Adobe finally put some of the tools in PhotoShop into Lightroom Classic. One is the Artificial Intelligence that will find your subject and mask it.
As you can see above I did that with this group photo. The reason I did this is the background is a little hot and I want to tone it down.
So here is what I started with as you can see below.
Now after using the Select Subject mask I then inverted the selection.
Then I just darkened the background and ended up with this final image.
Now how long it takes for Lightroom Classic to find the subject has a great deal to do with your computer’s power. It does take a few seconds for it to do it’s magic.
Using the metadata embedded in your images from your camera can also speed up your edting.
I often will select a lens or camera to edit just those images. The idea is get all the similar images in your selection and sync your editing over all those images that have similarity.
This week I was shooting an event where I shot about half of the photos with available light and the rest with flash. I noticed the color was needing a tweak on all the flash shots. I shot them using slow sync and some of the available light was giving a color cast that I wanted to correct.
The key to speeding up your editing is to group images with similar edits together.
[DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 100, 1/4000, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]
The pandemic cut the number of jobs most photographers and videographers were doing. It did give us time to practice, but it was hard some days to do anything.
Lately I have been trying to remind myself to push and take out the cameras when I can and shoot for myself.
Flying my drone is something that has helped a great deal this past couple years. It is still new to me and the perspectives are not something I see everyday walking around.
Sometimes I am on the ground looking up, as I did the other day in the parking lot of the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Georgia. I enjoy seeing things from a different perspective.
While visiting my daughter in Columbus, Georgia the past couple of times I took my drone out and flew it. Since she works at the Springer Opera House which is a historic theater at 103 Tenth Street in Downtown Columbus, Georgia I flew it over the facility.
Luck was on my side that day. The people at Springer saw the photos and realized a couple days later when they had a leak in the ceiling they could use my photos to find the leak.
I took out the drone earlier last month to show the work they were doing putting in 4 piers to help stabilize our foundation that was shifting. Now all this work in underground and unless you saw them put it in you would never know.
Of course I took some closeup shots as well.
In July we had our roof replaced due to hail damage. Here I took out the drone as well to get some photos for us to see what they were doing.
Look for those opportunities to Practice!
All these examples are just me showing that you can practice all the time. The thing that is happening is the same skills I am using for my personal projects will later be things I am called on to do for my clients.
While in Hawaii I took my drone. Every year since 2006 I had been going to Kona, but have never seen the campus where I taught from the air. I could see how close we were to downtown Kona.
By just deciding to practice and have fun I was able to see the difference between daytime shooting and night time. I now have some examples of the same location day and night to help customers understand the advantages of each time for their projects.
My daughter likes to experiment as much as I, so for her college graduation shots we played around with colored gels. I really hadn’t used these in more than 15 years and pulling them out and trying something new was fun for both us us.
Practice is about experimenting and stretching yourself.
Artistically speaking, practice allows you to work out problems in technique that mean the difference between a really basic doodle and a really resolved piece of art. Drawing the same or similar subjects over and over again helps you to learn the subjects shape, form, and texture.
The more you practice, the better you will get. Being an artist is about experiencing new things and about individual creation. If you keep trying new mediums and new techniques you’ll learn to incorporate more of them into finished projects and round out your skill set.
[NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/250, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 200)]
This month I have been covering Chick-fil-A’s first in person events since the beginning of the pandemic. They are not treating this as we are out of the woods at all.
One of the events I am covering is where different departments have their first in person meetings under an open tent. Before you even are let on the property you must go through the guard gate that asks about your health and if you have been around anyone with COVID for the past 14 days.
At another event they are meeting indoors and the only time the face masks are off is when someone is presenting or they are eating.
Earlier in the year I took this photo inside the restaurant for helping train Chick-fil-A operators and team members about protocols when they open their dining rooms again.
Chick-fil-A is being proactive as much as possible. Daily they are adjusting to all the demands of running a restaurant in this pandemic which has created supply chain issues and safety issues for them to provide service to their customers.
