Learning how to properly light the human face can be a challenge for many beginner and intermediate level photographers. Sure, you can grab a single light source, your significant other, and turn a Sunday afternoon into an experimental test shoot, but what happens when you want to start playing around with multiple lights? Figuring out where exactly to place your lights can be a daunting task, but luckily there are dozens of common lighting setups available for critique right on your television!
“The War In Every Portrait” is an interesting video from photographer Sean Tucker that explores the idea of capturing authentic moments in a portrait session. Tucker muses that there is a constant battle between the subject and the photographer. The goal is to find the kink in the armor of their exterior persona and expose the “real” person hidden inside.
"I can't take a shot like that. My camera isn't good enough. Oh sure, you can talk all you want, but you have thousands of dollars in expensive equipment! Yeah, I know it's the photographer, not the camera, but let's get real: my beginner gear can't do that!" Excuses, excuses, excuses. A lot of people, especially those just starting out, use their lack of pro gear as a tether, holding them back from getting the shots they are capable of. Here are some reasons to push past your budget concerns and make the most of what you have.
The full name of this video is "Idiot continues to take daily self-portrait for 16 yrs despite better projects, longer projects, more popular projects, his face," and it's massively entertaining. JK Keller spent over 5,000 days taking photos of himself, and the result is fascinating.
We're big fans of Peter Hurley here at Fstoppers. We've collaborated with him twice on Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot and Peter Hurley: Illuminating The Face. His signature headshots are well known throughout the industry. What you may not know is that Peter was a world-class sailor in his day. Recently, he returned to his roots to combine sailing and photography, and the results are awesome.
If there is one comment I hear the absolute most at my studio lighting workshops, it's "Nino, I need to learn studio lighting. That stuff is hard. I'm a natural light portrait shooter and that's much easier." This is a statement I could not disagree with more, and here's why.
Point and shoot. That's how many people think about modern photography. A lot of things we take for granted today developed in the 1800s, including photography. Exposures took days until Louis Daguerre invented his daguerreotype process, which reduced days to minutes and produced clearer, more detailed images. At about the same time, the Victorian Period began with the ascension of Queen Victoria to the British throne. Disease was rampant and mortality rates were high, especially among children under five years old. Arguably, these were contributing factors to the unintended birth of portrait photography.
Underwater photography is becoming more popular as technology progresses. The use of an underwater housing dates back to the mid-1800s when William Thompson was utilizing a watertight box over his camera to photograph seaweed near Weymouth, England. Since then, underwater photographs have become an incredible way to explore and understand the life under the surface.
There's no arguing that Bernie Sanders' rise has been one of the most remarkable grassroots campaigns in the history of the U.S. His photographer, Arun Chaudhary, recently gave a fascinating interview on what it's like to photograph Sanders and what he's trying to accomplish in doing so.
In my last article, Adventures in Large Format: A Beginner's Perspective, I talked about some of the things I noticed upon purchasing and attempting to use my first 4x5 large format camera. As fun as fiddling with some knobs and taking a photo of a stool was, it was time for me to point my camera at some actual people. After lugging the camera upstairs and taking portraits of some of the awesome characters that work at the bar, it was time to see how I did.
I'm always drawn to behind the scenes videos. I can't decide whether it's seeing how other photographers work or gazing at the equipment I now want to buy. It's probably a little from column A and a little from column B. This behind the scenes video is by Studio NEXT-IMAGE and shows photographer Sails Chong creating world-class shot after world-class shot in Japan using the Hasselblad H5D and Broncolor Siros L.
Four years ago I purchased my first set of studio strobes in an attempt to learn how to shoot portraits like the ones I saw in my favorite print magazines. Having shot most of my portraits using available light at f/2 and under, I thought this would translate over easily when I switched to shooting with strobes. As I snapped my first frame and realized that even at the lowest power setting on the strobe the image was overexposed, I set out to find a way to be able to accomplish the effect. The answer was high-speed sync.