long have you been doing that
What have you shooted for?

TECHNICAL SKILLS
Photography is a technical job, when you understand lighting and master tweaks of lights, you can get something from everything and exactly recreate an image.
Assisting is a great way to learn by observing other people work.

MY VOICE, MY STYLE
Determine your own style and aesthetic, what makes you different and your work personal.
Determine your market to adapt your work
Create a moodboard of poses and attitudes I like tolook at if we are stuck during the shooting
Keep a journal where you write what learnt from each job (successes, failures and how to improve next time)

RESEARCHES
You need to be in and aware of trends, what is going on in the fashion industry.
Look at all levels of fashion : H&M, Zara / Maje, Sandro / Chanel, Burberry / Haute Couture
Look at different genres : Ready-to-Wear, Haute Couture, lingerie, maroquinerie…
Who are the big names (designers, models, editors, magazines, bloggers)
Have a dream list of people I want to shoot

TEAM
You need to build a team, you definitely can not work alone. Work with people on your level or slightly above but never below. Don’t think too high too fast.
An ideal team is composed of a photographer, MUA and hairdresser, stylist, retoucher, assistant(s)

MODEL AGENCIES
Establish relationship with personal bookers of models (not the overall one) to get in touch directly with their agents and get girls easily
Start with new faces for test

PUBLICATIONS and CLIENTS
Determine your market to orientate your style.
Have a dream list of magazine you would like work for (agent, creatives, art directors, art buyers, production company)

ADMIN
Keep track of costs, investments, equipment
Be active on social medias 
Regularly update your website
Don’t negligee researches
Hire an agent (when you’ll reach a certain level of working)

What is a good histogram in photography?

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An histogram is a graphic representation of the tone values of your image. It show the amount of each tone of a brightness from black (0% brightness) to white (100% brightness).

CLIPPING
If the histogram reach either edge, it indicate loss of detail, also called clipping.
     – Highlight clipping : right edge, areas completely white, absence of detail (called blown out)
– Shadow clipping : left edge, areas completely black, absence of details (called clipped)
It can be fixed by adjusting the exposure (use exposure compensation). Always remember that it dependes on the scene (ex : sun, white background in studio…) so it could be normal to have a clipping.

ideal.pngIdeal histogram
dark-subject.pngHistogram for a dark subject (black cat)
light-subject.pngHistogram for a light subject (with mostly light tones in the scene and few dark areas)

GAP
A gap between the edge and the histogram indicates a loss of details and could be easily correct by adjusting exposure

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION (+/- button)
To keep shadow detail, make images brighter by dialing in positive exposure compensation value (+0.3 or +0.7, for example)
to save highlight detail, make images darker by dialing negative exposure compensation value (-0.3 or -0.7, for example).

THE BLINKIES (or ‘Highlight Mode’)
Most SLR cameras have a setting called “highlight warning”.  It will make any overexposed highlights “flash” or blink when you preview your images on your camera screen.

Sources
https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-read-and-use-histograms/
https://photographylife.com/understanding-histograms-in-photography

Inside Peter Lindbergh

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Following Paolo Roversi’s interest in natural light, I like the delicacy of Peter Lindbergh’s pictures. Here is what I keep from both of them.

SOFTNESS
Diffuse ambient light, soft tones, soft contrasts
Overexpose

ALOOF
Natural poses with an aloof expression, uninterested by the camera
Barefoot ; nude shoulders
White shirt, scarf, underwear
Intimate moment

SIMPLE
One modeling light  (soft box, HMI continuous light or umbrella) with sometimes a reflector
One background light (sometimes a card to shadow bottom body)

SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY
Long exposure (1/4″ to 1″)

TEXTURES
Play on association of textures (wool of a jumper, transparency of silk, fabric background…)

Inspiring

Creation is the birth of something, and something cannot come from nothing. When someone creates something: a painting, a poem, a photograph, the creativity comes from an idea, from a feeling, from emotion, or from a combination of ideas, feelings and emotions that are somehow ‘reborn’ from all our experiences and perspectives.

References
Lighting Essentials for Photographers, lesson on Peter Lindbergh’s portrait
Udemy, free online workshop on Natural Light Fashion/Beauty Photography
Couture Allure, Vogue Italia 2011, video on Paolo Roversi’s series of light painting
The Haute Couture, Vogue Italia 2011, video on Paolo Roversi’s backstage
So light, so charming, video of backstage of Peter Lindbergh’s shooting (2013)
Pirelli Calendar 2017 by Lindbergh : Behind the Scenes
Roversi, P. (1999) Nudi
Roversi, P. (2008) Studio
paoloroversi.com
peterlindbergh.com

White Balance

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A good lesson on Understanding White Balance in Digital Photography (source)

White balance (WB) is considered as one of the most important settings of a digital camera. Let’s consider a scenario where you want to capture the beauty of sea waves hitting the shore with an overcast sky at the background. Sounds interesting? Well, if you don’t use the correct white balance setting of your digital camera, you may get a picture with colors different from the actual ones. Therefore, in order to produce a beautifully exposed image with true to life colors, you must learn to effectively use the white balance setting of your digital camera.

