Michael Winter used his amazing skills for this amazing photo – The Phoblographer | Ad On Picture

Photographer Michael Winter has some serious talents that go beyond what your average strobist photographer does. Not only does he create stunning photos, he uses creative vision and skills to create them. Also, he does most of it in camera. These are some of our favorite types of photographers: those who do about 95% of the work in-camera and little to nothing in post-production. Her pictures, on the other hand, are just so good that sometimes they don’t even need to be edited. So we asked him how he made this recording.

Creating the Photograph is an original series in which photographers share how they created an image using lighting and minimal post-processing. The series places a strong emphasis on teaching light. Do you want to be featured? How to submit.

The concept

We were intrigued by this photo because it is so complex. Michael is a talented photographer and this photo is a testament to that. Other than that, most of this photo was not created in Photoshop with a new filter. Instead, some in-camera techniques were used. “There’s a combination of things happening – slow shutter speeds, multiple flashes, camera movement and model movement,” Michael tells us in an interview. “I actually got the idea from one of Peter Coulson’s shoots that he posted on his website Inspire. I was kind of playing around with the things he was doing and then doing combinations of everything.” In fact, it’s difficult to do a shoot like that because you have to be very detail oriented. In fact, Micahel admits he wishes he had more hands and extra eyes to make sure everything works perfectly.

Fortunately, Michael’s model is very patient. Her name is Ladi Drea. She is a singer/songwriter/DJ based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Part of this shoot was pure experimentation for his own gratification, but also for Ladi Drea to use as promotional material.

This photo was taken earlier this year, so Michael’s creative vision hasn’t changed drastically since then.

“I’ve done some variations on this type of shot with other people and gotten some really weird and abstract looking images, but overall I’m pretty happy with the result of this set.”


The shot

Here’s Michael’s account of what happened during the shoot!

I started by showing Ladi Drea what I wanted to achieve by letting her view some photos online and part of Peter’s video. During the shoot I just told her if I wanted her to move a little or a lot – or just stay as still as possible. For this particular shot, I asked her to remain as still as possible and shot at f8 with a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds.

After a single flash, I used that 0.6 second to quickly move the camera to the left. Hence the blur. You can move the camera in any direction you want: up and down, side to side, in a circular motion or run with the camera towards the model (which can be a bit unsettling for the model :-)) and some very interesting pictures make and often abstract effects. The real trick is controlling the ambient light in the room, as there can’t be too much or too little – it may take some trial and error to find the sweet spot. The light itself was on a cantilever arm centered about 3 feet above her on the model and tilted down a bit to avoid too much spill onto the background.

I really try to explain to people what I’m doing throughout the shoot and most people find it quite fascinating, especially after seeing the results. It becomes a partnership in an odd way as they are not just passive participants in what we do and often come up with interesting ideas of their own.


A cultured man, Michael uses Capture One for basic RAW processing, then exports to Photoshop for further editing. “I really didn’t do much on this particular shot, other than some skin retouching in Photoshop and then using DXO’s Nik Collection for some color correction and contrast adjustments to accentuate the blur,” explains Michael. “I also added some texture and some noise. It was a pretty low-impact edit, relatively speaking.”



About Michael Winters

I have been a full-time school counselor in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for 25 years. Although I do get some paid gigs, photography is more of a hobby for me. I started photography 15 years ago and have slowly but surely been down the rabbit hole of buying gear, upgrading gear, renting a studio, etc. A path your readers are probably familiar with. I mainly shoot portraits/people and I think what could loosely be called “fashion”.

For more of Michael’s work, visit his site, Behance, and be Instagram. Do you want to be featured? Click here.

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