Elinchrom has been renowned for its light shapers for a long time. Many photographers have been using the Rotalux line of softboxes even on other, more expensive strobe brands such as Profoto or Broncolor. The Rotalux system was also known for its quick and simple way of assembling the boxes. A couple of months ago, the Swiss brand announced a new line of light shaping tools: the Litemotiv. They might look very similar to the Rotalux system, but they are very different in many ways. Elinchrom was kind enough to lend me both sizes — a 120 centimeter softbox and a 190 centimeter softbox — and give them a try. Here are my impressions after a month of use.
In the final part of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will look at how I do my Black and White conversion. This image is a dramatic image so it calls for a punchy and high-contrast black and white conversion. In this tutorial, I will show you how I stack blending modes and adjustment layers to get my image exactly where I want it. You can follow these steps in your own images or use the techniques and customize them for your own use. In the video you will also see how to use layer masks to create targeted adjustments for your high-contrast black and white portraits.
For those of you who get into situations where you have limited time to set up, manually light and fine tune it to how you would like, well-known photographer Joe McNally shows how quick and easy using TTL can be when pairing an Air Remote with a Profoto B1 strobe unit. This would be great for event shooters, and setting up for quick portraits. Read on for two other videos on high speed sync and lighting ratios.
In my opinion, mastering negative dodge and burn is the key to any beauty retouch. There are many steps and many hours that go into a great retouch, but negative dodge and burn is as essential, if not more so, than any of them. The term "negative dodge and burn" is one that I first heard from fellow retoucher Pratik Naik. It was the concept of having a specific process of removing distractions and smoothing tonal transitions through dodge and burn that was responsible for one of the biggest jumps in my own personal retouching game.
Being an adept problem solver is a key skill found in most successful photographers, and with complex photo shoots, the likelihood of something not going according to plan gets pretty high. On a recent project, Ben Von Wong had everything lined up, only to have things change and be forced to cancel the shoot, or make something else happen in a very short time.
Anyone who likes to bring a light or two on-location knows the frustration of wanting soft, controllable light that won't weigh you down or break the bank. The Westcott Apollo Orb is, without a doubt, one of my favorite lighting modifiers. As you'll see below, the Apollo Orb has just about every feature you could ask for in its unique, somewhat-brolly-box-style design, all at a modest price point.
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to shoot with the Broncolor Siros Monolights for the first time. Until now, my light of choice has been the Profoto D1. I, like many of you, have seen reviews on Broncolor's new monolight, and like many of you as well, have been a bit skeptical about their delve into competing with Profoto's D1 and B1 Series for the high-end monolight market. The Siros is available in two models, a 400W/s monolight and an 800W/s monolight, and for this shoot I used five Siros 800s. In this article I will give you my complete lighting setup, gear list, a retouching preview, and complete review of my experience with the Siros Monolight and BronControl app.
Beauty photography is something that I have become drawn to over time. Setting a mood, imagining a makeup style, and finding or even creating props to fill the frame with my model’s face is something I came to love more than anything else. In any genre of photography, I feel like it is important to develop a style that is recognizable. May that be retouching, posing, lighting, or something else, if people can tell you took the picture it means you have developed a signature style. For my beauty work I wanted to create a signature lighting setup that would be easy to recreate wherever I would go, no matter the condition or the place the shoot would take place in. Here is how I created it and how you can recreate it as well to make it your own.
If you are one of the thousands of professional and amauter photographers in the industry at some point you’ve probably hit a creative rut in your work. It happens to the best of us. Lighting setups can quickly become repetitive and boring after shooting for several months. If you’re looking for some inspiration and instruction on how to kick-start your creative lighting skills I might have the perfect tutorial for you.
The other night I was asked "what is the most frustrating thing about shoot weddings?" I thought about this question for a second and shockingly my answer had nothing to do with bridezillas, wedding planners, hot and humid weather, or even post production. Easily the most frustrating thing about shooting weddings is dealing with unreliable radio triggers during the reception. Perhaps this simple yet unreleased hotshoe adapter could make this problem obsolete if only someone would create it.
In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.
This is Part 1 in what will be an 8 part series for a dramatic beauty portrait. In the series of tutorials, we will go through everything from the gear used, to the lighting setups, and all the way through the complete retouching process. In Part 1, I will breakdown my gear list used for the shoot and I will thoroughly go through my lighting setup. In this video tutorial not only will you see the gear and setup, but also a behind the scenes look as me and my team go through hair, makeup, and shooting. The complete series of videos will be available here on Fstoppers and on my YouTube Channel.
Ryan Brenizer is famous for his shallow depth of field panoramas known as the Brenizer method. In addition to this, he has photographed presidents, singers, athletes, and has more than 350 weddings under his belt. He was named one of the "10 most sought-after wedding photographers in the world” by Rangefinder Magazine, so when he talks, you should listen. In this video, Brenizer goes through five lighting tips that can help you throughout the day of shooting a wedding.