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Congratulations Michael Lefebvre! - July 2018 PFRE Photographer of the Month

Published: 24/07/2018

The July 2018 PFRE Photographer of the Month contest has come to an end. The theme this month was master bathroom/ensuite. Thank you to everyone who participated and the jurors who took time out of their busy schedules to contribute their votes and thoughtful commentary.

Congratulations to Michael Lefebvre from Barrington, Rhode Island; PFRE Photographer of the Month, July 2018. Over the past couple of years Michael has developed his own signature look and has become known for his dark/moody interiors. This is the third POTM win for Michael, he's also won in March 2018, and a year ago in July 2017 

  1. Michael Lefebvre - #21
  2. Matt Rosendahl - #24
  3. Garey Gomez - #19
  4. Garett Buell - #18
  5. Brian Young - #2
  6. Craig Bernardi - #20

Please feel free to view and comment on any of this month's entries here.

Here is what Michael had to say about the win:

Wow. Thank you so much! I’m both honored and humbled to be named Photographer of the Month again. It definitely doesn’t get old being recognized by such a respected group of colleagues and among such a consistently exceptional pool of entries. As always, thanks to the judges for their generosity of time and insightful feedback, which continues to be a valuable resource for our entire community. Thanks to Larry and Brandon for providing such a unique forum for photographers from around the world to grow and learn from each other. And a big thanks to my family who put up with some long hours and late night edits during the “busy” season, which seems to be continually expanding. Especially Melissa, who not only works as hard (ok, probably much harder...) as me at her day job and then absolutely crushes the admittedly chaotic home scene like a complete rock star. So grateful to have her as a rock of support! This is definitely a team win.

About the Image:
This shot was taken in the latter half of April, affectionately referred to as “Second Winter” here in New England. As fate would have it, another historic late season nor’easter blew in the night before our scheduled shoot. I called the agent in the morning to see if she wanted to reschedule, but she opted to keep the appointment because she needed to “get the listing live as soon as I get your pictures back”. Ever heard that one before? No pressure. So I packed the snowshoes and headed out to work.

The home was an architect-owned and designed residence, so I knew there would probably be some decent opportunities for at least a few killer shots. With really no white surface to bounce lights off in the master bath, I turned the lights on (not my normal move) just to see what a few ambients would look like before I pulled out any umbrellas, bounce screens, etc... To my surprise, the ambient-only shots were looking REALLY nice straight out of the camera, so I bracketed a handful and determined that I probably had enough pixels to work with to create the shot I wanted. I should mention that the skylight had a thick snow cover while I was there, completely obstructing any view but also providing a delicate, soft, even light source (albeit overcast). The trees you see in the skylight in the finished shot were added in post and I tried to “match” the actual look in that far window, which was visible at the time of the shot.

So this image is blended from the better part of three ambient frames. No flash used at all, which always makes me happy. The skylight tree view was added. I did some basic fixes in ACR and PS; cleaned and cloned all the dirty bits; and finally added some selective warmth, contrast, structure, and a bit of de-noise in Nik.

Thanks again, and if anyone has any further questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I strive to be as much of a helpful resource as others have been for me on my journey so far.



Brandon Cooper

7 comments on “Congratulations Michael Lefebvre! - July 2018 PFRE Photographer of the Month”

  1. Yes! Congratulations Michael! I knew that was yours! Great work as always! It is always special when mother nature helps out in a unique way... that snow cover was a nice diffusing blanket over the window! Well deserved and my favorite from this month as well!

  2. Beautiful work, Michael, as always. All-ambient...gorgeous! And thank you for the detailed and super-interesting write-up. Congratulations on the win!

  3. Love it! An excellent example of an acceptable "fake" view out the windows. Just curious, did you have to remove any blue color casts from the ambient daylight-ambient mix? It's remarkably free of casts for an ambient blend.

  4. Congrats again, bud ... a well-deserved win against some strong entries! Three POTMs in 12 months is very impressive, Mike ... keep it going!!

  5. @Garett @Julie @Leo @Tony @Franz @Hamish Thanks so much everyone! Coming from fellow photographers whose work I admire so much, your compliments mean a lot. Yes, Leo, I had to significantly remove blue and yellow color casts from this shot. Setting the white balance and handling the casts was one of the more challenging parts of the edit for me.

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