One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.
When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).
There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio - impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.
There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.
If you don't know Casey Neistat's name, you probably know at least one of his viral videos (like this). Gizmodo just did a great multi-part video series showcasing Casey's nearly OCD attention to detail that he used when creating his New York City studio and workspace. You have to admit, it's quite admirable the way he meticulously designed his workspaces for maximum functionality. As I am moving my photo and video business to New York City myself, I hope to take a few notes. Click to see the full post with video part 2 below.
In this interview, I speak with Russ Turner, a photographer who is relatively new to shooting fantasy portraiture, but has already received awards and praise for the quality of his work. Russ talks about working with costumed models, how he incorporates Photoshop, and shares some of the places where an aspiring shooter can get started doing photography in this genre.
Have you ever wondered how different diffusing fabrics affect the quality of light that you shoot with? Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens walks you through the different diffusion materials by Rosco. He explains how the different fabrics can lessen the stops of light and how it can affect your color temperatures and look of your shoot.
Today, for the first time I watched this fantastic one-take music video for Brooklyn based band, Eytan and the Embassy. On the Vimeo page for 'Everything Changes' they tout the video as "18 Costume Changes -- 1 Music Video -- 0 Edits!" It has been online for 10 months, is a Vimeo Staff pick, but only has 20,000 views. Well I think it deserves more! Check out this video and click through for a BTS video as well. Enjoy!
You may not have known it, but I'm certain you've seen a Norman Seef photograph. What photo do you think of when you think of Ray Charles? He shot that. Carly Simon? Yup. Steve Jobs? Seef again. After reading our own Douglas Sonders' article on how short the window of time is when working with celebrities, seeing how much Seef could get out of his subjects is awe-inspiring.
As photographers, we usually use two different techniques to capture our images: The first is freezing the moment and capturing the split second we are witnessing. The other option is using a long exposure, to show movement, changes, or show things we don't normally see with our eyes. But what if you combined these two concepts - freezing a moment while adding movement? Check out these creative and unique portraits using this technique.
I woke up this morning to find an email from Chase Jarvis's camp showcasing his new photo campaign for the Samsung 9 Series Monitors. It feels like ages since Chase has released one of his epic behind the scenes videos, so I was excited to see he's still alive and kicking the creative cloud (pun intended). If your imaginative juices don't start flowing after watching this video then it might be time to put your camera into retirement. Check out the behind the scenes video and then
Beauty retouching can be an arduous task in any photographer's workflow. The amount of detail that can go into retouching a glamor portrait can easily run into several hours. Learning the secrets of the pros can be even more difficult. Julia Kuzmenko McKim has made learning easy with her new book entitled 'Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography'