Light painting is difficult. Trying to paint something you can’t see while racing the timer of your cameras shutter is no easy feat. Legibly writing your own name can take a decent amount of practice. Watch as Julian Breton takes this act to the next level as he turns the intricate art of calligraphy into light paintings.
We've all done it, be it blow drying our hair or plugging too many things into one socket. At some point in your life you've tripped a breaker. Now, imagine doing just that but you're in the middle of a shoot. Not only does it throw off your entire shoot, but it's embarrassing and can make you look unprofessional. Thankfully our friends over at Story & Heart have put together a helpful infographic to avoid this exact scenario.
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of advantages to using speed lights. They are light, portable and they run on batteries. Speed light modifiers that accompany them are also usually quite light and portable as well. But speed lights do have their draw backs and they can be a real pain to use when you encounter issues, such as a painfully slow recycle time between flashes and a lot less power then you need on a bright sunny day. If you have a love hate relationship with speed lights then this article might just have a solution for you.
I’m always fascinated when a photographer uses their talents for a greater cause than themselves. SlickforceGirl is a commercial and creative pinup brand that helps raise awareness for women’s causes and breast cancer. I recently had the opportunity to review creator Nick Saglimbeni’s Mastering Lighting series, and I wanted to sit with Nick to discuss his SlickforceGirl campaign and how he uses the techniques taught in Mastering Lighting within the campaign.
Venus recently released the KX-800 Twin Flash for macro photography which updates their previous KR-800 model. The new KX-800 model features stronger articulating arms that promise to hold their position better than before. In this review, macro photographer Thomas Shahan examines the Venus Twin Flash and goes over how to get the best results in real-world application.
When it comes to all things headshots and manipulating human expression, the best guy to seek council from is Peter Hurley. Peter's career has spanned about 15 years now, and over those years he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. Last year with the help from our friends at Profoto, Lee and I were able to film a supplemental free chapter to Peter's Illuminating the Face Tutorial. In this video Peter takes us outside to show some of the techniques he uses out on location.
It has always driven me insane that I had to stock multiple sets of softboxes that are largely identical but designed for use with either studio strobes (of a specific brand) or speedlights (via some sort of proprietary bracket). I even jerry-rigged some disconcertingly terrifying setups over the years involving a few Justin Clamps to mount my speedlights onto speed rings. Unsurprisingly, things didn’t go very well. That is until I discovered Cheetah Stand’s Speed Pro MKII bracket, which is a hefty bracket specifically designed to help you mount a small flash into Bowens-style speed rings.
Rob Hammer knows all about stories, adventure, and experience. He is a San Diego-based commercial shooter. He has worked for many clients such as Nike, Adidas, Foot Locker, and Under Armour. If you have a chance to follow his Instagram feed, you'll probably find images of him backpacking in a foreign country, photographing old barbershops in the Midwest, or hiking up a mountain with his friends enjoying a cold beer. He lives the life that he photographs. I believe that shooting what you love will ensure you to always have a steady stream of good clients. But when you are photographing your own lifestyle, the possibilities are endless.
Jay P. Morgan of the Slanted Lens has recently created an image for Dynalite that is being used in their advertising. The concept for the image was to showcase a lot of motion, and the Dynalite Baja's motion stopping power. As part of the project Jay has created a behind the scenes instructional video that explains what it takes to properly freeze motion and action when working with studio lighting.
Elinchrom has been renowned for its light shapers for a long time. Many photographers have been using the Rotalux line of softboxes even on other, more expensive strobe brands such as Profoto or Broncolor. The Rotalux system was also known for its quick and simple way of assembling the boxes. A couple of months ago, the Swiss brand announced a new line of light shaping tools: the Litemotiv. They might look very similar to the Rotalux system, but they are very different in many ways. Elinchrom was kind enough to lend me both sizes — a 120 centimeter softbox and a 190 centimeter softbox — and give them a try. Here are my impressions after a month of use.
Assisting for a photographer or videographer can be a rewarding experience filled with knowledge and new perspectives. An assistant often receives an insider's view into how a photographer runs a production, and gains networking opportunities that may not have been accessible before. However, being an effective assistant requires more than holding light stands or reflectors. Great attention to detail and a humble can-do attitude can ensure your return to set, and solidify your reputation as a reliable assistant. While every photographer varies, we will review some of my tips for proper etiquette for assistants, from a photographer's perspective.
In the final part of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will look at how I do my Black and White conversion. This image is a dramatic image so it calls for a punchy and high-contrast black and white conversion. In this tutorial, I will show you how I stack blending modes and adjustment layers to get my image exactly where I want it. You can follow these steps in your own images or use the techniques and customize them for your own use. In the video you will also see how to use layer masks to create targeted adjustments for your high-contrast black and white portraits.
My favorite part of the wedding day is the reception. After the traditional first dances, and speeches are done, and the wedding party starts to let loose. The party is in full swing and the best man is giving “The Dougie” his best attempt in an effort to win a dance battle against the bride. While capturing these images I want the viewer to feel like they were in there, in the moment. My goal is to not light up the entire room like a Christmas tree. I want to see the light from the DJ and the motion on the dance floor. This is how I do just that.
For those of you who get into situations where you have limited time to set up, manually light and fine tune it to how you would like, well-known photographer Joe McNally shows how quick and easy using TTL can be when pairing an Air Remote with a Profoto B1 strobe unit. This would be great for event shooters, and setting up for quick portraits. Read on for two other videos on high speed sync and lighting ratios.