“Swan Night” 2016 Picture of the Year

This image of my friend Marcelle won Picture of the Year in the Fine Art category at the North Haven Camera Club. Congrats to EVERYONE! It was a fun year of learning and sharing. Here’s a gif showing the different layers. All original photos. Natural window light. I live on a lake with lots of wildlife and was able to get these swans in flight as they started migrating south for the winter.  

Red Devil

My kids are working behind the scenes in the lighting department in the high school play this year, and sometimes my daughter comes home with random colored gels that are otherwise destined for the dumpster. I decided to use the red gels that she rescued from the high school for this month’s Camera Club challenge: RED. As I was brainstorming, I had an idea to do a “devil” portrait – I remembered that we had devil horns up in the attic from an old Halloween costume… and a fog machine… My husband modeled for me again, and as we started …

Photograph: Bottles with Smoke

I recently joined the North Haven Camera Club and participated in my first group competition – the theme was “Bottles”. Step one was finding some interesting old bottles, so I called my neighbors Lynne and Deb who used to own Azteca’s Restaurant in New Haven. Their house is filled with wonderful treasures from many years of collecting, and they loaned me a few old bottles with probably decades worth of authentic dust and grime. Bottles with Smoke Below are behind-the-scenes shots. I used black glass for the base, red matte board for the background, and a snooted and gelled flash …

Live Photography Demo at North Haven Camera Club

In early November of 2014, I had my first-ever opportunity to do a LIVE photo shoot at the North Haven Camera Club, to show how I put together a series of images to build a final image. The concept for my proposed image was about college, and whether it was worth it. The idea was to show a teenager (my daughter, Olivia), standing on a stack of books, holding a coin under one arm – with hair flying, of course. Here’s my original sketch: Here are the source files: Here’s a set of images that imcludes the other pieces, including …

“Man in the Red Jacket” PDF Download

A behind-the-scenes look at “The Man in the Red Jacket”. All of the images in this book were created while participating in Don Giannatti’s Project 52 PRO workshop, using techniques and Photoshop tricks I’ve learned from him, and others online over the past two years, like: • Joel Grimes • David Hobby • Brooke Shaden • Miss Aniela • Erik Almas • Bill Gekas • Regina Pagles • Sue Bryce I hope this book is an inspiration for those like me, who love to see behind the scenes. To download a PDF of the book, click the link or image …

Is Someone Holding Your Feet to the Fire?

Sometimes our feet are held to the fire by others, and sometimes we have to hold our own feet to the fire. I prefer to be in charge of my own two feet. Another image from the series with Abigail Connolly. Featuring hot fire from my friend Ralph’s 40th birthday party, and cool clouds from a storm that blew through Guilford, Connecticut yesterday. Thanks again to Abby for playing the part so well, and to Olivia Liebler for her arm strength. See the setup shots below.  

“Between Two Rocks” Photoshop Tutorial

A 4-minute tutorial showing Photoshop compositing and masking techniques using the brush and pen tools, as well as how to composite flying hair using the Blend – Multiply settings. The “Hair” portion starts around 1:58. Model: Abigail Connolly Music by: KGB – “Call It a Night” Used with permission through Triple Scoop Music. Between 2 Rocks and a Hot Place -Photoshop Tutorial by Irene Liebler from Irene Liebler on Vimeo. Here’s the original image and the original blog post:    

Photography Headshot Posing Tip: “Do the Turtle?”

Directing a model is a skill that every photographer needs to have, and a recent shoot with Olivia gave me an opportunity to practice! One of the most important features of someone’s face is the jawline. Unfortunately, if a person sits or stands naturally, without direction, they usually don’t look their best on film. They have a tendency to lean back and smile. They may have a double chin or look like they’re slouching. As photographers, we need to direct people and help position them for the most flattering results. Doing “The Turtle” (made famous by top model, Tyra Banks) …

Butterfly Portrait with Rachel Connolly

Last week I did my first butterfly portrait with twelve-year-old Abigail Connolly. This week I had the opportunity to work with her older sister, Rachel, who was on spring break from Cornell. She’s been in my shots many times before (ie: Sign of the Times) and is always willing to model! We had two hours and I had lots of ideas for poses. This image was done with a beauty dish from above, a bare speed light behind Rachel, a speed light with soft box on the right, slightly behind her (which is lighting up her left shoulder). The hair …