The Einstein E640 strobe from Paul C. Buff is compact, light weight unit capable of shouldering studio work yet portable enough to take on location. The unit weighs in at four pounds and because it is self contained, it does not require a battery pack which cuts down on gear bulk.
I shot around with the Einstein 640 and the 86 inch PLM (parabolic light) umbrella in studio to test the products and see how they stacked up in my work flow. [more]
Every week Benjamin Von Wong releases a new behind the scenes video for your viewing pleasure and this week is no different. I find that Ben is probably one of the most talented conceptual photographers that likes to use fire in his photographs, but this week he decided to switch it up a bit and the results are stunning, to say the least. [more]
Most people think lifestyle photography is over rated. Just pictures of people hanging out having a good time and thats about it. Technically, yes that is it. However, it’s more than just that. It’s not that easy to just have the shots look like people hanging out. They have to work well with each other, you have to be able to tell a story with the images, show emotions, ect. Basil Vargas is one of the many Life-style photographers I really enjoy looking at. [more]
So, what happens when you bring two very popular themes in photography, fashion and pyrotechnics, together? A combustion of epicness emerges on your screen. Fstoppers favorite, Benjamin Von Wong, is at it again, and this time he’s brought along a few friends to help create the stunning images you see in the video. Pyrotechnician, Andrey DAS, and amazing designer, Virginie Marcerou, worked with Ben to create the intricate scenes in the photographs. [more]
A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to work with Tina Hughes, a talented local clothing designer. Her latest collection blends vintage and modern elements. I thought that my friend’s modernist house would be the perfect location for the shoot. We were limited to doing the shoot during the (bright and sunny) day so I used speedlites, a polarizing filter and orange gels to add a moodiness to the images. [more]
Have you found yourself in a lighting rut? Do you have two or three “go to” lighting set ups that you find yourself continuously falling back on? Lately, I have found myself in a rut. For a little change of pace, I decided to shoot my favorite food, cupcakes, using a light source that is not very common in food photography: the ring flash.
Ever wonder how Red Bull or any other company films their skate videos? How they get those awesome flying shots, rolling shots, and what goes into every aspect of the films? In this video, Red Bull takes you behind the scenes in their new skate video. To say the least, it’s pretty amazing. [more]
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.