Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow Review

Sleeklens asked me to write a review on their Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow and sent me the presets and brushes for Lightroom.

There are few things that I really like about the workflow tool and some that I don’t. For most of my current portrait work, I aim for a natural look without too much manipulation. This means, that most of the Presets are not for me. Crisp Dawn and Duo are examples of presets, I could see myself working more with.

The effects can be interesting, but you need to keep in mind that applied filters are not only general colour and curve adjustments, but also include local adjustments such as Graduated Filters. I found the Presets valuable starting points, if you are really want to dig into more intrusive image creation.

The tools, I have been using more frequently are the brushes and I must say they are really nice. There are brushes to enhance various eye colours, smoothing skin, enhancing hair, whitening teeth etc. The beauty of the system is the transparency. If you want to adjust the effect of a certain brush, you can just do it within the brush tool of Lightroom. It takes a lot of manual preparation out of the way.

The brushes alone make the workflow worthwhile for me.

If you want to check the software out without paying you can give the free Starterpack a try.

Also have a look here at the workflows for Lightroom.

Leandre – Modelling Shoot

This blog post is loooooong overdue.

Leandre asked me for her modelling portfolio shoot way back in summer. We did the shoot in March in the vicinity of Muizenberg. All shots were done with available light and the help of reflectors and diffusers.

Makeup: Kristine from Kruz 4 Makeup

Contact me, if you are interested in your own portfolio shoot.

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It is July, already. Wow. Time is flying. The first half of the year, I have been travelling a bit and I thought that not travelling means that I would have more time for writing. How wrong, I was.

Anyway, here I am. There is lots of catch up to do. I owe Leandre a blog post big time, which will be the first I publish in the next couple of days.

While travelling, one of my cameras fell on concrete in Paris. It didn’t turn  out too well for the Fuji XT-1. While that camera was in repair, I bought the Fuji X-Pro 2, which became quickly my all time favourite camera. I’ll share about my first couple of months of experience in a longish blog post. It won’t be a review, as there are already so many out there. The XT-2 was just announced (and there is no urgency for me to buy yet another camera). There are some other news, that excite me more on Fuji’s side and that is the upcoming release of their flash system in September. I’ll write a bit about that as well.

I made some shifts with lighting equipment in general and spent much more money on reflectors, I ever thought I would and for good reasons. There will be a blog post about that as well.

I have been busy with corporate events, portraits and product photography in the recent months. I will share some shoots and new approaches in my work. Learning and improving my craft has been the one constant aspect in my business.

In short, I am back from the hiatus. Chat soon.

Mall of Dubai

  After travelling through Dubai many times, I spent the first time some days in the city this month. It was mostly as I expected a Disney world for adults. There were a number of amazing feasts to look at, such as the Burj Khalifa in the background right. It is currently the tallest building in the world and fairly pretty as tall buildings go.
In the front, you see the entrance to the Mall of Dubai with I believe 1200 shops in it. If you love shopping, I guess it is a spot to explore.

The image itself is a stitched panorama as I didn’t travel with an ultrawide angle lens. This was at the end of a rainy day in Dubai and I would not have imagined that rain would play such a big role during this visit to Dubai. 

Inspiration – Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham is an inspiration for me. Yesterday was his 87th birthday. He is still very active and photographs for the New York Times. Once a week he compiles a short video as this above about fashion, mostly in New York.

There are a number of things that are worth mentioning

  • At age 87 he is actively working as photographer
  • He still shoots on film
  • His main mode of transport is a bicycle
  • He is highly independent and from what I know does not receive any payment by the New York Times, not that they wouldn’t want to pay him, but he refuse to get paid.
  • Bill Cunningham received the Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and photographed his own prize giving.
  • He is a story teller.


Travel Preparations

I am finishing the last jobs before my trip to Muscat tomorrow. Packing lists are prepared and I just need to do the actual packing. About three weeks ago I had to hand in one of my favourite Fuji lenses for repair at Orms. It is the 56mm/ 1.2. It is a wonderful portrait lens with exceptional Bokeh (that blurry background and yes, it can be beautiful). I was looking forward to use the lens and it appears that the workshop is waiting for parts to arrive to complete the job, but that would be too late for my trip. I reached out to Orms and they organised with Hein Hough from Fuji to get me a loan lens (not simply a replacement, but the 56mm/1.2 APD) for my trip. Thank you, Hein to make it so uncomplicated and customer friendly. My client will be be the beneficiary of me having the lens on this trip.

I’ll share some pics on this blog when I am back 🙂