There's one photo that has been used the most in all of our design mock ups at work.
In the summer of 2010 I went to volunteer in Portugal. The job was fairly simple; myself and another 15 volunteers from all over the world stayed in the camping area near little town called Pedrogão, where we were tasked to clean the forest nearby. All we had to do is to get rid of trash, dead leaves as well as dead trees that inflame easily. We only had to work first half a day and the rest was up to us. So we traveled across the coast of Portugal a lot visiting different beaches every day.
During one of those trips we visited a beautiful beach town called Nazaré on the coast of Portugal, right in between Lisbon and Porto. The place was amazing, it had a huge beach along the bay closed by the cliff on the North side. On top of the cliff there was an old town with beautiful architecture and even a little cable cart that brings people up and down.
At the edge of the cliff a great panoramic view of the town and it's beach revealed itself. That's when I have noticed people jumping off the stones into water.
I think that was the first year when I got my brand new Canon ef 70-200mm f/2.8L lens so I immediately put that on and started taking multiple shots hoping to catch someone jumping. In reality I wanted to capture an exact moment of a kid getting into water, so I can get the splashes as well. Here are all the shots that I took at that moment and I thought I got it.
Only when I got back home to NYC and started going through the photos, I noticed one image, it was one photo right before the boy touched the water. With him being up in the air, at the peak moment of a jump, image felt so much lighter and calmer.
And here's the final retouched photo:
Usually when I get back from the trip I put all my photos to my Flickr account. For example all the shots from my volunteer trip in Portugal are all here. Much later I did photography portfolio site — photo.repponen.com. Since that photo was taken it was used in so many layouts as a placeholder image by many of our designers at the agency . Even when some designers left the company they kept using it internally at their new places.
Last year agency in Chicago IA Collaborative reached out to me asking to sell this photo to United Airlines and use it on the home page of the new United web site that they have been working on.
Though the new United site is not launched yet, the agency put together a case study of their work on the project and this is how home page on the new United web site is going to look like:
Based on photos from Moscow posted in the previous post, I put together some examples of photo retouch and simple color correction. I used one photo to record a screen video to show the process in greater detail (make sure you watch in HD mode).
And here are some before/after photos.
Some people asked me earlier why am I not using Lightroom to edit my photographs and use Photoshop instead. In one of the earlier posts I described to what degree I am using Lightroom. Actually, only 25% of photos I retouch now, I color in Photoshop, the rest (less interesting ones) I complete in Lightroom. The reason I am still using Photoshop for full color correction and editing is because it still allows much more flexibility even when it comes down to changing colors only.
In Lightroom when I work with color and spend quite some time changing each level and touch each color hue and when I see that it went too far, to tone it town will take quite some time. Where in photoshop simply with one click I can change the opacity of Selective Color adjustment layer from 100% to 60% to bring down the effect a little bit. That is just one of the workflow issues in Lightroom.
After OFFF event in St. Petersburg I headed over to Moscow on the overnight "Red Arrow" train. I've spent there only 3 short days before flying out back. On the second day of my stay in Moscow I was giving a workshop at INNOVA company, but otherwise, weather was awesome and I had a chance to walk around and take some photos.
Mayakovskaya Subway Station
Just walking around
I was born in St. Petersburg, Leningrad back then, but my parents moved to Tallinn, Estonia when I was still very little. So even though this is the place of my birth, I actually never lived there. I used to go to St. Petersburg when I was still a kid visiting relatives regularly and I went there as a teenager couple of times. I still remember Moloko nightclub and Saigon shop where I used to buy all my CDs. But it was still in the '90s and I haven't been back for about 15 years.
I was super lucky to get invited to speak and do a workshop at OFFF Spb event that took place in St. Petersburg in the beginning of July and get back to the city I was born. It definitely changed and it changed to a good side. Not the architecture or look of the city, it's still exactly the same — beautiful, mostly Italian, architecture with horrible and most of the time kitch signage. I think the city looked 10 times cleaner and more "polished" as it was 15 years ago, but most importantly, I think people have changed. And people make this place feel different.
I have spent great four unforgettable days there and want to thank the organizers of OFFF event for making it all happen!
The next stop — Moscow. On the "Red Arrow" overnight train.
And as many other designers I've been trying to chase down his book "Printed Matter/Drukwerk" for quite some time, the one that is being exposed in a newly re-opened Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The book got republished multiple times and still to this date being constantly "sold out". For example on Amazon you can buy a used copy for over $300. I remember that at some point I have seen a cover of Japanese IDEA magazine with his print and the entire issue was dedicated to Karel Martens with nice huge prints of his work. I went down to my favorite design bookstore in New York - ZAKKA, which is held by Japanese enthusiasts in Dumbo, and after thirty minutes of browsing I found a copy of that issue. When I was paying for it, the owner of the place obviously noticed why I am buying that specific issue and made a comment about a $300 book. He also said that if he knew that issue what still there, he probably would have kept it.
This week I was in Amsterdam I had a great honor to visit Karel's studio and meet him in person.
Still working on the Illusions series.
Weekend with friends in Lake Placid, NY.
Apparently this little town hosted Winter Olympics twice (!), one in 1932 and the second one in 1980 (same year as Summer Olympic games in Moscow in 1980). Up until 1992 both Summer and Winter Olympic Games were held during the same year, in '92 it was famous Barcelona for Summer and Albertville for Winter. Since then the schedule was adjusted to have Winter Olympics following summer in two years.
Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, NY.