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.
The great folks over at The Slanted Lens are back with another amazing tutorial. This time Jay takes you to Concord and Lexington Massachusetts at a recreation of a Revolutionary War battle scene to show you how to effectively light a composited image. He shows you how to shoot your background plates first, the main subject using a do it yourself motion rig and even shows you how to shoot explosions to help finish the image.
The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller's technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn's post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn't have.
Kickstarter product "LUMENATOR™" is a portable and battery powered LED light stick. The 1200 lumen bar has a dimmer on it so you are able to adjust the power. The bar will have attachments that allow you to change the white balance and even add on a color hue bar. Check out the Kickstarter video and see if this possible product will fit your needs and help back this project.
Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens has released a video that gives us a detailed look at one of the most basic aspects of portrait photography, the single light portrait. It's a very basic technique, but it's incredibly versatile set up that can be used to create many different looks. In this video, Jay P. Morgan is using a Canon 1DC and shooting video from which he will pull stills. It's a different way of shooting than we might be used to, but the end results are can look a lot more natural than posed pictures as the model is given much greater freedom to move around.