Living in NYC and having to drag gear around I have become very particular about my camera and gear bags. Comfort, size, weight, and protection are the deciding factors, then I worry if I look cool or not (you can’t go wrong with a black bag). I started looking for a small light stand case that would fit nano stands, a small umbrella and a monopod. This is usually what I use for reception lighting at weddings. After searching through all of the camera stores online, I finally stumbled across the StandBagger.
There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.
Since we released Peter Hurley's: The Art Behind The Headshot, the internet has been trying to replicate his signature look without shelling out thousands for his Kino Flo lights. The guys over at SLR Lounge put together a great video that comes up with a similar look by using only 1 light, 1 bank, and 3 reflectors. I think the results are fantastic.
This week the ever talented Benjamin Von Wong has taken a particularly difficult challenge of shooting not only a cover album for classical artists, Homzy/Kesler Duo, but their music video for their latest single, 'Curiosity', on the same day. In the behind the scenes video Benjamin walks you through the lighting he used for the photography portion of the shoot.
What is "perfect lighting?" It will differ for every style of photography and every photographer's style. For my food photography, I think the perfect lighting is the soft, beautiful, natural light found from a large window with indirect sun coming through. Unfortunately, most of the locations where I have to go and shoot food don't have this light that I am looking for. In order to get the shoot done, I have to to create the light. What if I could create this "perfect light" and have it for every assignment?
I have started to see a trend with using projectors to add some flair to photos. However most portable projectors do not pump out the brightest light and cannot run off batteries alone. Meet the Light Blaster. A new tool that uses your speed light and lens to project slides in your photos, from backgrounds, special effects, and anything else you can dream up.
Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that has seen a spike in exposure in the United States the past few years making it a perfect subject for a photoshoot. Follow Jay P. from The Slanted Lens as he takes you behind the scenes of his latest shoot featuring a model dressed up as a Calavera (sugar skull) posing in an eerie cemetery backdrop.
The Fourth of July has come and gone here in the states and while most photographers spend that evening trying to capture the light of the explosions, I opted to give my family something fun to do after the shows. That turned into an awesome game. It went over so well that I pretty much have to share it with you.
One essential part of almost every wedding day is the rings. Not only are the rings a symbol of a couple's love and commitment to one another, they also usually cost a good deal of money. Capturing an amazing picture of the rings can not only wow your clients, it also adds great value to your portfolio. The best part is, getting a fantastic ring shot can be simple and quick.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is officially here! This means plenty of picnics, outdoor barbecues, and many more occasions where you can take pictures of food outside! When outside, you won't have control of the weather conditions. To be able to have nice, soft, diffused light in any weather, there is one piece of equipment that I always bring with me. It is small, light-weight, and essential to creating mouthwatering pictures of food on a bright sunny day. Can you guess what it is?
Photographer Rob Grimm has posted a nice little BTS of his 'Micro Brewery Project' - where the photographs feature some various beers from the United States based on "unique bottle design, label, and/or flavor profile." The video starts out with a great, little trick for creating an even pour in a photo. The bottle itself is clamped in place, but by using twine, nail polish remover and fire, you can cleanly remove the bottom.
Joe McNally does it again with a great video on making sure you're lighting for your overall scene. He breaks down the editorial by first discussing the message he wants to communicate, and then goes on to explain the whys and hows for lighting to achieve that vision. McNally is a great teacher and is able to convey these ideas in a way that even those new
About six months ago, I wrote a piece comparing flash techniques to HDR and ambient-only techniques when shooting for architecture and interiors clients. There was some great discussion involved and many valid points raised, and I'd like to take a few minutes to bring up another scenario that really shows the benefits of using flash whenever possible when dealing with interior or architectural situations.
Portrait and fashion photographer Lindsay Adler is not only a great photographer, but also a superb educator. Just recently she did a session with creativeLive on studio lighting, and also taped a new show with Framed Network. In her most recent video, Lindsay shows a very cheap (between $0 and $20) way to create beautiful soft light just by using your window and some black foam core. No need in expensive strobes, no need in extra equipment. and the results are amazing.