Infinity War


That's more like it Disney. I still don't forgive you for The Last Jedi, but I'm so glad you didn't drop the ball with this one. By far my favorite Marvel film.

Things I liked:
- Thanos. Literally every scene he was in. I rank him higher than Heath Ledger's Joker.
- Dr. Strange giving Tony Stark shit and just being an all around badass.
- Thor's arrival in Wakanda. Talk about epic.
- The comedy. Not too much and didn't feel out of place.
- That ending.

Things I didn't like:
- Couldn't have used a bit more Captain America.
- Having to wait another year for the finale.

Overall a phenomenal film that I'll being seeing 3-4 times while it's in the theater. I enjoyed it that much. Bravo Disney. Bravo Marvel. 9/10. Hope it breaks all the records. Well deserved.

On Retouching...

Stickland - Portrait Photography.png

As I've transitioned to more of a portrait photographer in the last couple years, I've relied less so on retouching. I recall earlier in my career when I was mainly shooting beauty that I would spend so much money hiring a professional retoucher to make my images look absolutely perfect. In the genre of beauty photography, this perfection is often the desired outcome. When selling cosmetic products, you want to sell the idea that the product will help you achieve this level of perfection whether it be evening out skin or making the hair look radiant. Retouching helps carry that message with the caveat being the resulting image being somewhat unrealistic. This is understandable as each genre/sub-genre of photography comes with its own techniques and aesthetic considerations. Retouching can also reflect the style of the photographer, which became apparent to me when I made the move into portraiture.

Once I started shooting portraits, I figured I would use the same retouching techniques I'd applied to beauty. Clean the skin, remove veins, cleanup flyaway hairs, etc. But once I did a few images I didn't like the results. There was something lost making portrait images perfect versus when I did the same in beauty photographs. Back to the drawing board I went and ultimately decided that I needed to rely less on retouching and concentrate more on working with my subject to create interesting portraits. Sure, I'd do some basic retouching but not to the point of perfection and not to the point that it removes the soul from the image. I like the fine, imperfect details in an portrait image. The wrinkles in someone's skin, the redness in the eyes, the lines on the neck, etc. These all aid in making the image(and person) feel real and gives the photograph much more character in my opinion.

For a photographer, retouching can take your images to the next level. And it's certainly an amazing skill to have in one's repertoire. My philosophy is that it should be used in a way that both reflects your own individual style and supports the intent of the photograph. Some images require perfection, others do not. There doesn't have to be a "one size fits all" approach to post-production. Embrace those imperfections!

I hope you enjoyed this post! If so, give it a like or even leave a comment!

Sunday Movie Night: Oblivion

 One of my favorite moments from one of my favorite sci-fi films of all time.

One of my favorite moments from one of my favorite sci-fi films of all time.

I've watched this film 100 times and it's still one of my favs. Beautiful art direction, cinematography, strong performances from the entire cast, and a compelling story with a great twist. And I loved the pairing of Cruise and Kurylenko, she's also one of my favs so I was stoked when the cast for the film was announced.

As I always say, Tom Cruise is one of the most underrated successful actors out there. He always brings it and has so many classics under his belt. Rain Man, Top Gun, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, The Last Samurai on and on and on. Give the man his props. 

I'll be enjoying this one for the 101th time pretty soon. Go Tom Cruise!