Stay Hydrated this Summer with Iron Flask

Iron Flask Conceptual Product Ad

Never heard of the brand Iron Flask? These insulated water bottles are amazing! I love mine so I decided to create an outdoor conceptual ad for their product. I used LSS technique to create this add: LIGHT it, STYLE it, and SEPARATE it.

I wanted to show the product in the outdoors so I went to a small waterfall. For the background, I wanted to capture a slight blur in the water so I lowered my shutter speed. Because of this, I used a tripod. I also used this interesting background to style it. I had my camera settings to create a blurry background to separate it and used natural lighting to create the conceptual product ad.

My settings were F4, 1/15 seconds and ISO 200.

To learn more about Iron Flask water bottles click here.

Original Image

Original image of Iron Flask conceptual ad

Edited Image

Edited image of Iron Flask conceptual ad

In Adobe Photoshop, I straightened and used content-aware to level my image. I also sharpened the foreground as added vibrancy to the colors to make them pop.

Conceptual Ad

Iron Flask Conceptual Ad by Lauren Crook

A Southern Fine Art Piece

A Fine Art piece of a cowboy

A mockup of my fine art print on the wall

For my fine art print, I wanted an image that I wanted on my wall. I wanted it to mean something for me and my husband. A few months ago, I had taken an image of my husband in a cowboy hat with an invisible background. After looking through my recent pictures, I decide on that one for my fine art print. Here is my process for preparing my image for a large print. For more tips, click here.

I took the original PSD image and made adjustments to create a much better large print.

Original image:

I loved the moody effect on the cowboy and the lighting of the hat. It really was captivating to me.

I needed to prep this image for a large print and there are several things that need to be fixed. First, it’s important to know that the end result of prints are darker and blurrier. Thus, I had to lighten to image. I also adjusted the blacks and highlights to even out the exposure of the face and hat. After getting the lighting correct, the image was sharpened specifically on the face and hat. I also went through the finer details of the image and fixed those.

The next step is to make sure the image is correctly sized. I ended up enlarging this image by 10% twice so it wouldn’t print blurry and pixelated. I also made sure the color profile is in sRGB. If it’s not then when the image is printed the colors are off a little bit.

Outdoor Theme Portraits

Fisherman and Bride Outdoor Theme Portraits

Portraits are always fun to do, but capturing theme portraits have more depth and meaning. While traveling to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park and I wanted to try and capture some lifestyle portraits. A common hobby I saw was fishing, which is hardly surprising.

I also know, because of the beautiful landscapes in the area, many brides have their bridal pictures taken or even host their weddings there. I was able to capture some portraits of a bride near the Grand Teton mountains as well as a nearby fisherman.

For more ideas click here.

My settings for the bridal portraits were F4, 1/800 and ISO 125 with 2 Godox studio lights.

A bridal themed portrait by Lauren Crook

A bride themed portrait by Lauren Crook

My settings for the fisherman were F5.6, 1/500 and ISO100.

A themed portrait of a fisherman by Lauren Crook

Epic Portrait

Create your own epic portrait with these settings and tool!

Sometimes it can be hard to correctly expose both the sky and the subject. I have wanted to capture the subject and light them correctly, but also exposed for the sky especially when it’s magnificent. With simple settings and a reflector you can create an epic portrait for yourself! All you need is a reflector or a speedlight. For this instance, I used a simple reflector with the gold side shining on the subject. Check out an amazing example of an epic portrait taken by Christie Bryant here.

How to create an epic portrait

It’s so simple, you can do it too! I call it the “Epic 3”. This consists of 3 images of the same model in the same place. In the end, your final image is your epic portrait.  All that I changed were my settings. First, I exposed for the model. My settings were F6.3, 1/640 and ISO 200.

Overexposed epic portrait by Lauren Crook

I had the model stay still and then I quickly changed my camera settings so I exposed for her. All I needed to change essentially was the f-stop, otherwise known as aperture. This controls the amount of light that the camera captures. I changed the f-stop to F22 so the the sky would be seen. The model should look like a silhouette.

Underexposed epic portrait by Lauren Crook

After this, the last step is to add the auxiliary lighting whether it be a reflector or a speedlight. Again, I chose to use a simple reflector. I lowered my f-stop to F20 with the shutter and ISO settings being the same. This was my end result.

