How to Find Good Light for Portraits Even at Midday

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You’ve probably heard you need to have good light for portraits. Okay great, but what does that mean exactly, and how do you find that elusive good light? In this article you’ll get some tips on how to recognize different kinds of light, and make choices based on the look you want for the final portrait. You’ll also learn about open shade, quality of light, direction of light and how to bring it all together so that you can work faster, smarter, and with less gear. Let’s begin!

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Sasha O’s Inspiring 365 Day Self Portrait Project Is A Refreshing Step Outside The Ordinary

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Sasha Oleksiichuk is a young Ukrainian photographer (currently based in Belgium) that is gaining some much deserved attention after finishing up her enchantingly surreal 365 day self portrait project. Her portraits are creative, a quality that you come to realize is genuinely innate as you browse through her portfolio. The images that make up her 365 project range from surreal portraits to bright, colorful studio shots, with a healthy dose of composite images that send the imagination running.

Sasha O, as she’s more commonly known, takes her inspiration from the little things in life, she says things like paint, shells, vegetables, feathers, light, shadows, nature, and her surroundings. Even books, movies, and music, she explains, can inspire us, oftentimes without us even realizing it. “You can see some trees and you get ideas what to do with it. You just need to be open to new ideas and not be afraid to try it, even if it sounds crazy, because the results may surprise you.” Speaking to Sasha, you can’t help but to be inspired yourself. Much like the way she draws inspiration and courage from photographers before her who completed similar feats, Sasha O is a bit of a muse herself.

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DIY: Leather Dual Camera Harness for $70 | Holdfast Moneymaker style

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I think the Holdfast Moneymaker is pretty awesome. Not just because it’s made of durable materials, but because it’s an elegant solution to the problem of weilding two cameras without looking like a Navy Seal. My jaw did drop when I saw the $200~300 price tag though, since it’s basically TWO BELTS. The portrait sliders are extra, and will set you back another $50… if you want to be able to shoot vertically, that is.

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It’s Anything But A Normal Lens

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Right off the bat I have to clear up a misunderstanding some have to what a 50mm ‘standard’ lens actually is. Throughout my teaching career I’ve heard beginner photographers refer to them as prime lenses and, of course, they’re correct. However, as the conversations develop I’ve found that a good number also believe that only a 50mm is a prime lens. In actuality any non-zoom is a prime lens.

With that small but important point out the way let’s move on to why I think the prefix ‘standard’ can be a little misleading and undermine this focal length and the many advantages there are for using one.

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Ikea Hack: Warm Up LED Accent Lighting Using Photography Gels

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Installing new LED accent lighting or replacing your old energy wasting halogen under-cabinet lighting with new LED accent lights?  Notice that even the “warm white” LED lights are just a touch too white or a touch too harsh compared to the warm glow of the halogen lights you’re used to seeing?

Click the link for a simple way to warm up the look of LED accent lighting for less than $10 in less than two minutes by using photography gels.

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DIYP Reviews The Max Stone IR Camera Controller

The Max Stone (Amazon | B&H) is a little IR- based camera remote that was successfully funded on kickstarter in February, earlier this year. The Max Stone aims to connect your camera and your smartphone with their app and dongle, enabling you to wirelessly trigger your camera with your phone. The app also allows for multiple other features like a time-lapse mode, thief protection and weather information.

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Behind The Scenes: Mythbuster’s Jamie Hyneman Gets Tintyped

tintypeThe team from Tested, including Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters fame, all had their portraits taken by San Francisco based tinytpe photographer, Michael Shindler. Take a behind the scenes look at Jamie’s portrait session and recieive a bonus education on the entire tintype process from Shindler in this 6:30 minute episode of Tested.

According to Shindler, the ISO of his camera when shooting tintypes is about 0.5, about 7 full stops below ISO 100. With that information, you can probably imagine how much light you need to expose one of these portraits. Outdoors on a sunny day, Shindler says an exposure will take betwee 2-10 seconds. In the studio, you need to bring a lot of light to the plate (pun somewhat intended). [Read more...]

How To Transform A Space With Lighting: Quality Of Light Vs. Quantity Of Light

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When it comes to lighting, a good quality light is almost always better than just having more light. Yet, when presented with a room in which an entire wall is made of windows, many photographers still choose to open the curtains all the way to flood the scene with light. Not that it always makes a bad photo, but there’s a lot to be said for pulling the drapes shut a ways and enforcing a little more control on the light. In the quick video below, wedding photographer, Cliff Mautner, shows us how to do just that.

Mautner shoots a lot of weddings and has become an expert when it comes to transforming banquet rooms and wedding halls into beautifully lit spaces. In the tutorial piece below, he shows us how to prep a large space with a full wall of windows typical of a wedding staging area. He starts by grabbing an assistant and rearranging the furniture, lamps, and other things that may be found in the room. He then walks us through how to go about controlling all the bright sunlight pouring through the windows to capture the image you see above. [Read more...]

On the Sidelines with High School Junior at LSU Football

UPDATE: We want to clarify that there was a misunderstanding in the text of the interview. Jansen A. Nowell is not an official LSU Staff Photographer. He is in no way affiliated with LSU Athletics. 

Professional photographers get asked all the time, “what is it like to be a professional photographer?” Sure there are things we can say, and things we can try to visualize for them to really see what we get to experience as a photographer.

Jansen A Nowell, a high school junior, took his answer a bit further with a couple GoPros and a broomstick!

Jansen A. Nowell on the sidelines taken by fellow photographer.

Jansen A. Nowell on the sidelines taken by fellow photographer.

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We Got A High End Strobe System For 4 Days – Here Is What We Did With It

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Multiblitz was very kind. They said: “Here is our catalog, choose wisely”.

So we did! We prowled through their catalog and picked a small yet very powerful set of strobes for us to play with for a few days (spec below). It was pretty exiting to choose what to take and set up our wishlist, we had big eyes as the packages arrived a few days later in our studio. It was only then that we realized that we still need to put a model on a crane in a junk yard; Take an amazing beauty shot and test the strobe speed with a pro diver.

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