I'm often asked about the best way to get started with off-camera flash. The problem is, there's no single answer for everyone. There's a lot of different ways to accomplish the same end goal of getting that flash off the camera. In this video I'll break down the three main choices when choosing your method of strobe lighting.
We’ve all been there, stuck with bad light and fresh out of ideas. I may spend up to an hour pre-lighting before a model or subject steps onto set, I work out the kinks and make sure everything is how it should be. But, despite my best efforts to make it right, every now and then I run out of time and have to wing it. We all have our “go to” lighting scenarios, but when you’re standing in unknown territory, keep the following tips in mind and you just might make it through the storm.
In a world filled with videos and tutorials featuring every yahoo with a camera telling us how-to setup, pose, light, and edit, it's hard to know what's just noise and what's worthy of our time. Fortunately, there's experienced instructors like Karl Taylor and Urs Recher who have teamed up to share their techniques in the latest How-To series from Broncolor.
Ever since Benjamin Von Wong took a leap of faith and left his successful career as a engineer to persue his artistic passions, he has kept a legion of die hard fans enchanted by his ability to turn the ordinary into epic. Whether it be organizing complicated pyrotechnics, photographing surreal scenes of ultraviolet models, or chaining models to a shipwreck 25 meters below the surface in Bali, Benjamin has never been interested in being ordinary. In his insanely creative mind, his thought process of "If it's not epic, than what's the point?" has led to some of the most memorable photoshoots in the last several years.
Last year, I reviewed the Profoto B1 Strobe, and named it the best strobe on the market today. Phottix is looking to take that crown with their newly released Indra500 TTL, a 500w/s studio strobe with an optional battery pack. What puts it ahead of the competition? How about TTL built in, as well as High Speed Sync.
Throughout my career so far I have failed over and over again. Although it’s the successes that I'm remembered and known for, it’s the failures that are always the catalyst. At the end of the day, the key to success lies in failure. This improvisational beauty shoot was only a success because I set myself up to fail.
As a commercial photographer, I specialize in product, food, and architecture. One of the products we've been shooting a lot of lately is jewelry, specifically jewelry for catalog use. In my opinion, jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph, and many photographers don't know where to start. Whenever we're tasked with photographing shiny, reflective, spherical objects, our studio sounds like a group of sailors on leave with all the profanity flying around (often times strung together to make complete sentences).
Sometimes we have the luxury of being at an entire game or tournament or match to get action shots of athletes performing their best. Yet occasionally, if we're like Brett Wilhelm, we are asked to cover the World of X Games Cam Zink Mammoth Flip that only happens once and lasts all of a few seconds. Under that kind of pressure with no "redos," Wilhelm takes us through a refreshingly in-depth BTS video that covers everything from basic composition to gear and how one man can cover three cameras.
As a portrait photographer, I am always trying to make people feel comfortable in front of my camera so I can capture a real emotion from them. But what if I was able to make people feel so uncomfortable in front of the camera that I could guarantee an interesting portrait every time? This is the idea behind my latest series: The Stun Gun Photoshoot. I've edited two different videos as well as a behind the scenes in the full post below.
In this video, Karl Taylor and Urs Recher experiment with and demonstrate the uses of a Parabolic reflector. Using a model who is wearing white against a white background, they produce a number of portraits demonstrating how to shape the Para light to separate the model from the background. The versatility of this practice is quite astounding as the photographer is able to stand in front of the light and have it still perfectly illuminate the model and is a simple one light set up.
While Canon users have had this for some time, Nikon users have been waiting for a TTL remote to control their Profoto B1 flashes. Finally the Air Remote TTL-N has been announced and is available for pre-order on B&H for $395. Allowing TTL use up to 300 feet away or normal use at up to 1000 feet, these radio remotes also let you control the power output on multiple units at a time, building on the already fabulous Air system and opening it up to Nikon users with the B1.
Ever since I started diving into studio photography the term “V-Flat” has been a big mystery to me. Google and YouTube have been the quintessential resource for photography knowledge and for whatever reason there isn't much detailed information on how to construct a V-Flat or what purpose they actually serve. It took time to sift through the noise of nonsensical DIY fabrication and even more time to unfold the enigma of this studio essential.
If you think you've got a quick trigger finger, then you haven't used the new Strike Finder Touch (SFT) by Ubertronix. This sleek remote trigger boasts the ability to trigger your camera shutter in less than 1 millisecond. The device has 5 different modes: Time Lapse, Lightning (or high speed flash), laser, sound and motion. All you need is 4 AAA batteries, your camera, and a great subject to get started.
One of our loyal readers, Rogier van Bakel, recently contacted us with an article suggestion that we decided to share with you. Rogier is a wedding photographer based near Bar Harbor, Maine and he has a custom tip on how to gel Profoto B1 or Profoto D1 monolights without the use of any tape, rubber bands, or Velcro. His method allows the lights use of modifiers since they're free of obstruction and keeps them looking good too, as tape and Velcro have a tendency to scratch at surfaces and leave unnecessary residues behind.
If you are interested in creating the softest light with an amazing wrap around quality, look no further. The book light technique, coined by film maker Shane Hurlbut is so simple and basic, requires the most inexpensive light modifiers, yet gives you the maximum control over the quality of light.