For years, Elinchrom users have been complaining about the aging Skyport. A few months ago, the Swiss flash manufacturer finally released the brand new Skyport HS, and it is a great product. However, not everyone needs its advanced features. Some photographers couldn’t care less about technical stuff and only want their transmitter to do the job it is designed for: triggering the flash remotely. Well, that’s why the Skyport Plus was recently released.
Westcott is known for their amazing lighting products. Not only do they have great lighting modifiers and lights, but they are also constantly coming up with new technologies and products that make life as a photographer easier. Their new line of flex lights promises to do just that, but how do they perform in the real world?
Yes I said it. I can hear the outraged shrieks of equipment addicted photographers, but hear me out. In February, I went to Capetown for a month to please my trigger finger and shot eight stories in the same location using just natural light. South Africa is a renowned location for occidental productions. When it is snowing in Europe and in the States, it is summer season there. During that time the only weather complication can arise from wind with the upside being constant blue skies. During my stay, I got unpredictable rain and clouds. When I was done throwing tantrums at the black skies and banging my head against a wall questioning my decision of spending hard earned bucks to fly to the southern tip of Africa, I capitulated and went with the flow. And learned a lot in the process. Getting out of my comfort zone reminded me about the core of photography: my vision.
Getting color consistency from your eye, to your camera, to your computer can be a real pain in the butt. Especially if you still haven't settled into a reliable, regular workflow. Color calibrating your monitor once a month and taking reference images with a gray card are invaluable when it comes to getting consistent color. If you are still struggling with getting your image colors to look right, then Freelance Photographer Gavin Hoey has the video for you. Watch as Gavin walks through a step-by-step process on how to achieve consistent color.
Photographer Erik Christian, based in Hudson Valley, NY, created athletic portraits using continuous lights and strobes. He recently shot a series of mixed light portraits for a local newspaper that annually features their local high school basketball all-stars. He decided to shoot the team much more creatively than past portrait sessions.
Continuous light sources used to be preferred by videographers more than photographers. However, in the last few years, it has become common to replace strobes with LED, HMI, or tungsten equipment. Unlike flash, with continuous lighting, what you see is what you get. It makes it much easier to set up and thus a great alternative for fast-paced work environments. Even more useful is that no recharging time is needed between each shot. The only issue remaining is often either the lack of power or the portability. Find out how to overcome both with this DIY powerful dimmable LED light.
Los Angeles-based photographer Zach Sutton has spent a long time doing on-location photoshoots for his business. These kinds of shoots usually involve the typical off-camera strobes on light stands and maybe an assistant to help mule equipment or adjust lighting for the photographer. However, when Sutton moved to L.A. last July, he quickly learned that this sort of on-location shoot is not allowed in the city without a proper commercial shoot permit — even if it’s ultimately for personal use. His solution for getting by light stand free looks somewhat crazy, but the end results speak for themselves.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Syrp's awesome, affordable, perfectly executed Genie Mini time-lapse device. However, time-lapse photography and videography barely covers the beginning of what can be done with the New Zealand company's awesome devices. The Slanted Lens' Jay P. Morgan not only shares his entire lighting setup for a classic food shot, but also proposes some clever and welcomed case studies for how to use Syrp's devices to create better shots, not only around stars, but also around close-range subjects.
Most photographers who learn the basics of lighting usually take light for granted. Lighting seems pretty simple at first: If there’s an absence of light, just add a strobe. Isn’t that why we all love on-camera flash?! I’m joking. Learning how to give light motivation is truly the easiest way to create cinematic lighting, and it’s a lot easier than you’d think.
All too often in our business, we are thrust into a job in which we either have no time for or cannot afford lighting tests. I find that these gigs force me to fall back on my old tricks and techniques. This can lead to the dangerous place of shooting stuff that all looks the same. Sure, you can try out new ideas on personal projects, but sometimes, the job calls for stuff that you don’t own or cannot afford to get. Usually, when planning a shoot, I have great theories and fantastic ideas on how to pull off a look. However, the idea of winging it in front of a client is stressful...