Here's the truth. Until recently, I thought professionals using mirrorless cameras were a joke. I grew up in the days of film. Got my hands dirty in the darkroom. Had a Canon A1 and F1 in my camera collection, plus learned on others like a Pentax 35mm as well. Feeling the weight of the camera in my hands and hearing the sound of the mirror slap was part of the joy of photography for me. Pun entirely intended.
It's already Tuesday, but if you're like me – always open to sponge up as much learning and information as possible – you'll still be in time to get on with a free course on LinkedIn through their "Week of Learning," available until October 31. Last year, LinkedIn bought educational site, Lynda.com, one of the largest online training and tutorial networks. Even though LinkedIn isn't one of the networks that members of the creative industries are most active on, there's still a lot of useful information, and the workshops and tutorials are actually very well produced.
The beauty of studio shooting is that you have absolute control over every aspect of your final image. From makeup, to the general lack of ambient light to deal with, to the subject in front of your camera, everything is up to you. This can bring some challenges _ namely, you as the photographer are also the director of the entire shoot. If something isn't going right, it's your responsibility to fix it. I apply this to everything in life, but it's especially relevant in assembling a successful shoot. Remember the six Ps of life: proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.
For many photographers who are primarily outdoor shooters and don’t have their own studio, finding an indoor space to shoot on a budget can be difficult. With the winter months fast approaching, shooting outdoors is going to become an even greater challenge. Here are six places you can find indoor space to hone your studio photography skills, for free or cheap, while you wait out the winter.
Last week, we covered why volunteering for an animal rescue or shelter is a great way to grow your pet photography business. If you do not own or rent a studio, being able to bring a portable lighting setup on location for pet photography is an excellent alternative. When photographing animals in shelters, portable lighting will allow you to achieve a consistent style with your photos. This short video produced by the team at Westcott demonstrates practical tips for simple studio-style portraits of dogs and cats.
In this informative video from Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, Jay goes back to the basics to show off the principles of light, and how they affect a sphere. Whenever a light is added to a subject, five things happen, and this video explores what is created, and how to control it, which ultimately will help you to craft your final image in a photo or video.
In this thoughtful video from Dedo Weigert, "catch lights" (or "eye lights") are analyzed in-depth, with many examples and explanations as to what different effects are created by their use. Placement, intensity, shape, and direction can all play a subtle but very important role in when it comes to a catch light, and what a director or cinematographer wants to communicate from their character can drive that decision.
Parabolic softboxes are all the rage in the lighting world. It seems like you can't check out lighting videos on Youtube without coming across one. But with price points all over the place, I was reluctant to pick one up for fear of spending too much money on a modifier I wouldn't like or use. Then, I came across the budget-priced Selens Parabolic Softbox. With a price of about $100 and good reviews, I was ready to pull the trigger. Here are my thoughts and video review.
For a long time as a photographer, I did not have access to a studio nor did I have the necessary lights to help create a studio setup indoors. And let’s not talk about renting studios! So, in absence of a studio, I came up with one easy way to create the studio feel, which you will find is pretty cheap.
Renting studio spaces can get pretty pricey, especially in big cities like New York. VSCO is now offering free studio time in their New York location for all artists. If you are in the area, and have a project that requires a studio, this could be an awesome opportunity to take advantage of. The studio includes a permanent cyc wall and even some basic lighting to get you going.
Learning how to properly light the human face can be a challenge for many beginner and intermediate level photographers. Sure, you can grab a single light source, your significant other, and turn a Sunday afternoon into an experimental test shoot, but what happens when you want to start playing around with multiple lights? Figuring out where exactly to place your lights can be a daunting task, but luckily there are dozens of common lighting setups available for critique right on your television!
Tintypes continue to fascinate us. Despite the process being over 150 years old, its methodical, almost meditative procedure and striking results have kept it alive. It's also a fairly scientific process that involves a good bit of chemistry. Check out this video to learn more about the technical and practical aspects of the practice of shooting tintypes.
Understanding the basic concepts of studio lighting is equally important to the seasoned professional as it is to the aspiring new photographer. In this episode of a series on lighting, photographer Mark Wallace explains how the size and position of your light can change the quality of light. What's nice about this video and others from Mark is that it is easy to follow as he illustrates exactly what he's talking about.
Where studio portraiture often lacks in external interest and bokeh, it makes up for in image quality, clarity, and full light control. However, always shooting on a black or white backdrop is wildly limiting but having a whole host of different backdrops and changing them can be a pain in the proverbial. There is a much easier way to change your background completely in camera using only light and the right shade of gray.