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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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 Comprehensive And Contemplative Guide On Creating Magical Smoke Composites

guy-viner-smoke-26

There is an old song that says that no good story ever started with the words “No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea [Watch this link, it has some pretty explicit music]. Anyhow,  I am not really sure if this is 100% accurate, but it definitely applies for my story today. I once drank a nice shot of Whiskey. Drinking Whiskey and smoking cigar. I kinda threw my head back and relaxed while enjoying the smoke swirling upwards. Ahhh…. What a nice swirl…… It was actually dancing its way up. I know that this is what incepted this ballerina photograph: [Read more...]

An Introduction to the Basics of Cinematography

There’s resources available online that can teach you almost anything you want to know. It’s funny how at this point in time, we can learn almost everything college has to offer; unfortunately, the only thing we can’t get is an actual degree. But either way, for those of us who are always hungry to acquire a new skill, there’s always a way to do so. For those of you that are filmmakers and videographers, here’s a video that introduces you to the basics of cinematography within the span of about forty minutes.

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A Detailed Breakdown Of Shooting A Gokou Ruri 1/8 by Griffon Enterprises Figurine

Gokou Ruri "Nekomimi version" 1/8 scale

This is the first photo I’ve taken to try out the “tinfoil / aluminum foil background” method. Basically, you take a bunch of tinfoil, screw it up into a ball, then carefully unfold it to create a crinkled background. Hang it a good distance behind your subject, then point a flash at it. The crinkles in the foil will create a series of bright reflective points, which when thrown out of focus create a stunning sparkly background. [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.

Feature image

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How to Use A Marble To Detect Catchlights

marble-catchlightsHere is a fun trick that can help you quickly discover (and design) the look of catch lights in your photo.

Catch lights is the photo-lingo for the reflection of the light that you see in one’s eye. Most catch lights are rectangular in shape and are positions on the top right (or left of the eye) as they reflect a rectangular softbox.

But if you are using any other type of lighting, or simply want to see how a catch light will look like in any particular scenario, this quick method by Frank Donnino is perfect and takes practically no time. [Read more...]

Dramatic Lighting for Pole Dancing Fitness Instructors

Allure Fitness is local ladies only gym, but with fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga, suspension yoga, pilates and of course pole dancing for fitness – this isn’t your mom’s aerobics studio (well, actually it could be since they have members of all ages, shapes and sizes).

My wife has been a member there for a while, and she had noticed that the quality of imagery that Allure has been using on their website and promotional material didn’t really match the cool, sexy, modern brand image that the fitness studio is all about – so she managed to talk the owner into some new promotional photography.

pole dancer pole dancing fitness instructor jp danko toronto commercial photographer

Read on to find out how we used dramatic lighting to photograph the Allure pole dancing fitness instructors.

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