JakeKurdsjuk Platinum
JakeKurdsjuk

The Jake



Single light self-portrait with cigar

Single light self-portrait with cigar
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Creators Exhibition Project
Contest Finalist in Looking At Faces Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Hats And Caps Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Inspiring Portraits Photo Contest get inspired magazine
Contest Finalist in Interesting People Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Moody Portraits Photo Contest
Top Shot Award
Contest Finalist in The Selfie Photo Contest
Runner Up in Looks Mysterious Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Looks Mysterious Photo Contest
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Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
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Superb Composition
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Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
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Emotions

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Top ClassTM

photographyawards2020Top 10 class week 2
photographyawards2020Top 10 class week 1
The Contributors ProjectTop 20 class
The Contributors ProjectTop 20 class week 1
Show Faces Photo ContestTop 20 class
Show Faces Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Portrait Magic Photo ContestTop 10 class
Looking At Faces Photo ContestTop 10 class
Looking At Faces Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Hats And Caps Photo ContestTop 20 class
Hats And Caps Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Wearing Glasses Photo ContestTop 20 class
Wearing Glasses Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Portrait Galore Photo ContestTop 10 class
Portrait Galore Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Inspiring Portraits Photo Contest get inspired magazineTop 10 class
Interesting People Photo ContestTop 10 class
Interesting People Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Natural Light Portraits Photo ContestTop 20 class
Natural Light Portraits Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Beards and Mustaches Photo ContestTop 10 class
Beards and Mustaches Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Beards and Mustaches Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Moody Portraits Photo ContestTop 10 class
Moody Portraits Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Passionate Photographers Photo ContestTop 30 class week 2
Passionate Photographers Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Vol 46Top 30 class
The Selfie Photo ContestTop 10 class
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Vol 46Top 30 class month 1
The Selfie Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Vol 46Top 30 class week 3
The Selfie Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Vol 46Top 30 class week 2
Expressive Faces Photo ContestTop 10 class
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Vol 46Top 30 class week 1
Looks Mysterious Photo ContestTop 20 class
Looks Mysterious Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 17Top 20 class
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 17Top 10 class week 2
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 17Top 10 class week 1

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6 Comments | Report
RamonZabala PRO+
 
RamonZabala September 24, 2018
Good portrait
simonparry
 
simonparry December 28, 2018
Excellent shot...
Hwphotos
 
Hwphotos January 14, 2019
Great
praveeng_1863
 
praveeng_1863 September 13, 2019
hi
harmeetsingh
 
harmeetsingh April 04, 2020
Excellent portrait
adiestiano PRO
 
adiestiano December 29, 2020
Cool

Behind The Lens

Location
Who needs a studio when you have a garage and a black sheet? And when you're dealing with cigars having a place that can be easily ventilated helps.
Time
This was mid-afternoon on a summer day, though it could have been taken any time. I chose this time as it would provide the best ambient light.
Lighting
The idea was for a single light portrait so I set up on one side of the double garage and opened the other door to get a little extra ambient light in there. In addition I set up a flash just outside the view of the camera.
Equipment
This was shot with my Nikon D750 with an 85mm f1.8 lens. I used a Vello Freewave Fusion remote flash trigger to fire off the Yongnuo YN-468II Speedlight that was on a stand with an umbrella. It's a self-portrait so the camera was on Manfrotto tripod and the camera is being triggered by a Vello Freewave Plus remote trigger.
Inspiration
I site I participate in challenged its members to create a single-light portrait. I had a friend who was going to pose but they had to cancel at the last minute. I had less than 24 hours before I had to submit the photo so I realized it would need to be a self-portrait. I wanted the light to have something more to play with and decided that smoke was the answer. I set up so that when I triggered the camera it would give me 3 seconds before it fired the first of 10 consecutive frames, each 3 seconds apart. This allowed me to anticipate the shot and have smoke available to capture. I did this with both cigars and pipes and when I finished I hunted for those with the most interesting smoke patterns.
Editing
There's always post-processing, even if it's minimal - you take the photograph, but you have to make the print even if it's digital, right? I had a couple things I needed to do with this series because it's essentially black on black, so you need to spend the time dodging and burning areas to enhance the contrast. I also needed to reduce the visibility of wrinkles in the backdrop (burning and blurring). With this shot I first did a black and white version that was very film noir, but I decided it was better with a gritty film look to it. A technique I use to enhance the "dirtiness" of a photo is to make a high structured black and white version and then in Photoshop set the layer blend mode to Luminosity so that it imposes that structure on the colored image. This impacts the skin more than anything and gives it a dirty, wet look and brings out any imperfections. After doing that I applied a Color Lookup layer in Photoshop and played with the options until I found one that worked.
In my camera bag
I'm actually a wild life shooter primarily, so my bag usually contains a pair of Nikon D500's with longer lenses - a 300mm f4 PF, a 500mm f5.6 PF, and a 70-200mm f4. If I'm shooting anything else then it's generally the D750 and a 24-120mm f4. I almost never shoot with a flash, so this is a bit of an outside the box image for me.
Feedback
Don't be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone. Find places, like this, that offer you a chance to shoot a variety of subjects and then take some time to look at examples as inspiration. It's OK to mimic something you see elsewhere online, but as you do it make a conscious effort in the process to insert yourself into the shot. Find something that differentiates it from others' work. Little things are all you need to make an image unique to you. And don't be afraid to fail, or to fix things in post. Shoot raw and learn the digital darkroom. Ansel Adams was a great photographer, but he was most admired for what he did with his prints. Shoot with good light, but make the most of it after the shot.

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