BigiDesign Website Photos

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Super happy to be working with one of the most innovative EDC brands out there, BigiDesign. They’re well-known for their super popular titanium pens and EDC accessories. Chadwick and Joe got in touch a few weeks back about getting some lifestyle imagery for their website overhaul. The project consisted of several of their new products, arranged neatly, both on tabletop and outdoors. This is my first time working with the brand, and I can’t wait to do more in the future!

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The TPT (Titanium Pocket Tool)

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The Ti-Arto, a pen that accepts over 200 refills!

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Their slogan is “Do More, Carry Less”. I showed a bit of a bag to hint at carrying, and some notebook because they make quite a few pens. 

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A friend was selling some antique letterpress drawers. I love how contrasty shadows. 

This was one of the first shoots using my new studio strobe setup. I went for the Elinchrom DLite RX4 kit, including two strobes. I also picked up the HSS-enabled EL Skyport so I could get those shallow depth of field shots more easily. So far so good! Not having to rely on charged AA batteries and speedlites has been wondering. Look for a full review soon.

 

Portrait Session: K.J. George

5050 Project, Friends

I’ve known Kyle for a long time now, and when I think about it, it’s been damn near 10 years. Kyle is a writer, dealing primarily in horror-themed short stories. On his Instagram, you can see a lot of his work, all typed up on a vintage typewriter. I asked if he could bring one along with him to the session, and it was really cool to see. I appreciate the analog way of doing things, and it was an interesting experience to push down a key, see the arm extend, and leave its mark on the page. I wanted to keep an overall moody tone to the photoset, as he primarily writes about the spookier side of things. I’m really happy with how the set came out, thanks Kyle!

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I was trying to do my best Mark Mann impression, I think it came out pretty well…

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Finally figuring out how to get the gradient right on the backdrop!

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This leather chair rules.

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Sort of an “outtake”, but one of my favorites from the set.

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Kyle’s vintage typewriter.

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“Why do models always have that itch in the back of their head?”

VSCO Film versus ACTUAL Film – A Look at Portra 400

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I’ve been a user of VSCO film for Lightroom for several years now. I’ve been happy with the results, but I wanted to see how close VSCO’s settings are to actual film. This whole experiment was a learning experience for me, especially regarding the digitization of a film negative. For this casual experiment I shot some Portra 400 film on my medium format Fuji GA645, snapped a few similar frames on my Nikon Df, and did a side by side with the VSCO Portra 400 setting from Pack 01 straight out of Lightroom.

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You can see the actual film scan, the tweaked setting to match the film, and the untweaked Portra 400 setting from Pack 01 to match the film scan. The Portra setting needed quite a bit of tweaking to look like the film I shot…or so I thought. There are so many lighting, white balance, focal length, aperture, and medium format versus full frame that all make the image what it is. The majority opinion was that there was too much of a green cast on my scans, and I had already taken the time to match my digital image to that green cast.


After posting to the r/photography board on Reddit, I was quickly informed that I’m not adjusting for the orange mask present on Portra film on my scans. Being relatively new to film, I thought that all I had to do was put my negatives in the scanner, press scan, and be done with it. I also learned that each film scanner will impart it’s own bias on the scan, some of these biases should be corrected. The “ethical” argument of how much film should be digitally post-processed came to mind, as well as the want to maintain as much of the character that the film stock has. To me, if I’m shooting film, going out and getting it developed, picking it up, then scanning it only to drastically tweak colors, why not shoot digital?

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I went back to my film scan, moved the tint slider a bit towards the magenta side, and immediately the scan looked a lot more like VSCO’s Portra 400 setting applied to my RAW digital image. Some of the colors are slightly off, but overall, It’s pretty close. VSCO

This was a fun experiment that ended up teaching me a fair amount of the scanning of negatives. VSCO’s Portra 400 setting ended up being really close in tone and overall look to the film stock that I shot. This exercise forced me to do some more research on scanning film, and will no doubt help out down the line. While most of my work will continue to be on digital, film is definitely fun to shoot. It’s nice to slow down, get the settings right, and think carefully before hitting the shutter button.

50/50 Friend #4 & 5: Eric and Korey

5050 Project, Friends

Bring in the blue backdrop. I picked this up the day before the shoot and it. is. intense. I really like how it brings a much more lively feel to the photos. The setup was relatively the same as I’ve been doing with an octabox and softbox behind. I really need to try out some new lighting. Happy with the final results and it’s always great to hang out with friends, especially Eric and Korey.

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50/50 Friend #2: Playing Guitar with Sam Roth

5050 Project, Friends

I met Sam in second grade (that’s nearly 20 years ago). He was one of my first friends after moving schools. I haven’t seen him in probably 7 years or so and it was great to reconnect with him. Sam is an incredibly talented musician, and has always been that way. For his portrait session he played me a few of his original songs. He told me he wasn’t totally comfortable in front of the camera, but he would feel better doing something he knew could keep his mind off the lens and flashes. I’m really happy with how the session came out. This being the second shoot, there seemed to be an emerging theme. Juba’s passion is wrestling, Sam’s is music. I haven’t asked anyone to bring anything specific prop-wise, but it’s pretty cool that both sessions so far have brought out their individual interests.

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