Shelly Au Photography: Blog en-us ALL PHOTOS (C) Shelly Au / Copyright Registered / All Rights Reserved. [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:40:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:40:00 GMT Shelly Au Photography: Blog 120 44 Sept 15th 6pm at Solid Grounds Coffee House EVENT I'm excited to have my first full event for "Two Beautiful Daughters".  This thesis I did for the my Masters at the School of Visual Arts in New York last year under Photoshop Hall of Fame Katrin Eismann.

If you can make it, please join us.  My image will be up all month of September, however this evening we'll pull all the images off the walls and create a special experience with them.


[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:57:48 GMT
"Connecting Ends" Thesis Exhibition "Connecting Ends" Thesis Exhibition
Connecting Ends is the name of our 2013 Thesis Exhibition. 

Location: SVA Gramercy Gallery 209, East 23rd Street, New York, NY
Reception: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 6 – 8pm
On View: Thursday, October 23rd – Saturday, November 10, 2013
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm

Two Beautiful Daughters Shelly Au
Two Beautiful Daughters is a series of images depicting how China’s rapid growth has ushered in the destruction of history and communities. The artist finds hope and courage through the chaos and brokenness of demolition.

Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Sub Conscious Way Randhy Rodriguez
Sub Conscious Way explores the effects of imposed architectural spaces on the subconscious mind and how the uninviting, confusing and labyrinthine design of subway stations is beautiful and inspiring when seen with an inquisitive eye.
Throughput Elizabeth Harnarine
Throughtput examines the strange experience of living with Crohn’s Disease and the discovery that, despite the overwhelming amount of information and technology available, there are very few options for controlling its impact on daily life.

Underworld Clay Patrick McBride
Underworld investigates the New York City subway system and its passengers. It portrays the subway as a separate and almost subconscious realm, where the basest of human fears of apply.
The Strangers Masha Ermak
Inspired by a raw chicken, the artist abstracts her own body to invent new creatures with human personalities. The Strangers flips beauty on its end, playfully forcing the viewer to see the human form in a new way.

Danseuses d' Adagio Paige Denkin
In Danseuses d' Adagio the artist uses an all in-camera technique to show the inner strength and power found, but often overlooked, within ballet dancers. Focusing on female pointé dancers and the wide range of motion that propels them, she hopes to reveal the truth behind these athletes, emphasizing the fluidity of their movements with the raw strength of their bodies.

The Pale City Joong Yeol Ahn
The Pale City explores thoughts and emotions regarding the current crisis and looming military threat from North Korea. The artist uses found imagery to integrate violence and militarism into scenes of everyday life.

Euphoria Vicente Muñoz
Euphoria seeks to understand electronic dance music, DJs, and raves as a means of social interaction, pleasure and escape from reality.

Disquieting Muses Cana Atay
Disquieting Muses portrays fictional stories based on conscious and unconscious memories. They tell the journey of a conflicted woman seeking to find and overcome moments in her past that haunt her.

Dreamscapes Alice Kivlon
The illustrations in Dreamscapes are seeded from the artist’s dreams. Each element in Dreamscapes, recognizable or not, is fraught with meaning; the relationships within the pieces recreate the intensity of a fleeting dream.

Thursday on the Island Anna Colliton
Thursday on the Island is a visual representation of a mystery story that explores the themes of loss, isolation and confusion, as well as searching and finding.

Revelation Through Trees Imara Moore
After her father’s death, the artist found herself comforted by trees, which appeared to her as representations of a dialog between reality and spirituality. Revelation Through Trees is a collection of photographs taken during this time.

Wild Encounters in the Remnants of the City Yannick Bindert
Wild Encounters in the Remnants of the City combines the tragic beauty of abandoned structures with the symbolic hope of renewed life found in the presence of wildlife. The artist imagines an eyewitness account of the last man on Earth, for whom these encounters have taken on new meanings of beauty, companionship and survival.

Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Fashion Meet Flora Ruo Bing Li
Fashion Meet Flora uses the stylistic conventions of fashion and beauty photography to explore the relationship between the human and natural worlds. Some of the images have a fresh, pastel quality, while others are dark and moody. This project creates a sense of blooming beauty, suggesting that beauty exists in all realms of life.
Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Correlations Lavonne Hall
Correlations is a project that explores the connection New York City residents feel to specific locations within their city. Two elements of each image—the subject and the location—form a complex relationship of layers and reflections.

Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
A Fisherman's Journey Diana Kahrim
Born and raised in a fishing village in the Caribbean, the artist grew up with her father’s stories that shaped her life, defined her values and inspired her ambitions. In A Fisherman's Journey she returned to the village of her birth to photograph its residents and explore a way of life that so intimately influenced her.
Immemorial Bina Altera
Immemorial is a series of images of objects that represent legacy, death, personal relationships or power symbols that act as footprints or significant markers in people’s lives.

Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Fruits of Nature Dila Atay
In Fruits of Nature elaborate miniature still lives address the imaginary line of fear and wonder as humankind interacts with wildlife. Additionally,the work questions how much damage humankind is causing to the planet and what we can do to right our wrongs.


Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Mind Chatter Stephanie Guttenplan
Mind Chatter presents a visual representation of an ongoing internal dialogue in a collection of self-portraits that express fantasized and theatrical private thoughts. the effects of societal ideals of beauty and self-image.

Photo by Randhy Rodriguez
Beauty Blueprints Heather Meyers
In Beauty Blueprints the artist photographs her subjects and then has them mark-up their portraits for retouching. This process becomes a collaborative exploration of the effects of societal ideals of beauty and self-image.





[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Wed, 30 Oct 2013 04:43:34 GMT
Where has Shelly been? Like many blogs plagued by busyness, they die! Over the course of getting my Masters in Professional Studies from the School of Visual Arts in New York while holding a full time job left me zero time for a blog these past two years.

Now that I have finished my degree with honors, that my first group show in New York is up, and I'm one of three finalists in the 2013 Adobe Design Achievement Award student contest in the photography category, I feel like I'm ready to launch this new blog.

My vision is to help those of you who have a passion for photography and don't know what to do with it. I'm here to help you!

You ask: Shelly, why are you doing this when the competition is SO great with everyone having a camera?

ANSWER: because I believe in giving back! I don't want to be the photographer that hides his secrets but to help push you forward! I want to help change the world, and I'm not going to do it by hoarding my secrets!

So if you have any questions for my blog posts, please email me at: [email protected]

Shelly Au, Katrin Eismann (Chair of the program and Photoshop Diva), Alice Kivlon: Alice and I received the Paula Rhodes Honors Award

Shelly AuKatrin Eismann (Chair of the program and Photoshop Diva), Alice Kivlon:
Alice and I received the Paula Rhodes Honors Award

Tomorrow: I will talk about my group show and the amazing talent in our group show.


[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Alice Awards Eismann Katrin Kivlon Paula Rhodes SVA Mon, 28 Oct 2013 11:23:00 GMT
Photographers that Inspire Me: My Final Project For one of my classes I needed to research and chose 3 different photographers in the category of Commercial, Fine Art, and Editorial, with at least 2 different countries and both genders represented.  Then select one that inspires me.

Through my instructor, I found Stephen Wilkes.  Check this out:

How cool is that?  He also raised 6 Million Dollars for the Ellis Island Effort below.

[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Inspiration Inspired Steven Wilkes Sun, 04 Dec 2011 07:36:00 GMT
HDR (High Dynamic Range) Love it or Hate it! Up unto a week ago I was not a big fan of HDR.  It was fake but cool to see.  However more interesting at times then looking at people's post cards.  So this week I'm supposed to shoot HDR images for class.  Okay, I'll give it a try.

Last night I spent all afternoon and evening catching the sunset that was hidden behind fog and was a little disappointed. So today I'm processing my images and was shocked what HDR did to this image!

For those of you who don't know what HDR is, it is basically taking the same shot of different exposures and combining them.  You see God created the human eye to adjust to light.  When you go into a dark room your eyes adjust, when you go outside they adjust.  But the camera is NOT that smart.  So by taking a series of images ( I took 7 at one stop each) and combine them in software, it will allow you to see something like this that has the right exposure all the way through.
This may be my new favorite image that I'll need to get a gallery wrap hung on my wall!
Shot yesterday in the Nanjing on the wall.  HDR combined in 
Photomatix Pro and Lightroom Lens Calibrations.
So, do we love it or hate it?  I know I've changed my mind a little and this powerful.   What should I name this image folks?
[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) HDR Nanjing Stairs Wall Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:32:00 GMT
How to know your slr camera needs a cleaning? Q: The question is how do I know my camera needs to be cleaned?

