When shooting a photograph, I often feel that I am creating a single frame from a movie. The star of the movie is the subject. With the use of backdrops, light, a ladder and a Venetian Blind I have created an effect and a mood. In this article, I am sharing examples of the use of colors and lighting to create different visual effects. This set is from my Creative Lighting Workshop in Boston on April 22, 2018. I had 2 completely different lighting setups right next to each other. How the Lighting Was Created Model Valentina Beli … [Read more...] about Creating Effect and Mood with Light
Work made with 3 speed lights Here's the equipment used to create this photograph: Nikon D810 Nikon 105mm Macro lens 3 Nissin Di700A speedlights Nissan Carbon Fiber Light Stand Nissan Air 1 transmitter Rogue XL2 Flashbender Rogue large Flashbender Rogue Grid set Rogue Gel set Click Props "Factory Floor" backdrop https://youtu.be/cIrX4qx8iUE … [Read more...] about Photographic Test Kitchen: 3 Light Setup
Why it can be less expensive to fly First Class I recently returned back home to Boston from a three-week trip to the Bahamas and Florida. It was great to get out of the Boston winter! I was teaching workshops and shooting videos with Vanelli, photographing models and scenics and taking a few days off. Most of my time off was spent shooting. As always, I packed too much equipment with me. But, I need to make sure I have all of the gear I need for the shoots and the workshop! A big problem for traveling photographers is the fifty-pound … [Read more...] about A Better Way to Fly
(Editor's Note: This is a guest post from our friends at MPB.com. MPB is a great place to sell gear that's no longer in use as well as where to buy quality used photo and video equipment at much lower cost than that of new.) Photography is completely centered around light: it not affects your photo's mood, but it also dictates what your settings must be in the camera to record a picture and represent that mood in the picture. Let's talk about how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO setting affect your image, and then we'll dive into the … [Read more...] about Looking For Light from MPB.com
You need great light to direct attention to your subjects and help your photos appear natural. If you want to make great light with flashes, you need gels. Gels simply color your flash's light which allows you to match the flash color to the light in a room. When the light from the flash doesn't match the ambient light, it stands out and looks like it was flashed. You'll make more natural-looking photos if you use gels. I recently made a photo for a pro bono ad in a local magazine. This fellow has started a food bank in town, and the local … [Read more...] about Want Natural-Looking Light? Use Gels.
Using a flash at an indoor event is a probably the simplest way to make pictures of small groups look their best. At weddings, parties, and fundraisers, friends and families are together for a short time and they are surprisingly willing to be in a photograph. It's best to use a speedlight, not your camera's pop-up flash, but the speedlight alone will probably give you faces that are too bright, backgrounds that are too dark, and light that is too harsh. There are lots of camera settings listed below, but if you'll do the following it'll make … [Read more...] about How to Use On-Camera Flash for Events
Making great light is essential to making great portraits. And I mean that: you've got to make great light. You can find a good source of available light, but I've rarely seen any available light that couldn't be made better, either with reflectors and flags or by adding light somewhere with a flash. When you need to use a flash, you also need to modify the light coming out of it, and my favorite new modifier for small flash is the Magmod system. Let me share a few ideas about modifying light, and why I like Magmod. Why Modify? Modifying … [Read more...] about Modifying Speedlights & Magmod
Recently, a post of mine shared the planning process and the initial set build for a portrait session for Atlanta musician Jeff Paige. This one deep dives into the rest of the details. Lighting Without question every photograph is all about the light. The tools available allow us to sculpt exactly the look and feel we want to create. The original concepts for this project included dusk, backlight-maybe headlights, a spotlight, mist, smoke or fog captured with a long lens. These are beginnings. The ideas are not fully realized. They are the … [Read more...] about Dusk, Spotlight, Fog & Music
Atlanta musician, Jeff Paige came to me with his challenge of rebranding his look for his online presence as well as for upcoming releases of his work. The process always begins with planning. I met with his team to discuss his look, style, accessories, wardrobe and a lot of other details including props, colors and effects. Almost a year before that Jeff and I spent time talking about the look of his hair. Hair? Oh yes, the hair. It's important. Looks over time These four photographs chronicle Jeff's hair styles over nine years. Somewhere … [Read more...] about Planning a Musician’s Photoshoot
White Balance is all about the color of light, and the best reason to shoot RAW is the freedom to adjust the white balance with great power in post production. But what's up with Lightroom's White Balance Slider? Why is it backwards? Keep Cool, Like 2000 Kelvin If you've shot in RAW, you'll notice the top white balance slider has a number on the right, and that represents the color temperature in kelvins (if you're working with .jpg files, then you see a number from -100 to 100, but the affect is the same). A really orange light, like a sixty … [Read more...] about What’s Up With Lightroom’s White Balance Tools?
The most powerful flash setting you have is the one that controls when your flash fires. This setting works for your pop-up flash, for a speedlight on your camera, and for any off-camera light you're controlling. It's called Rear Sync, or 2nd Curtain. What you need: Camera--point and shoots may not be capable and your iPhone can't do it, but many bridge cameras and every changeable lens camera I've ever handled will work Flash (pop-up, speedlight, mono-block, power-pack and head, nuclear bomb--anything will do) Tripod--strongly recommended … [Read more...] about How to: Make Magic with a Flash and Rear Sync
Sometimes art directors (or clients) want something that wasn't included in pre-production. Photography is a creative endeavor. Art directors are creative too. When creativity happens during the shoot it's time to open the tool kit of fast, simple solutions. Originally... The art director for an article about MAC cosmetics new line of romance novel inspired line of makeup wanted three looks of the same model. The same painted muslin backdrop from C&M Backdrops in Atlanta was to be used to keep the budget in line. Each look would have a … [Read more...] about Fast Background Color Change
This is a guest post by . Using gels is a great way to infuse vibrant colors into your images that can either dominate or introduce subtle tones that help to communicate a mood. Gels can be beautiful and elegant, however, be sure that the color serves a visual role and try not to go overboard or appear too gimmicky. If the gels aren't being used successfully to communicate a mood or purposeful color palette, it can look like it was simply used to make a boring photograph more interesting and miss the mark. Aim to have your gel become an … [Read more...] about Using Gels to Infuse Color Into Your Photographs
NOTE: This was a light gray background that I hit with a blue gel to make the background look blue The first time I saw someone use a gel on a light was while watching a crew film a Hollywood movie. I waited for a lull in the action and timidly asked one of the lighting guys what he was doing. He explained he was using a "Rosco CTO" and moved on. Ok - well that was helpful... I did some research and learned enough to figure out what he was talking about and the rest is history. Here's some very basic info on using gels with your photo … [Read more...] about Basic Primer – Using Gels to Spice up Your Photography