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Beginner Photography: Contrast

Hey y’all! This week’s topic is “contrast” and that could mean a few things: contrasting colors, contrast between the subject and the setting, contrast between light and dark. I attempted to capture each of these this week. I’m attracted to contrasting light in general, but I’d like to challenge myself to look for color in my shots more often.

My first idea was to shoot my black dog on my already high contrast black and white rug. He’s a reluctant model. I shot him from above to make the carpet fill the background and used Aperture priority to keep my aperture low to gather as much light as I could in my dim living room and blur the background. Please forgive my dirty carpet.

f/3.5, 1/15th, ISO 1600

His paw looks weird because he hurt it and has a bandage on it. Poor pupper.

Then I went through and found an old shot of some green weeds growing through a grate over a rusty red background. 

f/5, 1/80th, ISO 400


And the last one is a shot I took of a safety helmet in the rubble of an abandoned building. Pretty self-explanatory.

f/4.5, 1/80th, ISO 500


These aren’t my most aesthetically pleasing photos, but I think each one properly represents the different types of contrast that Chelsea listed for our topic this week. It’s really just a matter of keeping your eyes open for unusual compositions. I think it’s a great practice to get out of your comfort zone and look at the world around you differently. Are any of you shooting on the theme each week? If so, how has it changed your photography practice?

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Live Show Recap: Colors

Colors! You guys really showed up for this one. There were so many great examples of color as a focal point. You can read my blog on it here.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: next week’s show is on Monday instead of Thursday as T&C will be traveling. The topic is nature.

We just got 700,000 YouTube subscribers, and that is weird and scary.

We got the GH5 in and did a comparison of it here. Justin thinks it’s great.

Chelsea goes over to me for questions because she loves my face:

  • I’m the bees knees and also, what is the best gimbal stabilizer for the GH5? No idea! But not the Nebula 4000.

Now to your photos, I’ll highlight our picks below:

Over to me for some more questions:

  • how did Justin join the Northrup crew? He is married to Chelsea’s ex-husband’s cousin!¬†

Time for a portfolio review. Framed Listings real estate photography, beautiful work! Dial back your HDR on some of these, just make sure you’re not losing all the contrast. Put your drone shots on the front page as well, people will love them. Great pricing page and about page. Maybe crop out that picture of you with phallic chips. Otherwise very impressive work!

Submit some non-photography Squarespace portfolios to us so we can review those as well.

Back to me for some comments and questions:

  • first a pick for Philly boy Bill¬†Raymond’s crazy concert shot
  • compliments!
  • why do you think there aren’t photo travel shows, but so many cooking travel shows? No idea! It might be generational.

Diving back into the photos:

  • underwear
  • “look at this guy, his balloons matches his nips
  • vase
  • “it’s not level, right?” “the world’s not level, it’s a sphere”
  • dramatic
  • blue gate
  • rainbow overlay
  • color block door
  • ahhhh dogs
  • Tony’s afraid of dead air
  • haha Chelsea made a bad lichen pun and Tony didn’t even flinch
  • “I’m gonna warm it up, now you have lifestyle kitty. This is Instakitty.”
  • sunset bridge
  • water droplets

Over to me for some questions:

  • Tony, what are your favorite video games? He couldn’t remember the name, but it’s Horizon. Apparently Chelsea’s mom is real good at killing zombies.

Back to photos:

  • they talked about animal surgery while Tony edited this picture
  • little girl in red
  • Tony’s brain is totally weird
  • gorgeous unconventional shot
  • Volkswagen
  • lava lamps?
  • London

Back to me for questions:

  • monitor calibration? We haven’t found anything. Just the free Windows tool.

Here’s another portfolio! Simplify your layout. White background, black text. Pare down your photos, only your best ones should be there.

Why would you do this to Chelsea?

Chit-Chat! You say things we say things back.

  • not fair!
  • really real
  • why does everyone think they’re siblings?
  • Stanley Q-Bert is back
  • Chelsea’s totally original composition

A few last photos:

  • roof tiles
  • man in front of a teal wall
  • “yeah, kids are always drinking things that should be eaten”
  • headphones

And one last question from me:

  • how should you price prints? That’s hard. Online prints don’t sell high at all. Prints bought in art galleries can be sold for much more, but it really depends on where you’re selling and your skill level.
  • And how should you price post-processing? Tony and Chelsea disagree! Chelsea says post-processing should be an add-on, Tony thinks it should be default.
  • someone needs to make a gif of Chelsea’s extended side-eye here

Sarah Bowman! Lovely work as always.

And that’s a show! We’ll see you on Monday the 10th¬†for your nature photos.¬†

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Beginner Photography: Color

Color! The possibilities for this topic are endless. I had grand ideas of what I wanted to do, but limited resources. I had visions of bold lipstick, bold nails and a white background. Unfortunately I don’t have a studio to work with and I was my own model, so that limited my ideas a bit. But I was reminded of a shot I took for my food¬†project of a clementine on a teal plate.¬†

I decided to work with the same color palette and more fruit. I painted my nails teal and found the most aesthetically pleasing clementine and lemon in our fruit bowl and took them into my back yard for the natural light. Harsh light is good for fruit because you want the specular highlights, not the flat light that you may want for portraits.

