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Lighting

Portrait Photography In A Pool

Photographer Nick Saglimbeni recently shot an image of Jhené Aiko for a Humane Society campaign to save the shark population. The goal of the image was to photograph Jhené in the ocean at night (or at least make it look that way). To create this shot, Nick decided to use a pool and strobes to create a similar look.

What I Have Learned Searching for a Wedding Photographer

I recently got engaged and have started the process of finding my wedding photographer. Something that has become very hard since I have decided to rule out the possibility of a friend shooting it, because let's face it, they need to be drinking. As a wedding photographer myself, I noticed some positives and negatives in other businesses first impressions. These are just things that have become my pet peeves while seeking a photographer, mostly website related.

Shoot All Day Long: Techniques to Improve Daylight Photography

Golden hour. That time of the day where the warm sunlight makes every shot look like a magazine cover or a movie poster. It would be great if that light could last all day long. Yeah, well a lot of things would be great but not likely to happen. Location fashion and lifestyle photographers have to be able to manipulate daylight in a variety of ways in order to have a productive shoot that lasts more than an hour. Using the techniques of shade, diffusion, reflection, and strobe photographers can work with and against natural sunlight to create beautiful images all day long.

Rebranded Lighting Equipment Horror Story: Be Careful What You Buy

If you've been a long time reader of Fstoppers, you might recall one of my original editorial pieces: How China Changed the American Lighting Industry. At the time of its publication, I had just come off a recent spell of a few years at an American photographic lighting company and got to see first hand how American greed led to a Chinese takeover of the industry. In the years following that article, the problem hasn't gotten any better. If anything, it's gotten far worse, and to the detriment of you as a consumer.

Top Tips for Taking Portraits

As a self-taught photographer, I’m an advocate of learning through doing. I didn’t study it, but I can imagine that reading all the Photography 101 books that are available still wouldn't prepare you for actually being on a set, with a model standing in front of you, and a team awaiting your creative direction. In my journey, experience has meant everything. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that may help when shooting your own portraits.

How To Perfectly Light Food Using a $10 Light and a T-Shirt

You don't need to have the most expensive gear to make the best pictures. It is very easy to get swept up in the attitude of " if I only had this I could take better pictures." You do not need $10,000, or $1,000, or even $100 worth of lighting gear to make a great picture using artificial light. What if I told you that you could take a beautiful picture of food with a $10 light, a picture frame, a T-shirt, velcro, and cut up foam board?

Just Do It - How and Why I Shot the Best Photo of My Career

For years I found myself making excuses as to why I wasn't creating the type of images that I so desperately wanted to make. I didn't have the gear, I didn't have a model, I didn't have access to a studio. At the end of the day, it came down to one simple thing, I never tried.

This Videographer Used LEDs in Times Square, and the Results Are Stunning

Shooting out on location in a busy environment like New York City can be extremely difficult. When dealing with police, public safety, traffic, and pedestrians, it can often be near impossible to create the look you want without sacrificing your lighting. The way videographer David Geffin tackled these issues in his latest project, "Let's Dance," is pretty brilliant.

Still Not Using Off-Camera Lighting? It's So Easy a Seven Year Old Can Do It

There was a time early in my photography career that I bought into the idea of becoming a natural-light photographer. In secret this idea manifested because using off-camera lighting to help shape my images meant learning about all of this crazy lighting technology. I’d rather just stick to what I was comfortable with forever and just not use it. Sound familiar?

A Technique to Bring Back Lost Details Out of Shadows

Sometimes your favorite shot out of a series would be perfect if only one little thing was fixed. For me, that is often shadows obscuring details I really wish were more visible. PHLEARN has released an extensive tutorial on how to get those shadows to reveal details in a way that doesn't look super fake, which an issue I have with other methods I have seen.

Shooting With Color Gels

There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.

But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.

Finding Perfect Light With Homemade Light Modifiers

What is "perfect lighting?" It will differ for every style of photography and every photographer's style. For my food photography, I think the perfect lighting is the soft, beautiful, natural light found from a large window with indirect sun coming through. Unfortunately, most of the locations where I have to go and shoot food don't have this light that I am looking for. In order to get the shoot done, I have to to create the light. What if I could create this "perfect light" and have it for every assignment?