I highly recommend a 5-in-1 reflector as a tool for helping you get terrific light under many circumstances. It should be the first lighting tool you buy, and you should learn to master it before buying more lighting. The good news is that a 5-in-1 reflector is relatively cheap. I recommend the oval shaped reflectors because they give you more room to work without covering the surface with your own shadow. The trouble is, one of the surfaces is a gold reflector and since it's included many photographers think it must be there to use for … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: How To Use A Gold Reflector
You know how it is: you've got a great looking subject in front of you and you're nervous to miss a shot so you start shooting and shooting and clicking and clicking and you capture the great expressions. But, when you review your images, you realize that you didn't capture the great exposure. Don't Catch the Expression and Miss the Picture This is especially common when photographers are new at working with flash or speedlights. You've got to slow down a second and verify that you've got the right exposure and depth of field, etc., then you … [Read more...] about Portrait Tip: Double Check, Let Her Rip
The Photographer’s best tool is light, and there are many choices. Light is used to mold, define, describe and set the mood of a portrait, so knowing how to recognize the light or control it, is of ultimate importance to the artist. I’m both a natural light, or “Portraits Unplugged” kind of photographer, and also have a lot of experience with using studio strobes or portable flash, which gives me huge control. Which kind of light to use? Knowing how and when to use artificial vs natural can be a challenge. I recently photographed Ceasar … [Read more...] about Shooting Portraits on Location: Natural or Flash?
One of my favorite photography categories is food and drink. A few years ago, I ran a beer blog and highlighted a “beer of the day,” meaning I had to drink and photograph a beer everyday. It was a bit excessive, but with no speedlight at the time, I learned to use natural light to photograph as best as possible. Sit By a Window and Choose an Interesting Table I was lucky enough to recently visit a local brewery during a photowalk. Knowing we were coming, they sat us right by a huge garage door — entirely plexiglass. It was sunny, but not … [Read more...] about Shooting Food with Natural Lighting
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
I'm wholeheartedly opposed to being only a "Natural Light" photographer. I can't imagine being limited to only working with the light available on hand. I have so much fun using strobes (which are the same as flashes) to light my work and help me create in any situation. However, there are some challenges to working with strobes, and the biggest one you need to understand is flash sync speed. If your sync speed is wrong, you'll end up with a picture like you see above, or even a completely black exposure, which is so frustrating. Read on and … [Read more...] about Understanding Flash Sync Speed (It’s Simple)