“Started From The Bottom” – as the name states this is all you need to get started in the sneakergame. Episode 1 features Sneaker Icon Stefan Schubert and how you can edit your pics to make them pop. Video at the end of the article, enjoy!
Hello Sir, thanks so much for taking the time to do this, please tell the readers a little bit about yourself! Where do you come from, who is @shoebertt and how did you get into Photography?
Hi! Thanks that I am a part of this series! I am a normal guy, working for a digital printing company near Munich. My passion for sneakers introduced me to Photography. Yeah, the name Shoebertt comes from my surname “Schubert” and I take most of my shots on my own.
As you may know, a lot of people already struggle with just starting. What were your first steps when it comes to sneakers, taking pictures and editing them?
I started, like so many others, with taking some simple phone shots from time to time (the quality was pretty low). I only used the Instagram editing options and there was sooo much more to learn. I always wanted more and that’s why I bought my first camera last year.
Which software do you use at the moment to edit?
(Did you always use this? What would you suggest for someone with absolutely no knowledge on the topic?)
I use lightroom to edit all my shots since I got the camera. Edit RAW files in lightrom has a huge potential and everyone who wants to make serious shots of whatever (counts not only sneakers) should get some knowledge about RAW because this is how you want to edit your shots
I bet you got this question, like, a thousand times but what gear do you use to take your shots and is there gear you would recommend especially for sneaker photography?
I started with a Sony a5000 and the SEL50F18 Sony lens and was very happy for about a year with this setup. Last month I stepped up my gear and upgraded to the A7II and the SEL55F18Z lens. This is the only gear I tried so I can’t really recommend any other things but I was very happy with my beginner setup.
Is there any way to make money taking pictures of sneakers?
I can’t imagine that. Sure there might be some photographers that do jobs for well known brands but I don’t think they started from instagram. For me it is more like a passion, make money from it is kind of an illusion. More realistic is to get some gear in exchange for shots.
Let‘s take it in the other direction, what would you suggest to someone wanting to be a professional photographer?
I am far from a professional photographer but everyone who wants to get there should put effort in learning. Go out and shoot, edit (Lightroom), watch videos, read articles, improve, repeat.
How would you tackle gaining recognition in this era especially in this crowded market where everyone is doing so much? What were the questions that you asked yourself to make your profile or pictures stand out from the rest when you started?
To be honest I did not really think very much about it. I just started and found my style of photography for myself. But for sure it is kind of important to give a visual appealing impression with your shots.
Is there anything else you would like to get out to the world?
If your passion is big enough, you can achieve everything!
Thank you Stefan better known as @shoebertt for giving us some insights into what it takes to make shots as beautiful as yours are! As a little extra we’ve also added a Video for you to edit your pictures:
What we have here is a shot of the Adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 by @Shoebertt. The first thing you’ll notice is that it is pretty dark and needs to be brightened up. Since the picture was taken with a good camera, it picked up a lot of detail even though there’s not much light coming in.
The first thing we did was boost the exposure to get see more information in the first place(by information I mean details, hence, the things you see.) and after that we’ve dimmed the lights(really really bright light sources) and boosted the darks a little bit too get more information in the deep shadows.
This created a more flat image with little contrast but since we boosted the exposure we now have the perfect canvas to edit the picture to our liking.
You can go every direction from here, and in this case we’ve boosted the whites by +4 and dimmed the blacks by -7 which creates contrast while keeping all the details in between.
As you can see we’ve also boosted “Clarity” which sharpens the picture and adds midtone contrast. You may now ask why there’s an option to remove clarity…well, this comes in pretty handy when you want to soften skin on a persons face or any surface you like.
Now, after adding a little clarity, we also pushed the dynamics. What is the difference between Dynamics and Saturation?
Saturation boosts all the colors in the picture, Dynamics leaves the already saturated areas mostly untouched, boosting only parts that have no to little color.
What follows next are just small tweaks expect for the boosting of the darks, exposing a lot of information and detail in @shoebertt’s pants, which are pretty dope to be honest.
Pro Tip: When adding effects that are hard to see zoomed out, zoom in as far as possible and add to your liking. Always switch between zooming in and zooming out so you know what you’re doing!
Light sharpening can create a feeling of a higher quality picture, don’t overdo it though or you might end up with a not-so beautiful shot.
As you can see I wasn’t really fond of the Temperature of the Picture so I removed the warm yellows from the ground and added a little blue to the shadows and darker colors of the picture, which it mostly consists of. The picture was taken on a cloudy afternoon and not on a sunny sunday morning, so pushing the blues gives it a more raw and authentic feel.
You can see me add Grain which is pretty popular in sneaker photography, and when it comes to Grain, adding just a subtle amount wins the game 9 out of 10 times.
Now my favorite part of this video, the vignette. Vignettes are included in every Photo editing software, they help put the focus on what you want to be in focus.
My advice would be to push the slider all the way to the left, adjust the roundness, feathering, lights and midpoint to your liking and then slowly reduce the effect until it’s perfect.
And that’s pretty much what you need to do to get the most out of your photos! I hope you enjoyed the first Episode of “Started From The Bottom” and make sure to tune in to Episode 2!