Having the ability to accurately capture an image's color in-camera is a powerful one. How many times have you taken a photo and grown frustrated because your camera doesn't capture it "the way you saw it?" Often we become resigned to shoot an image and fix it in post-processing later. Full disclosure: When I first started out years ago, this was my go-to strategy for images. Later, when I was forced to spend hours fixing image after image on my computer, I'd want to kick myself. Fast forward to today, and experience has taught me how to … [Read more...] about How to get your color spot-on with the Illuminati color/light meter
This is the third and last post in a series on Photographing People while you are traveling. The first article provided general guidelines on setting up the shot and the second provided guidelines on working with the light. This post discusses tips on using a flash. Know the Difference Between Fill Flash and Main Light As photographer’s we all have “ah-ha” moments when the lightbulb goes off in our head. I still remember mine when I realized how I used my flash depended on whether I was using it as a fill light, filing in shadows on a … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Photographing People: Using Flash
What is a snoot? A snoot is just a funny name for a piece of equipment, generally a tube or similar objects such as a conical, cylindrical, or rectangular shape, that fits over a studio light or portable flash. It allows you to control the direction or area of coverage of the light. Basically, it makes the light more focused and concentrated by directing your light and focusing it. This makes the coverage very narrow and the light falls-off very sharply giving you a harsher or harder light. Adding a Grid Personally, I like the snoot and grid … [Read more...] about How to D.I.Y. a Snoot & Grid
Our friends at MPB.com keep track of which cameras and lenses are the most purchased over the course of the year. This is pretty interesting to see. Perhaps you've got one or more of these collecting dust in your closet. If so, it's a good time to call MPB and see about trading them in. By buying and selling or trading different gear, you can experience a variety of equipment and refine your kit to what works best for you. I've owned over 30 changeable lens cameras in the last several years, and I don't know how many lenses, from multiple … [Read more...] about What are the most popular used cameras and lenses?
There is a lot of buzz about the “laptop ban,” a general term used to describe a requirement that electronic devices larger than a smartphone be placed in checked bags for flights into the US and UK from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The ban includes laptops, iPads, and camera equipment. Travel Plan It appears the current ban will not be expanded to include all international flights flying into the US, as had been previously contemplated, if airlines implement stricter security measures. However, it is still important … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Planning for a Laptop Ban
The Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc is a hand-held disc placed in front of a camera lens to manually set white balance. It is very simple to use. Just hold the disc up to the lens, pointing your camera to the light source, and take a custom white balance measurement per the instructions in your camera's user manual. Why Use It Light can be tricky. It can be made of light from different sources, such as the sun, a light bulb, or your camera flash. Skin tones can also be very tricky. The skin reflects colors around it. If the … [Read more...] about Vello White Balance Disc
Light has color. The low angle of the sun at sunset creates warm tones. A cloudy day, with the lack of sun, creates cool tones. The color of light is also affected by objects reflecting the light. So, if you are photographing a little girl standing under a tree in the forest the girl’s skin tone may have a green cast due to the light filtering through the leaves of the tree. When you adjust your camera for white balance you are compensating for the color of light that is affecting your photograph. White Balance Options If your camera has a … [Read more...] about Custom White Balance
First, let me admit that I am a gear hoarder. I have whatever I could possibly want in cameras, lenses, grip and lighting. When an idea hits, the gear to make it into a photograph is right at hand. Here's the thing. I am beginning to believe that a simple kit is a better kit. I remember back to a time when I didn't have everything I wanted or needed to make a photograph. I made it anyway. How? I improvised. It made me a better problem solver. Do I still solve problems? Sure. Since I have every thing I need and more problem solving is quicker. … [Read more...] about New Gear, Need it? or Want it?
