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Photo Recipe / How to

Physique shoot Britney, photography

This is not fishing related but it’s definitely photography related so I figure I would share with you guys.

Yesterday I had a chance to work with physique class competitor Britney. She is 10 days away from her competition and is at about 10% bodyfat.

Much respect for her dedication. Besides training almost daily she gave up a lot of social life as well as being forced to eating plain chicken and broccoli for almost every meal for like a few months.

Since this was my first studio physique shoot I did a little research. The key is to have a dark to black background that is not lit. Lighting was to be from the sides to create higher contrast of the muscles. The only thing I did not have a was hair(over head) lighting.

Britney is very athletic and did a great job with the poses.

Here are a few of shots I got from the two hour shoot.







Aperture Books & Borders FX Plugin

Been playing with new ways to present pictures to friends/clients and came across a pretty cool feature in the photo editor I use – Aperture 3. The software allows you to select a number of photos and then include them in “book” format. The intention is for you to arrange your photos to form a coffee table book or a book to share with family (I’m actually considering doing a coffee table book for the house with some fishing pics). Coffee table material aside, I think the “book” layout is pretty cool just for one single photo assortment. You can document a day’s worth of fishing on one big photo collage…just chose several photos and click “new book”. You can tweak the size of each photo and color the background however you want. You can also use the borders fx plugin to add text without going into photoshop. I used it to give a friend of mine some ideas on a new flyer for his charter business…they’ve got tons of letter fonts to chose from. You could potentially arrange flyers, business cards, or whatever with your photos and designs without having to fork out a bunch of cash. Anyway, hope this is useful for somebody out there. I’ve had fun messing around with it.

January Redfish Trip

Summer Grass Flat Fishing

Random Georgetown Pics

Douglas’ Flyer


Fishing Panama, Big Lure equals Big Fish and How to take Firework Photos


Many of you will be shooting fire work photos tonight on new years eve. Here is a post I made last year on how to take good firework photos. Last year it was a bit too late but this year I am going to be right on time.

How to take fire work photos.

The past few days I visited down in Panama and fished with team Sebile at Oliver’s Lodge in Boca Chica Panama and the surround islands. You know research and development trip to test big splashers, giant swimming magic and stick shads. We fished out of Oliver’s 24′ Panga style boat casting big lures near rocky bottoms. It was pretty intense hardcore fishing at it’s finest. No trolling we were casting for Big fish with big gear, big lures.

Tunas, Cubera Snappers, Mullet Snappers, Big eye Tuna, yellowfin tuna’s and many more species I probably forgot but will be going through the photos here soon.

I will get more detail and photos as I have time but for now here are some photos.

Bits and Pieces

A friend has loaned me a Nikon 105mm macro lens so I have been playing around with it for several days. You can see other examples at my blog, or and navigate to the Macro gallery. These shots were taken with ambient light but I am also using the SB-R200, (looks like the flash used on the cameras in Miami CSI), which works great and is easy to use. Just set everything to TTL/Fill flash and let the camera do the work.
I hope to get more opportunities to work with this lens. The only nit I have is that even though 105mm seems like it would give you adequate working distance, it sometimes does not. To get 1/1 macro, you need to be inches from the subject and some subjects just won’t tolerate that. This redfish had no choice.

Thanks for looking!

Kenny Smith

How to take photos indoors and using the external flash

May 3 2010

There are lots of blogs out there I’m sure you guys visit and all they talk about is how great they are.  :) Here at Saltyshores we give the people what they want. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s not all about the fishing. With everyone out there  buying DSLR and better cameras lots of people want to learn how to use them.

One of more popular questions concerns the importance of the external flash.  Well, since photography is basically about how to control the lighting, to me it is very important.  I use the flash on almost all(indoor and outdoors) my photos I take, so a good external flash is indispensable.

A good flash will be:

  • larger more disperse area and more powerful
  • last longer
  • Pivoting head
  • better metering
  • allows for add on like light modifiers kits.

