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, 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

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