Headshots can be tricky when shooting on location, near home or when you are traveling. The light can be all wrong. Lighting equipment can be bulky or heavy to carry. An “assistant” may be needed to help hold reflectors. There may not be a lot of time to “set up the shot”. Using a Ringbox A ringbox flash adapter similar to the Vello Ringbox is a convenient, easy to use lighting alternative to traditional soft boxes, reflectors, and umbrellas. It is also a good choice for photographers inexperienced with the nuances of photographic lighting … [Read more...] about Headshots on Location
I am slowly getting hooked on my new Vellos Ringbox Flash Adapter. Not only do I get beautiful on-location headshots and portraits with my flash when using the Ringbox, but it makes my life a lot easier, and I like things easy. I use to carry around a light stand and softbox when I knew I needed more than natural light. Not anymore--I just take the Ringbox. I am also looking forward to trying it out on my next trip. It is very light and will not take much room in my suitcase. What is a Ringbox Flash Adapter A Ringbox Flash Adapter is a … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Vellos Ringbox Flash Adapter
I am always looking for new ways to save space or weight in my baggage, or to ease the challenges I face with my camera gear. I am sure many of you are just like me, so I put together this list of "Gear Tips," in hopes that some of these tips may prove helpful. None of the photos accompanying this post would have been possible without one or more of the items listed below. Gear Tips I travel with camera battery chargers that are smaller and lighter than the chargers that came with my cameras. I bought my chargers on Amazon, and … [Read more...] about Gear Tips for the Traveling Photographer
Let’s face it, many photographers believe that "bigger is better." I know I initially did years ago. Large is in charge, and it's easy to assume that success is a reflection of how impressive or expensive our camera body or lens is. However, I personally believe that this is less and less true these days. In many cases, advancements in current technology have made high quality equipment very affordable at a relatively low price point. Manufacturing companies have found ways to make smaller and more compact cameras, and these cameras are … [Read more...] about Does Size Matter? Upgrading Your Gear For The Wrong Reasons
October 24 marks my second anniversary. It is the day I put away all of my Nikon gear and became a Fuji “shooter”. No one was more surprised than me. I had initially bought the Fuji X-T1 with a standard kit lens as a backup for my Nikon D800. I wanted a camera I could easily carry around when I needed something lighter and smaller, and that I could fit in my purse. Then something mind-changing happened nearly four months later. I went on a photography trip to the Oregon coast with my Nikon and my Fuji cameras. I preferred using the Fuji … [Read more...] about Are You Using the Right Camera?
Seeing double? I see double every time I pack for a trip. Like two remote shutter releases, two tripod plates, and the list continues, including two cameras or camera bodies. Sometimes I also see triple, quadruple, and beyond. It has never failed. Just when everything is going great I seem to misplace or lose something when I am out shooting for the day, away from my hotel room. Or my equipment stops working or breaks. Now I try to second guess my future travails, and plan head with multiples. I recommend the same for any traveling … [Read more...] about Double Up–Packing Extras When You Travel
Melissa Niu of Photofocus sits with commercial photographer Tim Wallace about storing his equipment and traveling to his clients. https://youtu.be/CUgwjtV9JYk Brought to you by LensRentals - http://bit.ly/pflensrentals SongFreedom - http://bit.ly/songfreedom Photofocus - https://photofocus.com About Tim Wallace Photographer Tim Wallace is the driving force and creative thinking behind Ambient Life. An award winning photographer his work is often described as both conceptual and dramatic. Tim works internationally with many high end … [Read more...] about Storing and Caring for Equipment | Tim Wallace – What’s in Your Bag
Lately, I have been researching studio configurations. Jeremy Cowart's Triptik Studio Walkthrough got the juices flowing; especially the rolling backdrop that doubles as storage for bounces, flags and other gear. My space is an open floorplan and I already have plenty of stuff on casters, including my edit desk. I'd never thought of something like Cowart's rolling wall. Genius! I made a mental note to do something similar and moved on. Then, I stumbled across the video below from on Lifehacker. Ramsey's concept is a bit different than … [Read more...] about Benchmark: DIY Rolling Studio Gear Rack
Over the years, Ive found myself purchasing, trading, selling, tactfully acquiring, or otherwise receiving and getting rid of lenses. Ive journeyed through pages and pages of reviews and online forums, spoke to many wonderful skilled photographers and dissected peoples images to find out what I wanted and what I needed in terms of glass. My Experience Well, gosh. Ive earned, hustled, found and borrowed money to get my grubby hands on some of the best consumer and professional throughout my career all after spending a tremendous amount of time … [Read more...] about Building Your Bag: Lenses