Reader Question: How to Shoot for Metal


Dale's Mug Hey everybody,

I think I’ll take a reader question today. 🙂

From Eric, a North Carolina photographer:
“I own a photography studio in NC, I have only been doing it for a couple of years now. I admire your work and found you guys through MPIX Pro, I also use   them for my prints. On the paper samples book I noticed that Benfield Photography are the ones that shot for the Metallic samples. I tried it once but it did not   look right. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on the matter. Do you have to post process differently than you normally would for regular E-Surface or True B&W. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I really love the look of Metallic.”

Let me start by saying that not every image is going to work well when printed on metal. Some images don’t lend themselves well for the medium. However, there are some images that definitely deserve a metal treatment to do them justice.

In my studio, I love metal for seniors, some family shots, and our special maternity line, urban bellies. Urban and grunge images lend themselves perfectly for this medium. You’ll notice, however, that the few images MpixPro shows of ours printed on metal are from an engagement shoots and a bridal shoot, which are not common for the metal medium, I would suspect.

That’s where we enter the second part of your question, and to me, the more relevant part: processing. For our style, we have some great processes, whether it be presets or actions, etc., that complete our look. Don’t misunderstand me, we have plenty of shots SOOC (straight out of the camera) that we deliver to our clients, but when we look to have a metal print or metal mural made, we take extra care of the image and run it through our specialty processes.

This week, I’m going to help you out by listing a couple sites where you can grab some actions and textures.
www.gettotallyrad.com – these cost money, but are definitely worth it. I have them; I use them; I love them. I have purchased everything Doug has to offer.
www.thepioneerwoman.com – these are free, and probably shouldn’t be. They’re really good. I don’t use them as much as TRA but there are a few that I just can’t live without.
www.urbandirty.com – yummy free textures if you don’t want to shoot them yourself.

You have a week to get these and play around with them. Then, coming soon, I will show you a great tip on how to make these look super fabulous!  I know, teasers stink.  😉

Here are a few examples from an Urban Belly session (Benfield Photography’s special take on maternity):

Benfield Photography Urban Belly

http://www.benfieldphoto.com/09Blog/062309_beth/005.jpg

http://www.benfieldphoto.com/09Blog/062309_beth/010.jpg

Here’s to making metal masterpieces,

Dale Benfield
website: www.benfieldphotography.net
follow me: www.twitter.com/dalebenfield

2 Responses to “Reader Question: How to Shoot for Metal”

  1. Jenn Lewis says:

    Dear Dale,

    I wanna be you when I grow up.

    Love, Jenn

  2. Dale says:

    Dear Jenn,
    You crack me up.
    Love, Dale