Archive for Lighting
August 24, 2011 – PRESS SUMMARY – Today, best-selling Photoshop® and photography book author, Scott Kelby released a new iPad-only digital magazine called Light It: The How-To Magazine for Studio Lighting and Off-Camera Flash through his KelbyTraining.com division. The debut issue is free and available now on iTunes in the App Store.
Light It is for photographers of all skill-levels who use lighting or want to explore lighting concepts. The debut issue of Light It is being distributed free of charge as part of the Light It app, also free, that serves as the “magazine rack” for all future issues. No subscription is required.
The free debut issue of Light It features contributions from executive editor Scott Kelby, with features from editorial photographer Zack Arias; Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart; and one of today’s most influential photographers Joe McNally. Regular contributors include Matt Kloskowski and Rafael “RC” Concepcion from The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and KelbyTraining.com; sports, adventure, and editorial photographer Tom Bol; senior portrait photographer James Schmelzer; fashion photographer Frank Doorhof; wedding photographer and Guinness record holder Jason Groupp; commercial photographer Erik Valind; and Brad Moore.
“The future is digital, so there will be a digital version of everything we do going forward. There has to be. The cheese has been moved.” – Scott Kelby Read More→
When one thinks of lighting and photography, the idea of flashes and strobes probably come racing to mind right away. This maybe true for a vast number of photographers, however there are plenty of other ways to get your lighting on, and they will not even break the bank. Some solutions may even surprise you!
Let’s get the easiest lighting source out of the way right now. That solution is natural lighting, or the sun. The sun never runs out of batteries, won’t blow up in the middle of a shoot, and is not something you will need to worry about getting stolen while you are out doing your work. On the downside, you cannot control the sun, and it may not cooperate with you. There is also having to work around those peak times of shooting in the morning and in the evening. Even with its uncontrollable nature, the burning star in the sky is easily the most reliable light you can use.
So what do you do when the sun is blanketed in clouds. Have no fear, as cloudy weather can provide a big benefit to your lighting needs as well. Overcast skies often reduce harsh shadows. This means if you are shooting flowers, bugs, and whatnot, the need for fill light may not be necessary. Clouds also provide a more interesting sky. Learn to work with Mother Nature as she provides some of the best options around! Read More→
This is the fifth in our series looking at essential tools for your photography business. We’re going to be looking at some of the essential tools you’ll need to acquire in at least the first year (if not the first month) of your business.
Other articles in this series –
Part 1 – Software and Online Presence
Part 2 – Financials
Part 3 – Wedding Photographers
Part 4 - Studio Portrait Photographers
Part 5 – Location Portrait Photographers
Location portrait photography surprisingly isn’t about shooting on amazing locations…… it does help having them…..but if you’re a portrait photographer then your main emphasis should always be your subject.
In the same breath, location portraiture isn’t about having an abundance of gear. We’ve all heard the term ‘All the gear no idea’ , this really rings true for many photographers who think they need the latest gadget or lens to produce good work.
The best work is sometimes about simplicity. If you’re new to the business or are looking to expand into location portraiture then simplicity is a good place to start.
My experience with corporate shoots is that sometimes, the environment is not exactly like the customer has described it, or does not really provides the kind of colors or light allowing to deliver the message you need. That is the reason why I use equipment to modify the look of a specific scene during the photo shoot. Some coloring is of course always possible in post production, but I am not a Photoshop freak, and I prefer to get the results right the first time, and to minimize post production.
This example was a shooting session in a control center. A few pictures were expected for a press file, showing the “hi-tech” look of the dispatching center. When I arrived on location, I was impressed by the “clean” aspect of the room, a bit like a hospital. I decided to use color filters on strobes to give a more dramatic aspect to the pictures. After some tests I decided to go for dark blue, to give a “night” impression.
Let’s just follow the different steps:
Just for information, the used equipment was:
- Nikon D3 camera with 24-70 2.8 lens on a tripod with hydrostatic head
- Radio controlled shutter
- Radio controlled strobes
- 600Ws Strobes with color filter and barn doors, with digital energy selection
- Lightmeter to determine exposure
In this video John Ricard compares AC powered strobes to battery powered strobes with a focus on the usability factor.
This might sound strange but it is possible to get interesting effects with a flash on a very sunny day. The classical application is to use fill flash to get the proper exposure in the shadows, but there are other possibilities as well.
I decided to experiment with cheap gear, so that anyone could give it a try: I am still using my simple Nikon D40x on a regular basis to have some fun… I added a flash (a simple Nikon SB-600, but any other similar or better flash will do, like the SB-800 or the more recent SB-900) I also (re)discovered the use of an iTTL flash cable conecting the flash to camera body hotshoe to flash from various angles with cameras without the wireless possibilities of CLS (and without the delay introduced by CLS, the wireless Creative Lighting System by Nikon)
Here are a few examples in the sun, using the 60mm AF-S micro lens, diaphragm closed down to f13-16, with a touch of flash.
In this video John Ricard gives a breakdown of lighting theory for a beauty shot. The main principle explained in the video is that it is necessary to light each element of the photograph separately.
How many of us professionals forget that our strobes have a “ZOOM” feature? Zoom is normally set too automatic and will focus the strobe beam of light based on the lens “Zoom” setting.
Example: If we’re using a 24-70 lens and have it zoomed out to 24mm your flash would automatically fire a beam of light broad enough to encompass the entire frame. Now if we take the same picture and zoom in with lens to 70mm our strobe will focus that same beam of light to only strike the area which is now framed within the camera. This process saves flash power and overall works great! Read More→
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Don’t be afraid to try something new! Even if you can’t afford the expensive lighting and gear you can still have a blast playing with light. Go to Home Depot and pick up some Sylvania DOT-it lights. They even come in multi packs. For under $20 you can have portable LED lights that can really bring some great light to a photo.