Creating A Midday Sun In The Studio – A Lighting Tutorial

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As we know, shooting in harsh sunlight at midday is a portrait photographers nightmare! But, it can produce a very striking and edgy look thats fantastic. However this particular author lives and works in Northern Ireland – now, most will agree, this is a beautifully scenic part of the world unfortunately though we are not blessed with a lot of sunlight. In fact this year its hard to remember a day when its wasn’t raining!

Hence my project to create a wonderfully hard Mediterranean sunlight effect in the studio! In fact this is a fairly easy task and using the correct modifier can produce excellent results. For my first test I wanted to create a textured wall effect rather than use a seamless paper roll. I purchased a 4′ X 8′ sheet of plasterboard (Drywall) and produced a textured effect by liberally applying Spackling Paste to the board.

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The Pros and Cons of using Cheap China Brand Lights

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My first ever off-camera flash was a Nikon sb-24 speedlight (1988), which I got. After a while I bought my first ever Nikon speedlight an sb-600 (it was around $250 back then). I was very happy with it until I wanted to get a studio strobe. There weren’t many choices to pick from here in the Philippines; its either you get one that cost around $300 per strobe or you can buy a “kit” with 3 off brand studio lights, light stands and softboxes for around $220. I got the latter.

(As a reference, a 400WS Broncolor Siros 400 which is one fine branded strobe – yet one of the cheaper branded strobes – will set you back $1000. A Cowboystudio 400WS strobe will only cost $150. A Square Perfect 400W/S strobe will only set you back a $100 or so. Those 3 are obviously not comparable strobe)

CHEAP doesn’t always mean bad, I have used these lights for more than 6 years now, and I want to share with you the pros and cons of using cheap off brand lights.

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Learn How, When and Why to Use Negative Fill (Including DIY Solutions)

Source: YouTube/Indie Cinema Academy

Source: YouTube/Indie Cinema Academy

Fill light is probably one of the first things you learn when shooting in a studio or taking outdoor portraits, but many people aren’t aware of the reversed method – negative lighting.

As the name suggests, this method is used to subtract unwanted light and increase contrast.

In this 6-minute tutorial, Indie Cinema Academy explains what negative fill light is, how you go about using this method and why you’d even want to. The video provides examples of using negative fill and offers side-by-side comparisons, making it very useful and a great way to learn.

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Photographer Builds An Entire City From Blocks In His Studio

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Italian photographer Matteo Mezzadri wanted to show a different perspective of a city and for that he built a whole city in his studio. Sadly (or happily for us), Mezzadri built a city equivalent in his studio.

The city is built from red blocks and is not built after a real city. Mezzadri tells inmybag that

…[the project] “Città Minime” [minimal city] explores the space in which the majority of people live, an urban space recognizable in its essential structures: the buildings, the roads, the trees, although seen from a different point of view that distorts and recreates them.

The shots are the result of a meticulous, almost obsessive staging in which the picture remains the only evidence of large-scale installations made in the photographer’s studio or outdoors. The use of Photoshop is minimized, while the atmosphere is recreated with a clever use of technical devices.

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20 Kick Ass Projects From Last Year

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It has been a year since I started writing for DIYP and it has been a wonderful experience sharing works and tutorials to the world, including getting to read comments (and the occasional troll which gives me a laugh from time to time) and for this one year anniversary post, I want to run down and make one blog about my personal and favorite tutorials.

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More Useful DIY Lighting Tips To Try Using Stuff You Already Have At Home

diy lighting tips

It’s nice to have access to an entire studio full of fancy lighting, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes we just have to figure it out using a little ingenuity and some DIY skills–and for a lot of us, that’s all part of the fun, especially when it comes to lighting!. The guys over at Film Riot are masters at DIY lighting setups which is  why we always look forward to any new post they do covering the topic. In their latest tutorial, the team covers a heap of lighting tips to either fill in for or compliment an existing lighting setup. Plus, they are insanely simple to make (some of the tips actually don’t require you to make anything).

Film Riot explores ways you can make your ordinary household lighting (read: flat, boring light) and change it into more dramatic and interesting lighting simply by swapping out light bulbs or hitting them with a coat of high temperature paint to change their temperatures. [Read more…]

Build a $300 Music Stand Triflector for $29

I have always wanted to DIY my own triflector, but the problem was I didn’t even know where to start or what material to use.

You’re probably asking why I would want a triflector? Because it produces the most stunningly beautiful glamour light. Now, Lastolite does sell one of those, but they are around $330 with frame panels and all. I wanted it cheaper and I wanted it faster.

Before I started photography around 6 years ago I was studying classical guitar in the top university here in the Philippines so I remembered that I had a music stand lying around from my music days. It was a perfect starting point for my DIY triflector, and they are only about $15. So here is a quick step by step tutorial on how I built a DIY music stand triflector.

Feature image Diy Music Stand Triflector1

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Analyzing Light – How to Breakdown The Lighting Of A Photo

Ever since I started photography I had a thing  for lighting. Nowadays, every time I see a picture, I can’t help it but to analyze and breakdown how it was lit. In this article I will share my analyzing process, step by step.

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I believe understanding light can make a huge improvement to any photographer’s work, and practicing light-analysis is definitely one of the better ways to do it. When was just starting out, analyzing light on Flickr photos I love was a huge learning experience for me.

There are plenty of way (or tricks) to analyze light, this is how I do it, feel free to share yours too.

The first thing I do is break down the lighting into 4 hint-groups: Catchlights, Shadows, Highlights, and Background lights.

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Peter Hurley Shares A Few Killer Tips On How to Take Better Headshots

Taking pictures of someone can be a challenge sometimes, and especially when it comes to face portraits. Who hasn’t felt awkward while having their school picture taken before? And how can the photographer help in making the situation a little better?

Peter Hurley is a well known headshot photographer based in New York and Los Angeles. Just recently, he sat down to give a few tips on how to make better headshots.

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Dance and Movement: Mixing continuous lights and strobes

My friend wanted to shoot ballet dancers and had a “peg” that she wanted to do. She wanted to show the flow of the movement of the dancers but also stop motion so their faces can be seen. I really like new challenges because it gets me thinking again and it pushes me to research and practice new techniques.

Ea Torrado and Erick Dizon

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