Archive for ‘Digital Lifestyle’

March 7, 2013

Photo Retouching: Moving Mainstream, Full-Speed

When Photoshop arrived 24 years ago, the photography community was up in arms as it was affecting photographic truth, according to David Hlynsky, a University of Toronto professor in Photoshop and digital media.

Leaving aside the point that photography is more of a point of view than the truth, the question is whether photo retouching is any more dishonest than wearing makeup.

Now photo retouching is moving mainstream – there is no doubt about it. According to a research conducted by Glamour magazine, nearly 60 percent of respondents feel it’s OK for a woman to tweak her personal pictures, and 23 percent of women ages 25 to 29 do it; that number climbs to 41 percent among those ages 18 to 24. “Several years ago, retouching personal photos would have seemed strange, even vain,” says Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D., a Cincinnati psychologist and coauthor of The Life You Want.“This survey shows it’s common and women are fine with it.”

“[Retouching] is the nature of the digital age, we edit because we can,” says Professor Hlynsky. “Technology will process our image whether we like it or not.”

Why do we do it? Your photo makes a big difference in how people perceive you, so you want to put your best foot forward. Photo editing can help a picture appear to be more professional, and can express one’s personality better. That is if it’s done right.

Self-Photoshopping-fails

SOURCES:
Retouching: How Much Is Too Much? – Glamour
Personal Photo Retouching: Millennials Going To Great Lengths For Perfect Pictures Online – Huffington Post
Self-Portrait Photoshop Fails – Resource Magazine
 

photohand-photo-improvement-correction-retouching-ad

October 15, 2012

Every Dog Deserves Fifteen Minutes of Photo Fame

Don’t you get annoyed when people share with you the pictures of their kids and dogs? I bet you do unless you are the same way and are dying to show the world what your loved one has been up to. A brand-new (launched last week) photo sharing network PuppyStream.me helps you to do exactly that – broadcast your puppy’s cutest pics to the like-minded dog-owners.

The utterly modern PuppyStream.me is a dynamic way to chronicle your pups’ life through photo updates providing a super easy way to  seamlessly pull in photos from Instagram, Facebook or your computer.

The membership is free. Share your dog’s life story and discover new cute pups from around the world!

Here are some pics from the launch party at the Invisible Dog Art Center where the guests could have their pictures taken in a doggie photo booth. Here is an idea for your next puppy’s birthday party:)

August 30, 2011

Does your profile picture work for you?

Whether you are a lawyer, a sales person, an executive, an entrepreneur or a creative type, you need a business portrait also called a headshot, mugshot, or executive portrait to use as a profile picture online, on business cards and brochures, in company annual reports, for the press, etc.

Why good profile pictures matter
Remember, first impression are difficult to change and a business portrait is the ideal way to show the public exactly who you are. So you need to put your best photo forward to produce the right first impression and there are several things to take into account when making that picture perfect.

How to pose
You need a shot where you look relaxed but confident and look into the camera for eye contact. The purpose of a business portrait is to connect and establish trust while you are not physically there.

How to dress
First, wear something comfortable – posing is hard the way it is and wearing clothes that don’t sit well will make you look stiff and unnatural. On the other hand, be aware of clothing that wrinkles easily as that will look sloppy and unprofessional.

Otherwise, your choice of clothing should be dictated by the type of image you are looking to project – conservative, friendly, artsy or approachable. Still, there are certain photography-related technicalities and some natural rules of perception to be taken into account.

Keep in mind that all black clothes might come out as a solid black spot while all white will reflect the flash light and might “blind” the camera. Off-white, navy blue, gray and brown, are better choices for neutral colors.

For women, avoid open shoulders and deep cuts. When you photo is cropped to fit the online format or the layout of the publication, you might appear as if wearing no clothes. It is better if you wear a long sleeve shirt which is more flattering on arms than short. Avoid busy prints and jewelry – they are distracting in photos.

Hire a professional or use a lucky amateur shot
Needless to say that a professional will deliver a good portrait with ease helping you with posing and setting the lighting in no time. But hiring a professional is not always an option when you are self-employed or an entrepreneur on a tight budget. In this case, if you have a good shot taken by an amateur, it can be enhanced to the level of the studio portrait. The photo below was improved at $11.95. Without the change of the background, this would have cost $3.50 – an affordable expense for any budget.


Contemporary consumer cameras go to 10 Megapixels and higher to give you top-notch resolution of any professional camera. With a good lighting, your friend, colleague or a family member can produce a decent shot of you that will be enhance to the grade of a studio portrait by a retoucher.

Should I get my photo retouched?
Professionally shot “executive portraits” normally get retouched. This is a subtle procedure to give your image a “fresher” (not younger) look. Any temporary skin imperfections like blemishes and rashes that tend to pop up in digitally shot photos due to the sharpness of the capture get evened out. If your eyes welled up with tears during intense posing and exsessive lighting, the retoucher will dry them and fix the eye redness. Flyaway hair that gives the image a sloppy look is removed. Makeup is fixed. Eyeglasses glare and unsightly facial shadows get eliminated. For men, shaving mishaps get corrected. Flashlight reflection that makes the face look oily is toned down. Lint is removed from clothing.

These might sound like trifle things but all these tiny imperfections, hardly noticeable in reality, get into the limelight when a person sees your photo for the first time. After all, it’s 70% how you look, 20% how you sound, and 10% what you say.

