Between Two Rocks and a Hot Place

I’ve had the phrase: “Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place” stuck in my head for a while, and had the idea to do this shot. Thanks to Abigail for posing, and for my friends Ralph and Alisha for the massive bonfire. We were at their house for Ralph’s 40th birthday party last weekend, and they had an enormous fire blazing just as I got there with my camera.


One thing leads to another. Lighting dandelions on fire brought me to recognize the beauty of smoke. I used incense, and a black poster board for the background. One speed light was enough to light up the smoke without overexposing.

Dandelions on Fire!

So when your 15-year-old tells you that dandelions catch fire very easily, and shows you a cool picture on the internet, you have to try it for yourself, right?

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) …

Photoshop Tutorial: “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure”

Photoshop Tutorial: “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure” This shot was created in Photoshop and took about 5 hours. Here’s a 13-minute video showing the process, including false starts and lots of trial and error. Photo Illustration by Irene Liebler – “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure” Project 52 Assignment 31: Here’s The Brief, by Don Giannatti: “An old saying that we don’t hear much anymore, but it always reminds us that some folks throw out what other folks love. I have found some amazingly cool things at flea markets and garage sales and such. Treasures? LOL, well …

Sister Butterfly

“The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” ~ George Carlin This is Rachel’s portrait, a companion piece to Abigail’s butterfly portrait. Now if I could just get their brother to agree to model as a dragonfly… The stages of a butterfly portrait.

Printed Book: The Man in the Red Jacket

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 BUY the book, click on the little shopping cart in the …

Photo Illustration: Playing with Fire… and Peppers

Peppers don’t stick to red jackets very easily. This photo illustration was created for a book cover design titled, “Cooking with Chili” with a general layout provided by the art director. My idea was simple enough, but a bit challenging, technically. Step One: Get lots of red peppers. Step Two: Stick them to the Man in the Red Jacket. Step Three: Light the scene and take the picture. Step Four: Add fire. I was able to get plenty of peppers at the local grocery store. I figured out that heavy duty double-sided ATG tape (the kind used for picture framing) …