What are you doing right now with your business in terms of communications?
Are you getting together and trying to safely reconnect your team?
Jonathan Evans is the team chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys, the Mavericks and an accomplished speaker, teacher and author. He currently serves on the pastoral staff at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship with his father, Dr. Tony Evans. His sister, Priscilla Shirer, is a speaker, author and actor, and his brother, Anthony, is a singer and worship leader.
He was a keynote speaker who talked about how he was admitted to the hospital for heart issues. He had filled his “To Do List” with everyone, but him. Even during a crisis you still must take care of yourself.
“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.”
~ Winston Churchill
Churchill’s afternoon nap was a non-negotiable part of his relaxed approach to his daily routine. Churchill would start his day at 8 am by eating breakfast, answering letters, and dictating to his secretaries, all of which was conducted while still in bed. This bout of work was followed by a bath, a long lunch, and plenty of sipping on watered-down whisky. After lunch it was time to paint or play cards with his wife, Clementine. Then it was nap time. Churchill would take off his clothes and climb into bed for up to two hours of solid napping. At 6:30 he would rise, take another bath, and enjoy a long dinner. He finally got down to business at 11 pm and would work for several hours before going to bed and repeating the cycle over again.
Tim Tassopoulos was fascinated that during World War II, Churchill took time every day for a nap. Tassopoulos encouraged everyone to take care of themselves, because if they were not healthy they could not take care of their teams.
Dan Cathy is also a licensed FAA pilot that drawing on that experience was also talking to the operators of the restaurants about taking care of yourself. He talked about his training as a pilot that when you lose cabin pressure the pilot is to first put on their mask, before deploying the masks for everyone else. Low pressure would cause little more than discomfort in the ears and eyes, but the associated drop in oxygen levels makes people pass out if they do not put their oxygen masks on within about 15 seconds.
Relationships are Important
Strong relationships are important to your happiness and a healthy life. People with good quality friendships handle stress much better; a good friend can really help you in difficult times. People with a supportive partner recover better from heart attacks and other illnesses.
People can energize us, elevate our mood, encourage activity, boost the immune system, increase longevity. Our physical and mental health are intertwined–when one goes down, it affects the other. The more stressed we are, the more our immune system is depressed, and the more likely we are to get illnesses and diseases.
“I believe strongly that, particularly in the vaccinated people, if you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated, those who are eligible — that is obviously very young children are not yet eligible — that you can enjoy the holidays,” said Fauci. However, unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated people should be more cautious and take measures like wearing a mask, gathering outside and getting tested in advance of any celebrations.
Doug Parkin, volunteer pediatrician from Arizona is seeing patients during his two month service at the Baptist Medical Center in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/40, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 42)]
Have you ever had to wait on diagnosis and they took forever at the hospital or doctors office?
Don’t do that to your team or customers.
Had the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control waited until they could put out a message that wouldn’t change, millions more could have died from COVID-19.
Your organization needs to be communicating during these times often and in all the messaging streams where your audience is for your organization.
The speed of your communication in today’s over connected digital society means if you are not telling your story everyone else will. By getting your message out right away shows your organization is aware of situation. You are ready to take this on.
Most important is that the audience is most likely interested in your message.
I think while this might not be what you lead with in your messaging, it must be the fire for why you don’t procrastinate during a crisis.
Tell only what you know. Doing so in an empathetic voice is great way to acknowledge the frustration everyone is feeling.
When you go for surgery they have you sign a lot of papers acknowledging they may find something else in the process.
It is better to over-estimate the problem and then be able to say that the situation is better than first thought.
What are you communicating?
This COVID-19 has put many people in a waiting room–waiting to hear from YOU.
This is one of the most important times in organizations history for the past 100 years for the need of communication.
People need to know what your organization is doing and plan to do in the coming months. Be like the CDC and get your message out there. Let people know this is what you know right now and if changes happen you will communicate that as well to them.
So, what do people need to know? Assume they need to know what you will not be doing as well as what you will be doing.