August 8, 2011

Photography Fashion: Photoshoot in Style!

Accessorize your camera! Go photoshooting in style by adding some couture to your camera, whether it’s SLR or Point and Shoot type. Original and colorful camera straps will add to your look or can serve as excellent gifts for Photography fans.

Trendy Camera Straps offers an elegant collection of neck straps and wristlets for men and women that features modern design pattern.

Trendy Camera Straps
Capture Couture offers a variety of material- silk, organza, tapesty – get several for different occasions and seasons.

Capturing Couture
In the mood for funky monkey, pink bling or green camouflage, there are themed camera straps for you.

There is something for everyone. Pick your style!

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July 9, 2011

Papercraft Celebrates Retro Photo Cameras

These 100% recyclable retro cameras are for keeps. Each device is cut by hand utilizing sustainable paper, and even the smallest “waste” scraps are re-used to form some of the smallest detailed components.

The photo camera and the Polroid were crafted by design studio Zim and Zou based in Nancy, France, and there is more colorful retro electronic devices made of paper to admire.

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June 13, 2011

New Tennessee Law Bans Posting Images That Cause Emotional Distress

The new Tennessee law that bans posting images that cause emotional distress has caused a lot of stir in the media. Specifically, it outlaws posting photos on the web that cause “emotional distress” to someone and have no “legitimate purpose.” The punishment amounts to a year in prison and nearly $2,500 in fines. It is stated that there needs to be “malicious intent,” so dimwits with poor judgement can be off the hook, but the law nails down the persons who “reasonably should know” that the actions would “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

Unfortunately the wording of the law motivated by good intentions is too broad not to get into a conflict with the Freedom of Speech. For starters, it doesn’t require that the picture be of the “victim,” only that it be distressing to the “victim.” This leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

With all the criticism the law has received, we should appreciate the attempt of the Tennessee law-makers at curbing the actions of bullies and bitter jerks who, thanks to the Internet, now enjoy the access to worldwide audiences.

When the news came, we remembered a rather creepy call to our studio asking if we could place a new face on a totally naked body in another photo. We do photo montage but our company policy precludes us from handling images that feature frontal nudity and we quickly turned down the order. The caller lamented that no studio would take his order. We were glad to hear that though most probably the guy eventually found someone to do the job.

Women, and we know this as our staff and clients are primarily female, are very sensitive about their photos and often feel like executing their friends for posting lousy photos of them on Facebook – not the malicious ones but just bad photos taken from an unfavorable angle at the wrong moment. Now if these are really embarrassing shots taken by creeps for whom propriety and civility have no value, we seriously want them to be brought to court.

So, no matter how imperfect the Tennessee Law is in defining the “emotional distress”, it’s a good start for a movement to protect the dignity of ordinary persons as well as celebrities.

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February 9, 2011

Boudoir Photo – A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for boudoir photographers as women are looking to drop the tired clichés in favor of an original and sexy gift.

What is boudoir photography?
It is sensual and tasteful photography that portrays a woman in the best light possible – fun and sexy pictures.

What it is not are R-rated or X-rated photos taken by some creep claiming to be an artist. Nudity and porn are certainly not boudoir photography.

Though the origins of boudoir photography date back to the early 20th century and trace their roots to the pin-up girls of WWII France, it was only in the last couple of years that this photography genre has entered the mainstream.

Women took to it as a way to celebrate themselves and capture their essence at a particular time of their life.

Now some photographers provide group packages which makes the service more affordable for women and creates a fun and supportive atmosphere where you cheer each other up.

What makes for a good boudoir photo?
Sensual yet comfortable posing is essential – looks don’t matter as much as how you are feeling. You must feel beautiful, confident and sexy. Above all, the boudoir photo shoot should boost your self-esteem, not break it.

The lighting should be used in the most flattering way.

Discreet retouching – no cellulite, blemishes, rashes or any other skin imperfections, no wrinkles, no double chins. Your photo should be poetry celebrating you, not prose.

These rules will make your boudoir portrait a perfect Valentine’s gift for your significant other.

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December 15, 2010

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Official Engagement Portraits With “Minimal” Retouching

According to Associated Press, the official engagement photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton got retouched.

“William’s office says the couple’s two official portraits underwent “minimal” retouching before they were released. The palace said Tuesday that the couple’s appearance was not altered, but adjustments made were to light balance and contrast because “the final portraits are works of art,” like the painted portraits made of previous royal generations.”

Still it looks like some flash glare should have been removed.

link to the AP report

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December 3, 2010

Bringing Glamour to the Masses – This Holiday Season & Always

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November 16, 2010

A New Twist on the Season’s Greetings Tradition from PhotoHand.com

Tired of the same cookie-cutter greeting cards? Looking for new gift ideas? This holiday season check out the new generation of highly personalized greeting card design launched by PhotoHand! There are no two cards alike – PhotoHand takes your favorite photo and integrates it with a unique graphic design to create a montage. As an option, have your child’s photo combined with the photo of her drawing as the background.

Orders can be placed online and this will cost you only $11.95 while you get a very special keepsake unlike the mundane prefabricated options offered by other companies. PhotoHand can also facilitate printing at a reasonable cost for you if you don’t have a favorite printer.

PhotoHand photo card offering extends to personal events, like birthdays, bachelorette parties, bar mitzvahs, baby showers… You can order a creative collage of several photos at $5.95 per image. Such gifts are fun, original and as personable as they get.

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