April 29, 2013
For on-location work, I’ve been using the Profoto AcuteB2 600 AirS/R Power Pack (B&H), and it works like a charm:
- shooting wedding photos in the mid-day sun
- wedding photography – lighting large groups with a large light
The only downsides to the AcuteB2 600R is that it only has one output. For many situations where you use a simple lighting setup (ie, just one large light source), it is perfect. The battery of the AcuteB is rated to give 200 bursts at maximum power, Again, for most uses, that is plenty.
But I’ve been considering future shoots where I would like to use two lights. For that the Profoto BatPac portable battery (B&H) would be ideal, offering two AC outputs – enough juice to run two Profoto D1 500 Ws monolights for quite some time.
I’ve tried the BatPac out in the studio just to see how it works, and that it does indeed work. But that’s nowhere near as satisfying as using it on an actual photo session. For this part of an individual workshop at my studio, we didn’t really need more than just one light … but still, it felt good to take this puppy out and try it on an actual shoot.
April 10, 2013
studio photography – creating sun-flare images
One of the sequences I photographed of Anelisa for the video clip of a photo session in the studio, was to create this kind of sun-drenched flared image. I wanted it to look bright and airy and summery.
There was a studio flash behind her to (partially) create the flare. I had to keep adjusting my movement just so that the flash-head wouldn’t be entirely hidden, or entirely revealed.
There was a total of four flashes used, and the pull-back shot shows their positioning.
March 29, 2013
studio lighting: smaller light source = harder light = more dramatic light
When I first started exploring bounce flash, and then off-camera flash and then progressing towards studio photography, my tendency was also instinctively towards softer light. A large light source gives you softer light, and it is more forgiving in terms of how you position your subject and yourself in relation to the light. A large light source is easy to work with. Soft light is flattering. It is a forgiving light source. But it soon became obvious that I was missing out on that dramatic element that attracted me to other images, and what I saw in movies. While soft light is flattering, it tends not to give dramatic results. (Of course, this depends on how you position your light.)
Working with video light in photography, I quickly got to love the light fall-off and the way that you only light a specific part of your subject, instead of just flooding your subject with light.
Working with just a speedlight in bright sunlight, we mostly have to get used to working with a harder / smaller light source … and make it look good! As an example, here is the photo of Molly K, taken during an individual workshop in New York, where we worked with direct off-camera flash.
In the studio as well, selectively lighting part of your subject, or just using a smaller harder light source as a single light, gives you more opportunity for different looks than just using one large light source. In photographing Anelisa recently for the promotional video clip for my studio, I used smaller light sources for several of the setups. This image above then, is from one of those setups. Here I used the Profoto 50 Degree Reflector (B&H) to concentrate the light, but still give a wide enough beam.
March 27, 2013
video clip: photo session in the studio w/ Anelisa
To promote my studio as a rental photography studio here in New Jersey, I created this video clip. It’s not quite a behind-the-scenes clip since my intention was to show some of the diversity that is possible in the studio. Using different lighting, and different backgrounds and setups, the final photographs look quite different.
- gallery of images of photo session with Anelisa
- photography studio rental NJ
The specific sequences will appear as distinct articles here on Tangents, as to how the specific looks were created, incl lighting setups and camera settings and the usual stuff. We’ll come back to this!
March 21, 2013
Anelisa in the studio for a photo session
To create a promotional video clip for my studio, I had Anelisa stop by today so we could do a variety of looks. We used available light, continuous light, and studio lighting. It is also the first time we saw each other since the release of my new book – Direction of Light - so I was able to give her her copies. (In case anyone missed it, Anelisa is on the cover.)
As we reminisced a while about the number of times we had workshops and photo sessions, I realized that today was exactly three years, to the day, since the first time we worked together. The photos from that individual workshop resulted in one of the key articles on Tangents - effective on-location portraits. So yes, it’s been a long working relationship with Anelisa, my favorite model.
More images from this photo session, as well as the video clip, will be up in the coming days. But in the meantime, here is the pull-back shot of this image at the top …
October 31, 2012
multiple speedlite portrait setup using Rogue Flashbenders
The PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York took place last week. As always, it’s it’s always a bit of a head-rush walking around, overwhelmed by all the photography goodies and people. Of course, you’ll inevitably bump into old friends and catch up a bit. One of them, is Michael Corsentino who I met during the After Dark photo conventions. (Sadly, the After Dark events have been put on indefinite hold.)
Not only is Michael Corsentino a pre-eminent wedding photographer in San Francisco, but has also written a book – the Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide (Amazon). If you like his style, follow him on Twitter @corsentino
When I randomly saw this photograph later on on his FB feed, my reaction was … damn!
He had photographed Anelisa at the Rogue Flashbenders stand for a demo. So I was curious about the exact lighting setup, and asked him if I could repost it here, along with an explanation and the lighting diagram …
June 22, 2011
photo session with the Fuji X100 – camera review
First of all, for those who haven’t heard of the Fuji X100 (B&H) yet, it is a beautiful retro-looking rangefinder-mimicking 12 megapixel digital point & shoot camera (with a fixed 35mm equivalent f2.0 lens), that gives remarkable image quality. That about sums it up.
For all those reasons, quite a buzz developed around this camera. Quite unlike anything since … oh, the Leica X1. Or the Olympus Pen EP-2. Or the Sony NEX-5. There was greater excitement building up around the Fuji X100 though than other cameras, specifically for its looks initially. And then when news hit about the incredible image quality, the excitement and interest became more substantial. It’s a hot item right now, and for good reason.
June 1, 2011
photography exposure metering – expose for your subject
In preparation for my upcoming review of the Fuji X-100 camera, I met up with Anelisa to see how this little camera performed during an actual photo shoot. The image above was one of the photographs we ended up with. Now, there is something specific about it that I wanted to explain in a separate article, instead of it being glossed over deeper inside a camera review.
The composition is simple – I do like my compositions fairly central, it seems. Similarly, the lighting is simplicity itself – all available light. There were two main sources of light – the light inside the shopping mall entrance; and some very strong back-lighting flooding the place.
While the technique here hinged on specific exposure for the available light, there are a few crucial ideas here that I’d like to underline:
June 4, 2010
composition in photography – framing the shot
In composing a photograph, what you exclude from the frame, is as important as what you include. With this portrait of Anelisa, I noticed that at this angle, the light reflecting off the black-painted wall created a warm glow of light behind her. With the receding lines of the bricks, I immediately composed the photo to exclude everything but our model and the specific background. A very specific background. Looking at the edges of the camera’s viewfinder, I eliminated everything that could distract or didn’t add to the image, such as the shop fronts in the background. (This image could perhaps still be tightened up with a minor crop in the edit. But this is the full frame as I had it in the camera, so I had to go with the usual 2:3 ratio.)
Just the sunlight reflecting off the sidewalk that flooded the area with warm soft light.