The Importance of Keeping every Photograph from a Photo Shoot – Why? Editing. That’s Why.

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to talk about something really important that many photographers (even just hobby photographers) do, that is a terrible habit.  This terrible habit I speak of is called….DELETING YOUR IMAGES that you think are unsuccessful from a shoot.  

If you are one of these people…stop it.

The only images you should ever completely delete right away without any future consideration of its value are images that are;

  • Completely underexposed and it is basically a black image because your camera settings were     incorrect for that shot. 
  • Shots that are really blurred or completely out of focus (unless that was your goal).  
  • Test lighting shots that do not include your subject
  • Incredibly unflattering shots like eyes half closed, bad angle. etc..

The above are usually safe to get rid of.  However any other image that contains your subject, EVEN if you think you will never ever use it…keep it.

WATCH…

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Original Image I considered unusable… Overexposed He was not posing, just getting ready There is a HAND in the shot I never thought this would be something I use.
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Finished product – redone over a year later, removed hand, sharpened colors and interesting contrast, model looks like he WAS posing. Completely different photograph

I want to say that as artists we tend to evolve frequently, and our projects and interests sometimes can take such different turns from what we originally planned.  As we grow, we also start to view things differently both in out eyes and through our lenses.  Our minds change, our hearts break and life throws everything it has at you and sometimes just one year later your artistic perspective is completely different from before.

The more important thing is that you should constantly be getting better and improving upon your skills and knowledge.  This includes editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.  The more photos and images you edit and create, the better you get at it…obviously.

Editing is an incredibly powerful a tool to photographers in today’s technology driven industry just as much as the precious DSLR strapped around their necks.

Recently I was looking through my photography galleries just because I can, when I came across 2 images, both over a year old.  Both images at the time I considered unsuccessful for several reasons and truly they were….then.

So I fixed them, and that is when I realized I have ALOT of old photos to look through because I have missed some good stuff.

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Original image – shot in a cave, underexposed, unflattering angle to the model on the right, terrible framing, and just not enough detail
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Finished Image – redone, cropped properly, exposure and contrasts adjusted, took out the model that I messed up on shooting right, and sharpened features and colors. Much better 🙂

With my improved editing skills, I was able to take the two images in this blog that did not work for me previously and turn them into images that I happen to think work very well now.  I think I would slap myself if I had deleted these because of what I just could not see at the time.  

Like I said, my vision changed and my skills improved.

So as you go forth taking photographs both successfully and unsuccessfully, do not be so quick to hit that DELETE button when reviewing your images.  You just never know!

– B.B. Rebel

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“Left Alone to my Own Devices” – A Fine Art Project done by Yours Truly – B.B. Rebel

Good day to everyone!

This post will have some of my more personal work in it…I hate to ruin it with my giant stamp but you just can’t be too careful these days.

I categorize these images as fine art, not because I think they’re so fine but because I simply don’t know what other category best suits them except “weird photos” which is not a real category…

As you look at these images, please keep in mind that in one way or another, each of these images expresses something about myself, my thoughts, and my deepest darkest secrets.  The best of me and the worst of me are represented in these photographs.

These are some of my favorites from different projects….I will briefly talk about each one, but please decide for yourself what you feel about them.  Whether they bother you or irritate you, stir something in you, or you hate them; it is alright.  Just feel anything. 🙂

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“Drip, Boil and Bubble” 

This image to me is about confusion, chaos and all the beautiful things that make no sense but come together in an inexplicable warmth.

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“Shiver”

I will leave it to you to try to figure out what the hell this is a picture of…I felt so cold when I should have been warmest.

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“Reflection”

Reflect on this: Fuck you.  Take it however you want.

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“Shimmering Vortex”

All that glitters is gold.  Actually, it rarely ever is gold….just a shiny distraction from reality.

When I take photographs like these, I usually feel at most relaxed, my most comfortable.  I am never worried about the opinion of others, their judgement, or whether they can see my vision.  That, to me is what truly makes this my “fine art” –  because it really is so unrefined in its own way, which makes it truly mine.  This is me at my happiest, Nikon in hand and only the physical world requiring my attention.

There are no models to move or position, no makeup to do, no images that are interesting because some beautiful human is in them.

