Lighting

How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1

One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.

My Most Used Lens In My Camera Bag

When it comes to shooting portraits, photographers almost always reach for an 85mm lens or even the 70 - 200 mm lens. As great as these two lenses are for portraits, they often fall short when trying to capture an environmental style photograph. In this video, I'm going to show you the most widely used lens in my camera bag and how shooting wide angle can sometimes create a better photograph than shooting telephoto.

Stunning Product Photography with an iPhone and a Desk Lamp

As I start to get more campaign work via Instagram for product photography, I've found that I need to use every bit of my creative mindset to get the shot I want. All the while I must also play to some of the iPhone's limitations. Tilo Gockel, a professional photographer and lighting expert, has created quite the tutorial for some outstanding product photography with nothing more than an iPhone and a few simple lights found around the house.

Can You Tell The Difference Between $10,000 and $425 Photography Lighting?

The lust for better photo gear is something every photographer struggles with. In our photography industry, many people swear by the quality of light of this brand verses that brand, but in the end isn't light just light? In this video I create a classic beauty lighting setup with $10,000 worth of lighting equipment and then replicate that same setup with only $425 worth of lighting equipment. Will they look the same? This is the Rich Photographer vs Poor Photographer lighting test.

The Simplest and Most Effective One Light Setup I've Ever Used

I'll come clean right off the bat here and say that I stumbled across this little super easy lighting technique more by luck than skill. I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one who has taken a portrait whilst using a single key light and reflector, and fought with the reflector in one hand, and the camera in the other. You know the scene.
What You Can Create With A Single Strobe

As someone who prefers to shoot using natural light, I have realized that sometimes, a photo begs for artificial lighting. For years, I struggled with how many strobes to use and where to place them. I lost patience and focused instead on natural light. By spending the time to learn how lighting actually works, I eventually gained a better understanding of how to use strobes. In this article, I hope to share with you how to use just one strobe to create jaw-dropping results.

9 Most Common Beauty Photography Mistakes

I would like to wrap up my Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series in a quick roundup on the most common mistakes I have been noticing beginner Beauty photographers make.

I will sure talk more about Beauty photography in the future, but I'd like to summarize a few things at this point.

Lighting Like Leibovitz – The One Light Challenge

I’m a huge fan of Annie Leibovitz and the imagery she has captured over the past few decades. Being a self-taught photographer, I looked to her work time and time again for inspiration and motivation. Over the course of a year, I scoured the internet for information on her lighting setups, equipment and methodology. But, the more I dove in, the less concerned I became about equipment and the more I felt the need to simplify my style.

The Headshot Setup That Will Save You Time and Impress Your Clients

I call it the 3-in-1 Headshot Method. As a professional photographer it is imperative that you are able to adapt to your surrounds and the needs of your clients. I run into a situation quite a bit where my client doesn't know exactly what they want out of their headshot session so it’s my job to give them multiple options. In many cases my clients are very busy and they may only have a few minutes to get the shots they need so that doesn't give me the time to tear down my set and build a whole new one just for one look. Anytime I find myself in a situation like that I try to use my 3-in-1 headshot method which allows me to shoot three very different looks with just two lights and one grey background. Check out this video where I go through my process step by step.

What Your Mom Never Taught You About Natural Light

When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Raw Files

I have been teaching retouching and photography for a couple of years, and I found that even my advanced students often didn't know some basic tools or techniques. Those gaps in knowledge are to be expected among self-taught photographers and retouchers, of course. However, I have just returned from my trip to Italy where the amazing Italian Photoshop guru and Wacom evangelist Marianna Santoni organized a series of educational events, in which I taught Beauty photography and retouching.

Understanding the Human Eye and How To Retouch it Naturally

I can assure you that this isn't another boring tutorial on how not to overdo eyes with Photoshop. Searching for the perfect method has come to an end. Before diving into the simple method, it’s crucial to understand everything about the human eye and how it reacts to light.

Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: On Location Lighting

I am continuing my series of articles about creating stunning Beauty portraits and I would like to talk about on location lighting today. Please note that not only are we talking about advertising Beauty photography, examples of which you may see in the cosmetics section of a department store, or in fashion magazine ads, but we are also talking about simple female Beauty portraits that many of you are probably often hired to photograph for your female clients locally.

How Retouching Made Me A Better Photographer

I rarely write in first person but because this is a topic I feel very strongly about, I want to tell you about my personal experience. When I was reminiscing with my wife about the one thing that changed my photography, it was the day I saw the light. Literally. The only way I was able to conceptually grasp light and the way it works was because I started retouching. There is no way to deny it, as I mastered retouching my photography was taken to the next level.

ESPN Body Issue 2014 Is Out With Beautifully Executed Photographs of Star Athletes in the Nude

ESPN's Body Issue 2014 is out -- and the results are stunning. Every one of the 59 images in the "Bodies We Want" piece is a beautiful portrait of the pinnacle of the human form. There is no doubt these are professional atheletes with perfect, sculpted bodies. No puffed-up editing, no extraneous fluff. This is the real deal: clean, sharp, and on point. Oh, and did I mention there's a BTS video? No, wait. There are 13 BTS videos featuring the likes of Jamie Anderson, Michael Phelps, Venus Williams and many others.