Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
Connected features the personal stories of six New Yorkers woven together into one of the most intimate series ever. This groundbreaking show changes the nature of storytelling by giving each character a camera to document their lives. The result is a unique format revealing as different as everyone appears to be, we are all universally Connected.
Wake up to your world in 2 minutes.
Jews and Money. Asian Drivers. Polish IQ. CPT… that's racist! But where do these stereotypes come from? Comedian Mike Epps explores the backstories of this humor and how history and fact often distorts into a snide – but sometimes funny – shorthand.
"INSPIRED" features celebrities, visionaries and some of the biggest newsmakers of our generation, recounting the stories behind their biggest, life-changing moments of inspiration.
In a compelling series of verite encounters, Win Win provides unique access into the minds and lives of the world’s most-celebrated entrepreneurs and athletes.
Explore what it means to be human as we rush head first into the future through the eyes, creativity, and mind of Tiffany Shlain, acclaimed filmmaker and speaker, founder of The Webby Awards, mother, constant pusher of boundaries and one of Newsweek’s “women shaping the 21st Century.”
Nicole Richie brings her unfiltered sense of humor and unique perspective to life in a new series based on her irreverent twitter feed. The show follows the outspoken celebrity as she shares her perspective on style, parenting, relationships and her journey to adulthood.
Comedy is hard, but teaching comedy to children is hilariously difficult. Kevin Nealon is giving the challenge to some world-famous comedians. As these young minds meet with comedy’s best, get ready to learn some valuable comedy lessons, and to laugh!
James Franco loves movies. He loves watching them, acting in them, directing them, and even writing them. And now, he’s going to take some of his favorite movie scenes from the most famous films of all time, and re-imagine them in ways that only James can.
The story of punk rock singer Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! who came out as a woman in 2012, and other members of the trans community whose experiences are woefully underrepresented and misunderstood in the media.
Executive produced by Zoe Saldana (who will be the subject of one episode), a celebrity travels back to their hometown to pay tribute to the one person from their past (before they were famous) who helped change their life by giving them an over-the-top, heart-felt surprise.
Enter the graceful but competitive world of ballet through the eyes of executive producer, Sarah Jessica Parker. This behind-the-scenes docudrama reveals what it takes to perform on the ultimate stage, the New York City Ballet. Catch NYCB on stage at Lincoln Center.
Park Bench is a new kind of "talking show" straight from the mind of born and bred New Yorker and host, Steve Buscemi.
Well welcome back to Pro Photo Insights, and today we’re gonna do a quick portrait shot, and I’ll show you a couple of tips of how to improve not only the actual portrait, but also how it can help your retouching afterwards. Yeah so, we’re gonna show you a couple of little things to help aid shooting portraits especially if we’re shooting into the sun. Now obviously shooting into the sun means there’s gonna be a backlit which gives the subject a lot of hair and stuff, it can really a nice effect, but we got to watch the fronts of the face, because obviously that’s gonna be in shadow. So sometimes it can help just to add a little bit supplementary lighting. Today, I have done here a traditional photographic reflector, the ones that fold away. I can't always do that, a bit tricky, but it’s white on one side and it’s gold in the other. So the gold obviously adds a little bit of nice warm tan in the subject’s face. So they’re very handy, they’re not that expensive, but if it’s too expensive for you, you can always use, just get a hold of a white towel, or something can very similar, something white or very bright, and use that just as well. Or even if we’re shooting, shooting your subject and behind the camera are white walls. That could be a natural reflector for you, so. And in case you don’t have to worry. So yes, we’re going to do a before and after on that, and in the full version of this video, I’m gonna show you some of the post production that I have these lighting accessories they have aides in retouching. So we’re gonna pick on my subject, it’s gonna be my son today, mainly because he’s cheap to work, so everybody’s happy. Okay, so, we’ll go ahead and see what we get. So I got my camera set up, I’m just gonna show you difference between having a reflector and not having it, here’s this is shot Gabriel who’s suddenly quite good lad. This is with the, I just have this in front of the camera. This is with the white reflector adding to the shot. Look up Gabriel, look at the camera, like so. Can you see, that’s automatically straight away, a big difference. If I switch it around the gold side, you can see, it just added, it’s a bit bright for him, coz they pour this out with a very higher reflective sides of this reflectors, they can cause the subject to squint a little bit. But that is a shade of the gold which, well honestly I don’t want that light, I think they’re a bit too harsh and I don’t like the way they add that kind of tin foil, you can see in my face now, it’s a bit, just a bit too, too crisp and too harsh to light on that, the white is much better, so. I’m gonna do a before and after shot of Gabriel, just a portrait, and then, you will on the screen and afterwards the difference of the effect it