I'm one of those photographers that likes to take control, especially of my light. I use grids, snoots, barndoors, and every other contraption you can think of to maintain the maximum amount of control over my lighting. One of the most important light modifiers for my work isn't a soft box or a beauty dish, it's actually a piece of fabric on a metal frame called, a flag.
A few days ago I featured Eric Paré on the Picture of the Day section of Fstoppers which led me to his website and my first reaction to his LightSpin series, was 'Holy Cow'! Eric uses a technique called bullet time photography and combines that with light painting to capture the surreal images. To learn how he accomplishes the unique photos and videos read more.
A friend of mine who is a professional retoucher (and asked to remain anonymous) recently told me about a very interesting facet of his business. Today a significant portion of his income comes from Photoshopping cats. Yes, you heard right - retouching cats for a living. Check out the full post to see 18 examples of his cat retouching.
A few months ago we featured one of commercial photographer Michael Herb's tutorials on masking and composting. Michael is back with an awesome behind the scenes video of a national ad campaign he shot for Textile Designer Patty Madden. Michael set out to create some creative photos to showcase the unique advertising that hasn't really been seen before in a nation ad campaign for furniture.
A few years ago when I was still new to the world of beauty photography and digital photo retouching, I prided myself on the ability to "fix it later in Photoshop." I would welcome retouching challenges as I was still learning, but things changed forever after I started working with professional teams and shooting for commercial clients.
There are a few unarguable reasons for getting it right in camera.
This is the second part of the article on how to learn to "read" lighting in photography. If you haven't read the first part yet, please start here: How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1.
And for those of you who have been waiting for the second part, let's jump right back in and see what other cues we can use to breakdown lighting in other photographers' work.
Lightning is hard to photograph. You have to have patience, solid timing and a general acceptance of the possibility of getting soaked. If that doesn't really resonate with you there's always the route that Matthew Albanese chose. Rather than go through the stress, waiting and danger of shooting an actual lightning storm he
As a Wedding Photographer, I have tons of radio triggers. I started out with the PocketWizard Plus II, and then after having all of my gear stolen, I switched to the relatively inexpensive PocketWizard Plus X, so needless to say, I’m fairly entrenched in the Pocket Wizard Brand. Could the Chinese company Aputure get me away from PocketWizard while simultaneously saving my wallet from shelling out $100 every time I need a new trigger?
A few weeks ago, I flew to Los Angeles to shoot a commercial project for Mitsubishi. They had a custom Outlander built by RIDES Magazine and were in need of press shots. Studio shooting can be among the most challenging of all types of photography, but with a little patience and some care, its really not that difficult. Here's how we did it.
One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.
When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).
There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio - impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.
There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.
If you don't know Casey Neistat's name, you probably know at least one of his viral videos (like this). Gizmodo just did a great multi-part video series showcasing Casey's nearly OCD attention to detail that he used when creating his New York City studio and workspace. You have to admit, it's quite admirable the way he meticulously designed his workspaces for maximum functionality. As I am moving my photo and video business to New York City myself, I hope to take a few notes. Click to see the full post with video part 2 below.
In this interview, I speak with Russ Turner, a photographer who is relatively new to shooting fantasy portraiture, but has already received awards and praise for the quality of his work. Russ talks about working with costumed models, how he incorporates Photoshop, and shares some of the places where an aspiring shooter can get started doing photography in this genre.