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The Raw Report

by Sara Frances

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Known as the Velcro Couple, Sara Frances and Karl Arndt's talents mesh gently, sometimes not so gently, when debating techniques or artistic principles. Fusion is their media, on the edge of contemporary technology. Their collaboration between still and cinematic imagery is sometimes refined and quiet, sometimes raucous and noisy. That's the sound of those pesky muses that flit back and forth between still and motion editing bays. Husband and wife yes, but also a marriage of art, idea and approach. "We're not satisfied if we don't learn somethi...

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Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

It’s a ring thing - in dramatic closeup of course!

By Sara Frances | March 12, 2014

The smallest and usually most valuable (in $$ and sentiment) wedding accessory deserves special

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Cultivating Creative Confidence

Cultivating Creative Confidence

Art = Innovation

By Sara Frances | December 29, 2013

It’s a delightful anchor to have, this thing we call creativity. But when life concerns press down, it’s often the first thing cast aside. Learn to make creativity your refuge, and it will be your inventive breakthrough..

I’m always looking for angles of thought that... Read More

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Art of the Holiday Card

Art of the Holiday Card

Hand-made, much appreciated, portfolio-rich attention-getter

By Sara Frances | December 24, 2013

Holiday images, by email, Facebook or hand made card, are are perfect way to thank clients, revalue friendship and show off personal creativity. New Year is the perfect time, spanning religious preferences and cultures.

It’s easy to put appropriate thoughts of the season into a... Read More

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Breaking Down Double Exposure Technique

Breaking Down Double Exposure Technique

new waves, no secrets, exactly how - from Gavin Phillips

By Sara Frances | September 18, 2013

I’ve got my favorite, old fashioned ways to make doubles, but Gavin Phillip’s new “industrial revolution” tutorials simplify the process of creating beautiful double exposures for everyone. So easy to begin and fine-tune what used to be time and tricks intensive in... Read More

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How to make and add texture overlays to photos

How to make and add texture overlays to photos

Think mystery, excitement, glamour, exoticism, allure, charm. A bouquet of possibilities.

By Sara Frances | September 18, 2013

Overlays are all about romance. Pictures we’re emotionally drawn to need more than a “just the facts” look. Imagine

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Creating Visual Impact with Weather and Temperature

Creating Visual Impact with Weather and Temperature

How to make people shiver in two dimensions

By Sara Frances | August 30, 2013

Go for the cold! Seasons are changing, and I found this inspirational image group to suggest a project for the coming winter.

Rendering a feeling of temperature is the third way to harness natural elements to create image impact. The first two are time of day (or more precisely... Read More

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HDR: when is it too much?

HDR: when is it too much?

We all love opening shadows and recapturing highlights, but how to keep images “real” and avoid going too far?

By Sara Frances | August 15, 2013

Don’t get me wrong. Extreme HDR has many legit uses; you the artist have to decide your message and work toward the subtleties of what you want to convey.

This recent example set is from our workshop in Guatemala during the pre-Easter festivals in Antigua. Readers please weigh in... Read More

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Business Portrait Market isn’t Dead

Business Portrait Market isn’t Dead

Two factors must be balanced for an effective, instantly impressive web portrait. Compare good and not-so-good examples.

By Sara Frances | August 05, 2013

The subtle selling point of good portraits is that they engender an aura of trust. Bad pictures send the message that if the business is careless with the images of what they do and who they are - well, they’re going to be slipshod in working with you and your job too.

Just a... Read More

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Top of Colorado 360º iPhone Pano

Top of Colorado 360º iPhone Pano

Stitch multiple iPhone panos for a full-circle look

By Sara Frances | July 27, 2013

The top of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies is too much fun to miss the chance for a 360º panorama. Easily accessible Loveland Pass, on a beautiful, clear morning just as the final snow melt was in progress is fine inspiration. A few steps up a little hill provided the view... Read More

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Black Box Flash Magic

Black Box Flash Magic

Opaque, black flash modifier tunnels light just where you want it

By Sara Frances | July 23, 2013

Here’s how to light your subject, not the audience.