If you want your photos to pop you need good lighting.  Unless you are standing next to a window, when you are indoors a good flash is must have.

For most people, a Nikon Sb-600 for $200.00 is all you need(sorry not a Canon guy but I’m sure there’s an equivalent). It allows  you to pivot the head and it has a remote flash capabilities. I will show you how cool this  is later.

Here is one example of how a good flash will help your photos:

These two photos were shot indoors and the only light source was my external flash. They are unedited, just straight from raw to jpg. Not even contrast adjustments.

The first photo isn’t bad, but still could be better. We used the external flash to point directly at the subject. However, if you look closely you see a shadow in the back and the model’s face is shiny. The background is also a little dark due to uneven direct lighting.  If a point and shoot was used it would be worst as the small built in flash would be very hash and condense.  This type of lighting will create unwanted harsh shadows and the end  result not very appealing.

Now in the 2nd photo: I moved the flash to point directly at the ceiling. What this does is bounce the light off the ceiling, creating a nice ambient (non direct) lighting. This gives out nice even lighting effect and the end result is soft lighting.  This is  why you see the studio photographers use all those umbrellas and white sheets. It disperses the light creating soft even lighting.  As you can see the shine is gone from the models face, the background is more lighted and there are no shadows.

Hope you guys find this helpful.

Thanks to Charleen for being my model.

Photo editing, from raw to web jpg.

April 30th 2010

A couple day ago I talked about editing photos from a DSLR to finish.  I will attempt to go step by step on what I do to 90% of my photos before you guys see them on Saltyshores.  I shoot raw as the most of the magazines want them that way so their staff can do their own editing. I’ve been told that if you edit photos a bunch Raw is the best format with the most information from the camera itself.

One of the problem with shooting raw is that “every” single photos needs to be edited because there is no saturation, contrast, zero camera manipulation before it becomes the final jpg(in camera compression). All cameras has software built in that turns the raw files by adding colors, contrast, sharpness and turning them into jpg.  In raw you have to do this manually. So sometimes when you see a photo that is off, because I’m editing on my laptop(most, laptop screens are never as good as desktop screens) on the road this is why.

I know many photographers that takes hours, days, even weeks to edit a shoot. Sometimes they would spend almost an hour on a single image. Honestly, I do not have the time or the patience to do that.  Besides, if I can’t edit a photo in less than 2 minutes(on a proper screen as all screens are little different), then I did something wrong as a photographer. Unless it’s awesome photo that needs to be saved it goes into the trash bin.Yes this is still happens all the time, thank god for digital. :)

I edit using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. You can use the new latest greatest photoshop that sells for $700 but 99% of what I do can be done with the cheaper under $100 photoshop elements.

This is the raw image straight from the camera: no edit at all, I tend to shoot a little under expose especially if the fish is silver and tend to over expose.

I then crop it a little and straighten the horizon.

tip: Try to shoot as full frame as possible,  you will get more detail out of photos.

I then brighten the image.

finally I adjust the contrast and put my stamp on it.

tip: you can  use the curves function or the contrast slider tool for this. I like the curves as it gives me a little more control.

There you have it, from start to finish. Yes I realize I could have done a little more. I could have selective edit by dodging and burner perhaps the fish to get more detail out of it. I could have used the sharpen tool as well to make the photo appear sharper. I could have used the highlights and shadow function , add some fake vignetting .. blah.. blah blah.. I could go on forever.

Most of my photos I shoot outdoors of fishing, I want to look as real as possible so I tend to stay away from the heavy editing. When I shoot models, glamor, weddings people want that heavy edited, dreamy, everyone looks perfect look.  Everyone wants to see how great they look right? Time is spent taking out pimples, bags under eyes, wrinkles,  and so on. There are plenty filters and skin smoothing affects you can use as well. They even have filter packages so it makes your editing life as a bit easier if you shoot lots of weddings and glamor.

