Since last November I have been shooting a photo series titled 'Comedic Value' which consists of NYC comedians shot in NYC locations for NYC charity, Art-Start. Of the 25 comics featured in the project, 1 of my favorite shoots was with Jim Gaffigan and his fantastic family. When discussing concepts with Jim, he mentioned that he needed a shot of him and his kids for his new book, 'Dad Is Fat' which will be out next month.
Pegboard is such a fun material to use when experimenting with lighting. You can change the shape of the light pattern by changing the distance of your light to the pegboard and the distance of the pegboard to your subject. We posted previously about how you can use pegboard to construct an entire backdrop. In this week's diagram I will show you how I used one speedlite and a small strip of pegboard to shape the light in my shoots.
Just the other day a buddy introduced me to hypersync via this video from PocketWizard featuring Chris Garrison. Hypersync is technology in PocketWizard FlexTT5's and MiniTT1's which enables you to sync your camera with big studio strobes at speeds up to 1/8000 with certain setups. PocketWizard has more information on hypersync over at their site. This video is pretty long (over an hour) but Chris walks you through several of his setups as well as talks about how he got his career to where it is now.
Recently I have been wanting to do an avant-garde hair shoot. I just needed to find the right stylist to work with. A few weeks ago I met Devan Aledia Ford who is a fantastic hair stylist. When I told her about my desire to do a stylized hair shoot, she took the idea and ran with it. She conceptualized a spring-themed, fairytale-inspired shoot. She even styled the wardrobe and did the makeup (never underestimate the power of a great stylist).
Have you ever wondered how dance companies and productions get those amazing photographs of their artists in perfectly posed dance stances? Well, Benjamin Von Wong has recently thrown some light over the intricate process of lighting and shooting a complex dance campaign.
Photographer Kenneth Cappello is known for his celebrity portraiture, his advertising work for Nike and Puma as well as his flashy editorial work for Nylon, GQ, Fader and Vibe. Cappello shot musician/DJ DeadMau5 this past month for Vibe Magazine, and, lucky for us, also shot a little BTSV to give us a peek at his process.
As a wedding photographer, I run around a lot and need to be ready for any moment. Because the day of a shoot can always bring surprises, I have a motto of always being prepared with extras of everything. Usually this means my assistant or I lug around a bag or two with extra flashes, batteries, and other accessories. I'm always looking for things to help me smooth out my work flow and make any wedding day easier to handle. So, when Spider Camera Holster released their new Spider Monkey for camera accessories at WPPI 2013, I was eager to try them out.
The Phottix Mitros TTL Flash was announced in early 2012 but saw another full year of development before it was finally officially released in March of 2013. That kind of time spent building a product really resonates with me, and I was expecting a finished product that was going to stand up to the rigors of daily use. I was not disappointed.
The Einstein E640 strobe from Paul C. Buff is compact, light weight unit capable of shouldering studio work yet portable enough to take on location. The unit weighs in at four pounds and because it is self contained, it does not require a battery pack which cuts down on gear bulk.
I shot around with the Einstein 640 and the 86 inch PLM (parabolic light) umbrella in studio to test the products and see how they stacked up in my work flow.
Every week Benjamin Von Wong releases a new behind the scenes video for your viewing pleasure and this week is no different. I find that Ben is probably one of the most talented conceptual photographers that likes to use fire in his photographs, but this week he decided to switch it up a bit and the results are stunning, to say the least.
A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to work with Tina Hughes, a talented local clothing designer. Her latest collection blends vintage and modern elements. I thought that my friend's modernist house would be the perfect location for the shoot. We were limited to doing the shoot during the (bright and sunny) day so I used speedlites, a polarizing filter and orange gels to add a moodiness to the images.
The best part about learning rules is breaking them. For example, most of the time, blur in a photograph is a faux pas. But there are ways you can use blur to add energy and emotion to your images. In this lighting diagram, we will explore how to introduce blurring to your images with the use of an on-camera flash.
Before you start experimenting with this technique, make sure to go to you menu in your camera and set it to "rear curtain sync".
A couple weeks ago I posted a lighting diagram showing how you can emulate Martin Schoeller's lighting by using gaffers tape and foam core. One reader commented that the catch-light makes the subject's eyes look like a cat. This got me thinking about what would happen if I were to change the pattern of the tape into various shapes. Here's what I discovered.