A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to work with Tina Hughes, a talented local clothing designer. Her latest collection blends vintage and modern elements. I thought that my friend's modernist house would be the perfect location for the shoot. We were limited to doing the shoot during the (bright and sunny) day so I used speedlites, a polarizing filter and orange gels to add a moodiness to the images.
Articles written by Nick Fancher
You have likely seen Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti's photos floating around the internet lately. His latest series, "Toy Stories" is the result of an 18-month project documenting children from around the world with their favorite toys. Many of the portraits were taken in the kids' rooms. We see a range of living conditions from sparse to affluent. The concept is so simple yet so brilliant. It doesn't hurt that the photographs were also expertly executed.
Chelsea Wolfe recently did a collaboration with Converse for Decibel magazine. They worked with director/photographer Charlene Bagcal to create a moody and beautiful video piece. We were fortunate enough to get an inside peek.
The best part about learning rules is breaking them. For example, most of the time, blur in a photograph is a faux pas. But there are ways you can use blur to add energy and emotion to your images. In this lighting diagram, we will explore how to introduce blurring to your images with the use of an on-camera flash.
Before you start experimenting with this technique, make sure to go to you menu in your camera and set it to "rear curtain sync".
A couple weeks ago I posted a lighting diagram showing how you can emulate Martin Schoeller's lighting by using gaffers tape and foam core. One reader commented that the catch-light makes the subject's eyes look like a cat. This got me thinking about what would happen if I were to change the pattern of the tape into various shapes. Here's what I discovered.
I know the title of this article is a bit wordy, but I didn't know how to describe this beast of a lighting system in fewer words. 1/25,000th of a second! As you can see in the video, the new Profoto Pro-b4 1000 Air turns water into glass. It negates gravity. There is nothing you can't shoot with this rig. Plus it's field-ready, running off of a fast-recharging battery pack. It's almost enough to get this...
In order to turn a typical sunset into an extraordinary sunset, you are going to do the opposite of counteracting your available light. You do this by picking the colored gel that is the opposite color of the color you want to highlight. Though it may seem like an odd idea, it's actually just simple color theory. The opposite color of magenta is green. By placing a light to medium green gel on your strobe and setting your camera's white balance (WB) to fluorescent, anything that is magenta (such as a sunset) will be pushed even more vibrant.
I have always wanted to shoot editorial work. Getting my work in print has always been my number one goal. In my opinion, it is the mark of having "made it" as a photographer. The problem was that I never knew how to get my work in front of the right people to even be considered for an assignment. I had read articles in industry photo magazines about how to make brilliant and eye-catching marketing materials to nab that client that you are after.
Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt.
I am the type of photographer that doesn't stay up to date on the latest gear. Instead, I find what works for me and I use it until I hear about something that works better. This is why it was so hard for me to hand in my Pocketwizard Plus II's for the Radiopopper PX system. But boy am I glad that I did.
Plus II's are tanks. They are virtually indestructible. I used them for years with nary a misfire. But there was one thing they couldn't do. High speed sync.
The other day Phlearn came up with a way to emulate Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting. I have been wanting to lock down Schoeller's technique for years now, so when I saw Phlearn's post, I was stoked. And they did a fantastic job. I even learned their cool Photoshop technique of adding natural looking highlights and shadows. The problem was that in order for me to try out their lighting technique, I needed two strip soft boxes for my strobes, which I didn't have.
Niko Tavernise has every portrait photographers dream job. Well at least my dream job. He hangs out on movie sets and takes pictures of what he sees. And what he sees are the top actors of our time in impeccable costumes and makeup, on sets that are pre-lit by masters in lighting. And before you start scheming about how you can try to get a job like this, read about how he came about landing this epic gig.
Skreened is an eCommerce company that specializes in on-demand screen printing. Shirts are their biggest sellers. Since each shirt design is unique, they needed a library of images with models in blank tees so they could overlay the latest designs in post. When they approached me to shoot for them, their main request was that these portraits be fun and energetic.
The other day, David Bickley wrote a fantastic article on 365 projects. In the article he made some great points about how the project will sharpen the photographer's skills and even lead to work. And while I agree that projects like this are great for growing as a photographer as well as producing regular content for your readers, I know that it can lead to burning out, for both the photographer and the reader.
This week, we are exploring how to create a white-to-grey backdrop using strobes. Though this technique can be done somewhat efficiently with two lights, three is optimal. And as in last weeks post, I want you guys to try out this technique and share your results. I will post my three favorites in the next lighting post. I shot all of these images on a white sweep, with the figures about ten feet off of the background.
If you are like me, the acronym SEO brings a shudder to your bones. If you are a photographer with a website, you have no doubt received countless emails from sites offering to optimize your site for a fee. In this post, I will tell you the things I did for free or next to nothing that helped push my photography website to page one of organic Google searches. The one thing that I already had working to my advantage is that my website is a non-flash site that was launched almost seven years ago.
Last night I was fortunate enough to catch Brief Encounters, the new documentary about Gregory Crewdson. Many of you may be familiar with his work, and may have even read our previous article on his production process. Crewdson operates on an extremely large scale, using a film production crew to execute his large-format photographs.
In my opinion, nothing is sexier than a glossy black surface. And you don't even need a black backdrop sweep to achieve it.
During my time as the lifestyle photographer for JackThreads, I shot many different products in many different ways. Since I was shooting an average of 10 brands per day, I had to work quickly and in a tiny space. Through working in this condition, I developed some cheap and easy lighting scenarios.