UPDATE: Results from our reader's poll can be found here! Last week we released our head to head competition review between the Sony A7RII, the Nikon D810, and the Canon 5DsR ultra high megapixel cameras. Our test put all three cameras up against each other and compared their performance in terms of ergonomics, HD video, auto focus, ISO performance, Dynamic range, and overall image quality when used in the studio. Unfortunately a bunch of Sony users complained that our final studio test wasn't up to snuff, so we did what any respectable review site would do and brought back baby turtle. The new results might shock you.
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.
Within a couple of years, Godox has grown from a small Chinese flash manufacturer no one cared about to a brand that most photographers know. Their products are affordable and offer what most of us need. They are far from being in the high-end market and able to rival the Europeans that are Profoto, Broncolor, or Elinchrom, but that may be changing. At least, the leaked page of the AD600 Pro seems to indicate that Godox is learning fast and improving its products.
This is Part 1 in what will be an 8 part series for a dramatic beauty portrait. In the series of tutorials, we will go through everything from the gear used, to the lighting setups, and all the way through the complete retouching process. In Part 1, I will breakdown my gear list used for the shoot and I will thoroughly go through my lighting setup. In this video tutorial not only will you see the gear and setup, but also a behind the scenes look as me and my team go through hair, makeup, and shooting. The complete series of videos will be available here on Fstoppers and on my YouTube Channel.
Many of us know what it feels like to have or want to do a strobed on-location portrait without the benefit of an assistant. In fact, many of the portraits that I believe to be my best were done without an assistant and only with one strobe. It's all about good strategy and proper planning gear/creative-wise. This video by the Slanted Lens does an excellent job preparing you on how to do this kind of shoot effectively. Read below to learn more.
We all know Red Bull photographers capture some amazing extreme sports photos, and Dan Vojtech is no exception. He recently photographed Extreme Pilot Martin Sonka, using a set up of 30 Fomei S600 DC strobe flashes. Watch the video for a quick behind the scenes look at how he got some amazing shots.
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.
The day has finally come when photographers can sync their powerful off-camera flashes with their Apple iPhone using Profoto's new AirX syncing system. Being the skeptic I am, I had to see for myself if using 500 Ws of powerful strobe light with your cell phone was simply a gimmick or potentially an industry game-changer. Today, I'm left swallowing my pride.
While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.
This afternoon, I called Paul C. Buff, Inc. because I had to send in one of my Einstein strobes for repair due to negligent (though expected) airline handling of my lighting gear case. After a few minutes of chatting regarding my busted strobe, I happened onto the Buff website to research some pricing on additional gear I may procure before summer. That's when I saw that he had died, apparently over the weekend. I asked the repair rep what had happened, and we ended up discussing Mr. Buff for a further 25 minutes.
Alexis Cuarezma is back again sharing the "hows" and "whys" behind one of his latest shoots: fitness portraits of IFBB bikini professional Ashley Pfaff. He has graciously included a very in-depth video where he explains how he set out to accomplish these shots, and he also provided his mood board, gear list, and lighting diagrams along with extensive commentary on the "whys" and "hows" of it all. You absolutely don't want to miss any of what he has to say! Start with the video and then dive in below!
Last week, I took a look at personal projects and showed how I created my most recent portrait series. These personal projects are a great way to grow as a photographer and create new work you have a passion for, as you have the opportunity to create images with full control of the visual style. However, they may not always require you to step out of your comfort zone. To expand your repertoire of photographic knowledge and to create a more diverse, yet consistent portfolio, you need to experiment.
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.
Shooting portrait work during the day outside has always meant that you have to think on your feet and improvise depending on what Mr. Sunshine decides to do. Some days, you get brilliant, bright rays of sol pummeling the entire city with impunity, and other days the order of the day is cloud cover and über diffusion. The biggest challenge, in my opinion, occurs when the sun and clouds start to play games with you and change the game every few minutes, causing you to contend with hard light at 3:54 p.m. and soft diffused light at 4:03 p.m., etc. So, how do I deal with that?
In this tutorial I will show you how to setup your studio strobes for full length portraits as we shoot an editorial style lighting setup. First we will look at the entire gear list we used and you can use for a similar setup, from the backdrop to the studio heads. I will breakdown our lighting. with lighting diagrams and explanation of WHY we are placing our lights where we are. Also, in this video tutorial we share some Behind The Scenes from our shoot day.