Lighting a portrait can be as simple or intricate as you want it to be. More often than not though, the concept of ‘less is more’ rings true.
If you are doing a lot of outdoor shooting using hot shoe strobes, you need to find a way to place them in three dimensional space. Of course, the trivial way is to use a light stand. But if you shoot in anything other than an open space, photographer Chris Cameron has a nice tip to mount your strobe on any object you can wrap a strap around.
The idea is to use a strap and a 3D printed dog bone, the strap wraps around, say a tree trunk, while the bone provides an anchor for a small clamp.
Studio strobes have plenty of interesting light modifiers, sadly, hot shoe strobes (or OCF – off camera flash) do not fit in those due to the different form factor. But! hot shoe strobes can be adapted to fit studio strobe mounts using appropriate adapter/holder. This configuration allows to use a cheap and light strobes on location without the need to carry big havy strobes and batteries. It also gives access to the many studio light modifiers that are found on the market.
What if you could create beautiful Golden Hour portraits without the sun? Well, you can. All it takes is a few strobes and a little know-how.
Photographer Amanda Chapman has been giving Halloween the proper treatment since 2012. The project called 31 Days Of Halloween started when Amanda’s husband was diagnosed with Cancer and Amanda was looking to give something positive for the family to focus at.
Her definition of “something positive to focus at” was 31 Days Of Halloween – a month where Amanda shot a different self portrait with full makeup as a character from one of her favorite stories.
Red Bull always seems to be up to something (perhaps it’s the “wings”), trying to impress us with various antics to get us to buy their overrated energy drinks. But, on the plus side, it affords those of us in the creative world with some great inspiration.
In one of their most recently-released videos, stunt pilot Martin Šonka dips his wings while flying dangerously close to the ground betwixt two 15-light banks of strobes for some incredible high-speed action shots.
By now you already know that Flashes don’t just pop for a fraction of a second. This fraction has a value and its value determines how well it will stop motion (say a splash of liquid). This time is called T.5 (and T.1) and they are explained here.
So every flash manufacturer shares their T.5, and as with many devices there is some variance. Matt Kane of vela.io recently built a device for testing the actual flash duration using an Arduino board and a cheapo diode. The reason for this was to test how the output from strobes (and the vela LED airgap) behave.
Interestingly LED strobes behave differently than Xenon strobes and their fall off patterns is different. They are also much faster (see title image).
Yongnuo has been the goto strobe brand for many off-camera-flashers (yea, I said it). Between the low price (it’s pretty hard to beat a $60 strobe, even if entry level), the plethora of features and the compatibility with major brands systems they are hard to say no to.
The only thing that kinda sucked on those strobes was their origin, they were shipping in from China. Shipping from China means hard to exercise warranty or returns. Don’t get me wrong, if you got 4 Yongnuo’s and one was a DOA, it was still a good deal price-wise, but you ended up with one dead strobe. Add to that the fact that many eBay sellers were selling those strobes with a lesser levels of Quality Assurance and you can see why there was a certain kind of risk involved in such purchases.
But this is changing as B&H are now adding the Yongnuo brand to their catalog. This means getting the same strobes with a significantly higher level of security. As for warranty, at least the items that I checked had a Limited 1-Year Warranty.
I was kinda expecting the B&H prices to be higher than the Amazon ones, but in fact they are not:
Gels are common tools to use when you want to change the temperature of your light or add color to white backgrounds. but they can also be used to simulate the look of different kinds of lights. In this case, Joe McNally uses a blue gel over a speedlight to mimic the look of a glowing movie projector. It’s a pretty creative application of the gels and goes to show that with a little imagination and a pack of Rosco gels, the sky is the limit. [Read more…]
For most of us, the hardest part about committing to a portrait project is coming up with new and creative photos day in and day out, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for pro photographer, Amanda Chapman. Since 2012, Chapman has been partaking in a 31 Days Of Halloween project where she dresses up in different makeup and costume every day for the month of October. Once learning her husband had been diagnosed with cancer in August of 2012, Chapman desperately needed an outlet and a project to ease the mind’s of her and her family. As October of the same year rolled around, she started doing different makeup every day and posting the photos to her facebook page.
Though she had no formal training in makeup, in fact, she had only done it a couple times in the past for Halloween costumes, her Tim Burton inspired looks grabbed the attention of her fans while simultaneously giving her family something fun to look forward to each day. [Read more…]
JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP
can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand.
JP’s photography is available for licensing at Stocksy United.
Gannon Burgett is a photographer from Marion, Indiana. "Striving each day to make my dent in the universe"