Lighting

Balancing Flash and Ambient Light In A Restaurant

Restaurant's interiors can be just as beautiful and recognizable as the dishes that they create. When shooting a dish, you may want to include some of a restaurant's interior elements in the shot. These can be chairs, walls, light fixtures, or anything else that shows off the restaurant's character. To do this, you will need to be able to balance the light you are creating with a flash and the ambient light in the restaurant. Here is a look at how I did this on a recent assignment involving a burger and beer.

The Best Video Combining Stills and Motion We're Going to See All Year

It’s interesting times for those of us shooting photo and video. I enjoy highlighting photographers or videographers who are utilizing elements of both stills and motion work, and are pushing the creative envelope by integrating them so that the end result is more than just the sum of the individual parts. I'm going to go all in and lay my cards down here and say that the video in this post is going to be the most innovative, creative use of combining stills and video together that we’ll see in 2013.

Using TV and Film to Help Better Understand Light

Recently, Julia Kuzmenko has been putting together a wonderful tutorial on how to read lighting in photography to help better understand different lighting concepts (Seriously, read Part 1 and Part 2). Applying these to photos, you can reverse engineer different lighting diagrams. However, using these concepts in your everyday life will allow you to give you a much better understanding of lighting techniques as well.

The LED Light Cube Wants to Redefine Your Idea of Photo Light

A small team based in Melbourne, Australia wants to change how you view your studio lights. They say their new invention, the LED Light cube, offers answers to age-old problems. Their Cube has no recycle time, better control over light output and no external battery packs. Due to The LED Light Cube using an LED model rather than a filament, the Cube can just as easily double as a video light as well as a flash. Sounds cool right?

A Countertop Lighting Setup

When taking pictures of food in a kitchen you will almost always have to create your own lighting environment. Restaurant kitchens are usually lit by overhead fluorescent lighting that won't help you make a beautiful picture of a dish. In these situations, you will have to make your own light. There is a problem, though. What happens when the shooting space is so small that you can't fit a softbox or light stand into the kitchen? If you ever find yourself with only a counter top sized area to shoot on, this lighting set-up will create the shot you need!

Studio Lighting for Cars

A few weeks ago, I flew to Los Angeles to shoot a commercial project for Mitsubishi. They had a custom Outlander built by RIDES Magazine and were in need of press shots. Studio shooting can be among the most challenging of all types of photography, but with a little patience and some care, its really not that difficult. Here's how we did it.

Filming Big Ideas With Small Budgets

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. I’m sure we’ve all heard this saying at one point in our lives. Even though I never took the advice (In your face Mom!) it can easily be reworked into something I firmly believe. “Film for the job you want, not the job you have”.

How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1

One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.

Developing A Light Kit For Any Situation

7 years of shooting Automotive Editorial Photography has taught me to streamline as much as possible. One area I've simplified to fit my needs is my lighting kit. I used to rent gear wherever I could, but after you use your own gear long enough you almost develop a relationship with it and now I definitely prefer to use my own lights.

One Light, 56 Layers, One Magazine Cover.

Automotive Editorial Photography will teach you many things. Mostly though, it'll teach you how to make something out of nothing and how to operate quickly and efficiently. I can't tell you how many times I've shown up to shoot a car only to be told it can't be moved from where it sits. It's those situations that will really test your mettle as a photographer and I've actually grown to love those challenges. One challenge from last year that I really enjoyed was a RIDES Magazine cover that would require fitting and lighting 10 cars. Here's how I did it.