I guess I could use wedding filters for fishing photos.. it would look pretty strange though, a smooth no blemish skin fisherman. lol

I’m not Photoshop expert and I’m sure there’s a lot more I could have done. Sometimes if I do feel like messing around I do those things, but for the most part that’s pretty much it. Besides, I have Saltyshores to update and if I take a week to edit photos SS will never get updated! :)

Photo editing, what I usually do to a photo from start to finish.

April 28th 2010

I know many that are expert guru photographers, I’m not one them. :)
However I do know a little about taking photos and how I used the camera to get what I want image wise.(with some luck that is)

I did three hour photography class last night down in Sarasota Florida. I taught people how to fix common issues when taking photos and what do’s and don’t. We also spoke about equipment that is good to have and how to use many of them effectively. I even had a power point presentation on my laptop to show some examples. Yes getting fancy over here.

One of the main question was about photo editing. How much editing I do and what I do to the photos etc. 90% of my photos all I do is crop, straighten the horizon, and adjust the contrast(I like contrast). Sometimes I use the shadows and highlights tools in photoshop to bring out some shadow area. 90% of my photos take about 2 minutes to edit. If it takes more than that, I consider I screwed up as a photographer. Unless I think it’s a really awesome photo worth saving through heavy editing, I usually just delete them and move on(calling myself a dummy in the process).

Since everyone seems to be interested in this I will be posting some photos from scratch (raw format, no colors, no contrast, not much of anything) to the finish webready photo you get to see here on Saltyshores.

Here is something I went back an re edit. This is the finished product. I will show you how it started. Then one phase at a time. Crop, contrast, etc etc.
This might not be the best example so I’ll do one above the water as well so everyone can relate.(man I didn’t even think about that til just now.. “mumbling dummy”)

Photography Class and how to, 2nd Saltyshores Newsletter, Camo Apparel is here

For those of you who does not get the SS newsletter emailed out a couple weeks ago, Here is the 2nd Saltyshores Newsletter. There has been more open emails and interest in the 2nd newsletter sent out than there were on the entire list of the first SS newsletter.

You got the some exclusive content and some free goodies.

Speaking of free goodies. Those of you that are listed as being winners of free goodies need to email me your address so I can send them off to you. I have gotten a couple but not all of them. Here is the list.

Saltyshores apparel news:


I finally got in stock more Saltyshores Micro Fibers. I’ve been getting some emails and other inquiries about getting some apparel but just haven’t had much time lately. They did come in last week, I got them in the Blue, Olive and the new Camouflage in the X-dri micro fibers. I will be working on the order page and photos this week.

Photography Class:


Today I will be busy heading to Kinko’s and Office depot. I am be doing a three hours Photography Class down in Venice, Fl. 6pm to 9pm. It is a beginner course. Not a “how to turn your camera on” stuff but how to get better photos from what you have.

I get lots of emails about what cameras bodies and lens I use. Many people go out and spend the $500 to $2000 to get all the fancy equipment but the photos are still not as good as they would like it to be. Many times it’s not about the equipment, it’s about how to use your equipment. I will be showing the people how to improve your photography drastically just by changing lighting angles, when to use a flash, composition and taking advantage of the current lighting.(yes it’s all about the lighting)

I will add a couple hands on, how to as well. How to do lightning photos, firework photos, motion blur, action shots etc.

Here’s one of the example.  Unedited straight from the camera. Shot on a Pentax Optio Point and shoot Camera. I wanted to use a point and shoot just to show that it can be done on less expensive cameras. (Thanks to my friend Hank for being my test dummy model.)   :)

The problem: This is what happens most to of the time, when people try to get a subject with the sunset. Dark Silhouette of the person.

The Fix: just by changing the angles and isolating the subject making the sky the back ground the photos is more interesting. Plus by using the flash you light up the subject to equal the background lighting.

Wang Anchor Install…Way too Easy

I am always the last kid on the block to get the new toys. Weather it be a phone, video game system, computers, cameras, televisions-you get the idea. Well, this applies to fishing equipment also.

