Behind The Scenes of a Police K-9 Unit Photoshoot

It's finally live!  A few weeks back, we were asked to help with a Charitable project in conjunction with the Friends of Henderson Police Department.  They needed photographs of their Entire K-9 team for an article in Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine, so we assembled our team and rolled out to the Henderson Police Department to setup.  

Pooling the gear and talent from our core team in Las Vegas, (Enrique Malfavon, Yevgeniy Zakharkin, Miguel Cortes, and myself), we got to the station early to scan the location for several options to shoot with.  What they wanted for the print & online versions would dictate where we setup shop. Since they only needed portraits and some shots of the state of the art K9 Vehicles, we setup the main portrait stage in their training room, and used the south parking lot to stage the vehicles. Using my Silverlake Ash-Gold 10x20 Muslin as the main portrait station, we setup the Profoto Lights and Modifiers and waited for our subjects to arrive.

Now....to say these dogs were bursting with energy, would have been an INSANE understatement! Check out the BTS video below to see some of the wrangling done by us and the awesome Handlers to see just how much effort it took to get them to stay still for their close up. We effectively had a handler and one of our team holding their "reward" toys directly under the lens and REPEATEDLY whistled/called/clicked to get them to focus. Given how excited how these pups were to all be in the same room, we knew it was going to be impossible to get the whole lot together for one big shot, so, compositing was going to have to happen. 

Knowing that, and since the handlers sometimes had 2 dogs, we posed them each in identical positions with the dogs places in front of them, center mass, and then to their left and started working down the list, finishing with Daisy, (The cover shot).

While Enrique and I worked on this, (and the subsequent station tear down), Yev and Miguel went out to help the officers who finished first position the cars to get the best of the gorgeous natural light for the SUV unit photos. Divide and conquer; We had limited time, and too many images to finish before the officers had to get back to active duty. When you know the strengths of your team, you can trust in them completely to get the images you need for the finished project! 

From start to finish, it only took a few hours to complete and be on our way home, and that was entirely due to having an awesome and cohesive team, with a game plan setup days in advance! The only thing left to do was retouch the photos, and create the composite for the magazine spread! Using a combination of Capture One Pro 10 and Adobe Photoshop CC, Enrique was able to splice the images together in no time at all. Especially since we had Decided on and nailed our lighting before the officers even arrived so every shot was precise and consistent. Once the retouch/edit was done on the first image, it was simply a matter of pasting to the rest of the shots and then cloning them into the pano!

Check out the rest of the BTS images and video below and let me know what you think! Do you guys want to see a follow up video/tutorial on the retouching and composite? 

Friends of the Henderson Police Department Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to supporting the mission of the Henderson Police Department through organized volunteering and fundraising efforts in the areas of: Training, Equipment Acquisition, Fallen or injured officers and their families, and Community Relations Programs.

For more information about the Friends of Henderson Police Department, please check out the website here; http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/

Their store has detailed information on our programs and current fundraising campaigns: http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/shop-and-donate/store

This page on their website details the article and the fundraising campaigns they've setup in relation to it: http://friendsofhpdfoundation.org/information/k9-program

Thanksgiving Weekend Sales!

So it's Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend, and there's a TONNNNNNNNN of sales going on out there. So to help save the sanity of my photographer and videographer friends i've decided to compile a list of some great deals all in one place!

To start things off we'll launch with the latest and greatest Tutorial from the team at RGG EDU!

Sports Photography & retouching with Tim Tadder!

Have you ever had an "AHA" moment in photography? Something that changed the way you approach a subject, a light, or post-production? That's what we've created in our newest tutorial and we're excited to share it with you. Tim Tadder is one of the leading image makers in the world and left nothing behind in this tutorial documentary about his approach to creating an image and philosophy behind creating images. He's actually the most appreciated photographer on Behance.

We're excited to bring this tutorial to you on Black Friday with our biggest discount we've given on an opening day launch. Use the code BF1 to save 25% off his 20+ hour tutorial. Be sure to check out the full Black Friday Bundle and Save Deals over there and take part in their insane giveaways!

