Off-camera flash: rim-lighting and using flare

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Off-camera flash: rim-lighting and the intentional use of flare

For these promotional photos for aspiring model twins, Carina and Carolina, we went to a park. There are certain things I look for when working on an location, that I know will immediately give me a better chance at successful portraits.  My book, Lighting and Design for Portrait Photography, looks at  Read more inside...

Portrait lighting setup – Chiaroscuro

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Portrait lighting setup - Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro is defined as the use of strong contrasts between light and dark - bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. Chiaroscuro in an Italian phrase meaning Light and Dark. Chiaro = Light; Scuro = Dark. In Film Noir, there are many examples of the use of Chiaroscuro, enhancing the mood. Here though, we're going to look  Read more inside...

Posing people: Tips for improving your portrait photos

posing people: tips for improving your portrait photos

Posing people: Tips for improving your portrait photos

Throughout the numerous articles on the Tangents blog, I'm often asked about how I go about posing people. I've described some of it in the article, adjusting a pose with incremental changes. Instead of a traditional way of posing, it's mostly a "feel" thing, looking at my subject and seeing if there are elements  Read more inside...

Engagement photo sessions: posing, lighting & context

engagement photo sessions: posing, lighting & context

Engagement photo sessions: posing, lighting & context

I love this photo! I also like how it came together. This was within minutes of meeting DaWeon and Toban for their engagement photo session in Philadelphia. We had only chatted on Skype before. Embarrassingly enough, I arrived late to the meeting place for their engagement session through my misunderstanding  Read more inside...

Informal / candid portraits on the street – applying what you know

informal / candid portraits on the street

Informal / candid portraits on the street - applying what you know

New York City abounds with characters - interesting and colorful people. This is one of those constants if you're out on the streets in NYC, especially when taking photos or busy with a photo session ... or as in this case, during one of the individual photography workshops in NYC. This man approached  Read more inside...

Photography tip: available light portraits – finding that sweet spot

photography tip: available light portraits – finding that sweet spot

Photography tip: available light portraits - that sweet spot of light

A regular theme on Tangents, is using interesting found light sources while shooting portraits on location. For example: using sunlight reflected off a traffic sign. With this straight-forward portrait of Irene, a photographer friend in New York, I want to show a neat little trick here - helping  Read more inside...

Wedding photography: posing and lighting – a consistent style

wedding photography: posing and lighting – aiming for a consistent style

Wedding photography: posing and lighting - aiming for a consistent style

The two images were taken about half an hour apart, with entire different lighting setups - yet there is a consistent look. The photo on the left was shot using video light with an Incandescent white balance. A video light is a small light source, so the lighting is usually quite contrasty -  Read more inside...

Flash photography: how far can you bounce your flash?

flash photography: how far can you bounce your flash?

Flash photography: how far can you bounce your flash?

The question regularly comes up: how far can you bounce your flash? The answer is quite straight-forward: It depends on the power of your flash, the bounce distance (and surfaces), ISO and aperture. Power, distance, aperture and ISO - the four things that control flash exposure. Yup, we can't really escape  Read more inside...

book review: Roberto Valenzuela – Picture Perfect Posing

book review: Roberto Valenzuela - Picture Perfect Posing

I've noticed that articles on Tangents which deal with the topic of how to pose people, gets a lot of attention. Posing is a challenging topic for most photographers except the very best who seem to have an innate gift for it. Books on posing tend to approach the topic as a list of suggestions - the kind  Read more inside...

boudoir photography: couples boudoir – gesture and connection

boudoir photography: couples boudoir photo session - gesture and connection

With portraits of a couple, the way they connect with each other is often the main factor whether the image is compelling. It could be through gesture and touch. The gesture might even be subtle - if a couple snuggles in, they don't have to look at each other - it's entirely possible to give  Read more inside...