These images made me think about deep things – from the time I clicked the shutter through selecting them and editing them until I finally watermarked them.  I thought of art, abstract beauty, how deceiving something can look if you need it to, and how simply beautiful the most ordinary objects can be when the right eyes fall upon them.

My Critique of Two Photographs by Charles Harbutt

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another day in life.

I had the pleasure a few months ago of seeing an exhibition of photographer Charles Harbutt’s work at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ.

Although I am not a professional art critic obviously, part of my education requires me to be able to look at art and discuss it.

Critique is often so misused as a negative term, really it isn’t simply criticism but just somebody’s evaluation of someone else’s work.  CRITIQUE CAN BE A VERY POSITIVE THING. Or it can suck.

As a photography student, I am required multiple times a week to stand before a class and show my work to my peers and instructors and have to take whatever comments they dish out.  Sometimes I want to smack someone and sometimes I feel proud, either way though, I take something away from every thing people tell me regarding my work.

Even if it’s just to make fun of them behind their backs later 😉

So it is only fair that I get to dish out some of this “critique” onto known photographers.  I have studied and chosen (for my own reasons) two images from the exhibition that I want to discuss.   I hope you enjoy my thoughts on these…or comment if you have your own…:)

Woman and Train – Providence, RI 1976

Upon entering the Creative Center for Photography exhibition gallery the first thing that catches my eye on the wall is a huge black and white (all of his work is black and white as I came to see) print of this photograph directly on the wall, seamless.

There is a cloaked woman with her face hidden by a great deal of shadow on the verge of getting on a train with an incredibly rich, thick, brilliant white fog rolling out from underneath the train, rising up from the tracks.  The fog is so thick that it makes me feel like if I was there I could step on it, like when I was I child in an airplane I thought I could walk on clouds.  The rising fog also creates a smoky effect through the entire image making it very mysterious and intense.  Many questions arise in my head, like is she leaving somewhere she loved?  Is she leaving someone behind?  Does she want to arrive at her destination?  I get a melancholy feeling from this photograph, like she is leaving someone she may have loved but things just did not work out and now she is headed back to wherever she may have begun.

There is an actual flaw in the image itself caused by something going wrong in the developing of the negative and there is a slight imprint running diagonally across the bottom right hand corner where the train of the edge of the negative but instead of taking away from the photograph it actually enhances it.  It is not distracting enough to take away any of the power or mystery from the image because it somehow manages to blend in without blending in and instead it acts like a foreground that slightly frames the image in a crooked way.

Perhaps this is the image they chose to display in the entry to represent his collection because like me, other people also agree that it his strongest image.  Woman and Train is well composed, with leading lines, rich textures and mysterious shadows that leave me wanting to know the story but allowing me to fantasize my own story as well.   

Collapsing Building – Hamberg, ND 1995

This image was one of the smaller ones in the exhibition and my first thought as I walked up to it is how much more effective the photograph would be if displayed about three times larger than the size chosen.  Small as it was however, it was still poignant and interesting enough to attract my attention, obviously.

Collapsing Building shows a typical North Dakota plains setting featuring an open landscape and clear skies with a completely crooked and severely leaning little house that looks decayed and rotted and probably about thirty seconds away from falling over into a pile of rubble.  The paint is peeling and worn, gone in most spots and the windows are busted out.  The house is framed on the right by a completely vertical and straight telephone pole and the grass framing the bottom edge of the photograph is completely straight as well, giving the photograph with a collapsing house this immaculately neat framing which provides for a great deal of contrast in the photograph.

The most striking component and perhaps arguably the strongest part of this image is the little boy walking in front of the house stopped on the sidewalk and notably looking at the house.  You can only see the back of his head so you cannot see his expression, but as a viewer I can only imagine that he probably looks astonished and very fascinated, perhaps even scared that the house might fall on him.

This image speaks to me, with its clean lines and perfectly, patiently framed composition and contrasting subjects and subject matter.  It reminds me of the power of destruction, the loss of innocence when something is obliterated or taken from us as a child, the desolate and empty feeling of watching something decay and slowly fade away, for example your childhood. 

If you liked these images, please check out the work of Charles Harbutt…it is interesting for sure.