Make sure to go through their whole library as the RGGEDU team has covered everything from Food Photography, Products, Fashion, Portraits, and much much more!

Next we have not one, but FOUR awesome tutorials available from the incredible team at the ALL on sale now!

BLACK FRIDAY SALE DISCOUNTS:

Master Dodge & Burn - use promo code BFMDB80 for $80 OFF = $89

Color Grade - use promo code BFCG20 for $20 OFF = $69

Go Pro: Studio Beauty - use promo code BFMBP120 for $120 OFF = $79

Beauty Retouch Panel - $20 OFF = $49

First up we have the awesome GO PRO: Studio Beauty Video Course

Go Pro: Studio Beauty video training by Julia Kuzmenko McKim and Aleksey Dovgulya In this training we will cover: CHAPTER I: INTRO & PREPARATION CHAPTER II: FLAWLESS EXECUTION CHAPTER III: LIGHTING SETUPS For full table of contents please visit our product page: http://bit.ly/1Ur384P 

Buy Now

Second, the incredibly detailed Color Grade Video Course by Michael Woloszynowicz!

http://bit.ly/2fNlHjD Our brand new 8-lesson intensive course on color grading in Adobe Photoshop for portrait, beauty and fashion photographers and retouchers with Michael Woloszynowicz. Color grading is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video or, in our case, a digital image. Although every step of your retouching workflow is important, color grading has the potential to be the most impactful one and can easily make or break your final result. With skillful color grading you can make your images to pop off the page even with the simplest subject matter. Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced Duration: 3h 37m Practice Files: Layered .PSD files are provided for your analysis and practice Additional Materials: Digital Guide + Michael’s Custom Actions Learn more here: http://retouchingacademy.com/product/color-grade-video-course/ Our goal when creating this course was to provide you with a solid system and a set of versatile and intuitive color grading tools to help you masterfully color grade your personal and client work. Not only do we want you to understand what specific tools to use, but more importantly when and why to use them.

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Third, we have the Master Dodge & Burn Video Course by Michael Woloszynowicz!

http://bit.ly/2guL9LU  In this 4-part intensive course we’ll be taking a deep dive into one of the most important tools and techniques in retouching known as Dodging and Burning. Our goal when creating this course was to provide you with real-world, non-destructive retouching workflows to help you create beautiful, natural looking images and elevate your knowledge of D&B and retouching in general. Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced Duration: 3:35 hours

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Fourth, and Lastly, we have the Beauty Retouch Panel by Julia Kuzmenko-McKim!

https://retouchingacademylab.com/faq-beauty-retouch-v3-0-installation-released-2016/ To update your old RA Panels please login to your Member Area on our website using the User ID with which you initially purchased Beauty Retouch panel. Download the new installation packages, which include the updated panels as well as the new User Manual. More videos on how to use the panel and its new features are coming! Stay tuned!

Don't miss out on some the industries BEST education and training out there!!!!!

Now it's time for some fun stuff! Lately i've been playing with an awesome tool called Plotagraph Pro!

I've only had my hands on this application for about a solid 24 hours at the time of writing this, but i'm already in LOVE! It lets you take your still images and create a motion image, or "cinemagraph". Quickly, and easily animate your photos to create something captivating and truly is the future of advertising, marketing, and social media content! In the day and age of everyone having an incredible camera, it takes something special to make a viewer stop and take in your product...here's where Plotagraph comes in!

"More people than ever are getting their entertainment and information from their mobile devices. This provides opportunities and challenges for both marketers and companies trying to get their information out in a relevant way without being drown out by all of the competition. When creating a campaign its also important to know what platform and size the content will be viewed. Images that are on small screens need to have more movement than content that is shown on a large billboard. Studies show that people not only respond better to Dynamic Content but also retain information and learn better through moving images. The Plotagraph® Team not only creates top notch artistic content but we are also pros at knowing the proper speed and file exports for the appropriate platform. In the past year All of the major social media platforms now accept either animated gifs or looping videos. No matter what website or social media platform we have the perfect export at the best compression for you. It's exciting to think about the future of marketing, advertising and social media. We are happy to do our part in helping to make it more Dynamic."

