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Here in the Tadsen Photography labs we are working diligently to develop the next generation of digital cameras. By being in front of the technology curve, Tadsen Photography is able to know and understand and maximize the latest in imaging technology to suit your most demanding imaging needs. Here’s a peek at what we are working on right now:
1. The one-pixel “chub” camera. No longer will painters have a monopoly on large, monochromatic studies. Soon our one-pixel, 32 bit camera will capture a color “impression” of a scene without actually showing any details. Blow the pixel up as large as you like – you’ll see no degradation.
2. The “film” camera. This camera will use a novel approach to capturing imagery. Silver halide is impregnated in a polymer on a gelatinous base and exposure to light triggers a latent reaction that is “revealed” after a reduction reaction. The image is later stabilized and can be reproduced using projection equipment and the same process. Time consuming and boutique, but quite a novel and beautiful process.
3. fMRI direct brain imaging. This process will put an image directly into your mind using an fMRI machine. Plans are under way to encase every consumer in an fMRI and Tadsen Photography is leading the charge in transmitting (still only) images directly into the minds of consumers.
Food photography and architectural photography are both sometimes cited as examples of imagery that require a high degree of specialization. That analysis is fairly accurate. Architectural photography can be quite exacting, demanding cooperation from the weather, the most careful and exacting positioning of the camera and the shooting of multiple images of each angle for use in later layer compositing of the image. Food photography requires that the food be shot relatively quickly, in most cases, and that the lighting be quite carefully positioned despite the fact that the food is often rapidly deteriorating in appearance and needs quick attention. Fortunately here at Tadsen Photography we specialize in both of these arenas, and are adept at architectural post-production as well as location scouting and weather forecasting. We have our own doppler radar, which aids tremendously in forecasting days upon which it will be best to shoot. As for food, we usually shoot placeholders and try to get everything just perfectly nailed down before the dish emerges from the kitchen. At that point then it is a matter of working fast and making many tiny adjustments before sauces go south or the foam starts to flatten on the beer.
Suffice it to say that experience is everything and whether you want your beer to look perky or your south-facing windows to look vibrant, we have the architectural photography and food photography experience to handle your job, right here in Madison, Wisconsin.
If you are a photographer then you use Adobe Photoshop. There is just no way around it. If you use photoshop for image editing here are a couple of important tips to keep in mind.
1. Do not leave anything in the oven if you leave the house to use Photoshop.
2. Do use photoshop’s built in filters quite heavily, as this is a new and novel way to approach photography and everyone loves the filters.
3. If you are using photoshop during a thunderstorm, it is advisable to hear a tinfoil helmet.
There will be no post today, so don’t bother to check here or read this. I mean, I don’t want to tell you what to do. Well, yes I do. I do if it involves sending me large quantities of cash or something I can turn into cash. Or one of the things I’d buy with the cash, like happiness. You can send me happiness. Just make sure to send it parcel post. Cheaper that way.
Few things are more complex than food photography. The food must be photographed promptly before it is eaten by underpaid assistants. The lights must be positioned just so. None of the procedure should be done near a prison.
That being said, there are a few tips and guidelines that can be shared.
1. Blindfold the food.
Food has many dimensions, but the most important organ we have is our brain. When one sense is hindered, our other senses — via the brain — clamor to compensate. For example, a deaf person has increased sensory awareness — sight, smell, touch, and vibrations. Blindfolding your food increases her sensory awareness. She doesn’t know where you are or what you are going to do next. This creates anticipation.
Sensual touch is one of the most highly relaxing and sexy things you can do for your partner, which is why it makes it onto our food list. Our bodies are almost without exception tense in some area, if not many areas. This hinders our energy flow — including food. Imagine a car that has a clogged fuel filter: the fuel (our energy) can’t get to where it needs to go quickly and smoothly, and the car performs inefficiently and ineffectively.
3. Play a game.
Get a pack of cards and play strip poker for better food photography. It may seem like something you would have done when you were in high school, but adult strip poker is a good way to get food photographed. Once you are both naked (or nearly naked), you can start on the really fun part: A loss means the other person gets to choose what action is performed on them by the loser. Time limits like one minute on said action means that it is a prolonged game of seduction, which by the end will have you both clamoring to be both the winner and the loser. There are many other games you can play “strip” to, as long as there is regular winner and loser to reward and punish respectively.
