If you're not a professional photographer, chances are that you may be under the impression that they do little more than take pictures all day, every day. While we definitely know that's not the case — I'm probably only actually shooting for around 20 percent of my work week, and running a business for the other 80 percent — that's not what I wanted to portray when I got asked to be "job shadowed" by an eighth grade girl a while back. I decided to make the day at least a little more interesting.
I am a photographer who started shooting with daylight only, and I moved to discover new possibilities of lighting only after mastering daylight and craving more tools to create the desired images in my head. I don't believe the idea that you have to have all the possible equipment to be a good photographer or that the equipment makes you the photographer. My credo was always to master what you have available and only afterwards move to a new tool. This way, you can have all the understanding of your tools and avoid a bulk of unnecessary equipment.
Fstoppers is happy to announce the next round of Critique the Community. We invite everyone to submit your best editorial and fashion images to be critiqued by Clay Cook. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Friday night, November 18 and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.
Yesterday (1st November) saw the release of the first episode of Nigel Barker’s new show in conjunction with Adorama – entitled Top Photographer. Released as a web series through Adorama’s YouTube channel, this is the first, 25-minute episode, and you can watch it right here!
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!