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Working with you and for you to make your memories last forever.

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Announcing the engagement of Alanna and Les

Just wanted to take a quick minute and post some photos from an engagement shoot I did last week. As the Christmas song says "Oh the weather outside was frightful" -4 Celsius and these two kept laughing and playing right up till dark.

I thought it a nice touch given the cold to have a little nose kiss with the love heart in the Christmas tree

Nose kisses were the order of the day

These two show the love they have for each other in every smile. Such a perfect couple.

Thank you Alanna and Les for allowing me to share in this special day and I look forward to the wedding in just a few short weeks

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Photoshop Tutorial

It is amazing how photographers will take a photo and shelve it based on small little errors when in reality you can use editing software to create something wonderful that makes your subject truly stand out. In this blog I will do my best to give you a blow by blow blog about a Photoshop edit from a recent photo I created.

This photo was taken at recent shoot I did for a city council hopeful and the venue was amazing. I want to first thank The Royal Hotel for allowing me to shoot in their lobby. I am really looking forward to going back there to capture more photos. I would also like to thank my subject Menu who is a super lady and a whole lot of fun. Now onto the edit.

This first photo is the original shot. I have said it before and will again a great edit starts from a great photo and I really like how this turned out. It has all the sharpness I need, the skin tones are nice and even and there is an interest that has been captured. That being said there are some negatives about it as well. I find the leaves dangling in front of the window very distracting, I don't like the sign poking out from her shoulder and lastly the phone cord drives me nuts. Finally there will be a little enhancing of Menu's already perfect smile and hair. Let's get into it.

Whenever I am editing a photo I always change what I dislike the most so for this photo I didn't like how contrasty it was. When this photo was shot I was using a flash with a 6x8 inch soft box which mounts to my speedlight. Even with the flash I still shot quite high ISO so the flash did not have to fill in so much light as to make the photo overly bright.

Step 1 the first thing I did was soften it a bit with a bit of noise reduction.

Step 2 was to bump up the exposure about 1 stop of light; it was just a bit dark but still had so much detail in the highlights and lowlights.

Step 3 was to replace the window I had a photo of this window in my catalogue of stock photos and I thought this would dramatize the photo just a bit more. Replacing the window is just a matter of cutting it from the original pasting into this photo and blending to make it look right.

Step 4 I used the clone tool to remove the phone cord

Step 5 grab the brush tool, sample the colour of her lips and "fix her lipstick" Now this step could have been done before the shot was taken but it was spur of the moment and neither of us thought about the fact her makeup was fading that late into the evening.

Step 6 is perhaps the most important. I used levels to brighten the photo and then with a layer mask I blocked out the section I didn't want brighter. What that equates to is just highlighting her hair and face.

That is pretty much it, now some purists will say that I changed the photo and they are not wrong. What they will fail to recognise is that I could have done the same things in a darkroom with film and hours upon hours of dodging and burning. Photos have always been manipulated to one degree or another and even the most amazing photographers in the world spend time cleaning up irritations in their photos. The difference between film and digital is time. What I can do now in my post editing software is instant, whereas what I did in film could take hours if not days.

Anyway here is the after post photo. As I said before, this photo had all the elements of a good photo to start with; I just perked it up a little. Hope you enjoy and please comment below and like my Facebook page to follow everything I do.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

New shots from Chilliwack

The Fraser Valley is truly a remarkable place to live. Every day can be an inspiration to go out and shoot. Today I had the opportunity to wander about with a very good friend and fellow photographer Walter. Here are a few of the shots I'm sharing tonight.

Over the next couple of posts I will do tutorial style from camera to post.

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wanted to share this photo.

I have named it "The Veil" and it is available in print or canvas.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sardis Digital Clickers

I have had a lot of time consumed lately with a new project. Coming in September I will be facilitating a camera club/learning program. Meeting the third Tuesday of every month at Sardis Library, in my home town of Chilliwack BC, we will have fun learning and exploring all aspect of photography.

So if you want to learn more about how to capture great moments, or some editing techniques, or just want to help others please come down and check it out. Oh and don't forget your coffee/tea and your camera.

For now I will leave you with an image I shot 3 years ago. It was quite dull and bland until I found a mask technique called luminosity masking. Pretty powerful editing style.
Vancouver Skyline

Hope you like it.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A new restoration

Hey everybody. Sorry I have been off again as of late. Things have been super hectic, but I wanted to just stop by and post a couple of words and showcase some of my latest restoration work. Feel free to read on about some exciting upcoming things for ChrisTopher Films.

But first. Here are a series of photo restorations I have been contracted to fix. You need to have a passion for this kind of work cause you will never get rich doing it, but the rewards of seeing your clients eyes sparkle with a tear, are sometimes the best reward.

 Take for example this photo from last year that some of you may have seen in A Guide to Restoration also seen on this blog.

This photo had a value to the client that was so big and she had been told by several other restoration outlets it was impossible to restore. She wasn't looking for a high res digital photo; she just wanted to see her children when they were babies again.

Now this next photo was entirely different. Look very closely at the banner and you will see the photo was taken in 1901. This client entrusted to me, over anybody else, a photo that is 113 years old. Every time I moved it I had to ensure it remained rigid and flat as it was crumbling, soon to be lost forever. Now it can be printed over and over again.

Finally my latest which I have had for quite some time. I know nothing about the photo or the family who it will go to. It is a gift from one friend to another and I truly hope they like it.

Oh and the big news. Starting in September I will be hosting with support from Sardis Public Library and Fraser Valley Regional Library a new drop in camera club. My goal is to do in person what my attempts are to do on this blog, learn and educate from and for likeminded photographers in Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Number One Reason Not to Throw Away

Sometimes when you take a photo and look at it there is no feeling, no emotion. The photo just falls flat and dull. Throw it away. That's it save some room on your hard drive and DELETE. OMG did I just say that. What I really meant was keep it, save it, cherish it, and look at it at a different time. Today I will show exactly what I mean. I took a photo that was that dull, delete photo but looking at it later I found a surprise in that photo. That never would happen if I just hit delete. Read on to learn more.

Very often when you are out shooting you pop off a couple hundred photos. You know that there will be some jewels in that mix and you will see them right away. Others are blurry and out of focus and just not usable. Then there are the questionable photos. These photos are what I refer to as Facebook quality, standard snap shot. Nothing special. What if they are, can you see them in a different light?

Take this photo I shot recently. The performer is an amazing "Crooner" Ron Boudreau. I approached him about a month ago to take some photos of his performance and he invited me back to his latest show at Chances Casino. After sifting through about 300 photos for the evening this one struck me as not bad, but not emotion evoking.

I scrolled through the photos a few times and this photo just kept calling me. I loved the expression on his face, the background has a quality of interest but too busy for the performer. It wanted something, so I sat for a long time and really looked at it. Since it was loaded into Lightroom I finally just started playing with some of the sliders and cropping.

First off let's minimize the back ground some and move the subject to the left third of the photo. Next we need to fix the exposure some and finally let's go black and white. Some photos just lend themselves to that one treatment. It's not something that should be used every time but that was exactly what this photo kept saying to me. It matched the performer, the location, and the lighting.

Here is the result and I don't think anyone would be disappointed in this.

And there it is folks. DO NOT throw away a photo that is on the border just sit quietly and let the photo tell you what it needs. Not every photo will but sometimes you will find that jewel in the rough