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.

 

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 Portrait Project: 1 year, 50 friends and 50 strangers.

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I came across the idea for this project online. It’s pretty straightforward. I want to shoot portraits of 50 friends, and 50 strangers. I’m encouraging all of my friends who come down for a shoot to bring someone that I do not know. Not only is it a great way to build up my studio skills, but it’s already turning out to be a great way to see people I haven’t seen in a long time and meet some new ones. I’ll be posting a few photos per post from each section here on the blog portion of the site. The first shoot I did was for my good friend Tom Juba, you can see those in the last post. He is starting his wrestling career and needed some promo pics for flyers and branding.

Headshot Shoot for Mike

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Mike has been a friend for a long time now, and we set up this pseudo-headshot shoot while he was home for the holiday weekend. Mike has been doing standup comedy for a while now, but we opted to go for something different than the standard “funny guy” photos.

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Lit from above with a reflector below, the black background and top lighting added a dramatic look to the photo. I especially like the lighting on his hands from the reflector.

 

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I like this one because it’s serious, but Mike’s face doesn’t look angry. Possibly my favorite close-up from the shoot.

 

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I wanted to try a black and white edit. Here it is.

 

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9/10 pictures of Mike have him giving the finger in it. this was a no-brained. I really like how the top lighting highlights his hand and the slightly shallow depth of field draws your eye towards it.