Author Archives: Robert Martinez

Getting a better group picture

Last week I was in a quick photowalk in Wicker Park with my buddy Sam.
Right away we ran into a cool group from a neighborhood Church called Epic Church and they were out on various corners giving out hugs for everyone.
I took a few shots as I got closer to them and they greeted us warmly and with hugs. We spoke briefly and I asked them if I could take a group pic and they all lined up and I snapped a picture.D6N_1906
But I wanted to think of something extra so right away it occurred to me to have them reach out as if giving me a hug and I got the below picture which is way better and expressive compared to my first shot.
On this one I cropped in a bit and edited out the red flowers that were showing on the left side a so as to not distract too much of the main focus which is the group.
So don’t be afraid to get a better picture by in addition to getting a standard shot, trying for something else/different.  Look around and think of ways to add a little bit more to help your subject and you as a photographer stand out more!

Imagenomic Portraiture plugin giveaway!

Hello all, here is the video drawing of the giveaway!

Thanks to for providing this cool software for the giveaway.
Try out their demos and if you purchase use coupon code THANKYOU2012 for 20% off.

Architecture Cruise tickets giveaway

Hello all! Here is the video announcement of the winner of the 2 Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Cruise tickets giveaway!
Click on the video below to see the drawing of the winner.
Thanks to all who participated and to Shoreline Sightseeing for providing the tickets to our group!

Before and After black and white

Fellow photog David, asked me how I arrived at this image in black and white so I put together this brief explanation.
My 5 bracketed exposures are sent from Lightroom 4 to Photomatix Pro then after viewing the tonemapped result the overall colors were too blah but I did like the composition.
I previewed it in black and white while in Lightroom and it looked very interesting so I ran it through Nik Silver Effex 2 which really pops a lot of the details.
And then back in Lightroom I did some additional tweaks such as crop, vignette and sharpen and other adjustment brushes.

Thanks for reading and if any questions or comments chime in below.

Topaz Adjust 5 and Star Effects giveaway winners!

Hello all click on the video for the winners of Topaz Labs Adjust 5 and Star Effects!

Thanks to Topaz! and Everyone that participated!
Check out their site for more cool plugins and use coupon code TOPAZCAP for 15% off!

Fun with Fish Eye lens

Just got the Rokinon FE8M-P 8mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens this month and am pretty excited about it, I shot a few images with it so far and overall very pleased with the results.

I am looking forward to going out with it to do some night time and also interior HDR scenes.
There are a few negatives that I found with this lens -
Chromatic Aberration, which I tame in Lightroom2 and Photoshop CS5, also when processing in Photomatix Pro I check the reduce Chromatic Aberrations box.
Close focus a bit fuzzy, I noticed when I have a subject in the scene too close about 2 or less feet it seems a bit fuzzy (even at f11) compared to the rest of the scene, but I think I have to fiddle with the focus more.
Manual focus, although with this kind of lens you can just set it in between and just shoot although as mentioned prior I think I need to tweak and test the focus setting a bit more.
And the plusses-
Fun lens!!!
The price is not too bad – less than $300 dollars.
Dramatic views.  This can really turn an ordinary scene into a really cool scene.
Fun lens!!! ah ok I said that already lol. But my impression overall is that it is indeed a fun lens.
Below are a few sample images that I shot so far. All were post processed in LR2 and also in addition some with Topaz Adjust and Nik Color Efex Pro as well.

Waiting for some food at Cemitas. The salt and sugar shakers not as sharp as the rest of the picture. Processed in LR2 and Nik Color Efex Pro.

Kumas restaurant. There was some banding from the sky (I noticed this on other shots with the sky in it, maybe due to such a wide angle) and chromatic abberation along the edges of building and power lines.

Having fun with the wide angle.

Lens super close up to the mesh on this shop window.

Crowd shot at the Cloud Gate Luminous display.

5 Exposure test HDR shot.

In closing although I just barely begun using this lens I am really excited about it.  This lens will be a regular addition in my camera bag.

onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6 giveaway

Hello all! Click on the video below for the drawing of the winner of onOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 6.
My thanks to everyone at onOne Software for providing a giveaway of such a cool software suite with LOTS of awesome features and to all of you who participated!
Perfect Photo Suite 6 is on sale!  Download a free trial today, and place your order before December 8th to save $30 off the regular price.
Retouch portraits, Create and work with layered images, Add and customize photographic effects     Remove unwanted backgrounds     Resize images up to 1000%     Works directly with Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop

#SweetHack Event and TouchPoints Panel @TechNexus pictures

Great capturing part of the SweetHack event for @nicoleyeary.
Click here or on the images below for the the event pictures from Fridays TouchPoints Panel
and for part of the SweetHack event that started on Saturday.

Craft and Vision eBooks giveaway winners

Hello all click on the video for the contest winners of Craft and Vision eBooks that was run on Chicago Area Photowalks facebook group page!

Big thank you to Craft & Vision for sponsoring this giveaway and to all who participated!

Craft and Vision eBooks


SocialDevCamp Pics #SDCChi

Just wanted to share a few highlights, mentions and some links to pictures from this cool event conference.

It was great working alongside photographer  Tom Tran. Cool guy and I got a lot of good tips and ideas.

David Spark, Mike Ewing and David Kadavy

A highlight of the event for me was meeting David Spark who was in a podcast that I enjoyed called Cranky Geeks with John C. Dvorak.

It was a fun time photographing the event and meeting new people and seeing friends.
Thanks to Nicole Yeary for letting me know about this and to Mike Ewing and Tim Courtney for giving me the opportunity to photograph the event.

More Pictures of the event
SocialDevCamp Chicago’s Flicker Page Mostly me and Tom’s pics
My Smug Mug page
Tom Tran’s “Tran Scape Photography”


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