1

Color Temperature

White Balance Chart - Color Temperature of Light Sources

To understand the concept of White Balance, you need to first understand the concept of color temperature. Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light. It provides a method of describing these characteristics and is measured in Kelvin (K). A light having higher color temperature will have more blue light or larger Kelvin value as compared to lower light, which has a smaller Kelvin value. The following table shows the color temperature of various sources of light.

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How does the Light Affect the Color?

White Balance Comparison

You must have noticed some photos turn out with an orange/yellow cast if shot under tungsten lighting or a bluish cast if shot under fluorescent lights. This occurs because each source of light possesses a different color temperature. A digital camera can measure the colors in the red, green, and blue light of the spectrum, as reflected to its sensors. In a photo taken under the midday sun there is the whole spectrum of light (which makes up “white” sunlight). Under these conditions, the colors in an image appear nearest to the “true” colors. An image taken under tungsten bulb (a normal household incandescent bulb) without adjusting the digital camera for white balance produces the dull orange shade as it spreads the biased light. Similarly, an image taken under the fluorescent lighting produces a brighter bluish cast. However, it is possible to shift the color in the desirable direction, provided you have a good understanding of your digital camera and its settings.

3

Why to Adjust the White Balance?

Since different sources of light have different color hues, a picture taken with a normal white balance under artificial lighting conditions transmits the low heat to the camera’s sensor. This light touches the red bits of the spectrum, which results into dull yellow or orange shades in the picture. Though the human eyes can automatically adjust to different lights and color temperatures to sense right color, a camera needs to be adjusted to different lights for accurate color reproduction. By adjusting the white balance setting of your digital camera, you can alter the required light or temperature to produce the most accurate colors in a digital image.

4

Preset White Balance Settings

White Balance Settings

Auto – The Auto setting helps in adjusting the white balance automatically according to the different lighting conditions, but you can try other modes to get better results.

Tungsten – This mode is used for light under a little bulb like tungsten, and it is often used while shooting indoors. The tungsten setting of the digital camera cools down the color temperature in photos.

Fluorescent – This mode is used for getting brighter and warmer shots while compensating for cool shade of fluorescent light.

Daylight – This mode is for the normal day light setting, while shooting outdoors. Many cameras do not have the Daylight mode.

Cloudy – This mode is ideal for while shooting on a cloudy day. This is because it warms up the subject and surroundings and allows you to capture better shots.

Flash – The flash mode is required when there is inadequate lighting available. This mode helps pick the right White Balance under low light conditions.

Shade – A shaded location generally produces cooler or bluer pictures, hence you need to warm up the surroundings while shooting shaded objects.

5

Manual White Balance

You can also adjust your digital camera manually by setting a white object as the reference point. This is done to guide the camera how white the object would look in a particular shot. It is advisable to manually adjust the white balance when taking a picture to compensate for the changing lighting conditions. As the daylight changes during early morning and late evening hours, the varied light intensity is easily perceived by the camera. Therefore, you need to correct the white balance regularly while shooting during these times of the day. To manually set the white balance in your image, you first point your camera at a pure white object, set the exposure and focus. Now, activate the white balance on the object by pressing the button. It may take few seconds for the camera to perceive the shot, but it will this color setting until the next white balance is performed.

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Conclusion

Some people consider it amateurish to use pre determined settings, when in fact there may be times when we are in a rush and cannot adjust everything manually. Also remember that using these modes will teach you about photography and ideal settings for different conditions. If in doubt, you can use Auto mode, then adjust the settings manually. Auto settings are there to be used so try them all, and become familiar with what each one does.

Hygge

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Hygge [hoo-gah’] is a Danish concept of well-being, simple living and happiness. Take every second as a moment of pleasure, make every days beautiful and extraordinary. Denmark is considered as the happiest European country and hygge as a method of survival to cold and darkness in winter. Multiply moments of happiness and cosiness, feelings of comfort and warmth, togetherness during a dinner with friends, in family, take car of yourself.

HAPPINESS
WELL-BEING
TOGETHERNESS
FAMILY
SECUTIRY
SIMPLICITY

Light candles . Breathe . And Live.

‘It is not to ignore problems, but to take care of yourself to be strong enough to face them.’ Helen Russel

Candles
Couch with a lot of cushions
A cup of warm tea or coffee
Woolen socks
A plaid
A photo album
A fireplace
Christmas

References
Hello Hygge blog https://hellohygge.com
Skandinavisk Candles
Ligue des Optimistes de France http://fr.optimistan.org