In this article, I aim to explain what TTL is, what is does and how it can be implemented into a photographic workflow. I also go on to share my test images from a recent shoot where I tested the TTL abilities of the Godox AD600 / PixaPro Citi600 TTL / Flashpoint Xplor 600 TTL flash head. The test shots provided below show you exactly the strengths and the weaknesses of the function for a variety of situations.
Ever wondered why I’m so fussy about ‘clean’ lighting with my coloured gelled photography? Well it’s because failing to produce cleanly lit shots with gels, simultaneously produces horrendous looking shots with gels.
When I refer to clean lighting I’m referring to the fact that I like to keep all of my lights in my scene exactly where they’re supposed to be. If I have a background light then I have it lighting the background and nothing else, when I have a hair light, I have it lighting the hair and nothing else and so on. This might seem fairly obvious but when you’re using white-light and large modifiers like softboxes, the lighting is going everywhere whether you like it or not. We simply can’t get away with being that sloppy with coloured gels.
As some of you already know, I recently developed and released a brand new lighting workshop called Creatively Simple Lighting. In that workshop, one of the core foundations of what I teach is how to get creative with simple lighting and simple lighting doesn’t get any simpler than when you use Speedlights. At their most basic, Speedlights can simply sit on top of your camera and illuminate whatever is in front of you. If you want to get a little more creative however, the first thing to do is to get that flash off your camera and step into the vast world of off-camera flash.
Off-camera flash is where it gets interesting and it’s very easy to throw a cheap softbox on your speedlight and take some pleasant yet fairly basic shots. So how do we make it a little more engaging without spending a fortune? Well, as part of my workshop I wanted to prove that all the setups I was teaching could be achieved with a couple of Speedlights and some very basic modifiers. The following article is the result of me dusting off my Speedlights and playing with some homemade modifiers to see if I could create some engaging and creative effects without it costing me a penny.
I’m a big believer in post workflow efficiency. Whether working with stills or video, one can never seem to get their workflow fast enough. And these days, we all spend far more time at the computer than we’d like. I know I do. I spent countless hours in Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and other applications getting things just right.
This video, from photographer Jake Hicks shows us 5 great tips to help speed up our own workflow in Photoshop. These are some of Photoshop’s lesser known tips and techniques, that can make a big difference to your workflow.
In this tutorial we will be going over how to create gorgeous in-camera flared effects that can add a lot of depth and interest to a simple portrait image. To do this we will be using a glass prism which can be found on any number of online retail sites. The glass prisms are generally used for school science experiments so they’re readily available and very inexpensive.
25mm x 100mm glass prism on Amazon link here
The prisms are very easy to use out on location as you simply hold them in front of the lens and shoot away. If you’re looking to use them in a studio environment though there are a few key things to bear in mind to maximise the flared effect that creates that signature look.
If you’ve ever wondered what effect a specific Lensbaby lens has or if you’ve ever wondered how that compares to other lensbaby lenses or even standard lenses then this article is for you.
I took the same image of a model using a wide variety of Lensbaby lenses as well as standard prime lenses and compared the results. All images were taken with flash with an ISO 100 at 1/125 second and all at f4. You should notice that the model stays a similar size in the frame when using a variety of focal length lenses, that was to create ‘real-life’ look to the test. I have taken the images as I would do normally regardless of focal length and they all appear here completely un-cropped.
Nearly every professional studio I’ve ever used has these ‘polyboards’ and you‘ve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what they’re used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick.
One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other. This dual colour is very important as this gives them two key uses.
In this article I am going to highlight 5 key things that I see portrait photographers doing that I consider to be ‘in need of improvement’ and although there are no hard-and-fast rules to photography, try to think of it as being similar to an instrument being slightly out of tune or a meal that’s perhaps a little too salty. These are glaringly obvious errors to the well informed but may not be so obvious to those who are just starting out.
I’ll also just say that photography is a subjective field and just like any other art form there is going to be people who agree and disagree with what I class as ‘mistakes’. History lecturers for example, will teach us that the Berlin wall fell in 1989, mathematicians will tell us that 2 + 2 = 4. These are what we refer to as facts but in our world of the arts we aren’t quite so strictly governed and it isn’t quite as simple.
Whether you’ve been shooting for five minutes or five years, there will come a time when you’ll have to book a shoot with another person. Maybe it will be a friend or coworker and maybe it will be a full-time professional model. Whoever you’re contacting though, they’ll need to know some fundamental facts about what’s involved in your shoot before they agree to be involved. In this article I discuss some of the key things you should include when contacting and booking a model.
I’m as interested in an ‘easy life’ as much as the next person, so if somebody else has already done the hard work of making a product for me, and I can purchase it for a reasonable price, I’m all over it. After all why make life hard for yourself if you don’t have too. Unfortunately there are times when you literally can’t purchase what you need and the only option is to get all arts-and-crafts on the problem!
I recently decided to upgrade my flash-head carrying bags from the old, long, soft and cumbersome kit bags to the sleek, compact and robust Peli cases. These new 1440 Peli cases hold three of my strobes upright, side-by-side. This upgrade not only offers me far more protection on the heads but it also makes it a lot easier to transport them with their wheels. But although they fit my three strobes perfectly, I needed some way of separating them inside to avoid them bashing against one another in transit.