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.

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

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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.

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Build Your Own Inexpensive Transport Equipment Cases

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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...]

Using Everyday Objects For Making Outstanding Backdrops

I am a big fan of using simple objects or DIYing solutions in my photograph. One thing I always like doing is using a Gobo (photography lingo fo go-between) to make any plain background stand out. Nowadays, I am using a device called the Light Blaster which can act as a dedicated gobo projector, but before I got it, I DIYed my own patterns for the background.

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So here are examples of everyday objects I use to create some cool patterns on the background.

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Room Sized Lightbox Provides The Perfect Lighting Every Time

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One of the first tricks new photographers discover is the ability to place an object in a box with the walls replaced with diffusion material to create even lighting. Of course, any scientific mind will immediately ask, can we make this human size? The answer, is yes!

Photographer Kevin Lynch does just that. Using an array of PVC pipes and fittings, he created a room sized light box. It is actually big enough for a Karate fighter to jump around in. [Read more...]

The Trick On Getting Gradient Reflection On Reflective Surfaces (Cellphones, Laptops Etc.)

Getting gradual reflection on a shiny surface is not trivial. It is not hard, but you have to know how it is done (which you will once you’ve read this post :). This is one of my favorite techniques when shooting products with a granite tile, and it gets that gradient reflection on a reflective surface every time.

I got a couple of messages on Flickr a while back asking me how to get a gradient effect on an iphone shot I did before. So here is a step by step lighting tutorial on how to achieve this kind of lighting and where you can use it.

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