Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back (And Better Than Ever)

Kevin Weinstein Photography

What a whirlwind!  Over the course of the last month I have fallen off the face of the earth because I took a position as Studio Manager for Kevin Weinstein, owner of Kevin Weinstein Photography in Chicago, Il.  I packed my bags and shipped out within two weeks and have been replacing my Ohio roots with a lot Windy City seeds.

Kevin - (From his website: www.KevinWeinsteinPhotography.com)
"Kevin is dedicated to his art and takes immense pride in capturing your story through a lens.

His goal is singular: never go for cliches, but catch the split seconds in between. A notorious fly-on-the-wall (ask guests who accuse him of disappearing), Kevin will photograph your wedding using the most candid approach possible. The results? Moments suspended in time, stunning images, and elated clients.
Kevin graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a degree in photography and went on to earn a Master’s degree in photojournalism from the top photojournalism school in the country, the University of Missouri-Columbia. He spent 12 years in newspaper and magazine journalism. He has worked for the Sun (Bremerton, Washington), the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Albuquerque Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the Sun in Illinois among others. Kevin has received numerous awards, scholarships, and project grants throughout his career including first place in the College Photographer of the Year Award in 1994. He started Kevin Weinstein Photography, Inc. in 2001 to challenge himself artistically.
Kevin effortlessly combines the worlds of photojournalism and artistic photography to create memorable images for his clients. For more information about Kevin Weinstein Photography, contact him via phone at 312-342-6562 or email: kevin@kevinweinstein.com."

This opportunity is sure to open many doors and I can only hope to learn, laugh, and grow into a better version of myself.  I still plan to work on my own as a designer and makeup artist.  I may have uprooted myself but Im nowhere near close to laying down my own camera.
Now that things are starting to make a little more sense (public transit, apartment living, public transit, street signs, where east and west are... public transit)  I will be hopping back on my own bandwagon and picking up right where I left off.  

Studio Panorama 1

Studio Panorama 2

Take the time to check out Kevin's site at www.KevinWeinsteinPhotography.com  He really is an incredible and unique artist and, from what I have seen so far, never ceases to deliver.

Take care!

<3 R

(The professional images used in this blog are property of 
Kevin Weinstein Photography and are NOT my images)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crave Photography - Free Workshop/Lens Contest

To Photographer friends:

I just entered a contest to win an all expense paid 2 day in person workshop + a free 50mm 1.4 lens from Crave Photography.  Check out her blog for details on how to enter.


There are 5 different ways to enter so check it out, and good luck!

Monday, May 14, 2012

To my Friends and... Fans(?)


Building a business is a mixture of many emotions: excitement, nervousness, frustration and passion.  There is paperwork, contracts, money issues, apointments, meetings (you get the picture).  When you own your own business you work as your own boss.  If you keep yourself in the public eye, you become more recognized for your talents and you climb that hill towards Nirvana.  But... if you slack, you end up having a nervous breakdown in your bathtub, shaving your head at a local barbershop and attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella.  (Sorry Brit... it was just a good example).

Starting is the hardest part because you really don't know what to do.  Over the past year I have painted and photographed volunteers, dancers, animals, the world around me & coworkers (which just so happen to be two of my best friends).  It's like being a singer - it doesn't matter if YOU know you can sing, you have to show everyone else that you can sing.  I had to show, and still have to show, everyone that I'm striving to be something better than an amatuer.  God bless the amateurs because yin & yang.  There has to be a balance.

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey so far.  The last year has definitely had ups and downs, twists and turns, but if I'm creating, I'm happy.

To my friends & family:
Bless your hearts.  You have given me the opportunity to turn you into living canvasses.  Some of you enjoy it more than others but what matters to me is that you were willing to let me embark on something new.  No matter where I go, how big or small my business becomes, you are the ones who were there from the beginning and allowed me to create and grow.  You're dear to me and I'll repay you someday - I promise.

To my fans/"like"-ers on Facebook:
I don't expect everybody to love my work.  Some things I do are conventional but I love the non-conventional.  My makeup and art is a far cry from Olan Mills and some of my more conservative friends might find it outside their realm of "like".  That's ok!  But thank you to everyone who has liked my work because your "like" is an advertisement for me.  I have people all over the US who have taken the time to tell me they appreciate what I've done so far and that's pretty incredible.  I'd tell them personally but some of them don't speak English.  At least art and math are universal, right?  (And thank God for art being in that category because I still add on my fingers.  I grew up in a trailer, I'm doing my best here.)

