52 Project – Week 1 – @jeremycowart

This year, I’ve decided to do a 52 project (one photo a week), and my “theme” is that I’m going to do a self-portrait each week, where I try to mimic the Twitter picture/avatar of someone that I follow, figuring I’d be able to learn a new technique/look each week that I can apply to future projects.

For my first week, I decided to use Jeremy Cowart‘s picture. Jeremy (@jeremycowart) is a photographer based out of the L.A. area, who shoots a lot of celebrity portraits.  He was shown on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” recently, shooting a book cover for one of the characters.  But for me, he is more well known as one of the founders of Help Portrait, a group that is “a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.” (their mission from the website) Besides being a very talented photographer, Jeremy is a real humanitarian, and from all accounts (I’ve never met him personally), just a great guy and wonderful family man.

To mimic his Twitter headshot, I set up against the screen in my home studio.  I put a blue gel on a Speedlight to get close to the background color in the picture.  I set up a second Speedlight (my first shot with my new SB-910) to camera left, up and shooting through an umbrella.  I started out trying to use PocketWizards but I only have a Mini and a Flex, and couldn’t figure out how to trigger them with only one in the system (further investigation confirms that I probably can’t), and ended up using the pop-up on my Nikon D7000 to trigger them.  I was concerned about line-of-sight but this worked great.  It took a few tries to dial in the focus, then it took a number of additional shots to get the facial expression close. In post-processing, I used Photoshop to adjust levels, desaturated the face, adjusted background color/saturation and added an elliptical vignette to get the final look.  I think I got pretty close, and it was a great exercise, so I’m looking forward to more weeks of this project!  Unfortunately, the only size picture I could download off the web was pretty small, so it’s tough to do a side-by-side comparison. Jeremy, if by some chance you see this post, I’d love to get a bigger size photo to use as a direct comparison, and especially for the end of the year when I do a full set of side-by-side comparisons.

Jeremy Cowart's Twitter Pic

My Jeremy Cowart inspired shot


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