A: If you have a SLR camera that has not been professionally cleaned, then you should probably get it cleaned if you still want to shoot with that camera.  Here is how you test it:

  • switch your camera to manual mode.
  • Change your f/Stop to f/22 or as high as that number goes.
  • point your camera it up to the clear blue sky, make it blurry and out of focus.
  • Then take a shot.  Try not to get clouds if possible.
  • Then bring that image into a photo editor and look at every section of it at 100%.  This last step is REALLY important.
  • Re-Test by shooting in the sky and reclean until you don't see any spots.
Here was my camera after I had it professionally cleaned.  Yes, even the professionals were not able to remove it all after two cleans.  This means 2 things.  It's not easy to clean, and yes, you probably have junk on your sensor.  Which means you should get it cleaned or learn how to clean it yourself.
See all the dots int he red circles.  This is at fit to screen mode:
This is at 100% mode:
So I took my camera back to Canon and they re-cleaned it for free since I just had it done last week.  You can see that all the dust spots were on once side which means when he cleaned it in the first place, in his attempt to clean it, he actually gathered it up on one side.

FYI, it will cost you about $60-100 to get your camera cleaned.  But imagine you have a great picture that is memorable and you have this black dust on your son's face while he is blowing out a candle.  Yikes!!!!!!

Here in Asia at the only official repair, he cleaned it for about $15.  Of course todays cleaning was free.

When was the last time you cleaned or had your lens cleaned?

One more tip my instructor told me, she said try to avoid cleaning your sensor in the winter where there is more dust in the air.
[email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) cleaning camera cmos how to Wed, 19 Oct 2011 02:19:00 GMT
5 Take Aways from Week 4
  • In Lightroom: create virtual copies does not take up any space!  This alone is worth buying Adobe Lightroom 3.
  • In Lightroom create a normal processed image, then create a virtual copy and then BE CREATIVE!  You'll be surprised!!!  Really!
  • In my ISO TESTS, that shooting in ISO 800 had noise on my Canon 5D Mark II, but I was able to use the Noise Reducer in Lightroom and the image looked GREAT!!  I used to only go up to ISO 400 but now after all the tests, I feel comfortable bumping it up to ISO 800 if necessary.
  • That my Canon 5D Mark IIspot meter is 1/3 stop underexposed.  So that I should always overexpose by 1/3 stop.  Bottom line is when I shoot in Manual mode that I should always go right 1 click (1/3 stop).
  • Lastly, I've learned how to measure RGB and LAB values to determine the true speed of my camera.  And that each camera is different even if it's the same Canon 5D Mark II.  I'm sure you are saying "Shelly....what the heck are you talking about?".  Yes, I know!  I'll have to explain myself one day and show you my revised homework to explain how to find your true speed of your camera.
  • Hope this has been helpful for you all.  
    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Canon Canon 5D Mark II Class Lightroom Masters Degree Take Aways Tips Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:00:00 GMT
    Copyrights A classmate turned me on to this.  It's a free copyright for your blog or photography site.

    Check it out!

    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) copyright free Tue, 04 Oct 2011 22:47:00 GMT
    5 Take Aways from Week 3 1) Vignettes: Go easy on them!  This week we submitted some of our images for our instructor to give feedback on.  I was almost embarrassed because some of my vignettes were a little too much.  I love vignettes, but you can easily go overboard on them.  Really depends on the image and if will add to it and help you focus on where you want to focus on.  Remember subtlety is the key when in doubt!

    2) Noise in an Image: This is noise:

    See all that grain?  Noise is the digital age of cameras come from many things.  One of the most common ways is shooting at a higher ISO.  For example this above shot was taken at ISO 6400.  Below is an image shot at ISO 100.

    The trade off is sometimes by keeping your ISO too low, you may miss the shot.  I personally stay between 100 and 400 ISO.  When shooting in dark lighting conditions, I stay below ISO 2000.  I have shot both with Nikon and Canon and Nikons do a better job with minimizing grain.  But the newer Canons have done a better job.

    So now that I've explained noise.  Here is what you can do in Lightroom to recover your image with a high ISO.

    Now compare this to the first image.  See how much of that grain is gone.  Remember that as you smooth things out with the NOISE REDUCTION slider you will loose sharpness.  But it sure looks a lot beter with the noise reduction.  Back to why this is a HUGE LESSON for me.  Hold the OPTION | ALT key while moving the Mask slider under the sharpening section in the Lightroom DEVELOP module.  And drag it to the far right.  This is called a mask.  This mask allows you to sharpen the edges only.  Then the Noise Reduction in the middle areas removes the grain while the sharpen slider keeps it sharp.  This was a BRILLIANT discovery for me!  I use this method on almost every image these days when reducing noise.
    3) Cropping: Sometimes we try to put too much into a picture.  Here is a crop my instructor shared with me that after she did it kicked myself in the shin for not thinking of it.
    Notice how simple it is?  Don't try to do too much in a shot.  Here is another tip: see how the chopsticks are coming in from the bottom left corner.  I planned that!  I probably will write another post one day on it, but try to frame things that come from the corners.  Gives your eyes something pleasant to look at instead of everything so straight.
    4) Sandbox Time:  Spend 30-60 minutes each week playing in your sandbox.  As a kid playing in a sandbox is a fun place to be.  Making things up digging and creating.  Well as adults we get so busy in life that we don't take time to just play.  So as you are learning new things like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  Spend 30-60 minutes just playing with an image.  You can really learn a lot!
    5) Be creative: I'm working on a calendar project for 2012 and one of the homework assignments I had was to be creative with an image.  So it was kinda like a forced sandbox time.  As I was playing around in Lightroom I started messing the presets and colors and check out this before and after shot of Asia's LARGEST train station.
    The second image just pops and add's in a creative element.  Wish you could see it bigger, not as black as it appears here.
    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Lessons Nanjing Noise reduction Simple Take Aways Train Station creative cropping sandbox vignettes Sun, 02 Oct 2011 21:49:00 GMT
    5 Take Aways from Week 2 First of all there are way too many to list.  And to compare them all?  Crazy!  So here it goes:

