Guestblog Morgana Creely

Today a guestblog by a great and creative photographer/retoucher Morgana Creely. People who have visited my blog for a longer time will already know her and as always she has some great tips. So here we go, take the blog Morgana.


Conceptual portraits without models by Morgana Creely


Sometimes I get an idea (or a lighting technique) that I really want to try out immediately. This usually happens late Friday night or mid Sunday afternoon. Not the most ideal times to find a live model who is ready to drop everything and run on over. So this is a good time to create a conceptual portrait without a model.


But wait, you say. Who is the model in the image above? I’m glad you asked. Let me introduce Bianca. Bianca is a small old fashioned shop display mannequin. With a metal pole for a head and only one arm, she may not strike you as the most obvious of photographic models. However with a little careful styling and lighting she can do wonders.


For the shot above, Bianca is facing away from the camera to hide her lack of face, wearing a very inexpensive wig I picked up in a party supply. I deliberately lit her only from one side, to hide the lack of a second arm.


Below are two portraits I shot for this blog entry. Because I wanted the subjects to be facing forward and in profile, Bianca wasn’t suitable. Fortunately I have a back-up plan. I call him: Bruce. 🙂

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Retouched vs untouched

I get this question a lot and especially after showing images from trade shows…. and to be honest I do understand the question a bit. For me it’s always very important to get the images as perfect as possible without using Photoshop, however I will never make a secret of the fact that I love to use Photoshop for the finishing touches, but I strongly believe that you have to spend as little time as possible in Photoshop as possible.


My Photoshop workflow is actually very simple (although I can do some funky/edgy stuff of course :-)), in most shoots I will retouch the skin and tint the image with filters like NIK, Alien Skin Exposure, OnOne or DxO, depending on the look I want. But I will hardly ever change light or the look of an image.


After posting the results from SWPP I got several questions from people who were asking how much retouching was involved for these shots because “you can never shoot images like this during a tradeshow without using Photoshop to make them look so good” well I’ve never done this before but for this time I will make an exception, today 4 images from the SWPP straight out of the camera and retouched.


Now why don’t I normally don’t show untouched images?
Very simple, we’re on the internet and I don’t want images to be shown who are not 100% the way I want them, it’s nothing secret or “I don’t want to tell you guys” it’s just a simple fact that as long as people respond to BTS images from my iPhone with comments like “Wow amazing shot and feel” I don’t feel comfortable sharing work that is not retouched to my final look, this is also why these images are watermarked. So without further wasting your time…. 😀 here they are.

untouched Demos SWPP Maisy James  - January 11, 2013 - 17

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By the way to make it 100% “honest” the images that are labeled “Non retouched” are not even color-corrected so they are literally 100% straight out of the camera. Read more

The DOORhof is always open EP7 : Dubai

Today I can show you the 7th episode of our videowebpodcast “The DOORhof is always open”.
In this episode interviews and BTS videos from our visit to Dubai where I taught several workshops for the GPP weekend.


In this episode interviews with :
Mohammed and Hala from GPP
Scott Hargis
Tony Corbell
Brooke Shaden
David Nightingale


Feel free to share the link to the videowebcast and let us know what you want to see in future episodes, more interviews or more BTS or the mix like we do now.


Working with your lights and more PtII

Ok today part II in this 2 blog post article about adding something extra to your shots.
Yesterday we saw how Maisy used a ring flash to light herself and got some interesting effects, now today I’m gonna add another element…. the background.
Now I hear you think “Duh, really… a background?”
Well not like you might thing.
Normally we would use a background as… well a background right?
Now what would happen if we start using the background as a prop?
During the SWPP we decided during the last demo that we wanted to do something nice, and of course already help with breaking down the booth….. so after the first part of the demo I asked Maisy to stand behind the background and tried to stab her with a knife…. just kidding of course, she was not behind the background, but we did use a knife. With the knife I made a cut in the background and asked Maisy to start “playing” with this.

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