From Shooting To Post Production: How To Balance Flash With Ambient Light

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Natural light is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we need to supplement it with an artificial light source, such as a flash, to really get the look we’re going for. In the video tutorial below, Gavin Hoey takes us behind the scenes of a Robin Hood themed photoshoot to show us the techniques he used to seamlessly blend a flash with the low, ambient light in the forest where the shoot took place.

Hoey explains how to use different modes including aperture priority and manual mode to capture the image you see above. The light wasn’t as great as Hoey hoped it would be on the day of the shoot so he calls on a Flashpoint RoveLight 600 outfitted inside of a Glow ParaPop 28″ R Softbox, to help create some of the dramatic lighting you see. There was a little added magic done to the photo in post production, but nothing to difficult and Hoey (the nice guy that he is) included a walk through of his  post production, as well.  [Read more...]

How To Photograph A Wedding With One Photographer, One Camera, One Lens and One Flash

In our recent article How To Make Money As A High End Wedding Photographer, we explored the high end wedding photography market.

But, it seems that the more I am able to charge for a wedding, the more complicated and stressful wedding photography becomes.

So recently I have decided that I would like to simplify my wedding photography a bit – get back to basics – unplug if you will.

how to photograph a wedding jp danko toronto commercial photographer

In this article I will take you through my simplified approach on how to photograph a wedding with just one photographer, one camera, one lens and one strobe.

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When A Guest-With-Camera Saves The Wedding Photography

Have you ever knocked on the door of the bride’s suite on the morning of her wedding, camera in hand, ready to go – only to find some guest already there with a better camera than you? guest with camera wedding photography blur wedding studio hamilton wedding photographer

Well, this has actually happened to me on more than one occasion (which either says something about my gear or the confidence brides have in my abilities), but what happened this past weekend was unique.

Read on and I’ll share the story.

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Making Sense of Your Flash’s Guide Number

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If you’ve been reading my posts here at DIY Photography for a while, you probably already know that I generally don’t spend too much time on some of the more technical aspects of photography. I’ve covered legal issues, written some fun reviews, and put some myths to rest, but I pretty much spend most of my time here howling at the moon. Okay– maybe not literally howling at the moon, but the opportunity to share whatever random thoughts have been bouncing around in my head a couple of times each week is a privilege I don’t take lightly– even when I’m ranting. I’ve decided that today’s going to be a little bit different. Today we’re geeking out and deciphering one of the greatest photographic mysteries of all time– your flash’s guide number.

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A Trio – DIY Multi-Flash Strobe Mount

A trio - DIY multi Flash Strobe MountMulti flash mounts are cool. I have discussed them before when we did a DIY on a dual flash mount. Just a quick recap: Using multiple flashed allows you to either drive more light or to remain on the same light level, while recycling faster. You can read it all here.

Using some objects that my wife will call junk elements smartly scattered around the house, photographer Brent Pennington made a three-way flash mount. Ha! Three is better than two. It will drive a stop and a half more.

As a bonus, Brent’s device relives you of the need to use a stud on your swivel. That’s a major bonus if you are like me and keep losing them. Kudos.

Of course, you could always sin and get the one made by Lastolite, but then where would all the fun (and your 70 greens) would be?

Read the entire tutorial and deep thoughts on Brent’s Blog. [Read more...]

The External Flash Power That Will Last Till Hell Freezes

The External Flash Power That Will Last Till Hell FreezesUPDATE: IanW has a good point in the comments that flashes can go thermal on you. He is right. Pop to hard and too fast and you will overheat. “Fire a flash too frequently with this setup and you will destroy it due
to overheating, unless it’s got a thermal cutout (most don’t).

UPDATE 2: if you’re gonna do this, make sure you’re doing this on a 6V flash, i.e. 4 AA batteries. This will fry your flash if it is a 3V flash (2 AAs)

We write quite a bit about portable strobes. If you’ve been around for a while you may remember an older version of those strobes. The Sunpak family. While I have not used them myself (too young, sorry), those behemoth shoot at a staggering GN of 48 (meters) and have the look and feel to support it. That makes them ideal for sun swamped on location lighting. The nice thing is that they are old enough to be bought at ridiculously low prices second hand.

The following post about portable power source for small flashes (and Sunpak 611 in particular) is written by John Hagar (blog). [Read more...]

Light Tents

tent light standPhotographer Peter Karlsson has it all worked out when it comes to travel light. Peter is a Strobist at heart and as such he is using small flashes quite a bit. The coolness comes in when you see how he places his flashes in space.

Instead of your orthodox light stand solution Peter uses a home brewed light stand made of tent poles. Those are great for travel for several reasons: There are super light-weight, they fold small and they will definitely make your subject go WOW! Luckily for photographers wold wide there are two vids available that shows how those light stands were made. [Read more...]

Two Flashes Are Better Than One + Simple DIY Multi-Flash Bracket Tutorial

Two Flashes Are Better Than One + Simple DIY Multi-Flash Bracket TutorialI guess this should go without saying, but I am going to say it anyhow: two flashes are better than one. Now you must be wondering why?

For starters, two flashes will get you a higher score on the GAS scale. (G.A.S. stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome). This alone is a good reason to get two. But there are lighting oriented reasons as well. For some tech talk and a multi flash bracket tutorial, hit the jump. [Read more...]

The Strobist Corner: Attention Pocketwizard Flex TT5 Users

DIY RF shield for strobe The fact that Pocketwizard have a new TTL enabled unit is old news. The Flex TT5 and Flex TT1 have been shipping for almost a year now.

In the beginning the Flex units were having some hard time dealing with radio interference coming from some of the Canon flashes. This interference comin from the Canon flashes had impact both on distance and reliability of the TTX units.

The good news: Pocketwizard made a 580 radio-frequency-blocking-beer-holder for the delinquent Canon flashes. They go by the code name AC5 (I can only guess that it stands for Allocation Control, or Algorithmic Collision. Go figure).

The even better news: Pocketwizard decided to provide them AC5s shields free of charge to US photographers who bought the Flex units.

The not so good news: If you are living outside of the US, this offer is not for you. Other thing is that the AC5s will be free only till the end of the month.

Good news again: photographer Daniel Aqua posted a DIY tutorial on the Flickr pool that shows how to build a Canon shield at home. [Read more...]

Strobist Gel Pack Review

Strobist Gel CollectionI’m sure many of you are familiar with the Rosco Free sample swatch book program (I am not even gonna link to that, see why in just a bit). I bet you noticed that those fine babies are gone from the stores too.

Here’s why: When Rosco made the sample program, the main target of it was to enable stage workers, artists and theater decorator to select just the right gel for their needs. They never saw it coming when a huge crowd of photo enthusiasts started to use those free sample swatch books for gelling flashes. Now why would you want to gel your flash and a solution to the problem + a review after the jump. [Read more...]