So thank you all.  Here's to the future - yours and mine.  May we all find our way, our destination, and enjoy the journey towards it. 

<3  Ricky Barnes
Ricky Barnes Designs

Friday, May 4, 2012

Painting with Light ft. Catatonix

Have you ever seen a photo like this:

These are extended shutter shots.  Your shutter opens and allows light into the camera lens where it is "recorded" as your picture.  On non-point-and-shoot cameras you can adjust the shutter speed to achieve different results.  A longer shutter speed allows more light to enter the camera but if the camera moves, anything stationary will blur.
If you put your camera on a tripod and set your shutter speed at, say, 10 seconds, you can achieve a photo similar to the one above.  The tripod keeps the camera steady so the objects that are stationary (street lights, and city scape) remain in focus while the moving cars head/tail lights blur into lines of light; Hence the term, "Painting with Light".

A friend of a friend produces tracks.  I recently found out the style of music is called Dubstep.  I don't really know what that means but his name is Thomas Moore or, Catatonix on SoundCloud.  We took advantage of an evening at home, listening to his new track-in-progress, as an opportunity to paint with light.  Here are some of my favorites from the night:


This technique works with anything that makes light; sparklers, lazer pointers, flashlights, glowsticks (as above), etc.  I think the most amazing part about the pictures we were able to create is that they show paths.  Everywhere the light is, Thomas hands were and you can follow the paths.

Here a few of my other favorite Painting With Light photos done by other photographers:
davidyuweb on Flickr
leaves.on.the.wind on Flickr
pixquik on Flickr
davidyuweb on Flickr

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cheer-ing Up

This past Sunday I helped my friend and fellow makeup artist & photographer, Meg Valentine.  (Hers are the photos I took recently for her website).  I was her second shooter for a group of teenage cheerleaders who needed their photos taken - in uniform and in street clothes.  Here's what I learned from the experience:

1 - People complain a lot, especially if they are uncomfortable.  When it's windy and 50 degrees, it's not easy to keep 20, 16-year olds happy.  It was cold.  If you can reschedule for a warmer day, it might be worth the effort to do so.

2 - Parents can be a pain.  Some were there the whole time, some held up the show by bringing a check after the photos were taken.  One even basically triple-shot the girls.  Photog friends - put it in your contract that there are to be no other photographers taking pictures while you are trying to.  It's rude & it's  extremely distracting.

3 - Meg is in the process of getting her website live so we used order forms.  Don't EVER...use...order forms.  If you're a serious photographer set up an account online so you can upload the images and let the girls and their parents go to town and order what they want.  You have enough to do with processing all the images, let someone else worry about the orders.

4 - Take everything as an experience.  This was something new for me and it is one of those things that you just don't know what to expect until you are right in the middle of it.

That being said it's always fun to work with Meg.  She has given me permission to use the images I edited in this blog.  While her website isn't up YET, you can contact her through email.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beautiful Day - Golden Hour

A few photos I took after working today.  It was a beautiful day - not a cloud in the sky.  So, after a long day at the ol' office, I snatched my camera and drove around a bit.  Sometimes it's nice to just sit and photoshop with some Chicago pizza and draft beer.  But since I don't live in Chicago nor do I have a tap, reheated thin-crust Hawaiian and a bud light made for a pretty good place holder.

I have no idea what this thing is...  I think it's some kind of goose or duck.
Regardless, I'm pretty sure he/she liked having his/her picture taken.

Two lovers hanging by a pond full of ducks.
Had to be sly without looking like a total creep.

My little man, Boston Baked Bean, hanging out in a field full of those dandelion
blow-apart flowers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wedding Season: Get to Work

Spring is here!!!

Spring and Summer are very busy seasons for makeup artists and photographers.  The weather is nice, prom is around the corner, outdoor weddings and parties start filling up your calendar.   Ahhh, I can speak for myself and the majority of Ohioians when I say it's great to see the sun and I definitely don't miss the winter's grey.

Being wedding (and event) season it's important to book appointments with your artists early.  When I was at the counter we started booking for prom at least a month in advance and I know that every counter was a madhouse on those weekends.  Whether you have a personal artist that comes to your house or you trust someone at Clinique to slap on a little blush that probably wont stay put, reserve your spot before someone else does. 

