Joe McNally takes us through his lighting setup for a recent Cowboy portrait he shot. Joe’s vision was to have the photo look like it was being lit by daylight coming through a window. He accomplishes this with a set of speed-lights and a 6×6 diffuser. He also adds additional lights to add fill for the shadows that the cowboy hat creates. Joe breaks down the gear… [more]
Continuous lights are making a comeback and many photographers are giving them a second chance. In this lighting tutorial Jay P Morgan breaks down how he uses two continuous lights in his photo shoot. With the old technology of continuous lights most photographers avoided them, due to the heat the lights produced and the uncontrollable power and temperature of light. Now companies offer continuous light where you are able to fine tune the power/temperature of the light. The benefit from using continuous lights is you are able to see exactly where your light falls. [more]
The best part about learning rules is breaking them. For example, most of the time, blur in a photograph is a faux pas. But there are ways you can use blur to add energy and emotion to your images. In this lighting diagram, we will explore how to introduce blurring to your images with the use of an on-camera flash.
Before you start experimenting with this technique, make sure to go to you menu in your camera and set it to “rear curtain sync”. [more]
A couple weeks ago I posted a lighting diagram showing how you can emulate Martin Schoeller’s lighting by using gaffers tape and foam core. One reader commented that the catch-light makes the subject’s eyes look like a cat. This got me thinking about what would happen if I were to change the pattern of the tape into various shapes. Here’s what I discovered. [more]
I know the title of this article is a bit wordy, but I didn’t know how to describe this beast of a lighting system in fewer words. 1/25,000th of a second! As you can see in the video, the new Profoto Pro-b4 1000 Air turns water into glass. It negates gravity. There is nothing you can’t shoot with this rig. Plus it’s field-ready, running off of a fast-recharging battery pack. It’s almost enough to get this speedlite-only shooter to convert completely. If I could only scrape up the $10k that I would need.
In order to turn a typical sunset into an extraordinary sunset, you are going to do the opposite of counteracting your available light. You do this by picking the colored gel that is the opposite color of the color you want to highlight. Though it may seem like an odd idea, it’s actually just simple color theory. The opposite color of magenta is green. By placing a light to medium green gel on your strobe and setting your camera’s white balance (WB) to fluorescent, anything that is magenta (such as a sunset) will be pushed even more vibrant. [more]
Lighting is one of my favorite things to play with on a shoot. Creative lighting can really give you’re photography a large edge over just shooting natural/ambient light. I love using lights, because I am always growing and learning new techniques. This week I will walk you through the relatively simple setup for one of my favorite shots in my portfolio.
PocketWizard has just announced the addition of a new trigger to its lineup: The PocketWizard Plus X. Priced at $99 (and already in stock at B&H), the Plus X offers much of the same functionality and reliability as PocketWizard’s much-beloved Plus II and Plus III, but with a simpler, no-frills interface and a gentler price. Read on for the spec list, a mini-review, and my thoughts on the new unit.
You don’t need to have the most expensive gear to make the best pictures. It is very easy to get swept up in the attitude of ” if I only had this I could take better pictures.” You do not need $10,000, or $1,000, or even $100 worth of lighting gear to make a great picture using artificial light. What if I told you that you could take a beautiful picture of food with a $10 light, a picture frame, a T-shirt, velcro, and cut up foam board?
Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller’s portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt. [more]
I have been following the amazing work of boudoir photographer Christa Meola for a couple of years now. Just a quick look at her portfolio and you will agree that her boudoir work is some of the best out there. Recently she posted a lighting diagram for a two light setup she has been using. Christa happens to use a nude model for the lighting setup so heads up.
Patric Bergkvist is making a strong case as one of the better Swedish liquid photographers with his fantastic handle on the ideal lighting in very humble shooting spaces. We featured his exploding coffee and milk photo tutorial in early February and now he is back showing how to make a perfect shot of Whiskey. Photo that is. [more]
I’ve always found that photos that capture and freeze rain to be exceedingly interesting. Rain gives the photo depth and a moodier feel, but usually you have to wait for a storm to blow through your area, or invest in a rain machine. No longer. Benjamin Von Wong has figured out a way to create those wonderfully drenched and moody shots without even stepping outdoors. [more]
I am the type of photographer that doesn’t stay up to date on the latest gear. Instead, I find what works for me and I use it until I hear about something that works better. This is why it was so hard for me to hand in my Pocketwizard Plus II‘s for the Radiopopper PX system. But boy am I glad that I did.
Plus II’s are tanks. They are virtually indestructible. I used them for years with nary a misfire. But there was one thing they couldn’t do. High speed sync. [more]
As a wedding photographer I have learned that our shooting conditions are not always ideal. One of the places I dread most is the bride’s dressing room. It is typically a hotel room with bags, shoes and every beauty accessory invented strewn across the floor. The lighting is never ideal and the decor just might be the straight out of your grandma’s home. Read on below to see a simple lighting setup using two flashes that can help you create beautiful portraits even in not so flattering locations. [more]