-B.B. Rebel

Workers from all over the World – Beautiful Award Winning Photographs

Happy Monday everyone!

Last week I was sitting in class not paying attention (shocking) and I was on my phone looking on my Flipboard App when I came across this amazing article and honestly was so instantly captivated I couldn’t wait to share it with everybody.  Thank you Flipboard!

I really really hope you guys all appreciate these images as much as I do and go check out some of these photographer’s work because it is truly phenomenal.  I’m jealous 🙂

Most visually stunning to me was this first one I am showing.  I fell in love.


Asia-Pacific winner: “Net Mending” by Ly Hoang Long, Vietnam

As I was looking at these images it struck me ( not for the first time ) how exceptionally different our lives are all around this world everyday.  During the very same moment in time, somewhere in the world there is a man in a suit sitting in an office in front of a computer in New York City and a group of Vietnamese people fishing in a small village living in houseboats and huts.

I don’t really mean this in some negative way, please do not misunderstand.

I actually think there is a peace and absolute beauty to the way that the world comes together through millions of people performing completely different tasks not realizing how each of them really contribute to the other.


00:00 hours winner: “Last Train” by Chris Jongkind, Japan


05:00 hours winner: “Dawn with Donkey” by Somenath Mukhopadhyay, Turkey

After all, where would the world be if everyone had a similar job?  Is it fair to say one person’s career or job is more important than another?

Are you more important because you are a doctor or a lawyer than the garbage man?  What would we do if there were no garbage men?  If there was nobody willing to take our trash out, weave our fishing nets, serve us in restaurants, wake up at 4 am to bake us fresh bread, milk cows and farm crops and animals so we can eat, what would we do?

So, I guess what I am trying to do is use these photos to make you think about the world in a different way.  A way that is more than just pictures or fascinating images.

Although these are awesome.


10:00 hours winner: “Fish Market” by Saumalya Ghosh, India

I want people to think about roles in life, the role you play in the world.  What do you think?   Are you important?  If I came and took a picture of your job, what would it look like?

The truth is….you’re probably more important to the functioning mechanics of the world than you realize.

Sincerely,

B.B. Rebel

P.S. – to see more of this work please visit

http://designtaxi.com/news/370121/Fascinating-Photographs-Capture-Working-Life-In-Cities-Around-The-World

Homeless in Tucson, AZ – A Series in Progress

Happy Monday Everyone!

I suppose at any given point in time in life, anything can happen.  People can fall from the highest positions of authority and respect to barely existing as a human being.

I set out to do some street photography for school a year ago so I went to a kind of a run down part of Tucson during the day to try and capture something harsh and unsettling.  That was what I set out to do.

Here is what ended up happening.

As I was walking around with my camera, a homeless man approached me and asked what I was doing, so I explained.  We then struck up a conversation about humanity and war (he was a war veteran) and while he talked I noticed the deep wrinkles around his eyes and mouth, his leathery skin, lack of teeth and realized I had something so real and unsettling right before my eyes.  I politely asked if I could take a few pictures of him while he spoke and he kindly obliged.  After spending nearly 30 minute with him we parted ways and I wished him the best of luck.

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I decided that my project would take a more specific approach and I walked the streets looking for obviously homeless people and just taking some time to talk to them, get to know them and how they got to this point.  What circumstances in their lives brought them into homelessness?

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It is amazing how much people are willing to tell you about themselves if you are JUST WILLING TO LISTEN.  I heard many stories that week as I narrowed down and continued to shoot the series and I walked away with so much knowledge….but not about photography.

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I learned about life, and the conditions in which some people are forced to survive.  I learned about loss, tragedy, neglect, and ignorance.

The most important thing I took away from this project had nothing to with lighting, aperture, or photography.

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I learned that when hope is lost, nothing that remains makes any difference at all.

Sincerely,

B.B. Rebel

P.S. All photos were used with permission from the subject, verbal consent for use was given during shooting.

Interested in a Boudoir Shoot but Feeling Shy? – 10 Tips on How to Prepare Yourself

Hello everybody!

Today I want to share some things about Boudoir Photography for people that have ever been (SECRETLY) interested in having pictures of them taken in this intimate style and sexy style.