I shot in aperture priority with a low aperture to blur the background as well as I could, and took a bunch of shots of my hand holding the fruit. Some in front of the wood decking and some in front of the ivy. 

f/3.6, 1/3200th, ISO 200


f/3.6, 1/3200th, ISO 200


Next I wanted to shoot my lips in a bright color with the green background and teal nails. This was a bit more challenging, but I finally downloaded the Olympus app for my phone so that I could control my camera from in front of it. Compared to Canon and Nikon’s apps, this one is great. I was able to focus and shoot myself from my phone while my camera was on the tripod in front of me.

f/4.5, 1/800th, ISO 200


f/4.5, 1/640th, ISO 200


f/4.5, 1/800th, ISO 200


For all of these images I tweaked the colors so that they were more saturated and complementary to each other. I edit my skin a ton because it looked terrible, and lightened it a bit so the colors would pop more.

Chelsea has a great tutorial on changing colors in Photoshop here that might help you out, although I did all my edits in Lightroom:

Do these work for you to convey color? I think the fruit shots do for sure, but I’m not sure about the self portraits. This was a really fun project for me, and I’m feeling more inspired than I have in a while.¬†

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Live Show Recap: Complementary Colors

Hello! You guys nailed complementary colors this week. Next week break some rules with your portraits. Should be fun! Don’t break any laws.

Guys, so sorry about the sound. The split screen mutes for a while. Every week we seem to have to adjust something and then it all goes crazy. Don’t worry, you’ll get to hear my voice later in the show.

Some PhotoNews at the top here:

  • Lumix GX85 announced
  • contact lens camera? This is terrifying. Give us virtual reality cake.
  • Tom from Myspace… err, Mark Zuckerberg, gave an interview that Tony agrees with about video

Ok, let’s look at your pictures and I’ll highlight our favorites below:

Over to me with your question, which I’ll have to write out for you below since you can’t hear me:

  • Tony mentioned in a video last year that he’d look into how DxOMark makes their money, did he ever? He tried! They never answered. Manufacturers pay them, but we’re not sure how that works.

Oh, we got a new weird piece of gear for blinding Chelsea. Pergear LED light used for matching studio light.

Back to your photos:

  • a pick right off the bat for this laundry
  • this texture pairing
  • “it’s frustrating for humans to not see eyes” Tony confirms that he is indeed not human
  • something about the colors in this one bother me, but Tony gives it a pick. Interesting shot though!
  • stock
  • beebutt
  • boats
  • Tony doesn’t know what Mickey Mouse looks like. For sure not human.
  • Mickey Mouse then Deadmau5?
  • ladybug
  • landscape

Back over to me for some of your questions, you get to watch me talk without hearing me say anything:

  • is it safe to clean your Sony sensor? Yes? idk, just do it.
  • any word on the travel show? Yes, we’re still planning and working on the contract.
  • is the D5 worth your money? Who’s? Yours? Mine? What’s your deal? Worth it if you’re a pro who needs to nail that shot.
  • are HDR and doge & burn the same thing? No. Different techniques for slightly different results.

Check out our podcast! Seriously, it’s great.

Hassleblad H6D announced

Let’s look at Nick Petrides’ portfolio. ¬†Lose the format, staggered is distracting. Your images are great though! It’s not really your birthday. Tony proves again that he is probably an android by his rendition of Happy Birthday.

A few more questions from you, our viewers:

  • but first let’s listen to Chelsea imitate her dad
  • compare the D810 to the D5? D810 is better for portraits, the D5 is heavy. D5 is best for low light and is unbeatable for sports and durability. The D810 is better for landscapes, portraits and studio work.
  • Aaron is alive as well, as of the show last night
  • Virtual Reality headsets? Yup, they used the Samsung VR. Give us virtual chocolate cake already.
  • what’s your/my favorite hair color? I don’t care, don’t tell me.

Ok, back to photos! Tony chose his favorites from the thumbnails. Just consider them all picks. The sound is garbage during this part, so just look at all the pretty colors.

Back to me because Chelsea misses my face:

  • what TV shows are you currently watching? We seriously end up talking about TV for so long. We love it, it’s great.
  • best TV show of all time?

Ok guys, sorry about that (or you’re welcome.) Back to photos!

  • chairs
  • pier
  • birds
  • ‘nother bird
  • red roof¬†“I’m going to give you a pick because you’re artsy, and big parties scare you”

More questions from you:

  • USB OTG on Samsung S7? No idea. You tell us.
  • then they talk about emojis and stuff? idk, guys.
  • What’s the strangest photography-related dream you’ve had? Tony has photography stress dreams, Chelsea does not. I dream about my former life as a house cleaner. Chelsea has B&E dreams.
  • Tony, what’s your monitor resolution and when are you going 5k? Less than 4k¬†and never?

Let’s look at Narked Frog Photo’s portfolio. What is that name even? Pare down your images, too many of the same thing/same person.¬†Change your text color and maybe your background color.¬†¬†for tips.

Chit-Chat! Our favorite part of the show where you say stuff and we say stuff back. This week is weirdly positive.

A picture speed round  before we end this thing:

  • “pull over, I’m gonna start a fire

Okay and then one more question:

  • Eric didn’t bring me pizza
  • Super-RAWs? Yes please.
  • send us cupcakes, priceemir lion

Don’t worry, Chelsea did more ASMR for you.

And that’s a show! Next week are portraits that break the rules. Thanks for hanging in there, y’all.


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Complementary Colors and Photography


Color Theory: Complementary Colors

Color theory can be applied to all forms of visual art, including fashion and interior design. In this post, we’ll look at how it can be utilized in the realm of photography, dealing specifically with the complementary color scheme.

Continue reading Complementary Colors and Photography