Someone emailed me to ask a few technical details about this family photo session. How did you expose for the family photos? Was a soft-box used? Or did you expose for the shadows and use fill flash? For those who regularly follow the Tangents blog, the thought-process here should be familiar. Let's take a walk through the process.
As described in the article, controlling bright daylight w/ direct off-camera flash, when trying to over-power the sun with flash, the best algorithm is usually:
- maximum flash sync speed,
- lowest ISO,
- Read more inside...
A comment posted to the article, directional light from your on-camera flash, asked a lot of questions about bounce flash photography. While most of these have been answered over time in various articles, it might be a good thing to pull it all together in directly answering those questions here.
This uncomplicated portrait of Anelisa that shows specific elements in how I bounce flash:
catchlights in the eyes
directional light which can be observed here as that gradient of light across her cheek
no hard shadows from direct Read more inside...
Wedding photography - improving your shooting workflow
As a companion piece to the previous two articles
• Tips & advice for second shooters at weddings , and
• Tips on improving your photography technique,
I want to offer some advice on shooting workflow. Not post-production workflow, but rather some things to look out for while shooting.
These articles with tips are just as relevant for any area of photography. The techniques here are applicable to any field or level of photography. I feel so strongly about the advice here, that I'd go as far to say that the further Read more inside...
When I posted the article with tips and advice for second-shooters, it generated a lot of conversation in the comments. I want to follow it up with a related article on how to improve your technique as a photographer. It is general advice for any photographer. And it is especially pertinent if you're a second photographer / 2nd shooter.
Camera technique can be distilled into a few elements:
- composition & framing, including lens choice
- timing of the photograph, ie that moment
- choice of aperture (for depth of field)
- choice Read more inside...
Using back-button focus (BBF) on your Canon camera
There are two ways to initiate (and lock) focus on your Canon DSLR
- using the shutter button, and / or
- using the AF-ON button on the back of the camera, near your thumb.
The AF-ON button can be set to be the only way to initiate focus, disallowing the shutter button from doing so. Depending on how you program your camera, the AF-ON button could allow you to trip your camera's shutter independently of your focusing. Whether this is useful to you, (or perhaps even cause problems for you), depends on:
- your style of shooting, Read more inside...
There are numerous tips and ideas in photography that helped me improve as a photographer over the years. This came via magazines and books and other photographers. Many sources.
One of the best tips that helped me develop a style over time - when using a zoom lens, zoom to the longest focal length, and then frame your shot by walking forward or back, to where you have the composition that you want.
Doing so will result in the most compression in the image, helping to isolate my subject against an out-of-focus background. (Of course, using a long lens with Read more inside...
Photographing in bright sunlight - find the shade!
Hard sunlight must be one of the most difficult lighting scenarios to work under. But with a bit of thought, we can work around it and still easily get photos that look great. It's a topic that we've touched on a number of times on the Tangents blog, (see related articles at the end here). Where I can though, the simplest approach for me though, is where I can, is to just not deal with the hard sunlight. I find shade.
This maternity portrait session of Amy was taken on a bright day, and I wanted to avoid her squinting in Read more inside...
Composition for full-length portraits - step back!
A comment in the article on a simple lighting setup for the family formal photos, asked why I recommended that a photographer should step back rather than zoom wide when photographing a group. The reason is that the perspective distortion that a wide-angle lens will give to your subject, is not all that flattering. Read more inside...
Flash photography tip: Find your background, then your settings
With flash photography on location, we nearly always start off by figuring out what we want to do in relation to our available light. We might just need fill-flash, or or flash might need to do the "heavy lifting" and expose correctly for our subject in relation to the available light. When we have our subject in (relative) shade, and need to figure out our flash exposure, we also need to decide exactly what our background is.
It usually works best to be specific about our background ... and how we position ourselves Read more inside...
Back-lighting with flash for silhouetted wedding portraits
One of the easiest ways to create dramatic light for a silhouette when photographing the wedding portraits, is to add a flash behind the couple. The beauty of this is that there is a fair amount of leeway as to what would work. We need not be all that exact, but there are some a few things we should check ... Read more inside...