Lighting

Those Glowing Mushrooms (Part 1): 6 Steps to Photographing Your Own Fantasy World

Those Glowing Mushrooms (Part 1): 6 Steps to Photographing Your Own Fantasy World

As the northern autumn draws closer, bizarre little creatures pop up all over the temperate forest. On the forest floor, underneath hedgerows and on trees, alive or the ones who have fallen. Fungi are the cleaning crew of the forest as they take care of layers of fallen deadwood and provide nutrients back to the forest. Surely they are great subjects for macro photography. Like everyone else, I’m looking to find their reproductive organs: Mushrooms. They let our imagination run wild as these little toadstools hint of fantasy worlds when photographed in a certain way. This is how I recreate my own little fantasy world.

First Look at DigiBees, New Digital Strobes from Paul C. Buff

First Look at DigiBees, New Digital Strobes from Paul C. Buff

The iconic AlienBee has been one of the most popular strobe units ever since their debut in 2001, and for good reason. Developed to be the perfect balance of price and quality (which is something that's tricky to pull off in the world of gear) their reputation spread quickly. Sure, you can always spend many, many, many thousands of dollars on studio lights in order attain top quality equipment, but it's never been easy purchasing a strobe rig when more restrained budgets are a concern. Enter Paul C. Buff.

Mixing Photography and Activism: Are You Making Work That Means Something Or Are You Just Pushing A Button?

Mixing Photography and Activism: Are You Making Work That Means Something Or Are You Just Pushing A Button?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." It's no secret that many of my clients belong to the LGBTQ community. I've worked hard to build a following in a demographic that should consider me an outsider; there is a real fear of being judged by anyone who doesn't routinely walk in their shoes. However, my client base hasn't always looked like this, and the road to building trust has been interesting to say the least. Why go through trouble? The simple answer is, “Because I love doing it!”

Working with Candlelight in Cinema - True Practical Lighting

Working with Candlelight in Cinema - True Practical Lighting

Even though technology has come a long way, you have to have some kind of lighting in order to film. Generally, cinematographers bring in giant ARRI lights to help make a scene look realistic, but for the BBC TV series "Wolf Hall," they opted for a more natural approach. Cooke Optics TV sat down with cinematographer Gavin Finney to talk about how he used candlelight as the only source of light during nighttime scenes.

Learn How to Make Better Headshots by Watching the News

Learn How to Make Better Headshots by Watching the News

Learning how to properly light the human face can be a challenge for many beginner and intermediate level photographers. Sure, you can grab a single light source, your significant other, and turn a Sunday afternoon into an experimental test shoot, but what happens when you want to start playing around with multiple lights? Figuring out where exactly to place your lights can be a daunting task, but luckily there are dozens of common lighting setups available for critique right on your television!

No Excuses: Beginners, Don't Blame Your Budget Gear for Your Crappy Pictures

No Excuses: Beginners, Don't Blame Your Budget Gear for Your Crappy Pictures

"I can't take a shot like that. My camera isn't good enough. Oh sure, you can talk all you want, but you have thousands of dollars in expensive equipment! Yeah, I know it's the photographer, not the camera, but let's get real: my beginner gear can't do that!" Excuses, excuses, excuses. A lot of people, especially those just starting out, use their lack of pro gear as a tether, holding them back from getting the shots they are capable of. Here are some reasons to push past your budget concerns and make the most of what you have.

The Ultimate Guide to Dramatic Skies in Portrait Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Dramatic Skies in Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is very diverse. While some enjoy the comfort of studio portraits and the flexibility it brings, others prefer the variety of backdrops the outdoors provides. While it is totally realistic to create all kinds of weather moods in the studio, it often involves a bigger budget, whereas one can achieve similar results for free by relying on the weather forecast and proper equipment choices.

Automotive Light Painting Editing Process and BTS

Automotive Light Painting Editing Process and BTS

Light painting is one of the rights of passage photographers have to try at some juncture. I enjoyed playing around with it in the early days, but what surprised me is I have used the techniques commercially on several occasions; from creating better backgrounds to my portraits in dark locations to capturing English Heritage sites. The importance of knowing how to light paint isn't necessary per se, but it does help you understand how light works and how your camera exposes a scene.

1 Light Beauty Portrait Setup

1 Light Beauty Portrait Setup

I have a lot of respect for photographers who solely focus on beauty imagery. It’s definitely a skillset that I’ve been honing over the past few years, but ultimately one that I’ve come to develop an appreciation for. However, beauty photography does not have to be terribly difficult. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create beautiful beauty lighting with a single studio strobe and a reflector.

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