If you look back to the beginning of photography, color didn’t exist. In fact, it didn’t exist for a long, long time. Even as 35mm film pioneered the way that photography was used and purchased, black and white was king. Slowly, as time progressed, color film began to take a foothold in the industry. Once legendary color films like Kodachrome and Kodacolor became widely available, black and white became far less popular for commercial use. Now, in the digital era, almost every digital camera records information in color. Why then, would I bother viewing my images in monochrome during my shoots, even if I know I’ll deliver them in color?
Articles written by Spencer Lookabaugh
I’ve always been a fan of big lights. There are certainly situations where they aren’t appropriate, but a lot of my work is centered around big, soft light. What has always drawn me to large sources of light is their versatility. Almost every subject looks good with soft light. Because large light sources cause such soft gradation in the shadows, they can be useful for both younger subjects with smoother skin, or even older subjects that may have wrinkled and scarred skin. However, there is one thing that should be cleared up: the definition of a large light source.
Regardless of what genre of photography you shoot, understanding light and its characteristics is key to creating better photos. For those of us working with off-camera flash, there is another layer to the complexity: balancing ambient and artificial light. On top of that there are various modifiers that can be used for artificial lighting to replicate or create certain effects. A great way to become proficient in understanding and seeing light is to examine photographs by other photographers in your genre.
Vaping is a phenomenon that has swept across America and much of the First World, mostly as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The culture, however, is what has caught the attention of the media worldwide. Smoke tricks have likely been around for as long as humans have been inhaling smoke, but vaping has spawned something quite interesting out of it: smoke tricks and ridiculous plumes of vapor spilling out of people’s nostrils. Photographer Louis Amore (whom we featured last year with his portrait series of English veterans) went to a local vapor shop, Prohibition Vapes, to document a vaping competition.
Product photography is a great way to experiment with lighting and editing techniques. For me, it’s a chance to shoot in a relaxed environment where I have complete control over the subject, lighting, and camera. I can set up something small in the living room and find solutions that can be applied to my portrait work or professional product photography. It also requires a lot of creativity. Homemade items or DIY solutions are abundant on sets. From light-shaping tools to methods of creating parts of a composite, a lot can be created simply and at a low cost. You may be surprised to see how minimal of a setup can create some stunning photos.
Lumopro has had several flashes on the market, like the LP160 and the wildly popular LP180 of Strobist fame. This fall, however, Lumopro announced a brilliant new unit, the LP180R. As far as specifications, the LP180R is almost identical to the LP180, but there is one key difference that makes it an excellent tool for photographers both experienced and inexperienced.
Recently, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with photographer Noah Abrams. I talked with him about his work, some ongoing projects, and his day to day life. Noah grew up skateboarding in Columbus, Ohio. He also mentioned to me that he never truly considered photography as a career until later into his 20's, although he had dabbled with it for years throughout high school and college. To learn all of this, I began with a question that many people have for working photographers: where did your initial interest in photography come from?
The world’s best photographers are defined by their styles. For example, you can instantly look at an image by Martin Schoeller or Annie Leibovitz and recognize what you’re seeing. Their work is distinctly theirs. I believe that a big part of a photographer's success lies in finding this style. It may not come easily to everyone, however.
I think the only thing that has changed photography more than the invention of digital cameras is the ever-growing involvement of photography and social media. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr are the perfect platforms for sharing not only your work, but also behind-the-scenes images and other content that draws interest towards your brand. Today it is easier than ever to take advantage of this. Not only have mobile apps changed the shape of the industry, but they have changed the way that photographers can work. Apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and Lightroom Mobile have made it possible for aspiring artists, or even those in a hurry, to create incredible content with relative ease.
With Veterans Day having just passed, there are a lot of thanks and praises going around to our past service members. We all give our gratitude in different ways. Photographer Louis Amore decided to create a series of portraits focusing on mostly elderly veterans. Amore said that the Remembrance Parade last year inspired him to create this series in order to preserve their memory and show thanks for their sacrifice.
When I was younger, my dad took a class on photography at a local community college. To this day, he says that the biggest thing he learned from the class was that to take interesting pictures, you have to go to interesting places. I suppose that if you are a travel, landscape, or nature photographer, that is true. What a lot of people don’t realize is that interesting places are all around us. Having grown up in Ohio, I always thought that I was stuck in a dreary, featureless landscape of corn and soybeans.
Maternity photos can be difficult. Shooting them isn’t different than an engagement shoot or senior portrait session, but the challenge is avoiding clichés. The typical husband’s hand on his wife’s stomach shot or the husband’s beer-belly imitating his pregnant wife’s are far too overused. Along those same lines, it’s easy to fall into the same category of clichés in other areas of photography. For example, with landscapes, Antelope Canyon is unlikely to gain you praise. Unless you’re Peter Lik, your photo isn't going to turn heads. With maternity photos, a new perspective is much needed.
Simply put, cameras are tools. It is up to the artist to create the image. Digital photography is everywhere nowadays. Point-and-shoots and iPhones are capable of some amazing things, and consumer level DSLRs are cheap enough to bring a high level of image quality to the masses. What separates soccer moms from professional photographers is the deep understanding that professionals have of their art and their gear. Anybody can learn the relationship of aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, but the application of it and the understanding of the side effects that those bring transcends any technological advancements. DigitalRev has plenty of proof on that concept. At the same time, if your camera is downright annoying to use, what use is it at all? That is where my issues with Sony began.