January changes in the studio...
The studio is undergoing some interesting physical changes this month. We've been planning to add more storage for props and wardrobe... and improve the activity flow around the space during the days when we have shoots scheduled. And at the same time, we've opened up an area that could be arranged for more of an "room interior" or "set". There's no doubt that we've been working in a large garage space... with huge double overhead doors at one end and rubber tiled floor... so it takes some work to make a backdrop that looks like a living space. After all, until as late as last year, we were still pushing the one race car left in and out of the room on days when we were shooting... so, of course, it looked and felt like a garage. But... this week we're covering the grey industrial rubber tiles with a dark hardwood floor. That, and some draperies to control the light from the big sliders... and we'll have the background elements of an interior set. And, I might mention, a great party space!
About half way today... goes pretty fast in a big open room!! Hey!! Let's dance!! :))))
Finding great images of Candace Smith from our sessions in the Black Wings Studio... or on location around our area, is easy to do. After all, we've remarked that Candace is probably one of the most experienced models in the world... a beauty who is a great collaborator with us... bringing her own interpretation to studio posing... an actress in front of the still camera. She's probably one of the most photographed women in photographic world. We see images of her... shooting with other photographers from all points of the compass. However, I've really had to dig to find images that are acceptable to Facebook. It's challenging to find images that show everything and still show nothing! The great thing about doing that with the images from our sessions with Candace is the percentage of good shots.
All of these are from one day in November 2011. I love going back and looking at the 'contacts'... the thumbnail size pictures... especially when I'm looking for something specific. Seeing them with 'new eyes' opens them up to some different processing than I had originally decided on. One note about her posing on the drawing table... One viewer suggested that I had combined the figure with another shot of the table in Photoshop. I can assure you that she actually did pose balanced on that unstable table for 180 individual poses... and one lighting change. I was amazed at the time at what I was seeing and even more so months later, going back over the session on the computer. Check out a small part of the shoot below. Hope you enjoy our work with Candace. ~ Susana
I had the oddest feeling this morning turning on my computer and having that uncomfortable feeling of dejavu. The visual that triggered the goosebumps on my arms was the featured Bing image of a winter landscape in the snow... a hillside covered with trees in snowy garb... and a night sky. It immediately triggered a memory of one of my 'Accidental Images'. The top image is a screen capture of the beautiful image (copyright Getty Images) on the Bing home screen this morning. The bottom image is my accidental
An accidental image is an image of something that looks like something other than what it is... like a cloud that is shaped like a fish... or a potato chip shaped like a profile. In this instance, I have a photo of the same scene... night sky, snowy winter trees on a hill. Only difference is that mine is a macro photo of the blade of my garden edger!! Can you see it?
Some of my accidentals are featured from time to time in the Black Wings Gallery.
Keeping it fresh...
OK, I get the part in my SEO education about having something new on the web site on a regular schedule... and keeping the Facebook page fresh with something to link to daily... something to keep people coming back to the site or page often... and something to talk about in the blog... I get it. But... nowhere in the stuff I've read does it say where the time comes from to do all this in addition to doing the JOB, creating the WORK that you do... So far, all I see is layering on more tasks. No wonder people start off great with lots of activity on the social sites and then give up... and you see something new months later. (OK, we'll see if we're one of those.)
Meanwhile, one thing I do like to do is use the images we create to make new images to upload onto these social (and now necessary) marketing tools. I've been changing the 'cover photo' on the Facebook page to reflect seasonal styles and I changed it this morning to a composite photo of Carly Erin O'Neil... together with a photo of the swans on Johnson's Pond just up the street from the studio. The overhanging evergreens are in the pond image. The snow is another 2 images that came from some generous artists at Redbubble.com. They were kind enough to allow downloads of their snow art and they have been used many times to create the illusion of a snowy winter day. The composite was created using Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5.
This is how my brain feels right now after a few hours of trying to understand what search engines are looking for... how they find the proper sites, pages, images... that people are searching for. And, of course, how to "optimize" the site we've just put together and launched. My brain is spinning with header and footer codes, links to page descriptions, page titles, social media and who's Twitter account should be tweeting... tweeting what? Hey... I'm not totally in the dark. I've got a Twitter account. It was great fun during the recent election cycle (especially during those "debates"... the tweeting was very entertaining!) But... learning to make it (social media) work for a business is "involved" with a whole language to learn. We creatives living in the "Photoshop" world already are emersed in another parallel universe!! OK... I'm up to the challenge and I'll let you know how it's going. Drop any tips you have for me here. :)))
BTW... this is a drawing by Escher... a master of the tangled landscape... like where I find myself at the moment. ~ Susana
Hey! Finally... got our web site turned on... and have been deilghted to welcome our friends to view the work we have been doing for the last three years. Those of you who know us as 'car' people... will be surprised to see what we've been up to. The big race car garage has been transformed into a photo studio and gallery... and, a little at a time, the cars and all their 'stuff' has dissappeared. There are more changes coming to our 'garage' space in the next few months and we'll be sharing the changes and fun here in the blog that comes with the web site... and on our page on Facebook. Click on the little 'f' symbol at the top of the pages on this site... and be sure to 'Like' us there so you get the latest about what's happening in the studio. More later... back to work... :)))) ~ Susana
Photography has been a love of ours for longer than our motorsport activities, so converting the "garage" into a photography studio was a natural thing to do. The large space affords us lots of options for backdrops and settings, and with the forthcoming improvements will be an even better stage for our photographic efforts.
We've been fortunate over the past few years to work with wonderful models who've contributed their talents and ideas to our evolving skills as photographers. As you explore our web site and Facebook sites you'll find the results of these collaborations. I'm excited to be able to now share our work with you. Enjoy! ~ Dave
David and Susana... we'll both be blogging here and will identify who says what. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. We love to hear from you!