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Administration Login
Meetings & Speakers - Tom Deininger 09/08/2009
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Photography and Photoshop:  “Taking Your Images to the Highest Level!”. 

Tom Deininger (www.tomdphoto.com)


Loving photography his whole life, Deininger loves to share his passion and says “there are no secrets”. He is mainly a Portrait Artist, and he also teaches both amateurs and professionals how to find and use good available light and how to enhance images with Photoshop. The main difference he has seen between professional and amateur photographers is that  professional photographers are compensated financially for their work.


Now a day, although photography is extremely accessible, no matter what we are photographing, it is still about composition and light. We are taking a 3 D object and transferring it to a 2 D medium; we still need to create depth in how it looks.


To become a Portrait Artist, you need to know the psychology of what people do not like in a picture. People seem to see things in a picture that they do not see in the mirror; for example: one eye lower, one ear lower, one side has sharper jaw. His job as a portrait artist is to see those differences and make the necessary changes at capture or post-capture to make them look better.


Portrait photographers are also historians, because a picture becomes more valuable as the years pass. Taking timeless photos requires you to pay attention to clothing. Light gray colors are more likely to go out of style in the near future and the photograph may not be liked anymore.  While natural tones like blue and khaki have more chance to still be liked.


Deininger showed the equipments he uses. You do not have to own the most expensive camera and lens to make good pictures.  The sharpness of the image is more important than the resolution, and high resolution does not necessarily mean sharper images. To double the quality, you need to quadruple the resolution and own extremely expensive equipment. Knowing what you are doing is more important. It also depends on what kind of photography you are doing; you still need a fast lens if you are doing sports photography.  He prefers digital camera with a 1.5 crop factor, it has a telephoto effect. He uses Canon  20D. He also demonstrated the use of the soft-box, the reflector, and the tripod.

He likes to use a shutter release remote control so he can step from behind the camera and interact with the people he is photographing. Sometimes we forget that there is a person in front of the camera.


Even professionals have the toughest time to see the direction of light. Look for natural light around buildings, inside a room where the face is half lit and the other side is dark with a dark background and you have a very dramatic picture.  It is not just where the light is hitting; it is also where you position your camera. Tom demonstrated with his studio light equipments the effect of different directions of light taking photos of his volunteered assistant.  


Deininger then demonstrated the tools he uses in Adobe lightroom and Photoshop to create his artistic portraits.  He shoots in Raw instead of JPEG, simply because RAW allows him to make more corrections afterwards. Deininger  uses a custom lab but self produces most of his finished art pieces on his 44” Epson printer.  Fine art rag papers and canvas being what he prints on most.


Deininger states, “As in all arts, photography is very subjective.  And thankfully I’ve been blessed with a client base that loves my style of photography. With his artistic portrait photographs, he hopes to improve peoples self esteem and consequently the quality of their lives.


Best Regards

Samer Alassaad

President, The Photo Club of Davis


Speaker invited by Mark Castellucci