Check out a few of the images i've created in just a few minutes each! Personally I can't wait to spend more time with the application and become a master with it!

Try the free Demo available here and if you're interested in trying the PRO account out (which I highly recommend), use the Coupon Code - CREWE for 10% off your membership! As an added bonus, sign up this weekend for a PRO membership and get a $50 Amazon Gift card!!!!

Still looking for more awesome?

If you know me, then you know I like to Timelapse nearly everywhere I visit.  Well a tool I ALWAYS use is an awesome Lightroom Plugin and Extension App called LRTimelapse

I could go on for hours and hours about how useful and timesaving and powerful this application is, but I'll let these videos speak for themselves!  Click this link here to learn more; http://bit.ly/2fhipJ7

Save up to 70% on Macphun Apps like Luminar & Aurora HDR Pro!

Take a look at how Luminar edits different types of your photos. To learn more about, visit: http://bit.ly/2fNv7eJ

I've worked with the Macphun team now for several years and can honestly say they make some of the most powerful and easy to use photo editing applications for Mac's on the market! Click this link to learn more and SAVE A TON this weekend; http://bit.ly/2fNv7eJ 

Want to save 20% on Gear Rentals from Borrowlenses?!?!

This one's real simple! Just click the image below and use the code BFUSED20 to save your money! 

MAGMOD Black Friday deals

Save up to 20% on all products, get a FREE MagGrip or MagGel wallet and get a $30 Bonus Gift Card on orders over $300! Click here to learn more; https://magnetmod.com/?mm=50

Want even more amazing?  Well the team at Photofocus has put together an insane list of products available at great discounts here! https://photofocus.com/2016/11/24/the-best-black-friday-deals-for-photographers/ 

Find discounts from vendors like ThinkTAP Learn, Athentech, Drobo, B&H, Platypod Pro, and more!

Seeking even more educational resources?  Well my old team at Phlearn is having a 30% off sale this whole weekend!

Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY to get 30% off everything in their store!!! Click here for more info; http://bit.ly/2guMdzy

Save on Capture One Pro by Phase One!

Save 10% on Capture One Pro with the coupon code AMBCREWE

Use Coupon Code: AMBCREWE for 10% off!!!

Use Coupon Code: AMBCREWE for 10% off!!!

Do you know of some more deals going on this week? Post them in the comments below and i'll update them all weekend long! Cheers and happy shopping!!!

Bright Lights, Big City - A Collaboration

Last week a good friend and fellow photographer, Miguel Cortes messaged me asking if I was available to help out on a photoshoot concept he'd been working on, so naturally, when I heard the words "Neon" "Eighties" and "Custom Bikes", well, I was in hook line and sinker! 

Calling in Liz Gopwani and Tiffannie Michelle to Style our models (Samantha Vitone and Angelica Acevedo, we set off to the Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas to be the background of our shot.

Once the awesome tricked out bikes arrived on set we started the setup. Consisting of my Profoto B2 Light kit on some Savage Universal Drop Stands with 46" Photek Softlighters, we set the camera to Rear Curtain Sync (for shutter drag), and started spraying some Atmosphere Aerosol to add a little ambience to the shot. 

I started spreading the atmosphere aerosol for Miguel to get his shots while we drew a fairly large crowd around the entrance to the park. After he got the images he wanted, we switched off so that I could fire a few frames before moving to our second location for the alternate look, (And subsequently, more complicated shot).

By the time we got ready to roll for this setup, Miguel had to leave. Meaning, I had to take the lead to finish the image.  The plan was to setup the bikes in an alley using rear curtain sync with my Sigma 35mm A series locked on a tripod with focus dialed into a "zone" for the girls to roll up on and hold a pose before the lights fired off. It took several test shots and countdown tries between the fog and approximate "marks" to hit before we finally nailed our "fire" shot, but with an awesome team, we managed to get the images we wanted all in under an hour's time!

Take a look at the images below and let us know what you think. All edits done in Photoshop with finishing tone touches done with Alien Skin Exposure X