More importantly, I want to put you at ease and slightly prepare so you might actually go book a session!

Ladies pay close attention to this:  One of the most intimate and sensual gifts you could ever give your partner is a boudoir shoot.  This gift quite literally works for ALL occasions.

Also, think of a boudoir session as a gift to yourself and the beauty you possess as a woman captured in the softest and most intimate way.

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1.  Find and use a photographer you are COMFORTABLE with! This is so important because the less awkward you feel the more your natural beautiful self will translate into the photographs!

2. This is SUPER IMPORTANT: Leave all of your doubts and insecurities behind you before a boudoir session, all you need to do are just prepare yourself for a unique, different and sensual experience.  Leave the rest to your hopefully awesome photographer!!!  They will coach and guide you through it for a pleasant and hopefully fun photography session.

3.  If there was ever a time to treat yourselves, ladies….this is it! Prior to your session have a salon/spa day.  Get a manicure and pedicure, have your hair and makeup done, get your eyebrows and other areas waxed.  The more confident you feel about yourself the better the photographs are going to turn out.

4.  Bring several outfits and changes of clothing, try them on first, make sure the outfits you pick fit you in a way that you like and that flatters your body type. You can never ever have too many choices of lingerie during a boudoir shoot!

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5.  RESEARCH some poses and pictures you like and take examples with you for your photographer. I always encourage my clients to go on Pinterest to find some ideas they like and I also refer them to my Boudoir Photography Board that contains all kinds of poses and boudoir ideas that I like personally and find successful. 

In case you are interested:

http://www.pinterest.com/belindabeeler/boudoir-photography

6.  Bring your 3 favorite, sexiest heels/shoes/boots – I know it might get hard to narrow it down ladies but try…

7.  Avoid scheduling a boudoir photography session around “that time of the month” because you want to feel beautiful, not bloated, cramping, and miserable.

8.  Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing prior to the shoot in order to avoid any lines or irritations on your skin that will be visible once most of your clothing is removed. Tight belts or uncomfortably tight jeans are not recommended. 

9.  Practices posing in a mirror at home by yourself before you come in for the session; this will help ease some awkwardness you may feel regarding how to pose.

10.  Bring a friend!  Why not make a fun day of it and bring your best friend with you?  Moral support and encouragement from someone you are close to will certainly make you feel more at ease.

I hope this helped.  Now go book a boudoir session and have some fun! 🙂

  • B.B. Rebel

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Behind the Scenes with B.B. Rebel Photography: Bikini Swimming Pool Shoot

What Photo-shoots can REALLY be like:

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First of all I have to state that we did this shoot in an apartment complex swimming pool on a Monday night and didn’t even get there until 10:30pm.  Obviously we assumed it would be a slow pool night.

We assumed wrong.

It was like the busiest night at the club, seriously.  Groups of people were coming and going in and out, there were screaming children jumping in the pool (around my photography equipment) and people just kicking back drinking getting wasted.

So here we are with my umbrella and light stand, camera equipment, and other odd looking things that just don’t belong with this crowd.  My model Emi is just standing there unsure how to pose with these children watching and men openly gawking at us.

For about an hour we took horrible, awkward and uncomfortable shot after another.  At one point I was looking for spots we could shoot and be partially hidden…FAIL.

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When it became apparent nobody was planning to leave and it was past midnight, we gave up and just said the hell with it and started doing whatever we wanted.  Just when shots were coming out just right…. The wind picked up insanely and we started having microbursts – one that actually picked up my umbrella which was attached to my light stand (that had a 10 lbs. sand bag holding it down) which was of course, attached to my expensive little Speedlight and the whole thing landed maybe a few inches short of inside the swimming pool.  THAT WAS FUN.  Like a heart attack is fun.

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But throughout all of the trials and tribulations J we were able to get what I like to think were some very successful and romantic pictures.  I say romantic because she appears to be alone at the pool.

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  • B.B. Rebel

To see more from this shoot please visit my Facebook page: facebook.com/bbrebelphotography

Model Credit:  Emi Chan

Equipment:

  • Nikon D90
  • 24-70 mm f 2.8 lens
  • Nikon SB-700 Speedlight and 2 Pocket Wizards
  • Reflector umbrella on a light stand