I finally caught up with the ever growing pack, and got my hands on a Wang Anchor system for my center console bay boat. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. Having used the system before, I already knew what it could do, but had I bought one sooner, my back would have thanked me.

The system consists of a stake out pole and mount. It’s that simple. With the system purchase, you receive instructions for installation and the stainless steel screws to mount the bracket to your boat. A bow mount and transom mount system is available; stake out pole length varies from six to ten feet. I went with the 10 footer, as I can also use it as a push pole. Why not?

Installation is a breeze. With the bow or transom mount system costing less than two hundred and fifty dollars; no installation fee will need to be tacked on to that. Like I said, installation is simple, so this makes the Wang a very economical, yet effective addition to just about any vessel.

This write up is not to review the product, as most out there know what it can do- the system and functionality are pretty self explanatory. My write up is to show how easy it is to install. In case some are intimidated to install one, after seeing this, you shouldn’t be.

Before install, you need to take into consideration if the system will come in contact with the wake from your motor creating a bad spray,  and also make sure it is not too close to trim tabs or other components on the back of the boat. Keeping  the system level, as well  as high as possible towards the top of the transom is a pretty good idea too. About a 1/4 inch from the rub rail is where I mounted mine. Another thing to take into consideration, is when mounting the bracket, the area chosen should be fairly thick. Some parts of a boat transom can be thinner than others. Many boat manufacturers keep certain parts of the transom thicker than others, partly to save weight in addition to cost. Just make sure to have a good bit of thickness for the screws to get a good bite. If your install area is very thin and you still wish to install it there, just use through bolts (stainless) and washers. Either way a simple task.

Let’s go ahead and see just how easy installation really is. For the install, all one needs is a drill, and in my case a 7/32 drill bit,  screwdriver,  marker,  level, and some 5200 marine sealant. Besides the system, that’s  it.

Required tools and equipment:

The Wang Anchor with drill, screwdriver, drill bit, marker, sealant and level.

First, pick a good location that is out of the way of clutter:

This was my choice, the opposite side of the swim platform.

Next, place the bracket level, in the desired spot, and use the marker to mark a hole for drilling:

Mark the first hole in order to mount the bracket with one screw, creating a template to mark the other holes.

Drill into the fiberglass to start the mounting process:

Be careful while drilling, wear safety goggles and make sure to press firmly on the desired location, not allowing the bit to slip.

After the first hole is drilled, mount the bracket to the hole and HAND tighten the screw, keeping the bracket fairly tight, but still allowing room for movement:

The screws won't thread in extremely easy, but you don't want to use power tools as fiberglass can easily become stripped.

Next, level the loosely mounted bracket and use your marker to mark the remaining holes:

Ready for more holes to be marked.

Marking the remaining holes.

After marking your holes, remove the bracket and drill the rest. With the bracket used as your drilling template, you should have no issues with bracket alignment:

Finishing up with the drill for the day.

Now you are ready to mount the bracket, the job is almost done! Use 5200 marine grade sealant to coat a portion of the screw threads as well as around the bolt holes on the bracket. CAUTION: Use this stuff in moderation. It is PERMANENT, I have heard horror stories of guys trying to remove components with this adhered to it:

Again, use sparingly. Like the teacher said in grade school, "a little dab will do ya".

A little bit is all you need, and this is just for extra protection. The bracket would probably hold perfect without it.

Next, thread in each coated screw by hand and ensure a good fit:

Ready to go...all the screws lined up and the bracket is level.

Tighten the bracket up and you have completed the task, if you want to call it that. You will have to put a little elbow grease into install of the screws without power tools, but it’s not that hard:

Tightening her up.

The final turns.

OK, your done. Insert the stake out pole and check it out. The install is so easy, I would be surprised if it took longer than an hour, unless space issues or other factors get in the way. My install area was free of clutter and clean, which helped out greatly.

Ready for use.

If the weather ever breaks, I will get to use this bad boy, I'm ready!