NOT what you're going for...
Women want to look great for all types of occasions so let me put it this way - your friend's wedding is on June 19th.  An artist is going to do the bride and bridesmaids.  But the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, any of the guests, the wedding band, photographer, jealous sister of the groom who's older and still not married (you get the point)...  EVERYONE can come up with an excuse to have someone else make them look incredible and, before you know it, 2pm-6pm is booked at every makeup counter from Dayton to Columbus.  So now your left at Elder Beerman hoping to God that Miss Erma can draw your brows on better than her own.

Not ok.

POINT - book early.  Make it as non-stressful as you can.  If you know an artist that is willing to travel or have a favorite at a good counter definitely go that route.  And I say good counter because remember this - when you work at Estee Lauder, you can only use Lauder products.  Ask any freelance artist and they will tell you that a great kit includes pieces and parts from allllll different lines.

So happy wedding season.  Happy prom season.  Good luck, stay pretty, and keep it classy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Day at Dior

When you're a freelancer, you have the option to work when you want to work.  But...  keep in mind, that is the biggest doubled-edged sword in the world of business.  YOU are your boss and nobody is around to keep you on track or make sure you're being as productive as possible.  It is a lot like studying online - it seems easier at first but, in the end, draws a lot upon your own abilities to stay on task and follow a schedule.

Last week I worked a day for Dior at Macy's Dayton Mall.  As a former counter manager I can tell you one thing - freelancing is a whole different ball game.  You want to be able to help the counter manager meet their goals but at the same time you get to enjoy being an artist.  The bottom line isn't as important as creativity or the interactions with women (and sometimes men) of different social and economic calibers. 

My day started at 11 and ran until 715.  It was a Friday during one of Dior's Workshops and, if I remember correctly, not a single booked appointment showed.  Nature of the beast...  at least 40% of your appointment will never show, even if they confirmed.  So our day consisted of walking through the store, offering our services to random shoppers, and painting faces for 8 hours.

I was able to meet 5 interesting ladies, chat with old coworkers, and run into old friends.  In a nutshell I got paid to chat, laugh, teach some of my favorite tricks, play with some of my old favorite products, try out some new ones, and help women feel beautiful.

I want to thank all my customers who sat in my chair and were willing to submit a photo.  It was a great day for me, and a much needed artistic release opportunity.  Hopefully next week when I'm at the Dior in Tuttle (Columbus, OH) I will have similiar success and and equally great time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rock out, Rockabilly

Cynthia needed to get suited for a Rockabilly-style function towards downtown Cincinnati...

Airbrushed foundation, cheeks, & contouring
Eyes are done with numerous Chanel & Dior shadows and topped with Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre
Brows are Chanel - Soft Brown pencil
Liner is Makeup Forever potted black
Lips are MAC Pro Longwear liner and lipstick (12 hour, really smudge proof)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Damaged Photo Restoration

Pictures never last forever.  Natural aging on older versions of print paper can turn your image yellow.  Improper storage can result in any number of damages - tears, scrapes, folded/bent corners, etc. 

The BEST way to keep your photos looking the way you want them is to bind them in protective albums on low-acidity paper.  But here we are in 2012 and digital media allows us to back up our images on disks, external hard drives, and online. 

Rule of Thumb - back everything up 3 times, 3 different ways.

When the damage has been done you don't have to settle for ruined images.  If you have Adobe Photoshop or know somebody who does, you can (if you give it a good effort) restore an image, reprint it, and save a digital copy for your records. 

The picture above is from the 70s and clearly shows signs of damage.  The Healing Tool can remove scratches and abrasions while your Clone Tool can help replace areas of the image that are torn.  As you can see above I completely replaced the flowers in the bottom right, on the left edge, and replaced the woman's stomach.  By using these tools along with miscellaneous other brushes and the Smudge Tool I was able to fix the image flaws without cropping a large amount of the outter edge. 

After that, all that was needed was to desaturate the yellowish aged overtone and increase the saturation of the greens in the background.  A Curves Adjustment Layer  with a standard, slight "S" shape added a little more contrast and further removed some of the picture's age while still maintaining the desired vintage look.

This image needed to be processed a little differently.  First, I resampled this image to increase the ppi... Basically, I improved the image quality so it would be print ready.  Second I straightened the image so I used my Ruler Tool to align the bottom of the print image by tracing from one side of the photo to the other, following the bottom of the printed part (his shirt and sleeves).

