5 Different Setups To Nail A 2 Lights Product Shot

There are a lot of things you can do with just 2 lights, actually, you can do some kicking products shots. Here are a few quick and easy product photography setups that you can add to your toolkit. (+ the occasional use of a DIY modifier)

Feature Image 5 different ways

For the whole shoot I was using a Nikon D7000 and a 18-55 kit lens. (kit lenses are awesome!)  I was using a mix of speedlights and studio strobes for the lighting. I also had a dust blower used for sensors to get dust off my subjects.

[Read more...]

15 Hard Core Lighting Setups To Have You Light Like A Ninja

15-setups

If you are struggling with your lighting sometimes it is a good idea to drop your camera for a while (ok, not drop, gently put aside) and get some inspiration from photographers who excel at lighting. Japan based photographer Ilko Allexandroff has a strong lighting style and he was kind enough to share 15 of his lighting setups with us.

If you want more info you can follow the three small little dots

[Read more...]

VAL: Out! Drone Lighting: In! Drones Used As Lighting Stands

MITnews_DroneGaffer_01

A team of researchers from MIT and Cornell are expected to present a protype of a drone they have been developing specifically designed to ease the task of ‘holding lights’ this August. To be clear, drones have already been used by numerous photographers and filmmakers as a way to light scenes, but this particular drone has a couple interesting abilities that help set it apart from the crowd. The most incredible being it’s ability to detect motion of the camera and subject before automatically correcting it’s own position to provide consistent lighting.
[Read more...]

Create 4 Different Background Styles Using Only 1 White Seamless Paper

I only have two backgrounds in my (home)studio, a white seamless paper and a black wall. I use my seamless white paper for almost every shoot that I do, unless of course, I need to shoot on a black background (in that case I use the black wall). I always tell my students how important it is to have a a seamless white in your arsenal. It costs around $35, and while it is just one piece of equipment, it can be used to create many different looks and styles.  Here are some examples and lighting setups you can use that utilize a seamless white.

feature image white seamless
Of course, you can also use a canvas, a woven background, vinyl or any other “big white thing”. [Read more...]

Don’t Have a Polarizer? This Tutorial Just Might Convince You to Get One

Did you know that that when you use a polarizer in a wet forest, the color come out more vibrant because of the water’s effect through the lens?

Up until today, the only two things I knew about polarizers were that they make things go black when you put two together, and that they’re a feature in my American Optical Pilot Aviators (insanely affordable for their quality). Photographer Steve Perry, however, is so passionate about the polarizer that he made a ten minute long video tutorial over it. And don’t let that throw you off; this video doesn’t waste time. He spends ten straight minutes teaching you about polarizers, and it’s one of the most informative little pieces I’ve seen for a while now.

[Read more...]

Posing, Light And Selective Composition – Getting The Best Out Of A “Nowhere” Location

06-01-NvN-1162

Today we are hosting a tip from Neil van Niekerk who also runs the excellent tangents blog.

Framing very selectively in-camera, you can very often pull out quite a surprising image out of “nowhere”.

With Julia and Luis’ wedding, I roamed around the reception venue – a bed & breakfast on the Jersey shore, for interesting spots. There were interesting nooks and crannies that would work for the romantic portrait session. But I also like adding variety, especially unexpected variety.

I went through a back-gate, and into a parking lot behind the venue. This gate was the delivery entrance for the venue’s kitchen, and the parking lot was, well, just a parking lot.

But, I loved the texture of tye wooden fence and gate, and the late afternoon sun really brought out the texture. I hurried back inside and asked Julia and Luis to join me – I think I may have a great idea! I shot it using the following settings: 1/250 @ f/5.6 @ 200 ISO – available light only Nikon D4: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. [Read more...]

How To Precisely Replicate The Light From A Scene With A Christmas Ball

One of the things that we constantly obsess about is lighting. How was this lit; what were the lighting ratios; was the light soft or hard; If you know all the answers to these kinds of questions you can recreate the lighting of a scene.

Of course you could sketch a quick diagram, but the good folks at CreativeLive (Felix KunzeSue Bryce) share a clever tip on using a Christmas ball to take a “snapshot” of the lighting on a scene.

Once your lists are set up, put the ball where the model is and take a snap. Since the ball reflects all 360 degrees of a scene it capture any light sources around it. Combined with the fact that it is black it makes it easy to spot any reflections.

Now, you do have to understand light to actually be able to reverse engineer the ball reflections (I strongly advice both strobist 101 and the Light Science & Magic Book for that), but if you can do the reverse engineering , this is away easier that figuring out the shadows.

[Super Geeky (and Effective) Trick to Replicating a Photo's Light | CreativeLive via ISO 1200]

P.S. into shiny little objects? check our tip about marbles and catch lights.

The Inverse Square Law of Light, Explained in the Simplest Way Possible

Let’s face it; we’re not scientists and the name of this law could frighten many of us. The reality is that this is a very basic concept with a very technical name: the inverse square law of light.

When it comes to lighting subjects, whether you’re a wedding photographer of a feature film cinematographer, the possibilities given to you are endless. Sometimes you don’t know how you want to photograph something just because you might not know whether you’re doing it in the best way possible. With so many different ways to light something, it’s pretty easy to start doubting yourself, and it happens to us all the time.

[Read more...]

Build Your Own Inexpensive Transport Equipment Cases

diy-equipment-case-12- Lights_Cases

Basic tools and carpentry techniques can save you a lot of cash when protecting your valuable hardware! Like a lot of video producers on a budget I’m always looking for ways to save cash while moving forward with the realistic hardware needs of various projects. The recent purchase of a pair of vintage Colortran 2K Fresnel lights nudged me to seek some type of protective storage and transport case option that wasn’t insanely priced. These are big fixtures and they call for big cases. [Read more...]