Last week I tried my hand at emulating Martin Schoeller's portrait lighting with a single bare-bulb speedlite. Though the experiment was technically a failure, it still produced a nice portrait. Since then, I have tried two more lighting scenarios before finally nailing it on the fourth (please excuse my OCD tendancies) and final attempt.
Mastering natural light can take a lifetime of practice, but there is one type of natural light that will produce amazing results in almost any situation: I call it "cave lighting."
If you've ever wanted to create more dramatic portraits with minimal effort or even completely in-camera with no Photoshop, this video is for you. In this photoshoot, I set out to create a dramatic editorial image that looks like it was shot late at night. The catch: I'm actually going to be taking the photo at 4 pm.
Artificial lighting can be overwhelming, there are thousands of options to modify one single light source and there are dozens of companies that claim they have the best product and best bang for your buck. Regardless, photography equipment is expensive and I know I'd rather not waste money on a gimmick product when the same result could be achieved with just the right strobe placement or accessory.
I, like many photographers out there, don't have a studio, or don't have the money to rent out studio space every time I want to do a shoot. While shooting inside my house or garage is always an option, I found myself wanting to experiment more with ambient and natural light. Although I love shooting in a studio, a completely controlled environment, I learned shooting outside with backdrops was a great experience and taught me a lot about light.
This is one of the best lighting tutorials I've ever seen, being both educational and entertaining. The German-based production company, Dugly Habits, has created this lighting tutorial for the Dedolight International Competition 2015. Using the Dedolight SPS5E Lighting Kit and a handful of other lights they construct three entirely different atmospheres in one room along with a wide variety of lighting tricks to create the illusions of car headlights, candle flicker, lightening and more. What's even cooler is how they deliver this educationally rich tutorial.
It's no secret that we creatives are often introverted, or simply don't know the first thing about self-promotion. Thus there are thousands and thousands of brilliant talents out there that very few have discovered. I have been on a mission of finding such gems and helping them expose their work to the worldwide online photography and digital imagery communities. And today I would like to share some beautiful and fun images and inspiration from Spain with you.
One year ago we all started hearing the buzz about MagMod after they launched a Kickstarter campaign that ended successfully. They then went on to be one of the hottest booths on the tradeshow floor at WPPI. Rather then sit content with their success the team at MagMod has been making improvements to their system and just released version 2 making their popular Speedlight light modifier better than ever.
Lighting isn't easy, a world-class-perfectly-lit studio portrait happens with a lot of instinct and experience. A strong grasp of lighting comes with experimentation and practice. Those that know my aesthetic know I'm a huge fan of one light photography. With that said, every image I produce I try and maintain the look of one light, even though it very well be lit with six lights. If I'm shooting for a hair, the hair needs to be well lit. If I'm shooting for makeup, the light needs to fill the face and really show detail. The same applies to product photography or fashion. I always give the client what they need, but always retain my dramatic lighting style.
Most simple scenes in films are lit in a very elaborate way. In this workshop, cinematographer Eric Kress shows how he lights a casual over-the-shoulder composition, making it look natural while everything is shot on an artificial set.
It's a growing trend in wedding photography these days to do photos with sparklers, and yes, you can blame Pinterest. Whether it's sparkler exits, or long exposure sparkler photos, your brides will expect you to know how to do these and will very likely ask you to do them on the spot! With this system, you'll be able to nail them every time!
"I can't take a shot like that. My camera isn't good enough. Oh sure, you can talk all you want, but you have thousands of dollars in expensive equipment! Yeah, I know it's the photographer, not the camera, but let's get real: my beginner gear can't do that!" Excuses, excuses, excuses. A lot of people, especially those just starting out, use their lack of pro gear as a tether, holding them back from getting the shots they are capable of. Here are some reasons to push past your budget concerns and make the most of what you have.
It's quite common to shoot photo sessions in unimpressive locations; it goes with the territory when shooting on-the-go and outside of a studio. Fortunately, we have options to help us transform boring locations into beautiful backdrops, and it’s easier than you think. Making simple light modifications and quick edits in post can mean the difference between creating average imagery versus creating imagery that impresses your clients.
Phlearn has something ridiculous like 500 free photoshop tutorials to help you polish your images. This tutorial series, so far, has been one of my favorites. Aaron Nace, the founder of Phlearn, shows us a new technique with custom brushes for giving your subjects a unique corporate head shot look. This tutorial is a 4 part video series, enjoy.