    1. "Shoot to the right": You'll hear this term a ton.  Basically as you shoot in the Manual mode you'll want your histogram to lean to the right if possible.  Which means more WHITE or OVER EXPOSED.  But "why" I hear you say?  There are a few reasons.
      • There is actually more data in the right.  Even though it looks all white, there is more data in there than if you were to shoot it dark or under exposed. 
      • When you go to edit your photos, it's easier to add in the blacks, but if you shoot it dark and then you try to brighten your picture, you end up with NOISE.  Noise is all that grain in the shadow areas.
      • For class I had to shoot in manual changing it one full stop at a time under exposed and over exposed, and the images that were over exposed were significantly bigger in megabytes.
    2. Understanding Dynamic Range: very very helpful!  Oh my gosh! Check this article out. Warning very technical, but can really help you in understanding how to shoot when you know your range.
    3. Camera LCD Lies to You: Bottom-line, when you shoot in RAW you are shooting 16 bit, but in the view finder it's a jpeg representation of what is going on in your camera.  Meaning it's 8 bit.  So if you turn on your blinkies in your camera and see that your highlights are being clipped, it's because it's giving you info on the 8bit.  
    4. When Editing a Photo and you are stuck, walk away, then come back to it.
    5. After copying your pictures to your drive and you make a backup, then don't delete the files on your card, use the CAMERA to FORMAT the card for next time.  I knew this already but it was reinforced how important it is.  You can be shooting on a card that already has data on it and it could be unstable.  So PLEASE use the format feature in your camera after you've transfered all your data.
    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Lessons School Take Aways Tip Wed, 21 Sep 2011 06:25:00 GMT
    5 Take Aways from Week 01 As some of you know I started my masters degree in Digital Photography from one of the top Art schools in New York.  Here are my top 5 take aways from week 1.

    1. Organize, Organize, Organize: Taking the time to get your workflow organized is EXTREMELY important.  Everything from taking the shot down to exporting it for your clients and backing up. Yes, backup, backup, backup.  
    2. Importance of Keywords in my own workflow, not just when it hits iStockphoto.  Yes, I'm guilty of not spending time key-wording, but as my instructors say, if you can't find your photos then you might as well have not shot it.  Wastes time, and money.  Sure you can remember where it was this past year, but try finding your files 10 years from now.
    3. Getting the right tools: I know photography is an expensive hobby, but if you don't have the right tools, your pictures can look like crap!  It may look nice on your screen but when you print it out, it's dark and flat could be simply embarrassing.  
    4. Convert your files somewhere in your workflow to DNG.  Yes, every camera maker out there makes RAW files, but over time DNG will remain open-source and supported by the photography community.  So just get it right and start converting your RAW files to DNG.  FYI, JPG's do not need conversion since it's already a compressed and a limited file.
    5. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is pretty much the standard!  Buy it and use it!  And most of all get over the price of it.
    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop DNG Keywords Lessons Raw Take Aways Mon, 12 Sep 2011 22:09:00 GMT
    Desaturation makes a great change! I did photo shoot with beautiful green grass and flowers that involved a child.  It turned out really beautiful, however the series produced 12 shots of the same background.  So I desaturated the colors of everything besides a tint of orange and pushed the yellows up far.  That made it really fun!

    Again if you are not using Lightroom 3 you are missing out!  Get it at Amazon for only $199, if you are a student or teacher get it at Amazon for $59.

    Here's the shot:

    Also here is the rest of the series.

    Those interested in FREE Lightroom Presets, check this site out by Sean McGrath

    [email protected] (Shelly Au Photography) Adobe Lightroom Change Children Desaturated Presets Tue, 30 Aug 2011 23:16:00 GMT