there plenty of ways to achieve the lighting you want or use the one you have. In this video from Derrel Ho-Shing, you’ll see differences between three different light sources and setups. He’s shooting the model using natural light, a flash, and high speed sync. Same model, same location, same time of day – yet pretty different results. Which one is your favorite?
Whenever I see people posting questions about how to photograph people wearing glasses, they usually receive the same response. “Don’t, have them take their glasses off”. This is usually followed by some silly statement about it being impossible to avoid glare and reflections on glasses. Well, it’s not impossible. It’s actually pretty straightforward.
As photographer Joe Edelman describes in this video, it’s simply a case of applying a little basic physics. It’s a challenge that’s been around since the dawn of photography, but the methods to solving it today are the same as they were a hundred years ago.
We all get short on space sometimes. Perhaps you’re just starting out and don’t have a huge area to shoot in. Maybe you’ve been asked to photograph a friend in their home, or you just want to get some photos of the kids. Whatever the reasons, it’s not impossible to produce great portraits in a very small space.
Mark Wallace uses a small French hotel room to show us how he utilises a small space in this video. Using only a single light, Mark gets a good variety of different looks, from quite tight head shots to three quarter verticals.
Did you know that the most iconic movie prop ever was made out of a piece of photographic gear? While George Lucas was making A New Hope, he used all sorts of junk as props. He wanted to suggest the sense of history and make the items in the movie seem used. Because of this, set decorator Roger Christian looked for props in thrift stores and at antique dealers. At a small photography shop, he found a piece of gear that will become something we can’t imagine Star Wars without, and a prop every Star Wars geek dreams of having.
There is a progression that takes place in the journey that is our lighting knowledge. At first it is learning the ways of ambient light (read: I don’t want to buy a flash). As our career progresses we decide to buy our first flash and throw that sucker straight on the camera, only to question why the shadows on faces are gone… along with the artistic merit. Soon after that we discover a site like Strobist and point the flash at the ceiling and realize our first “Eureka” moment as a photographer. From there we buy our first off camera strobes and it is all downhill…
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of M42 and other older manual focus lenses. I’ve been using them for years with my DSLRs. They have imperfections, suffered from very random quality control, that give each one a slightly unique look and feel. They often have characteristics that can’t be reproduced with modern “perfect” glass and post production. So, whenever I see my favourite photographers also using them, I get interested.
This time, Texas based portrait photographer, Francisco Joel Hernandez has discovered the Russian-made Jupiter 9. Out of all the M42 lenses I own personally, this is tied with the Helios 44-2 as a favourite. We’ve featured the Jupiter 9 before, but Joel’s video shows a couple of neat tricks for working with this lens on location. The big one dealing with the flare this lens is often prone to.
Apart from new digital solutions in photo and video technology, it seems that this year the analog and “back to the roots” approach caused the most reactions. After CES 2017, we’re left with many news and impressions. With all the innovations, it’s still something vintage that made the most of us thrilled. It’s launching something new, which is actually old. Yes, I’m talking about Kodak bringing back Ektachrome, and possibly even Kodachrome.
This made me think about the “old days” and how technological innovations in photography were observed back then. And then I saw this video. It’s over 50 years old Kodak commercial, showing their latest technology at the time – the Flashcube.
I’ve become a big fan of Godox (Pixapro, Flashpoint, etc) over the last couple of years. They sprang out of nowhere, and in no time at all built up a solid following. They are the first company to offer a complete self contained solution that covers everything from speedlights to studio strobes. But their latest addition is something of an oddity. It’s not quite a speedlight, and it’s not quite a strobe, but somewhere in between, and both at the same time.
The Godox Witstro AD200 is a 200Ws flash unit with two interchangeable heads. One is a bare bulb, like the AD180/360. The other offers a more traditional speedlight-like fresnel head. But it doesn’t have a hotshoe, so you can’t easily mount it onto your standard speedlight bracket. It does, however, have 1/4-20″ threads in the side and underneath. One big advantage of this over something like the AD180 or AD360 is the weight savings. It doesn’t use an external power pack, but a built in a LiIon battery.
A common mistake made when learning to shoot flash outdoors is to try and crush every bit of ambient light you can. Many photographers think it’s either one or the other. Daylight or flash. But mixing the two and getting the best of both worlds often produces the most spectacular results. It’s also less stress in your batteries.
Photographer Francisco Hernandez visits this topic in his newest video. He takes advantage of the TTL capabilities of his Flashpoint/Godox flashes for his demonstration, but the same effect can easily be achieved with manual flash units. You may need something that supports high speed sync, though, depending on the ambient light levels and your aperture.
David Hobby, aka “The Strobist“, was the original Internet trailblazer when it came to using small hotshoe flashes. At least, if you wanted to use them for more than just giving your subject red eye. Inspiring photographers to get their speedlights off the hotshoe, David created a free Lighting 101 course way back in 2006.
I learned so much from that first course. So, when David released Lighting 102 the following year, I dived right in. Speedlight technology and variety has come a long way since 2007, so David updated Lighting 102 this year to reflect some of those changes. Now, David has announced an all new Lighting 103 course coming in January 2017, which takes things even further.