guest spot

off-camera bounce flash – my guest spot on Frank Doorhof’s blog

I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a phenomenal Fashion photographer last year when Frank Doorhof visited New York. He was gracious enough to be featured on the Tangents blog with a guest spot - on learning the essentials of photography.  And it is my turn to reciprocate. The topic of my post is off-camera bounce flash.

Showing a sequence of images that I shot of Ulorin Vex earlier this year, I explain the thought-process in the lighting that I used. The lighting technique itself was quite simple, but there were some steps in finessing the final result.

And it’s all there on Frank’s blog - off-camera bounce flash.

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Adrian, a regular follower of the Tangents blog, (better known as the ever-helpful Trev in the Tangents forum), has the guest spot this week. Adrian has expanded on his explanation of the actions that he mentioned in the comments section of the recent article on Selective Sharpening in Photoshop. Even better, he has made it available as two downloadable actions as well.

Photoshop actions to help with Post Processing after RAW conversion (free download)


The following downloadable actions with the instructions on their use can save some time and grief on getting a good result after RAW conversion. Even using your RAW converter may not get a fully desirable end result and these very easy to use actions will help in that regard. They are not complicated and you don’t need any plug-ins to achieve a simple lift to your final image.

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It’s a great pleasure to present this guest spot by Angie Lazaro – a good friend from way back in South Africa. Angie is a fashion photographer in Cape Town. Angie and I became friends at a time when I was still finding my way as a photographer, doing all kinds of freelance photo shoots … and she was still a photography student at a university in South Africa. We’ve both come a long way from those lunch-time conversations at the Full Stop café in Melville, Johannesburg .. and I doubt either of us could’ve imagined where we’d end up over time.

So I really am thrilled to present Angie now where she describes the setup of two photographs during a recent photo session in Cape Town …

on a photo shoot – decisions, lighting, tweaking, ka-boom!

by Angie Lazaro



The two photographs shown here are from a series I shot for a magazine fashion editorial (Top Billing Magazine). The location is a new trendy hotel in the heart of Cape Town – the venue suited my needs in that it had great décor interest and enough space to work and move without disturbing the guests too much. The clothing was about using basics, such as the white t-shirt and classic white shirt whilst making it very fashionable in different combinations. During the first shot we realized the model needed a stronger look, the make-up artist added a fringe which suited the style and overall feel we wanted to achieve. A shoot is all about team work …

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I am super-thrilled to have Frank Doorhof as a guest writer on Tangents. Frank is a highly regarded Fashion photographer based in The Netherlands, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year. We hung out the one afternoon, photographing a model in Coney Island. What I found particularly interesting, is how our approach to using flash and ambient light differ. Distinct styles and techniques. Quite an inspiring afternoon.

Please note: with this blog post, the images aren’t illustrative of any particular part of the writing, but are there to showcase some of Frank’s work.

And with that, here’s Frank …

on learning the essentials of photography

by Frank Doorhof


I met Neil during my trip to New York where I was going to teach a 3 days workshop. Before the workshops I was having a lot of fun with Neil during an impromptu photo-shoot that was arranged by a mutual friend of ours – thank you Richard! – and found Neil to be a lot of fun although he did scare the living you know what out of me when he stopped his car in the middle of the road to remove a piece of paper from the windshield, however I though he was getting out of the car to get into a fight with a very obnoxious driver behind us…. Yeah Neil I still wake up at night screaming about that one!

When I was asked to write a guest post for Neil’s blog, I was thinking very hard about the subject. Neil already has some nice tips and articles on lighting online so adding to that would be just adding something that’s probably already there, so I decided to do it little bit differently …


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My friend Chuck Arlund is a Fashion Photographer whose elegant photography is something I always admire. Chuck’s previous guest spots here have been well received. His article on  simple on-location lighting techniques using a reflector & flash, was especially popular. Therefore I’m really glad that Chuck is graciously sharing with us how he came to shoot this stunning photograph for Parasuco.

Do check out Chuck’s website and blog for more of his stunning photography.

Fashion photo shoot, using multiple lights

by Chuck Arlund

Hey there everyone!  I have been working with a celebrity stylist and we have shot a few fun projects together. Just for our books. She uses Parasuco a lot for her clients, like Bon Jovi. One of the images we shot was pretty cool of the model wearing some of their jeans. She sent it to them to show what she was doing. They loved it.

A few weeks later the MUA of the original shoot wanted to do some beauty shots. Parasuco had sent some stuff to the stylist for us to shoot and see how it looked. During the beauty shoot we did some shots for Parasuco. After I had processed a few we sent them to the company. They really loved them and ended up purchasing a year license to use this image. It will be a billboard in the airport in Berlin and trade show magazine adverts.

