Sometimes an experimental idea turns out to be a stunning success. This was something like that.
If I look back at how I learned to take pictures, the path isn’t straight at all. But this isn’t necessarily just because I took wrong turns (yes including selective colour, and cheap tripod). It’s also down to my goals changing. Constantly. One of the things that has changed significantly over the years are my goals for light.
I remember when I first saw someone take pictures of a model, he was using a big soft-box and was really impressed by the technical quality of the result – pin sharp due to a very small aperture, which in turn was made possible by tonnes of light. The light was also big so the result was perfectly even but directional light with soft shadow transitions.
Gobos can be wonderful things. They’re essentially stencils or templates that go between the light and your subject. They’re designed to help shape the light and project patterns. But you don’t have to cut them out of card yourself. You can use pretty much anything to cast a shadow on your subject or the backdrop. In this video from photographer Bill Lawson, we see 7 household items that we can turn into DIY gobos.
Shooting indoors, especially in somebody’s home, often leads to some rather dull backgrounds. Usually, you’re stuck with just a bare solid coloured wall. But whether you’re using flash or continuous light, there are things you can do to make things more interesting.
This video from photographer, Svitlana Vronska shows us one way to make things more interesting. With the help of a large sheet of white board from the dollar store.
C-Stands have been a staple support system in the photography and film industries for longer than many of us can remember, but there’s more to this seemingly simple tool than one might assume at first glance.
I took this photo as part of a lighting class in Costa Rica. The theme was people who represent the spirit of the farm where the class was held. It was a colonial building hidden in the country side of Costa Rica. While we were fortunate to have a great model, I used a few simple tricks to make the scene work.
Some ideas are simple. Simple to the point of how didn’t I came up with this… Such is this clever repurposing that Eric Krügl gave his business cards book. Those little black books are slowly disappearing from our world and being replaced with the contact app on our smart devices…
But then you look at all your Light Blaster Gobos and Gels that you cut for your strobes and you realize that it is that book that can bring order to them all. It is the simplicity of the solution that makes it so good so I am going to let the photos talk:
I am a big fan of using simple objects or DIYing solutions in my photograph. One thing I always like doing is using a Gobo (photography lingo fo go-between) to make any plain background stand out. Nowadays, I am using a device called the Light Blaster which can act as a dedicated gobo projector, but before I got it, I DIYed my own patterns for the background.
So here are examples of everyday objects I use to create some cool patterns on the background.
While we fancy the entire system in general, we love this new kit because it delivers something that the other kits did not – real blacks.
Being made out of the same metal that is used for stage lighting gobos this kit is thin enough to fir in the Light Blaster system, but being made of metal, the light only goes though the etched places and does not go through the metal providing real black on any projected surface. It also works wonderfully with gels.[Read More…]