Epic Portrait taken with a reflector by Lauren Crook


The Beauty of Grand Teton National Park Revealed

Grand Teton National Park at It’s Finest

Grand Teton National Park is one of those places that will blow your mind. The Teton mountains are intimating in size, but incredible in nature. To learn more about the Grand Teton National Park click here.

One of my favorite parts about the Tetons is when the light from the sun casts flares over the mountains. The lake close by the mountains provide a beautiful, clear reflection as well! When taking images of water it’s important to have a slow shutter speed; however, with this location specifically, you will need to adjust your setting so the image isn’t over exposed. Another tip is to have a high aperture. This will allow things farther away to still be in focus. This setting will help keep the Tetons in focus. My aperture was usually around F11. Here are a few images that I took on my trip to Grand Teton National Park.

The tetons taken by Lauren Crook

A lake at Grand Teton National Park taken by Lauren Crook

To capture this last image, I took it during Blue hour (which is after sunset). I also used a tripod with a slow shutter speed to capture the incoming light. The light source was from someone shining a flashlight into the old barn. My settings were F8, 10-second timer with a 2-second delay and ISO 250. 

A barn in Grand Teton National Park taken by Lauren Crook


Blue and Golden Hour at the Buffalo River

Have you ever been to the Buffalo River in Island Park? It’s beautiful. But if you want the best lighting and a breathtaking sky then go during Blue and Golden Hour. This is around the time of sunset. Golden Hour comes right before sunset while Blue hour always shows up after. It’s a perfect time of day to take amazing photos. Find out more about the Buffalo River and all of the activities you can do here.

For most of my images, I chose to include the river. One creative tip with photographing water is to attach a Moose filter to your lens and, with a tripod, take a image using slow shutter speed. For my images of the Buffalo River, my shutter speed was usually between 3-8 seconds. Having this slow of a shutter speed requires a tripod so don’t forget one!

Here are a few landscape images I captured during Blue and Golden hour.

The Buffalo River during golden hour taken by Lauren Crook

The Buffalo River during blue hour taken by Lauren Crook

The Buffalo River during golden hour taken by Lauren Crook

The Buffalo River during blue hour taken by Lauren Crook


The Beauty in Yellowstone National Park

Capturing Incredible Wildlife and Landscape in Yellowstone National Park

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Yellowstone National Park, you need to. This park is a must see! There are so many amazing opportunities to view wildlife as well as the breathtaking views of Mother Nature. For more information and tips on what to see in Yellowstone National Park, check out this online travel guide.

For taking images of wildlife, it’s important to have a fast shutter speed so you can get their quick movement. For this trip, mine was at 1/320. The wildlife I found were mostly bison so they didn’t move very quickly. But for most any other wildlife a faster shutter speed than that is highly recommended.

A key element or tip for taking landscape images is to bracket. Bracketing your images mean combining 3 images. Each image are about 2 stops different. That means the 3 images you will have is exposed for the background, one exposed for the foreground and another exposed for the middle ground. By combing these images, it will result in one image that is correctly exposed all around. Most of the time, this will reflect what the human eye can see. Here are just a few images I captured from my trip to Yellowstone National Park.

A waterfall in Yellowstone National Park taken by Lauren Crook

A geyser in Yellowstone National Park taken by Lauren Crook

A lake in Yellowstone National Park taken by Lauren Crook

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park taken by Lauren Crook


Indoor Light Painting

Using long exposure to create stunning indoor light painting

Sometimes we don’t always have a flash or a trigger and that’s okay! We can light up the product perfectly using long exposure to create an amazing indoor light painting. This is also a great opportunity to get the creative juices flowing! Product photography can be very unique and indoor light painting is a great method used by many. Check out other amazing examples of light painting by Meghan Nelson here.

Depending on the image you’re going for will depend on whether you will need a tripod or not. For some of my images I used a tripod because the shutter speed was slow; however, it wasn’t needed for all of my images.

My settings were around F4, 1/125 and ISO 400. 

