Diamond Photographers of the Year
… You’ll see a sampling of these Diamond-worthy images on the following pages, with words from the photographers on how the photographs were conceived, shot, lit, posed, edited, tweaked, and tweaked again to achieve a flawlessly provocative final product. …

flawless01aPenelope by Dani Miller
“This little soul was adorable to photograph,” says Dani Miller, who captured the subject in her studio during a client session. “I knew that I needed to showcase her chubby rolls and bring out a Victorian theatrial look.” Sugar Hill Photography specializes in newborn and child photography.

CAMERA & LENS:Nikon D4S, AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens
EXPOSURE: 1/200 second at f/3.2, ISO 125
LIGHTING:A Profoto B1 with a 5-foot octabox
POST-CAPTURE: She brought out details with Adobe Camera Raw, used curves in Photoshop, then added textures to complete the image.
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flawless01bTail Spin by Steve Jessee
Photographing a local air show, Steve Jessee, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, was able to capture this image of a stunt plane. But the creating didn’t stop there. Using Photoshop CC, he duplicated the plane image and moved them to a new background—an image he’d captured of a sky that shared some of the same colors as the plane—and “Tail Spin” was born. Associated Photography and Framing specializes in senior, commercial, wedding, drone, and art print photography.

CAMERA & LENS:Nikon D610, AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED lens
EXPOSURE: 1/1250 second at f/16, ISO 400
LIGHTING: Natural light
POST-CAPTURE: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 was used to select and move the airplane to a new backghround and duplicate it around a central axis.
— – —

flawless01cEnchanted by Ed Cooley
The setting for Ed Cooley’s image is Northern Ireland’s Dark Hedges, a narrow lane flanked by 350-year-old beech trees that have grown together into a beautiful entanglement. “My wife and I wanted to photograph the scene for the end of a gallery hallway we had just built into our new home,” he says. “Beech trees have neutral gray trunks, so I knew if I could catch the first sunlight under the tree canopy, it would light the trees a nice warm color.” What he didn’t realize is that the canopy is so thick that some of the trees would be lit from the morning sky in the opposite direction. “The contrast of warm and cool tree trunks made for a magical scene that just begged to be titled ‘Enchanted.’” Ed Cooley Gallery specializes in fine art and travel photography.

CAMERA & LENS:Sony a7R II, Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS
EXPOSURE: 1/13 second at f/16, ISO 400
LIGHTING: Natural light
POST-CAPTURE:In Capture One, version 9.1, he made raw file adjustments—white balance, contrast, highlights, and shadows. In Photoshop CC 2015 he reduced the blue saturation on the west-facing trunks and used the healing brush to darken the edges at the bottom.
— – —

flawless01dDories at Dusk by David Jeffery
The inspiration for “Dories at Dusk” came from David Jeffery’s father, who painted harbor scenes and seascapes with oil on canvas. “Growing up, we would visit the harbors of Cape Ann (Massachusetts) and Maine to study the coastline, wharf life, and fishing boats,” he says. Last year, Jeffery, M.Photog., expanded his exploration into Nova Scotia. “I was discouraged, driving across the mainland of Nova Scotia, with the bright blue, cloudless sky, but as we left the inland and neared the coast we saw a gigantic fog bank ahead and my navigator exclaimed, ‘That’s the direction of Peggy’s Cove,’” he explains. “Heart pounding, we pulled into Peggy’s Cove harbor and I was delighted the tourists were well ahead at the lighthouse, leaving a peaceful sunset in the cove for me to work with undisturbed, the fog soon dissolving into a gorgeous sunset.” David Jeffery Photography specializes in panoramic landscape and fine art photography.

CAMERA & LENS:Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens
EXPOSURE:There were five exposures, two stops apart on a tripod—1/3,200, 1/800, 1/200, 1/50, 1/13 second—at f/8, ISO 200.
LIGHTING:Natural light
POST-CAPTURE:Bracketed exposures were tone-mapped with Photomatix to gather all the light and range of tones. Photoshop was used to dodge and burn and for small refinements, and Google Nik Color Efex Pro was used for vignette.
— – —

flawless01eThe Edge of Magic by Kenneth Stoecklin
The “Edge of Magic” was made on a trip to England. “Stonehenge was one of my bucket list locations during the trip,” says Kenneth Stoecklin. Beartooth Photography specializes in commercial, portrait, and fine art photography.

CAMERA & LENS: Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens
EXPOSURE:Multiple exposures at f/16, multiple ISOs
LIGHTING:Natural light
POST-CAPTURE: Multiple exposures were blended and processed via Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC, Photomatix Pro and Topaz Labs
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Diamond Photographers of the Year

more in Professional Photographer | January 2017


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