May 5, 2013
After Dark Photography Education – St Louis, MO – 2013
Anyone who regularly followed the Tangents blog during the past year or so, will know that I’ve raved about the After Dark events that I attended (and presented at). In my opinion, After Dark is the best (and most fun) learning experience that I’ve encountered.
If you want more details about After Dark:
- After Dark Edu website for more info
- After Dark on Facebook, if you want to closely follow discussions
The one After Dark event that was announced for 2013, was held in St Louis. As before, I did several presentations and I’d like to show some of the images that I shot while here.
March 17, 2013
Las Vegas photo session with a model, using video light – model: Taylor B
While in Las Vegas recently, I met up with Taylor B, who is a photographer and model … and also follows the Tangents blog. For a photo session, I decided I would like the glamor and glitz of one of the lobby areas of one of the big Vegas hotels. Taylor’s outfit certainly matched the glitz. Shooting inside the hotel lobby though, I also knew we’d get kicked out immediately if security spotted us. So I took it as a challenge to see if we could surreptitiously shoot without getting shunted out.
Still loving the Litepanels Croma LED video light (B&H) that I showed in the recent review, I decided it might just be the right lighting tool for the job. My friends Nick & Deb graciously tagged along to help, and also provide a bit of cover, while we hung out as a group and mingled.
Instead of working with a light-stand or a monopod, I simply had Nick hand-hold the light as soon as Taylor and I were ready to shoot.
March 13, 2013
For one of the mini-workshops in Las Vegas, I used a Litepanels Croma LED video light (B&H). This photo of our model, Gwen, shows the typically dramatic light from a video light. The pronounced light fall off can work to our advantage.
What sets this hand-held / on-camera LED video light apart from most, is that you can vary the color temperature. I have, and still use, the Litepanels MicroPro (B&H). I prefer the MicroPro over many of the cheaper LED lights that I have seen because the WB is daylight, without a nasty color cast.
Litepanels Croma LED video light (B&H), goes even better. You can vary the WB between 3200K and 5600K by dialing a knob. No more need for a gel to be clipped in and out. The gel (or lack of gel) would mean a specific WB with the LitePanels Pro. With the variable adjustment of the Litepanels Croma, you have every color balance setting inbetween. For this photo at the top, we were at 3200K, but I changed the WB to 3300K in post-processing.
October 2, 2012
photography: determining the exposure when adding video light
In response to the article on how to shoot romantic wedding portraits, using video light, someone asked about exposure metering with the video light.
“Much in the same vein as using flash, do you establish the ambient exposure first (to your taste) and then add the video light to expose ‘correctly’ for your subject? How do you meter for this video light and therefore adjust the light power to the right level? By chimping on test shots?”
While this would certainly be a correct way of doing it, the practical way of doing it, (for me at least), is slightly different. I simply add the video light to the ambient light …
July 20, 2012
photography: video light and daylight
With the recent lighting workshop in New York, we again played with the use of video light … and then took it out to the street. The blue-ish tones of the shady side of the building here, contrasted beautifully with the warm glow of the video light.
As with the article, gelling your flash for effect, this is something that can work very well when we use light sources with different color balance, thereby attaining those complementary colors. The rapid fall-off in light also helped give the photograph a dramatic quality.
The photo above is a crop of the actual image which is also a pull-back shot then to show where the light was positioned:
May 24, 2012
LED video lights for photography – Sabre Pro Lighting
For the past few months, I’ve been testing out a new LED video light at weddings I’ve photographed and workshops I’ve presented.
The LED lights, made by Sabre Professional Lighting, are individually crafted. Made with aluminum, the guy who makes them, has told me that they are essentially waterproof and near indestructible. Well, I didn’t drown the one I had, or bang it around, but it certainly seems tough enough.
He makes them in different configurations, as seen on his website’s order form – different sizes and different color temperatures. They can even have a remote control knob for the power. This way, if you have your light up on a monopod, you can turn the brightness up or down, without pulling the light down to eye-level again to adjust it.
The main advantage for me with this unit, is the brightness. The LED panels I’ve used so far, have all been much lower intensity than the Lowel ID-Light, for example. The Sabre Lighting unit is comparable in brightness to the Lowel ID-Light. The actual brightness will depend on the configuration you settle on. But it is much brighter than the LitePanels LED light I’ve been using.
December 3, 2011
photography composition – finding the other angles
At the same photo shoot-out that the stunning Film Noir Fight Scene came out of, I again worked with a model, Jill. Her hairstyle and dress were strongly reminiscent of the flapper era. It therefore just suited a more dramatic and sexy pose and styling. And of course, dramatic lighting.
For off-the-cuff / on-the-fly dramatic lighting, a video light is hard to beat.
November 25, 2011
wedding photography: bride & groom portraits with video light
For that dramatic Hollywood look, a video light is probably the easiest light to use, especially when there is the need to work fast like on a wedding day. With Alli & Scott’s engagement photo session, I knew I’d be working with a couple that would easily go along with any ideas that we’d come up with. We worked indoors at the Temple Israel in Long Island, New York, and there were all kinds of interesting nooks to explore.
November 14, 2011
wedding photography – when technique, style & choice of equipment converge
With Manhattan as a back-drop, I wanted a cinematic look for the photograph of Nima and Peter. A magnificent view behind them as they snuggle in. While I approach wedding photography with my eye on telling the story of the day, for me, where a photographer really reveals a specific style, is in the portraits of the bride and groom.
I wanted a romantic look to this sequence of images, so there were specific choices to be made in terms of equipment, camera settings and the lighting. So let’s run through the thought-process.
Older Posts »
September 27, 2011
After Dark photography education – Charlotte, NC – 2011
This striking portrait is of Britney, one of the number of models that are at this, the current After Dark photography convention. Regular followers of the Tangents blog will easily recognize the lighting as being a video light. In this case, I reverted to the Lowel ID-light because it creates a stronger beam of light which can be spread wider than an LED video light. Typical of After Dark, this photo session / mini-presentation was an impromptu one that started after the evenings classes and presentations had already ended at midnight.
Meeting up with Britney and her sister Nicole (who is also a model), and two other photographers, the group of photographers eventually spilled out to the lobby of the hotel and swelled to a group of about 30 photographers all taking part. And that’s the reason I wanted to use the Lowel ID-light … the person holding up the video light, could stand further back and we’d still get decent camera settings. An LED video light would not have been powerful enough for this situation.
1/160 @ f2.8 @ 1000 ISO … with video light; no flash
Nikon D3; Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR II (B&H)
The lens was used at 200mm to compress the background – an out-of-focus piece of artwork.
more articles about the use of video light for photography
Enough of the video light though. I’ve gushed about the After Dark experience before when I presented at the Cincinatti event, and when I had a quick look-in at the Las Vegas event.