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

Indoor light painting by Lauren Crook


Outdoor Light Painting and Long Exposure

Capturing the Light doing Light Painting and Long Exposure photography

Have you ever been blown away by the beauty of the landscape around you? Did you want to keep that image forever in your mind? I know I have. Luckily, with advanced technology and the needed knowledge photographers are able to do that very same thing. We use a technique called Long Exposure to help capture the beauty. Most of the time, it’s difficult to get those deep tones in your camera because the lighting is low in the sky; however, doing long exposure we’re able to get that image in our camera. Long exposure is simply having the shutter speed open for a longer period of time, thus allowing more light in while still keeping those beautiful sky tones. Check out more tips for capturing great outdoor long exposure shots here.

I captured this image in Island Park. I attached a Moose filter to my lens to get that soft, clear water look. I waited until it was blue hour, which is right after sunset or golden hour. My settings were F11, 8 second timer with a 2 second delay, auto white balance and ISO 400. The key to having a really slow shutter speed (anything that’s slower than 1/60) is using a tripod.

With these settings alone, the image you will produce will show an illuminated sky, but the bridge will be too dark. To compensate for the lack of light, my friend shined a flashlight only on the bridge with quick motions. This will result in a beautiful sky as well as a well-lit foreground.

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

What if you just want the foreground or your subject lit up and not the entire image? That’s not a problem. For some of my images, I wanted to try something different. I had a woman stand out in the lake and pose while someone else held a light tube and moved it around her. By the time I was taking this image, the sky was much darker and blue hour was almost ending. My settings were F5.6, 8 second timer, and ISO 200. The settings changed with the light. I did not have a moose filter this time, but definitely used a tripod.

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

To best capture nature during the sunset, long exposure is one of the best ways to go! Because the skies are amazing and colorful and sometimes, if you catch it right, the sun rays will be captured on your camera. Again, it’s always best to use a tripod for outdoor light painting and long exposure photography. My settings were F22, 1/25 and ISO 100.

Long exposure outdoor light painting taken by Lauren Crook

Scan Art and Creative Composite

Getting Creative with Scan Art and Creative Composite

With new technology and advances in Adobe Photoshop, photography is limitless. I tested the waters with a technique I’d never tried before, which is scan art and a creative composite. Scan art is essentially using a scanner as the camera. You can create anything from mysterious to stunning photography with scan art . Check out some tips and stunning examples of scan art here. Creative composite is a compilation of multiple photos that uses quite a bit of editing in photoshop.

Scan Art

My Process

To capture a sharp scan art image, it’s important to set your scanner on High-Resolution. You can do this by getting into the settings of your scanner and adjusting the resolution through the computer. I set the resolution to 300 before scanning the image.

Before implementing the scanned image I came up with a plan of how I wanted it to look like. I took some plastic wrap with me to lay over the scanner. This gave it the look of someone trapped. The plastic wrap was gently pressed into the scanner as well. I had my husband lay face down on the scanner and laid a black apron over him to minimize the amount of light that was being let in.

Lauren Crook setup for scan art







By clicking on the “Overview” feature, I’m able to preview what the scan will look like before saving it. After several attempts and adjustments of the head and eyes, I was able to get the final image.

Lauren Crook original scan art

In post, I adjusted the coloring of the hands in some places where they were pressed too much on the scanner. I used the clone stamp tool to match the skin tone as much as possible. I also edited the eyes. I wanted them to pop a little more so  as well as highlighting the eyes. I used the eyedropper tool to get the exact color in parts of the iris and used the brush tool to draw several half circles. I then put all 3 brush layers in an overlay and used Gaussian blur. Lastly, I adjusted the curves until the eyes were at the brightness I wanted.

Lauren Crook scan art

Creative Composite

My Process

I wanted to tell a story or take an image that shows a message. I saw this idea to show a message for photographers. We, as photographers, are creators and through the means of a camera we are able to brings things to life and capture breathtaking images. To make this happen I took 2 separate pictures to get the entire background. I used 2 speed lights as well to highlight the model’s face and the wall behind him.

Lauren Crook background image for creative compositeLauren Crook hand image for creative composite






In post, I masked both images and adjusted the levels. I also used the Dodge tool to brighten up certain areas of the image. I also added a few images the model has taken and created a vector staple to put on the images to make it seem like the pictures were stapled to the fence.

Lauren Crook creative composite

Lauren Crook

Lauren Crook's about me image

BYU-Idaho student studying VIsual Communication and has experience in photography, graphic design and content creation for businesses.

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