These days I have been shooting with very small lighting set ups. Either one main light though a 170cm Softbox or a Single speed light. A few months ago or maybe longer, Digital Photographer magazine got in touch and we did a short interview about what the kit and stuff. This blog is an updated version of that interview.
Guest post by Robert Mitchell. Hit the bottom of the post to see his links.
When assembling a lighting kit, it’s very difficult to know which modifiers are best for the type of work you want to do, and sometimes you don’t know or are discovering what you want to shoot. There are reflectors, umbrellas, square and rectangular softboxes, octabanks and a wide variety of accessories to shape and alter the quality of light.
So how do you know what’s best for you?
In many cases you don’t. If you have no experience then you don’t have any preferences formed and most of the tech talk is of no use to you and makes little sense. One person’s preference may not at all be what you like and it may not work within your budget.
I’ve chosen 7 common light modifiers of varying sizes and shapes, and I’m using modifiers that are , for the most part, inexpensive. Nothing very small and nothing terribly large. This is not an in-depth review, nor is it a light modifier showdown.
There are these moments I have, lying in bed, closing my eyes and there it is: that idea that won’t let me sleep. Most of the time the idea get stranger and stranger as time goes by, because instead of being asleep, which is what I probably should do, I get inspired.
So I wake up and there it is: The telephone call, asking if you want to buy four mirrors. A few moments later I am standing with my first cup of coffee in my kitchen to realize what just happened:
- I decided to build a ground fog machine
- I just bought four giant mirrors
- There should be some strange light, probably Light Blasting some structures somewhere…
I didn’t sleep very well the next night either, because I started testing my DIY-ground-fogger.
Here it is a short description of the process for creating the image of the bottle “Papo Seco” to Pinto & Raposo.
For this shot I only had the 5 bottles my client gave me and the idea he wanted for the image… He wanted “fresh” “clean” and “young” he also needed some blank space for adding text later on…
In the beginning I was thinking on using only one bottle…but as I had 5 bottles available I decided to try to use them all.
Last year I made an article about getting good gradient reflections on surfaces, but after a while of using this that I’ve come to realize that I actually get slightly better (and easier) results with a different technique.
You can consider this as he second part of the How To Get Gradient Reflection On Surfaces tutorial.
I normally hangout at a local coffee shop editing photos because it’s easier for me to concentrate (plus free electricity and air condition… not always easy to find those in the Philippines). On my last visit I saw a person holding a cup of steaming hot coffee and thought of this article. This will be a 2 part article on getting good steam shots for coffee shots or food photography.
We will be using ‘real hot water’ rather than photoshopping the smoke…
The Sunny 16 Rule is a great addition to any photographer’s toolbox. Basically it means that when shooting on a sunny day @ISO100 you’d be pretty close if shooting @1/100 and f/16. It is a clever rule because it is very easy to remember. 100 @ 1/100.
Photographer Neil van Niekerk points out that it is pretty easy to complement this rule when trying to overcome the sun with an external strobe. And his method means you can get a great exposure with no metering. The idea is pretty simple: setting your strobe to full power and using the strobe’s GN (Guide Number) to figure out where to place the strobe. This would get a pretty good first exposure.
I was walking around the mall the other day and I saw the das made for Adidas, they totally blew my mind and I really wanted to try and figure out how they were made. In this tutorial I am going to take you through the process it takes to create a similar effect.
Before I started working with speedlights the first ever off-camera lighting equipment I used was a desk lamp, this was 7 years ago. So, after 7 years into photography I wanted to challenge myself to shooting portraits using nothing but desk lamps again. Here is a DIY dramatic lighting tutorial using lamps.
Cosmetic products are some of the hardest things to photograph. The combination of reflective, translucent, opaque and shiny surfaces makes it an absolute nightmare. Below you will find my quick and dirty method for dealing with those hard to shoot subjects.