Flash solves so many problems in commercial and event situations - bad down light, uneven light, insufficient light, multi source colored light. But flash can be really annoying to conference audiences, convention goers and social... Read More

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Wedding Photojournalism Post WW II

Wedding Photojournalism Post WW II

blast from the past foretells contemporary style

By Sara Frances | June 13, 2013

It was a soft, sunny day, early June 1947. Not too hot, not yet perishing dead air and dripping humidity of the midwest. The boys were back from the wars. No more rationing. Plentiful gas and shiny new cars. Economy was booming. Korea and Cold War just blips on the horizon. Life relaxed and... Read More

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Kid Photos: Sell More with Multiples

Kid Photos: Sell More with Multiples

Kids are whimsey, changeable, big/little, unruly/charming. Show it all!

By Sara Frances | June 06, 2013

How to produce new and vibrant work to sell larger orders that keep our cameras running, that’s the question behind the style and artistic genius for today's portrait studio. Not just the question, but the whole horizon of how to make a living in the do-it-yourself photo world that... Read More

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Panorama Tips for iPhoneography

Panorama Tips for iPhoneography

Movement and stability essentials for great iPhone panos

By Sara Frances | May 24, 2013

Once you access the pano function option on your iPhone, it’s an addiction! Especially for international and adventure travel, pano capture will bring home your experience like no other image. (Read at bottom for link to explore our next iPhoneography workshop with Flying Colors. -... Read More

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Photographer’s Dream Clothing from 5.11 Tactical

Photographer’s Dream Clothing from 5.11 Tactical

Look great with practical, tactical clothing

By Sara Frances | April 17, 2013

Our jobs as general practitioners of photo and video require comfortable, durable stylish dressing. Recently Karl and I discovered the 5.11 Tactical clothing line, which fits absolutely every venue we work in from country club formal to 4-wheel rough terrain and dirt.

 

Mobility... Read More

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Optimizing Lucrative Business Group Photography

Optimizing Lucrative Business Group Photography

Photo session 5 minutes; Postproduction 2 hours

By Sara Frances | March 17, 2013

Today’s typical business group photography happens so quickly that the focus has shifted in many cases to optimization in Photoshop. Since most groups are commissioned late in the meeting or conference planning, we rarely have more than a couple day’s notice. Therefore our fee is... Read More

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Iconoclasts: Wedding Photojournalists

Iconoclasts: Wedding Photojournalists

rebels vindicated: the most maligned photo specialty worth deeper look

By Sara Frances | February 04, 2013

The commercial photographic community has long looked down its collective nose at the wedding photographer without realizing this skill combines just about every other specialty. A much harder job, if practiced to the hilt.

Food photography and... Read More

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Posing & Lighting Wedding Cakes

Posing & Lighting Wedding Cakes

How to apply magazine quality food photography techniques at a wedding

By Sara Frances | January 18, 2013

If you think “posing” and “lighting” are an odd choice of words when photographing wedding cakes, think again. Cakes are sculptural, with the added challenge of fine, subtle surface details, executed usually in white on white. The cake image should be delectable, fun and... Read More

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RayKo Photo Documentary Exhibition

RayKo Photo Documentary Exhibition

San Francisco is a great subject for photojournalists

By Sara Frances | December 27, 2012

Opening Jan. 17, through Feb. 24th, RayKo Gallery once again comes up with an interesting, memorable exhibit. Work of eight local documentarians is featured.

Photographs shown are by Janet Delaney, Lou Dematteis, John Harding, Gabriela Hasbun, André Hermann, Michael Jang, Mimi... Read More

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‘Good’ Photography Isn’t Enough Anymore

‘Good’ Photography Isn’t Enough Anymore

John Hartman interview tells all: set a better style to stay viable

By Sara Frances | December 26, 2012

Sara Frances: “John Hartman has long had my respect as an innovative teacher, but better - John is a working photographer who has weathered a great many changes in our industry. Welcome to The RAW Report at ProPhotoCoalition, John!”

John Hartman: “I love my profession. I... Read More

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Pro Tips for Photo Restoration in Photoshop

Pro Tips for Photo Restoration in Photoshop

Rehabilitation of old photos revives memories and generates gratitude.

By Sara Frances | December 20, 2012

Photoshop’s tools for quality, fast acting corrections are now so easy and plentiful. I hope to add a few insider tips to your tool bag

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