Lighting

How I Shot It... Bridal Portraits in Hotel Room

As a wedding photographer I have learned that our shooting conditions are not always ideal. One of the places I dread most is the bride's dressing room. It is typically a hotel room with bags, shoes and every beauty accessory invented strewn across the floor. The lighting is never ideal and the decor just might be the straight out of your grandma's home. Read on below to see a simple lighting setup using two flashes that can help you create beautiful portraits even in not so flattering locations.

Umbrella 101 for Beginners: Bare Flash vs. Shoot Thru vs. Reflective Umbrellas

Many photographers get their start by taking natural light photos, then progress into experimenting with flash photography. Maybe you’ve tried a flash on top of your DSLR, only to become frustrated and disappointed from the results. If you thought those images looked bad, don't fear. There is an easy way for you to begin using a flash and achieve great results like your photography idols.

The One Modifier I Always Travel With

There is one lighting modifier that I never leave home without. Its compact size and light-weight build has earned it a permanent place in the outside pocket of my gear bag. I made this modifier about 4 years ago and have brought it to every food shoot since. If you are shooting food, it is a must have and it won't break the bank to make it. What is it you wonder? It is a collapsible Tabletop V Reflector. Let me show you how easy it is to make!

Why Every Photographer Should Own a Light Meter

While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.

The Complete Dummy Guide to Light Painting

When people think of high end commercial automotive photography, they’ll sometimes call to mind images of cars with that distinct light streak down the side. That light streak that so many automotive photographers lust after is actually not a product of black magic, as it seems to be when you’re starting out, but actually incredibly easy to replicate with a technique called light painting.

Paul C. Buff, Legendary Photo Equipment Company Founder, Has Died

This afternoon, I called Paul C. Buff, Inc. because I had to send in one of my Einstein strobes for repair due to negligent (though expected) airline handling of my lighting gear case. After a few minutes of chatting regarding my busted strobe, I happened onto the Buff website to research some pricing on additional gear I may procure before summer. That's when I saw that he had died, apparently over the weekend. I asked the repair rep what had happened, and we ended up discussing Mr. Buff for a further 25 minutes.

Alexis Cuarezma Explains How He Photographed IFBB Bikini Professional Athlete Ashley Pfaff

Alexis Cuarezma is back again sharing the "hows" and "whys" behind one of his latest shoots: fitness portraits of IFBB bikini professional Ashley Pfaff. He has graciously included a very in-depth video where he explains how he set out to accomplish these shots, and he also provided his mood board, gear list, and lighting diagrams along with extensive commentary on the "whys" and "hows" of it all. You absolutely don't want to miss any of what he has to say! Start with the video and then dive in below!

Five Essentials for Getting Started in Portrait Photography

Are you thinking of trying out portrait photography and want to get some insight as to exactly what you need to create beautiful portraits without a lot of trial and error? Read on for some tried and true suggestions that will get you started without all the hit-and-miss experimentation.

Three Lighting Techniques That Can Improve Your Portraiture

Last week, I took a look at personal projects and showed how I created my most recent portrait series. These personal projects are a great way to grow as a photographer and create new work you have a passion for, as you have the opportunity to create images with full control of the visual style. However, they may not always require you to step out of your comfort zone. To expand your repertoire of photographic knowledge and to create a more diverse, yet consistent portfolio, you need to experiment.

Shooting With Mixed Studio Lighting

When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).

There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio - impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.

Everything You Need To Know About Overpowering The Sun With a Flash

Trevor Sherwin recently traveled to Kenya, and decided to use this opportunity to create some amazing images for his portfolio. Most people who travel to the area tend to focus on the wildlife, but Trevor wanted to focus on something else - people. He wanted to create dramatic portraits of the local tribes in a way that shows both the people and the location. Check out his great video explaining his method of shooting.

Use These Weird Lighting Tricks to Add Motion Blur to Your Photos

Holy butts. Sometimes the fact that I'm an artist and I'm allowed to get weird slips my mind. I don't have a boss, I'm allowed to create what I want, I'm allowed to try new things for the sake of playing, and I'm even allowed to start a blog post by saying "Holy butts." That rocks.