Here is the tutorial explaining the setup for this shot. I used multiple lights …

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wedding portraits with multiple light sources

We have a winner for the contest we had last week, where we had to reverse-engineer the lighting in a photograph. I’ll be contacting the winner who will shortly receive a $50 B&H gift voucher. Thank you everyone for vigorously participating!

Here is Josh Lynn to explain what he did for the lighting in the contest image, of which the photo above is the wider shot. This photo reveals more of the one light source. …

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personal projects

September 30, 2010

David A Williams is one of those photographers who influences everyone who meets him. And I mean everyone. On the Digital Wedding Forum, he is one of the few photographer who gets unanimous praise for his workshops. Stating it blandly like that now, doesn’t quite describe the impact David has on the individual photographers who attend his workshop. The impact often extends past the work and art of the photographer, to the point where it can even affect your views on life. I know, it sounds dramatic, but that is as under-stated as I can manage to be about David.

So there it is – I would urge any photographer who wants to learn, to seek out David A Williams’ work and photography and writings, and if possible attend one of his workshops.

Back to this guest post by David: I was really honored when David offered to write the foreword to my book on flash photography. And I am just as thrilled that David has this guest spot on the Tangents blog today.

personal projects & personal photography

by David A Williams

Something I’m often nagging on about, are that we as photographers should be doing private projects – something away from the normal work we all do.

This below image has been germinating away within me for years. It’s a photograph in the style of the ‘Glorification’ paintings, stained glass and mosaics popular after the First World War as memorial or evocative pieces.

The image is 30 inches square and printed onto canvas. As the machine gun in the picture was a fully operating model, I could not photograph at the studio without considerable clearances and permissions and guards, so it was made in between racks of clothes at the military supply area.

I blended the clothes using (I think) Dry Brush in PS and used various layers of normal and textured and desaturated to produce the final image and the cross in the background. Lots of the images and sculptures from that period had a certain ethereal them to them.

The frame was built by myself and my framer out of old fencing, topped with rusty wire. The bottom edges of the frame aren’t quite as clean cut as they seem….

The subject in real life is the brother of one of my brides who had the ‘right’ face that I was envisioning – again influenced mainly by the sculptures I had seen from the 1920′s.

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Inspiration and Homage

September 8, 2010

Chuck Arlund is a Fashion Photographer whose elegant photography is made even more impressive with the simplicity of his set-ups and use of lighting.

Chuck’s previous guest spot here on the topic of on-location lighting techniques using reflector & flash, was very well received. Therefore I’m very happy that Chuck is graciously sharing more of his ideas with this guest post. Also, check out Chuck’s workshops and mentoring sessions.

Inspiration and Homage,

compositing and multiple lights made to look natural

by Chuck Arlund

This photograph is from a recent fashion story, and has a couple of elements going on. There is an obvious Americana theme, and in that, there is the homage to Norman Rockwell. Who captured that spirit better than Norman Rockwell?

I’ll just tell the story of how the image came about and then describe the technique behind it …

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Petra Hall, a pretty awesome wedding photographer in Sweden, first posted this incredible story on the Digital Wedding Forum, and she kindly gave me permission to re-post it here.

the Canon 7D might be rugged, but it isn’t entirely fire-proof …

Petra’s fiance, Erkki, recently bought a new (used) car, just before a planned vacation. They had intended on cruising in the MG convertible and just enjoy the sports car in the summer. They were going to just drive around and take some photographs of the scenery.

The weekend before their vacation started, Erkki was on his way home from work when something in the car exploded and the car caught on fire. Huge flames engulfed the entire car. Erkki’s Canon 7D (with a 24-105L) was inside the car, as well his MacBook Air laptop. Everything went up in flames – the car; the camera & lens and the computer.  Luckily no-one was harmed.

Since the car was imported from the UK, the insurance for it hadn’t taken effect yet. Therefore nothing will be replaced that went up in flames.

Here’s how the camera looks like now.

It’s going to hurt.

You might want to look away in case you’re the sensitive type …

A computer techie managed to get the hard-drive safely out of the computer, so Erkki could copy all the images that he’d taken since he got the 7D last winter.

The best part of the story though is that the 7D did keep a secret inside its melted body …

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My friend, Josh Lynn, just posted this spectacular wedding photograph.  It does look like he used flash there, so I thought this would make a another good example to see if we can ‘reverse engineer’ a photograph in terms of his settings and setup.

I first had a guess at how he set this up; and then had a look at the EXIF data, and this revealed the true story.  See if you can decipher this image yourself, without scrolling down at first …

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