Hands-On Photography 143

Ant Pruitt  (00:00):
Today on Hands-on Photography, I am not getting into any tips or tricks or, or anything like that. I just have a bit of a rant and some things that are on my mind from the world of photography from a world-renowned photographer, I gotta get it off my chest. Y'all stay tuned.

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Ant Pruitt  (00:55):
Hey, what's happening everybody. I am at Pruit and this is Hands-on Photography here on TWiT TV. Hey, I hope you're doing well. I am unbelievable as always it's yet another fine Thursday where I like to sit down and talk different tips and tricks about helping you become a better photographer and a, and a better post processor. But this week I'm not getting into any of that. I got some opinion stuff that I would like to discuss. But before we get into that, I just wanna say hello and welcome to all of our brand new listeners popping in for the very first time. Thank you for stopping in. Thank you for subscribing in on whatever podcast application you're using. And particularly if you use an Apple Podcast, go ahead and give me a star rating, leave me a comment and then hit that share button.

Ant Pruitt  (01:39):
So other folks can catch the show and help grow my show and grow the Hands-on Photography community. I really do appreciate that. You can also do the same on YouTube and Spotify, or if you're just not quite sure how to subscribe, just go to the website, twit.Tv/Hop that's twit.Tv/H O P for Hands-on Photography. And you'll see all of the, this description options right there. Okay. So now let's get into this week's chat. If you will, again, I'm not touching on a tutorial or anything like that. I just came across some, something on Twitter. That was a bit disturbing to me. And so as I started to dig a little further, I think other folks are just as disturbed as I am. And what I'm talking about is world renowned and great photographer. Miss Annie Leibovitz, Annie Lebovitz. I always struggle with pronouncing her last name.

Ant Pruitt  (02:34):
But let me pull up her tweet. This is a tweet that came up on, looks like the 16th of August, and it says United States of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC for Vogue magazine. Okay. And if you take a look at the images on there, you it's, she took some photos of this, this wonderful miss Ketanji Brown Jackson, great stuff. Right? Okay. So what is wrong? Why, why do I have certain feelings about this? Well, if you look at these images I thought about it and I said, okay, this is the wonderful, and the, the, the, one of the most badass photographers out there. She's not about what F stop are you using? Or what camera are you using? I mean, heck she even did a big campaign for Google with the Pixel phones when the, the pixel, I believe it was the Pixel four.

Ant Pruitt  (03:36):
Yeah, the Pixel four and the four EL and the camera technology. And that just really went through the roof. You know, she was a part of that. And so she doesn't really get into all the tech side of things. She's just all about the composition and, and the final output. And I love that, you know, I, I absolutely love that. Cuz sometimes in the photography community, we get more so into being gearheads and we don't have to because a bunch of us, <laugh> a bunch of us go out and buy the most expensive camera and the most expensive lens. And our photographs still end up looking like crap. That is just a fact. You probably don't like to hear that, but that is a fact. If you don't have the skill set to manage the devices, you know, whether it be a brand new $6,000 body or an even bigger three, $4,000 lens on top of that $6,000 body, you don't know how to manage any of that.

Ant Pruitt  (04:30):
Your photos are still gonna look like crap and miss Annie, she doesn't really get into that. You know, she just gets into the nuts and bolts of it far as being all right, is this thing exposed properly? Is the composition squared away? Boom, snapping it. We're good to go. And I respect that, but let's take a look at these images here. So we'll go back to this first image. All right. So this first image with her at the Lincoln Memorial, like how it says dark and moody, if you will. But the problem I have is the, the, the subject being the Lincoln Memorial and the new Supreme Court Justice, miss Ketanji And you can't really see her. Why is that? I mean, it it's, it's just, I don't get it. I, it seems like she's sort of, not even in the shot, you know, you really sort of have to look for her.

