Member Monday Featuring Kevin Umlauf

Kevin Umlauf created the spectacular photo you see below. We’d love to have seen this captivating display in person. Ready to meet another KelbyOne Member? Keep reading to get the details behind how this image was created!

About the Photo

These were from a series of individual fireworks taken at our town’s annual 4th of July show.  They’re from the high school football field in Bellingham, MA.  It’s a great event every year but there’s no city skyline or water or anything to show in the background so intent with these was to get quality captures of fireworks and work them in post. 

Gear and Software

Canon 5DIII, 24-70 lens, remote shutter release, and a tripod.  I manually focus on infinity and use a five-second exposure to get some nice long trails. 

From there I do some overall corrections in Lightroom, mostly to knock out the blacks, then import to Photoshop where I create and blend the layers.

Photography Preferences

I’m that guy that wants to bring his camera just about everywhere so sports, concerts, landscapes, wildlife as well as portraits.  Recently,  I’ve been taking my camera out kayaking so capturing a lot of interesting wildlife.

Photography Inspiration

Scott Kelby’s ‘build your own grand finale’ fireworks tutorial got me going on these.  He took one fireworks image and added it to another using the screen blend mode to combine the images.  My twist on that was to copy the original, flip it and superimpose it on itself.  By moving the layers around, you can make some really interesting symmetrical shapes and patterns.  The proportions on the curves seem to have a natural ratio about them so you can get images that resemble faces, insects, one looks like a lion’s head. 

Here’s a link to the LR album with more examples:

Favorite KelbyOne Class

That’s tough to narrow down.  I’ve used many of the techniques from a broad range of artists.  Retouching portraits, posing, headshots, shooting and creating composites, plus all the Photoshop techniques around layers, masking, workflow…KelbyOne has been a valuable part of my photography education over the years.  If I had to pick one it would be Joel Grimes compositing.

Connect with Kevin on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook! We’re always excited to feature members who are out there working on their craft with awesome projects!

Be sure to submit your photos for a chance to receive a Member Monday feature of your own.