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.
I know the title of this article is a bit wordy, but I didn't know how to describe this beast of a lighting system in fewer words. 1/25,000th of a second! As you can see in the video, the new Profoto Pro-b4 1000 Air turns water into glass. It negates gravity. There is nothing you can't shoot with this rig. Plus it's field-ready, running off of a fast-recharging battery pack. It's almost enough to get this speedlite-only shooter...
In order to turn a typical sunset into an extraordinary sunset, you are going to do the opposite of counteracting your available light. You do this by picking the colored gel that is the opposite color of the color you want to highlight. Though it may seem like an odd idea, it's actually just simple color theory. The opposite color of magenta is green. By placing a light to medium green gel on your strobe and setting your camera's white balance (WB) to fluorescent, anything that is magenta (such as a sunset) will be pushed even more vibrant.
PocketWizard has just announced the addition of a new trigger to its lineup: The PocketWizard Plus X. Priced at $99 (and already in stock at B&H), the Plus X offers much of the same functionality and reliability as PocketWizard's much-beloved Plus II and Plus III, but with a simpler, no-frills interface and a gentler price. Read on for the spec list, a mini-review, and my thoughts on the new unit.
Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt.
I have been following the amazing work of boudoir photographer Christa Meola for a couple of years now. Just a quick look at her portfolio and you will agree that her boudoir work is some of the best out there. Recently she posted a lighting diagram for a two light setup she has been using. Christa happens to use a nude model for the lighting setup so heads up.
Patric Bergkvist is making a strong case as one of the better Swedish liquid photographers with his fantastic handle on the ideal lighting in very humble shooting spaces. We featured his exploding coffee and milk photo tutorial in early February and now he is back showing how to make a perfect shot of Whiskey. Photo that is.
I am the type of photographer that doesn't stay up to date on the latest gear. Instead, I find what works for me and I use it until I hear about something that works better. This is why it was so hard for me to hand in my Pocketwizard Plus II's for the Radiopopper PX system. But boy am I glad that I did.
Plus II's are tanks. They are virtually indestructible. I used them for years with nary a misfire. But there was one thing they couldn't do. High speed sync.
As a wedding photographer I have learned that our shooting conditions are not always ideal. One of the places I dread most is the bride's dressing room. It is typically a hotel room with bags, shoes and every beauty accessory invented strewn across the floor. The lighting is never ideal and the decor just might be the straight out of your grandma's home. Read on below to see a simple lighting setup using two flashes that can help you create beautiful portraits even in not so flattering locations.