Category: Street Photographer: Dan Schneider "stairs" Dan's black and white capture of a person walking up stairs plays to some of my favorite qualities of a photograph. First of all, this is minimalism at its finest. There's a very simple and clean look to the photograph. Your eye is immediately drawn to the subject, despite the other aspects of the photograph. Secondly, the architectural elements of this photograph are sharp and clean, and help to frame the subject very well. The stairs are reflected in the architectural aspects of both … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: Dan Schneider
I'm always talking about soft light and how great it looks for portraits. But what does it mean? If there's soft light, is there hard light? Let me show you what it means and you'll see that yes, there is hard light, and soft light is waaaaay better. Soft/Hard = Big/Small Hard light comes from small lights, and soft light comes from big lights. The important thing to remember is that the softness depends on the size of the light in relation to your subject. So even if your light is the size of a bus, unless your subject is close to it can … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Soft Light vs Hard Light
Every time you make portraits you should make one shot that pushes your limits or gives you a little thrill. The client may not like it, but it will help fill your soul. I usually use one light from the front to make portraits, but it's amazing how much impact moving the light can have, and that's the case with the following picture. It's made with just one light, and it's the kind of portrait I love to make even though I know my client probably won't love it. Big Light To make this kind of lighting, you just need to get your subject very … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Deep Drama With One Light
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
I frequently travel to shoot landscapes and time lapses. One thing that seems to always follow me is a dark cloud. No, I'm not Charlie Brown... I mean it just seems to rain a bit on most of my shoot days. For example... in the middle of this timelapse it started to pour... and the shot could have been ruined. In this case I clenched a baseball cap in my teeth to protect the lens while using my arms to protect the camera from the large crowds at the Panama Canal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9es-i5i4Zc I've since altered my kit for … [Read more...] about Shooting Outdoors? Pack an Umbrella.
Six years ago I started making pictures, and I dove right in planning to make a portrait business. The best thing I did was attend David Ziser's workshop where he taught me that shadow and light are the most important technical things to learn in photography. He showed image after image of stunning portraits, and they were almost all lit with the same modifier, and I bought one from him that night. Six years later, that Zumbrella is still my most profitable tool, and while it's seen better days physically, it's still the fastest and easiest way … [Read more...] about My Most Profitable Light Is Also My Cheapest
Environmental portraits show people in their place, their habitat. The environment sets the mood and the place of the story, and a single look at the photograph can tell you what the story is about. Let me show you three things I think about as I light the background to make an environment worth photographing. 1. It's Gotta Be Believable Lighting and posing a person so he looks his best is my primary concern. (Here are two other articles about lighting and posing to help people look great.) After that's under control, I've got to figure out … [Read more...] about Powerful Environmental Portraits Need 3 Things