The two biggest flaws in the image are the yellowish/green spot right in the middle and the large fold in the upper right corner.  I used the Clone Tool to remove the fold and then the Clone Tool and Healing Brush to take care of all the other little scrapes and scuffs.

The spot in the middle was actually very easy to remove simply by desaturating the yellow tones in the image with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer.  By moving the slider all the way to the left it not only removed the spot but the aged yellow look of the entire image.  Aces.

I used a Curves Adjustment Layer with a slight "S" curve to darken the dark tones and add a little more contrast.  Finally, I used the Burn Tool at about a 20% intensity to darken the eyes, lips, eyebrows, and ears.

There you have it - two different images, two different restorations, both taking less than 30 minutes (the color image taking approx 25, the black and white taking approx 15).

If you have any questions or have photos you would like to have restored you can contact me at Ricky@RickyBarnesDesigns or by any other contact method listed on my Contact page.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Life of a ..." project

Here's an idea for a new project.  My "Life of a Rose".

I think it's simple, and elegant (considering the subject matter) but the possibilities are endless.

Any idea for future photos???  Leave your interesting or witty suggestions in the comment section below.

Yes... I already know caterpillar lol  I'm working on it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Artist Call Out - Nick Fancher

Photo by Nick Fancher (Columbus, OH) for JackThreads

Nick Francher studied at Ohio State and graduated in 2005 with a BFA in Photography.  He founded "Shutter-Think Phototgraphy, LLC" in 2007.  Currently he is the lifestyle photographer at JackThreads, a members-only clothing company and is available for freelance shoots.

Photo by Nick Fancher
I do not personally know Nick but I think his story is exemplary of what persistance and being passionate about your work can bring to your final product.  From bachelor's degree to daily photog work.

His website, http://www.nickfancher.com/ has his bio, samples of his work, and even a video of an average work day.  Check it out and click the following link and "like"
"Shutter-Think Photography" on Facebook.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nude lip, red lip, brown lip, plum lip

Last week I spent two days doing hair and makeup at Fred J. Miller in Miamisburg, Ohio.  FJM is one of the leading manufacturers of costumes and equiptment for colorguards, marching bands, and dance teams.  Over the course of the past few years they have grown from a much smaller facility into a big operation.  I've never seen that many sewing machines and bolts of pleather/satin/lace/etc. ever.  I was pretty excited.
The days ran from about 7am-8pm and I'm pretty sure I had the entire office smelling like hairspray and airbrush foundation.  13 hours will definitely make your feet hurt but I felt for my girls.  They aren't models, these girls are dancers.  They didn't get super glam and pose here and there...  They danced.  For example...

I don't know what type of physical strength is required to actually leap that high or stretch your body that way... but bravo Natasha.  Bravo.

We shot a total of, and I can only guess here, approximately 60 shots.  60 shots equates to 60 costumes, maybe 20 hairstyles, 15-20 eye looks, and about 40 lip looks.  I can only imagine what these 3 girls' lips felt like after alllll that lipstick/lip liner/gloss/shadow/eyeliner that we used over the course of those 2 days but hopefully they've had time to rest and are tip-top at this point.

These pictures are obviously taken on a cell phone.  The prints won't be available until the 2012 catalogue prints around November.  BUT before that happens, there are still 2 more, 3-day shoots to do.  I'm definitely looking forward to working these shoots again and I'm super excited to see the actual hi-res prints.

Thanks again to FJM for the opportunity and my ladies.  I think they had a good time.  Performers always do. <3

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back it up.

I learned a valuable lesson last week...


My iMac decided to break for the third time in 3 years.  Needless to say it's at the "Genius Bar" getting a new hard-drive.

Translation - I lost everything on my computer.  Every picture, every song...projects, Photoshop brushes, digital backdrops (you get the idea).  I could have paid $800 to save everything.  I opted out.

They always say to keep three copies.  I plan on keeping 5.  Ok, let's be honest, I'll probably only keep 2 but I think it's safe to say that utilizing one of those online data storage sites is a great idea.

Monday, February 20, 2012

When to toss the tubes

Huffington Post discusses how long you should keep your lipstick, concealer, powders and skincare. 

This was a big question customers asked me when I was an in-store rep.  Click the picture above to find out...

"How germy is your makeup?"

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