Acknowledge fear, pain, suffering and uncertainty if they are genuine emotions for the situation. Always be as human as possible. You are building a relationship with your audience. Make sure that relationship is built on honesty and integrity.
Union University Photography Students during a photo weekend at Morris Abernathy’s home outside of Nashville, Tennessee July 19, 2003.
Aside from learning new things, finding a way to meet up you can also build new professional relationships, gain friendships with like-minded people and even get to know people on a more personal level.
Early in my career I would go to conferences and workshops as a way to get feedback on my work. I wanted to improve and early on there was a lot of room for improvement.
In 1987, Jim Veneman and I both were trying to get better. We had begun a friendship based on that we both worked for similar organizations. We wanted to get the staff from MissionsUSA & The Commission Magazines together as well as others.
That first group included as well as some of our spouses:
This group would get together and just share what everyone was doing and then started inviting others to join the group like Thomas Kennedy & William Allard.
Attending a workshop is like gifting yourself a new possibility to learn something new from peers who have better experience and knowledge to share with you a new bee into the world of professionals.
Building new relationships and meeting new connections are important to personal growth. A workshop gives you as the professional the best opportunity to meet other people who share your interests. It is always a pleasure to meet someone with the same enthusiasm that you do. Attending a workshop is a great way to meet other people in your area with shared interests. It is not, of course, a guarantee that a friendship will flourish but it never hurts trying. You will at least be able to find a friend and somebody who knows your “talk shop,” as it were i.e. to discuss matters concerning your work etc.
I organized this year a ZOOM meeting on Fridays to replicate the best I could this concept of getting together and getting to know other colleagues.
For those who love Photojournalism I recommend attending this year’s event that will be online. The 2021 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar will take place virtually November 9-13, 2021, marking 49 consecutive years of the longest continuously operating photojournalism conference in America.
In Person Events
I am planning to host some fun get togethers in the near future. I am looking to hosting a lighting workshop for a few hours one day. If you are interested let me know, so that I can put you on the notification list. These will be in the Metro Atlanta Area.
Are you in crisis mode when it comes to finding employees?
I have a tip, communicate to your potential employees like you have been doing with your customers.
“Don’t start a business. Find a problem, Solve a problem, The business comes second.”
– Robert Herjavec, Shark Tank
No matter the business, you are solving a problem for someone. You need to be sure the client understands everything that needs to take place for your solution to be a success.
Today you are competing for not just customers, but for employees.
You are going to use the same process to market your business to customers, but now for finding those employees.
No longer are the days that you can just say I have a job opening and people are lining up for you to pick someone.
Just like you created a product that solves a problem, you need to now address the problems that workers have with the workplace.
Now you might just be solving every one of those problems. You have great benefits, your employees like you as a boss and your business is one that makes a difference in the community, but no one is applying.
Most places have the same problem with the marketing of their business and finding employees.
Show & Tell
People have a short attention span. We know that infomercials work. The purpose of infomercials is to prompt the viewer to call a toll-free number or visit a website to make a purchase. An advantage of infomercials for companies is an increased amount of time to showcase a product, demonstrate how it works, and present a persuasive call to action.
Applying the “Problem – Agitate – Solve” principle is a useful tool for a great effect on your business. Digging into the consumers’ common problems gives you the chance to empathize, to connect with them, to give solutions to their problems and to make them feel better. Of course, they won’t care on buying your product if it is not helpful to them.
Having infomercials for your products/services is a great way of showing how it works. Describing how it is effective is always helpful, but people are visual. Viewers love seeing things in action. It would give bonus points to compare how you’re better than the other competitors in a respectful manner.
I think great photo of employee and short text telling their story works great in social media.
Also, short videos work as well. Tips for recruiting
Target your audience, where do they congregate?
Use testimonies of current employees
Communicate how people can grow with your company
Talk about how your company impacts the community ~ people are looking for a sense of purpose
Call me and let’s put together a campaign to recruit employees.