makes. Welcome back and here we are with our image on screen, this is the one of the images, two images that it shot. As you can see from the location video is a little bit windy and I’m sorry about the microphone noise, and that’s still looking into, to try and avoid we are again now in a couple of videos, so. That’s something we need to try and address. I also wanted you to see what are the disadvantages of using a reflector and on the windy day, it actually fell over at the end of the shoot, and it’s probably one of the problems. I personally prefer to use reflectors, I like my lighting to be fairly natural, I don’t like using flash. But there is advantages using flash, if you’re working on your own on a shot like this, then a small flash gun, you know, using just to fill in light in, it’s a little bit handy than trying to hold or strap a reflector onto a stand because they are prone to act like kites, so that’s something to consider. But as I said, you can, there’s a sort of things you can use. Even, even if simply you’re wearing a bright white shirt in a close up shot like this one, it would be enough to just add a little bit of supplementary lighting. Now, I’d be honest with you, here’s the after shot with the reflector on. You can see it’s quite a bit difference there. There’s probably, in this shot, there’s probably not the greatest of difference, and if you can remember, there’s a light coming more from the side, it was cross lighting Gabriel’s face. You would see a fairly more pronounce effect of the reflector but a bit more noticeably, you can see it here in the eyes. You got a nice catch light here, and whereas this one it’s a little bit more dead. So that I learn is a nice effect for using this types of reflectors. As I mentioned in the video I think one of the main advantages to using reflector is it kind of flattens out the lighting. So for instance, say we were farther back away from Gabriel, sometimes with this type of lighting, or certainly if the sun is more over head, you’ll get a lot of dark shadows in the eye sockets here and that could be a real pain. One advantage of using reflector is it does even out the lighting more and when we come to do retouching, that can actually help us, especially if we wanted to do like a very high key image. And that’s what we’re gonna, to quickly do today. I’m just gonna get rid of this one now, that’s just to show you what the difference would be. This image, so you know, we shot at F2-8, I quite like doing this close ups, getting in close to, to, on head shots, and really dropping out the aperture. Now by shooting at F2-8, which is wide open on my 70, 28, 70 millimeter lens, is that the areas around here drop off very quickly, go very soft, and it really concentrates your attention to the point of focus which is also the eyes in portraits. I can't think of many reasons not to focus in the eyes unless you’re doing some really weird, or not weird, but really specific effect. So always, always focus on the eyes there. So you got this really nice bit of fall off around, so. That’s why I shot that, I actually shot obviously 70 mil and 100 ISO. I think the shutter speed was 8th under a second so quite a lot of light bouncing around there with our lovely reflector. So what we’re gonna do now is just do a few adjustments, first thing I’m gonna do a levels adjustments, and hold down the Alt key and just drag the highlights slider across. And we can see here a bit of our clipping out, then mainly this here, this highlight here on the slide handle and over his shoulder here. So to be honest with you, I’m not too worried about that. And a little bit there, so that’s fine. And then we’re gonna do is say, hold down the Alt key, get the shadow end and that again shows us where things are starting to black out. You wanted to go a little bit black them in parts will start to go, otherwise they’re maybe flat. So we don’t mind little bit coming through. So that’s about right there. So let’s do four, actually lift it a little bit. Okay, the only thing I wanna do, I think Gabriel needs a little bit magenta there, so. I’m just going to do a color balance adjustments and I’m just gonna add, we’re on the midtones, add a little bit of green, don’t wanna get too far, think we got there is right. And we get to the highlights and do the same, so add a little bit of green, again not too much. That’s probably about enough. That’s the before, that’s the after, so. We’re just doing this really visually, rather than doing it by what they call by the numbers. By the numbers we involve using the, use the eyedropper tool and also looking to the info panel and judging the numbers there and just getting them neutral. We’re just doing this one by eye, like so. So that’s that done, and then what we can do is to duplicate this layer here and we can rename this one, retouch. And the next thing we’re gonna do, is we’re just gonna go in and just clean, clean up any, any marks that are evident or in this case chocolate. Chocolate around his mouth, he was shoving in a biscuit before we shot. So it’s a lot of it there and we can just go around that with the, just undo that with the, both the clone stamp or my favorite, the healing brushes patch tool. I’m not sure the patch will work on this but it can come close to an edge and it tends to go a bit mushy if you’re not too careful, kinda like there. Before, after, that’s a bit of an improvement. Again now, we can just go around and just doing the other bits of clean up, like so, and just deep dragging around. We’re using the patch tool at the moment and just doing any bits of clean up like I said very quickly, like that. So that might be a freckle, but, it looks distracting so we get rid of it. So