Lately, I have been attending more events to cover as a photographer, especially anime and comic conventions. My approach to most of my convention coverage is walking around the event and trying to take as many photos as possible of the cosplayers there, kind of a run and gun approach. Sometimes the cosplayers are on a tight time frame so I don’t want to take too much of their time, or there is just a lot of things going on and I want to try to capture as much as possible. Some of the cosplayers outfits are just amazing, so it's best to slow it down and take the time to give the cosplay and their outfit justice with the photo. So where do you start?
Last month, Godox announced that they were working on a flash unit that was specifically designed for smartphones. Now, they've made the Godox A1 available for presale. We already knew that the A1 would be capable of being used as an off-camera flash, a constant video light, or as a trigger for other Godox flashes. With the release of the product, we now have more specifics about the flash.
I often get asked about my lighting setup for wedding receptions. Receptions can be an unruly beast to light properly without good equipment. You never know what you’re getting into with things like ceilings, available light, and even the white balancing nightmare of the DJ’s LED light system. Don’t assume that these setups are going to make you a better photographer over night.
Ring lights used to just be a fun type of portrait lighting style, but now are becoming more and more popular for YouTubers and vloggers who need a soft, even light on their face for a camera that sits close to them. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter is a self-proclaimed do-it-yourself enthusiast, and made this tutorial on how to make a light that is similar to a ring light, but creates a triangle shape instead of a circle.
Golden hour. That time of the day where the warm sunlight makes every shot look like a magazine cover or a movie poster. It would be great if that light could last all day long. Yeah, well a lot of things would be great but not likely to happen. Location fashion and lifestyle photographers have to be able to manipulate daylight in a variety of ways in order to have a productive shoot that lasts more than an hour. Using the techniques of shade, diffusion, reflection, and strobe photographers can work with and against natural sunlight to create beautiful images all day long.
Shooting underwater already comes with many obstacles in terms of visibility, posing, light, and clarity. Thankfully lighting can easily be taken off this list in many cases with a few sets up from the surface. Connecting your land strobes to underwater is not as difficult as one may think.
Most lighting modifiers come with diffusion panels that soften and even out the light emitted. Some even come with two panels. These panels can have a strong effect on your light, and it's well worth understanding exactly what to expect when you use them or leave them off. This helpful video gives you a comparison of all three situations.
Quite possibly one of the most overlooked aspects of lighting a subject is the rim light. Not only is it a great method to make your subject pop off the background, it's a quick way to give your portraits a very professional look. This helpful video will show you everything you need to know about creating proper rim lights.
Standing under a waterfall with a flash battery pack is normally something I wouldn't advise anyone to do, but in this case, the equipment was rugged enough and the results were well worth the hassle. Check out this awesome shoot that combined a kayaker, waterfall, and strobes.
In a world saturated with photography, you have to find ways to stand out. If you are able to put in the extra skill and effort to make something that is unique, it can quickly gain attention. Backlighting is one technique I use to accomplish this. Initially, backlighting seemed like a difficult task. Extra equipment, more work, and setting up stands and lights all made it so intimidating as a new photographer. Now that I am years in, I can honestly say that my backlit shots have captured more attention and sold more jobs than any other one thing in my business.
Chinese lighting manufacturer Godox has just released a few details about their most recent project: an off-camera flash for your smartphone. The Godox A1 is more than just a constant light, offering several options in what they are calling their first “phone flash system.”
Perhaps one of the biggest rites of passage for a photographer is gaining proficiency with artificial light. It can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you get some basic principles down, it's really not that hard, and you'll greatly expand your photographic capabilities in the process. Dive into this great video to get started.
There are plenty of reasons you may want to blend natural light with flash. I know I rarely shoot with more than one strobe on location so the ambient light often acts as a fill light or rim light. Regardless of your reason to do so, knowing how to easily achieve this is extremely important. Check out this video where I explain my process for balancing strobes with natural light on location.