Ant Pruitt  (05:29):
And then I said, all right, okay. Maybe I'm just thinking too hard on this. So let me just switch to the next shot. And this is the actual portrait of her. And as I'm looking at this, it looks like there's a light on her, but it still seems like this image is really, really dark and underexposed. It just, I don't know, her skin tones looks okay. The makeup looks great. So whomever, the makeup artist is, did a great job. She's, she's beautiful. And they just enhance her beauty with her make with makeup and hair. But again, something about the photograph on it, it just seems a little, it just seems a little too dark to me. So let's, let's take a look at that. So if you think back when the Pixel four came out and when miss Annie was a part of that big campaign it talked about trying to work on the technology to make it a little easier to photograph people of color.

Ant Pruitt  (06:26):
What do they mean by that? Well, quite frankly, photographing people of color tends to be a bit of a challenge because it mixed your skin. Like myself makes our skin look really weird and, and not necessarily true to life. And Google continued to work on that over the next iterations of the Pixel phone. We've talked about it several times here on TWiT network, whether it be this, This Week in Google or All About Android, we've talked about it several times and then the Pixel six iteration, they really, really ramped it up and pretty much got it. Right. You know, the skin tones in, in, in, in the camera, when you take a photo of anybody tends to be spot on and you don't necessarily have to have really nice studio lighting, like what I would have here in my studio. And so you would think, all right, that's in a phone and that's using computational stuff.

Ant Pruitt  (07:17):
Okay. Computational algorithmic stuff to get the image. Right. What about a photographer that knows this right out the gate? Okay. So back to this portrait image here, I'm looking at it and I can see that there's a little of, bit of light coming across camera left here. It looks like a little bit of light, just sort of feathering because there's a direct line going down the middle of her face, where the shadow starts to get introduced. So there is some light there, but again, the closer you look at this, her skin tone, if she's, she's a person of color, but it's got a little bit of a bluish hu to it. And that's what always tends to happen back in the days of earlier photography, when it came to shooting people of color, their brown skin always had a bit of a blue hue mixed into it.

Ant Pruitt  (08:07):
And I see that quite clearly on any of the monitors that I'm looking at, in addition to it being just sort of dark and underexposed. And again, I know this is the wonderful miss Annie Leitz, but I gotta question that there. Why I got a question Vogue, you know, this came through the creative director, or what have you that, that signed off on it? Why? So I I'm thinking, all right, this is just me or what's what's going on here. And so when I looked at,, someone else put another tweet up of, of miss Annie Leroy's work. And this one came from, I believe it's, ATech on Twitter and it's a photograph of Simone Biles. And Simone Biles is she's a Thum American hero in the sense when it comes to dealing with the Olympics and mental health and gymnastics and so on and so forth.

Ant Pruitt  (09:03):
But look at her skin in this image, look at how dark this image is. I never even seen this image until right now. And I'm like, what, what is wrong here? So it bugged me a little bit. It, I just, it baffled me. All right. So then there's another image here. So let me go back to some of the feedback that Twitter decided to give miss Annie and this person here, Amanda talks, I believe that's how you say it. Not sure, but as I read this on the screen, it says, I have no idea why Vogue still allows you to take photographs of black people. You're one of the most acclaimed photographers of this era facts, and you still can't properly light a black person to save you damn life. This is a quote. Now you've been called on this for two decades now and won't learn, okay.

Ant Pruitt  (09:53):
Yeah, it's a little harsh, a little harsh message, but I get where they're coming from. She's got tons and tons of experience and these results still don't quite match up especially when it comes to dealing with black people. Next there's a, here's another tweet that I found. And this came from Ray Mitchell. Who's apparently a Wiz when it comes to using gimp GMP to get new image manipulation program. We've talked about it on the show before free Photoshop alternative. All right. So if we look at this one and he says, this is on purpose. I mean, it took less than five minutes for both of these. And I know I don't even have the cameras light and rigs or software that she does. <Laugh> so let's look at what he did here. So he pulled up the image in the Lincoln Memorial and basically just raised the exposure just to touch so we can see, see, see that she's standing there looking at the Memorial.

