Fashion magazines, brand-name advertisements, and catalogs of all sorts seek out interesting locations to stage their photo shoots. Some are simply looking for controllable surroundings for privacy and security, but other productions are seeking something special to enhance their photos. Many locations, however, come with a price.
Take a few minutes and look up Photographer Joel Grimes. His portraits infuse a unique and identifiable lighting style that is edgy, dramatic, and often shot in studio with fairly simple lighting setups. Even more interesting is the fact that most of his shots are taken with the intent of compositing them into different backgrounds.
The quest for gear can be fraught with disappointment, not to mention expense, but occasionally one piece of equipment exceeds your expectation. A best buy doesn’t need to be the highest quality or most expensive lens or light to find its way into your own hall of fame. For me it represents unexpected value versus the investment. Mine is the Profoto Acute 600e kit. What was yours?
When many of us first entered into the realm of photography, most of us had the same question: What gear should I get? What do I need? Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens helped out many with those questions back in 2015, but the video is a bit dated now. With the questions coming back for today’s market, Morgan decided to make an updated video with his suggestions to start your studio in 2017.
There are many instances where I’m working on site and I need to adjust camera position while on a tripod. From interiors and architecture, food and product photography, often a tripod alone can’t provide the convenience or flexibility I need to get a job done quickly. In other situations where space is limited, my gear needs to occupy as small of a footprint as possible while shooting tethered. That’s where the Tether Tools T Setup and Tether Table Aero Traveler comes in.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to walk into almost any photographic situation armed with a whole vocabulary of lighting techniques and be able to quickly select exactly the type of lighting you want for the main light of your photo? By understanding six key qualities of light you can create your own vocabulary of lighting to draw upon and apply for your desired effect in fashion photos, formal, and lifestyle portraits and beyond. Angle, Size, Distance, Shape, Duration, and Color are each qualities of light that photographers can combine and manipulate these qualities in setting the look of their photograph for impact beyond just illumination.
If you’ve ever wanted to see how the pros light amazing studio shots, look no further. My wife and I recently moved into a new place that offers quite a bit of new space for studio style photography. Being a tad rusty I was excited about the plethora of shooting opportunities a controlled lighting space would offer, but found myself lacking motivation. Until I discovered Broncolor’s “How To” section on their website.
The inverse square law is one of the most important yet misunderstood concepts in photography. On the surface, it basically says that the intensity of a light source will decrease as you move the light away from your subject, but how does that apply to the highlights and shadows in a portrait? In this small excerpt from the "Illuminating the Face" tutorial, Peter Hurley breaks down both the math and the practical application of the inverse square law.
Grids are probably amongst the best pieces of equipment a photographer using flash can own. Alas, they are often either underrated or misunderstood. On one of my recent shoots, I decided to create a lighting setup with grids on every single strobe. My goal was to create a somewhat complex setup, that once broken down step by step would be easy to recreate by any photographer starting out in studio photography.
While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.
For the majority of my life, I was a soldier in the United States Army. As a part of military life, I learned how valuable it was to be prepared for all the things that could go wrong. Many soldiers will build a bug-out bag, also known as a go-bag. A bug-out bag is essentially a bag full of items one might need when in a pinch. Now as a photographer, my bug-out bag is full of all the little items I often am asked if I have or things that can make any shoot go easier. These things have often meant the difference between success and failure on a shoot. Here is the list of stuff I put in my bag.
Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens continues his video tutorial series of photographing simple three dimensional objects with this short tutorial on lighting a cylinder. The video demonstrates how to specifically alter the amount of light falling on the curved surface and flat face of the cylinder to achieve the desired effect.