Lighting: it's the beginning and end of photography. The way we think about light shapes our style, our techniques, and the way we feel about our art. Unfortunately, lighting, whether by natural or artificial means, can be intimidating. When we're learning about lighting, all too often we get so wrapped up in technique that we don't think about what we are doing before we execute. However, sometimes the best tips we can get have more to do with mentality than technique.
Different projects may require different things in the background to help sell the story we are trying to tell with our photos. Sometimes they can be as simple as using a window in the frame. What happens when you are shooting and there aren’t any windows that fit your vision, or any windows at all?
Usually for me it starts after the peak of fall foliage. After a busy year of spring portraits, wedding season, fall shoots, and some photographic trips sprinkled in, by the end of fall I find that it's easy to get a little bored with photography. Typically the inspiration needle on my gauge is in the red. While taking a break is never a bad idea, sometimes all you really need to do is challenge yourself. Presenting yourself with new opportunities to create photos and videos that may not normally be in your wheelhouse. Giving yourself some time to experiment can help you get back to why you started shooting in the first place.
Inspired by a recent photo book I purchased, "Creative Flash Photography" by Tilo Gockel, I set out to create a series of food photos this week as part of a Thai dinner theme my wife and I decided on. The principle here was simple: create a great image using a single speedlight and a bounce card. That’s it.
I found Irene Rudnyk a few months back when I was looking more into portrait photography. I found that her work stood out amongst a lot of other work because of how clean and straightforward her style was. In this video, Rudnyk goes over how she shoots in a small bedroom inside her house using only natural light and a reflector. This video goes to show that a good photo really can be created anywhere if you know exactly what you want and how to do it.
Lighting bald people can present some difficulties, as the extra exposed skin can create additional hot spots that take some care to prevent, while separating them from the background often takes a bit of a different approach than when working with someone with hair. This helpful video will show you a proper lighting setup for someone who's bald.
While many of us don't own dedicated studio strobes, most of us do own at least one speedlight. And while they may not be as powerful as their bigger cousins, they offer more capabilities than we might give them credit for. This fun video demonstrates how you can create a high-quality splash shot using only a single speedlight and a little DIY ingenuity.
Multi-light setups can be tricky to master, but they also offer a remarkable amount of control and creative possibilities. This helpful tutorial will walk you through one such setup with its take on a classic lighting setup, showing how each light contributes to the final image and how you can replicate it yourself.
When it comes to light painting, the tool you use to paint with is just as important as the camera you use to shoot with. Different tools give different textures of light, color, and intensities. The main issue here is that most tools are handmade and there isn't always a lot of information online about how to build everything. So when someone comes out with a well-made tool that you can use right out of the box, it’s time to take notice. That’s what we have here with The Ball of Light Tool from the master light painter himself, Denis Smith.
You might think that if you want a dark background in your photos, you need to be shooting with a, well, dark background. However, the beauty of lighting and exposure is that with a proper setup, you can turn even a white wall into a dark background. This helpful video will show you the basics of doing just that.
With its increasing popularity, photographers and videographers alike have begun to entertain LED lighting as a possible option for their shoots. Spiffy Gear believes they now have that solution, and it's called Spekular. Touted as the "Swiss army knife" to a creative's needs, they introduced their new product as the solution to make videographer and photographer's lives easier.
As photographers, we have but one raw material to work with: light. You will hear this time and time again, you need to learn to see that light and learn how your camera sees it. Knowing what to look for is just the beginning. Figuring out how to use light, or more importantly how you will use it, is the larger part of your photographic journey. Today, I’d like to run you through five types of light I love and use often.
There are several different ways to light up your subject for portraits, sometimes we can get caught up in needing more lights for our sets while forgetting there are other tools that can help. Reflectors can very beneficial in bouncing additional light in a cost-effective way. Whether it’s the sun, available light, or your own artificial light, reflectors can help you control the light. Aaron Nace over at Phlearn shows several ways to use a reflector, or a few, on-set to improve your portraits.