Ant Pruitt  (10:52):
It's a beautiful pose. It's a beautiful frame, but it's just, now we actually see her in this. And then we take a look at the portrait. This is, this is much better. He just did bit of a bit of selective adjustment and probably like a radio filter on it to just raise her up in the image for, from an exposure standpoint. And this looks so much better. I just, I don't know, man. I, I, I, I, I don't know. I don't know. See that, that that's just so much better. Look at her face. Her face is lit up. Her neck is lit up. The collars is lit up. I mean, you still have all these beautiful details because it was a high quality image and all of this could have been done in post. I know miss Annie has post processors that she works with on her team.

Ant Pruitt  (11:44):
I notice because I am a paid Masterclass subscriber, and I've watched her Masterclass and I've seen, you know, some of her, her workflow. And she has a team of editors that are sitting in a booth and they're going through images to help retouch them and make them look better. Why not on these black folks? I don't know. Okay. All right. I'm going to stop right there. But I wanted to bring this to the attention of my Hands-on Photography listeners, because it, it, it bugs me a little bit. Folks, again, consider your subject matter. We can have a lot of fun with these cameras. Everybody has one in your pocket, on your phone at some level, they, they doesn't even have to be the latest and greatest, but again, if we're taking photographs of people, we should really consider the final outcome of it.

Ant Pruitt  (12:36):
If I'm taking a photograph of someone that is a white person, I don't necessarily want them to look like a, a white sheet or anything like that, or a white ghost, if you will, because that's not their true skin tone. I want that damage to come out, to match their skin tones. Same as if, as if I want to shoot a photograph of a black person. And this doesn't mean you have to go out and get the biggest and baddest lights or anything like that. Sometimes you can just fix that in post with free tools in just a matter of seconds. I've spoken about this on the show before. There's a lot of tools even built in on your phone to just raise up exposure, fix contrast, fix vibrance, fix saturation all within a few clicks and taps on your phone. So please do me a favor community.

Ant Pruitt  (13:23):
Just continue to do the right thing for the subject matter in the shots that you're capturing. All right, that's it. My rant is over. I appreciate you all joining in each and every Thursday. And I appreciate you sharing the show out with everybody else that is curious or interested in the world of photography. Hey, if you got any questions, comments, feedback about this particular discussion, hit me up, shoot an email to hop twit.Tv. Again, that's hop TWiT .tv. I answer them all at some point. Yes, I can be a little bit slow because there's quite a few messages that come through there, but I do answer them all. And I do enjoy hearing from you better yet. If you want to just tag me on the, on the social media world, tag me on Instagram. I am it underscore Pruit, tag me with some of the images that you're capturing.

Ant Pruitt  (14:11):
You don't necessarily have to follow me because if you follow me Instagram, isn't showing you my stuff anyway. I don't know why, but that's another rant for another day, but yeah, tag me in some of your favorite images and I'll be sure to check those out and you can also give me a follow over on Twitter. I am ant underscore Pruit on Twitter. All right. Thank you for all the support. Thank you to my ma'am Mr. Victor for making me look and sound good each and every week, we shall see you all next Thursday here on the network. Now safely create and dominate. Y'all take care.

Jonathan Bennett (14:45):
Hey, we should talk. Lennox, see operating system that runs the internet, but your game console, cell phones, and maybe even the machine on your desk, but you already knew all that. What you may not know is that TWiT now is a show dedicated to it. The untitled Linux show, whether you're a Lenox pro, a burgeoning CIED man, or just curious what the big deal is, you should join us on the club, TWiT discord every Saturday afternoon for news analysis and tips to sharpen your Lenux skills, and then make sure you subscribe to the club. Twit exclusive untitled Linux show. Wait, you're not a club TWiT member yet. We'll go to TWIT, and sign up. Hope to see you there.

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