A Video With Some Meaning

We have been talking about books for next years book club and I recommended two. This first is perhaps the most important, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (the second The Name of the Wind). I cant imagine a better book about believing in your heart, about the importance of the journey, about taking your dream and finding joy in the pain and the triumph that comes from accepting and following what you want out of life. Along those same lines I would like to share with you one of my favorite web videos called A Story for Tomorrow. I get emotional every time I see it. Enjoy!

The Blizzard of 2011



The worst winter storm since 1922!

The Blizzard of 2011 has come and gone and while we didn’t get historic proportions of show in the Springfield area, they did shut down I-44 for a good period of time. Most areas here in the city got 10″ of show, which is quite a bit for us a total we only put us once or twice in a decade.

I had the idea to do this based on comments by Roger Ebert that Man In a Blizzard should win an academy award. While my little movie is not where near the quality produced by Jamie Stuart (a man who has filmed for years), for a first attempt at making a short film about something, I will say I didn’t do to bad.

It is simply how I experienced the snow storm.

I hope you enjoy, The Blizzard of 2011.

How to Photoshop Yourself Into a Vampire Video Tutorial

How to Photoshop Yourself Into a Vampire“Damnable Birth” by IPBrian ©

Halloween is almost upon us and Vampires are the monster de jour. Really…don’t believe me? Surely you have been into a Borders or Barnes and Noble lately. I realize it is a tad bit cheesy, but who am I to buck a trend.

In my first ever Photoshop video tutorial, I thought I would run through my workflow to make my new photo “Damnable Birth”.

The photo is a self-portrait taken in my small basement photography studio. I am using two Calumet 750R strobes, the first to my immediate left as the main light, and one opposite the main light giving a slight rim effect. Both lights are sporting Nova softboxes.

I did a bit of Lightroom and Photoshop work and while I am not a master with either of these programs, I hope I can help some people out there by sharing some of what I know.

I realized I forgot sharpening in the video tutorial. For the image in Photoshop I copied everything to a new layer (CTRL+ALT+Shift+E on PC or CMD+OPT+Shift+E on Mac), then coped this to a new layer (CTRL+J on PC or CMD+J on Mac). Go to Filter -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask. I used the following settings Amount 150, Radius 1.2 and Threshold 5 (these are my settings not a rule).

I then created an inverted Layer mask, by alt clicking the Add a New Layer Mask button. Then revealed the portions of the eyes, teeth, hair that I wanted to sharpen with a soft brush set to white. If this effect is too strong simply lower the opacity of the layer.

I also ended up doing a bit of dodge and burn contouring. This is accomplished in Photoshop I copied everything to a new layer (CTRL+ALT+Shift+E on PC or CMD+OPT+Shift+E on Mac), then coped this to a new layer (CTRL+J on PC or CMD+J on Mac). Use the dodge and burn brushes with a soft brush set to something like 5% opacity. Burn the shadows and dodge the highlights. Turning on and off this layer will help you to see the changes you are making. This should be slight. Lower the opacity if this effect to too strong.

In this video I am using Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Here is the comparison to the zeroed file and the final.

How to Photoshop Yourself Into a Vampireimage by IPBrian ©

If anyone has any specific questions, please leave a comment and I would be happy to answer what I can. And with that I give you the video!