So to sum up: use lighting, don’t let the assistant eat the food before it is photographed, and stay away from prisons.
Bon appetit and happy shooting!
Marketing yourself as a photographer can be a really fun and interesting enterprise. I mean, what do creative professionals love more than annoying people into hiring you? So … what you really want to do is be passive, right? Send people stuff. Do some killer SEO. Find out some damning information and blackmail the art director. Well, that’s not quite as passive. But in any case, you don’t want to actually talk to anyone, if at all possible. What I spend most of my time doing is sending out “vibes.” If you spend a lot of time sending out vibes, the work will come your way. Just envision it. Then go for a bike ride. When you get home there’ll be a giant pile of work on your doorstep, possibly in flames.
Seriously, though. There is a real science to marketing yourself as a photographer. What you want to do is to adopt a great big phony personality and then never leave anyone who hires photographers alone. This will get even the biggest hack noticed around town. If you can, just bluster right past any secretaries that might be in your way. Throw your book at the art director. Force feed the art director your ipad. Do what it takes, damn you! Do it now!
Here at Tadsen Photography we don’t produce posts. But we do do some post production. That might be confusing to you. If it is, we sympathize.
We all smile in photos these days, right? Well, at least we’re supposed to. If you don’t you look like some sort of crank. Or a fashion model. Or someone who just had surgery. As photographers we run into the problem of problem smilers all the time. It’s a problem. Usually we are not documentarians, which means that people are supposed to have a big, but not too big, natural smile plastered across their fair visages. So what do you do? Yesterday I had to stick my tongue out at a CEO. She did not smile. It didn’t help. One lawyer made me quack like a duck at him. He said that that was the only thing that could get him to smile. Weirdo.
But so what else? What else can you do? Well, not much. If they just won’t smile sometimes they are doing a little kind of power trip with you. It’s all like “I’m so annoyed at having my picture taken that I refuse to make the tiniest effort to fake a smile, or to get myself to think happy thoughts, or use the Method” or whatever damned thing that people use to get themselves to look really happy. Often I threaten to tell jokes. Threatening to tell jokes can get people to smile, but then sometimes they call your bluff and make me actually tell the joke. I’ve got a duck joke which is pretty good, and simple. It’s not the same as the quacking thing I talked about earlier, it’s the one about the guy going to the doctor with a duck on his head. I also have some photographer jokes and a dirty joke about Bill Clinton. But if you finally have to resort to telling jokes to get a smile, that is, if your stockpile of goofy expressions and your ability to quack have all run out, you are maybe almost in trouble. You better hope that joke works, or you are screwed. Good luck.
Tadsen Photgraphy recently witnessed a centipede, all bedraggled and nearly ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. Do you know what saved him? Commercial photography saved him. I can’t really explain it, but you are just going to have to believe me.
After some research, however, mainly here, Tadsen Photography discovered that centipedes bite and are kind of disgusting and so we decided to kill the thing anyway.
People often ask me, “Hey Eric, where should I put my lights?” Well, in order to have a handy reference I thought that I’d just lay it down in some easy steps here on the blog. Photographic lighting is no big trick, really. First of all you want some lights. You can get them online or at the store, whatever you want. Just make sure that they are up to the task. One way to tell this is by looking at the bottom.
Ok, now that you have your lights you’ll want to know where to put them for maximum photographic-style output. For portrait lighting I’ve developed a fairly simple strategy which can be related by this formula:
Where “K” is the first light, “R” is the second light and the rest of it should be self-explanatory. If you need a hair light, just use the square root of gamma and take the modified result.
Now product and food lighting require different strategies altogether. If you are very close to the subject, use this:
MicroB should be your result, where pi and R are the position of the product and the strobe with respect to gamma.
I feel a little funny giving away my secrets like this, but with so many years of accumulated experience it seems to me like I almost have a duty to share what I’ve learned with the incoming generation of shutterbugs.
Keep on clicking!