yes, we just carry on like that. Okay, so once you’ve had it cleaned up, and you’ve got all your color balance have been sorted out, you can then start to manipulate the image a little bit, since you wish to. What I’m about to do, I’m gonna, I’m using CS3 here, so I’m gonna go down here and use the black and white adjustment. If you’re not using CS3, I think CS2 might have, I can't quite remember, but if, anyway, if you can't do go that way, just go to channels and just pick out a channel which gives you a fair bit of contrast, and I don’t wanna get too far, now blue, is probably gonna give you a bit of weird effect on there, especially, coz Gabriel’s got freckles here, there kind of been really brought out while he’s in the blue channel. But, just get through your channels, just pick out one, that seen, now red I think might be a bit too far from what we need, so. Just grab, say green, which looks like the best one out of the bunch here, duplicate that, and then what you can do, once you got your green copy is to highlight it, make sure this all is turned off, go command or control A, select all, command all control C, to copy, and then highlight, to make sure your color layers haven’t got a chance to turn back on, go at to layers and above your, above your retouch layer go, command all control V to paste. And that will paste in your, your, your channel there. But I’m gonna do it in CS3, I'm gonna do it by using the adjustment layer down here. So I’m gonna do adjustment layer, bring out black and white and there’s some useful presets in this black and white adjustments, so just have a flip through there. I think I know which one I really, which is gonna be the maximum white, like so. And you can have a play this slider if you wish, but it’s not actually necessary. And we’ll gonna change the blend mode now to screen, if I find it, like so. And then we need to drop down the opacity a little bit. Now, what screen does is actually lighten the whole image and we don’t really want that, I wanna leave a little bit of contrast in, and you can try in either ones. We could try over lay, which is a, but again, we could do that. We could try that for a minute, I think that’s set at 40 percent at the moment, overlay’s a bit harsh. But we can always back the opacity off a little bit. But what we can do then is just double click to the side of the adjustment layer and down at the bottom here in the blending options, layer style options, is a slider. Now what we can do is drag the slider across, just look, watch the dark areas here, this is the dark end of the, of the scale and as I drag that away it’s taking away the adjustments. Now what you gotta watch in here, you get some very strange transitions. Now the way you get rid of those is to hold down the alt key, alt key and then grab the slider again and it splits it enabling you to make a nice smooth transition, so just bring that up. And that way we can control how much it’s darken the image, and I think that’s about right. But do watch you haven’t got any nasty transitions. Click ok, and now, that’s great, and quite a nice high key effect, but not re effecting the dark of the shadow too much. We can bring that up a bit now, shall we look, and that’s about right. So what I’ve done is, I’ve drag, drag the levels adjustments there. Make sure that’s on stop. We can now double click on that, and again, this helps as just to double check, you’re not clipping too much. So hold down the alt key again and just highlight the highlight slider there, and we’ll just see, we are actually bleaching out some bits. It’s up to you if you think it matters too much, I’m just gonna back it off a little bit, so we’re not going too far. And again in the shadows, didn’t have affected much, if any. So that’s just a good check to make sure you’re not clipping too much out. So, just wanna turn this off for a second, see where we’ve come, there’s before, there’s the after. So that’s given us quite a nice high key effect. If you wanna go a bit farther, you can try and push it more bit farther again. I don’t want it to go too much. I don’t want it to look like a ghost, but again go back to levels, to look at the levels, holding down the alt key again, just highlight. Make sure you’re not clipping too madly. I think that’s acceptable. So that gives you a nice high key portrait. I mention on the video, and I’ll gonna repeat it, coz I know this sounds a little bit off in place. If you got say a wall behind you, or maybe in a beach, you can often get away with not needing reflector. Now here’s another image, this is a picture of my eldest daughter. Very similar lens and aperture is 2.8, F2.8, I shot one at wide open. And this one, again, it was just on the beach, there’s a lot of, lot of light, obviously bouncing around of the beach, and you have to watch your, your exposure when that happens. But again, because it was such a kind of evenly lit image, I was able to pump up the, the exposure and the colors and actually rim at this image very, very high key, so. That’s one done with, with just natural, natural reflectors in the, in the locations, in the environment. So there you gotta watch out for again, I mention it in the video, if, if your, if the light is reflected off a surface, which is colored, you’re gonna get a color cast on your image. So if it is a green wall, you’ll probably find it, skin, it’s gonna come out, come out slightly green, so. Just be careful about that, but just be aware. Just be aware of the environment and just be aware that, you know, often a white blanket or a reflector can help, you know, really help your images. So, that’s it, it’s all finish with, I hope you enjoyed that, and I’ll catch you on the next video. Cheers.